Tuesday 20 November, 2018

PNP still against renaming of North-South Highway after Edward Seaga

Mikhail Phillips... slap in the face of decency

Mikhail Phillips... slap in the face of decency

The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) continues to voice its disapproval at the decision by the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to rename the North-South Highway in honour of former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga.

The PNP is insisting that the section of the toll highway network be instead named in honour of another former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

On Tuesday, Opposition Spokesman on Transport and Works, Mikhail Phillips, again raised the issue while making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

He told the House that he was again speaking to the matter, as the Opposition was on Tuesday formally invited to the renaming ceremony that is set to take place on June 12. The exercise is to take place at the Moneague Toll Booth at Unity Valley in St Ann.

“Mr Speaker, as the Opposition has stated before, we have no issue with the highway being named (after someone), but we think that it is disingenuous of the Government to want to name the highway at this current time after the former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga.

“Why that objection, Mr Speaker, is that it is a slap in the face of decency that we have the former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who started the project, who concluded the project, and is still alive and well with us… that the Prime Minister (Andrew Holness) would see it fit not to give the honour to the former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, but to name it after… Edward Seaga…,” Phillips said.

The Opposition spokesman told the House that Seaga opposed and objected to the development of the Highway 2000 project.

Olivia Grange... Bad mind. But they can't stop it.

Speaking last week at a JLP Area Council One meeting at the Girl Guides’ Association headquarters in St Andrew, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Olivia Grange, described those who oppose the renaming of the highway in honour of Seaga as people with “bad mind”.

She also had a message for the critics.

“But they can't stop it. They couldn't stop Edward Seaga, they can't stop Andrew Holness, and they can't stop the Jamaica Labour Party. And so on June 12 we will officially name the highway after Edward Phillip George Seaga,” she told jubilant party supporters.

While it was completed under a PNP administration, the North-South Highway was officially opened by Prime Minister Holness in 2016. It was built at a cost of US$600 million and covers a distance of 67 kilometres from Caymanas in St Catherine to Mammee Bay in St Ann.