Opposition Leader Lennox Linton

The United Workers Party condemns most forcefully the Skerrit Administration’s proposed launching and imposition of the Climate Resilient Executing Agency of Dominica (CREAD) in the governance structure of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica without first seeking Parliamentary approval.

In his Post-Hurricane Maria 2017 United Nations Address, Prime Minister Skerrit announced to the World Community his intention to establish CREAD, complete with legislative support and the requisite Parliamentary oversight. What has unfolded to date is an indecent haste and rush to launch CREAD in Dominica without the involvement of the Nation’s Parliament. This callous abandonment of governance in our country’s parliamentary democracy is very frightening.

The United Workers Party supports the imperative of making Dominica more resilient to natural disasters and the negative impacts of climate change. To this end the UWP will work with all stakeholders to realize this goal guided by the principles of good governance and democracy. However the UWP will not remain silent when government seeks to disregard and marginalize the Institutions of State, Elected Representatives of the people and our democracy to score cheap Party Political points, notwithstanding the desirable objective.

The Prime Minister, despite his many pronouncements about the CREAD, has yet to submit a “White Paper” including a strategy for general scrutiny by the different stakeholders in the country. However, he has mentioned that Officials of the CREAD will be invested with Executive Power to facilitate their work, yet no draft legislation has been presented to Parliament for debate, approval and the establishment of a statutory body that would be answerable to the country’s citizenry. Notwithstanding the absence of these pre-requisites the Prime Minister is going full speed ahead with the appointment of people to advise on Candidates to serve on as well as launching the CREAD.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is clearly on a mission to dismantle parliamentary democracy as inherited by him, and practiced in the Commonwealth of Dominica for decades, and to replace it with his own dictatorial style of governance.

For the reasons stated above the Parliamentary Opposition wishes to advice the general public that the UWP Parliamentarians despite having received invitations to the Friday 9th March 2018 launch of the CREAD in Dominica, shall not attend. In our view this is simply a public display of arrogance and disrespect by the Prime Minister in his diminution of Institutions established for good governance in our country.

We therefore call on the Roosevelt Skerrit Administration to stop the undermining of our Constitution and democratic processes by adopting the following programme:-
1. Prepare and circulate for public and stakeholder review the objectives, operational guidelines and draft legislation to govern the CREAD
2. Following consideration of recommendations from stakeholders on the said draft documents prepare and submit to to Parliament for debate a Bill the establishment of the CREAD