Madam Speaker, we have been taught that it’s when we are going through trials and tribulations that we must  especially give thanks. And so in the midst of our challenges, let us continue to give God thanks.

I think of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Madam Speaker, the theme of my presentation in the Sectoral Debate for the last fiscal year was ‘Regroup. Re-engineer. Re-open’. That succinctly captured the focus of the Ministry’s work in a year like no other. Having re-grouped and re-engineered, we have been able to resume some activities and we’re getting ready to re-open the wider entertainment sector. The re-opening will look and feel different — because we have to be different to protect ourselves and each other.

Additionally, we have engaged in wide consultations to ensure that the protocols will help us all to be safe.

Entertainment and sports aren’t just fun and games — they’re businesses on which many of our people depend to put food on the table.

Entertainment and sports also provide therapy and release as we navigate these challenging times.

This pandemic has shown us, in so many ways, why we must change things that we normally do and/ or accept in Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. We have to re-evaluate what we consider to be of value. We have to devise a better deal for our creative and athletic people. We have to strengthen our mechanism to support and
facilitate the people in our sectors. In short, Madam Speaker, we have to be, Better and Stronger.

I give thanks for the support and guidance of the Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, as we work
towards Building Back Stronger.

I give thanks for my colleague Ministers in the Cabinet and the ways in which we’ve been able to work together, as one united team, in the interest of all the people of Jamaica.

I give thanks for my Minister of State, the Honourable Alando Terrelonge; the members of the respective Commissions, Boards of Management and Advisory Boards; the Permanent Secretary and the team across the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and our agencies for all that you continue to do for the
people and sectors we represent.

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