Gonsalves says neither Skerrit nor Mottley should be blamed for RUSM’s relocation

Gonsalves says he’s not aware whether Skerrit and Mottley deliberated prior to the move

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Ross University School of Medicine’s decision to cease operations in Dominica, and move to Barbados.

On August 3, it was announced by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, that the university, which is said to contribute as much as 30% of Dominica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), had officially ceased operations in the nation. Shortly thereafter, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, revealed that Ross University will be moving to their shores.

Mottley has since been accused by Barbadians and people across the region of “poaching” Ross University from Dominica.

At a press conference, on Monday, Gonsalves stated that neither the Prime Minister of Dominica nor the Prime Minister of Barbados should be blamed for the university’s actions.

He explained that Ross University is primarily a branch of a business (Adtalem Global Education), and as such, the proprietors took the decision which they believed was in the best interest of the company.

“I don’t think that anyone can reasonably blame PM of losing Ross University; neither can one reasonably blame Mia Motley of poaching Ross University,” he said. “The matter which comes out stark to me, first of all, is that a business entity has no loyalty to any country or any community if that loyalty conflicts with what they perceive to be their immediate, medium-term, long-term interests.”

Gonsalves further noted that “Ross was in Dominica for 40 years. Ross was built in Dominica, basically. The 40 years of Ross in Dominica, clearly they didn’t consider that to be of any importance to them.”

The Vincentian Prime Minister also said that he is not aware whether Skerrit and Mottley deliberated prior to the move.

However, Gonsalves revealed that he had held discussions with Skerrit pertaining to All Saints University School of Medicine, and their decision to partially relocate to St. Vincent, last year.

“I don’t know if there were conversations between my friends Roosevelt Skerrit and Mia Motley,” he articulated. “I know that when All Saints wanted to come here, and they wanted only to set up a partial operation, because they’re still keeping in Dominica, I told them I could only entertain them if I talked to Roosevelt, and I called Roosevelt. He said ‘It’s alright because we have Ross’… Always I insisted that when things return to normal, those students who had come from Dominica should go back.”

In October 2017, after the passage of Hurricane Maria, All Saints students were temporarily relocated to St Vincent, while staff remained at the Dominica Campus.

In May 2018, President of All Saints University, Dr. Joshua Yusuf, reassured Dominicans that the school would return to the island by May 2018.

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42 Comments

  1. Truth Be Told
    August 16, 2018

    “I know that when All Saints wanted to come here, and they wanted only to set up a partial operation, because they’re still keeping in Dominica, I told them I could only entertain them if I talked to Roosevelt, and I called Roosevelt. He said ‘It’s alright because we have Ross’ – Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent.
    Personally, for me, this statement above says too much. Dominica really has a jorjor-sakway-sort for a Prime Minister! Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has failed Dominica badly and there is so much evidence to prove it! Hurricane Marria simply exposed the weakness, incompetence and stupidity of the man. He is like Pa-Pee running the country, pure papyshow in Dominica government!

  2. Affa
    August 15, 2018

    You can have All Saints too since they played political games with its location when it was clear that it was a brain-child of then health minister John Fabian who proposed a safe and quiet location in his constituency next to the 3 million dollar police station they bribed his successor with in return for locating it in Jimmit constituency instead.

  3. Original
    August 15, 2018

    Clearly someone is to blamed for all this and the most likely culprit is skerro! Let’s take a look at what has gone on, Colgate Palmolive left after Erika then comes Maria and Ross leaves but it’s not just Ross but every major exporter also, Kubuli who says they’re leaving for the short term, who knows how long will this be even local company Bellot is closed down. Hence apart from the huckster there’s no export from Dominica and this guy is saying the Pm doesn’t bare the responsibility of such, goes to show how much interest does these so called caribbean leaders have for caribbean people but seems they’re more interested in defending individuals who are demonstrating to be inept corrupted and self serving, reflects on who Ralph gonzalves truly is as a person.

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 14, 2018

    “He explained that Ross University is primarily a branch of a business (Adtalem Global Education), and as such, the proprietors took the decision which they believed was in the best interest of the company. ”

    Ralph, that which you are babbling about here is not news to anybody in Dominica or anyone who knows the history of Ross University from it inception in Dominica; we know how many times the institution changed hands.

    Rather than talking you bull!

    Since you and Roosevelt are the ones to blame for Ross leaving Dominica, you should get down on your knees and apologize  to Dominicans for advising Roosevelt to spend five hundred million dollars to screw Melville Hall Airport, when he could have used that money  to build a new International Airport as you did in St. Vincent. 

    It is time that you learn to stay out of Dominica business; concern yourself with drug problem in your country you  made a fool out of Roosevelt is that not enough?

  5. Michelle slater
    August 14, 2018

    People who has issues with the relocation, should take it up with Ross. This is a business decision, and if it wasn’t Barbados , it would have been any other island. And i know if anyone was given the opportunity (personally) to better themselves, they would never say give it to this person or the next. Because that person need it more than they do.
    People need to be real and stop blaming all the wrong people. Take up your grievances with the company. This is a business decision. No company stays in business to lose money.
    Think on that.

    • Liz M
      August 15, 2018

      It is only partly a business decision, the other obvious part is the laissefait attitude of parties in the gov’t that are supposed to safeguard Dominica over the years from this happening even if they had to bend over backwards to keep this huge chunk of the economy. Ross didn’t just pickup and move to a place only a little less vulnerable to storms (they were hit in 2004 by Ivan), so it’s not just hurricane nor simply a business decision, someone dropped the ball and the CEO had enough. Who was it and what were the business’ demands over the years leading up to this most devastating storm in our history? They remain hush hush on the details. I know from Faculty and students I spoke with that travel was a BIG deal, quite a challenge to land Ross’ jets here yet gov’t played politics with intl airport and I’m sure other touchy subjects and details.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      August 15, 2018

      I doubt anybody in Dominica has any grievances with Ross University, Roosevelt Skerrit is the only culprit in this matter. Roosevelt is an idiot, a liar who makes promises and never keep them. Read Roosevelt letter he claimed he wrote to Ross: In his outline under the caption “International Airport” you may discover that he had already discus that with Ross.

      As to how long I suppose years ago, an International Airport is a necessity, it is vital to our countries economy; one cannot talk tourism; and attracting foreign business without having an Int. Airport in the country! 

      Not having an International Airport is the reason Ross University left, in addition to other backwardness in the country.

      A promise is a fools pleasure!

      Roosevelt lies, and promises will work on the minds of our people, the Dominican fools; nevertheless, Ross is out to do business, and wherever conditions are better to operate, it will pull business.

      The is  nothing in Dominica to cause the pull,…

  6. Omg
    August 14, 2018

    Ross went to greener pastures in the Caribbean? It is rather strange to me. We were repeatedly told by red rose that we were doing better than the other Islands. We are really becoming a laughing stock to the region. lol

  7. %
    August 14, 2018

    Everyone who contributes,put lazy, incompetent Skerrit into hotter water .
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go Now

  8. Carmen
    August 14, 2018

    RALPH SHMALPH, GOH!

  9. Fairness
    August 14, 2018

    I am wondering why he had to give a statement and one which has has no substance to it, just babble

  10. Possie Direct
    August 14, 2018

    Skerrit asked Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to try to trick the people of Dominica again since he was successful in tricking laborites already when at a DLP convention in Portsmouth he told that Dominica could not afford an international airport, and got a resounding hand of applause by laborites, only to find out as soon as he left Dominica he took our international airport and built it in his home country of St. Vincent. But God doesn’t sleep you know because one of the main reasons Ross leaving Da and Possie is because of that same airport laborites rejected at a DLP Portsmouth rally. You see who is hurting now? All of us but more specifically Possie. Skerrit now getting that same Ralph Gonsalves to trick us again, which reminds me of when Jacob tricked Esau twice in Genesis 27:36 “He said, Is this why he was named Jacob—since he’s tricked me twice already? My birthright he’s taken. Look! Now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he said, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”Tree of Life Version

