COMMENTARY: Are we punching holes in the Emergency Protocol of SRO15 – COVID19?

Anthony LeBlanc

On Good Friday morning at about 6:40 am, I noticed the usual truck of Chinese construction workers driving up to the construction site of the community/resource centre at Trafalgar.  In keeping with the instructions to the general public, I sought to inform at senior level, officials of the Dominica Police Force, as well as two government ministers.

I did not get to the Minister of Health and parliamentary representative for the area, the other minister did not respond to my inquiry, but three of the four (4) senior police officers did respond to me.  My inquiry which was sent to the police contained the following details:

“ Good morning ….

Hope you are having a blessed Good Friday and Holy Week.

I want to bring to the attention of the police the unpleasant situation of the Chinese contractor on the Trafalgar government building transporting and having at work a truckload of workers from about 6:50 am today [Good Friday].

I may be wrong but I was under the understanding that the country is under lockdown and this includes construction until Tuesday morning.

If that ought not be, the compliance authorities have to get them to comply.”

The SRO15 of 2020 – COVID19Emergency Powers (Disaster) –under Section 7(1)(g) provides “Subject to paragraphs 3 and 5, every non-essential establishment, or business shall remain closed except for the following – … (g) Construction and manufacturing projects, … may open between the hours of 6:00 am and 4:00m pm Monday to Friday”

Under Section 3(d), the SRO provides that “A curfew is hereby imposed throughout Dominica … from 6:00 p.m. on Thursday the 9th day of April 2020 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday the 14th day of April 2020, no person shall be out in a public place unless they fall within the exceptions stated at paragraph 4(3) or have written authorisation from the Commissioner of Police.

Paragraph 4(3) lists essential workers, in which construction workers are not one of those listed.

On Friday evening, I provided photography evidence to one of the police officers to indicate when the truck of Chinese workers left Trafalgar, at about 5:30 pm on Friday 9th April 2020, even so in apparent contravention of Section 7 for permitted work outside the curfew hours.

In a very kind and professional way, after I indicated that today, Saturday 10th April 2020, that the same truck of construction workers had again been seen returning to the construction site,  two of [the] senior police officers indicated that their research had indicated that,

  1. “They are operating within the law.
  2. “Permission was sought and granted”. One also indicated:
  3. We need these government projects to continue on schedule.”

One must, therefore, ask the following questions:

  1. What is essential in nature, or even of emergency in nature, about the construction of this building that its construction is of greater importance or priority than the Ministry of Health’s protocol for all, citizens and non-citizens, and to further risk the spreading of COVID19? Why can’t those non-essential workers stay home – and observe the lockdown from 6:00 p.m. on Thursday the 9th day of April 2020 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday the 14th day of April 2020?
  2. What is so urgent about this building, the constructor’s financial, or the country’s economic position that permission had to be granted to allow work to continue at the risk of further spreading the COVID-19 virus?
  3. Given that this project falls under the management of the Ministry of Health, are the Permanent Secretary and Minister aware of this situation, and consented to the granting of permission for continuation of this non-essential activity?
  4. If the answer to 3 above is yes, what message and show of encouragement and gratitude are the Ministry of Health’s policy and management authorities sending to the many frontline COVID-19 health workers? Why are they being placed at more risk by permitting holes to be drilled in the protocol to limit and manage the spread of COVID-19 pandemic?
  5. If the Answer to 3 is no, why should the Commissioner of Police give written authorisation for anyone to proceed with work during the lockdown period without consultation and agreement with the Ministry of Health Officials who it is expected drafted these requirements?
  6. Additionally, why should the Police Commissioner in his own judgement, place a greater burden on members of the police force to ensure compliance as is required under Section 7(1)(g) (i) to (v)? It is noted that our policemen are a category of frontline workers also.
  7. Can our health services deal with 10 Chinese employees who are critically ill with COVID-19?
  8. Are Chinese construction workers lives less valuable than other residents?
  9. How many other such projects are still active in the lockdown period, and are they really essential?
  10. Does the Chinese Embassy know about this? Does the Chinese Embassy have a responsibility to instruct all its nationals to comply with local law and not to seek to circumvent the Laws of The Commonwealth of Dominica by seeking unreasonable permissions? Importantly, will the Embassy see to it that its nationals display true friendship with citizens and residents of Dominica by complying with the COVID-19 protocol in an exemplary manner?

