Dominica: Bill is not about censorship

ROSEAU, Dominica: At a National Consultation on the draft Broadcasting Authority Bill held recently, Minister for Information, Loreen Bannis-Roberts told participants that contrary to what has been said in some quarters, the proposed Broadcasting Authority Bill is not about censorship or an attempt by Government to undermine free speech.


Minister of Information, Loreen-Bannis-Roberts
In an address to the large gathering of individuals involved in all aspects of the broadcasting industry in Dominica, Minister for Community Development, Culture, Gender Affairs and Information, Loreen Bannis-Roberts said:

“This Bill is not about censorship neither does it seek to undermine or infringe upon any of the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in Dominica’s constitution. Indeed all legislation in this country must be consistent with the constitution and there is ample evidence that the Labour Party Government stands committed to that principle.

“Accordingly, any statement made to the contrary is incorrect. There is no conspiracy by the Governments of the OECS to erase Freedom of Expression as hinted in an article in a local newspaper recently under the caption…. ‘We eh want the law’.”
In her address, the Minister also provided the justification for the draft legislation to govern broadcasting in Dominica.

“Justification for the formulation of the Broadcasting Authority Bill is embedded in the fact that broadcasting is a most useful tool in the dissemination of information and which in turn contributes to the safeguarding of democracy, promoting economic development, gender equity, nation building and strengthening the moral values of society. Since this tool is subject to abuse, such an activity cannot be left to the preferences and biases of individual broadcasters; indeed the risk and uncertainty inherent in such a course of action could be catastrophic for any society,” Bannis-Roberts stated. Read More

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