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Housing Complex to be named after La Plain MP

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The government intends to name the new housing complex in La Plaine after Petter St Jean. It will be named “The Petter St Jean Housing Complex’’.

St Jean has been the Parliamentary Representative for that constituency for the past ten years but he wasn’t selected to represent that community in the next general elections.

However prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the decision to rename the complex after St Jean is a form of gratitude for his contributions to his people.

“We have to give reverence and express our sense of gratitude to honorable Saint Jean for his stewardship because we all knew the state of this constituency when he became the senator in 2005. People somehow intend to forget when life gets better for them and this constituency, notwithstanding the impacts of these hurricanes and storms, we have seen great improvement in this constituency,” he said.

Skerrit made this announcement during the handing over ceremony of commitment letters for 64 new housing units in La Plaine on Tuesday.

The Dominica Labour Party never gave a reason why St Jean was not their pick this time around but Skerrit told those gathered at the ceremony that “you can say what you want about Petter Saint Jean you cannot deny the fact that he has worked hard for this constituency”

Adding, “so we must never treat lightly the contributions of our conscientious leaders. A people who have been there with us not in the good times, but in the most difficult times”.

Those sixty-four families who will benefit from the new housing facilities could be given their keys to their new home within two weeks, according to the prime minister.

The new homes are paid for in full by the government of Dominica, through the CBI.

PM Skerrit also gave a further commitment to build more homes from funds contracted from the world bank in the sum of $EC104 million.

Meantime, Saint Jean said three hundred and twenty families were given housing materials for home repairs.

“Not only have homes been recovered, reconstructed and rebuilt but through the government’s material distribution program a total of three hundred and twenty-four homes among the three villages, the homes owners were given the material to complete roof renovation,”  Saint Jean said.

He added that $EC1.4 million is currently being expended to upgrade the La Plaine water project and another $EC1.2 million on the Boetica water upgrade; both projects nearing completion.





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“Clemo” responds to Skerrit’s ‘no threat’ claim in Vieille Case

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Clement “Clemo” Marcellin

I refer to a story published on DNO captioned ”ELECTION: No competition in my constituency…” dated Wednesday, November 20, 2019, where the out-going parliamentary representative for the Vieille Case Constituency boastfully asserts that this is the easiest election for Dominicans to decide which party comes into power.

More specifically, he claimed that I, Clement Marcellin, the United Workers Party candidate, am of no threat to him retaining the Vieille Case Constituency.

Not only did he appear out of touch with the burning issues affecting the people of the constituency but his assertions were the latest manifestation of his egoistic, hubris mentality that the people of the constituency, his subjects it appears, will forever be indebted to him.

Reflectively, the out-going parliamentary representative who exposed his thinking, his very regard for the constituents as mere automated machines who are duty-bound to cast a vote for him regardless of the unfortunate circumstances they might be in.

At a time when the country is on the verge of plummeting into a constitutional crisis triggered by lacklustre economic performance, lack of systemic electoral reforms and spiralling poverty, is your confidence based on your vote for cash legacy and the peddling of state resources to purchase the loyalty of the people of the constituency?

Or have you convinced yourself that the people are incapable of thinking for themselves?

Whatever it is, I resent this thinking.

I am of the view that the people of the Vieille Case Constituency are some of the brightest minds that Dominica has produced.

Our people have always been high achievers, disciplined to work hard and earn for themselves.

Running for public office is not about competition, Sir.

It’s about laying out plans and programmes which will advance the economic well-being of the people.

It’s about empowering the youth and creating the conditions for small business to take off and grow.

I have prepared and presented a well thought out manifesto for the constituency-one that will create the path to true economic independence of our people.

For almost twenty years, the outgoing parliamentary representative has not presented a single coherent plan to the constituency he serves.

In fact, he has arrogantly and disrespectfully dropped a project here and there without any regard for public consultation.

Finally, Sir, your proclamations have eroded our pride and confidence in the constituency.

