Speech

Madam Speaker, it is a privilege and an honour to once again stand before this Honourable House to report on the performance of, and present the upcoming plans for my new portfolio responsibility, the Ministry of Transport and Mining. Indeed it is also a blessing to be here today, given the challenging period from which Jamaica, and indeed the world, is emerging and continuing on the path to recovery. Madam Speaker, I give my commitment to making this new journey a successful one that will leave a lasting legacy for this country, which I love so much. Assuredly, I do not take this task lightly, as I humbly continue to serve the people of Jamaica.

Madam Speaker, as I address this Honourable House this afternoon, I wish to publicly place on record my gratitude to my family; my Cabinet and Parliamentary colleagues, spurred by the leadership of the Most Honourable Prime Minister; thank my Constituency
Executive, my Councillors and the Constituents of North East Manchester, who I have now served unbroken for 29 years as Member of Parliament. I am now the longest serving MP for the parish of Manchester. I want to thank the leadership and staff of the Ministry of Transport and Mining, our Boards of Directors, as well as the management and staff of our agencies.

Although I have only served for a few months in this Ministry, so far I have witnessed the staff work diligently to ensure that the strategic objectives of the Ministry are being met, despite the various challenges faced. I acknowledge the support and work of our Minister of State, the Honourable JC Hutchinson, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Alwin Hales and the Chief Technical Director, Dr. Janine Dawkins, who have all been of tremendous help to me, upon my assignment as Minister of Transport and Mining. I also wish to express thanks to the previous Minister of Transport and Mining, Mr. Robert Montague, for his hard work while at the Ministry.

Madam Speaker, it would be remiss of me if I did not acknowledge the resilience of our Jamaican people, who have proven again and again that indeed, “wi likkle but wi tallawah”. The past two years have brought into full focus the express need to ensure that we have the required policies and programmes in place to combat adversities and crises. While we have managed admirably amidst the fallout from the pandemic, it has highlighted some existing shortfalls which need to be, and must be addressed.

Madam Speaker, this presentation being delivered under the theme, “Getting Back on Track …Revitalizing with Purpose”, outlines the achievements of the Ministry of Transport and Mining over the past year and the plans going forward, as we recover from the effects of the Pandemic and put things in place to navigate and address future challenges.

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