PDP’s James: Fix the economy to solve Tobago’s problems

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PDP candidate for Scarborough/Mt Grace, Trevor James –

The main problems facing Tobago are economic ones.

So said Trevor James, a former director of the THA’s Department of Settlements, who is contesting the upcoming Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections on a Progressive Democratic Patriot (PDP) ticket, as the candidate for Scarborough/Mt Grace.

Speaking on Thursday at the opening of his constituency office opposite the Eric Hovell Recreational Ground, James said, “If we fix the Tobago economy, we fix the whole of Tobago.

“Despite all these flaws in the matrix and the system that we have, despite all the evil and the incompetence that we see around us, we as Tobagonians – every single one of us – must take responsibility for ourselves and take responsibility for Tobago. No one must be able to prevent you from doing the things that our forefathers died for.”

Referring to the promise by Tobago PNM political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine of 2,000 lots of land to be distributed, he said: “In 20 years, they have produced on average 11 houses or service lots per year, and I say this without fear of contradiction, because I was the director of settlement. So when they come telling you that they’re going to give you 2,000 lots, we talking 11 divided by 2,000 – we talking another 30 years.”

He said Tobagonians will be making one of the biggest decisions of their lives on December 6.

“Every decision that we make can affect our lives – every decision – so ask yourself, where do you wish to be? Do you wish Scarborough/ Mt Grace to go back in time, do you wish to go forward, or do you wish to stay where you are?

“Because a vote that is not for the PDP is a vote for stagnation. A vote that is not for the PDP is a vote of going back again – going back to taking instructions from Trinidad, going back to taking direction from Port of Spain. This is not what our proud heritage is about.”

He said on December 6, there are three choices to be made.

“We have to choose between a party that will govern Tobago, we have to choose a representative for your district, and we have to choose who would be the leader of government in Tobago.”

James believes PDP deputy leader Farley Augustine is the right man to lead Tobago.

“You have a choice between a God-fearing young man and tricky Tracy. You have a choice between a young man that has been able to coalesce a team of professionals in their own right, who had the fortitude to say to you: ‘Win, lose or draw, I am sticking with my 12.’

“The choice is clear that if we want to move Tobago forward and transform Tobago, we can only vote for the leader with a vision – and so that choice, the only choice you have, is to vote again for the PDP.”

James believes he would make a better electoral representative for Scarborough/Mt Grace than PNM’s Marslyn Melville-Jack.

“In this business of politics, it is your representative that takes your issues and represents them in the (THA)… Ask yourself, in the last six years, whether Mrs Jack was able to do that; ask yourself why it is the (Calder Hall Multipurpose Facility) centre is still closed for two years; ask yourself why is it you don’t have a playing field with a pavilion; ask yourself whether this is a result of the representative you chose and if that is the case, you must now pivot your way to better representation.”

James also claimed the electoral district was under performing in education.

“Trevor James and his team will make an intervention in the primary school system in this district. I am committing tonight to work with the principals of these three primary schools to identify five students who are underprivileged, to identify the five most progressive high-performing students, to identify the five athletic students in standard three, and I am committing tonight to write a personal development plan for those students. It is only when we create futures for our generations that we can transform this district.”

He said he places a high value on education, having raised, along with his wife, two open national scholarship winners.