Tag Archives: Peter Allard

Founder of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary named Queen’s Counsel in Canada

Peter Allard has been named Queen’s Counsel by the Province of British Columbia. The Canadian businessman, lawyer and philanthropist is the founder and owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados.

This is the second time Allard has been in the Canadian news recently. In September the Chief Justice of Canada opened Allard Hall – a new $55 million dollar law school building at the University of British Columbia that was helped along by a huge gift from Allard of 10 million dollars (Canadian). Allard also gave another 2 million to establish an international prize that supports freedom, integrity and human rights, and creates an online historical faculty archive.

As we related in our post The sad tale of a lost friend of Barbados Peter Allard was last in the news in Barbados when he penned an open letter to Bajans explaining why he had to close one of the island’s premier tourist attractions and why he is suing the Barbados government for dumping raw sewerage into the Graeme Hall wetlands and other violations of various treaties and agreements.

Allard explained the situation in a May 6, 2010 press release:

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership. As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland.   The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

… Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard in a May 6, 2010 press release.

At one time Allard was in love with Barbados and focused his philanthropic efforts here. Since coming into conflict with the corrupt Bajan elites though, Allard has funded projects in Africa, Canada and elsewhere in the Caribbean including St. Vincent and Dominica where he helped establish a National Park.

Allard’s problem in Barbados is with our corrupt politicians

Barbados politicians and their land developer friends want to profit from the sale and commercial development of environmentally-protected lands, including public lands once designated for two National Parks. Allard opposed this rape of our natural heritage and that was the end of his relationship with the powerful elites.

How much do the corrupt politicians and their land developer friends hate Allard?

Then PM Owen Arthur and Health Minister Liz Thompson denied the people of Barbados a multi-million dollar cancer and AIDS hospice rather than accept it from Peter Allard with no strings attached. Given a choice between accepting philanthropy from Allard or not, the corrupt politicians preferred our loved ones to die in pain in that filthy hole called the Queen Elizabeth Hospital instead of spending their last days well looked after in a beautiful place with their family members.

That, my friends, takes a lot of corruption and hate but Arthur and Thompson had more than enough.

Congratulations to Peter Allard

Congratulations to Peter Allard upon being honoured by the Canadian government. We wish he had had a better experience in Barbados, but if it’s any comfort he’s not the only philanthropist or foreign investor to be set up and taken advantage of ‘pon de rock. The real losers are we Bajans and our children and grand-children who will never know the National Parks and green space that Allard and others fought for.

Here is the press release from the Government of British Columbia, received via Google Alerts…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Environment, Offshore Investments

The sad tale of a lost friend of Barbados

UPDATED: September 23, 2011

Watch Live webcast of Allard Hall Opening Ceremony Today

(Friday, Sept 23/11: 10am British Columbia time, 1pm Barbados time)

>>> Watch the live web broadcast here <<<

Chief Justice of Canada, other dignitaries to open UBC’s Allard Hall

Peter Allard to speak live on webcast

We see that the British Columbia University law school has moved into their new building, Allard Hall. The official opening is Friday, September 23, 2011 10am British Columbia, 1pm Barbados time.

“The building was named Allard Hall in honour of UBC graduate Peter Allard, a Vancouver businessman, former lawyer, and principal at Peterco Holdings Ltd., who in July contributed $11.86 million to the faculty — one of the largest donations to a law school in Canadian history. Of the donation, $9.83 million will go towards the new building.”  … from Canadian Lawyer Mag

UBC website: About Allard Hall

“Our profession has more impact on our society than any other. When we do our job well, we see that the Rule of Law is upheld and we protect our clients, our neighbors and fellow citizens against the vagaries of unchecked abuses of power and corruption.”

… taken from Peter Allard’s remarks to be delivered live today via webcast. (PDF of Allard’s speech here.)

Our original story below tells the of Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard and his history with Barbados.

If anyone out there has any updates on the situation with the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the Graeme Hall Wetlands, we’d love to hear about it.

A sad, sad tale for ordinary Barbadians as our government ‘leaders’ sell off and develop the last major green space between the airport and the city. Why don’t we just pave over the whole damn island and be done with it?

Original story below…

Philanthropist Peter Allard donates CDN$12 million to Canadian university

Why not to Barbados?

We haven’t heard much lately about Canadian businessman and philanthropist Peter Allard. The owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was last in the news in Barbados when he penned an open letter to Bajans explaining why he had to close one of the island’s premier tourist attractions and why he is suing the Barbados government for dumping raw sewerage into the Graeme Hall wetlands and other violations of various treaties and agreements.

As Allard said in a May 6, 2010 press release:

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership. As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland.   The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

… Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard in a May 6, 2010 press release.

We at BFP don’t understand why there has been such hostility by some in government towards Peter Allard – or maybe we do understand. Let us explain… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

One day’s work on Graeme Hall sluice gate proves 15 years of neglect by Barbados Government

UPDATED: January 20, 2012

We see The Nation carried the Barbados Government Information Service announcement that Worthing Beach was to be closed on January 19th “while the sluice gates at the beach are opened for routine maintenance.”

The last time this happened (on November 12, 2010 – see below) there was no real maintenance on the sluice gates – the government just moved the pile of sand blocking the channel. This is a big deal, my friends, because developer friends of the government want the wetlands killed so they can build on them. The long term abuse of leaving the sluice gate broken is designed to kill the last mangrove forest in Barbados so the friends of government can profit from developing the wetlands.

