Residents, councillors boo Opposition leader’s message

Residents, councillors boo Opposition leader’s message

Portmore shame

BY RACQUEL PORTER Observer staff reporter porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 06, 2015

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THE Portmore Municipal Council's Independence Day Flag-Raising and Civic Ceremony was subjected to a shameful display of partisan politics yesterday when some residents and councillors booed as Opposition Leader Andrew Holness's Independence message was being read.


Some people also walked out of the event as Councillor Keith Blake (JLP, Independence City Division) delivered the message.


"I am just a messenger," Blake said toward the end of delivering Holness's message. "Don't kill the messenger."


The crowd became rowdy, and boos rained within a minute of Blake starting the delivery.


"Jamaica gained only 17 years of growth out of 53 years of Independence, and 10 of these years were between 1962 and 1972. Then, growth exceeded two per cent per annum with a high of 8.6 per cent in 1964," Blake read to sounds of boos.


He, however, pressed on. He said that the people have a say in what the Government does, and that Independence doesn't only mean the freedom to make decisions but bearing the consequences of those decisions.


Meanwhile, state minister in the Ministry of Local Government Colin Fagan, who delivered the prime minister's message, said that the country is making remarkable progress at home and on the international stage.


He added that for the past 53 years Jamaica has produced a wealth of human capital that continues to be the nation's "greatest asset for economic growth".


"It is our people, supported by a system of equality, education and hard work, that will provide the next big move forward for our nation," he said.


Fagan said that the Government is aware of the challenges and that it is working "assiduously to improve the quality of life for all".


Custos of St Catherine Reverend Jeffrey McKenzie delivered the governor general's message which urged Jamaicans to recapture the spirit of the theme 'Proud and Free, Jamaica 53'.


Acting mayor of St Catherine Leon Thomas said that his wish for the 53rd Independence is that children will be free of abuse.



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