Holness hits the road, but...

Holness hits the road, but...

PM delivers campaign-type speech even as he declares that he is not thinking about elections

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, July 31, 2020

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PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has again declared that he is in no rush to call the general election, but there was little doubt he was in campaign mode as he delivered the main address at the handover of a social housing project in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, yesterday.

While urging those in attendance to continue to observe the protocols in place to prevent the community spread of COVID-19, Holness underscored that the pandemic has hit Jamaica hard and basically put the country at a stop light.

“Many of us are out of work. We notice that the traffic in the market is less. We notice that the money we use to get from our hustling, that is less, and it is the case right across the world. So we, as a Jamaican people, now have to decide how we are going to recover towards this new Jamaica that we all want,” said Holness.

According to Holness, everyone is now thinking about how the country will recover from the fallout from the pandemic so that it can continue on a pathway to growth.

Holness gave an example of a young lady who has been laid off from her job in the fast-food sector and now faces uncertainty regarding sending her child back to school as proof of the massive fallout from the pandemic, as he declared that he is not looking at going to the polls now.

“So, as your prime minister, I know that there is a lot of talk about election but I can't deal with elections until I am certain that we are putting in place the measures to ensure that that young lady, who works in the fast-food industry, can get back her job and return to her full pay,” declared Holness.

“And, I have seen where there are some green shoots — even in the midst of the pandemic — some green shoots are appearing in the economy. We are seeing signs of what we call resilience. And nuh mek nobody fool you about Jamaica, we have gone through crisis after crisis after crisis, hardship and difficulty, but we are perennial. We are strong and we are resilient, and we will recover stronger,” added Holness as he pointed to areas, such as construction, manufacturing and fuel consumption, which are improving.

The prime minister pointed out that, in recent weeks, he has been on the road regularly “cutting ribbons” as part of his effort to show that his Administration is performing in its quest to create a “new Jamaica”.

According to Holness, the new Jamaica will have aspects of the present country but with improvements in many areas.

“I can tell you that if you weigh up this Government with any other government, this Government, in the four and a half years, is the highest-performing government that there has been.

“ If you want to talk about a new Jamaica, when you go up Three Miles [St Andrew], it is a new Jamaica you are looking on. If you want to talk about a new Jamaica, go Constant Spring Road, is a new Jamaica you [are] looking at. Just drive down Hagley Park Road, drive on Maxfield [Avenue]… it's a new Jamaica,” added Holness, as he argued that construction was already on the uptick across the island.

“So you are dreaming of a new Jamaica, a land of peace and love and prosperity, and I am visioning your dreams and I am taking those visions and turning them into plans, and plans into policy, and policy into execution, and execution into delivery of the dreams that you, the people of Jamaica, so well deserve and [for] so long [have] want[ed] to see,” declared Holness.


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If there were no government COVID restrictions, and people were able to decide for themselves about how to manage their risk, how soon would you return to your normal activities?
Right now
11%
After new cases decline
16%
After no new cases
34%
After vaccine developed
24%
I've already returned to my normal routine
15%

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