Imbert said he was pleased to see the first phase of the access road had been completed and recalled the planning had started under the PNM. “Governments come and governments go but projects remain,” he said. Imbert added that without proper planning, procurement and construction, no project could be delivered in a manner which would redound to the benefit of the people.
But both Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Warner, who were in attendance, would let Imbert have his day in the sun. Addressing the opening ceremony, Persad-Bissessar noted that Imbert had been MP for this area for the last 20 years and was involved in creating plans to build this road.
“We give him credit for that but what took him 20 years to plan, was done in 11 months by our Government,” she said to applause from the audience. Persad-Bissessar explained that this road and others in the country were not previously upgraded or constructed, “because of an empty Treasury”, during the PNM’s term in government. She said “a wastage of state funds” took place under the PNM and this was why the population voted for change one year ago. Persad-Bissessar observed that under the PNM, “State funds were going into other areas.”
Citing the Fifth Summit of the Americas and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as two major items of expenditure under the PNM, the Prime Minister said both events, “brought little or no value to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Persad-Bissessar apologised to the population if it does not see big buildings being built, stating this Government has changed priorities once viewed as important by the previous adminstration. “We will not be satisfied until we have fought for what is right,” she said. Warner boasted that while planning for the access road started under the PNM, “it has been completed by this Peoples Partnership administration.”
Warner said while Government does not have the money or time to do many things, “what is worthy of completion shall be done in time and within budget.”