The Gleaner NA June 2-30 2022

2 A NEWLY redrawn electoral map for the state of New York has drawn the ire of Democrats. The map was drawn by a special master appointed by the court after a judge ruled that the electoral map drawn by the State Assembly was unconstitutional and ordered that a court-appointedmaster redo the map. Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke blasted the map, which she said did not represent a true reflection of her congressional district. She said that maintaining the core of the existing district is an important factor in NewYork law with respect to redistricting. “One community of interest that has been fractured is the Tilden Public Housing Development in Brownsville. This development provides affordable housing for some of the most vulnerable in the congressional district. What principle of fairness, neutrality, or logic could possibly justify the splitting of the Tilden Public Housing Development across two congressional districts? Maintaining the cores of our existing districts is an important factor in New York law with respect to redistricting. I currently represent one of the most diverse constituencies in the nation that is also home to multiple communities of interest. However, this map cracks the core and the foundation of New York’s Ninth District,” she said. Continuing, the congresswoman added that it is well known that BedStuy was once divided in the mid1960s, which led to a lawsuit to ensure their voting rights were not denied or abridged so that the community had equal opportunity to participate in the political process. REGRESSIVE ACTION “The cracking of this district is a regressive action that dismisses precedent for this community. This proposal harkens back to an era in our nation where laws were designed to limit minority representation in our democracy. The practice of ‘cracking’ or diluting the voting power of historically oppressed communities was shameful when carried out by avowed racists in positions of power in previous decades, and extremely disappointing when enabled by an out-of-state, unelected consultant today,” she said. Clarke said that whatever the intention, the draft proposal substantially weakens the political power of the minority communities in these areas. The draft New York Congressional maps, she said further, if left unchanged, does not protect and preserve communities of interest. “I am highly concerned that this map will in effect disenfranchise the power of the constituency of the Ninth Congressional District and I strongly recommend that Special Master Johnathan R. Cervas revisit the draft map and keep these historic communities intact,” the Congresswoman said. In a recent article, Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause NY, stated: “The current drawing of the congressional map divides communities of interest and neighbourhoods, particularly in New York City and Brooklyn, and ignores the core of existing congressional districts, and is not just unconscionable and erroneous, it’s unconstitutional. “As proposed, this map cracks the historic neighbourhoods of Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Clinton Hill, seemingly at random,” she said. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said that the map, as drawn by the special master, takes a sledgehammer to black districts and would “make Jim Crow blush”. Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus who represents a Queens district in Congress, said that the map disenfranchised black voters. “The effect is to significantly degrade the black population in four districts and dilute the ability of black communities to elect the candidates of their choice,” he said. New York Democrats frustrated with state’s new electoral map Hakeem Jaffries Yvette Clarke 1938: KNIGHT Grand Cross of the British Empire and Governor of Jamaica Edward Brandis Denhamdies in his private room at the Kingston General Hospital. His passing brings sorrow to the hearts of well thinking Jamaicans than any other occurrence during the last two decades. 1949: Ms Iris Collins takes her seat on the government bench of the House of Representatives after her colleagues in the Labour Party and the Rev R. E. Phillips had voted her in to office as the provisional member of the Executive Council. 1954: Daniel John Lett of Worthy Park, Ewarton, St Catherine, is admitted by Mr Justice MacGregor in chambers to practise at the Bar in Jamaica. 1962: The flag of the Royal Hampshire Regiment is slowly lowered and in its place rises theWest India Regiment flag, winding its way slowly to the top of the flagpost, signifying the departure of the British from Jamaica after 250 years. “One good thing about music When it hits you feel no pain.” From: ‘Trench Town Rock’ By: Bob Marley This Day In Our Past: June 2 GENEVA,CMC: THE DIRECTOR of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, says that the deficit in the health workforce in the Americas, including the Caribbean, reaches 600,000 professionals – and this is something that affects access to care, especially for those in rural and underserved areas of the region. During the deliberations of the 2022-2030 Action Plan “Working for Health” at the 75th World Health Assembly recently, Etienne acknowledged“the enormous sacrifice and contribution of health workers in the Americas” during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The unwavering resilience of our health workers is a testimony to their commitment to serve, save lives and ensure health for all,” she said. The PAHO director noted that, during the peaks of the pandemic, “task shifting and task sharing saved lives,” and that “patient care delivery was facilitated by digital transformation.” In that regard, she said that PAHO, through its Virtual Campus for Public Health, trained more than 900,000 health workers in the control and management of COVID-19, health services