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Constituency Debate 2016 | What your MP had to say

Published:Sunday | October 16, 2016 | 12:00 AMJovan Johnson
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Marisa Dalrymple Philibert CONSTITUENCY: Trelawny Southern
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Dr Dayton Campbell CONSTITUENCY: St Ann North West
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Dr Horace Chang CONSTITUENCY: St James North West
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Trelawny crying for water

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Marisa Dalrymple Philibert

CONSTITUENCY: Trelawny Southern

Member of Parliament (MP) Marisa Dalrymple Philibert used her contribution to the Constituency Debate in the Parliament to issue an appeal to the Government for improvements in the water infrastructure in the constituency.

"Dr (Horace) Chang," she said, "the cry for water in South Trelawny is deafening. Over these many years, I have constantly had water distributed throughout the constituency and several water tanks have been given to communities and individuals in an attempt to address the desperate need of water."

Dr Chang is the Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for water in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

The MP said priority has been given to truck water to institutions such as the schools, health centres and the police.

But Dalrymple, who said the major project this year was the establishment of a football field in Ulster Spring, stressed that more needs to be done to get water for the constituency.

"I pay tribute to the owners of water trucks who continually support us, despite the long delays in receiving their payments. So, Dr Chang, I join with the people of South Trelawny and say it is time for us to have running water. We want to turn on our showers and have a nice bath too. Like Job, we will continue to wait patiently for the water project you have promised to us in your recent presentation in Parliament."

During his Sectoral Debate contribution in July, Chang announced a $95 million project to replace eight kilometres of pipeline from Samuel Prospect to Baron Hill in Trelawny.

He said then that the engineering designs for the Quassi water-supply system in South Trelawny were being completed and prepared for tendering.

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We need politics to empower the people

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Dr Dayton Campbell

CONSTITUENCY: St Ann North West

Member of Parliament for St Ann North Western, Dr Dayton Campbell, used his Constituency Debate to preach against "politics perception" which he said has birthed the enemies of poverty, income inequality, injustice, crime, poor housing and gender inequality.

"The politics of perception is the politics where our leaders tinker with our approach and policy direction and then magnify the minute changes with public relations in an attempt to convey a positive outlook," he told the House of Representatives.

The two-time MP said such an approach has not been working and there is need for a 'politics of change' which he argued is about empowering people.

Campbell said for his rural constituency, consultations have identified priority areas which he listed as: infrastructure, employment, healthcare, education, youth, community development and poverty reduction, and economic enablement.

On economic justice, however, the MP, who has flirted with several controversies, called for attention to Jamaica's poor and marginalised.

"We have to do away with the tendency to pay lip service to their needs, the politics of perception, and move to action so we're better able to facilitate their full and meaningful development," he argued.

He said a law is needed to outline the minimum working conditions for Jamaicans to match the minimum legislative requirements.

"Let us carry the argument to its logical conclusion that if our children, years from now, are fighting the same struggles, then we would have practised the politics of tinkering, the politics of perception, I dare us all to move to an ardent practice of the politics of empowerment of people, the politics of change," he said.

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The problem of crime did not pop up overnight

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Dr Horace Chang

CONSTITUENCY: St James North West

St James North Western MP, Dr Horace Change, noting the levels of crime bedevilling his constituency and parish, bemoaned the lack of attention he said is placed on causes in their early stages of development.

"Most times, nobody pays attention to the problems, which will extend to other areas of Jamaica and in the urban centre, except when you get the kind of violence that is emerging now and you get all the self-righteous and bright people having all kinds of solution and blaming everything at the feet of authority; police politicians and others," he argued.

Continuing, he said: "As soon as you get the matter back under control, they disappear and find a mattress somewhere and the problems that are fundamental to the causes of the crime and violence and dysfunction remains.

"Montego Bay did not evolve into the kind of problems we have overnight."

St James has been reeling from months of gang warfare linked to the lottery scamming that has pushed the number of murders so far this year to over 200, the most by any parish.

Chang argued that the informal economy in the tourism capital is "huge" and marginalised youth are easily drawn to the criminal underworld.

"The emerging of this free will economy is that individuals who are on their own participate in illegal activities to drive their lifestyle and we have to find a way to resolve this. Policing alone won't do it, "he said, noting that last Wednesday marked five days without any shooting in the parish.

He also called for cooperation among social services in tackling problems because currently, he said they do not "talk" to each other.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com