The people of Trafalgar or any other community should not be exposed to an influx of construction workers during an islandwide lockdown period.

I am calling on the Minister of Health, the Commissioner of Police and the Chinese Ambassador to all hold hands together with every Dominican to curtail and manage the spread of COVID-19 in Dominica by not only abandoning non-essential work during lockdown periods but also, ceasing all non-essential work, including construction work, during the rest of the curfew period.

Let all those who ought to stay home, stay home and save lives.

 

Tony Le Blanc.

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50 Comments

  1. Bwa-Banday
    April 13, 2020

    Tony my bro may god bless you for there are few like you and Lennox left on island. But the problem remains bro, TALKING is NOT going to get sheet changed. I have said it before and will say it again. Unless Skerrit and his cabal is removed from office nuffing will change in Dca. We can talk, shout, scream, call Matt, call Athie, call Lofty or listen to Blessings (god bless him) rant and rave daily nuffing go change. Marigot and Salisbury are our only hope and when they choose to rise up together ceaselessly the Dcan people will ensure our version of the Arab Spring. Not a one day vary and run away when two tear gas start falling :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . It has to be nonstop! Dca needs to be purged from these people.

  2. Man bites dogs
    April 13, 2020

    Anthony, you at it again Nitpicking boy you only jealous you want all the buildings contracts from the government if you don’t get it you would put your head down between your legs and start talking nonsense! Those Chinese construction workers you might have seen is working on the hospital to have it finished on time, if time overlaps you Anthony leblanc, and your Crocodiles plus Vultures will have a lot to chew on as they doing right now Skerrit this Skerrit that, how much lower can these Vultures gets.

    • Shaka zulu
      April 14, 2020

      I bet Anthony Leblanc have employees who are all Dominicans who have families, loans to pay, children to send to school and utility to pay. The also shop ad home grown grocery and retail stores. People like you guys are dominica real problem. So to does every other locally owned business. You squeeze them you squeeze their hundreds of employees. Dispicable!!!!

  3. Lastarr
    April 13, 2020

    Interested! )))))))))))

  4. Bwa-Banday
    April 13, 2020

    Dcans exist as guinea pigs to the chinese. We have been sold to the only bidder and continue to walk with our eyes closed. I ask all Dominicans who have internet access to go to you tube and look at the following documentaries;
    1. Grenada Intervention
    2. Central African Republic Uprising
    3. Zimbabwe Uprising
    4. The Arab Spring

    Just maybe those will give insight into what is wrong with Dca and how we should move forward. We are doomed and sitting on our hands like “What-Shall-I-Do” or just talking/ complaining like DRUNK parrots is NOT going to do it. Talking has done nothing but give Skerro more insight into our thinking. Action is required with less talk.

    • Shaka zulu
      April 13, 2020

      These folks dont understand before it is too late. From the time Skerrit said no law no constitution can touch him the place should have light up. The guy set up a rubber stamp party and labourites that supposedly have common sense telling me its ok to yield democracy to give PM power pick who he wants to be parliamentarian. Basically we have 18 reps that are just puppet figures to an idiot. In the coming days we will be hearing talk about the Chinese new political system. A gov controlled capitalism where order information and security is strictly set by Gov. There argument is it is good for stability and growth. Meanwhile they have been allowed to export to Dominica by helping this labour puppets for over 10 years win election. All this investment is for a reason. Skerrit drunk on power and control Chinese helping. They dont care about human rights. As i said before blackman with there inferiority complex will tired be other people door mat looking for saviour. Sickening!!!

  5. Eagle-Eyed
    April 13, 2020

    Leblanc just bitter he not getting dem government construction contracts. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  6. RubensB
    April 13, 2020

    Skerrit sold Bird island to Venezuela and then he sold DA to China. Guess why he never showed us the MOU with China.

