“The job of representation is not easy, but it can become easier if we all walk a common road and share a common vision.”
So says, MP for Tobago East Ayanna Webster-Roy at a recent grant distribution ceremony hosted by the National Self Help Commission Ltd at the Division of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour, Glen Road in Scarborough.
Webster-Roy said MPs sacrifice a lot to provide quality work and service to constituents and should be treated with respect too.
“Yes... we are your elected representatives, but we are not your floor mats, we are not your whipping post, we are people.
"Whenever we get up in the morning and we leave our families behind to take a plane to go to Trinidad, it is not for fun nor for our own business, it is to fight for you. I leave my children at home for sometimes weeks, not because I want a break from them – because I am advocating for you. We can only shape Tobago if we do it together,” she said.
The Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister added: “The petty fightdown because of what colour jersey we’re wearing makes no sense, at the end of the day, the vision has to be bigger, it has to be about Tobago’s development. Not about dreams and pie in the sky ideals and ideas, but the realistic development of our island and our people, and our children. Once we keep focus, trust me, Tobago is going to become a better place.”
Webster-Roy said the difficult decisions made by the government upon coming into office have proven to be the correct choice.
"Instead of going to the IMF, the decision to cutback on public expenditure; the decision to demand greater accountability and transparency in the procurement of public goods and services; the decision to take those who have to go to court to answer for injustice done to people, though unpopular, though harsh at times.”
She stressed, “We had to do it, because it was the right thing to do for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Because, we were brave enough to make the tough decisions, because we have been brave enough and strong enough as your elected representatives to speak out on your behalf, because we were able to make the tough decisions in terms of restructuring public expenditure, we have the funds available today."
Tobago West MP and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe endorsed Webster-Roy’s talk of unity declaring: “It is important for us to dwell in unity as leaders, no matter what side of the political divide we stand. Often times, we don’t embrace our responsibilities as leaders and let the politics get in the midst.”
Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles was present and made reference to St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves' quote during a public lecture on the slavery reparation plan at the Scarborough Library Facility
“Governance is a serious matter for serious people, but if you want entertainment hire a clown or a comedian but when it comes to governing an island, you want serious people who take matters seriously.”
Charles added: “Storms, whether internal or physical, ultimately reveal or show our tenacity and strength. Whenever we recover from a disaster, we are in fact rebuilding our lives. As we start the process of rebuilding our lives, let us remind ourselves that we have a nation to build as well.”