Host ‘Matt’ Peltier and Q95FM to pay labour commissioner $127,875 for defamation

Matthias Peltier (File Photo)

Talk show host Matthias “Matt” Peltier Jr. and West Indies Communication Enterprises (Q95 FM) have been ordered to pay Dominica’s Labour Commissioner, Dr. Matthew LeBlanc, EC$120,000.00 in general and aggravated damages, plus interest on the damages at the statutory rate from the date of the judgment and prescribed cost in the sum of EC$7,875.00.

The decision was handed down on February 5th, 2020 by High Court Master Ermin Moise.

Dr. LeBlanc, through his lawyer, Heather Felix-Evans, had written to Peltier in 2015 asking for a retraction and an apology about what he claimed were “offensive comments” aired on the “Hot Seat” with Peltier as the host, on February 2nd, 2015.

The discussion was a report addressed to the Prime Minister allegedly written by (the Claimant) Dr. LeBlanc.

The report touched on certain issues raised about the issuance of visas in the Labour department where the Claimant served as Labour Commissioner.

An unsigned copy of that report was leaked and had been posted on social media.

Peltier and Q95FM did not enter a defense and so judgment in default was entered against them on May 22nd, 2015. The hearing of the assessment of damages took place on July 17th, 2019.

In her decision, Master Moise, in looking at the gravity of the allegation, stated, “There can be no doubt that the allegations levied against the claimant are grave. He is the Labour Commissioner of Dominica. His duties involved the issuance of visas and permits for the purpose of foreigners coming into Dominica to work. By alleging that he was willing to accept payments for the fast-tracking of visa requests and permits would seriously undermine the integrity of the office which he holds and brings his character and professional reputation into disrepute.”

This broadcast, she said, was widely circulated…and not only were the words published during the programme but were rebroadcast a number of times by the 2nd defendant (Q95FM) who “refused to offer an apology to the claimant upon request.”

She said the claimant, who states that he is a lay preacher and who ministers in a number of churches across the island, reported that “for a time, members of his church or churches where he attended, expressed reservation about his character. He was embarrassed and seriously affected by the slander of his reputation.”

“I am not of the view that exemplary damages are to be awarded in this case. I would, therefore, award the global figure of EC$120,000.00 in damages, inclusive of aggravated damages to the claimant, interest on the damages at the statutory rate from the date of the judgment and prescribed cost in the sum of EC$7,875.00.”

Cara Shillingford represented Peltier and Q95FM after judgment in default was entered against them.

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35 Comments

  1. Stupes
    February 9, 2020

    Matt. Stop talking!
    Let Dominicans take to the streets and talk for themselves. If they don’t like what is happening, let them go and protest. No more sitting at home and complaining to Matt!

  2. Met Boda Yo
    February 8, 2020

    No big deal!
    His callers will pay that man.

  3. KID ON THE BLOCK
    February 7, 2020

    The JACK …. of the year 2019, Blessing, is his adviser so he will advise him on what to do.
    Mr doesn’t hear or see ne hault ne bar whether is true or false is a alleluia on Q95. He likes hearing his callers….
    Matt!.. hear him… yess…

  4. jaded
    February 7, 2020

    When will some people learn a little humility? All Matt Peltier had to do was to apologize; but, no. Wrong is strong! The claimant gave him ample opportunity to take back his comments but he refused. Peltier deserves to pay. Looks like he is taking a page from Linton’s book.

  5. Casio
    February 7, 2020

    Yes, he holds a very sensitive position, and so lets do everything to protect him. Lets not look at any of the facts. Lets not look at the situation being addressed. Lets not do any investigations. Peltier and Q95 themselves just let the courts do what they want with them? no appeal no second trial? I smell a rat somewhere. someone is pulling some strings.

  6. Lin clown
    February 7, 2020

    I hope that young lawyer make them PAY big time.These UWP people never learn.Just imagine BLESSINGS who is a NOBODY in the St.Joseph constituency is RISING STAR to UWP.COIPEL a failure.Athie another failure,are all stars to UWP.Bunch of LYING,CROOKS,TRAITORS,PROPAGANDISTS,including ALEX.

