It is not often when I feel compelled to put pen to paper to compliment a government minister. That is for several reasons but mainly because they usually have their adoring public that tells them what they want to hear, not necessarily the truth; and because they rarely do anything that deserves honourable mention. However, Minister of Health, Donville Inniss has done something that is worthy of praise.
I am specifically referring to the simple act of turning up and showing support for officers who were overseeing a cleanup at Furniture Limited. That gave the Environmental Health Officers the confidence to do their job without fear. In circumstances such as that cleanup operation, the officers would be performing their duties, someone would call a senior person in the ministry and the inspectors would be called off. The Minister’s presence not only said to the officers, do your duty, I got your backs: it said to others, it is a waste of time calling any senior person because the most senior person in the Ministry has given his blessing to the Environmental Health Officers.
That simple act might seem small to many but it sent a powerful message to those inspectors who have been demoralised for years because they were taking flack for not doing their duty, but in reality they were prevented by political interference and could not say so.
In the past, I have been critical of Minister Inniss when he made disparaging remarks about civil servants. I think that it is only fair when he does something positive that he should be commended. His actions in this regard go a long way in redeeming him in my eyes. Well done Donville Inniss, unfortunately for him, I live in the constituency of St. Thomas.