Shocked by news that their MP Nicole Olivierre got sacked as Energy Minister, several residents of La Brea hoped their MP would now devote more time to constituency duties.
Several people went to Olivierre’s constituency office after midday but it was closed up shortly after 1.30 pm less than two hours after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced his Cabinet reshuffle via a statement from his office.
The MP in an interview yesterday thanked Rowley for giving her the opportunity to serve.
“The experience was a valuable one and my life will forever be changed as a result. I have a greater awareness of what is involved in running a government and I have a greater appreciation for the sacrifices Cabinet Ministers are required to make for the sake of their country.
“Having been relieved of my ministerial portfolio, I now have more time to spend in my constituency and focus on the needs of my constituents and for this opportunity I am equally grateful,” Olivierre said
Asked what were her priorities, Olivierre said: “There is a lot of infrastructure work that has to be done. Unemployment is high. We have to bring back jobs and agriculture in the constituency. Now I have full time to devote to the advancement of the constituency,” she said.
At La Brea, Sharon Paul, of Third Avenue, Point D’Or, who was seen mixing concrete outside her home said she felt sad for Olivierre as she was one of the few hardworking MPs that the constituency had ever seen.
Pointing to the newly-paved Southern Main Road, Paul said: “She did what she could do as an MP. Remember election was only last year and I honestly believe that her heart is in the right place. She wanted to do what was best for her constituents.”
Marcelyn Lewis said she was totally shocked by the Cabinet reshuffle.
Ann Marie Diaz, also said she hoped Olivierre could spend more than one day a week in the constituency office.
However, other residents said Olivierre deserved to be sacked as she was incompetent.
Keiwin Lewis said: “People may not like what I am saying but that MP did not know how to deal with people. Like all the other MPs who pass through here, she was no good.”
Renaldo Moore said Olivierre had put herself up on a pedestal and her “change in roles will now bring her back to earth.
“Maybe this will help to tone down her arrogance and she will have more time for the people who put her in Government,” Moore added.
Olivierre won public favour when she first took office after she was spotted using the water taxi to get to work. However, shortly after assuming office in September 2015, questions were raised about her ability to work with National Gas Company (NGC) as she has been engaged in a wrongful dismissal suit with the company’s management.
She was one of six first-time ministers in Cabinet.
In December 2015, Olivierre made news again when she made her first major blunder by writing to energy companies in her constituency seeking contributions to support a week-long event which included a beauty pageant, under her patronage. Among the companies she wrote, under her MP's letterhead, were Trinidad Offshore Fabricators (TOFCO), Lake Asphalt, La Brea Industrial Development Company Ltd (Labidco), Caribbean Gas Chemicals Ltd, Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) and infrastructure company Namalco, which falls under her ministerial portfolio.
She later apologised saying she made a mistake. Her downward spiral continued when she had a meltdown with her constituents who protested for jobs last month. Olivierre later said she spoke in a language her constituents would understand.
SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt ( Radhica Sookraj)
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