    • True Politics
      February 8, 2020

      Q95 and Matt has already been assessed over $300,000.00 plus more to come

  7. candid
    February 7, 2020

    HURRAY, Dominica finally raised their standard of living. Life is not cheap. Respect, manners. to all. The Law is a sleeping tiger .No one is above the LAW. Stealing forms from offices and falling into the wrong hands. sabotage. It is not what you do but, the way you do it.Not what you say but, the way you say it.Example to all who have access to peoples offices.

  8. lion king
    February 6, 2020

    I remember when Angelo Alen used to apologize quickly on behalf of the callers and of the station when callers would say defamatory stuff. What is wrong with apologizing,save yourself the ro ro

  9. Even My Eyes Red
    February 6, 2020

    Honestly speaking I am not a fan of neither Q95 or Matt but I find this constant attack on the radio station and Matt is not fair. I mean when Linton had Between you and me on a Saturday afternoon followed by Angelo Allyne they made me listen to Q95 with their investigative skills. But as soon as UWP turned Linton into a politician and Angelo got bowled out, I too left because to me Matt does not say anything that the public does not know. But to sue the man for and Q95 for trying to keep the nation informed, is evil at its worse. I know Leblanc is from the V/case / Penville and he wants to raise his nose but he better be careful life is too fragile boy.
    I so RED that people often ask me why my eyes so red, but I stand on the side of truth and I hate that lawsuit. Mr. will not enjoy the money

  10. justice 4 all
    February 6, 2020

    GON Emmanuel and his wife firebombed. No justice, man has since died.

    2 barrels of guns shipped to Dominica arrive in Customs. No Case. No arrests. no Charges.

    Foreigner found with 2 high-powered guns, which he did not declare. He escapes free like a bird.
    Numerous other instances of illegalities. No case. Which crime did Matt and Q95 commit so much against the State. that could be compared to money-laundering, disregarding of laws, giving of Diplomatic passports to those foreigners involved in all kinds of crimes?

    Witness what some Black men and women of African descent, in the month of Black history, in Dominica doing to their fellow men. DICTATORSHIP should never be allowed to take root and spread in this Land of Bala, Pharcelle, Jaco, Angelique and our other brave ancestors. Our dear land has been sold.

    Dominica is in a DICTATORSHIP, like it or not. The consistent attempts to pressure, stress out, close, shut up any alternative views is…

  11. As I see it
    February 6, 2020

    Ok, so the Prime Minister of the country went to the labor Division and saw what looked to be some very really bad stuff in the that department, so bad that he referred to them as “Racketeering” and ask Mr. Leblanc to fix it. Up to this day nobody knows what he saw that was so bad and no one knows if it is fixed, who fixed it and how it got fixed. So concerned citizens were left to speculate. Matt is a talk show host that tries to get answers for the public so he did what any reasonable person should do. It is rather very shameful that our lawyers and magistrates and judges are helping Skerrit keep us in the dark and take what we get with our mouth zipped. But that to will one day come to pass

  12. Gouvelma
    February 6, 2020

    If the claimant was maligned in any way it is his right to seek redress in whatever way is legal. I do not have a problem with that. It however seems to me that civil matters carry a stiffer penalty than criminal matters. There doesn’t seem to be a set standard for civil matters as there is for criminal matters. The OECS Supreme Court recently handed down guidelines for sentencing in criminal matters however they seem to have left civil matters for the judges to make a mockery of the system. How can a Master expect a person in Dominica who works for chicken feed to pay such a fine? An imposition by the court must be realistic. That fine certainly isn’t. The Master is either naive as to the cost of living and salary in Dominica or deliberate in making a mockery of the court system. Was it her intention to make the claimant receive some compensation? I don’t think so since a respondent cannot pay that which he does not have. If he doesn’t have it he cannot pay it and the claimant…

    • Barbara Saunders
      February 7, 2020

      Gouvelma
      It is not the master to worry about these things. It is the people who open their mouths and spurt anything they feel who need to remember that there could be consequences and think where the money will come from if the person decides to sue.

