He may have been born into poverty, but his parents had worked hard tilling the plantation to ensure that the man Israel Bruce rose above his material circumstances.
Today, a Senator Israel Bruce is confident of representing the constituency of South Central Windward whenever the next general elections are held.
However, he will have to overcome what he described as a ‘tie’ on the constituency by the Unity Labour Party who has won that seat since 2001. Nevertheless, the practising lawyer is undaunted as the constituency was once a stronghold for his New Democratic Party (NDP) with former representative Allan Cruickshank stomping to victories in 4 consecutive elections between 1984 and 2001.
It is on health care and agriculture that Senator Bruce sharply contrasts himself and the New Democratic Party with the current governing Unity Labour Party administration. Speaking on the issue of health with J.P Schwmon on ANNSVG ‘On the Spot’ programme, Bruce told a virtual audience:
“In just over a year in parliament, I have posted questions to the Minister of Health, in relation to the poor condition of the Doreen John health facility in Grieggs. You walk into that facility and you leave there sicker than you walked in.”
“Every second that you sit and inhale, in a mould environment, you are walking inch closer to your grave. Imagine a sick person who has to sit down in the Greiggs clinic for 5, 6 hours before getting medical attention.”
Health care has been a prominent topic on the campaign trail with both parties promising to deliver a new hospital to replace the aging Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
Bruce went on to note:
“Greiggs clinic is pregnant with mould, and it’s close to delivery. It has been like that for years… in fact, it is leaking now, you know, the building from the roof now is leaking. I raised the question in parliament, the Honourable Minister of Health said that he accepts that that’s a problem existing.”
Bruce claims that he was jeered at when he joined his young democrats to power wash the facility. He said the Minister of Health who is incidentally the brother-in-law of Saboto Caesar who is seeking to wrestle the constituency from said, “the solution was not in power wash” because he wanted to damn the effort.
To his surprise, Senator Bruce told host Schwmon, “within a couple months, it got worse, you know who led the efforts to power wash it after that? — the Minister of Health brother in law. He thanked the Minister of Health for facilitating it.”
He also mentioned that the Lowmans Windward clinic is in need of urgent attention saying:
“There should be a nurse who sleeps there every night so that in the event the people from Hadley’s village, Lauders, high Lowmans, lower Lowmans, Long Piece, so that if anything happens to them, they can rush to that clinic, get first hand assistance and if they need to be transferred to a bigger facility to get greater assistance then the nurse could do that.”
“If tonight at 11:30, something goes wrong with somebody up Hadley’s village, I pray God again, because the nurse is not sleeping at the facility, not because the nurse does not want to sleep, not because the nurse is behaving miserable but the condition of the facility is too poor.”
The first-time candidate also told listeners that he has been promised a plot of land in Chapmans by a Vincentian living in the diaspora to complete a new health clinic in that community.
“I am not asking the administration to engage in rocket science. I am asking them to undertake basic things to meet the needs of the people of the constituency,” said a confident Bruce who claims that he is certain that his party, the NDP, will win the next general elections whenever they are called.