continuity and vaccine deployment during the pandemic. However, she said, “we can no longer ignore long-standing deficiencies in health systems,”which impact the capacity of the health workforce to provide quality, uninterrupted care. Among the deficiencies, she cited the migration of health workers to urban centers or wealthier countries – exacerbating the gap – lack of planning between the education and labor sectors, and insufficient emphasis on interprofessional and ongoing education. Among the effects of COVID-19, a World Health Organization (WHO) study estimated that around 115,000 health workers died between January 2020 and May 2021 worldwide. “Investing in health systems and a fit-for-purpose health workforce constitutes a priority for the Americas,” said Dr. Etienne, adding that PAHO looks forward to working with member states, partners and WHO in developing “a transformative agenda in human resources for health in the Americas.” PAHO director says Americas has 600,000 health professional shortfall 1962: A company of the Royal Hampshire Regiment leaving the parade grounds at Up Park Camp on June 2, after they had participated in the Queen’s Birthday Parade and lowered their flag in farewell to active service in Jamaica. FILE THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 | | NEWS

THREE CARIBBEAN Community (CARICOM) nationals, including the former West Indies cricket captain, Sir Vivian Richards, are being considered for the Order of the Caribbean Community, the highest award to be given by CARICOM governments. Informed sources told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that apart from Richards, the others under consideration are the former Barbados government minister, Dame Bille Miller and the Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian, David Michael Rudder. The award will be bestowed during the CARICOM Summit scheduled for Suriname in July. During their last inter-sessional summit in Belize, the CARICOM leaders had given the green light to honouring LaRocque, the seventh CARICOM secretary general, who began his service at the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat in September 2005. The communique issued following the summit said LaRocque, who served as served as secretary general from 2011 to 2021, is being honoured for “his services to the Community.” The Order of the Caribbean Community is an award given to “Caribbean nationals whose legacy in the economic and cultural metamorphoses of Caribbean society is phenomenal.”The award was initiated at the English Conference of Heads of State and Governments of CARICOM in 1987 and was first bestowed in 1992. Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, who represented the West Indies cricket teambetween 1974 and 1991, is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Richards made his test debut in 1974 against India and scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23, including 24 centuries. He also scored 1281 runs inWorld Series Cricket with five tons at average of over 55 which was regarded as highest and most difficult cricket ever played. A captain, the Antigua and Barbuda national captain, won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only 8. He also scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket. He was knighted for his contributions to cricket in 1999. Dame Billie Miller is a Barbadian lawyer and a former parliamentarian and Deputy Prime Minister. She was re-elected Member of Parliament for the City of Bridgetown for the seventh time andwas appointed Senior Minister in May 2003, retaining the portfolios of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. She was also the first woman to sit on the Cabinet of Barbados. She held several portfolios as a minister between 1976 to 2008, including deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business. Prior to her election to the House of Assembly, she was active in business and civic organizations including the Barbados Family Planning Association, the Barbados Bar Association and was the co-ordinator of CARICOMMinisterial Spokespersons with Responsibility for External Negotiations in Bilateral, African Caribbean and Pacific StatesEuropean Union (ACP-EU), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). David Rudder, is known to be one of the most successful calypsonians of all time. One of nine children, Rudder spent much of his early life with his grandmother, a devout Baptist and began singing with a calypso band at a young age. He sang backup vocals in a calypso tent run by Lord Kitchener,[4] while earning his living as an accountant with the Trinidad Bus Company In 1977, he joined Charlie’s Roots, but stepped outside the band, entering the calypso tent as a solo calypsonian in 1986. His tune “Rally ‘Round the West Indies” was modified to become the anthem of West Indies cricket. 3 Will Mr. Winston Doig, 2012 companion of Ms. Tamara Lawrence of Independence City, Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica or anyone knowing his whereabouts, kindly contact The Child Protection and Family Services Agency, 10 Hanover Street, Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica at 1-876-301-4983. NOTICE George Ruddock/Gleaner Writer LONDON: A NEW Brexit-era visa scheme launched this week to attract the best graduates from the top 50 non-British universities who would like to work and live in the UK, has been chastised for not including those from African and Caribbean countries. THE ‘TOP talent’ visa scheme will allow eligible individuals who hold a degree, equivalent to a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, along with their dependents, to come to the UK without a prior job offer. Ministers hope this specialised visa route will attract the ‘brightest and best’ to work in the UK. The most recent list of eligible universities from 2021, published online by the UK government, comprises 20 US institutions, plus universities from Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, France, Sweden and Switzerland. However, there are no listings for any universities from the Caribbean or African countries. This exemption has been criticised by educationalists as undervaluing the graduate programme from these countries. Nick Hillman, a director at the Higher Education Policy Institute in Oxford, told the New Scientist online: “This is the sort of idea the Home Office loves, because it allows them to look liberal while maintaining close control. I’m sceptical about it, because ‘top’universities and the best universities are not the same when it comes to teaching quality.” Professor Olusola Oyewole, secretary general at the Association of African Universities (AAU), called the Home Office“wrong”to undervalue the talent of African graduates. