Linton responds to removal of Fontaine as senator

Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton in Parliament. File photo

Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, has responded to statements made by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on the dismissal of Dr. Thomson Fontaine of the United Workers Party (UWP) as a senator in the Dominica Parliament.

On Tuesday evening, during a special interview in which Skerrit was questioned on the government’s performance in 2018, he disclosed that Fontaine is no longer a senator because he missed three consecutive sittings without the expressed authority of the Speaker.

Skerrit blamed what he described as a weak UWP leadership for not taking decisive action and correcting the situation.

However, speaking on Q-95 Radio on Wednesday, Linton, who said he disagreed with the decision made by the Speaker, revealed that Fontaine had already planned to resign from the senate position.

“Thomson had already decided that it would be better for him to move on and he was going to resign the senate position anyway, nothing to do with leadership or anything of this sort,” he said.

According to Linton, Skerrit is entitled in this democracy to his views and to the action he takes as the leader of government businesses in the Parliament.

However, Linton noted that it was in April of last year that Mr. Skerrit announced a reshuffle of his cabinet in which he assigned the responsibility of parliamentary secretary to Ivor Stephenson, “And since he had made that assignment in April, 9 months have passed and the person he appointed, the Parliamentary Secretary, has not been able to come to the Parliament.”

“He wasn’t there in the budget, he wasn’t there for the meeting after the budget, he wasn’t there for the December 12th meeting of the CREAD legislation…he has not been able to work,” Linton remarked.

He went on to say that any public officer or ordinary employee in the country who is incapable of working for a continuous period of 6 months, is medically boarded off.

Linton stated further that in the meantime, Fontaine is under pressure because the speaker will not accept his notification or his word to the speaker that he cannot attend Parliament.

“She decides what she want…so everything that is sent on behalf of Ivor Stephenson is fine? Whatever Thomson sends saying that he is not available or cannot make it to Parliament scrutinized…,” he remarked.

Dr. Fontaine was appointed senator in the parliamentary opposition, led by UWP leader, Lennox Linton, after the last general election in 2014.

The UWP has not publicly announced who will replace Dr. Fontaine as a senator in parliament. However, Dominica News Online (DNO) has been reliably informed that the replacement is Attorney Ronald Charles, the UWP candidate for the Roseau Valley.

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51 Comments

  1. Langue Kabwit
    January 13, 2019

    Lennox this is a lame excuse, Stephenson is not a public officer so he can’t be treated like Thompson.

  2. Oberver2
    January 11, 2019

    …so Lennox knew Fontaine was going to resign but they decided to collect the pay as long as the gov was paying, very dishonest. A strong leader would have seen it fit to hand the position to someone who could make a meaningful contribution in the House. Now, this leaves a very important question, what is the aim of the opposition? It seems like it’s 100% election reform but their action says otherwise since they have blocked every effort to debate the issue. Truth be told, a resolution to this issue, even if in their favor, would lead to the demise of the UWP. Their only chance is through propaganda which is why the SCL machinery is operating in high gear.

  3. Frank Talker
    January 11, 2019

    Thomson’s sister, Andrelina Fontaine, recently retired from the public service, having had a career in auditing, stenography, economics and accounting. Why not consider her a replacement for her brother? We need to take back this seat from the DLP.

    • Man bites dogs
      January 13, 2019

      @ FRANK TALKER, The only seat Thomson sister will get is in war infested South Sudan with her brother Thomson Fontaine ……..

  4. Man bites dogs
    January 11, 2019

    Man bites dogs, Will continue to ask for the resignation of the leader of the opposition Lennox Linton, The guy is sick weak and don’t have any respect for Dominican people apart if you white, that guy is only in it for what he can get out of it nothing else. And people who support this guy is just as weak idiots like him. Linton is an embarrassment to his self and Dominicans. Linton Go now Linton you are a loser and liar go now.

  5. LaPlaine Observer
    January 11, 2019

    Whether Ivo is medically incapable of attending, or Thompson is out of state during these sessions, the same removal actions should be applied to both of them. This just confirms how Skeritt displays preferential treatment towards Ivo and bias towards Dr. Fontaine.

  6. Sisserou
    January 11, 2019

    We Dominicans want to see more comradry between the prime minister and the opposition leader, stop the bickering and fighting. All this could be discuss over a cup of coffee. We are too small a country for that. leave the punches for the campaine trail. speaking of moving forward and in the spirit of unity we would like to see a national debate of both leaders or parties in a cordial manner to discuss national issues.