      Too many hard working ordinary people in Dominica have had their reputations damaged by the Q95 bunch simply because they know Skerrit or talk to him or refuse to join the hate bandwagon although they recognise Skerrit is by no means a saint. They continue to suffer in silence as they get scandalised on social media taking their cue from Q.

      More people should do like Dr. Leblanc then Matt and everybody else will be more circumspect about the fake news they disseminate.

    • JJ
      February 7, 2020

      @Gouvelma. Your interpretation is very convient for your base. The rationale for the Hugh fine is totally justified. On a daily basis the norm of Q95 is to insult, lie and denigrate those who doesn’t share their political ideologies, therefore you should be held accountable! If you are man enough to blemish people’s character by spewing hatred and garbage, then you should man up and face the consequences.

      • Dominican
        February 8, 2020

        JJ you are a liar! Q95 is of a much higher standard than Kiairi FM. The norm is not to insult, lie and denigrate anybody. What is happening in Dominica right now is that the Truth is Offensive and people rather believe a Lie than the Truth. This too shall end!

  13. Fyah
    February 6, 2020

    slander the person name, refuse to apologize, refuse to submit a defense and ppl crying politics ?
    but where i be there nuh

    • Barbara Saunders
      February 7, 2020

      YEA FYAH
      Dis is where you be. The new DA a la Matt, Q95 and UWP. They can keep attacking and defaming everybody and then they become the victim when you try to defend yourself.

      Imagine someone, I guess in his delight that Pinard-Byrne died, posting on this site about the evil that he did to Lennox. So it is now evil to defend yourself when attacked and to demand reparation.

      What is even more frightening is that they seem not to be learning any lessons. Not from the elections, not from the apparent blunders they continue to make, not from anything.

      Let them continue to focus on Skerrit’s blunders instead of their own. That is a sure way of guaranteeing him the next elections and the next.

  14. February 6, 2020

    Noticing allu f$$$$ want.. Allu want to closw Q.. but tht will never happen. Allu will never see tht happen… bunch of maggots..

    • Barbara Saunders
      February 7, 2020

      Metboazot

      Check again who want to close Q. You people seem to think you alone have rights. Just get on Q and say anything you want. Call people thieves and criminals. Say just about anything in this little country where everybody knows everybody else. Freedom of speech under the constitution you all call it.

      He is given an opportunity to retract and apologise which was the christian thing for Dr. LeBlanc to do, but follow the leader, who are you talking to? I do not apologise for anything wrong or right because my supporters will support me wrong or right.

      Well, hello, guess what? the same constitution gives Dr. Leblanc the right to defend his name good or bad and protect his character good or bad. Q95 cannot be judge jury and executioner!

      Matt should have no problem now, just follow the leader and put on a radiothon to get the money to pay the damages. all the callers who helped him on that day to defame Dr. Leblanc should now have no problem coming forward.

      • Minnie
        February 8, 2020

        Which constitution? The same one that Skerritt refuses to abide by? The same on which the president refuses to enforce? Steups.

    • Lin clown
      February 7, 2020

      MATT PELTIER,said something about DR.LEBLANC on Q95 which was not TRUE.ALLEGATION.Q95 continue to broadcast the untruths,even after DR.LEBLANC asked for an apology.The first person Denny Shillingford reported to after the ARSON,was a supporter of UWP.That is a fact.Remember it was UWP who pushed Denny,just like they did with Gonzalez.Later Denny.withdrew his statement.GENE PESTINA,CARETTE,TONY ASTAPHAN told Dominicans the case was a makeup to implicate ROOSEVELT SKERRIT,who was a client of STEVEN ISIDORE.Today MATT and Q95 have to PAY for their WICKED ways,it’s not yet OVER

  15. Joe
    February 6, 2020

    that should be easy money for WICE QFM because they love suits and de mat not here to help pay so they are on their own!!!!

