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Jamaicans in Toronto to view voting and counting process live

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMGlenda Anderson

Jamaicans living in the greater Toronto area in Canada will for the first time be able to join in the election fervour, viewing the voting and counting process across the 63 constituencies, as well as panel discussions, in real time, via satellite.

"The Jamaican Canadian Association and the Jamaica Diaspora Canada Foundation are jointly hosting events to allow Jamaicans and others living in Canada to view the election results," chairman of the planning committee responsible for organising the event, Dr Sylvanus Thompson, explained.

"The event will be at the Jamaican Canadian Association and activities will commence at 6 p.m. In addition to live streaming, there will be Jamaican foods, games, music, and lots of fun. Both the local community and mainstream media have been invited to cover the event."

Responding to emailed questions on the event, Thompson said that while other events have been facilitated in a similar nature, including live viewing of the last two United States elections involving President Barack Obama - this was the first coverage of the Jamaican election results.




"The bulk of the organisation was done by a very small planning committee chaired by myself. Once commitment was obtained from both co-sponsors, it was simply a matter of promoting the event. Social media and email blasts to the organisation's membership and the wider community were the major means of promotion," Thompson said.

With election fever steadily building, expectations are that many persons will turn out for the session. Thompson said that in general, there is heightened focus on the local vote.

"The interest level is very high among diaspora members. With Jamaica being a popular tourist destination, there is a great amount of interest from non-Jamaicans also.

"The expectation is that whichever party is successful, there will be a continuation of any progress previously achieved. It is further expected that the Government will acknowledge the contribution of members of the diaspora and provide a framework to easily facilitate even greater support. The high crime rate is a concern, and diaspora members look forward to even more emphasis being placed on managing crime," he said.