    • RandyX
      January 13, 2019

      No, the opposition politicians would do very well to stay away from Skerrit, his ministers and his operatives. The opposition parties are honest entities that work for the good of Dominica and ALL its citizens. Hence there is no common ground at all. No honest man or woman wants to be seen in the company of lying, dishonest and corrupt individuals that are only interested in their own gains.

  7. January 10, 2019

    @ News article “He wasn’t there in the budget, he wasn’t there for the meeting after the budget, he wasn’t there for the December 12th meeting of the CREAD legislation…he has not been able to work,” Linton remarked.

    Mr. Linton Sir did you expect to score a point for that statement above, pertaining to the situation of Fontaine and Mr. Stephenson? Look again and see what you said about Mr. Stephenson; I am pointing it out to you: “You said plainly, he cannot work” In other words, you are saying that Mr. IStephenson is unable to work right to this present time.

    But Fontaine is at another employment place, receiving a salary, while at the same time, he was receiving a salary from the taxpayers of Dominica, but not performing his duties. How could you expect the Speaker of the House to accept this behavior

    • LaPlaine Observer
      January 11, 2019

      The same way one of Skeritt’s advisors currently works for the Bagian government, Dr. Fontaine can do the same. You can have a job and still engage in other employment consultation elsewhere. This is the 21st century. Your reasoning is invalid.

      • Bigfoot
        January 11, 2019

        Omg . Man you make absolutely no sense.

  8. ibo France
    January 10, 2019

    Every aspect of government in Dominica is severely compromised by political decisions and appointments. A ruling political party should be re-elected on the strengths of its performance. The Skerrit-led DLP regime uses the public purse, targeted distribution of donated materials, deprivation and the demonization of its opponents to retain power. The opposition must be at the top of their game and give King Liar and his lackeys no opportunity to delegitimize any of their members.

  9. St. Joseph
    January 10, 2019

    I am not a UWP but right now this is the only party or outlet we have to save Dominica from this destructive cycle that we are seeing.
    I just want change to stop the repetious cycle of non- development.

  10. Massacre
    January 10, 2019

    Very good job Mr. Linton. We support you all the way to the polls in 2019. You have kept the faith , you have walked the walk and now we will finish the race with you.

  11. January 10, 2019

    Mr. Linton your party should have gone on record calling for a by election in Grand Fond. Saying that Fontaine was going to resign is misleading, if he was going to resign why did you not replace him before the speaker took action. The UWP leadership was sleeping on this matter, what a shame!!

    • Da
      January 10, 2019

      Of course UWP was always talking about it. The thing is you don’t listen to their media outlets so how would you know?? lame excuse as an apology for a lame DLp crumbling administartion

      • January 11, 2019

        The usual lying response of a desperate UWP supporter. When did the leader of the opposition write to the president or the speaker calling for a by election in Grand Fond? Did your inept UWP call on Stephenson to resign? The UWP was silent on this matter, because that’s how they operate, Mr. Jerome Burke UWP member for the Wesley constituency, who lived and worked in the United States during the time he was a member of the Dominican parliament, Peter Carbon another UWP parliamentary representative for Wesley same story. Former leader of the UWP Earl William was a full time student at UWI in Barbados while he was a member of parliament. How do you know what I listen to? Unlike you I have the God given ability to separate fact from fiction.

  12. mine
    January 10, 2019

    lame excuss thompson is working out of state.

    • Dame
      January 10, 2019

      So whats your point?

    • %
      January 10, 2019

      So what?
      Should he be in the Red Clinic crowd?
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

      • Neville
        January 11, 2019

        Skerrit would like that…

    • Pipo
      January 13, 2019

      Ivor in the State, not working at all. I wish him well, nothing against him but Skerrit is a conniving hypocrite.

  13. Me
    January 10, 2019

    A pyrrhic victory for Roosevelt Skerrit.

  14. LifeandDeath
    January 10, 2019

    trying Hard to not have Fontaine part of parliamentary proceedings or in fact anything in his country of Birth..Sad thing is the Man himself is doing really well on his own smarts and ability, non of them in gov’t can find a job anywhere once they leave power..

    BTW, DNO who will replace Fontaine to run in Morne Juane?

  15. %
    January 10, 2019

    Now this account by patriot honourable Lennox Linton is comprehensive,and it speaks to the intellect of the two readers. It is largely because everything issuing from Skerrit’s mouth is loaded with blatant lies that makes his utterances so obscure compared to patriot Linton who is exquisitely lucid,compendious and makes utterances which ‘packs a punch’! Skerrit can’t! A recent deliberate lie by Skerrit was when he told the world that the multitude of people he has impoverished and who came to him for survival, were really there to discuss about jobs and Dominica’s development .Skerrit they were poor and indigent people that you created ..Stop the lies!!!
    This man needs prayers,because otherwise he is leading himself down a dangerous slope..How can a man lie so Papa Bondieu!
    Ronald Charles,if you are the replacement,I like the choice!!!
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  16. Roseau
    January 10, 2019

    Mr. Linton, I am very confident that you will be the next Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica. You have acted in a maaner that will make all of us Dominicans both at home and abroad. You have the know how , capabilities and brains of a leader.