    Mr. managing Director STOP PROMOTING HATE AND PROPAGANDA ON YOUR RADIO, YOU CANNOT HEAR YOU WILL FEEL SIMPLE AS THAT!!!!

    You all are under the impression that everything is Roosevelt Skerrrit so you have to learn the hard way that we are REAL PEOPLE WHO GO ABOUT OUR DAILY LIVES NOT TROUBLING PEOPLE !!!!! Some of us have absolutely no relationship with the Prime Minister or his party but you all won’t relent is blows on man so pay up bossman pay up!!!!!

  16. dissident
    February 6, 2020

    Skerrit accused the same office with racketeering…..but de labour commissioner did not take Skerrit to court
    And de same church members didn’t hold that against the labor commissioner
    Why?

    Because de accusations came from Skerrit.
    Dominica is not a real country.
    Haitians don’t need work permit to work in Dominica. They pay no taxes neither do they make contribution to social security.

    Everything is not above board in Dominica we know…. and de people dat pass under de table talk about it boldly

    I hope de money is enough to satisfy de commissioner craving and wipe out his shame and embarrassment

  17. Looking
    February 6, 2020

    Dr. Leblanc if you are a man of God as you say. You should get in contact with Matt privately, ask him to apologize and move on. Men of God forgive seven times seven times.

    • Is So
      February 6, 2020

      Right away Matt and Q95 are the victims, how convenient! You are further belittling Mr. Le Blance by implying he should meet with his aggressor. First Matt refused to apologize, didn’t appear in court and continued to assinate the man’s character. This is a lesson to learn , because, you cannot continue to assinate the people’s character .

      • Minnie
        February 8, 2020

        Assinate is right! Ass inmate. Or any other combination of letters since your device doesn’t have autocorrect

    • February 7, 2020

      “Dr. Leblanc if you are a man of God as you say” @Looking

      This is the only reason I will comment on this article, it is because of that statement above.

      I definitely have a lot of trouble with you people, who are always throwing back on people like “Dr. Leblanc” O because he is a man of God, he should do things this way and not that way.

      It makes me angry because I receive a lot of that kind of rebuff because of my “relationship with God” even if I never declared that relationship to no one here, I am always attacked for speaking my mind.

      I am reading that “Dr. Lebalnc” was humiliated by a Radio broadcaster on a Radio Station for the public to hear; now you are suggesting that he go in private to receive an apology from that person because he is a man of God–doesn’t the “man of God” have feelings just like the rest of you?

      Well if you all do not know it, we have feelings; we feel pain and hurt just like everyone else– we are human beings too

  18. Teeth money
    February 6, 2020

    Lo and behold new Dynamics in Dominica

    • Man bites dogs
      February 6, 2020

      Ya man now I can see things moving new year new rules, One love 😍 one Labour keep them corrupt people on the run!!!

    • Lin clown
      February 7, 2020

      MATT will NEVER apologize,this guy is To FOOLISH.His lawyer BRUNEY,was on Q95 explaining to him in a MILLS lawsuit.Bruney told MATT,he was asked to pay $ 80,000,because he MATT,ALLOWED callers to call Q95,and accuse MILLS of stealing,without EVIDENCE.There are more lawsuits coming his and Q95 way.WICKED PEOPLE

  19. Ras B
    February 6, 2020

    Are we ridiculously foolish? You failed to mount a defence, did not attend the hearing, so obviously the judgement would have been prejudicial against you, so why are you paying legal fees to argue against the punitive ruling!! Are we just displaying an inferior type of logic?

    Those lawyers will do anything for money!!! What purpose did her presence serve? Could she not advise her client differently as opposed to charging him a fee for a token appearance?

    • Blessings
      February 6, 2020

      Where is DOMINICA heading too

      • Love U more
        February 6, 2020

        Blessings crawl right back through Anzel window.

    • Justice and fairness
      February 6, 2020

      You are ridiculously foolish. You dont know when the lawyer was first approached and yet still you are blaming her for judgment entered before she represented them?? Try to read and understand. You expected them to do nothing after judgment was entered??

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