The district of East End has its own unique issues. Not only is there much greater dependency on tourism, which has largely collapsed due to COVID restrictions, there is also less development than elsewhere on the island.
Traffic congestion at peak hours on the way to George Town has been one of the reasons for the diminished economic activity.
This, in turn, has only exacerbated other underlying issues in the eastern districts.
On Nomination Day, 1 March, the three East End candidates in the upcoming election shared the main topics that will dominate their campaigns.
Arden McLean, incumbent in East End, told the Compass much remains to be done from pensions and insurance to the cost of living and the financial industry, which continues to be under threat from outside forces.
Specifically, in the district, he said, “We need to alleviate some of the traffic problems… We need to be more socially conscious. We need to make sure people’s way of life and cost of living is lowered, and they can share in the opportunities that this country has to offer.”
Asked what he would do differently from the government if re-elected, the opposition leader said he would have the respect, discipline and decency that the country requires.
McLean said he would not shy away from making hard decisions, unlike the current government which had called elections early to avoid having to remove McKeeva Bush as Speaker of Parliament.
“This Unity government has failed you all, all of you. This whole country. It has failed. We tend to forget the woes of the three years prior to COVID,” McLean said.
McCleary Frederick, who has put himself forward as a candidate for the first time, after 36 years in the civil service, said he decided to run for office after listening to the issues the islands are facing.
He too believes the high cost of living is one of the main concerns but said, while there are things that can be done, there is no magic bullet to solve the problem.
As far as island-wide development is concerned, he said the question is who we are developing for, because there is no long-term plan.
“I think that we need to produce another long-term plan, looking at what was was done for Vision 2008,” he told the Compass after filing his nomination papers. “We just can’t just keep falling headlong into the darkness and don’t have an idea where we go.”
Isaac Rankine, the third candidate in the district, said East End had been severely neglected for the last 20 years, and primarily the last 12, because of the inability of the current incumbent to work with government.
“That is not my mandate, my mandate is to work with an elected government, in order that we can better the lives of every single East Ender,” he said after being officially nominated Monday.
Rankine said he wants to bring controlled and sustainable development to the east of the island, improve the education system and take care of the seniors in the district.
EAST END CANDIDATES