TORONTO — Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, says that partnerships between Governments and citizens are important for national development, because Governments cannot do everything.
The Minister was addressing patrons at the annual “Strawberry Social”, organised by PACE (Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education) Canada, on Sunday June 5, at the Grande Luxe, Toronto, Canada.
“The Government is committed to engaging the Diaspora in a formal and structured way, and this is why the Jamaican Diaspora Conference will be held under the theme, ‘One Nation: Jamaica and its Diaspora in Partnership’,” Senator Malahoo Forte said.
The fourth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference will be held June 15 to 17, at the Sunset Jamaica Grande, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, and will have participants from Jamaican Diaspora communities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as local participants.
Minister Malahoo Forte predicted that the conference would be a successful one.
"We want to engage you in a meaningful way, to help the Government work on behalf of the people,” she said. She was accompanied by Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan, and Dr. Lola Ramocan,
The Minister later addressed members of the clergy and general public within the Jamaican/Canadian community, at a meeting at Faith Open Door Ministries, Toronto.
There are many persons who love Jamaica, she said, and together we must find a way to correct what is wrong with Jamaica.
Noting that Jamaica has a lot of untapped potential, Senator Malahoo Forte said Jamaicans can exercise leadership wherever they are.
Lamenting that many stories about Jamaica do not emphasize the good, the Minister insisted that there are a lot of positive things happening in Jamaica.
“The Jamaican dollar has been stabilized, agricultural production is on the upswing, tourist arrivals are at its highest ever, job growth is steadily rising and the crime rate is consistently falling, with the latest figures showing a 42 per cent decline in murders for the last month,” she said.
Several of the clergy responded to an appeal from Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Seth George Ramocan, to sponsor a young person to the Diaspora Conference.
By CAROLYN GOULBOURNE-WARREN, JIS Reporter