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Information Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has accused opposition leader Allen Chastanet and his ‘surrogates’ of being ‘disingenuous and blatantly dishonest’ for claiming that the government fired three employees of the Government Information Service (GIS).
On Friday, an opposition United Workers Party (UWP) release identified the three media practitioners as Lissa Joseph, Primus Hutchinson, and Herma Demacque.
According to the release, they had received their ‘marching orders.
But on Monday, Dr. Ernest Hilaire told reporters that there had been no dismissal of any employee at the GIS.
” As far as I was informed there were three persons employed as consultants by the last government. Their consulting contract comes to an end in March this year and we are not renewing them as consultants,” the Castries South MP explained.
Hilaire expressed that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration has been very accommodating and could not be accused of firing people, being vindictive, or malicious.
“All Ambassadors were allowed to serve out their term of duty. There are many persons throughout this public service who are serving as consultants – we have not gotten rid of them. There are many persons throughout this country that have been employed and they are serving as consultants and we’ve allowed them to end their contract,” he asserted.
Hilaire spoke on the sidelines of a meeting of the Cabinet.
“I think we have been compassionate very accommodating. We could have moved to terminate them from July last year or August last year but we did not do that,” he declared regarding the three GIS employees.
“So when the opposition wants to accuse this government of being vindictive, that is not the case. We were very clear that we were not sending any of the consultants home. They were Saint Lucians, they were working. We don’t have need for their particular services but we still allow them to run out their contracts which end at the end of March,” Hilaire stated.
“We have not dismissed anybody at GIS and if they were dismissed I invite them to go to court where those matters are settled and settle the matter,” he said.
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