Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit says consultations must be held with the private sector before July 4th can be declared as a public holiday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of CARICOM.
CARICOM countries were given an option to adopt the holiday in recognition of the milestone. So far a few countries, including Grenada, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis have chosen to adopt the holiday.
Prime Minister Skerrit stated that as of current discussion, Dominica is unlikely to adopt this holiday.
“In regard to the decision by CARICOM to declare July 4th as a national holiday ,to mark the 50th anniversary of CARICOM. We have not in Dominica taken a decision, it is left to individual countries to make that determination. So it was not an imposition by CARICOM on member states. There are a couple of member states that have made that declaration. I will say that it is very unlikely that this decision will be made in Dominica as well,” the Honorable Prime Minister stated.
He added that before any decision is made, government will meet with the private sector entities for consultations.
“Public holidays bring with them a certain cost, especially to small businesses because once you have a public holiday, you must be paid but the employer is making no money on that day and with all of the challenges that we have I am unsettled in my mind about taking the matter to the cabinet and seeking the cabinets approval on this at this time. If we are to give consideration to it I would like for us to have consultations with the private sector entities before, to get their feedback on this. From the government standpoint it is easy to do but from the private sector standpoint it can pose a challenge to them,” the Prime Minister explained.
CARICOM came into existence with the signing of the treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4th 1973.