Mcalpine: Grand Bahama worse off under Minnis government
It was a bad day for the Minnis Administration in the House of Assembly.
After former Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands ripped his own party to shreds over its handling of Hurricane Dorian victims, fellow FNM MP Frederick McAlpine declared that Grand Bahama is worse off under this government, which won every House seat on the island.
He cited salty water nine months after Dorian, the horrible state of Rand Memorial Hospital, the mangled mess that is Grand Bahama International Airport, high unemployment and the money pit also known as the Grand Lucayan Resort.
“The harsh reality is, Grand Bahama has gotten worse despite all the political positions and so-called power,” McAlpine said during his budget debate contribution.
“I have to make this confession, Grand Bahama did better with less political power. Five and we still took a dive! Add an additional three and Grand Bahama is still not free! A total of eight and we still can’t get it straight!The Bahamas needs a fresh start.”
The Pineridge MP said the unemployment rate on Grand Bahama and Abaco is going through the roof.
“In Grand Bahama industrial companies are laying off left, right and center. There is much uncertainty in Grand Bahama.”
“The Reconstruction Authority established by this government is dismal at best. We are already in another hurricane season and many people’s homes are still unlivable.”
McAlpine said the government implemented Mandatory Evacuation legislation but has failed to build one hurricane-proof shelter for the people to evacuate to.
He added many shelters that have been identified by the government are still not prepared to receive evacuees.
“We in Grand Bahama are still without a proper functioning hospital that the government promised to be completed by March 1st before the pandemic hit,” he continued.
“The hospital is all over the place so you don’t know where to go for service. The conditions for our healthcare workers in Grand Bahama, to include our doctors, nurses and patients, remain atrocious.”
“Our schools, especially Hugh Campbell in my constituency, is still in a deplorable condition since the hurricane last year.”
McAlpine also criticized Grand Bahama Power Company, which he says seems to take advantage of residents during crucial and hard times.
“After Hurricane Dorian it seemed as if they were working with us and then afterwards, we got this large bill.”
“Many Grand Bahamians feel abandoned by its government and the Port Authority, who seem to blame each other when it’s convenient. Nine months later and Grand Bahama’s water is still salty by the way.”
“We’re jammed with an abandoned hotel which has cost us dearly and is still costing us; making us believe it was a done deal when it was just a Heads of Agreement signing.”
Often declaring that the country needs a fresh start, McAlpine said politicians would like to believe that Bahamians tend to forget but they do not practice selective amnesia and they are smarter than most politicians give them credit for.
He gave the government this warning, “Bahamians have a good memory. They will smile and make you feel that all is well until the day of reckoning.”