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JET head disagrees with Portia's decision to not attend agreement signing

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2016 | 12:24 AM
Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust, Diana McCaulay.

The head of one civil society group has voiced disagreement with the opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller’s decision not to attend yesterday’s signing of the Partnership for a Prosperous Jamaica Agreement.

Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust, Diana McCaulay, who signed on behalf of civil society groups, says Simpson Miller’s absence was unfortunate.

The opposition leader said she did not agree with the inclusion of the word ‘prosperous’ from which she says the governing Jamaica Labour Party’s election campaign slogan ‘Prosperity’ was derived.
The initiative was initially dubbed Partnership for Jamaica.

READ: Portia explains why she was a no-show at 'prosperous' Jamaica Agreement signing

Additionally, Simpson Miller raised concern about the lack of consultation with the Opposition on major expenditure projects and the bypassing of duly elected representatives of the people.

However, McCaulay says the partnership has always struggled with the Opposition, noting that it is time to move on from that approach.

She argues that as a representative of the environmental sector, she has had many disagreements with decisions made by the Government.

However, she says the point of the partnership is to have a place where those disagreements can be worked out and some change made.

According to McCaulay, even if the Opposition had reason to register a protest, Simpson Miller should still have signed the agreement and raised the issues that are of concern to them at subsequent meetings of the National Partnership Council.

The opposition leader has said the opposition remains committed to a partnership.

However, she says this must be real and respectful of all stakeholders.

According to the Simpson Miller, the opposition will not be party to a public relations event that is not buttressed by real partnership and bipartisan
cooperation.