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Jamaicans in Canada hope for best during elections

Published:Wednesday | February 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMNeil Armstrong

Toronto, Canada:

Most Jamaicans in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, are pleased that the general election date in Jamaica - February 25 - has finally been announced.

Maureen A. Ennis, interim president of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), says: "As members of the Jamaican diaspora we at the JCA are very much in favour of good government and will support whomever the people of Jamaica choose to lead our homeland. We look forward to the outcome of this democratic process."

Meanwhile, Maurice Tomlinson, a lawyer and human rights advocate in Toronto, said he was happy that there is now a date for the election.

"However, I am sorry that there were expressions of homophobia (from a party official) on the same platform as the election announcement. This belies the prime minister's statement that this election will be about all Jamaicans. Clearly, as with her forgotten promise in the last election campaign to call for a review of the anti-buggery law, the rights of LGBTI (Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) Jamaicans will not be taken seriously in this campaign."



In the meantime, Garfield Scarlett, a barber in Brampton, said he was hoping that the election would be peaceful because in the past there has been too much violence and people acting foolishly at election time.

"A just the betterment a di nation we want. People pon di outside all over di world who is Jamaican-born a look and a hope di best. We only can ask di people dem inna Jamaica fi a peaceful one. It's not about PNP and Labourite, it's about the better development of the country. More opportunities fi di youth dem, more upliftment fi de nation," he said.

Janet Millington, who recently returned to Toronto from Jamaica, said she was feeling trepidation and angst.

"The Jamaica I love is in need of some tender loving care. I hope this Government can continue with its programmes, best practices, and steady rise in the 'Brand Jamaica' as a place to do business and create more jobs for youth. So, I am hopeful that the prospective candidates, on all sides, put Jamaica first and put aside party political shenanigans and campaign on 'Change and Upliftment' of Jamaica," she said.

However, there are some Jamaicans, like Michelle Pryce, who live here but want to travel to Jamaica to vote. She thinks the election is being held too early.

"They should give people more time," said Pryce, who does not have the airfare to travel to the island for February 25 but would have preferred going to the polls in June.