LETTER: Youth Senator’s Budget Presentation Flopped 


Youth Senator’s Budget Presentation Flopped 

Dear Editor,

Caleb Gardener was touted as a youth senator with much promise and will be the face and chief advocate of the ABLP government’s youth agenda.

But as I listened keenly to his presentation yesterday, I wondered whether Senator Gardener lives under a rock or is so out of touch as not to understand what the youth people of this country are experiencing daily.

In his presentation, he focused on the repetitive investment in the University of the West Indies’ Five Islands Campus and on scholarships. He then spoke about entrepreneurship and the government’s programme through the Entrepreneurship Development Fund.

Afterwards, he then turned his focus on the work of a social and community club that he’s part of and the recent youth awards. Finally, he then praised, in true form, the ABLP government for the youth work done so far.

But here’s the point. Are any of those subject areas really having a positive and transformational impact on our youth, across the board, on a daily basis, right now? As young people would say: it’s giving superficial; it’s giving ‘I didn’t do my homework’, it’s giving ‘I need to wheel and come again’.

There have been so many youth-related issues since his appointment.

However, we are yet to hear him speak out or attempt to be part of bringing about a solution. At this point, many are wondering what exactly is his purpose.

As youth senator seems not to realise what are the real  issues affecting youth, here are some:

  • Finding jobs that are not in constructing or hospitality
  • The high rate of young professionals leaving the public service
  • Culture of victimising and keeping down young talent by persons who should be retired
  • Mental health and the lack of supporting mechanisms
  • Urgent renovations are needed at the Adele School
  • Violence among school-age youth
  • The high incidence of statutory rape and other sexual offences
  • The lack of role models in our community
  • Deteriorating sport facilities
  • The need for more community centres with youth programmes
  • Failure to support our own start-up and tech companies, especially those in fintech
  • Young persons not able to afford to get on the housing ladder
  • Schools across the board need an injection of resources to modernise facilities and support day-to-day operations
  • No effective mechanism to deal with vulnerable youth and children


Many of these require lobbying the government to inject more financial and human resources. Also, there must be engagements directly with youth, communities and wider stakeholders to understand the root causes and possible ways to address chronic issues.

The government and private sector must be held to account to not only talk about youth empowerment but actually do youth empowerment across the board.

We must look at modernising or introducing legislation, supporting our own tech and other businesses, creating structured programmes at the community level, creating opportunities for diversified jobs, and creating pathways for youth to become the visionary leaders of tomorrow.

I would advise Senator Gardener to spend more understanding the real issues and being part of the solutions rather than strutting around the place like a peacock. Our nation’s youth need a voice. Our nation’s youth need issues to be addressed.

Our nation’s youth need solutions. And, our nation’s youth need opportunities for a brighter future. It’s a disappointment that he is a youth senator in name only.

He should take this as a lesson that having such a national platform should not be used for mediocrity. Instead, use it for positive, transformational change for our young people.

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  1. He sounded better than Pringle’s 3 hours of rubbish and griping. If you’re a hater, just say that!

    • It’s not about sounding better. It’s about being adept about the topic you’re talking about. I find this article to be constructive criticism. As a young person, I’m actively experiencing some of the issues outlined above by the author. I need an advocate; not a repeater. I did not feel represented.

  2. I endorse this message!

    Thorough and educational!
    I do hope that the powers that be take notes and give URGENT attention to curb these MAJOR issues which continue to PLAGUE OUR SOCIETY …EVERYDAY !!!!

    IT leaves a BITTER TASTE in the minds of many people as EVERYDAY the SAME issues are being brought up and almost FROWNED UPON ..

    I APPLAUD this writer and hope that this doesn’t fall on DEATH EARS as are MANY other ISSUES being encountered by the citizens of this country bar none…


  3. The young man did an EXCELLENT JOB 👏 👌 🙌 and represented himself and the youths well.

    Keep up the great work Senator! 🇦🇬 🇦🇬 🇦🇬

  4. So wah you say about MASKIZ, CA-CA-CA-PASSY-TAH and UPSIDE DOWN BIBLE, DEAD DARG PICK-UP-CORN Pringle????

    3 hours 22 minutes of fart. He still never debated the budget. Richard Lewis did.

    Not even ruffy cruffy serpent struggled with grammar and subject-verb agreement like Lars does.

  5. Everybody has something to put in the pepper pot, but they’re not delivering the pepper pot the proper way, if you have nothing nice to say, shut the pepper pot lid

  6. This article screams hater and opposition supporters.

    Only the uneducated/unmotivated can listen to such a magnificent speech and not see the potential solutions to the problems stated above.
    Is the man Jesus Christ The Lord And Saviour, VERY RECENTLY appointed Senator and he must fix problems stemming from 10+ Years BY HIMSELF ? He must wake up his colleagues first off and band them behind of his leadership qualities and lead them to change. Why shout when nobody is listening ?

    Well allow me to put it on laymans term for you uneducated ducks.

    If you tek up ya pickney from run round ya village and in the streets of St. John’s, instill discipline in them by allowing to join the same youth arms organizations Maybe, JUST MAYBE, they’d Recieve sense and a better perception to think first before running in school Yard to inflict hurt on other kids. Or grow up to be rapists of these young girls that are to birth our future.

    Senseless questions being asked in this article as if the initiatives stated had NO IMPACT Whatsover.

    You have too much free time on your hands, go start a farm or something, “iTs gIvInG…… HUNGRY FOR ATTENTION” 😐😐😐😐

  7. To the BITTA UPP supporter who wrote this shyte before ya tek out ya BITTERNESS on young Mr Gardner what mek ya nah go and ask ya party where is the 25% youth representation they promised in the Senate. Don’t think the 50+ club is exactly youth representative. Mr Gardner is a young man and while your BITTA hatful soul call his presentation a flop I call Hon J. Pringle 3 hours and 22 minutes presentation NOISE POLLUTION🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  8. upp and them GERIATRIC SENATORS. talking about 25% YOUTH representation in the senate. what a LIE! what a FALSE PROMISE to our youths!

    Let Alex Browne know the word is deficit, not “DESSY-FIT” as he kept repeating

  9. @ Mmmmm


    Samantha Marshall is 15 , not 50
    Mary-Clare Hurst is 16, not 50
    Colin Brown is 19, not 50
    Frederick is 18, not over 50 etc.
    You stupid and illiterate IMBECILES……you know you are guilty of the same things you accuse the opposition of all the time and y’all still BAREFACEDLY DO IT.

    HEAVEN CAME DOWN AND GLORY FILLED YOUR SOULS and that’s why I could never ever support the ABLP, bunch of useless idiots. I would rather die than associate myself with y’all!

    • LMFAO!!!! A hit dog will HOLLA 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 clam down sis life to short for you to be boiling ya blood pressure like this🤣🤣🤣!!!! No need to be clapping back at everyone now because UPP nah have the 25% youth representation in the senate🤣🤣🤣

  10. This article is spot on! I too listened and wondered where are the youth issues?! All these yard fowl Labour Party supporters would know substance if it slapped them in their face. Dat ah wa mek dem min nearly lose. They better wake up!

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