Kellman’s moment in time
DENIS KELLMAN, Member of Parliament for St Lucy, was finally placed on the front bench of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government, having taken the oath of office as Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage to fill in for his ailing colleague Dr Dennis Lowe.
Kellman, often described as a maverick, has represented Barbados’ most northerly parish since 1994, making him the most experienced member on the Government side in the House of Assembly.
Kellman has always been at the forefront of the DLP even during the period when he and late Prime Minister David Thompson were the only two elected members in the Lower House. However, after the DLP came to office in 2008, Kellman was, contrary to public expectations, not placed on the front bench in the initial appointment nor in two subsequent Cabinet reshuffles.
Kellman took the oath before Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands at Government House yesterday morning, in the presence of his beaming wife Paulevette and his son Paul St Elmo. Noticeably absent were colleagues from the Upper or Lower House or even from the DLP fraternity.
Even so, Kellman, in an unusually terse manner, spoke to party unity and giving Government the necessary support to ensure its stability and success.
“I am a private sector person entering the public sector, where I am looking to make the two gel successfully,” Kellman said.
Stating that he did not know how long his appointment would last, the usually outspoken MP wished the substantive minister a speedy recovery. He stressed that his new position showed that someone had recognised his capabilities and that he would not be affected by the appointment.
“Even when you are not a minister the constituents make demands on you that at times you are unable to fulfil. Being a minister gives you a better chance to meet some of those demands.
“While some persons have argued that being a minister will impact on the time you spend with your constituents, I believe that I will now spend even greater time with my constituents now that I am a minister.” Kellman said.
The new minister pointed out that his position as CARICOM Ambassador would remain until the Prime Minister dictated otherwise. He added that he was not “concerned” about the fishing agreement between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago because as long as the fishermen from Barbados did the “correct things” they were not experiencing any problems with the twin-island state.
Kellman added that CARICOM was not just about a bilateral agreement with Trinidad and Tobago, adding that Errol Barrow’s vision for CARICOM was about relationships with the entire Caribbean. (KB)