Dominica, last week: Top five stories you may have missed
By Ronda Luke
Mandatory DNA testing at birth
Opposition Senator Lorraine Henderson-Reid has called for obligatory Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) testing of all Dominican infants at birth, whether or not the child results from marriage.
She claims that by taking this action, "some fathers will avoid paying child support to children who are not theirs."
Tourism Minister Denise Charles, on the other hand, has stated that such a move would violate the fundamental right to privacy and personal autonomy.
"It is a clear violation of our constitution, which safeguards the rights of all citizens, irrespective of gender," she declared. "Let us focus on the spirit of the Maintenance Act 2023, which seeks to provide a just and equitable legal framework to protect the most vulnerable members of our society."
Government to pay more than EC$2 million to police officers
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has stated that over $2.4 million will be reimbursed to Dominican police officers for unused rest days.
At a recent press conference, he announced that the money would be given to law enforcement personnel at the end of May 2023.
"Police have raised an issue with us regarding their off days, that is, the off days that they were entitled to," he explained. According to Skerrit, discussions are underway with the Police Welfare Association. The only hold-up is that there were only accurate documents within the SSU regarding how many rest days police would have had.
As a result, he indicated that the government had reached an arrangement with the PWA in areas where there were no recorded rest days, particularly in the outlying districts.
Government is to award Augustus and Anthony
At this year's Independence Day Parade, government is to honour child rights advocate Magistrate Gloria Septra Augustus, and consultant Martin Anthony for their ongoing fight for children in Dominica.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced the decision during a debate on 'The Status of Children Bill' during the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament.
The Bill was one of five Bills introduced in Parliament on Tuesday.
"I wish to, first of all, recognise the sincere and consistent advocacy of what we are doing here today by people such as; Alix Boyd-Knights, Mr Martin Anthony, Miss Gloria Augustus, and my deceased friend Ava McIntyre," he said. "I wish to say to Mr Martin Anthony and Miss Gloria Augustus that the state shall recognise them on November 3 for your contribution to the children of the country."
Dominica releases travel updates for the second quarter of 2023
The Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has released a travel report for the year's second quarter to enhance awareness of the alternatives available to the growing number of travellers wanting to visit Dominica. Air Antilles will keep its schedule of three rotations in and out of Dominica from Guadeloupe (PTP) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Furthermore, beginning April 1, 2023, the airline will offer service between St. Lucia (SLU), Dominica (DOM), and Guadeloupe (PTP) to St. Martin (SFG).
During the second quarter, American Airlines' nonstop service to Dominica (DOM) from Miami International Airport (MIA) will undergo a modest frequency change. From April 3 to May 31, 2023, direct service between Miami and Dominica will operate three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, increasing to four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from June 1 to August 14, 2023.
Dominica signs framework agreement for industrial-scale green hydrogen geothermal development
Dominica signed a Framework Agreement to kick start the Caribbean's first large-scale green hydrogen geothermal development.
This Agreement establishes the framework for forming a Joint Venture Company in the coming months to raise investment in and deliver large-scale geothermal production for a Green Hydrogen Complex.
According to a news release, this Complex will serve as the foundation for a Green Eco-Industrial Park in Dominica, which has been designated as a strategic goal by the Dominican government.
The Dominica Geothermal Development Company Limited (DGDC), a state-owned particular purpose vehicle to spearhead activities that harness geothermal resources for the primary purpose of producing and selling industrial energy commodities within and outside the Commonwealth of Dominica, is also a party to the Agreement.
The other party to the Agreement is Kenesjay Green Dominica Limited (KGDL), a subsidiary of Kenesjay Green Limited, a Caribbean-based project development business focused on developing industrial-scale decarbonisation projects.
This Framework Agreement lays the groundwork for these parties to work together to build a Geothermal Exploration and Geothermal Resources Concession.