Do we as a nation think that it is okay for billion dollar projects to never be tendered? Isn’t that against all the rules meant to protect us from corruption? Is it okay for us to never see the hydrology reports explaining how much flooding will result from filling the Oropouche lagoon? Shouldn’t we at least know what costs of development our citizens and environment will bear? Does anyone who is fed up of the year struggle by the Highway Re-route movement even know if the Government’s plan is the best win-win solution for transportation woes? If it were our houses, would we feel we deserved a basic explanation for why our communities face demolition? Do we care that, as citizens fight the Government through the courts because they want smart not stupid development, the Government continues unwanted construction as if the courts don’t matter?
This is not about whether or you are for or against a highway route or even for or against Kublalsingh. It’s about whether you are for or against proper process, meant to promote transparency in all State development projects, regardless of the political party in charge. If you back out on a principle this time around, what happens when another smelter or rapid rail or tar sands mining plan gets imposed on us, and we can’t get any answers about the justifications and costs? What happens when it now affects your children? Won’t you want other citizens to rightly stand together with you instead of choosing loyalty to their party or source of contracts? Our only defence is to care. This is our challenge. We have to decide whether governments can get away with whatever they want, and fool us with whatever half-truths they tell us about. This will happen again and again, unless as Wayne Kublalsingh is doing, we understand that in our own way, we have to all one day say no, no more.