Senator calls for Grenada summit in Toronto

Sen. Peter David spoke at Grenada’s Toronto independence gala.
Sen. Peter David spoke at Grenada’s Toronto independence gala.

Sen. Peter David, speaking in Toronto this week, called for “a summit of all the Grenadian groups in the Toronto area to see how you can find common ground to work together.”

Addressing the Grenada Association’s gala in celebration of Grenada’s 41st anniversary of independence, David added, “but this push and this desire must come from among you here.”

Noting there are many organizations that seek to promote Grenada, mobilize the community and “empower our people here and provide support for our families and friends at home,” he said those organizations have noble intentions for Grenadians in the GTA and in that country.

“But I want to suggest that more could possibly be done and be achieved, if we find a way to work together. Too often we operate as if each of us is in a world by ourselves or as if our interests run counter to the interests of the other group – when that is not the case.

“Collaboration does not diminish our influence; it consolidates it,” David said.

“From what I have seen so far in Toronto, there is too much separation, although the various groups continue to claim that you are working for the development of Grenada. You cannot claim to do so if your personal biases are standing in the way of development or if your message is running counter to that which we are trying to do at home.

“And I am speaking to you not just as a Grenadian government official – but as a person who has been a member of Diaspora communities for many years.”

He suggested the groups might best be brought together by “some independent person who has the experience and skills in organization and capacity building, to moderate such a summit.

“That person can be from anywhere, with a history of success and the skill set to be able to bring people together,” David added.

Turning to Grenada, he said, “the news from home has been encouraging and the government has been buoyed by emerging growth in the economy after a very tough period of economic recession. The projection is for even more robust growth this year.

“But you will appreciate that many challenges remain at home. Unemployment is still too high; and the state of the health services still leave a lot to be desired. There is still a demand for more and better housing – 10 years after Hurricane Ivan destroyed the nation’s housing stock.”

David said the government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell is committed to tackling those areas in particular “and we have made significant strides in that regard. However, the government is clear that to ensure continued growth in the economy, there must be more foreign direct investments.”