  11. Joseph John
    August 14, 2018

    Public disappointment in Ross departure is normal. Blame on the government is also normal because it happened on its watch, but the bashing…….
    The decision to move is neither political or personal…IT IS A PRIVATE DECISION of a COMPANY , a foreign company. That is all.

    • Anonymouse
      August 14, 2018

      Na, you really don’t get it.

    • Neverson St jean
      August 15, 2018

      I guess u don’t have a mortgage or business in picard that’s all

  12. Jacob tricked Esau
    August 14, 2018

    Ralph Skerrit and Ms. Mottley more than he helped them. He suggests that either Ms. Mottley DID NOT call Skerrit after Ross proposal or, Skerrit lied to him. I say that because to hear a smart politician like Gonsalves, tell us that when he was contacted by All Saints he called PM Skerrit for his blessing and in that same breath said he does not know if MS Mottley called Skerrit is proof that either he was mislead by Skerrit or is technically throwing a punch at Ms. Mottley. By the way has Skerrit told us one thing about the future of All Saints? Has he ever told us that the school contacted RaIph for help? I find it funny that Ralph was the one to break that news. His statement also suggest that Dominicans are not bright. Here it is that Ralph Gonsalves came to Dominica to convince us that we couldn’t afford an international airport and took it to St. Vincent yet, his people only gave him a one seat majority in2015, while we rewarded Skerrit with a 15/6 in 2014. Boy we zort wii

  13. Jacob tricked Esau?
    August 14, 2018

    I don’t care much about Ralph Gonsalves and what he said since he is not the Prime Minister of Dominica and, has shown over the years that he is not concerned about what is in our best interest. However his statement raise more questions:
    1. It says that Skerrit has no confidence in his ability to convince laborites that he is clean in the Ross matter. So since that same Ralph Gonsalves was able to Portsmouth, a DLP stronghold, to convince laborites that Dominica could not afford an international airport, which by the way is one of the reasons Ross left Dominica, why not have him address laborites again. I believe Skerrit asked Ralph to help defend him.
    2. His statement suggests that the future of All Saints in Da is not safe. Notice he said it was after All Saints contacted him, he called Skerrit. Boy that’s frightening because it was not Skerrit that called him for help.
    3. How could Gonsalves clear both Skerrit and Mia Mottley but doesn’t know if she called or didn’t…

    • Michelle slater
      August 14, 2018

      It is a business decision. People go into business to make money. If Ross figured they were not getting the returns they needed , they made a decision to try some place else. Barbados could only have the university here if the company was not interested in coming. If Barbados had refused, some other island would have jumped at the opportunity. How many of you if given the opportunity to earn money , would turn the offer down , and say give it to some person else. That the person is struggling more than you. You need to get real. At the end of the day, businesses is about success . If you have a problem with the relocation, then take it up with the company.

  14. August 14, 2018

    Youre a try friend of Dominica.

  15. shrewd
    August 14, 2018

    Mr Gonsalves did you ask any of your friends weather they deliberated on the issue of Ross relocation, they are your friends, a simple whatsapp call its free. Before you made any comment you should have talked to your friends. please inform yourself before you speak.

  16. shrewd
    August 14, 2018

    Ralph Gonsalves major problem is, he talks too dam much and he does not know when to stop. My brother we would never have known how foolish you are if you did not open your mouth. please keep quiet because you are not helping your so called friend. You just made my prime minister look even worst.

