Opposition leader Jesma Paul-Victor lamentsthe strain on the private & public sectors & the people in meeting their commitments, while the DLP regime appoints more new and past ministers to the Cabinet
Leader of the Opposition, Jesma Paul-Victor, highlights the challenges faced by the private sector and the government due to increasing economic strain. The private sector is feeling the pressure, and the government is experiencing cash flow difficulties, leading to delays in meeting commitments. However, despite the dire economic situation, facing the country, DLP regime leader Mr Roosevelt Skerrit has appointed the largest cabinet in the country's history and increased the public wage bill by bringing back past minister.
She continues that, in a unique scenario among Commonwealth nations, Dominica finds itself with nearly 90% of parliament members also holding positions in the cabinet. The economy is showing alarming signs of heading towards a crash, prompting the government to take desperate measures to display stability in public finances.
Leader of the Opposition, Jesma Paul-Victor.
WHO advocates for increased testing and treatment for viral hepatitis, warning that if infection trends persist, it may become responsible for more deaths than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV combined by 2040
In observance of World Hepatitis Day, WHO is urging for an increase in testing and treatment for viral hepatitis, cautioning that if the current infection trends persist, the disease could claim more lives than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV combined by 2040.
Hepatitis is accountable for liver damage and cancer, and takes the lives of over a million individuals every year. Among the five forms of hepatitis infections, hepatitis B and C inflict the most harm and fatalities. Although hepatitis C can be treated, only 21 percent of those with hepatitis C infections have been diagnosed and just 13 percent have undergone curative treatment. A mere 10 percent of people with persistent hepatitis B are diagnosed, and only 2 percent of those infected receive life-saving medication.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that despite the availability of improved methods to prevent, diagnose, and treat hepatitis, millions of people worldwide continue to suffer from undiagnosed and untreated cases. In light of this, WHO is dedicated to aiding countries in the utilization of these tools, such as the more cost-effective curative medication, to save lives and ultimately eradicate hepatitis.
Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) President WashBourne Cuffy has expressed great apprehension over the budgetary process that is being employed by the Skerrit-led DLP regime
President of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), WashBourne Cuffy, has expressed apprehension regarding the methodologies employed by the DLP Administration in their budgetary procedures. Drawing from his stint in the public sector, he recollects the employment of the budgetary methodology, highlighting the identification of the aims and objectives of a given ministry, which then served as a benchmark for other ministries to aspire and work towards.
President of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), WashBourne Cuffy.
Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company Director Raymond Lawrence highlights the importance of arts and culture in Dominica, promoting creativity, tourism, and showcasing performances
Director of the Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company, Raymond Lawrence emphasizes the multifaceted contributions of arts and culture. Lawrence remarks that, from fueling creative industries to enhancing tourism and showcasing cultural performances locally, regionally and internationally, the arts play a pivotal role. He stated that a thriving creative industry not only effectively promotes and markets Dominica but also appeals to visitors, making them more drawn to the country.
Lawrence emphasized the significance of acknowledging efforts and achievements in the cultural sphere, especially in relation to the Golden Drum Awards. He stated that recognizing individuals who have dedicated their time and talent for many years is essential, as it serves as a sincere thank you. He believes that an ongoing practice of annual recognition is vital to ensuring that those who have played crucial roles in cultural development and the advancement of the arts receive their deserved appreciation.
Director of the Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company, Raymond Lawrence.
Director of Public Prosecutions Sherma Dalrymple emphasized the increased seriousness with which her office is combatting illegal trafficking in firearms, involving training sessions for customs officials
Director of Public Prosecutions Sherma Dalrymple emphasized the increased seriousness with which her office is treating illegal trafficking in firearms. To address this pressing issue, her office organized training sessions with customs officials due to their significant role in intercepting firearms. The aim is to send a strong message to the community that the illicit use and trafficking of firearms will not be tolerated. Recognizing the rise in firearms-related cases brought before the court, the focus is on combating these crimes and ensuring public safety.
Sherma Dalrymple, the Director of Public Prosecutions
Q95 CEO Sheridan Gregoire and the Global Q family has been awarded by Creole Heartbeat CEO Leroy Wadix Charles for exceptional contributions to the local music industry and to Cadence-Lypso
Earlier today, Creole Heartbeat in collaboration with the Sign Man, acknowledged and awarded the commendable contributions of Sheridan Gregoire CEO of Q95 FM Radio, to the music industry, particularly in regards to the advancement and propagation of the Cadence-Lypso Music genre worldwide. Leroy 'Wadix' Charles, Co-Founder of Creole Heartbeat, conveyed his appreciation to Mr. Gregoire for his unwavering support throughout the years and for the sustained airing of the Creole Heartbeat Program on radio station.
