Lennox Linton addresses a press conference  on Friday May 26 2017
Lennox Linton addresses a press conference on Friday May 26 2017

Lennox Linton, the Leader of the Opposition of Dominica's parliament and of the United Workers Party (UWP) does not believe that Dominica can be the first climate resilient nation in the world unless the current administration transforms into "a government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Speaking at the Government-organised National Rebuilding and Economic Consultation held on 19 February 2018 at the Goodwill Parish Hall, Linton said he believes "resilience is the capacity to withstand and/or recover quickly from, difficulties… resilience is about toughness, flexibility… the ability to spring back into shape when something goes wrong".

So, Linton argued, "a climate resilient country simply means a country capable of getting back into shape if ever and whenever it is affected by the destructive forces of our changing climate."

The consultation was part of an ongoing discussion on Dominica's response to the devastation of Hurricane Maria on 18 September 2017. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has proposed that Dominica has the unique opportunity to "build back better" and thus become the world's first climate resilient country. He has reiterated that the world is paying attention.

At the meeting attended by officials from the public and private sectors, Linton argued that Dominica's democratic institutions are practically non-operational and that state of affairs will seriously affect the achievement of the administration's goal; furthermore, Linton continued, the idea of Dominica becoming a climate resilient country is at least five years old.

"We are failing with this all-encompassing, collective responsibility, but we expect to succeed with the challenge of building a harmonious relationship with our natural environment capable of lessening the destructive effects of climate change," he said. "The climate resilient challenge is not new to us. We have been pursuing a low carbon climate resilient development strategy since 2012 with support from climate finance donors and development cooperation partners."

During his address, Linton accused the government of many of the failings that that he has in the past- such as no respect for the law, no parliamentary oversight, no transparency, and no respect for the parliamentary opposition.