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, he said: “I believe Britain is unfair to African graduates, using the ranking of universities as a criterion for engagements. The UK is wrong to assume that graduates from high-ranking universities are more skilled than graduates from Africa. “I do not want to make excuses for African universities, because their mission may not be the same as those of Europe and America that had been in existence for many hundreds of years. But a ranking system that considers the number of Nobel laureates as a measure of academic reputation may not favour African universities.” ELITE LIST For the Caribbean, the exclusion of The University of the West Indies (UWI) from the elite list goes against the Times Higher Education ranking system, which had place the UWI within the top 1.5 per cent of universities in the world last September. Dr Velma McClymont, a former higher education teacher, author and a community activist, feels that this points-based graduate visa programme puts ability and talent first, which makes it an inclusion and exclusion system. She said: “It is about desirability, who the UK government wants to let in. The list of eligible universities clearly focuses on the US, Europe and some parts of Asia, but none for the Caribbean and Africa. “It seems odd that in the Queen’s platinum jubilee year, when she had sent your grandson to the Jamaica to persuade us to remain in the Commonwealth, it now turns out [that] The University of West Indies is not good enough to produce graduates to come here under this scheme. “We also need to question the financial criteria for the graduates to apply, the visa fee, health insurance and the living cost. When you add all of that cost, you would be eliminating graduates from developing countries immediately. This is clearly based on who the UK government wants to let in. It’s not only about the brightest and the best, it’s about desirability as well.” VISA SCHEME Dr Donovan Stanberry, registrar at the UWI, Mona campus in Kingston, is at a loss why graduates from the Caribbean would not be able to benefit from the new UK visa scheme. He said: “The UWI is among the 1.5 per cent of universities in the world. This is not what we say, it is what has been established by the Times Higher Education ranking. “Our university has top graduates all over the world, we have produced three Noble Prize laureates, and the United Nations has designated the UWI the lead university responsible for Sustainable Development Goal number 13 on climate change, in recognition of our pioneering work on its impact on small island developing states. “We have a very robust medical programme, and we are a world leader in sickle cell management. S0 by any indicator, the UWI is up there with any other university in the world, so I’m at a loss why our graduates would be undervalued in the UK’s new visa scheme.” The UK government stipulates that candidates must pass a security and criminality check, and be able to speak, read, listen and write English to at least the B1 intermediate level. The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, defines B1 intermediate level as “those who have the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers”. The visa will cost £715 and is subject to the immigration health surcharge, a fee successful visa or immigration applicants pay that allows use of the NHS. Anyone applying for the visa must also have maintenance funds of at least £1,270. The graduate visa is the first one implemented since Britain left the EU last year. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “This new visa offer means that the UK can continue to attract the best and brightest from across the globe. The route means that the UK will grow as a leading international hub for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. “We want the businesses of tomorrow to be built here today, which is why I call on students to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to forge their careers here.” Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am proud to be launching this new and exciting route as part of our points-based immigration systemwhich puts ability and talent first, not where someone comes from.” The government’s points-based immigration system means people coming to the UK for work must meet specific requirements for which they will score points, with visas awarded to those with enough points. New visa scheme blanks African and Caribbean graduates Dr Donovan Stanberry, Mona Campus registrar. RICARDO MAKYN/CHIEF PHOTO EDITOR Dr Velma McClymont. CONTRIBUTED Three persons up for CARICOM’s highest award Sir Viv, Dame Billie Miller, David Rudder for C’bean honours Sir Viv Richards FILE David Rudder. VOICE PHOTO Dame Billie Miller THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 | | NEWS

