Mr. Speaker…
I rise to make my contribution to this year’s Debate, with a renewed sense of gratitude and purpose. I am thankful to the Almighty Mr. Speaker, that Jamaica continues to pull through the clutches of COVID-19. I am thankful Mr. Speaker, to be a part of this Administration of
focused and forward-thinking Ministers, led by the Most Honourable Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.

This Prime Minister continues to demonstrate extraordinary leadership in these challenging times, and I sense a strong feeling of pride that Jamaicans here and overseas have, when they call his name. I thank him for his continued confidence in me, four years and four months into our stewardship.

I am grateful to you Mr. Speaker, for your leadership of this House, and I also salute you as a kindred spirit of Local Government. I am thankful to my colleagues on both sides of this House, for the confidence they have in me and the respect they continue to show me.

My gratitude to my political family in Western Kingston is unending Mr. Speaker. I am thankful for their continued confidence in me, from my Constituency Executive, to all the people of this special part of Kingston. I pledge to continue to do all in my power to improve the quality of life for the people of West Kingston, and build on the legacy of my mentor and predecessor, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga.

Mr. Speaker, we lost a number of elected and administrative servants of the Local Government system over the past year. We are grateful for the service they gave, and wish God’s continued comfort to their families.

I thank the Permanent Secretary, the leadership team and staff of my Ministry, and the staff in the Agencies.

I salute the Mayors, Councillors, and all the staff in the Local Authorities.

I also say thanks to my personal staff and my protective personnel, who have been with me in what would seem to be the endless late nights and early mornings.

Mr. Speaker, my family has endured great sacrifices in supporting me throughout my political career. My children continue to be a source of pride and inspiration for me as I go about my duties. There are almost no words to describe my feelings for Marcia, my beloved wife of 43 years. She is the soft answer that turneth away wrath, but she is also my rock, my shield, my place of refuge. I give God thanks every day for her unconditional love, a love that is deeper and sweeter with time, and I look forward to many, many more years of togetherness.

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