By Caribbean News Now contributor
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- In announcing her resignation as Minister of Environment and Foreign Trade at a constituency meeting in South St George’s, on Thursday night. Glynis Roberts said Grenada faces some stark choices – going back; standing still or moving forward.
“When a nation’s future is a stake, patriots must be willing to put their own futures at stake. That is what I did today,” said Roberts, adding that her decision to resign was taken “after weeks of consultation and after months of urging by you, the supporters, and with the understanding of my many parliamentary colleagues.”
The roomful of people included Roberts’ children and grandchild; former government colleagues; trade unionist Senator Chester Humphrey; retired NDC MP Phinsley St Louis; and former Interim Leader of the National Democratic Congress, Jerome Joseph.
Roberts is “a shining light in the politics of this country,” said former Senator Arley Gill, who chaired the meeting.
Roberts said she was grateful to serve in government at the pleasure of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
“I left with all my love and my respect for him intact. I never questioned his character; only his leadership choices,” she said.
The former government minister was twice elected MP for St George South – in 2003 and 2008. Prior to her resignation, Roberts held the portfolio of minister for environment and foreign trade. As a member of the Thomas administration, she also previously held the positions of minister of tourism and civil aviation; minister of labour and ecclesiastic affairs and minister of social development.
She is the fifth of the 11 NDC MPs who have resigned or have been fired, and are now sitting on the backbenches of parliament.
“Tonight, I remain a proud Member of the Parliament of Grenada, and will take my rightful place in its chambers when it is finally allowed to sit again,” Roberts said.
“I truly hope that this is sooner rather than later because there are some urgent economic and financial matters that need to be taken care of, so that people can be guaranteed salaries and benefits.”
According to Roberts, “It is high time that – through the guidance of the parliament and the humility of leadership – we launch the foundation for the building of a viable economy. To govern by decree in a time of crisis is a mistake. We need the views and opinions of everybody, particularly those elected by people to represent them.”
Roberts said that with “aggressiveness and daring,” she will continue her representation of the constituency.
“The contract with the people is one I take seriously, and one I hope to renew with you in the next general elections within the next nine months or so,” she said.
“The dreams and aspirations of July 8th 2008 have not been undermined by those who stand up and ask questions about whether we are on the right track; they have been undermined by arrogance and contempt.”
Grenada, she said, “faces some stark choices – going back; standing still or moving forward. I am proud to declare myself among the coalition of the willing that is determined to move forward. And I invite all of you to let’s join together.”
In a statement on Friday, Prime Minister Thomas said he had accepted Roberts’ resignation. Thomas extended his best wishes to Roberts in all her future endeavours.