Daily Archives: January 11, 2009

Barbados Government Asking Developers and Hotels To Keep People Employed – But What Of The 85 Jobs Lost At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary?

– Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy Pleads With Developers To Continue

– Tourism Employers Could Reduce Work Hours, Not Staff

As we at BFP have been saying for some time, this year is going to be a tough one – very tough. We’ve also said that each of us should look after our own family members and friends because government may be unable to do so. Plan for the worst, hope for the best is always wise.

Minister Sealy has been asking the tourism industry and project developers to continue with their plans, especially considering that the developers have already received concessions and assistance from Barbados. I’m not a politician but it seems to me that this is where political skill comes into play. Politics is often referred to as “The art of the possible”, so let’s see if Minister Sealy can make things happen.

“If Everybody Eats Less, No One Starves”

Another place where Bajans can help each other is by accepting cutbacks in hours at work so that everyone remains employed to some degree. The Nation newspaper had an editorial mentioning this possibility a few days ago. That option may upset some folks, but the alternative might be even more upsetting.

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Click On The Photo To See The Graeme Hall Video

What About Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary?

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary employed some 85 people, most of whom found themselves unemployed when the operation shut down on December 15, 2008. What is sad about this situation is that the sanctuary was not shut for economic reasons – the wealthy sanctuary owner is an internationally respected philanthropist who spent US$35 million dollars to create the island’s premier eco-tourism attraction and funded operations to give something back to Barbados and the world. Plus the popularity of the attraction with tourists and Bajans meant that the operation had been almost self-supporting. The sanctuary was not closed for economic reasons…

Unfortunately, developers and their politician friends in both the DLP and BLP want to develop the primarily government-owned lands around the sanctuary and they have fought tooth and nail to prevent the establishment of the proposed Graeme Hall National Park that would have protected the sanctuary and provided some desperately needed public green space on the concrete-jungle south coast. The owner of the sanctuary, a wealthy philanthropist named Peter Allard, understandably gave up on Barbados when he found that the new DLP government intends to develop and profit from the Graeme Hall wetlands area just as the last bunch did.

After the sanctuary closed we heard a few rumours and even a press release that the government was talking with the sanctuary owner, but like most of the government “initiatives” around this place that turned out to be just so many words. Lots of words and no action. Meanwhile, those 85 jobs are gone and Minister Sealy is running around trying to convince other companies not to fire a dozen here and a dozen there.

If any of our readers have heard anything different, please let us know, but we believe that those 85 jobs and one of our premier tourist attractions are gone, gone, gone.

Further Reading

BFP – Dec 2, 2008: Barbados: Ten Thousand Say Goodbye To Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Nation News – Jan 9, 2009: Tourism Indeed Our Business

BFP – Nov 26, 2008: December 1st Last Chance To See Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary For Free

BFP – Nov 25, 2008: Save The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Facebook Group Goes International!

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary website here

Nation News – Jan 7, 2009: Sealy: Let’s Get Going!

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Ethics, Nature, Offshore Investments, Politics, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism, Wildlife

How Much Did It Cost Shell Oil To Buy Two Barbados Governments? Without Election Financing Laws, We’ll Never Know

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

Fifteen Years Of Shell Pollution + Fifteen Years Of Shell Campaign Donations = Environmental Rape

There is no question that Shell Oil bought and paid for two successive Barbados governments. How else can we explain the actions of both the BLP and DLP governments in allowing this negligent and abusive company to walk away free from a major pipeline leak that polluted the water table over hundreds of acres, ruined agricultural land and still threatens our beaches?

shell-oil-pollution.gifFor the last fifteen years, since 1994,  Shell Oil has been avoiding responsibility for a pipeline leak that spilled at least a half a million gallons of jet fuel into the water table. This jet fuel has not gone away and even last year water wells within a few hundred feet of a beach were still filled with almost pure kerosene jet fuel. Shell Oil’s response has been to offer Barbados farmers less than one hour of Shell’s profits. Barbados farmers were offered US$2 million in total to be spread among the victims. Shell makes approximately US$3 million per hour.

Both the BLP Government of Owen Arthur and Mia Motley and the current DLP government of David Thompson have failed to hold Shell Oil accountable. Besides the farmers who lost the use and value of their lands, there has been vast amounts of damage to Barbados as a country and our beaches are still at risk from the pipeline spill. But neither the DLP nor the BLP governments implemented any laws that would penalise polluters and make them pay to clean up their mess.

Neither the DLP nor the BLP government even passed a simple law compelling pipeline owners to make daily measurements and to report any leakage to the government!

Think about that, friends. In the 15 years since half a million gallons of jet fuel polluted wells and agricultural land on the south coast because the criminals at Shell Oil didn’t even realise the leakage was happening, your useless do-nothing governments haven’t even been able to pass a law requiring Shell Oil to monitor for leaks daily and to report leaks to the government.

How Much Money Did Shell Oil Contribute To Barbados Political Parties In The Last 15 Years?

bribery.jpgOne of the features of our so-called “democracy” is that Barbados has no laws regulating how much money corporations and individuals can contribute to “election campaigns”. We have no laws requiring public disclosure of large amounts of cash. And even when our former Prime Minister Owen Arthur was caught red-handed depositing so-called “election donations” into his personal bank account, David Thompson did not have the courage and integrity to prosecute him. This is because Thompson and his DLP party regularly engage in similar unethical activities with election funds and they don’t want to start that kind of a war with the BLP. Much too dangerous.

Prime Minister Thompson, we citizens want to know how much money the DLP received from Shell Oil or any of its associated companies or persons in the last 15 years. Opposition Leader Mia Motley, we citizens want to know how much money the BLP received from Shell Oil or any of its associated companies or persons in the last 15 years.

For 15 years our governments have allowed Shell oil to get away with environmental rape of our land, our water and our beaches. Is it any wonder that the majority of citizens have so little faith in our elected and appointed government officials?

Further Reading

BFP – Jan 5, 2008 – Shell Oil and the Barbados BLP Government – Together, THIS Is What They Achieved…

BFP – Feb 6, 2007 – Shell 2006 Profits: US$2.9 Million Dollars PER HOUR! – Offers Barbados Farmers Less Than One Hour’s Profits For A Decade Of Pollution And A Deadly Future

BFP – Aug 23, 2006 – Shell Barbados Pipeline Leaks Still Not Cleaned Up

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Energy, Environment, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Oil, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism