DAIC questions timing of public holiday; UWP says event is a Labour Party affair

President of the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) Kenny Green says that he has no issue with the praise and thanksgiving concert being held to commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Maria. However, he says DAIC members are concerned about the timing and way that the prime minister declared today a national holiday.

“No one will argue that the principle and purpose of a thanksgiving and gratitude event to commemorate Maria is a noble one, I don’t think any one in the country in principle, will be against. What it comes down to, is the timing and the process.”

Thursday 19th September 2019 was declared a national holiday to allow residents the opportunity to attend a concert to commemorate the passing of hurricane Maria, which devastated Dominica two years ago (18th Sept 2019).

Green says that it is a bit disappointing and confusing as to how it was done. He questions “the principle of timing and lack of notice” and says that if this is going to be on the regular calendar of events, going forward, “we need to know so that we can be better prepared. I don’t think it was done in such a way that everyone was clear what was going to happen”.

The DAIC president believes that while some employers may not have an issue with the decision, there are some who are concerned about the financial cost to their business.

However, Green has come in for some criticism from the president of the United Workers Party (UWP) which has taken a decision that the Leader of the Opposition and other opposition parliamentarians will not attend.

Isaac Baptiste has called Green a “hypocrite” and said he should resign as head of the DAIC because according to him, Green is serving his own interest and not the members.

Baptiste told DNO that his party is “shocked by the insensitivity of the prime minister to the current economic situation facing the private sector in Dominica post Hurricane Maria”.

He said the situation was bad prior to Maria and post Maria, it became worse for the majority of business owners, particularly small businesses.

“The private sector has a right to be angered, because they are in a situation where the economy is not at the level that it should be after such a major disaster, in terms of growth and performance and to declare a public holiday to force them to pay wages for non performance of work , is insensitive,” Baptiste stressed.

He said the concert is not a national activity, not a government activity but “a Labouir Party planned activity, to try and bring people to the location, with the expectation that performance by the artists will help boost the image of the Labour Party” and pointed out that the event was announced as part of the calendar of activities of the Dominica Labour Party.

He referred to Commonwealth Observer Mission report after the 2014 general election which identified abuse of incumbency (Government using state resources to have an advantage in the general election) as one of the faults of the election process.

“One of the areas which they identified was the fact of “Abuse of incumbency – by trying to buy votes, by treating and bribery – this is exactly what is happening with this concert”.

According to Baptiste, if this was truly a national event in commemoration of the passage of Hurricane Maria, the clergy and church community would have been invited to lead the activity.

“They (government) did not do that!,” he stated. ……..in fact – the Catholic Church did organize a mass, one year post Maria and they invited all officials and none of the Dominica Labour Party Officials attended. So it is a hypocritical thing they are now doing!”

The Builders and Contractors Association (BCAD) and Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) have also expressed their opposition to the event.

Expressing concern about the lack of transparency and accountability with regard to the nation’s affairs, BCAD president, Anthony Leblanc, encouraged all workers and employees to go out to the concert with placards asking “where the money went because it did not go to the treasury!”

General Secretary of the Public Service Union (PSU) Thomas Letang lamented the fact that the country is being shut down for an activity which is scheduled to begin in the afternoon and said the union would not be attending.

“Had the PSU called it members out for half day protest, most Dominicans would call them wicked,” Letang noted.

Letang also has grave concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in the governance of the country’s affairs.

“We are serious about this matter and my executive will be meeting as early as next week to take a decision as to how we are going to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the missing $1.2 billion and to come up with ways where we  can involve our members and rest of Dominica can see what our position is.”

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22 Comments

  1. Ibo France
    September 21, 2019

    This last minute activity was intended to manipulate the minds of the credulous and ignorant. Those who stubbornly refuse to think for themselves. This was completely needless and wasteful bearing in mind the many hundreds of citizens with unrepaired roofs, improper shelter and the joblessness that is plaguing most households. The leader has no vision, the man is as blind as a bat during daylight. This was a complete waste of scarce taxpayer’s money. One man (Skerrit) and the evil de facto leader( Asstaphan) taking the country to the abyss. The country is one FAT, COLOSSAL MESS at present.

  2. RandyX
    September 21, 2019

    All you should know by now, Skerrit doesn’t consider what is good for the country but rather what is good for him. But you all have allowed him to get away with it for years!

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 20, 2019

    “We are serious about this matter and my executive will be meeting as early as next week to take a decision as to how we are going to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with the missing $1.2 billion and to come up with ways where we  can involve our members and rest of Dominica can see what our position is.”

    How else can you demonstrate any form of dissatisfaction, than all of the honest civil servants, and workers from the private sector gather in the streets and demonstrate, and demand answers to what appear to be the thievery of a one billion, two hundred million dollars?

    That money is in the pocket of some politician in power in the country; hence the police will not investigate; the alternative is for the trade unions to call a general strike, bring down the government; when that is accomplished the thieves; the culprits involved should be arrested and held accountable.

    Send them to jail, as simple as that!

  4. TomE
    September 20, 2019

    Um… It sounds like everyone has their agenda. Btw, how is this different from the sunrise festival where the sun never rose?

    • Pipo
      September 21, 2019

      I do not approve of Skerrit but you are right, that was an equally daft project. That is what happens when leaders start believing they have mythical powers and can influence spiritual things.

  5. 👄💋👄
    September 20, 2019

    Mr. Baptiste, your PP choice was not to participate, respect! All the different branches of the UWP have absolutely no control over their members. Mr. Letang stop making a clown of yourself! You can’t even get a job action taken by your members! I Run Things! Run Tings. The concert was very effective and served its purpose. The event pointed out the natural catastrophe the island suffered from Hurricane Maria and it clearly showed the rebuilding and restructuring progress. I guess all your lies, fiction, myths, and propaganda that you are spreading have come to light! Your are embarrassed by the accomplishments of the DLP. For those of us who saw the Roseau River distruction, the debris, the sand stone, slits and most of all the stench, followed by the looters, and their behavior was justified as ???. Now we are seeing a New clean and vibrant ROSEAU. The UWP and their henchmen cannot stomach DAT! Why because, they had absolutely no plans or part in the REBUILDING of the nation.

    • RandyX
      September 21, 2019

      Now we see a new and clean and vibrant Roseau??? Where? You definitely need your head examined or did you receive a $500 envelope for this nutty statement.

  6. Efficacious
    September 20, 2019

    Bullying is against the law,you don’t come online and criticize GOD’S CREATION.All these excuses about hurricane. After the storm, all Dominicans put their heads down and work to get the country back on it’s feet. Oh no, stop work have a holiday and let strangers come and do it for you. Out of order

  7. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    September 20, 2019

    Kenny, I am saying this in reference to the concert, and not you quoted words.
    Nevertheless, the whole concept of holding a hurricane Maria remembrance concert  is hogwash, that is another of Roosevelt Skerrit political ploy!
    In that case we should have a year round concert in remembrance of all the hurricanes which devastated Dominica dating back to Hurricane Janet in the 1950’s, which also messed Miami, Antigua Pureto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean.
    Hence; we should also commemorate hurricane David for destroying Dominica in 1979, and the one prior to David.
    We should also commemorate the civil war created by Charles Savarin in 1979 which did more damage to the country than any hurricane could have done! Roosevelt uses these parties to distract from the real backwardness, and suffering in the country. The late Lord Kitchener sang: “Give We De Boom Boom Boom.”
    So, they dance go home inebriated and forget! The dance music and rum Roosevelt know they want, he give to…

    • Bob
      September 20, 2019

      Man you full of bull stuff. Go take a hike. But guess what??? I got news for all you losers, Maria was a hoax. Now go burn down Roseau…..

