Speech

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great sense of humility that I stand here in this hallowed House for the 12th consecutive year, on behalf of the constituency and people of Western Portland. For this, I wish to thank the Almighty Father whose guidance and answers to prayers have made it possible.

I wish to acknowledge and thank the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, for his continued confidence in me, and his great role in leading this Government.

I wish to thank my family including my five children who are here, for their sacrifice, understanding and support.

Mr. Speaker, this year in Parliament is of great significance, as I have now been joined by my beloved wife in Parliament who is representing Eastern Portland, after a historic by election victory on April 4. As a result, I have gone from being Mr. Portland, to being the husband of Ann-Marie.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that the parish of Portland is now the only parish which does not have an Opposition Member of Parliament. To put it another way, it is represented in Parliament fully by the Jamaica Labour Party.

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time since 1980, 39-years ago, and we intend to keep it that way.

I therefore look forward to working with the new Member of Parliament in continuing the journey of making Portland prosperous for all.

I wish to thank my extended family, four (4) councillors in Western Portland, three (3) councillors in Eastern Portland, councillor caretakers, management team, delegates, workers and supporters, for their support and understanding, as I carry out my role as both Minister and Member of Parliament.

Based on speaking time constraints, Mr. Speaker, I will make my presentation on constituency and parish matters in the upcoming Constituency Sectoral Debate in September.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to thank the dedicated team of professionals at the Ministry led by Permanent Secretary Audrey Sewell, Director General Dr. Sharon Crooks, as well as the Heads of Agencies and Branches at the Ministry.

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