Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber has been on a countrywide tour in recent months as he prepares for the upcoming UDP leadership convention. Faber made an appearance on The Morning Show today where he spoke on several topics ranging from politics to issues of national concern. In one segment of the show Faber was asked by a caller about his plans for the south should he be elected as leader.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education Youth and Sports: “There are elements of corruption and unfortunately or maybe it is good that it came out that way so that we can highlight those negatives because really when we fix those negatives then we get to a much better position in our country but not because the conversation this morning was focused on corruption. I think this is our ill, when you go to the doctor you don’t talk about what is good and what is healthy, nine out of ten times you focus on what the problem is and so Belize can be a much better country if we eradicate these areas that are a sore to us but that does not mean that positive things have not been happening and so I tell the caller that I as an aspiring leader for our party and for our country, she doesn’t sound like a party supporter she called from a perspective of being a Belizean citizen at large and maybe even somebody from the opposition, but I would want this chance to lead in order to build on the things that we have done that are good and those things that are bad that need fixing my commitment, my pledge is to ensure that those things change. I think we’re at a crossroads, at a right time, a new leader for the UDP, a new leader for the country, we can make these changes and people who say ‘Faber you’be been there for the twelve years.’ I agree but I have not been there in the kind of capacity that I am now seeking where in fact the things that are top priority for me while I could have voiced that in terms of the cabinet and we tried to push the agenda as much as I wanted to see it, if you’re in the driving seat it’s a completely different situation. I go to Punta Gorda Town sometimes I fly in, one time I didn’t make it you remember, but when you look from above you know it rains a lot in PG the streets are in very very tough conditions and so in fact all of our towns and I pledge to make infrastructure in our towns a priority, it’s an area that I believe we ought to be working on and we can do better so I agree with the caller in to that extent.”
The Morning Show was extended today to accommodate the callers whose concerns included land issues, immigration and others. When asked about land distribution and squatters Faber says he could relate to the issues as he has had to address them in his Collet constituency.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education Youth and Sports: “I can speak about the situation that exists in my own constituency where there are many immigrant people living over the Krooman Lagoon and I have said to these persons ‘you are illegally occupying there, this is government reserve, it is unsafe for you to be here’ and it is something that I’ve stood by over many years, my opponents have used it against me but it does not deter me from pushing forward in my own constituency so that cannot apply to me. The people who live in this country for many years and of course get their nationality the right way, not talking about these suggestions or even proven situations where people get nationality that don’t deserve it but I stand firm with those who have gone through the right procedures, have done their time in this country, have proven their dedication to the Belizean society on a whole and they are Belizeans. The constitution once we look at citizenship doesn’t distinguish between born Belizeans and those Belizeans who become Belizeans you know and as much as there are some people who would want to see us jump up in another corner I am sorry that is what the constitution says right now and unless there is some change in that then as government officials we are forced to treat with people in that manner.”
We will have more from Faber in tomorrow’s newscast.