Speech

Madam Speaker,
This is my first sectoral presentation as Minister of National Security for the new term of office. It comes in the middle of the COVID-19 public health pandemic, which, when added to the chronic epidemic of violence in our society, signals that the country is going through two major crises at this time. This novel coronavirus has derailed a number of critical aspects of our Government’s plans. However, we remain resolute in ensuring violence reduction, increased public safety, and good order in our country.

I wish to acknowledge and thank the Prime Minister for his continued confidence in allowing me to serve in this capacity. My appointment to the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security speaks to the level of responsibility with which I have been entrusted. I wish to assure him and his Cabinet that his mission and charge will be carried out successfully.

I wish to express my appreciation to my Cabinet colleagues and to remind them that it is our responsibility with this
renewed mandate to maintain and further develop the social, economic, and national security imperatives of the country. Given the impact of COVID-19, we must continue to be innovative in our approach to all aspects of nation building.

To my fellow Parliamentarians, on both sides of the aisle, the general elections of September 3rd ushered in a new
term in our Parliament, and the beginning of a new era having now, the largest number of female members of
Parliament since Independence. We have a significant pool of young, first-term members, and a good showing of experienced veterans. This is the will of the people.

It is an opportunity for us to deliver strong legislation, relevant to our times and in keeping with the needs of Jamaica. They have given us the personnel, and they have given us the majority. We cannot fail. The people of
Jamaica are counting on us!

To my constituents in North West St. James, my deepest appreciation for entrusting me with representing you for a 5th consecutive term. I will continue to serve you with sincerity and commitment. North West St. James has long been the political axis for the parish of St. James, and for the Western region. As a matter of interest, North West St. James elected Jamaica’s first female Member of Parliament in 1944, Ms. Iris Collins. MP Collins was a woman before her time, and has set the stage for today’s historic showing of a strong contingent of women in Parliament.

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