‘Active citizenship’ is going to be at the core of Barbados’s transformation – Mia Mottley

Mia Mottley

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, in a keynote address at the annual “Bring on the Spring” event in Toronto on Saturday, stressed the importance of “active citizenship.”

Mottley told a large gathering of Barbadians at the event, organized by the Barbados Canadian Foundation, that “active citizenship” is going to be “at the core of Barbados’s “mission transformation to become world class.

“And when we speak therefore of the words of our anthem ‘upward onward,’ we want it to resonate wherever Bajans are.”

She told the gathering that by the first of May, “we want to settle a mission that will allow us to achieve world-class status. We want to be blue and green.

PM Mia Mottley Barbadian High Commissioner  Gline Clarke

“You can either choose to look at Barbados as a small island developing state or you can choose to look at us as a large ocean state, a large ocean state at a time when the next frontier to save this planet is the ocean. And it therefore changes the geopolitics and the relationships that we must cultivate.”

Mottley told ex-patriate Barbadians that their responsibility is dual. She said they need to be good citizens of Canada “and active citizens of their homeland as well.”

“Do what you have to do and do it to the best of your ability,” she told them.

Mottley warned that “we must keep our country safe and healthy.”

She said “without safety, we have nothing as a society. Anarchy rules.

“And that is why this continued madness of allowing people to access automatic weapons through going in stores and purchasing them is at the core of the mass public shootings that we are seeing across this hemisphere.”

“And for those who say that they have a right to bear arms, I use the words of my dear friend, ‘Brave’ Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, that ‘the right to bear arms is not the right to traffic arms and regrettably, you in Canada and we in the Caribbean continue to suffer as a result of that movement and trafficking of arms, causing our societies now to be literally torn in ways for which we have not prepared ourselves.”

Mottley expressed her appreciation for the Barbados Canadian Foundation, acknowledging the over $90,000 raised for a hospital in Barbados. She also spoke of the strong relationship between Canada and Barbados and the importance of continuing to strengthen it.