Hector ‘Spags’ John calls on Government to finance an Office for the Opposition Leader
Leader of the opposition, Hector ‘Spags’ John believes that Dominica can learn several lessons from the 35th Annual Conference of the Caribbean, America’s and Atlantic region of the CPA which was held in Trinidad and Tobago from July 21st – 31st, 2010. He said among lessons to be learnt is the fact that the leader of the opposition in most Caribbean countries have an office with staff that is being paid by the government.
John believes that the provision of such a facility is critical, if any opposition leader is to make a meaningful contribution towards his country’s national development. He said ‘as the Opposition Leader people see you as the shadow of the Prime Minister and I think that the creation of such an office in Dominica should be priority, not just for Hector John but for anyone else who may hold the post in the future.’
John who described the conference as informative, said that it provided him with an opportunity to obtain first hand information from his regional colleagues, on several pertinent matters such as the importance of the opposition’s role in parliament, and how to develop points and make meaningful presentations on behalf of the people whom they serve.
Mr. John said that he marveled at the level of respect that was bestowed to the fellow parliamentarians by the Speaker of their respective Houses. He said ‘another thing that was striking is the fact that Caribbean nationals understand our cause, and what we stand for as a party. We also received the opportunity to speak to the various delegates and to be interviewed on Channel CNC3 Television, where we discussed several issues that are confronting us such as Electoral Reform.’
The Parliamentary Representative for the Salisbury Constituency said that while Dominica’s Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Alix-Boyd Knights was in attendance, he is rather disappointed that an elected member of the Dominica Labour Party was not present.
‘I think that was an opportunity for young parliamentarians on the Government side to make contributions and learn from other parliamentarians on how to conduct themselves in the House of Assembly, conduct research and make presentations in the House of Assembly,’ said the newly appointed Opposition Leader.