JIS News

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, has confirmed that the Blue Hole Nature Park in St. James has been added to the list of projects which are to be given national focus on Labour Day.
Miss Grange said that although the project was not submitted to her until after the launch of Workers Week, on May 1, it has been added to the three previously listed projects in the spirit of inclusiveness which she hopes will prevail on Labour Day, May 25.
“Labour Day is not divisive. It is inclusive. It is a time when each one helps one, when each one chips in,” Miss Grange said.
She explained that the Blue Hole Nature Park project was suggested to her by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and Spokesman on Labour, Derrick Kellier, on May 5 while in Parliament, as needing support from the National Labour Day Secretariat.
It has now been added to the original three projects for national focus: the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital, St. Ann; the Riversdale Sports Court, St. Catherine; and the Ginger Resuscitation Project in Clarendon. She also noted that these developments mark a change from the previous policy of having a single National Labour Day project, to the current administration’s aim of having a project for national focus in each parish.
She stated that the three projects selected originally for focus, were the only ones that she had received in response to her letter to all 60 MPs on April 15 asking them to nominate projects.
Miss Grange said that a maximum of $500,000 will be granted to each of the four projects by the Secretariat. No money will be given to Members of Parliament upfront, and bills of quantity and invoices will have to be produced in the end, as Labour Day projects emphasise volunteerism.
Parish Councils, as well as the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and the Portmore Municipal Council, will be allocated $100,000 each. In addition, MPs have had their Labour Day projects approved for financing by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
“It is not true that millions of dollars will be spent on the four projects by the Labour Day Secretariat,” Miss Grange said, in response to Opposition claims that they would cost about $4 million each.
“The budget for Workers’ Week (which includes National Labour Day) is $11 million, a little less than last year. From this sum, the Secretariat has to plan and execute the National Launch, the National Church Service, National Labour Day Concert, grants to Parish Councils, as well as assistance to the projects, publicity advertising campaign, and funding for the Secretariat’s activities,” she said.
Miss Grange said that she hoped that the issue of where the four main projects are placed will not create divisiveness during the celebrations.
“Each Jamaican has something to offer. Whatever you can do to make a difference, make that your Labour Day project. Let’s “ketch the vibes” this Labour Day,” the Minister urged.

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