Address by Prime Minister Dr The Honourable Timothy Harris at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Team Unity Administration’s Second Term at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium Sunday, June 14, 2020

Introduction

 

Our esteemed Governor General Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, Your Lordship Justice Trevor Ward Q.C., Cabinet Colleagues, Dr the Rt Hon and Rt Excellent Sir Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, fellow citizens and residents.

 

It is an honour to be speaking to you as your Prime Minister following the decisive result of our general elections held on Friday, June 05, 2020. A result which secured a landslide victory of 9 out of 11 seats, and a majority of the popular vote for the Team Unity Movement which I am privileged to lead.

 

It was an overwhelming vote of confidence in your Team Unity Government and our plan for safer streets, bigger and better homes and more opportunities for all our people especially our young people.

 

The people of St Kitts and Nevis said YES to a stronger, safer future and NO to the same old politics of the past.

 

I thank the election officers and the local and CARICOM election observers who helped us carry out an election in the unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Barring a couple of hiccups, the general elections of 2020 went smoothly and reflected the will of the people.

 

It was testament to your maturity that our democracy continued to work effectively despite and during these unprecedented times in which we are living.

 

Of course, I say thank you to every one of you who voted for our Team Unity candidate on election day.

 

We will never take your votes for granted and fully understand the importance of the trust you have placed in us.

 

With your vote you expressed the desire to see our Federation continue in the right direction. This is the first time some have voted for Team Unity and for others it was your first time voting in any general election. Thanks to all voters for participating in our democracy.

I promise you this government will honour the faith you have shown.

 

I give God thanks for his grace and favour on my life and for the continuing opportunity to take my beautiful Country forward to a new era of unprecedented prosperity. Challenges may come but I am comforted in the knowledge that the battle is not mines but the Lord’s.

 

My Constituents

 

I also want to especially thank my constituents.

 

Many would say the elegance of our system is that even as Prime Minister you are still a local member of Parliament.

 

I have always taken my constituency responsibilities very seriously, and carefully balanced the demands of leading our Federation, with the needs of my constituency.

 

That balancing is something all Ministers must do and it demands careful care and attention.

 

On election day the good people of Belle Vue to Ottleys saw fit to deliver the strongest result of my 27 years of representing them, their concerns, and their hopes and aspirations.

 

I am truly humbled by the support of the 1,870 of you who voted for me. To the 607 who voted for an alternative, I commend you for your participation in the democratic process.

 

I will continue to serve each and every one of you to the best of my ability.

 

To those who did not vote for Team Unity I assure you that this is a government for all our people.

 

This has been the ethos of Team Unity. Our Country belongs to all of us. All we have is us.

 

No one will be left behind under Team Unity. I will be the Prime Minister for all the people.

 

Our philosophy of Government for all is what led us in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria to assist thousands of suffering citizens and residents and delivered housing solutions to over 2500 families without regard for political affiliation. The same can be said of our popular Poverty Alleviation Progamme that has made life better for thousands of people everywhere. Some like Sheila O’Garro of Sebastian Street and others are here today.

 

For us to reach our potential everyone deserves to see his/her life improved.

 

Our Agenda

 

Team Unity has an exciting programme of policies that will take St Kitts and Nevis to a stronger safer future.

 

  • We have earmarked 2000 lots for bigger and better houses, including low income houses.
  • More land will be bought back from the Land Sales Agency to be made available to our farmers, fishers, mechanics, our young people and those with commercial and industrial interests.
  • We are working towards an ambitious program of job creation.
  • We will regularise our STEP workers and make our Government Auxiliary Workers pensionable.
  • We will construct a brand-new General Hospital. We will hand over a modern health facility to the people of Tabernacle, Mansion, Belle Vue, named in honour of a health professional and prayer warrior, former Matron Sylvia Garnette. We will commence construction of a new health centre in St Peters even as we work to provide health coverage for all the people of St Kitts and Nevis.
  • Our educational facilities will continue to be rehabilitated, expanded and modernized. A brand new Basseterre High School will be delivered to students from feeder communities of Conaree, Basseterre, St Peters etc,
  • A new facility for Her Majesty’s Prison will be constructed.
  • There will be a new Ministry focusing on Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development.
  • We will continue the build out of our multi-million dollar CCTV programme on the islands of Nevis and St Kitts.

 

These are just a few examples of those exciting policies that my Cabinet will be bringing forward.

 

 

Cabinet Appointments

 

To deliver on our plan for safer streets, bigger and better homes, more opportunities for our young people I have assembled a talented team. It took time to put the team together. This is a larger team. It is your team.

 

My new Cabinet mixes the energy of youth and the wisdom of years of experience and Ministers who have been involved in taking our Country in the right direction. It brings new faces with their fresh ideas and energy to our government.

 

This is a team which should inspire in you great enthusiasm and confidence for our future.

Therefore, I can announce that the new cabinet is as follows:

 

Dr the Hon Timothy Harris – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, National Security, Sustainable Development, Constituency Empowerment, and Human Resource Management and Information

 

Hon Shawn Richards – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, Utilities, Posts and Urban Development

 

Hon Mark Brantley – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation

 

Hon Alexis Jeffers – Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources

 

Hon Lindsay Grant – Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports

 

 

 

Hon Eugene Hamilton – Minister of Human Settlement, National Health Insurance, Social Security, Ecclesiastical Affairs, Social Development and Gender Affairs

 

Hon Eric Evelyn – Minister of Environment and Cooperatives

 

Hon Jonel Powell – Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture

 

Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett – Minister of Health, ICT, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development.

 

 

Hon Wendy Phipps – Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour

 

Hon Vincent Byron Jr. – Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs

 

 

This Cabinet Will Deliver For You

 

This new, revitalized, cabinet stands ready to deliver for you.

 

We are determined and eager to see that our plan for safer streets, bigger and better homes and more opportunities for our young people is implemented properly and successfully.

 

I promise you that we will never become complacent or take you the people for granted.

 

We know that you have lent us your vote – and that we must deliver for you and deliver for the future of our country.

 

The nature of the challenges this government faces requires each Minister to perform at his/her very best.

 

Conclusion

 

We are aware of how difficult it has been for you in recent months due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Times have been tough and there are still challenges ahead as we navigate the path to recovery.

 

But with this new team I am confident that we can move beyond any obstacle that we face and move forward to a stronger, safer future.

 

I thank all of our Ministers for their commitment to serve our Federation.   I invite our nation to hold up the Government in prayer. May we fulfil the charge in Micah Ch. 6 vs 8:

 

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God”

 

May God continue to bless us all and continue to bless the federation of St Kitts and Nevis.