SENATOR THE HON. KAMINA JOHNSON SMITH’S
FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO TORONTO, CANADA
Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), will be visiting Toronto between 4th and 8th August where she will be participating in a number of activities across the Greater Toronto Area in celebration of 54th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence across the Greater Toronto Area.
The patriotic fervour in the Jamaican community is perhaps at its peak during this period and as a highlight of this year’s celebrations the Jamaican Canadian Association extended an invitation to the Minister to be the keynote speaker at the Independence Gala. The Gala, is expected to be a stellar event with participation from groups, associations and individuals across the full age, sex, business and social spectrum. The Minister is expected to speak about the interest of the Jamaican government on deepening its relationship with the Jamaican Diaspora, outline best practices for the donation of goods and services and provide a brief synopsis of the Government of Jamaica’s commitment to growth and development.
On Saturday, August 5, the Minister will participate in a flag-raising ceremony at the Mel Lastman Square, North York Civic Centre which will also feature performances by Letna Allen Rowe, Kay Morris and a select group of youth.
In addition, Minister Johnson Smith will utilise this opportunity to have a meeting with key members of the Jamaican Diaspora, particularly those involved in the education, health and business sectors. The meeting will focus on issues affecting the Diaspora as well as those germane to the further enhancement of diasporas diplomacy and economic engagement.
According to Minister Johnson Smith, “This is my first official visit to Canada and I welcome the opportunity to interact with a wide cross section of our Diasporians in Toronto which represents the largest concentration of Jamaicans in Canada. I anticipate robust, stimulating and frank discussions on issues of concern to the Community, as well as the sharing of ideas and strategies on how to maximise Diaspora engagement.”
Before proceeding to the Gala, the Minister will meet with the Future Leaders as part of the larger objective to increase youth engagement across Diaspora regions. The Minister is particularly keen to engage the youth who she believes are very significant to the growth and development of Diaspora engagement.
At the political level, the Minister will also pay Courtesy Calls on Jamaican-born, Hon. Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, in the Ontario provincial government and the Hon. Michael Lee-Chin OJ Jamaican businessman and Head of the Economic Growth Council.
The visit will climax with the Minister fellowshipping with the Jamaican Diaspora at the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre, led by a Jamaican, Bishop Lennox Walker. The Church is known to attract a substantial contingent of 2nd and 3rd generation Jamaicans in Toronto and is situated in Mississauga.
Minister Johnson Smith’s delegation consists of the Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Mrs. Janice Miller and Consul General Mr. Lloyd Wilks.