Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, is urging Jamaicans in Canada to regularise their status in the country.
Addressing a recent community welcome event for him and wife Dr. Lola Ramocan, held at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto, Mr. Ramocan said that an important part of his mission is to persuade Jamaicans living in the country to seek to become citizens or permanent residents.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, accepts a gift basket from President of the Canadian Friends of St. Thomas Healthcare, Andrea Wilkie. Occasion was a Jamaican community welcome event for Mr. Ramocan, held recently at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto.
“It is important to take advantage of the facility that exists between Jamaica and Canada for dual citizenship,” he told the hundreds of Jamaicans gathered for the event. “When you become a citizen of Canada, you do not lose, you gain something,” he stated.
Turning to other goals during his tenure, Mr. Ramocan, who assumed duties on November 16, 2009, said he also hopes to significantly increase trade and investment from Canada to Jamaica; improve the public image of the Jamaican community in Toronto by building an awareness of the country’s many great achievements; oversee the establishment of a Jamaican Diaspora Fund; encourage younger Jamaicans to assume leadership roles in the Jamaican community; actively seek out jobs in Canada for Jamaicans at home; and promote a spectacular show for Jamaica’s independence celebrations in 2012.
“We are going to have the most spectacular celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of Independence in 2012. This hugely important milestone demands wide participation by all Jamaicans in every part of Canada. It is a huge achievement that our nation can celebrate 50 years of unbroken democracy, something that few other countries in the world can boast. It will be an opportunity for Jamaica to widely showcase and trumpet the achievements of Jamaicans in this country and internationally,” he stated.
Dr. Lola Ramocan (right), wife of Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, accepts a bouquet of flowers from President of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations (AJAA), Alene Miller-Chen. Occasion was a Jamaican community welcome event for Mr. Ramocan, held recently at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto.
According to the Consul General, the establishment of a Jamaican Diaspora Fund is one way in which all Jamaicans can contribute significantly and regularly to life-altering projects in Jamaica.
He said the major lesson coming out of the Haiti experience is that the capacity and resources of relief organisations and developed countries are overstretched and Jamaicans must not wait for a disaster to happen to begin raising funds for the rebuilding of the country.
In terms of increasing trade and investment from Canada to Jamaica, Mr. Ramocan implored all the Jamaican entrepreneurs to become active in promoting Jamaica to their counterparts.
President of Progressive Jamaicans (PROJAM) Inc., Dorothy Vernon-Brown, in welcoming the Consul General, assured him of the full support of the Jamaican community in carrying out his mission. “Not only do you have our support, but you also have our ideas, talent and any other resources we can provide you to move our community to the next level,” she stated.
Consul General for Antigua and Barbuda, Madeline Blackman, in bringing greetings from the Consular Corps, highlighted Toronto’s diverse offerings in cuisine, arts, culture and commerce, including a strong Caribbean presence, “to make it feel homey.”
The event attracted representatives of several Jamaican organisations in the Greater Toronto Area; members of the Caribbean Diplomatic Corps; former Speaker of the Ontario Legislature, Jamaican-born Alvin Curling; Member of the Toronto Police Services Board Jamaican-born Hamlin Grange; and Ontario Justices of the Peace, Jamaican-born Sylvia Hudson and Sam Billich.
Entertainment was provided by Letna Allen-Rowe and the Children and Youth Dance Theatre.