TORONTO – Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, has assured Jamaican nationals in Canada that positive things are happening in the island.
Speaking at a reception in her honour hosted by High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith, at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto on Monday March 28, Senator Malahoo Forte said the Government of Jamaica is taking steps that are moving the country in the right direction.
She made mention of the 42 per cent decrease in crime; the success of the Jamaica Debt Exchange, which has been hailed as a model to avoid default on the payment of sovereign debt; and the Charter of Rights Bill that was passed in the House of Representatives on March 22 with overwhelming support from the government and opposition.
“Look at what happens when we do things for the benefit of the people,” she pointed out.
Senator Malahoo Forte, who has responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, told the gathering that the government wants like to engage the Jamaican Diaspora in a meaningful way.
She encouraged the group to attend the upcoming Biennial Diaspora Conference, slated to be held June 15 to 17 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
“I believe in the power of the Jamaican people. We want to hear your voice and benefit from your experience. We want to find a way to bring back the best and brightest to Jamaica,” she said.
Calling Jamaicans some of the most generous people in the world, the State Minister thanked the Diaspora for donating to communities, the health sector and schools, through their alumni associations.
The Minister was welcomed to the Jamaican Canadian Centre by President Audrey Campbell, who noted that the organisation had big plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012 alongside Jamaica’s 50th Independence celebrations.
Following her visit to Toronto, the State Minister will travel to Ottawa where she will hold meetings with Canadian government officials on March 30 and 31, and meet with the community there.
By CAROLYN GOULBOURNE-WARREN, JIS Reporter