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Speech

Madam Speaker, first and foremost, all thanks and praise to the Almighty for His continued grace and favour in my life.

I thank our Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness for his confidence in my ability to lead a Ministry with such critical and far-reaching portfolio areas. Also, Madam Speaker, I do not take for granted the support and advice of my Cabinet and parliamentary colleagues; rather, I remain steadfast in my commitment to work together with all to advance equity and empowerment in the best interest of the people.

Having served four years in the Senate my transition to this Honourable House was marked by a collage of triumphs and trials that have brought me to this moment. Of note, I have cherished the opportunity to enter this Honourable House with my father smiling from the Speaker’s chair. So great is his call for gender equality that he would convince my sister, Dr. Michelle Charles, to trod the narrow path to Gordon House in a win that I am certain pleased him abundantly.

Madam Speaker, I thank my exceptional mother who taught us to care and serve without expectation of favour. Thanks to my supportive siblings, campaign team and friends who have encouraged and advised me.

Special thanks, Madam Speaker, to my wife, who is the glue that binds our family and to my children, who even at their tender age show a sense of duty to serve.

Madam Speaker, permit me also to acknowledge my capable and experienced Permanent Secretary Dr. Alwin Hales who leads the hardworking staff at the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change along with our agencies, Chairpersons and board members.

Special thanks to my constituency staff, Natasha May, Kerene Alman and Latavia Burke and also to my executive staff including advisors Bindley Sangster, Jason McNeish and Zaneta Scott; Special Assistant Racquel Hudson; Executive Assistant Abi-Gaye Smythe; Secretaries Melice Gordon and Kerryann Wilson; CPOs Leondrae Latty and Ramie Newsome and my Driver Henry Willacey.

I reserve my heartfelt thanks to the constituents of Clarendon South Eastern, who have placed their trust in me not once, but twice, throughout one of the most challenging times in our history.

They have made me a two-term Member of Parliament in a matter of six months—an unprecedented political milestone. My presence here would not be possible without their continued support. To their interests I remain wholeheartedly committed.

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