Thu 27th Oct 2016
We must urgently stop white migrants from taking over our country
Independence has given our people little, as we are still losing our country to white migrants. Under the incompetent and highly irresponsible ULP regime, crown lands are being sold to white migrants from Canada, Europe and America. There is no consultation with our people, and the land that is being sold off, is never offered to Vincentians.
This is gross abuse of power by the ULP regime.
Our country is being lost to white migrants and we are losing control of our nation. This is a serious wrongdoing that must be corrected soon, as these white migrants will push us to the ground and take over our country. Ownership of SVG is under serious threat by the presence of these white migrants.
In September 2016, the ULP regime sold 23 acres of SVG’s crown lands in Mount Wynne and Pembroke to white migrants from Canada, at an outrageous, knock-down price of EC$5 per square foot. Vincentians, at home and in the diaspora, have not been given an equal opportunity to buy the 23 acres of land in Mount Wynne and Pembroke.
This is wilful act of discrimination against Vincentians. It demonstrates clearly that we are under immense threat of losing control of SVG through the back door sale of crown lands to white migrants.
The NDP opposition stated on 27 September 2016, that they do not approve of the sale of the lands at Mount Wynne and Pembroke, saying the sale of crown lands is making our people second-class citizens in their country of birth. SVG Green Party fully endorses this stance taken by the NDP.
The NDP need to go further, though, and tell the nation that if they get in to government, they will claim back all lands sold to foreigners under the unpatriotic ULP regime. A Green government would also take back lands sold to foreigners in SVG and abolish the SVG Alien Land Holding Act. If foreigners want to set up business in SVG, they should lease land.
We need to ban the sale of land to foreigners immediately. Land sales to foreigners make it harder for the younger generation of Vincentians to buy land to build their own home, and threaten our farmers and our food security. Singapore, Cuba, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and many other countries have banned the sale of land to foreigners. SVG should do so too.
Independence was meant to give us more control of our country and provide security for our people. However, since 1979 there has been a massive loss of land to white migrants and a huge rise in poverty, squalor, destitution and dilapidation.
Take a good look at our country and recognise that there is a positive correlation between the increase in land ownership by white migrants and the amount of power they exercise in SVG. These white migrants are a major threat to our people, as they aggressively perpetuate poverty and squalor in our country by not paying tax and customs duty.
We are being pushed to the ground by this sale of our crown lands to white migrants. We must adopt a strategy to take back all lands sold to foreigners.
We need to move SVG forward with free, high-quality education from pre-school to university and create an economy driven by knowledge, for job and revenue creation and sustainable development.
Land sales to white migrants will not bring our people out of poverty or move our country forward.
May God save our country.
Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA
Leader and co-founder of SVG Green Party