When the well-known local principal failed in his bid to replace the late great Alleyne Carbon as the freedom party candidate for the Cottage constituency 27 years ago, did he ever believe that his efforts then, at assisting the now parliamentary representative, Reginald Austrie, would result in the Cottage constituency becoming the least represented and most deprived and depraved constituency in Dominica? It would be interesting to hear his response now.
Between 1995 and 2000, the Cottage constituency was in opposition and one may contend that very little by way of constituency development could have been done since, as we all know, in Dominica today and in the words of the late Dame, “don’t blame me if my eyes fall on the constituencies that voted for me”. From 2000, the current parl rep was a junior minister in the office of then prime minister Roosevelt Douglas with special responsibility for small business development. How many small businesses were developed in the cottage constituency during his tenure as such a minister? Your guess is as good as mine unless you can point me to them.
When, after the death of Rosie, Austrie became Minister for Communications and Works in the Pierre Charles led cabinet, one thought that like Earl Williams, a constituency like Salsbury then would boast of having the best roads in the country. What is the status of our roads in that constituency after you pass Kempinski? Go take a drive all the way to Capuchin.
When under the Roosevelt Skerrit led administration, the parl rep was appointed and still is, the longest-ever serving minister of housing, one thought that we would be able to boast of the best housing stock in the country. What have we seen? Plywood for people in Capuchin and other parts of the constituency and sand, steel, and blocks given to a selected few who still had to pledge quiet allegiance or face victimization. Oh, I almost forgot that a huge house was purchased in Morne-a-Louis where the top deans from the Ross University were renting and another was expanded in Toucarie while the new mansion with two stories and still going up, is almost complete in Savanne Paille. I almost forgot that these belong to a constituent of the cottage constituency so that may be all the real houses we have gotten in 27 years.
For twenty seven years this constituency has voted Labour and one parliamentary representative. What does the constituency have today that we can boast of for having been loyal to the Dominica Labour Party and this one parl rep? Where are the resilient homes, what is our health, education, sports,(take a look at the Lamothe playing field-JURASSIC PARK) employment, small business, tourism, roads, technology, and overall economic situation, like today, after 27 years of loyalty?
I almost forgot that KEMPINSKI is in the constituency. Well, I’m bold enough to say, this was only because Skerrit felt this was the best location for such an investment and not the representation of the current parl rep. So he cannot take credit for it. Even with such a development right where it is, the favorable road conditions end right there. Take a drive further up and let’s see if you can dispute my assertions.
How many scholarships (gifted or government funded) have we gotten to Cuba, China, the United States, or other parts of the world? Well, I’m sure if we count, we will find that at least four of the few came from one notable house.
Ask the owners of the few little beach bars located on the Lagoon/Purple Turtle beach, Bell Hall, and Toucarie beach how much small business assistance the current parl rep has given. HMMMM. Did I hear someone say that there is competition coming from a new beachfront bar and grill in Toucarie and it belongs to the daughter of a notable member of the constituency? I’m just asking for the people of the Cottage constituency. They want to know. I thought the Catholic Church once used that same little beach bar to raise some funds during the feats of Saint Anthony. Maybe we should ask the church to clear the air on that.
You see, so even while we “keeping it real” on the Toucarie beach and we trying to “GREG-O-RIZE” and re-activate the long-used major spot on the other end of the beach, nepotism and selfishness are once again rearing their ugly head. Does the parl rep have any idea of what I’m talking about and does he know who is developing this new beach bar and grill that a soak away was attempted to be built for recently, and does he plan to assist in ensuring that somebody else gets a chance to make a living seeing that he has been making a very good living as a politician and parl rep for 27 years from the votes of these very people?
It is downright disgraceful that as the longest serving parliamentarian in Dominica’s parliament, Austrie does not have a report card on his constituency which can boast of visible, tangible, and human development. The Cottage constituency is easily the most depressed, depressing, depraved, and deprived constituency on the island and it epitomizes degradation and shame.