QUESTION: Was this “routine maintenance” of the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate merely removing the sand again… or did they repair the broken sluice gate so the mangrove swamp can be refreshed and “breathe” from the sea?

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY: Let’s hear from you! What is the truth?

NOTE: See the comments for a reader reporting that the gate was NOT repaired on the 19th. The operation only involved moving sand – and the channel was damaged.

UPDATED: November 12, 2010

Government announcement was a Sham.

No repairs made to Graeme Hall sluice gate.

Last mangrove forest dying before our eyes.

The announced repairs to the sluice gate at the Graeme Hall wetlands never happened. Government workers arrived and did their usual digging out of the sand, then filled in the channel a day later after draining some water. The gates were not repaired or replaced.

The deliberate destruction of a precious natural heritage site continues. Government is obviously doing this out of vindictiveness in the ongoing legal dispute with Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard.

It just shows you that Government officials think the wetlands and green space are theirs to destroy and develop.

Those wetlands and green space belong to the people of Barbados. Peter Allard spent tens of millions of dollars cleaning up the wetlands and volunteered to look after them for us for a while. It was his generous gift to the people of Barbados, but the developer friends of government had other ideas. So Allard he shut down his Nature Sanctuary and Barbados lost big time: 100 jobs, green space, tourism and hope for the future – all gone.

Here’s our original story: Read it ‘an weep…

Repair on sluice gate a result of lawsuit or new-found environmental conscience?

Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter says that the Government of Barbados is finally displaying a conscience because the Drainage Division will be working on the forever-broken Graeme Hall sluice gate for 14 hours today, Friday October 29, 2010.

For over a decade two successive governments deliberately neglected the sluice gate in an attempt to destroy the Graeme Hall wetlands so they can be sold and developed for profit.

As a direct result of a sluice gate left broken for fifteen years…

– The last mangrove forest on the island is dying, perhaps irreversibly on its way out.

A premier tourist attraction, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, closed with the loss of a hundred jobs.

– An international complaint was lodged against Barbados by nature sanctuary owner Peter Allard.

– International investors and philanthropists look upon Barbados with suspicion after Allard shut down his sanctuary and gave his millions elsewhere. Many observers believe that what happened to the Canadian philanthropist Peter Allard (and some other foreign investors) could happen to anyone. We’re not so sure they are wrong.

You think the world doesn’t know what happened in Barbados?

Now we’re told that a lousy 14 hours of work will solve the whole thing?

THAT IS DISGUSTING!

What an indictment of the BLP and DLP governments! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

Who are the most influential Canadian Expats? Michael J Fox is #1, Wayne Gretzky #2… and OH MY!!!

Canadian ExpatThe Canadian Expat Association’s list of “The most influential Canadian Expats” has just been published. Thanks to all BFP readers who sent us the story and to Google alerts too.

Here are the Top 5 Most Influential Canadian Expats as chosen by the Canadian Expat Association (website) and the public…

#1: Michael J. Fox (Actor, Back to the Future series etc.)

#2: Wayne Gretzky (Ice Hockey super hero)

#3: Tony Burman (Who? Oh… managing director of Al Jazeera English News)

#4: Neil Young (Musician who sings like someone has a pair of pliers on his toe)

#5: Peter Allard

Here’s what the Canadian Expat Association says about Allard…

Peter Allard, formerly of Edmonton, practiced law in Vancouver before moving to Barbados about 15 years ago, to focus on preserving natural habitats especially threatened by tourism and other development in the Caribbean.

On the island of Barbados, to spearhead national environmental awareness and encourage government-led development of national water policy and environmental management practices, Mr. Allard provided in excess of US $34 million to restore and professionally manage the last mangrove forest and most significant migratory bird habitat in Barbados. The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary consists of 35 acres of wetlands and forest, and is located within the newly designated 81 acre Graeme Hall Ramsar wetland, recognized by the Convention on Wetlands. Within the Site, Mr. Allard has set aside approximately 5 acres of land which has been developed with visitor and educational facilities. Mr. Allard has promoted an environmental standard that encourages development of a Barbadian national water policy. He believes that while private sector efforts to preserve habitats is very important, effective environmental management practices must be derived from government-led national water policy. In light of this belief, Mr. Allard has donated (and continues to donate) hundreds of thousands of additional dollars associated with public/environmental health, safety and education in Barbados.

On the island of St. Vincent Mr. Allard continues to provide the government with direct support for the St. Vincent Amazon parrot conservation programme, in an effort to save this endangered flagship species from extinction. The importance of this programme is significant, as it is the first phase of a national effort to protect the species and its natural habitat. Mr. Allard is also responsible for maintaining the only other St. Vincent Amazon population in the Caribbean (located at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados) in order to maintain genetic diversity. To date, the cost of this Programme has been in excess of $500,000, and it is hoped that the core populations in St. Vincent and Barbados will be the basis for genetically-diverse wild St. Vincent parrot populations when government can declare a new National Park for the species.

On the island of Dominica Mr. Allard provided the government of Dominica with the largest and single most significant contribution that ensured creation of the Morne Diablotin National Park on January 21, 2000. His contributions were the essential element that guaranteed the formation of the world’s newest National Park of the millennium. The Park is expected to become the Caribbean’s second United Nations Natural World Heritage Site.

While residing in Barbados Mr. Allard has widely donated in excess of $2.0 million to 75 Canadian charities, focusing on research and development of treatments for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and for arts and health and human welfare support organizations.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Environment, Offshore Investments

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