4 Gov’t mulls legal action as 27,000 students still missing from classroom GOV’T CONSIDERS legal action as 27,000 students still missing from classroom After months of searching via its Yard to Yard Find The Child initiative for thousands of students missing from the classroom, the Government is considering legal action against negligent parents and guardians to get the minors back in school. Figures from the Ministry of Education and Youth estimated that some 120,000 students were unaccounted for during the height of COVID-19 school closures that forced teaching and learning online for two years. The latest statistics provided by the education and youth ministry to The Sunday Gleaner revealed that approximately 27,000 of them have not returned to in-person learning since it was resumed earlier this year. “As guided by the Child Care and Protection Act, every child has a right to an education. If moral suasion fails and it is proven that parents/ guardians are being neglectful in ensuring that their children are in school, then such cases will be referred to CPFSA (Child Protection and Family Services Agency) for its intervention, which, of course, has legal implications,” Richard Troupe, acting director of the safety and security unit in the Ministry of Education and Youth told The Sunday Gleaner. Jamaicans among 19 held in cocaine, money-laundering ring with Colombians TWO JAMAICANS who reportedly acted as money couriers in a“sophisticated”international scam that laundered more than US$6 million in drug-trafficking proceeds from Colombian cartels are to be extradited to the United States (US), while a third Jamaican implicated in the scheme, Seivright Affleck, was arrested. All three were arrested last Tuesday, but St Devon Anthony Cover, of Manchester, and Dennis Rowe, of Kingston – who were first held – both waived their rights to an extradition hearing when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court. They have all been indicted in the US on charges of laundering of monetary instruments and aiding and abetting. The Jamaicans are among 19 people who have so far been hit with a range of criminal charges for their alleged involvement in the scheme, which had been under investigation since 2016 by law enforcers in Jamaica, the US and Colombia, among others. Cover is alleged to have delivered US$268,000 to undercover police or a confidential informer. Rowe is said to have handed over US$606,000, while Afflick, of Portmore, reportedly delivered US$650,000. Each of the defendants played different roles – money couriers, money brokers, drug-trafficking organisation (DTO) suppliers, and business owners. Four freed in landmark gang trial AFTER SPENDING five years and five months in prison in connection with his alleged involvement in the Clansman-One Don Gang, Damaine Elliston’s main wish as a free man is to reunite with his six-year-old daughter. The 26-year-old livestock farmer was among four defendants who, last Thursday, were found not guilty of breaches of the anti-gang legislation after the prosecution conceded that there was insufficient evidence. The other three equally elated exonerees were Owen Ormsby, Rivaldo Hylton, and Roshane Williams. The four men were among 32 males, including alleged gang leader Andre‘Blackman’Bryan, and a female, Stephanie Christie, who were charged on an indictment with 25 counts under the Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organizations) Act and the Firearms Act for crimes allegedly committed between 2015 and 2019. The offences for which they are charged include leadership of a criminal organisation, being part of a criminal organisation, illegal possession of firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition and facilitating the commission of murder, conspiracy to murder and arson. [NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED] “I think we have roughly between twenty-five and twenty seven thousand children who we have still not been able to re-engage”: Richard Troupe, acting director of the safety and security unit in the Ministry of Education and Youth. FILE Spain to provide scholarships, exchange programmes to Creole Academy PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI, CMC: THE GOVERNMENT of Spain has announced that it will be providing scholarships and exchange programmes to the Haitian Creole Academy in a move to help integrate the country’s mother tongue into professional settings. The announcement was made by Spain’s Ambassador to the French speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, Estime Sergo Cuesta, who was speaking at a forum on Kreyol, recently. “Literacy in the mother tongue is needed to ensure the academic success of children,” Sergo Cuesta said in French during the event, titled“The Kreyòl, a scientific language.” The Spanish Embassy organized the conference in collaboration with University State of Haiti, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Initiative MIT-Ayiti), Basque Agency Cooperation and the Haitian Creole Academy. The event is part of the Edukayiti project of the European Union but was carried out by the Spanish cooperation in order to strengthen Creole in education. Dominica hopes construction of world’s longest cable car project to begin in November ROSEAU, DOMINICA, CMC : THE DOMINICA government says the construction of the multi-million dollar world’s longest cable car project is expected to begin later this year. TourismMinister Denise Charles said the US$54 million project involving a length of Detachable Monocable Cable Car 6.6 kilometres long will provide a safe and quick passage to the Boiling Lake, the second-largest of its kind in the world, situated in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a World Heritage Site, east of the capital. “This project is very critical, because as you know Dominica has the second largest boiling lake in the world or the first largest in the western hemisphere. So this project will certainly feature Dominica as major tourism destination as many people will be excited to come and visit the second