  17. waypapa
    August 14, 2018

    Everybody and their nenen know whose fault it isn’t and who not to blame but they yet to tell us what Ross wanted. They yet to ask Skerrit to spill the beans. Unless you can do that get the heck outa we business. You too fass

  18. RasB
    August 14, 2018

    It is difficult to understand his message. In one breath he says that when all saints approached him after hurricane Maria, he stated to All Saints that he would only house them after speaking to Roosevelt (“I don’t know if there were conversations between my friends Roosevelt Skerrit and Mia Motley,” he articulated. “I know that when All Saints wanted to come here, and they wanted only to set up a partial operation, because they’re still keeping in Dominica, I told them I could only entertain them if I talked to Roosevelt, and I called Roosevelt. He said ‘It’s alright because we have Ross’… Always I insisted that when things return to normal, those students who had come from Dominica should go back.”.) Yet he goes on to say that he was not aware whether Mia spoke to Roosevelt!! Is he trying to stir the pot by implying that she must have poached Ross from us!! Or may be he is fanning the flames of political discord by scoring cheap political points?

  19. LifeandDeath
    August 14, 2018

    Ralph is like that Charming Uncle, that blunders every now and then but we love him still..lol. Ralphie Mia Motley and Skerrit both are to be blamed..Mia never engaged Skerrit, like u said u did re All Saints and Skerrit failed to do simple reasonable things that Ross would expect from any serious government with a “Bias towards ACTION”…so I know it’s not the norm to blame our Leaders especially in the Caribbean and Africa, but the Ross situation is a culmination of a series of mistakes from an inept Leader in Dominica.
    Mia could have cared less how many ppl she put out of work, and how many banks and businesses she caused to close down. She says Skerrit is her “friend” but it is clear she does not hold him in High Esteem, and maybe it’s because he holds no real strength in the Caribbean Politics. ..and I know If that had happened to St.Vincent You Ralphie would settle novice Mia nice and proper.

  20. DA's very own
    August 14, 2018

    Living in America and working at corporate firms I can tell you when it boils down to business these firms do not care and loyalty is not part of their vocabulary. They do what is in the best interest of the company. I only blame Skeritt for the lack of transparency because Dominicans invested in the opportunity that ROSS was on island and they deserved to know how such a move would impact them. Dominicans should have been kept abreast of the updates every step of the way. Besides reaching out to Skeritt to ensure ROSS and the PM had a conversation she should not be blamed for anything. What country would not want investment opportunities.

    They survived Hurricane David, they survived 40 years without an international airport. They see an opportunity to expand and advance their business and they took it.

    Now let’s focus on how we can move forward without ROSS because we need all hands on deck. They are not coming back so don’t waste your time and energy on why and how…

  21. Pragmatik
    August 14, 2018

    “I know that when All Saints wanted to come here, and they wanted only to set up a partial operation, because they’re still keeping in Dominica, I told them I could only entertain them if I talked to Roosevelt, and I called Roosevelt. He said ‘It’s alright because we have Ross’…

    The people trying to defend the prime minister on this issue should just stop because the more they talk the deeper they the hole he’s dug himself into grows.

  22. Liz M
    August 14, 2018

    Ralph, it’s not whether or not he and Mia spoke prior. THis is very important to us yet we do not know anything about arrangements nor requirements which would help us determine whether Ross was asking for too much. Something(s) was not delivered and she was not going to take it any longer, and showed your boy who is boss without breaching any contract. It’s the lack of transparency on the relations with Ross, what needed to be done in order to return. There may have been gripes on-going for years…..we do not know. The last letter was very impersonal and vague. She showed him.

  23. derp
    August 14, 2018

    this is the same guy that said Dominica doesn’t need an international airport right… and then promptly builds one in his country huh

  24. Paul Rossnof
    August 14, 2018

    Nobody asked you for your opinion, Sir. This is Dominicas business and it has nothing to do with you. Last time you gave Skerrit advice on an international airport it turned out to be very bad advice. I guess now you owe it to Skerrit to stick up for him.

