PM Dickon Mitchell to Engage Grenadians in Canada

Dickon Mitchell

By Lincoln DePradine

Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, who visited Toronto in February, is returning to Canada, where he’ll meet with Grenadian nationals and update them on the work on his government that will be celebrating two years in office next month.

The prime minister, and leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, is headed to Montreal where the four-day “Spice Isle Cultural Festival’’ will be held July 11-14.

It will be Mitchell’s first visit to Montreal, since assuming the office of prime minister.

The 45-year-old leader, a lawyer by profession, is also his country’s Minister of National Security, Infrastructure and Physical Development, Information, Public Utilities, Civil Aviation and Transportation.

July 13th will be dedicated to marking the ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations of Grenada’s independence.

Grenada Day Festival organizers in Toronto also have announced that Prime Minister Mitchell will be their special guest at this year’s event on Saturday, August 24.

Peter David

On each stop, in Toronto and Montreal, Mitchell is expected to brief Grenadian-Canadians on his government plans and initiatives, including transportation, which has been a topic of discussion among government and opposition politicians.

Mitchell, at a recent news conference, said the high number of vehicles on Grenada roads is unsustainable for the country’s infrastructure and the environment.

He said government plans on embarking on an initiative that will result in a reduction of the number of private vehicles for personal use on the roads.

Public transportation in Grenada is privately owned, mostly by small entrepreneurs.

The prime minister said, however, that his government will not invest in a fleet of buses to service a public transport system.

“We are not yet at the point where we can say to you, definitively, we can go and buy a fleet of buses. Secondly, I will say, as the Minister for Transport, I will be hesitant to do so without first giving the private bus owners – who have provided public transportation service – all the opportunity to see how we can work with them to improve and extend the public transportation system,” Prime Minister Mitchell said.

Instead, he said, the administration will consider investing in a transport project targeting students.

“We are likely to invest in a pilot project specific to school children,” he said. “That may mean buying one or two electric vehicles or buses at a particular school; and you then transport the children, and you collect the data coming out of that. It will tell you if this is something that is feasible; if it makes sense and the alternative to it.”

Former Foreign Minister Peter David, who is opposition MP for the Town of St George’s in the country’s capital, believes a “reliable’’ public transport system is needed in Grenada.

“The city is jammed,’’ David said in a television interview. “I believe part of the solution is an adequate public transport system; a public transport system that is reliable, dependable and safe.’’

David, a veteran politician, noted that public transportation impacts on economic activities.

He said he and Mitchell have a “good’’ and “respectful” relationship.

“Dr Mitchell has served this country well. The country is littered with projects and engagements that Dr Mitchell must be praised for,’’ David said.

However, he added that he had “indicated to the party that I will put my name at the convention for leadership. I wrote a letter; I also met with Dr Mitchell. I think I did what I believe was the respectful thing by indicating it formally, by way of a letter.’’

Since its defeat and government loss to the NDC in June 2022, the NNP hasn’t held a convention, where the party elects executive officers.

“We don’t know when the next convention is. It is overdue but I have to prepare for that convention,’’ David said.