POINTE XPRESS: Prime Minister Gaston Browne has lambasted the opposition United Progressive Party’s (UPP) candidate for Saint John’s Rural North regarding her recent criticism of the government’s decision to keep beaches closed over the next two public holidays.
Government last week announced that beaches would remain closed over the upcoming holidays of Labour Day on 3rd May and Whit Monday on 24th May in order to prevent clustering that could facilitate further transmission of COVID-19.
But speaking late last week on the UPP-aligned Observer Radio, Pearl Quinn-Williams castigated the government for the beach closures, to which she said she was totally opposed, likening them to a “continued punishment of the people by their government.”
Quinn-Williams – sister of former UIPP government minister Dr. Jacqui Quinn and Observer Radio talk show host Paul Quinn – suggested instead that government could leave the beaches open but have them patrolled by police and defence force personnel to ensure things did not get out of hand.
She further told Observer AM host Daren Matthew Ward that the beaches were “a source of therapy for many persons … especially in these times when persons are so stressed … this to me is a punitive decision …”
Responding to Quinn-Williams on Saturday during his weekly radio programme, The Browne and Browne Show on PointeFM 99.1, Prime Minister Browne dismissed the former bank employee as someone who is “posing as though she has some special knowledge or skill which she does not have.”
PM Browne, who is the elected Member of Parliament for Saint John’s City West, described Quinn-Williams as “an untrained mind who is not a very good thinker.”
He said she had only come to the fore during public discussions ahead of the 2018 national referendum to decide whether the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) should replace the London-based Privy Council as Antigua and Barbuda’s final court of appeal in civil and criminal matters. Quinn-Williams – then representing a UPP satellite body calling itself ‘The Movement’ – was among those opposing the apex court switch, which in the end failed to garner the required sixty-seven per cent of votes cast.