Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to speak here today, particularly as this makes my 10th year speaking in this debate.

I cannot continue without first thanking the Almighty, from whom all blessings flow. Without His strength and guidance, I would not be here.

Thanks to our Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, for the confidence he has placed in me. He has entrusted me with a Ministry that is critical to this nation’s survival and growth. The Ministry of Transport and Mining is today the number one foreign exchange earner and keeps our people and others moving in all aspects of economic, academic and social life daily.

I thank my colleagues on both sides, for their support, advice and guidance.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for your steady hands but graceful dialogue as you guide these proceedings weekly. To the acting Clerk and the staff a big thank you.

To the Acting Permanent Secretary, Dr. Janine Dawkins, and her staff in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, thanks for the privilege of working alongside you.

To my Minister of State, the Honourable J.C. Hutchinson, thank you for your partnership and support in heading this Ministry.

To my personal staff, security detail and close advisors, thank you.

To my brothers and sisters, children, Kadian and other members of my family, you have not only tolerated me but sacrificed family time, birthdays, anniversaries and important events. You have been my safe harbour. I am grateful for your love and support.

To the people of Western St. Mary who have given me the privilege to be here, I value your confidence, love and support. I am here representing all of Western St. Mary, not only the 9,700 who voted for me but all of Western St. Mary. I thank all my workers, my Executive and Management Team for your work and worth. Your efforts sent me here with the 3rd highest number of votes in the island.

Madam Speaker, I acknowledge the worth and work of our health care workers, security forces, members of the Mining Industry and all our hardworking and productive members of the Transport Sector. They have been heroes in these trying times.

Madam Speaker, as I view and appreciate the enormity of my task, in helping “Jamaica recover stronger”, I have asked the good Lord not to lighten my load but rather to strengthen my arms for with God’s grace and blessings, along with our Prime Minister’s visionary leadership, we are assured that we will overcome all challenges. In this assertion I am confident.

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