Jerry Brisbane, proprietor of O.D. Brisbane & Sons, has started a petition requesting the resignation of Minister of National Security, Immigration and Labour for calling on Dominicans to boycott Brisbane’s business Brizees Mart.
Brisbane has set up an online petition via Dominica News Online (DNO), the first e-petition in the country. Readers are directed to the petition site, also constructed by DNO, after clicking on a banner advertising the petition. The banner is located below the headline story.
“Recently, Minister for National Security, Immigration and Labour Charles Savarin called on the public via the airwaves to boycott our business O.D. Brisbane & Sons, a local company which has employed thousands of Dominicans over the years. As such, O.D. Brisbane & Sons is calling on citizens to join us in petitioning for the removal of the Minister.
“Petition forms are also available at our head office in Canefield,” the petition introduction reads on the petition site.
The site further states: “Only the first name of persons who signed the petition will appear for public viewing; the last name will not appear. This petition is being undertaken in the strictest confidence.”
On a radio program hosted by Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphans with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit joining in via the telephone, Savarin called on Dominicans to “boycott” Jerry Brisbane’s business, Brizees Mart.
The minister’s comments came in response to Brisbane’s publication of two letters he (Brisbane) sent to donor countries and organisations raising concern over what he said was government’s decision to take a $27 million loan to build an “unnecessary” new luxury State House during times of financial crisis. Another of these letters spoke against “poor tendering practices” by the government on important infrastructural projects.
Brisbane’s letters were first published in response to a previous statement from the prime minister who had accused some Dominicans of writing to donor countries asking them to stop providing funds for developmental projects around the country.
Brisbane had sought to clear his name by posting the two letters. The businessman stated that none of the letters stated that donor countries should withdraw monetary assistance from Dominica.