February 23, 2008...4:11 pm

Fish Flocking To Barbados Reef Balls - Thanks In Part To An Abused Canadian Philanthropist

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Fish Flocking To Reef Balls

An experiment aimed at encouraging the growth of coral, and attracting and promoting fish and marine life in Barbados’ coastal waters is said to be reaping resounding success.

The Barbados Marine Trust says 30 reef balls which were placed in 40 feet of water off the Hastings coast in 2004 are working.

The hollow concrete balls, which are six feet high and six feet wide, are said to not only encourage coral grow, but also provide an excellent environment for fish to live and breed.

Board member of the Trust, David Gill, says as a result of the experiment, an area which once had little marine life is now very active.

Mr. Gill says the reef ball project is to be extended to Oistins Bay thanks to funding from the United Nations Development Fund… (from the CBC article link here)

Canadian Philanthropist Chased Out Of Barbados Over Refusal To Pay “Consulting Fees” To Politicians ?

When I read the CBC article about the success with the reef balls, I wondered if anyone remembered one of the big donors for that and so many other environmental and social good works on Barbados: Peter Allard.

The Canadian philanthropist also saved the Graeme Hall mangrove swamp pretty well singlehandedly and has financed and inspired many projects in Barbados and around the world.

But Allard doesn’t feel welcome in Barbados any more and he put his Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary up for sale. Frankly we can’t blame him because the previous government treated him like dirt.

Why Did The BLP Government Despise Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard?

That’s a good question that all citizens should ask. The answer might be found in another question … Why doesn’t Barbados have the free AIDS and Cancer Hospice that Peter Allard offered to donate?

You can read this BFP article to discover how Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government members turned down Peter Allard’s offer to donate a multi-million dollar state of the art AIDS & Cancer hospice and clinic in Barbados. Why would any Bajan turn down such an offer?

How about… Money. Squeeze. Juice.

Or, as it is euphemistically known in Barbados, “Consulting Fees”.

When a foreigner wants to do business on Barbados - or even do some major philanthropic project - various “recommended consultants” must be hired to, well, “consult”. This was long a tradition under the previous BLP Government.

Sometimes foreigners would end up seeking out various well-known “consultants” such as (for instance) David Shorey. Mr. Shorey had the business and local knowledge to make projects happen.

And, oh yes, he just happened to be a close friend of then-Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

Yup, one just hired Mr. Shorey or some other recommended “consultant” to “consult” on a major business project under the previous BLP government and things were bound to go smoother.

Of course, it didn’t always work out. Sometimes the citizens wouldn’t be pushed around even if the proper “consulting” was done. I almost feel sorry for Matthew Kerins, the Caribbean Splash Water Park developer who said he spent over two million US dollars on “consultants” to “consult” with the last Barbados government and has now undoubtedly lost it all. (Hey… Mr. Kerins… we told you in 2006, 2007 and 2008 to kiss that money goodbye!)

So Why Wouldn’t The Barbados Government Accept A FREE Multi-Million Dollar State Of The Art AIDS & Cancer Hospice From Mr. Allard?

Peter Allard is still spending his millions doing good works all over the world and closer to home for at least one of our Caribbean neighbours, Dominica - where citizens and tourists alike now enjoy a new national park in good measure thanks to Allard.

Philanthropists like Allard like to see 100% of their money used where it is needed. Conditions of “consulting” or of using only “recommended” suppliers at a higher-than-the-going-price drive away those who want to do something out of the goodness of their hearts. People with other agendas will stay and pay, but in today’s world true philanthropists put their money where it will do the most good.

Government Corruption Is Death To Philanthropy And Foreign Investment

But Allard is only one of many foreign investors and philanthropists who were burned in Barbados under previous government - all of whom have a bad taste when it comes to our country.

Issues of government corruption, lack of standards, enforceable laws and lack of impartial police and judicial systems have caused a many large and small foreign investors to forsake Barbados.

Let’s hope that the new DLP Government will take the necessary steps to once again make Barbados attractive to foreign investors and business people.

4 Comments

  • An excellent article BFP. Don’t forget that many Canadians were “burned” because of our laughable condo laws. They think they buy a condo but they don’t own anything worthwhile. You should do a story on that.

  • Liz Thompson was Minister of Health when the government turned down Peter Allard’s offer of a free cancer clinic. She hates whites that is probably why she turned down the offer.

  • What is the story with the bird sanctuary? Has it been sold? I seem to recall one or both of the political parties saying they would purchase it from Allard if they were elected.

  • akabozick,

    I also recall hearing on a BLP radio campaign ad that if elected, they would “save” the Nature Sanctuary.
    Hummm…..

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