    • Lin clown
      April 13, 2020

      BWA BANDAY,we know if you HIT the HEAD the body MUST FALL.We are no longer going to take BS from the likes of you.Any BS and your A is G.

      • Batibou River
        April 14, 2020

        I told you before, you are sick in your head. Why are you addressing RubensB as BEA BANDAY?

  7. April 13, 2020

    Everything can’t shut down. This panic and fear mode is not helping. The streets and public places are all empty, what else do you want LeBlanc?

    • Lin clown
      April 14, 2020

      SHAKA ZULU,you are LIAR,that is why your party will NEVER win an election.Dr Skerrit was quoting section 32 (1) (a) page 39 of the CONSTITUTION OF DOMINICA.You and your party went to court and LOST,you appealed and LOST.The MAJORITY of DOMINICANS can read and understand,SO,18-3.In the St.Joseph constituency BLESSINGS is regarded as a LUNATIC,the guy could not help MONELL,losing by 447 votes.

      • Shaka zulu
        April 15, 2020

        You don’t deserve a response. I really dont want you to feel relevant with one. However i can see you must really hate liars. I do also. Why dont you go look at all the clips of skerrit through the years along with that of Austri and ian douglas. I would sent you look at the other ministers but they dont really say much. Count the amount of untrue statements and you will tell me who lying. If you cannot find any then blessings should be your mental therapist

  8. viewsexpressed
    April 13, 2020

    I am indeed impressed to read this article by a prominent Dominica, son of the soil, has awakened us Dominicans to the lack or obvious open denial of state Protocal in undertaking a project without the necessary input of Health & Safety and other maters relating to this project as well versed and researched by Mr. Leblanc, a prominent contracture, architect of Dominica.
    There is a matter of Health & Safety that must be adhered to that I believe is within the Protocal and standards expected to be addressed in the process of preparing this project and any other for that purpose.
    We need to have some level of decency and professionalism where it relates to the mater of state meaning that the necessary Protocal and preparation must be well executed and adhered to.
    W are fedup in our Dominica of this failed PM Skerrit and his highly disgusting failed incompetent Labour Government. We need decency and sound leadership in our Dominica. Our people deserve this and we must get rid of…

  9. El negro puro
    April 13, 2020

    Boy… you still taking fight with dem fellas dere mr. le blanc… 18/3… so they like it. Leave them people in dere ting, and rest yourself. Dominicans not ready yet.
    Yess aye… one day we will be delivered from that corrupt government.

    • viewsexpressed
      April 14, 2020

      “El Negro Puro” – I love your statement. Well said, well thought! Thanks! Here goes:
      “Boy… you still taking fight with dem fellas dere Mr. Leblanc… 18/3… so they like it. Leave them people in dere ting, and rest yourself. Dominicans not ready yet.
      Yesssssssss aye… one day we will be delivered from that corrupt government”.
      El Negro Puro, I am positive that we will get there. There is that much a people can take from a rougue, failed government and that immature, incompetent failed Prime “Odd” Minister and his despicable Labour government.
      “Yes aye… one day we will be delivered from that corrupted Labour government”.
      Skerrit and his Labour Government and blind loyalists band wagon have overstayed their failed corrupted welcome. They must Go. Please remind Skerrit, that we wish him Good Riddance: “Go to Hell; Go to Hell, You are not our “Damn Business”. Get the hell out of our Dominica government, You have openly failed us and our Nature Isle. We have decent people and…

  10. Vrai Den
    April 12, 2020

    Thank you Mr. Leblanc for bringing this to the attention of the authorities. However the response from the police did not make sense. Why is it that some people are excused from following instructions and guidelines while others get arrested? Are the authorities putting curfew and emergency guidelines for the general public, but a select, chosen few are exempt, while they go about what they want to do and putting communities at risk. We really need to get serious on all levels. Ministry of Health, Police, all of you involved, STOP this nonsense, guidelines should be clear as to what is essential and what is non essential. As far as I know, essential work is work that will affect people’s lives, if not done. What is essential about work on a community center? Could all the authorities involved get with the program and observe and monitor the guidelines implemented, so that EVERYONE observes them, and not have some get away, while you arrest others. Everyone should be treated fairly.

