Mr. Speaker, it is with humility and gratitude, and with a sense of great responsibility that has been entrusted in me, that I rise to deliver the accomplishments and plans for the portfolio areas to which I am assigned in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
Last year, I announced some of the measures that we would be pursuing in building a foundation for growth and prosperity. One year later, we are moving to cement our gains and to continue to
build on this foundation in order to create a prosperous future for all Jamaicans.
I must, first of all, acknowledge a number of persons who have been instrumental to this process.
Mr. Speaker, I begin with the Most Hon. Prime Minister, whose vision, drive and passion for his country has led to the creation of what I consider to be one of the most far-reaching and visionary Ministries to emerge in Post-Independence Jamaica, the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
I am honoured to serve in this Ministry as Minister without Portfolio and am grateful for the trust that the Prime Minister has placed in me.
Mr. Speaker, it was my father Douglas Vaz, who is present here today who passed on this patriotic passion for service to country to me. He taught me that the true measure of a man, even more than what he does, is what he gives and I am proud to walk in his footsteps in service to my beloved country.
He also taught me to walk with Kings but never to lose the common touch. Thanks Dad. My colleagues in this Honourable House know that my wife, Ann-Marie, and my family are my rock.
I am continually reassured and comforted by their love support, patience and understanding, even when my duties take me away from them for hours or even days at a time. I thank them for being
there for me, through thick and thin.
Mr. Speaker, much of what has been accomplished over the past year has been due to the hard work of a dedicated team of professionals at the Ministry led by Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell and Director General Sharon Crooks, as well as our Heads of Agencies and staff.
My team of administrative professionals, both at the OPM and at the Ministry, Pat, Diana and Sherell, are “control central”. They bring order to my hectic schedule and I thank them for being the backbone of my office.
Mr. Speaker, I must also acknowledge my colleagues in this Honourable House on both sides of the divide.
Here too, I want to add my own word of congratulations to Dr. Peter Phillips in ascending to the pinnacle of leadership in the PNP, even at this late stage, and to heartily commend the former Opposition Leader, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on her commitment and service to the people of Jamaica.