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Prime Minister Responds to Members of the Highway Re-route Movement…..

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER, KAMLA PERSAD-BISSESSAR                                                                    
PM1Following a request made by Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, of the Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM) by letter dated August 6, 2013, I met with 11 members of the Movement today at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

During the meeting, Dr Wayne Kublalsingh asked two questions:

1)      Is the Prime Minister going to abide by the ten (10) recommendations of the Armstrong Committee’s recommendations on the Debe-Mon Desir section of the Point Fortin Highway?

2)      Is the Prime Minister going to abide by the decision of the High Court in a constitutional motion filed by the Movement several months ago?

I pointed out that the matter is before the High Court and I have no intention to compromise the court case. I asked Dr Kublalsingh if he sought injunctive relief from the High Court to stop the Debe-Mon Desir section of the Highway.

When he said he did not do so, I asked why. Dr Kublalsingh said this was not the advice of the Movement’s lawyers whom he named. I pointed out to the members of the Movement that while I have every intention of upholding the law, there was no decision of the court to date.

Dr Kublalsingh asked if I had any intention of abiding by the recommendations of the Armstrong Committee. I said that was a matter for representatives of NIDCO and its Technical advisors. In the absence of the President of NIDCO, Dr Carson Charles (who is out of the country), I said I was not in a position to state what happened to the recommendations.

I suggested that NIDCO officials meet with  Dr Kublalsingh and his members to discuss what had been done with the Armstrong report.

This apparently was not what Dr Kublalsingh wanted to hear and despite repeated questions on the same two issues, I remained resolute that until I receive advice from the technical advisors at NIDCO, I would not be in a position to give an affirmative response, nor would I compromise the court matter.

I then brought the meeting to a close and resumed my meeting with the National Security Council.

Also present at this meeting were Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Dr Suruj Rambachan, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development. Dr Bhoe Tewarie, and Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Stacy Roopnarine.