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UWP leader say they are ready to govern and issue a warning to DBS Radio

United Workers Party (UWP) leader Dr. Thomson Fontaine has issued a warning to State-owned DBS who he says continues to deny them access to the radio station.

The UWP and other opposition members over the past years have been at loggerheads with the radio station and have even taken the matter to court for denial of access time on the radio station.

This latest episode involves the radio station refusing to air a live press conference of the UWP on January 4, 2024.

At its press conference, Dr. Fontaine explained that the UWP had gone to DBS seeking the cost for the live broadcast and after agreeing on the fee and airtime, the management of the radio station refused to carry the press conference live.

“We are fed up with DBS and that nonsense, the court has ruled on denying the opposition access to the national radio station in a Nevis case and that overturned an election, DBS, we are warning you to stop such behaviour because it will not be tolerated,” Dr. Fontaine stated.

He also stated that in the coming weeks, his party plans to host a major Agriculture and Tourism Forum in the first half of the year to revitalize these “crucial sectors, fostering economic growth and prosperity for the nation”

The forum he explained, is slated to be “a comprehensive gathering, bringing together a diverse range of voices, including experts, policymakers, and ordinary citizens.”

“This inclusive approach aims to gather insights, ideas, and perspectives from all corners of society to create a comprehensive master plan for the rejuvenation of these vital sectors,” Dr. Fontaine stated.

Dr. Fontaine acknowledged and commended the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) government for having made some strides during its 23 years in office including “initiatives for elderly care, housing provisions, infrastructural projects, and youth employment through the National Employment Program (NEP).”

But he lashed out at them stating that, “despite these efforts, the enduring record of the DLP administration is one of low and declining growth; massive youth unemployment, escalating poverty, deteriorating health and education sectors, foreigners given preference over locals in the awarding of contracts and work and an increasingly frustrated and demotivated population.”

He highlighted what he describes as “a significant failure by the government to uplift the lives of the people of Dominica.”

“Specific areas of concern include the alleged mismanagement of funds from the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme, neglect of the agriculture sector, disregard for public health, continued negligence of the country’s youth, and an apparent rise in public corruption related to resource management,” he said.

He also highlighted some economic performance figures explaining that “a modest average growth of 1.5% over 23 years, falling significantly short of the 6 to 7% required for transformative change. Youth unemployment rates were highlighted, indicating a worrisome figure exceeding 70%. Furthermore, wages have reportedly remained largely
stagnant, while inflation has averaged a 4% increase, contributing to exorbitantly high prices across various sectors.”

According to the UWP, when his party assumes office after the next general elections, they will spare no efforts in restoring agriculture to its former glory and beyond with increased production and exports, development of the marijuana industry, and value-added agro-processing combined with a focus on the export of water and other base water industries.

“We will not allow you our farmers to suffer any longer,” he said.

He also spoke about what he described as “the mounting debt burden, surpassing the critical threshold of 100% of GDP.”

He stated that the current debt service arrangement, demanding as much as 12 cents for every tax dollar collected, was “an additional strain on the nation’s financial resources.”

“These critical assessments of the government’s performance underscore the urgency for a reevaluation of policies and a reassessment of priorities to address the multifaceted challenges faced by the people of Dominica,” the former IMF Economist stated.

On the issue of the country’s healthcare system, he expressed sorrow over the current state of the healthcare system and highlighted the unfortunate deterioration of the health system to a point where even basic painkillers are reportedly unavailable.

“People fear a hospital stay worried that they may not come back alive if they go to the hospital with some preferring to remain at home with the pain,” he said.

He said that under a United Workers Party administration, there would be a dedicated and urgent focus on revitalizing the health system while maintaining the highest quality of healthcare and ensuring accessibility for all.

Dr. Fontaine outlined the party’s commitment to establishing a top-tier education system and sports infrastructure, aiming to empower youth in wealth-building, sports success, academic achievements, online income generation, and quality job provision.

He also stated that the banking sector, continues to decline under the DLP rule, reducing commercial banks from five to two. 

“We will seek to grow the private sector once given the opportunity by you, the people of Dominica, to govern this country and this will include honouring the government’s commitments to small businesses,” he stated.

The UWP he said is committed to putting the workers and people of Dominica First.

“We will not fail in our efforts to continually care for and give priority to our people within the borders of our country, including through a review of the memorandum of understanding with the Chinese government and any other similar arrangement,” he said.

“While we continue to welcome foreigners into our country, we shall never allow the indignity and disregard that has been shown to our workers in this country to continue, nor shall we ever make second-class citizens of our people.”

He stressed that the path the nation is on should extend beyond the United Workers Party, as the objective of repairing what’s broken in Dominica, of constructing a larger and improved nation, transcends any individual or political party. With this in mind, the UWP leader appealed to all the people of Dominica, regardless of political affiliation or persuasion, creed or faith but with an interest in building a better country for all to join together in this fight.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. ‘We are fed up with DBS and that nonsense, the court has ruled on denying the opposition access to the national radio station in a Nevis case and that overturned an election, DBS, we are warning you to stop such behaviour because it will not be tolerated,’ Dr. Fontaine stated.”

    And he offered no evidence that DBS had actually “promised” to attend and carry the conference or that DBS was “denying” access to his party. In fact, DBS even issued his party a proforma invoice for the costs of the broadcast. Fontaine wishes to play leader while he is on vacation so et him have his say. Once he checks in at Douglas-Charles for his flight to South Sudan, Linton will take over and we will be back to “missing beelyons” and “electorial reform.”

  2. Will Fontaine leave his cushy job in south Sudan to come home to lead a party that has no chance of winning more than three seats (at best) in general elections if it were called today? i think not. He has shown that he does not believe that he has to be on the ground to rescue his failing party. Lol! This guy is a real fraudster!! He keeps broobrooing his supporters. Heheheh!

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