The transfer of your registration from the Vieille Case to the Roseau constituency is a clear signal that you have lost respect for the people.

The people will decide your fate this election, not me.





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Portsmouth youth set example in selflessness

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from left: Anielia Viville and Meekella Joseph

Anielia Viville and Meekella Joseph of Portsmouth took it upon themselves to clean the entire Benjamin Park on their own as their contribution for Community Day of service this year.

Anielia is a first former of the Seventh Day Adventist School (A.W.S.D.A) and said she was inspired to do the clean up after being encouraged by one of her teachers to do a good deed for her community.

She said her friend Meekella, also a first former who attends St. Johns Academy, later decided to take up the task with her to clean the park.

“This was the first time I participated in a cleanup. Giving back to my community felt fulfilling and I look forward to another activity like this one,” she said.

“Cleaning the park with just my friend was not too exhausting but at the end I must admit we were tired. The heat and manual labor wasn’t an easy task. However, at the end of the day we were elated to see such a great difference we made in four hours.”

Although they believe they accomplished their goal they expressed some disappointment in the persons who passed by and did not offer to help, as they had hoped they would, but still felt the project was a success overall.

Anielia and Meekella advised Dominicans especially the youth to keep their country clean and green to avoid excessive use of technology and should look towards cleaning Dominica and giving back to their communities.

They have also decided to clean Benjamin park yearly and they wish to encourage others to help with this big task.

The owner of the YAZZ Variety, Ms Jenny Polydore, rewarded them both with beverages and commended them for a job well done.

 





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Border security for Dominica ramps up in Antigua and Barbuda

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The Customs and Excise Division in Antigua and Barbuda has initiated protocol safety measures because of what they say are security threats in Dominica.

According to reports from the OBSERVER Media Group in St Johns, they received a leaked internal memo which asked Customs officers to comply with a request to fully examine both people and goods coming out of that country.

The memo, dated November 19th 2019, reads “effective immediately, all passengers and goods coming out of Dominica via all ports of entry including Transit Shed, DWH, Air Cargo Shed or baggage section must be subject to 100 per cent examination”.

Comptroller of Customs in Antigua and Barbuda, Raju Boddu is quoted as saying that this is standard internal practice whenever there is a perceived security threat in CARICOM states.

“In these types of situations, we need to be cautious and look out for miscreants and the harmful goods that cross our borders,” he said, adding that other regional countries had been asked to implement these measures.

The comptroller could not divulge the exact reason for the heightened security but shared that: “It could be direct results from riots in Dominica, it could be based on some internet reports that we would have gotten, it could be anything but I cannot reveal to the public”.

He said that there could also be a “bigger problem”. Boddu made it clear, however, that the department was not preventing anyone from travelling to and from Antigua and Barbuda, but said: “We have many brothers and sisters from CARICOM living here, including Dominicans, and their safety and security is very much our business.”

It is not a blanket examination, he stated, explaining “we have a system of risk assessment. We would look for the plausible risk assessments which were done in the past and we also depend on the alerts from our member countries within the CARICOM”.

He further stated that as Customs departments across the region continue to communicate through secure networks, alerting each state of possible threats to security, changes will be issued on the treatment of goods and people from the “Nature Isle”.

“We are not stopping anybody coming and we are very much aware of the protocols regarding the movement of persons and goods. We are not averse to any of our CARICOM brothers and sisters; we’re all one,” he stated.

It is not clear how long these measures will be maintained, but according to Boddu, “as the situation improves and as the community of border security agencies keep talking, we will know exactly when to stop it and to ease up”.

The measures follow days of protests over electoral reform which have included clashes between law enforcement and civilians in Dominica.

The protesters, and other Dominicans, are demanding that President Charles Savarin intervenes and facilitates some measure of reform to include some form of voter ID and the cleansing of the electors list, even if it means postponing the date of elections to the maximum extent provided for by the Dominica constitution (February ) following the dissolution of Parliament.

Many fear that the protests could escalate if those demands are not met.





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