  11. Change ah come
    April 12, 2020

    :lol: :lol: :lol: You complaining about the Chinese? Well, the Chinese are complaining about us “Black People.” It seems like we are in their way! When I see how these Chinese people behave in Dominica I just have to shake my head. It’s as though they own the Island – And mark you; They must be laughing at us. But I do have hopes that things will get better in less than five (5) years. I pray for life, health and strength to see that change brought about.

    • Toto
      April 13, 2020

      Well, they do own the island. Just wait and see. China conquering new lands without Military struggle, very smart people,

      • Lin clown
        April 13, 2020

        IBO,you will remain POVERTY-STRIKEN with your high level of stupidity.Very few Dominicans live in apartments,most OWN their OWN home.AMERICA is in debt to CHINA of over $1.18 TRILLION.If you have ever lived in AMERICA,you will notice almost EVERY STATE HAS A CHINA TOWN.The Chinese has left their mark of quality work,including the GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE.Leblanc does not care COVID-19,he only care about MONEY.Lazy people always praying for a holiday.

  12. Channel 1
    April 12, 2020

    You see dat phrase ‘Dominica-China Friendship’. What TRULY does it mean?

    A communist, authoritarian system mixed with the word friendship. 8-O 8-O 8-O

    Seems an absolute paradox to me.

    Stay tuned…

  13. dissident
    April 12, 2020

    The administration excuse is that the Chinese are our development partners. or ‘friends’, brother’s or ‘comrades’.
    Seriously i don’t think carbon have enuff nuts to exercise his authority on Chinese construction workers.
    Everything comes with a price. Last week we got a donation of 30 000 masks from China. My opinion is skerrit is just their yes man…..like some sort of footstool.
    I commend you for your bravery and courage to expose what appears to be de government real attitude towards this pandemic.
    by de way i myself have witnessed other foreign Dlp-aligned contractors and their non-Dominican employees working beyond 4pm on weekdays….boldfaced too!!!

  14. Really
    April 12, 2020

    What’s the moral of your story! All I could see is an individual who is full of hate, resentment, annoying mentality, and animosity. Just what is your end goal, do you want Skerritt to police the Chinese, get a life, before the cancerous veins overcome your intellectual abilities.

    • Badbaje
      April 13, 2020

      Good afternoon.
      You asked “do you want Skerritt to police the Chinese,”
      I thought the police are supposed to police everyone equally, including the Chinese. Your questions seem to suggest the Chinese should not be policed. Food for thought.

  15. Lover of Dominica
    April 12, 2020

    Hey, My People relax,
    Please allow these Only Chinese Nonessential workers, they must work!
    Passport not selling
    Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro on the run wanted 15, 000 000 USD for his capture.
    Dealers have no more Caribbean Safe Haven
    And money, people and countries link to Venezuela oil and corrupt government, lookout you in for a ride, here comes the American Train

    So we have to lay down and accept all the Chinese programs, look at the first phase of the Hospital. Build supper strong to last plus 20 years, like the west coast road.
    Caution:
    Only the Chinese are allowed to repair, maintain and replace these Chinese funded programs

    This curfew not for foreign “aid” works! stay home, clean the house, the garden, cook, watch tv, text, chat.

    Please we want you to stay safe, happy Ester

    • April 13, 2020

      @Lover of Dominica, at this time you thumb rating is at 6-0, number 6 is mine to you

  16. EIFILE
    April 12, 2020

    We thank you for your observations and matters of concern.The curfew made allowances for essential and priority work to take place,part of safety but,at the end you must stay home. The damaging bit was, you saw something unusual so you reported it.rather than the PM GIVE AN EXPLANATION ABOUT THE WORK TAKING PLACE,HE SPOKE ABOUT MR.COVID and people being discharged.

  17. Badbaje
    April 12, 2020

    Good morning, greetings to you and yours. Hope you are all staying safe.
    I would like to recommend a book to you, the title is “Animal Farm”
    It is well known, and I would like to draw you attention to one line in particular which says. “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”
    But you well may have read this book before.
    Again, happy holidays to you and yours!

