Dr. Harris calls for an inclusive approach to nation building

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 04, 2017 (PRESS OFFICE) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, says the “task is for each and every one of us” to play our part “as we attempt to shape the society of which we can all be proud”.

“My Cabinet has reached out to our religious leaders to play a stronger role in building a society sturdy in its faith, sure of its moral imperatives and unabashed in terms of the pre-eminence of God in national life. I look to everyone of faith, particularly our Christian leadership, to take an active part in bringing our people together, inspiring community spirit, and engendering a keener sense of holistic well-being,” Prime Minister Harris said during his 2017 New Year’s Message on Sunday.

As the Team Unity Administration moves forward in creating an ennobling society, Dr. Harris challenged parents, law enforcement officials and members of the business community to play an even greater role in nation building.

“Parents must rise to the challenge of providing for their children and by their instruction and example guide them on the path to responsible and productive citizenship. Our security officers and Police in particular must hold true to their motto “to serve and to protect”. Our business people must be fair and honest and practice good corporate social responsibility. The Bar Association must be ready to deal with issues of unfairness, short-changing and general unethical conduct by members of the Bar, if and when such charges are brought,” said Prime Minister Harris.

Dr. Harris, who is also Minister of Finance, said while he understands the need for banks to maintain their balance sheets, preserve their asset base and pay attention to their non-performing loans, it is imperative that commercial banks do more to provide financial resources at affordable rates to those who need it, adding, “As a society we have to balance the books without bringing undue hardship to people’s lives. Our people, through their hard earned deposits, have provided the wherewithal to our banks. We need our banks to offer softer terms to their customers as part of a broader and more holistic approach to their role in nation building.”

The nation’s leader believes that parliamentarians must lead by example, particularly as it relates to their behaviour during parliamentary debates.

“The level of debate in Parliament should be a good reflection of us. I appeal to all Members of Parliament to be on their best behaviour, to abide by the ruling of the Speaker and even when displeased by any such ruling, to let decorum prevail,” said Dr. Harris, while stating that the Opposition must be constructive” and that an “Opposition that lost the trust and faith of the electorate, cannot continue along the old recalcitrant path that led to its near demise.”

From a governmental standpoint, the Prime Minister said a number of capital projects, scheduled to be rolled out in 2017, will significantly improve the lives of the people.

These include the start of construction of the Basseterre High School, the construction of several roads in housing projects, the start of the government’s housing programme, the start of construction of the second cruise pier, the completion of the build-out of Black Rocks and the Frigate Bay Strip, the build-out of the National Heroes Park adjoining the Kim Collins Highway, the upgrade of playfields at Tabernacle, Cayon, Constituency #3 and #4 and the reconstruction of the Tabernacle Health Centre.

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