Speech

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to again rise in this esteemed house to speak to the direction and developments in inarguably our nation’s foremost sector in driving job creation and prosperity – tourism.

It is an even greater honour and also quite timely to have the opportunity to open the Sectoral Debate this year as this new administration, ably led by our dynamic Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, moves with speed to address the heavy weight of challenges we inherited and stay firmly committed to our growth and prosperity agenda.

Before I go any further, Mr. Speaker, I must begin by thanking our Almighty God, without whom I would not have had the resounding faith and courage to carry on and fight for the best interest of my constituents in East Central St. James, our tourism sector and the people of Jamaica on a whole.

Mr. Speaker, I again acknowledge my tremendous debt of gratitude to my dear wife of 43 years Carmen, my son and grandchildren – they have stuck with me through thick and thin and I am really glad that we continue to enjoy happiness and togetherness.

Mr. Speaker, to my constituents in East Central St. James, I say thank you for your support and patience in my continued stewardship of your affairs. I am absolutely delighted about the range of projects being instituted that will see improved roads, greater access to water, a deepening of community development and engagement activities, especially for our youth, housing, urban renewal through zinc removal projects led by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), effective developments in agricultural projects, improved sports initiatives, stronger avenues for job creation and, importantly Mr. Speaker, the fight against the scourge of crime and violence that must be a collective effort, not just by the government but each and every member of society.

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