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Canadian High Commission salutes Jamaican Dr Rosemary Moodie

Published:Thursday | January 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Laurie Peters (left), looks on as Canadian-Jamaican senator, Dr Rosemary Moodie, clinks glasses with her husband, Peter Wong, during a reception to honour Dr Moodie held at the high commissioner's residence in Kingston on January 16.

As far as achievements go, being appointed a senator in the Canadian Parliament is a huge deal for Jamaican, Dr Rosemary Moodie.

She was appointed to the Senate by the Canadian Governor General Julie Payette on the advice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and will be sworn into office on February 17 in the capital, Ottawa.

Surrounded by her husband, mother and children at a cocktail reception held in her honour at the Canadian high commissioner's residence in Kingston last Wednesday, Moodie said the appointment was an unbelievable accomplishment, noting that it's still sinking in.

"I have the swearing-in ceremony in February, so the formalities are yet to happen, but I know it's going to be a bit of a learning curve and I am hoping that I will be able to continue some good, strong work and to have a big impact at that level. Really, I am looking forward to it," emphasised Moodie.

The former St Hugh's High School student said that she would never have thought about sitting as part of any government in her wildest dreams, much less to do so in her adopted country, Canada.

"No, never; the Government of Canada developed a system where ordinary people like myself can be appointed as senators through an application process, and that's how it happened, and I am thrilled," she said.

"To be appointed a senator in Canada can only help Jamaicans in the diaspora. It can be a very important development. They can now look at me and see someone that looks like them and sounds like them [because I am still very much Jamaican], and through me, see the possibilities."

Laurie Peters, Canada's high commissioner to Jamaica, said that Moodie's appointment was in recognition of her leadership, mentorship and community service, "which has significantly contributed to improving the lives of many Canadians and people around the world".

Moodie is a practising neonatologist at the Hospital for Sick Children and an associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Toronto's Department of Paediatrics.

"Her excellence in service is reflected in the many awards and distinctions she has received, including the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander from the Government of Jamaica, the Prix d'Excellence as Specialist of the Year from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada," noted Peters.

Peters said that the appointment of another female senator helps to advance Canada's vision for an equitable system of representation.

"The elevation of a Canadian of Jamaican origin to the Parliament of Canada advances that ideal of diversity (which is) so important to Canada. It also affirms the positive dynamics that immigration brings to our country," said Peters.