The Bridge Disaster

The collapse of the airport bypass bridge on St. Kitts on Wednesday was a horror and a tragedy. One worker lost his life. Two others were injured. If there is any silver lining in this, it is that a lot more people were not hurt or killed.

The government has already said they would conduct a full investigation into this incident. We are glad to hear them say that; such an undertaking is part of their obligation to the people of the Federation.

It is pointless to indulge in scenarios about what might have happened if shoddy work had been completed and this disaster would have happened while the bridge was in use. That was not the case, though this thought will be on many people’s minds.

What is needed now is a hard-headed examination of what went wrong and who allowed it to happen. Unless there is a compelling argument to be made for some sort of natural occurrence that led to the bridge’s collapse, then the inquiry should be pursued until some person or persons are held responsible – and then the law should be pursued to its fullest extent.

The aim in such a course of action is not revenge, but justice and the need to send a message that dangerous working conditions will not be tolerated in the Federation and that poor work will not be accepted.

No one should have to die to make those points, but that has already happened. We urge the Government to make sure that once was enough.

Reaching Out

The Department of Social Security has been making a real effort to get public input on how to reform the Social Security system. While it is in good financial health today, projections indicate that it will not remain so.

This is a proactive effort to involve the public in an issue that involves everyone. We urge the public to share their ideas with the department and we commend the Social Security Department for its efforts.

Energetic Debate

No matter what form it comes in – oil, coal, wind, solar or geothermal – energy is about money, and usually a lot of money.

Currently the Nevis Island Authority is putting the final touches on a draft plan on the future management of geothermal-derived electricity. If estimates prove to be correct, Nevis will produce much more electricity than it needs, making it a potential exporter of energy and earning great profits.

But profits for who?

Opposition leader, the Hon. Mark Brantley, has raised questions about the government’s handling of this matter. This is an important issue and asking hard questions is what he is supposed to do.

With so much at stake, we urge the government to increase its communications with the public about this issue and to practice as much transparency as possible. It is the nature of private enterprise to keep matters private. It is the duty of public entities to make matters public.

We cast no aspersions on the good intentions of the NIA to get the best deal possible for the citizens of Nevis. We do, however, urge them to keep everyone fully informed every step of the way.