    • January 10, 2019

      @Roseau:

      You people need to stop posting things here, for the sake of thumbs rating. What is your foundation of that so-called confidence in you?

  17. Expat
    January 10, 2019

    This is comparable to someone who got fired saying ” I was going to quit anyway”.

  18. Man bites dogs
    January 10, 2019

    Liar Lair Lair Lair and more lies your pant on fire Linton you are a weakness in your social club, Linton must Go Linton must Go now, Linton is a embarrassing pappyshow to Dominica and people.

    • viewsexpressed
      January 10, 2019

      Hi Mr Liar Man Bites Dogs. Stick with the barking dogs in your camp and help clean up Dominica and our parliament from this weak and hopeless labour government. Go get a book to read on decency in politics and government, and recall, I did not send yo to read a book on Dogs and how they should be bitten, it seems that you are already very good at this nonsense. No matter what you do and say and how loud you barking like this dirty pet Dog of yours, you remain in this cocoon of Skerrit and will not be elevated to decency as long as you keep biting dogs with fleas, when last I heard. So, just as you failed inept Skerrit says: “Go to Hell, Go to Hell. Go to Hell….its none of your damn Business”. That is the false and corrupt company you hang about with. When will you learn that Skerrit is not that Role Model …he is a failure. Go on biting those dogs with fleas, you will be more contaminated and |Skerrit cannot save you,. Go get a life and stop barking woof woof for Skerrit. Skerrit…

  19. zandoli
    January 10, 2019

    Linton with all due respect that is a load of nonsense. The moment Dr. Fontaine committed himself to his new position in South Sudan, he should have resigned. There is no excuse for Dr. Fontaine to have been drawing a salary from the government of Dominica when he knew he would not have been available to perform his duties.

    To say “he was going to resign anyway” is plain silly. What stopped him from submitting his resignation letter earlier?

    I have huge respect for Dr. Fontaine, but this time, he erred big time.

    • January 10, 2019

      “To say “he was going to resign anyway” is plain silly. @Zandoli

      Zandoli, I have a better term for that statement in place of “silly” it is simply “weak and childish”

      If Lennox had anything to say about that situation, that line above should never be part of it

      But then again, nothing he had to say could justify the fact that we had someone receiving a government salary without the service for it, there can be no excuse for that happening. Imagine how many children could those monthly salaries feed

      Fontaine should have been out of Parliament from the day he decided to go to work elsewhere, that is fair and square.

  20. Elornic
    January 10, 2019

    If only the expeditious way of handling issues when comes to the opposition was as effective when it pertains to government…we would understand. While we sympathize with Mr Stephenson’s situation, shouldn’t he be retired and allowed to claim whatever benefits that he has accrued?. After one whole year of not being able to perform his duties? …..he was appointed to yet another position…..where he is still unable to perform for another nine months up to today…..while being paid.
    It does not take much, for one to see the discriminatory actions taken against Mr. Fontaine…even after he was cheated out of his seat.
    KARMA takes no prisoners.

    • Joseph John
      January 11, 2019

      So are Parliamentarians not entitled to sick leave benifits ? Is there a statute of limitation ? There is a great difference between a kettle and a pot.

  21. Joe Linton
    January 10, 2019

    “She decides what she want…so everything that is sent on behalf of Ivor Stephenson is fine? Whatever Thomson sends saying that he is not available or cannot make it to Parliament scrutinized…,” he remarked.

    But you know your idiotic comparison is chalk and cheese right?? Thomson is a healthy man working in South Sudan drawing a salary whilst he is wickedly accepting a salary as Senator from our treasury for at least a full year… IS THAT THE INTEGRITY AND HONESTY BLAH BLAH BLAH YOU STAND FOR MY BROTHER???