  25. Shaka Zulu
    August 14, 2018

    Go ahead make your case for why All Saints decided to stay St. Vincent. Ralph in any agreement you are provided certain conditions under which business operates. When that business grows tge conditions change adjust whatever you want call it to accommodate that business. Our dear visionary leeader has been accustomed to negotiate with nothing really to offer in return. That is what he is use to. What have we offered all these Chinese companies and Venezuela? As a matter of fact we are partly the cause of Venezuela economic demise. We have enabled and assisted the BS policies. Skerrit hands have so much blood on it it is permanently red. The only reason you throw your opinion in here i suspect is for your own benefit and plans, so when all saints move to St. Vincent you would already have an excuse. Guess what i would not blame you. I blame only lord visionary Skerrit because he has wasted 18 years and taken DA to the sub level.

  26. nng1332
    August 14, 2018

    Wait so Skerrit say it’s ok we have Ross 8-O

    • Pragmatik
      August 14, 2018

      How ironic. See that is how them man think. Just like how Chavez thought it was OK to destroy the private sector because they had oil and prices were high. Typical attitude of inept governments.

  27. Mellyann Joseph
    August 14, 2018

    DNO: I would tell you what to tell Ralphie for me, wi. But, you will not publish it!

  28. Nonsense
    August 14, 2018

    Oh please Sir… and only a quarter of the all saint students have returned… Why don’t you push the others to go back to Dominica?
    No sensible person is blaming Motley. Only Skerritt is to be blamed. After 40 years you losing a big investor. Stupes tan

  29. ELORNIC
    August 14, 2018

    According to Ralph ….“The matter which comes out stark to me, first of all, is that a business entity has no loyalty to any country or any community if that loyalty conflicts with what they perceive to be their immediate, medium-term, long-term interests.”

    And any loyalty towards Dominica right now was against the interest if Ross…given the situation of accreditation, The state of our hospital, Our air access and infra structure.

  30. August 14, 2018

    So if it was nobodies fault, why are Skerrit dem keep on lying??
    1. they say Ross was coming back, knowing damn well Ross was not coming back
    2. They is Linton that wrote Ross telling dem not to come back
    3. They blame Erika and Maria
    4. They blame Mia Motley
    5. Now they blaming Ross
    With all that lies, tells me, Skerrit is the one to be blamed, That CEO woman told us, they needed a partner that ”bias” to action, meaning they needed a partner that means business
    In local words, Skerrit doh voh a patat, or maybe allu want her to spell it loud for allu? :-D

  31. Davy jones
    August 14, 2018

    Just like you said we don’t need an international airport but you run build yours

  32. Neville
    August 14, 2018

    What else Ralph? Please stat on ST.V and don’t muddy the waters in DA as we hope and pray that Skerrit, his pretty boy Vince, users and handlers— the Arab man go about their dirty business come next election.

  33. Shaka Zulu
    August 14, 2018

    Mr. Ralph you are a snake and should keep quiet. These politicians take people for fools. You told Skerrit Dom does not need airport yet went to build one in St. Vincent a country very similar to DA topographically and mentality. Why would he still trust you? Secondly if that is the case why would mia acceot them knowing that they can pick up and leave next year and put bdos in same boat? Are you telling me our Caribbean leaders are still idiots and have no control over contractual agreements with foriegn investors? Are you telling me that skerrit does not have any negotiation skills that he boast off? Sometimes it is better to shut your trap. I know with unemployment rate in st. Vincent you would love All saints to stay. I suspect you comment is deliberate because you may be courting them to stay and if they do you would claim business decision and it was there doing. That sounds like a smart chess move. You now have international airport and access. I suspect more bad news for DA.

  34. Truth
    August 14, 2018

    Stay out of Dominicans business ralph, You are a proven traitor, With your advice , We will never get out of hell, so , Keep your advice , Thank you

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