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Secretaries Answers to Questions


Outstanding Road Rehabilitation, Expansion, Drainage and Retention Projects.

44. The  Minority Leader asked the Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development the following question:

“As it relates to infrastructural projects applied for in   the Darrel Spring/Whim electoral district, specific to outstanding road   rehabilitation, expansion, drainage and retention at Mt. Pelier, Back Hill,   Spring Valley Trace, Glen Road, Dunveygan Road, Plymouth Road, Whim   Development, Whim Estate, Whim Avenue, Idlewild, Sangster’s Hill Smithfield   and Old Government House Road, can the Secretary confirm the following:

a. Whether these infrastructural projects are a priority   of the Division?”

Madam Presiding Officer, I rise

and as usual, I   want to thank the good people of the district of Scarborough/Mt.   Grace for their action on December 6th, 2021 that allows me to be   here.

Madam Presiding Officer, I continue to struggle (and I   think that I am a fairly educated person) with the framing of the questions   from the Minority Leader, so I want to just read it, so maybe he can clarify   for me, what it is he is asking. The question reads:

“As it relates to   infrastructural projects applied for in the Darrel Spring/Whim electoral   district, specific to outstanding road rehabilitation, expansion, drainage   and retention ...”

... at several   areas in the district.

     I am not aware that there is an application process for   projects; I do not know who made the application; to whom the application was   made, so I struggled and I will struggle to answer. I read the question   further, Madam Presiding Officer. [Crosstalk]

I hope that the   school students in form 5, and form 4 and 3, who have English teachers,   understand that this is not what we do.

2:06 P.M.

Allow the Member to answer the question. 

The question concludes; can the Secretary confirm the following:

(a) - but there is no b, c or d.

   Madam Presiding Officer, in the House we have to do better than this. I need clarification on what and who applied for these projects in the Darrel Spring/Whim electoral district. I do not know what the Member is speaking about. Maybe, the Member can ask a second, third, fourth and a fifth question.

 I do not think you answered the

question Member. Can you answer the question, please?

Madam Presiding Officer, I am not sure, and out of an

abundance of caution, I cannot answer the question as it is stated.

Madam Presiding Officer, I wish to refer to a letter

dated May 9th, 2022.


Secretary of the Division of Infrastructure,

Quarries and Urban Development, Assemblyman Trevor James.

Dear Assemblyman James,

(I do not know if your office is not functioning)

I wish to share with you a compiled list of

infrastructural works to be completed within the electoral

district of Darrel Spring/Whim.

All courtesies and services extended will be greatly appreciated.

Please feel free to contact me at the contact information detailed

above, …”

and I went on to list all the works, the area, categories of works and


Back Hill - drainage, roads resurfacing.

Ms. Joefield is expecting drainage issues. The concrete road requires resurfacing.

Breeze Hall                          -        Road repairs – drainage;

Church Road                      -        Access Road;

Darrel Spring Road         -        Road repairs;

Dun Veygan Road            -        Road repairs, Retaining walls, rails;

Dutch Fort                           -        Road repairs, drainage;

Glen Road                            -        Road widening, traffic mirror, road repairs,                                                        -       -                                                          drainage;

Glen Road Branch No.1   -       Road repairs, drainage;

Idlewild                                  -      Drainage;

Idlewild Trace No. 1          -      Road repairs, drainage;

Logwood Park                    -      Road repairs …

Minority Leader, question.

The point I am making is that I did apply for these matters to be addressed by the Hon. Secretary, and I am asking him for the status because up to this day, none of the road works we would have put into this document, have been addressed. I am asking him whether it is a priority, because we are seeing roads being addressed in other places, but up to this point, none of our roads have been touched.

Madam Presiding Officer, as I said, I continue to struggle because I did not see an application …[Crosstalk]

Member, Members, please.

Madam Presiding Officer, the Member for Darrel Spring/Whim just read a letter requesting works be done in his district.

Member, if you asked the question,you have to allow him to answer.

I want to respectfully say, that a letter of request is not an application for projects.

            As it relates to infrastructural projects applied for, I do not know what that is. I do not know if the Assemblyman made an application to somebody for some project. What he just read is not an application.

Again, the Member - words, have meanings, and if he wants to write questions, use words that you understand.

Ok. Members.

Minority Leader, I am going to allow you to phrase the question so that you can receive the most appropriate answer.

 Madam Presiding Officer, the school I went to, which is Bishop’s High School, tells us about synonyms and that a word has multiple meanings and applications, and from my understanding, an application is a request. So whether I made a request or I made an application, it is the same thing.This Member is playing smart with foolishness because the letter that I wrote to the office, was acknowledged. He indicated that he has no knowledge of it. The question is, has the Member seen that letter I sent to his office?

Madam Presiding Officer, I do not wish to waste the time of the House. I did not say that I did not see the letter. Again, the question is premised on some falsehood. The Member not only in the House, but outside the House continues this behavior which we must stop. Notwithstanding, in an effort to move the process forward, the specific question which I understand the Member is trying to ask, the answer to (a) is, yes.

Can the Member give an idea/time line as to when would these matters be addressed?

 Unfortunately, Madam Presiding Officer, I will not be able to give a time line. Quite possibly, when the Minister of Finance advances us some money for emergency works, consequent to the rain of last year, maybe I would be able to give a better time line to the Member.

 Madam Presiding Officer, the current emergency works – we have inflated costs in some instances, eighteen million dollars ($18m). Would the Member please, and I am asking on behalf of the people of Darrel Spring/Whim, take at least some of that money and address the roads, especially Mt. Pelier, and in Spring Trace, Darrel Spring, please. Would he so kindly take some of that eighteen million dollars ($18m) and put it across to the people of Darrel Spring and Mt. Pelier?

Madam Presiding Officer, again, the questions are based on falsehood and miseducation.

      From where I sit, the Division of Infrastructure has spent upwards of twenty-five million dollars ($25m) in the district of Darrel Spring/Whim.This week (maybe the Member does not know his district) the Division’s staff is in Spring Valley Trace - down the hill.

     The Division is responsible for all infrastructure across our wonderful island of Tobago, and we will continue to exercise good judgment and good prioritization for Members and for persons across our beautiful country. Darrel Spring/Whim would not suffer as Mason Hall and Moriah suffered for the last twenty (20) years. [Desk thumping] All thepeople of Tobago are my people and Darrel Spring/Whim are my people.

      Have no fear. [Desk thumping]

Minority Councillor.

13th Plenary Sitting Tobago House of Assembly 2021 - 2025 Session


26 January 2023
Supplemental question to the main question :
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