TORONTO – Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, has said Jamaica has the potential to be a first class, first world country.
“The journey will not be an easy one and our problems will not be solved overnight, but our potential as a nation far exceeds our problems,” she said.
The Minister was addressing representatives of Jamaican government agencies in Canada on Monday March 28, at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto, which was part of a two-day Inter-Agency and Consular Representatives Meeting.
Organised by Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith, the meeting was held under the theme, ‘Trade, Investment, Tourism and Employment Promotion for National Development,’ and brought together officers from the Consulate General of Jamaica, JAMPRO, the Jamaica Liaison Service, Jamaica Information Service, and Honorary Consuls of Jamaica.
Minister Malahoo Forte lauded the coming together of the various groups to share perspectives and learn from each other. “We have to look at new and creative ways of doing the work and ensure that we are all on the same page, because we compromise output when we do not work together,” she stated.
During her visit to Toronto, the State Minister will also meet with Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion, Jamaican-born Hon. Margarett Best.
In her presentation, ‘Managing Jamaica’s Bilateral Relations with Canada: Making Them Work For Us,’ High Commissioner Sealy Monteith noted that Jamaica and Canada have enjoyed good relations since the countries officially established diplomatic ties in 1962.
“In the years since Independence, our relations with Canada run long, deep and wide, and span the gamut of concerns and activities. They are evident in trade, immigration and technical cooperation in areas such as military cooperation, disaster relief, education, health, a total of over J$27 billion since 1963,” she said.
The High Commissioner noted that military cooperation has been a source of pride for both countries.
“Through many years of training provided to Jamaica Defence Force officers and the capacity we have built as a result, Jamaica is now in a position to open its own military aviation school,” she noted.
Presentations were also made by Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan; Deputy Chief Liaison Officers, Kenneth Phillips and Donna Adams; JAMPRO’s Regional Manager, Robert Kerr, and Senior Consulting Officer Nardia McKenzie; and JIS Information Attaché, Carolyn Goulbourne-Warren.
By CAROLYN GOULBOURNE-WARREN