Preparing Jamaica To Recover Stronger


Salutations & Expressions of Gratitude

Mr. Speaker, I begin by thanking Almighty God, from whom all blessings flow.

Great is thy faithfulness. Great is thy mercy and thy loving kindness.

Madam Speaker, I could not have possibly made it through this year without the support of family, friends and colleagues.

Due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19 there are actually no guests in the gallery today, a most unusual site for a day like today.

To those watching on social media, on cable, on television and to the diaspora overseas thank you for tuning in.

Usually, the Executive of the St Andrew North Western constituency would be here.

Today like everyone else, due to the pandemic, they watch from home. I wish to thank them, along with the Councillors of the Constituency, for their steadfast support and for working with me to advance the interests of the citizens of North West St Andrew under these highly unusual times.

Madam Speaker, to my parliamentary colleagues, many of whom would have wanted to be here today, but who have
had to stay home to keep the numbers in this small space consistent with what is healthy and safe, I thank you for your support and encouragement. To the new parliamentarians, you have added such energy and vibrancy to this House over the past six months. Thank you. I thank the staff of the House of Parliament on whom I rely and who are so gracious in the performance of their duties, “Covid or no Covid”.

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister of Jamaica has been an exemplary leader during this year of crisis. He has been courageous, empathetic and wise. I thank him for his leadership, counsel, advice and support. Under the most excruciatingly difficult and challenging circumstances, brought on by the pandemic, he has been unshakeable.

Thank God we have Andrew Michael Holness as our prime minister.

Madam Speaker, I thank my Cabinet colleagues for their support and for a working environment, characterized by teamwork, cohesiveness and shared vision. We have had to make tough decisions this past year, and our deliberations have regularly gone into the night with Jamaica’s best interest as our North Star.

Jamaica benefits from a first class team at the Ministry of Finance, and I thank them for their dedication and commitment.

I thank the Financial Secretary Darlene Morrison and her team at the Ministry as well as my advisory staff. I also thank the administrative and ancillary staff in my office and the security staff assigned to me who always go beyond the call of duty.

I thank our new Minister of State, Hon. Marsha Smith, for jumping in the deep end working towards Jamaica’s recovery.

I also would like to thank the Board, management and staff of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) critical institutions that play a key role in Jamaica’s economy who have had a challenge task this year, marked by uncertainty.

Again Mr Speaker, most of all I would like to thank my family, who now share me with North West St Andrew and by
extension Jamaica. To my brothers and sister, thank you.

To my wife and children, thank you for your love and support. You help me maintain balance and perspective and without you I could not do what I do. I am indebted to my parents, the late Justice Neville Clarke and Mrs. Mary Clarke, for imparting values I cherish in our upbringing.

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