    On the other hand Mr. Stephenson is here on island among his people, however he suffered multiple strokes which sets him back from attending parliament, but one must note that he has NO OTHER INCOME so we must have a level of compassion….to answer “He went on to say that any public officer or ordinary employee in the country who is incapable of working for a continuous period of 6 months, is medically boarded off.” Do you really understand what is a parliamentarian…

    • %
      January 10, 2019

      Joe it’s because of the wickedness,black heart and inconscionable characters of those in the DLP that the sick man (Ivo) is still a minister, although he cannot work ..Joe this is hatred for Ivor by members of his very party. The man is sick he should get a Medical Board Off,to rest in peace while he convalesces.
      I have always said on this medium how heartless this DLP is,and I am vindicated.As for lies Joe!!If you are not an accomplished hypocrite tell Skerrit he LIES too much. Stop imitating Satan!
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  22. Joe Linton
    January 10, 2019

    “According to Linton, Skerrit is entitled in this democracy to his views and to the action he takes as the leader of government businesses in the Parliament.” and

    ““Thomson had already decided that it would be better for him to move on and he was going to resign the senate position anyway, nothing to do with leadership or anything of this sort,” he said.”

    So as leader why didn’t just ask him to resign to free up your hand to appoint another Senator? So Skerrit is correct YOU LACK THE LEADERSHIP FORTITUDE” THEREFORE I WILL NOT BE VOTING FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    As a brother i am advising you to look in the mirror and step aside as the leader of uwp and save face whilst it still early….

    • %
      January 10, 2019

      Skerrit is also correct not to mention Ivo Stephenson, the parl rep too? Are you blind folded? If not maybe you are just downright viciously wicked!
      Skerrit Must Go
      Skerrit Must Go
      LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

    • ras
      January 11, 2019

      Fontaine was a Nominated member of parliament. His position as senator was at the pleasure of the Leader of the opposition, Linton. Who had the authority to have him removed and replaced by someone of his choice. In fact Linton has promised to rotate his nominees. The fact that he states that Fontaine had decided to resign anyway demonstrates that he (Linton) is an ineffective and indecisive leader. It was not Fontaine’s call to quit. Instead, it was Linton’s responsibility to have him removed.and replaced..
      Re Hon. Stephenson, we are left to wonder why Linton has never called for a by election in the Geand Fond constituency. Is it because he knows that he would end up being embarrassed by a sound thrashing at the polls?

  23. %
    January 10, 2019

    I never believe anything Skerrit’s says .
    He wines and dines in lies.
    What a professionally deceptive leader..
    No wonder his leadership has put the country as a mendicant state!!
    He is a professional liar.
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now

  24. OJ
    January 10, 2019

    Poor and lame excuse %. What is the status of Mr. Stephenson’s health. When the UWP representative for the Point Mitche Soufier district became ill did Mr. Skerrit look for a color? You are an enabler to say he was going to resign anyway, you a passing HOT AIR bro. If you are going to label Skerrit as being corrupted, then there’s not an adjective to describe you.

  25. diaspora
    January 10, 2019

    This speaker is so bias, it was a plan they had, she willfully reject Thompson request for leave of absent, yet she agree to any request from the government side, that ………, need to retire and give someone who is impartial a chance to sit at the speaker’s chair, its obvious that this present speaker is a member of the DLP.

  26. Nacinimod
    January 10, 2019

    How disrespectful. I was going to quit anyway. That’s not how a Senator should conduct himself and the leader of the opposition not notifying the Speaker is just as complicit. Oh, and by the way, if the Senator received any remuneration during his absence, it shout be returned to the Treasury forthwith.

    • Neville
      January 10, 2019

      Rubbish, what about Stephenson then. Different rules for different people. Typical Skerrit.

      • Joseph John
        January 10, 2019

        Stephenson is very sick in bed. Opposition forces have no empathy. They do not care who they have to blame for their habitual mistakes.

      • Pipo
        January 10, 2019

        Typical Skerrit, yes. He preaches unity and practices division.

      • mine
        January 10, 2019

        The man Stephenson is sick whereas thompson is working in Sudan totally different . would like be be laid off from you job if you were sick? some of you all have no empathy for a sick person, but today is mine tomorrow is yours.

    • Osla Nacinimod
      January 10, 2019

      Huh? What about the fact that the Speaker seems to be taking sides in dealing with excuses? And is it required to notify the Speaker of an intention to resign as opposed to requesting to be excused?

      Both sides have to act better in this issue plain and simple!

    • dd
      January 10, 2019

      Did you not hear the speaker rejected his request\, What you wanted him to do?

      • January 10, 2019

        @dd, the speaker had the right to reject Fontaine’s request, because there was no reason he could apply to, for not being able to attend Parliament meetings.

        But what is even more obvious, according to Linton, is that he had no intentions of returning to Parliament, except that he would continue to receive a monthly salary from the taxpayers of Dominica, this is downright unacceptable!

  27. dd
    January 10, 2019

    Oh that’s the other side to the story. Thank you Mr. Linton.

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