Minister De Weever’s speech.

This morning I stand before you as your minister of public health, social development and labor – 2 days before election – 2 more days of experience to add to my 3 ½ years of working for you. Next week all ministers will become caretaker ministers and I will like to thank them for shaping my experience even more because after 3 cabinets I know and have learned what it takes to run a responsible government. It is about parliamentarians and ministers understanding their independent role while still working together, setting priorities and realistic achievements for projects, policies and legislation for the next 4 years. It is not about projects that only benefit a few it is about projects that benefit all the people.

My ministry in particular is the people’s ministry. Now I must admit that I am not one of those who brag because I was never raised that way. My humbleness is a clear sign of staying focused to work for the people because just as life continues – every government has things to continue working on.
My simple question to the management team and to the civil servants is: “ How will the people understand what I did for them, what we did for them?”

I fought every day for you as hard as I could. You know the resistance that comes with change but I fought for it. I have the wounds and the gray hair to prove it, but when I decided to make a difference from day one, when the ministry decided to make a difference by “putting people first” and boldly stating “ we can build St. Maarten together,” there was no one, neither a minister nor a ministry that could deter us. I say thank you to all the staff of the ministry of public health, social development and labor for all their efforts and believing in the reform/ the change because together we were able to:
*increase the old age pension so that our parents and grandparents had more money
and prepare a mandatory pension plan for you and your children to make sure that you have enough to live comfortably now and in the future
*increase financial assistance- because it wasn’t done in 18 years – because the safety net needs to be there to help those who need it most and not create poverty in our country
*open community help desks in 4 districts and one in the Hope for the elderly and physically challenged because you don’t have to reach us- we need to reach you and help you in your neighborhood
*construct a new water plant in point blanche – because you and I cannot live without it – you need it to drink, to wash your clothes, to cook and to clean
*develop a national mental health plan 2014-2018 – because our loved ones need to know that should anything happen to you or me that we will be taken care of the right way
*manage the Chikungunya epidemic to protect you and our tourism industry and we are being proactive and have already established an Ebola Management Incidence Team
*introduce new vaccines to protect all of our children and introduced HPV so that our daughters will be protected from cervical cancer – my daughter took it – what I want for her is what I want for your daughter as well – and that is to be healthy
*we adjusted your premiums to ensure that your family is insured
*index the minimum wage for the last two years- and we will do it again in septemebr- election or no elections- to keep up with the rising cost of living so that you have more money to spend and save
*decrease the unemployment by training you and matching you -the unemployed person with suitable jobs and a job coach to support you
*regulate employment agencies and establish the legislation on short term contracts to avoid businesses from taking advantage of you
* established the law on transfer of enterprise to avoid another Pelican situation where a company is sold and you – the worker- is not protected-
*ensure that the pelican workers were paid out – they got paid – and you noticed that I did not take a picture with over a hundred of them – compared to the 20 being used by the creator of the turmoil and the confusion

I did it and I will do it again.
I am not stopping here – this is not the end – this is just the beginning

As much as I can say I did it – I say we did it because we worked as a team to achieve these goals. I did not do it all by myself – unlike others who claim to have done everything by himself- I shared my vision and guided a neglected and exploited ministry, one that was used to enrich some, into the most efficient ministry where decisions are taken daily to help you- to help the people. This ministry has built bridges – not just one-
We have built bridges with the employers and workers
We have built bridges with the private sector and public sector
We have built bridges with ministries and civil servants
We have built bridges within our ministry, the social workers, community officers and the people
We have built bridges with foundations, government owned companies and this ministry
We have built bridges with healthcare institutions, professionals and patients

The construction of these bridges amongst people came with some bumps and bruises – it came with growing pains because we had to change the way things were done before we became a country – we had to do everything transparently and hold everyone accountable

The bridges with SMMC, SZV, MHF, TP, WYC are all under construction- some more advanced than others- and when they are finalized we will admire the hard work that I have done, the hard work that every civil servant has done and the hard work the institutions have done. It would be irresponsible to close the only hospital we have but the business of a hospital is life and death. Just like you I have lost loved ones in the SMMC, just like you I have loved ones being treated at SMMC – how can he or anyone play politics with your life. I will build the expansion of the hospital the right way. I will continue with the improvements in our health system- with the mobile medical unit- because there is so much that can be done before you get to the SMMC – I will continue to improve quality health care that does not just come with a new building.
But it is just like MP Heyliger leader not to fix a problem or address an issue the right way – it is about blaming someone else and destroying what we have – Why didn’t he fix the shanty towns and shortage of public housing for over 18 years- why didn’t he address mullet bay, why didn’t he address the landfill for over 18 years, and why doesn’t he explain the high prices on containers and food is because of him. Why didn’t he make sure that the patients at SMMC can vote – they don’t read and they want to pass legislation.

I will not be part of any bridge project or hospital project that just shifts the problem from one side to the next and see how much money I can get out of it. I will not be part of any sabotage or interference to avoid the ambulance substation, at the Red Cross building, from opening.


I am a new democrat in this democracy bridging the divide between the rich and the poor, between those who are up and want to keep others down and outgrowing the smallness of politics.

Having studied medicine I understand human nature and behavior – when something is wrong they come to see the doctor and once they are healed they do not comeback – you don’t see them again until something is wrong again.
Having studied medicine I understand the oath that I took – which is to no harm- I live this oath every day and I ask everyone in my ministry to do the same.
Having studied medicine I know what confidentiality is – I don’t have to tell anyone who I helped because this is my job, and I do not have to remind anyone that I helped or facilitated what I did for them or use it against them to intimidate them. My Christian faith taught me to give without expecting to receive, to help the widows and the orphans and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I am a new democrat in this new democracy and I have served you faithfully, a few sleepless night because I had to maneuver around some obstacles, around the petite politics and politicians because I wanted to get it right for you and for me. Most nights I like slept like a baby knowing that every decision that I took was the right one. When I took this office on March 10, 2011 – I only asked for the St. Maarten flag in my office because it is the only thing besides God that guides me. I trust in God and I trust the people of St. Maarten to get it right. I love you St. Maarten