  18. Ibo France
    April 12, 2020

    The Coronavirus is extremely contagious. Mr. Le Blanc’s concerns about the Chinese workers out and about during the present curfew period should be taken seriously. This Skerrit led maladministration has never failed to disappoint me. They can’t shoot straight. There is no marksman in the Cabinet. The vast majority of Dominicans will remain vulnerable, poverty-stricken and living on the brink of survival as long as Skerrit and his pliable disciples remain at the helm of government.

  19. Lin clown
    April 12, 2020

    Mr Leblanc you said,the police told you,PERMISSION WAS SOUGHT AND GRANTED I.e they are not going against the LAW.I realize you are more concerned about COVID-19 in construction.I wonder WHY.You seemed unconcerned about DOMINICANS in the supermarket and elsewhere.As for the PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLES I SUGGEST.Every driver should be armed with a bottle of SANITIZER.Every passenger entering that PUBLIC SERVICE VEHICLE SHOULD BE SANITIZED by the driver.A mask should also be worn before entering the vehicle,in that case I recommend 2 passengers per SEAT,and 1 at the front.When we do our GROCERY SHOPPING we are about 1 foot from the CASHIER when we pay.I wonder if LEBLANC would stop construction of the HOSPITAL IF HE HAD THE CONTRACT?Just thinking with my two cent BRAIN.Not as smart as,Viewsexpressed,Telemaque,Dissident,Bwa Bande and Batibou River

    • Tinnz
      April 13, 2020

      Are u dumb?
      The individual is speaking on behalf of the safety for the entire country {and world} and raising their concerns in relation to the set laws…
      He is exercising his right in a respectful and productive manner..
      Is our own people that just try and hold us down while they help a foreign nation and people thrive….

    • April 13, 2020

      @Lin clown, I simply skimmed through that report because I hate negative things.

      So thank you for pointing out: “Mr. Leblanc you said, the police told you, PERMISSION WAS SOUGHT AND GRANTED I.e they are not going against the LAW”

      Just like me, the people on this board simply look at our identity and they click on the “thumbs down” icon. That is why there are so many foolish comments on here; they do not read to get enlightened, they simply copy what their counterparts write.

      IYou are right. Places like the supermarkets, the bus service, and some other venues, where people have to be, pose a greater threat to our health– customers and customer service– than being at a construction site.

      In Toronto, the bus service is running, as usual, they pick up commuters at every stop, but we have the same rules

      So that message presents a negative reason, once again. When are Mr. Le Blanc and the likes of him ever stop?

  20. April 12, 2020

    The SRO15 of 2020 – COVID19Emergency Powers (Disaster) –under Section 7(1)(g) provides “Subject to paragraphs 3 and 5, every non-essential establishment, or business shall remain closed except for the following – … (g) Construction and manufacturing projects, … may open between the hours of 6:00 am and 4:00m pm Monday to Friday”

    • Weh Papa
      April 14, 2020

      The man spoke about the lockdown period.

  21. Pipo
    April 12, 2020

    Yes Tony, one law for them and another for us, as usual. Count yourself lucky for not being told off for having the audacity to challenge our leadership. After all, laws are for us, not for him. Happy Easter.

  22. Sisserou
    April 12, 2020

    Is mr. Leblanc really concerned about the people of Trafalgar or is he trying to score some cheap political points? As Mr. Leblanc stated construction is one of the industries that may remain open pursuant to the emergency protocol. I would believe the curfew that was placed from Thursday 9 – to Tuesday 14. Was more than likely geared to restrict socializing during the Easter season and maintaining “social distancing”. I am sure that the Chinese workers will not be celebrating Easter because that is not their faith. Moreover, they usually don’t interact with other individuals thereby maintaining the 6’ required for social distancing. They live together like any family and interact with each other like any other family do. Therefore you “concern” for the people of Trafalgar is unfounded.

  23. Ivenia
    April 12, 2020

    Excellent piece, Mr. Leblanc. I too have read those laws and I was wondering if any one else notice. Thank you for bringing it to the front.

  24. Patriot
    April 12, 2020

    Dominica has been sold to the Chinese, that’s why we will never see that MOU. While locals are arrested for disobeying the curfew, the Chinese are free to roam.

