TORONTO – Ontario's Minister of Health Promotion and Sport, Hon Margarett Best, has congratulated Jamaica's Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, on the positive things she witnessed on a recent trip to the island.
Minister Best, who is originally from May Pen, Clarendon, said that during her four-day trip, March 25 – 28, she was impressed with the energy coming from Jamaicans, and she felt safe the entire time she was there.
The Ministers were meeting at in Toronto, Canada, on Tuesday (March 29), as part of Minister Malahoo Forte’s official visit to Canada. She was accompanied by Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith.
The Ontario Minister, who was in Ocho Rios as one of the speakers at the recently concluded International Diabetes Conference, described her time in Jamaica as “an amazing experience”.
“The conference was very informative and educational. I found the presenters to be of the highest calibre. I also had a chance to visit and tour the Diabetes Centre in Kingston and was very impressed,” she said.
Senator Malahoo Forte said steps are being taken to ensure that people are served in an impactful way. She also thanked the Canadian Minister for having had August 6 proclaimed as Jamaica Independence Day in Ontario, by the Legislature.
The State Minister congratulated her on Toronto’s successful bid to host the PanAm/ParaPan Games in 2015, and encouraged Minister Best to consider partnerships with Jamaican individuals and firms, as the planning of the games gets underway.
“We intend to make these games the most culturally diverse games, and so we have started the process of diversifying in every way, including with respect to the kind of food the athletes and others will consume,” said Minister Best.
Noting Jamaica’s reputation as a sporting giant, the Ontario Minister said she would like to replicate the success of Jamaica in Canada.
The two ministers also touched on several other topics including immigration, Jamaicans becoming more involved in the political process in Canada and the celebration of Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary in Canada.
Minister Malahoo Forte was in Canada for meetings in Toronto and Ottawa, and to meet Jamaicans in both cities.
By CAROLYN GOULBOURNE-WARREN