  8. June
    September 20, 2019

    De concert was well organized and well attended. I gladly accepted the holiday i needed de rest. I thought de show was at 7 or 8 so i didnt see de need for de day off. But it sarted at four and ended late ..twas really good man. Doh bawl man pm will compensate u guys. Stop complaining.

    • iprotest
      September 20, 2019

      if de pm was going to pay then why did nassief keep fresh market open?
      de PM didn’t pay fresh market and 7/11?

      feed your brain

      you didn’t go to dat DLP rally
      you took a free holiday and no work…what rest…..you didn’t see de need for a day off…your words

      get a life!!!!!

  9. Jay Prosper
    September 20, 2019

    This is the most bias new outlet I have ever seen. I posted a comment last night which was very respectful but because it didn’t support the views of this so call news outlet, it wasn’t published. Sad!

    ADMIN: Your comment was published.

    Note that comments are typically moderated within 1 working day, however, we in no way guarantee that time frame as factors beyond our immediate control can affect moderation time.

  10. John Jay
    September 20, 2019

    You so right but this monies would go along way.
    1. Repair schools & assist with furnitures and food.
    2. Homeless & less fortunate.
    3. Assist people whose homes are under tarpaulin.
    4. Assist in the Marigot hospital and health centers.

  11. dee
    September 20, 2019

    This is so ridiculous .
    Of course gratitude will be exhaled by those who have become instant millionaires stemming from the passing of storm Erika and hurricane Maria . They so, without any remorse , having ridden on the backs of the unfortunate victims of the hurricane will never ever , donate , give , return half of the wealth they extorted from the proceeds of Maria ; I challenge them to .
    Their personal wealth is that of them and their families, while the poor and disadvantaged, will remain forever begging for crumbs off the table .
    GOD HELP DOMINICANS but also bring some justice to bear on those Greedy so and sos.
    I challenge any one of them to take, even one percent, of their wealth with them when they shut their eyes for the final time .
    ALL, yes ALL , of their wealth is left behind for others to utilize as they are sent off all on their own , some 6 feet underground , never to return , others are burnt to ashes right here on this earth , but all without their…

  12. Jay prosper
    September 19, 2019

    I been hearing from Mr. Letang for a long time is secretary of the PSU. Where is the president, pro and other committees members. Is this a one man union or is it that the others don’t support his ideology. This man has become so politically associates, it’s time members of the psu call go general election to get the right people to look out for their best interest. If he is re-elected, then we know that’s wat they want. But this union is seen as a communist union where the secretary rules until death with no election. There is a need for electoral reform in the psu.

  13. for love of self
    September 19, 2019

    I agree with Mr. Baptiste that Green is a hypocrite. He will question the instant holiday now to save face with his DAIC members, but in reality he will agree with anything and everything RS and DLP decides so he can to remain as a CBI agent. Conflict of interest? Where is Mr. Green’s allegiance? DAIC or his own bank account?

  14. Broke
    September 19, 2019

    OMG…where they get all that money?

  15. Alicia
    September 19, 2019

    Well of course it’s a Labor Party Event. How many people you think went there wearing red?

  16. god way
    September 19, 2019

    that’s why you all will never win again uwp!!

  17. Luca Spark
    September 19, 2019

    The concert and the mandatory holiday is an unequivocal abuse of power and it is a disturbing trend how the PM keeps referring to himself as some kind of messenger from God. This is the exact same kind of egotism and narcissism that we are seeing in the White House. Power eventually corrupts the mind (and the opposition must take their share of the blame for not being strong enough at the polls), and this PM is displaying all the hallmarks of someone who is becoming increasingly dangerous.

  18. Man bites dogs
    September 19, 2019

    That so-called Workers calamity party is a waste of time they could not even bother to turn up at the remembrance today. Boy those people so wicked all they could do is to sit down in a conner and cry along with black Adder Linton these people are a bunch of arrogant idiots.

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