Attorney-at-law, Tova Hamilton, was sworn in today (June 26) as a Government Senator, in the Upper House.
The new Senator was warmly welcomed by members of the Senate at the start of the sitting, during which she took the Oath of Allegiance.
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, described Senator Hamilton as “young, vibrant, smart, energetic [and] hardworking,” while praising her for her commitment to Jamaica.
“It is a truth to say that Senator Hamilton will bring her own love for Jamaica, her own sensitivity to our culture, her own work ethic honed over the years and deliberations to the debates in this House,” Senator Johnson Smith said.
She also pointed out that “new ground has been broken” in the Senate, as Ms. Hamilton’s appointment also increases the number of women in the Senate to 29 per cent.
With the addition of Ms. Hamilton, there are now five female members of the Senate.
Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Senator Donna Scott Mottley, also viewed Ms. Hamilton’s addition to the Upper House as “a special pleasure”, because of the significance of the increased “ranks” of females in the Senate.
“I do look forward to seeing the spirit which the Leader [of Government Business] has mentioned being demonstrated here in a way in which Jamaica will be enriched by that contribution which you will make,” she said.
Meanwhile, sharing that they both attended Westwood High School for Girls, Senator Sophia Frazer Binns said she has the “highest expectations” of the new Senator.
“I know that in every way, you will fulfil those expectations in this Senate and you will join the line of Westwood girls who have distinguished themselves, both in the public and the private-sector ,” she said.
In her response, Senator Hamilton said she acknowledged that with this appointment by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, “a great level of confidence is being placed in me and my abilities”.
“I now have a responsibility to ensure I execute my duties in this Honourable House with distinction and prowess, and I will not take this for granted,” she assured.
Senator Hamilton noted that her appointment is “quite symbolic”, because it represents hope, particularly “for those young men and women… who can now feel inspired to dream big and to do great things because I stand here as a manifestation of what is possible for them”.
“It [also] represents change and not just a change that is to come, but the change that is already here. I believe our society is no longer satisfied with the diet it has traditionally been fed and we have become a more discerning people and quite passionate about our future. We crave innovation, we crave transformation, we crave diversity and inclusion,” she said.
Senator Hamilton went on to thank her “ever supportive and loving” mother, Hyacinth Minto Hensley, who taught her to be courageous, the value of hard work and to be ambitious.
She also thanked Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who was present, for his continuous guidance and support. Ms. Hamilton also acknowledged the President of the Senate, Hon. Tom Tavares-Finson, for his role in her appointment and for “taking a chance” on her.
Senator Hamilton, who also attended the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and the Norman Manley Law School, has been practising law since 2007. She specialises in conveyancing, corporate and entertainment law.
Prime Minister Holness announced Ms. Hamilton’s appointment to the Senate on Monday (June 22).