JIS News

President of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), Sandra Carnegie-Douglas has thanked Prime Minister P. J. Patterson for his legacy of visionary leadership and outstanding record of political fortitude and dedication to Jamaica.
“Your ‘tallawah’ characteristic in standing up to international powers loom prominently in the records of your achievements,” she said.
Mrs. Carnegie-Douglas was speaking at a ceremony held at the JCA community centre in Toronto, where hundreds of Jamaicans living in Canada turned out on Saturday, February 18, to bid farewell to Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, who will be stepping down soon as leader of the country.
The event, which was organized by the Jamaican Consulate General, in collaboration with the JCA and the Jamaican Diaspora-Canada Foundation (JD-CF), was also attended by government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.
“You have made Jamaica proud, you have made the Jamaican Diaspora proud, you have made pan-Africanists proud, and you have made all who stand for social justice proud,” Mrs. Carnegie-Douglas told the Prime Minister.
President of the JD-CF, Phillip Mascoll, thanked the Prime Minister for several initiatives that had taken place, “under your watch”.
“Thank you for ending the bondage with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), thank you for Highway 2000, thank you for the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), thank you for ending political tribalism, and thank you that in every corner of Jamaica, somebody has a telephone,” Mr. Mascoll said.
In his remarks, Mr. Patterson, who has been Prime Minister for the past 14 years, said the time had come to pass on the baton and within the next five to six weeks, the seventh Prime Minister since Independence would be installed.
The Prime Minister said he was looking forward to enjoying different parts of Jamaica and also writing, because it was important “to record our successes and challenges, and not to allow others to write our history”.
He noted that there have been a number of positive developments during his time as leader of the country, and he was proud to have been part of the reforms and initiatives that the government had undertaken.
Highlighting some of the positives, the Prime Minister said it was a deliberate strategy “to pull Jamaica out of the lion’s jaw of the International Monetary Fund, because in order to chart your own course, you have to be in control of your own destiny”.
He also cited the electoral system that could compare with any in the world, the advances made in Information Technology, the National Health Fund and the National Insurance Fund, “with special benefits for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, diabetes and obesity”.
Turning to crime initiatives, Mr. Patterson spoke of the positive results of Operation Kingfish, noting that the security forces would continue their relentless war against criminals. “There is nothing that Jamaica cannot achieve once there is law and order,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he hoped the country would become a prosperous and dynamic one, which “upholds the fulfillment of human rights, dignity for all persons and builds continual social progress based on shared values and principles of partnership”.
Mr. Patterson thanked members of the Jamaican diaspora for their support over the years, and for helping “to lift our country and move our people forward”.
Highlighting a number of Mr. Patterson’s accomplishments, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Carl Marshall, noted that Jamaica has been blessed for having Mr. Patterson as its leader.
The High Commissioner said not only has Mr. Patterson improved the physical infrastructure of Jamaica, but also the minds of Jamaicans through the increased emphasis on education.
Also in attendance were Aloun N’dombet Assamba, Minister of Industry and Tourism; Senator Delano Franklyn, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Dale Jones, Acting Consul General of Jamaica; Michael Lashley, the Consul General of Trinidad and Tobago; and Laureano Cardoso, the Consul General of Cuba.

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