Gala celebrates Jamaica independence


Gala celebrates Jamaica independence
By Jasminee Sahoye

As Jamaicans around the world observed the country’s 52nd independence anniversary yesterday, Canadians of Jamaican heritage will celebrate with one of that country’s government ministers at a gala in Toronto on Saturday.

Jamaica’s State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, Sheila Sealy Monteithwill deliver the keynote address at the gala at the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA).

Jamaica gained independence status from British rule on Aug. 6, 1962.

According to Canada’s 2011 Census, the population of Jamaican Canadians is 256,915. They comprise about 30% of the entire Black Canadian population.

The gala is being held under the patronage of Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sheila Sealy Monteith.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne extended greetings to the province’s Jamaican Canadian community on the anniversary, saying “Thank you to our province’s Jamaican Canadian community. Your contributions have helped establish the extraordinary quality of life we enjoy in Ontario. Thank you also for the businesses you build and the jobs you create that so greatly benefit our society and our economy.

“This occasion is a wonderful opportunity to honour the richness of Jamaica’s history, culture and traditions. It is also a chance to celebrate our province’s Jamaican communities and all you Damion Crawfordbring to the incredible Ontario we have built together,” the premier says in a statement.

Some financial good news came this week for Jamaica, which is expected to benefit from a contribution of $5 million from the Canadian government to assist in public fiscal management, part of a $15 million commitment to be allocated to eastern Caribbean countries over fiscal years 2014 to 2017 under an International Monetary Fund program.