For a parl rep to go to parliament and the only thing he can speak about is an apartment building in the lagoon area and sends condolences to the family of those who died, is equivalent to talking about a beautiful funeral home. Is that what the constituency has become after 27 years of loyalty to one man and one party?
Every other “just come “parliamentary representative can go to parliament and speak of what they have achieved or what they plan to do, little or fictional as it may be. This one is all about ‘maypwee’ and gutter-like utterances. This is not what the people of the Cottage constituency wanted after the 15 years of Alleyne Carbon and they have tolerated it for far too long.
So, the big question is when will it end and what are we going to do about it?
From recent public pronouncements, it appears that the cottage constituency has become an estate bequeathed to the parliamentary representative/Labour Party by some unknown previous owner. Even if that was so, the modern-day slavery must end. It shall end by the people and for the people.
It is now time that a very clear, strong, and unambiguous message be sent to the prime minister and leader of the Labour Party, Roosevelt Skerrit, that Reginald Austrie through his lack of representation except having done that well for himself only, has done enough harm to the people and must be removed. This must be made known publicly so the constituents can begin to sleep peacefully knowing their day of political redemption is coming. Any failure to respect the wishes of the very many people who are hurting silently and are calling out for the same covertly shall be met with a massive rejection of this man at the next election which I suspect will be called at least a year sooner than the constitutionally due date.
To all those other political organizations who believe that they are coming to present as replacement, they must themselves “come good” as we say. The time for holding politicians in this constituency accountable has come and no amount of promises and envelopes and galvanize or plywood will cut it. The hams and chicken will still be welcomed at Christmas but that is just a two-week pot. WE DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT!
Let me remind people of the Cottage constituency of what happens when people stand up and demand their respect.
The people of Colihaut were dictated to that they should ditch Toulon and vote Sabroache. This autocratic move was mandated and sanctioned by the prime minister and leader of the DLP who many say they love so much. The people of Calihaut decided to run Toulon as an independent candidate to prove that they had the power. Labour party T-shirts and manifestos were burnt in the middle of the bridge on the highway. Toulon was voted resoundingly and rose to become deputy speaker of the House. I know all about it because I was in the belly of the whale. Don’t ask me any questions. I have nothing more to say about that. Only to ask, Cottage constituency, is it time to run independently, or is it time to demand fresh, honest, and people-centered representation?”
Now guess what. You may decide that still, is Labour you want to vote for. Then let’s tell the political leader that “it is time for change”. You may also decide that you want to get another Alleyne Carbon in another political organization. Whichever your decision, let’s tell these political parties and their leaders that Cottage constituency is no longer on the market block where we are used as pawns in the game, where modern-day slavery will no longer thrive and where people will be free to speak with no fear of victimization. Hello, what do you have to lose anyway? You have been loyal to one party and one man for so long and have been treated like you never voted for the ruling party so we might as well be in opposition. It comes to the same thing anyway.
WE HAVE DONE SO MUCH FOR SO LONG WITH SO LITTLE. WE ARE NOW QUALIFIED TO DO ANYTHING WITH NOTHING!
Oh, and by the way, never believe the pit bull cannot be silenced. Little maco took three hundred votes in the last election. Something that had never been achieved before in this constituency.
So people of the Cottage constituency, wake up and let your voices be heard. One man has used you for too long. He has become affluent as all of us can see while the entire constituency has been fed crumbs and still made to live in fear of speaking because even the crumbs have been used as a bargaining chip.
THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS NO! I AM NOT INTERESTED IN REPRESENTATIONAL POLITICS. MY ONLY INTEREST IS IN SEEING THE ABUSE OF MY PEOPLE ENDED AND THAT WE GET OUR RIGHTFULLY DESERVED SHARE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND NOT BE USED AS SLAVES TO ENRICH ONE MAN.
We are better and worth more than that. I have decided to start the clarion call. Will you join me in letting it resonate?
The power is in your hands.