  25. Ras B
    April 12, 2020

    Very interesting article which raises a number of issues. It would seem to suggest (a) the law is flouted by Foreigners with impunity (b) There is some disparity between what is said officially and what obtains, (c) A seeming in-congruence between the security forces and the ministry of health advice; (d) It would also suggest infighting between the two ministries that overseeing the security forces and that of the ministry of health; (e) Could it be that we hand pick to whom the laws applies and to whom it does not apply; (f) Do the Chinese life mater? (g) Is this selective obedience to the laws of the land a deliberate effort for something more sinister? Obviously with the country on lock down, fewer eyes would be available to draw attention to any nefarious activity that may be in progress. Does this support the massive confusion evident when the Minister of Health strangely ordered a country wide lockdown for three days, the Prime minister then lifts it with no contingency plan.

  26. Doreen
    April 12, 2020

    Hands up to Tony

  27. April 12, 2020

    Hello and good morning my people. Well Mr Le Blanc you documented where in the law the construction workers are exempt so what are you complaining of.
    I reside in Brooklyn New York where over eight hundred people are dying everyday in New York State but construction workers are still allow to work. Respect the medical workers that’s keeping our families in Dominica safe and used proper hygiene . America keep telling the NATO countries to spend money on military equipment to fight Russia and China but look at Italy and Spain. When their citizens got sick it was China and Russia who provided medical equipment and doctors,even Cuba send doctors to Spain and Italy .

  28. Batibou River
    April 12, 2020

    I have been saying it for years. In DA the law applies to some people but not to others. As a result some people are free to do what they want and others are not allowed to do a thing. Chinese and Labour supporters get away with almost everything but others, in particular UWP get away with nothing infact on occasions they are wrongly imprisoned.

  29. Garvey
    April 12, 2020

    My Dear brother I am sure you know by now Dominicans has lost control of there country, as a son of the soil,my deepest and true feeling are the people who are suppose to safeguard this country has sold us out to foriegn interest.This island is run by outsiders

  30. Zazzelle
    April 12, 2020

    Thanks for standing for people Mr LeBlanc🇩🇲 I applaud you!!

  31. ??
    April 11, 2020

    Some people are quarantine and have too much time on theirs hands so write foolishness. Permission was granted so what’s the beef? Tony should have told us what was being constructed rather than finding every little thing to complain about.

    • viewsexpressed
      April 14, 2020

      ??, Whooooa, thanks much fro your foolishness. Well structured !!!!!????? To move on, please try to elevate yourself to pen more serious on matters that affect our People and our country. Please do not be this blind Skerrit`s loyalists because I guess you are unemployed and need a job. How long have you been waiting if you are unemployed? You see, Skerrit has killed our Dominica, our agriculture, our jobs and we have money coming we not of. Reference the Passports Bobol. We need answers and we as Domini and need an account and a report of the expense and cash received for our passports that is our State, our Dominica property.
      Failed Skerrit and failed Labour Party must get the hell out of our Dominica government. They have failed us Big Time. Get Out!, Get Lost!, Get Going Now! Thanks!

  32. Shaka zulu
    April 11, 2020

    LeBlanc you are living in a Chinese colony. Chairman chairman/Emperor skerrit the one china policy Asset kisser has already sold sovereignty to China. After all the stadium, the hospital, the roads, tbe maintenance of these structures, the state house, the bridge, the international airport, the fire and police equipment, the election campaign all funded by Chinese. It is not dominicans developing Dominica. It has been the Chinese. So what do you expect. One Chinese national killed in possi which i think was ruthless, but guess what? Gov made speech and ministers at funeral. Meanwhile people who dedicated their lives to this country are scorned. Dominicans are killed not one word from our government. I know you have been trying, but our people are useless according to the actions of the emperor and they are proving him right. Chinese run things. Thats how black man have there own people enslaved for power. There is only one way to stop this madness.

  33. D/can to d bone
    April 11, 2020

    Is Dominica we lliving eclect anything..no law

  34. Jackson Joseph
    April 11, 2020

    I hope DNO fact checked this mad man’s claims before publishing this article.

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