Canadian supporters of Grenada’s National Democratic Congress ramp up election activities


Grenada election expected this year

By Lincoln DePradine

Dickon Mitchell

As Grenada prepares for a general election expected to be called some time this year, Canadian supporters of Grenada’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be stepping up activities to assist the party.

In 2007, a Toronto support group was founded that assisted the NDC in securing an 11-4 election victory over Dr Keith Mitchell’s New National Party (NNP) in 2008.

The support group, now headed by Robert Nurse, has just had a name change to the NDC Canada Support Group.

“It’s going to be a Canada-wide group now, as opposed to just Toronto,’’ a spokesperson told The Caribbean Camera.

Last Sunday, Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley visited Grenada as guest speaker at the annual convention of the ruling NNP of Prime Minister Mitchell.

The Caribbean is “at a particularly difficult moment’’, which requires “steady and strong leadership’’, Mottley told delegates at the convention that’s expected to be the last before Grenadians head to the polls.

“We’ve done well. But we did well when the world was relatively peaceful and relatively prosperous. The world has now changed gear and is mirroring that instability that the world saw between 1910 and 1945,’’ said Mottley.

“What we do in the next 10 to 15 years in this Caribbean Community will determine how we survive and if we survive.’’

The Barbadian leader also commented on the Russia/Ukraine conflict. She said the English-speaking Caribbean, grouped together as CARICOM, is taking the same position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as it did when the United States, Canada and other countries attempted to remove Nicolás Maduro as Venezuelan President and tried installing unelected Juan Guaidó as the new leader of the Spanish-speaking South American nation.

“In the same way we stood up, as Caribbean people, to protect the right of Venezuelan people not to have people interfere in their matters and to appoint a president who was not elected by the people of Venezuela; we stand up today equally to say the people of Ukraine have a right to self-determination, without the interference of others. The principles that obtained in Venezuela two years ago are the same principles that obtain in the Ukraine today,’’ said Prime Minister Mottley.

For centuries, Caribbean people “have had too much of being collateral damage for the benefit of other people’s prosperity and ambitions’’, and the Caribbean Sea must now remain a zone of peace,” Mottley added.

Mitchell, who was returned as NNP leader at the convention, will be seeking another term as MP and prime minister.

He’s been parliamentary representative for St George North-West since 1984, and defeated the NDC 15-0 in general elections in 2013 and 2018.

Last October, the NDC elected attorney Dickon Mitchell as new party leader. Mitchell, 44, has met in a virtual session with members of the Canadian group.

However, he’s expected to make his first visit to Canada and US, in his capacity as head of the NDC, later this month.

“That conversation (on the visit) is in process right now. As soon as the details are finalized, we’ll publicize it,’’ the spokesperson for the NDC group said.

After the election defeat of 2018, the spokesperson said, the NDC “went into a reorganization process and a leadership search process, which has yielded the results that are very appealing to the Grenadian public. The response has been phenomenal and the work is being done in Grenada.’’

With Dickon Mitchell as its new leader, there’s been a “reenergizing’’ of the NDC and members are “more confident’’ of the party’s chances at the upcoming polls, according to the spokesperson.

“NDC Diaspora support groups,” said the spokesperson, have also “reactivated themselves over the past few months’’, and they’re “more energized by this new wave in the leadership of the party at home in Grenada’’.