Chief Sec: Let’s form 2022 resolution for Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Chief Secretary Farley Augustine speaks to the media at a press conference in Scarborough recently. – THA

Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has called on Tobagonians to not only dream but work towards creating a Tobago to be proud of in 2022.

In his New Year’s Day message, Augustine encouraged all to ponder a bit more on the journey and destination of the island.

“I am asking you to reflect on the years gone by, and to also look forward; to dare yourselves to dream once again; to be rapt by the creative power of your imagination; and to envision a Tobago of new and endless possibilities.”

He said together, the island is more than capable of shaping a new narrative, and future.

“Together, we can truly move Tobago from a space touted for its potential, to one of sustained progress, productivity, and prosperity. So, this year, don’t just spend time creating a personal resolution, put some thought into a Tobago resolution as well – a collective vision you would like to see this island achieve.”

He said there is truly no better time for a Tobago resolution than now.

With a new administration at the helm at the Tobago House of Assembly, Augustine said it is a befitting time to begin an inclusive process of conceptualising a shared vision that can be built upon.

“This is an exercise that I want to really encourage the participation of every Tobagonian, and every resident in this space. It requires the contribution from multiple spheres and various stakeholders. The formulation of a Tobago resolution is not just for the academically inclined; it is not reserved for those wielding influence and authority; it is a task for all of us. Whether young or old; near or far; your participation is sincerely welcomed.

“In essence, it is about starting an important social dialogue amongst ourselves, which respects each voice.”

He said in order to effectively lead, one must first be willing to listen, noting that a leader must be prepared to put his ear to the ground, in an effort to better discern the wants and fears of the people.

“Therefore, our plans to move Tobago forward must align with your hopes and dreams. Already, we have communicated some of those plans to transform and forge a more competitive island. We have shared our ideas to build a Tobago space that is economically resilient, from Scarborough to even the remote communities. We are indeed focused on building a Tobago where our self-determination soars high, and the dignity of our people remains well protected.”

He said as they begin the groundwork to build a new reality, one must also be realistic and acknowledge that there will in fact be differences in goals and wishes for this island.

“However, we must remember in those moments that our shared values will forever be stronger than any of our individual differences.”

He said while he is asking for one to envision a new and brighter future, he must also remind that no dream can be accomplished without the drive.

“This means that a Tobago eager to make its mark on the globe, will require more than political will – it will also demand the tenacity and will of the people. So, it is time to ask ourselves the crucial question: ‘What do we resolve to do as an island?’ The time is now for us to genuinely think about it. This initial stage does not require much complexity, but a pure willingness to dream beyond what the physical eye can see. It is time to get working on a transformative Tobago resolution and step confidently into the new year.”