Mr. Speaker, I am honored to make this, my third contribution to the Sectoral Debate. I thank the Honourable Prime Minister for her confidence in my ability to carry out the duties as State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment. I accept this responsibility with humility and a resolve to do my utmost to help realize the awesome potential of these two sectors.
Mr. Speaker, as I prepare to report on my stewardship of the entertainment portfolio, I thank my lead minister, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, who has been my guide and mentor. My thanks also to the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Jennifer Griffith, whose experience has guided me as I have walked down what has been, for me, a new and exciting highway. I would also like to express my appreciation to the members of the Entertainment Advisory Board, chaired by Mr. Kingsley Cooper, and the entire team in the Ministry and its agencies for their support over the years.
Entertainment, by its very nature, must work with several other ministries. In this regard, I acknowledge the ready collaboration of colleague ministers with responsibility for National Security; Local Government; Industry, Investment and Commerce; Youth and Culture; Education; Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Finance and Planning, as well as the agencies, organizations and numerous individuals who contribute to the work of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.
Mr. Speaker, my family continues to be a source of strength and support, and I thank them for that. I thank my constituents in East Rural St. Andrew who have helped me as I try to make a difference in the constituency.
The context of my presentation today Mr. Speaker, lies squarely in the question – what kind of country do we want? You see Mr. Speaker, it is from the answer to this question that all policies, procedures and promises should flow. I have too many times in this House heard the conversation focused on economic growth when in fact an economy can grow, yet the people are left behind. I put it to you Mr. Speaker, that there is a fundamental difference between growth and development, where growth is the progress of the economy whereas development is the progress of the people. I further put it to this House that our conversation should move away from simply growth which guarantees only the owners of capital will benefit, and transition to development, which is people progress.
Mr. Speaker, experience shows that education, health, environmental protection, infrastructural development, housing, and economic opportunities are inhibitors in their absence and facilitators of people progress in their presence. I beg the opportunity to speak quickly based on the time constraint to a few of these areas, in the context of my ultimate responsibility in this House i.e. the people’s representative for East Rural St. Andrew…READ MORE