Blaine blames PNP, JLP for fostering illegal settlements
New Nation Coalition founder Betty Ann Blaine has chastised the two major political parties for encouraging squatter settlements.
Blaine has been very vocal about last week's removal of squatters from Duke Street, and yesterday accused the parties of using tactics such as depopulating communities in order to gain strongholds.
"You can't talk about you're going to criminalise squatters when it is your very gang who is running them out of communities," she said.
Blaine urged better vigilance from administrations because squatter communities "don't develop overnight".
Blaine, who was speaking at the Island Special Constabulary Force/Mobile Reserve Chaplaincy Services Branch Back-to-School Motivational Clinic, felt that since slavery, "our people have not had access to land", noting the slave owners were the ones compensated.
"We have more land in this country than we could ever use. We have land that every single Jamaican can get a piece of land. We have land so that we should have no squatters in this country and that is what we need to start talking about."
Blaine also had words for her critics who felt she was too soft on the women in these settlements who have many children.
"I've always spoken about that. I don't encourage persons to have many children that they can't look after. But if you call me to the accident scene and you're dying, I can't ask you why you never wear your seat belt. My job at that time is to try and help you," she reasoned. She said to bring up the issue of the poor having the most children at such a time was "dishonest". Blaine said she chose the topic because the workshop focused on education.
"Because parents and children ... unless you get a good education ... you will never break the inter-generational cycle of poverty in Jamaica."
Blaine stressed the importance of stable families in the development of the country. She also asked for schools to do more than just teaching lessons.
"They have to build good citizens. Schools have to have a values curriculum. The future of Jamaica lies in the principal's office."