Outspoken Chastanet takes up tourism

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, December 20, 2006 – Allen Chastanet, the outspoken former vice president of marketing and sales for Air Jamaica and owner of Coco Kreole and Coco Palm in St. Lucia, has been named to the new cabinet of Sir John Compton.

Compton, who took office last Friday after winning the general election on December 11th, named Chastanet yesterday as the island’s new minister of tourism and civil aviation. He replaces Phillip J. Pierre of the St. Lucia Labor Party in the post and was brought in as a senate.

Chastanet, who also served as president of the St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association and as chairman of the marketing committee for the Caribbean Hotel Association, was a tourism director under Sir John’s administration of 1992. Sir John, in naming Chastanet, said, “It is therefore important that we have at our disposal, persons who have the vision, the knowledge and the experience to guide us in this important area of the economy.”

He added that Chastenet “… has demonstrated the vision to see the road ahead and to prepare us for the challenges which we will inevitably meet in this fiercely competitive world.”

And he brushed aside claims of a conflict of interest, stating that the St. Lucian-born hotelier’s “own interest … is no conflict but an incentive from which the entire industry will benefit.”

Chastanet, 45, one of the early visionaries and founders of the Caribbean Media Exchange, also sits on the board of the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007. He is an alumnus of Bishop’s University in Quebec and the American University in Washington, D.C.

Apart from Chastanet, the other ministers in the new United Workers Party cabinet are Dr, Keith Mondesir, the new minister for Home Affairs and National Security; Richard Frederick, minister for Housing, Urban Renewal and Local Government; Arsene Vigil James, minister for Education and Culture; Lenard Montoute, minister for Social Transformation, Human Services, Family Affairs Youth and Sports; Stephenson King, minister for Health and Labor Relations; Ezechiel Joseph, minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Guy Mayers; minister for Trade, Industry and Commerce; Guy Eardley Joseph, minister for Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities; Rufus Bousquet, minister for External Affairs, International Financial Services, Information and Broadcasting; Marcus Neill Nicholas; minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Edmund Estephane, minister in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Commerce.

Other ministers brought in to serve as senators, include Ausbert d’Auvergne, who was named minister for Economic Affairs, Economic Planning, National Development and Public Service; Gaspard Peter David Charlemagne, the new minister in the Ministry of Education and Culture and Charlotte Elizabeth Theresa Tessa Mangal, minister in the Ministry of Social Transformation, Human Services, Family Affairs, Youth and Sports.

Sir John, in addition to serving as PM, will serve as minister of finance. (Hardbeatnews.com)