Residents have become disenchanted with talks from elected officials about the territory’s efforts at self-governance and about issues related to the Commission of Inquiry (COI) and its subsequent report.
That was the sentiment expressed by Sixth District Representative, Myron Walwyn, who told fellow lawmakers during the recent opening of the Fifth House of Assembly (HOA) that residents have instead been focused on core issues that are affecting their survival.
Walwyn, who previously served two terms as Education Minister within a previous National Democratic Party (NDP) government, commented that it is important that elected leaders begin to “read the tea leaves of the territory”.
Walwyn explained that this meant picking up on clues combined with intuition and experience to understand what is really on the minds of the territory’s people.
He called for the return of ‘bread and butter issues’ as a central focus of the government and expressed that residents are hurting financially and are falling into poverty due to a lack of opportunities and programs to lift them up.
“From reading the tea leaves, we should recognise that the national topics of self-determination and even the COI
report might be a major issue on the minds of government leaders,” Walwyn said. “But the people are tuning out because they do not have the mental bandwidth to engage on topics when they have to spend every single day working hard just to make ends meet.”
Walwyn urged the government to wake up and pay attention to this fact.
“We will make no progress as a territory to move towards self-determination without the people and the people will go nowhere with leaders who do nothing to improve their life and living,” he added.
Meanwhile, Walwyn said he has already began to advocate on behalf of residents of the Sixth District where he was elected.
He pointed to areas such as road infrastructure, water and sewerage, better waste disposal, and a number of important issues which he said have been raised and shared that a district office is expected to be opened sometime this week in the community.