Leroy 'Wadix' Charles, the Co-Founder of Creole Heartbeat
Meanwhile, Sheridan Gregoire, CEO of Q95FM Radio, expressed his deep appreciation to Mr. Charles for the invaluable contributions he has made over the years. Mr Gregoire fondly recalls his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Development Corporation (NDC), when he set up theWorld Federation of Creole Cultures, the Dominica's Festival Commission and the first ever World Creole Music Festival. He outlined some of the goals and plans for the evolution and globalization of the WCMF.
Sheridan Gregoire, CEO of Q95 FM Radio.
UWP calls for urgent action after the UK imposed Visa Restrictions on Dominicans on July 19, 2023, saying that Dominica’s CBI scheme granted citizenship to individuals known to pose a risk to the UK
A United Workers Party (UWP) press release calls for urgent action after the UK imposed Visa Restrictions on Dominicans, saying that Dominica’s CBI scheme granted citizenship to individuals known to pose a risk to the UK. On July 19, 2023, the United Kingdom (UK) imposed Visa restrictions for all persons holding a Commonwealth of Dominica passport, who are hoping to visit or transit the UK. The UK’s Home Secretary, Suella Braverman issued a statement saying, “We are today imposing a visa requirement on all visitors from Dominica, Honduras, Namibia, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu. Nationals of these countries will also be required to obtain a Direct Airside Transit Visa if they intend to transit via the UK having booked travel to another country”.
The Home Secretary went on to say, “Careful consideration of Dominica’s and Vanuatu’s operation of a citizenship by investment [CBI] scheme has shown clear and evident abuse of the scheme, including the granting of citizenship to individuals known to pose a risk to the UK”. On June 6, 2023, Canada lifted Visa restrictions on 13 countries, including some in the Caribbean Region, but did not include Dominica as a country with Visa-free entry. These actions by Canada and the UK are as a direct result of their view, that the Dominica Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program poses a direct and existential threat to the security architecture of these countries.
It is important to note that the UK did not take similar action against St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Antigua and Grenada, which all have similar programs to that of Dominica. The issue of Visa restriction for entry into the UK is of national importance because of the reason for its implementation as stated by the UK’s Home Secretary.
But moreover, its implications will have a devastating effect on the Dominican economy, because the government has made the selling of citizenship its main income generator, neglecting other essential growth engines such as agriculture, tourism, sports and culture, manufacturing, and exports. In the fiscal year 2022/2023, monies from the CBI program constituted more than 58% of revenue from the national budget.
A similar level is maintained in the recently published budget for 2023/2024. According to the government, CBI funds are used to construct housing and fund infrastructure projects. It is also used to supplement recurrent spending, including debt repayment, given the dismal performance of tax revenue collection. Therefore, a loss of revenue from the CBI program will seriously and adversely affect all manner of government operations. The United Workers Party has repeatedly informed the Dominican public about the lack of transparency and accountability in the CBI program.
The overwhelming evidence indicates a program that is run solely for financial gain for a few, with limited returns to the Treasury, and a due diligence program lacking credibility that has resulted in this latest UK visa imposition on Dominica. The abuse of the system has been and remains obvious, including the failure of the government to adequately account for the revenues generated from the program. The lackadaisical attitude of this government in administering a program deemed to be of extreme and critical importance to the citizens of Dominica is beyond belief. Over the years, the list of questionable characters who have benefited from the Dominica CBI program, demonstrates that there has been little to no priority placed on the quality and quantity of citizens this administration has been willing to grant Dominica’s most treasured asset, its citizen’s identity.
There remains therefore, little doubt that the Citizenship by Investment program as it is constituted, is in jeopardy. The government of Dominica that has based the country’s economic development and budget financing completely on such an unsustainable CBI program will now understand the result of such poor judgement. If the government had not relinquished billions of CBI dollars to foreign control and instead, invested those monies into national sustainable programs, the economy would be able to withstand the shock of its mismanagement of the CBI program.
In the view of the UWP, the tremendous amount of revenue which was previously accrued under the CBI program could have been used to: ➢ develop and subsidize agriculture; ➢ finance education, by ensuring the essentials is provided for student’s learning, and provide textbooks for all; ➢ fully equip our hospitals and health centers; ➢ invest in small and medium businesses by ensuring they can access low interest loans to increase their chance of success and expansion; and ➢ collaborate with the private sector to invest in business initiatives.
After the loss of the ROSS University School of Medicine, an entity that contributed significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the loss of international banks from our shores, the government has now reverted to squeezing our Credit Unions where a large number of Dominicans save, to raise revenues to resurrect a faltering economy. The time to request transparency and accountability from the current administration has passed.
We the people must now demand that the necessary framework to ensure free and fair elections, and ELECTORAL REFORM, be put in place to relieve the Dominican people of a government that is incompetent, irresponsible, lazy, unaccountable, and malicious and put in place a “government of the people, by people, and for the people”. We must take the actions necessary to ensure that Dominica’s good name can be restored and our country can be once again recognized as a team player in the league of nations.
Dr Irving Andre’ says put fair election recommendations in the Dennis Byron report, in place of unacceptable sections in Byron’s draft election laws & regulations, despite DLP handlers & mouthpieces machinations
Justice Dr. Irving André acknowledges the need to carefully incorporate certain aspects into the Byron report while removing elements that may undermine Dominica's democracy. He is mindful that the OAS's 2019 report indicated that very few of the over 50 recommendations for fair elections in Dominica had been implemented. André is aware that these proposed reforms might face opposition from those who prefer deception, defeat, and deceit.
Dr. André finds comfort in the belief that the universe moves towards justice, and he trusts in the power of Dominicans to shape their own destinies. He draws inspiration from the lines of the poem "Transcending," which express the resilience of a determined nation marching forward with hope for peace and glory, standing strong against oppressive forces.
Justice Dr. Irving André.
Trevor Johnson supports nonviolent demonstrations and exhorts Dominicans to start movements from scratch to stand up for the change they want, and not wait for any specific leaders to take action
Trevor Johnson advocates for peaceful protests and encourages Dominicans to stand up for what they believe in, even if they are initially a small group. He emphasizes that waiting for a large crowd to join a demonstration is not the way to initiate change; instead, individuals should take the initiative to build a movement from the ground up, starting with just a few people who share common beliefs.
The key is to remain steadfast in one's convictions and not be swayed by the size of the protest. The call for change should come from the people themselves, believing in their cause and taking action to make a difference, rather than relying solely on leaders to mobilize a movement.
The Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) criticizes the National Budget for failing to translate words into outcomes in three critical sectors: healthcare, education, national security and justice
In a recent press release, the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) criticized the National Budget for failing to translate words into outcomes. The article delves into the severe shortcomings of the government's budget allocations in three critical sectors: healthcare, education, and national security and justice. Despite the government's claims to prioritize these areas, the outcomes are far from satisfactory, raising questions about the effectiveness of their policies and spending decisions.
In the healthcare sector, the DFP highlighted the lack of accountability and inadequate supplies in the national hospital, which have led to low confidence in the healthcare system. Infant mortality rates have risen alarmingly, pointing to serious deficiencies in providing effective healthcare services. Yet the party claims there is no mention of programs or funding to address these issues in the budget.
Similarly, in the education sector, they noted that the government emphasized spending on inputs and construction rather than focusing on creating effective human capital. The absence of concrete ideas or allocations for programs like testing for learning disabilities, special education classes, and remedial summer school hampers students' readiness for high school. The leader of the party emphasized how the practice of awarding scholarships based on political affiliation also limits the development of the island's best human capital.
Regarding national security and justice, the DFP notes that the alarming rise in violent crime and traffic accidents reveals flaws in law enforcement and road safety. The judicial system suffers from chronic underfunding, leading to overwhelming backlogs of cases and denying justice to victims and defendants alike.
The party’s press statement places emphasis on the lack of technological advancements and training for judicial staff, which further hinders efficient administration of justice, fosters lawlessness and erodes public trust.
The article concludes that despite being the government's top priorities, these sectors have failed to deliver for the Dominican people. The inadequacy of the government's approach in these critical areas is evident to the entire society, leaving no doubt about the urgent need for meaningful reforms and efficient allocation of resources to address the pressing issues affecting the nation.
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