largest boiling lake in the world,”said Charles. When completed, Dominica will surpass, Vietnam, which holds the title of the world’s longest cable car with its 5.8 km of the ropeway. ST. Vincent PM urges regional leaders to boycott Summit of the Americas BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, CMC: ST. VINCENT and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is urging Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders“not to attend” next month’s Summit of the Americas to be held in the United States. “I realise it is a difficult decision, but our American friends have left us with no other credible, principled, and practical choice. We may yet persuade them to alter their posture,”Gonsalves wrote in a letter to all the CARICOM leaders and copied to the CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett. Caribbean leaders are still undecided as to whether or not they will boycott the June 6-10 summit if Washington goes ahead with its plans not to invite the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the event. In addition, the regional leaders had also expressed their opposition to Venezuelan Opposition Leader, Juan Guaidó leading a Venezuelan delegation to the event. CARICOM chairman and Belize Prime Minister, John Briceño had confirmed that Washington is lobbying for CARICOM to change its position and not boycott the summit that the United States said is expected to focus on “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future” for the hemisphere. In his May 11 letter, a copy of which has been seen by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), Gonsalves, one of the longest serving leaders in the 15-member regional integration movement, wrote he is “very aware that CARICOM governments’ good relations with the USA are of paramount importance. “However, are relations are too close, and our self-interests too tightly inter connected for there to be any lasting rapture, certainly not more than a temporary dissonance. Our friendship has to be grounded elemental respect, and the truth be told, we have been profoundly disrespected and disregarded by our American friends on this matter. “Certainly, they are pulling out all the stops to persuade us to accept their ignoble stance; it is not a genuine dialogue as to what is best for our Americas,”Gonsalves wrote in the five-page letter to the regional leaders. He warned that CARICOM“is in danger of finding itself in an uneasy position given the public declarations of several Latin American governments of their non-attendance of the summit wither at the presidential level or at all. Gonsalves said he had held out hope that Cuba “may endorse CARICOM’s attendance even in its absence,” but that “is more unlikely to happen. “The Cubans have principle and practicality on their side. We are at this sorry pass because of the decision of the US government,”Gonsalves wrote, adding “so the option of attending the Summit and protest strongly in our own language regarding the non-invitation to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua is, in my view not viable in both principle and practice”. In his letter, the 75-year-old Gonsalves wrote that he has been giving the matter “mature consideration” and following discussions with various people, including representatives of the United States government and leaders of civil society across the Caribbean, he has “arrived at the conclusion that CARICOM leaders ought not to attend the Summit in Los Angeles…unless the US government alters its position” regarding Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. In outlining what he described as “the basic reasons”driving his conclusion, Gonsalves wrote that CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in Belize in March had“declared publicly that CARICOM will not attend the Summit if Cuba were excluded and /or if a Mr. Guaidó was invited, preposterously, to represent Venezuela. REGIONAL Gonsalves FILE THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 | | NEWS

5 Dr. GeorgeWille – AFUWI Deputy Chair & Chair of The Fund and Friend Raising Committee addresses attendees at the AFUWI 25th annual awards gala. CONTRIBUTED GK AND GNA AT AFUWI GALA: From left; Omar Hawthorne, director of franchising operations/ Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill; Normadelle Rose, Office Manager/Gleaner USA; Aubrey Campbell, Advertising Coordinator/GleanerUSA and Lorna Hawthorne, President-Lowell F. Hawthorne Foundation, at the 25th Annual Legacy Awards Gala put on by the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI), on April 21, in Manhattan. PHOTO BY LEONARD MCKENZIE From left: Hoshane Langley (AFUWI scholarship recipient), Maria Browne (first lady of Antigua and Barbuda), Prince Browne, Gaston A. Browne (Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda), Devi Seitaram (AFUWI scholarship recipient), Sir Hilary Beckles (vice chancellor – The University of the West Indies), Beverly Hunter (SNR. Administrative officer – UWI), Vernique Miller (AFUWI scholarship recipient) and Dr. Cyrus McCalla (AFUWI board chair) at The AFUWI 25th anniversary gala held on April 21 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. PHOTO BY MARGOT JORDAN THE WEEKLY GLEANER | MAY 5 - 31, 2022 | | PICTORIAL THE AMERICAN Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) held its 25th Anniversary Gala in New York City on Thursday. Among the award recipients were Jamaican business executive and GraceKennedy CEO Don Wehby who received its Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in global business leadership, and the GraceKennedy Group the AFUWI Corporate Award for Global Business Excellence. Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston A. Browne and St Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy J. Harris were presented with the AFUWI Legacy Awards, while the Vice-Chancellor’s Award went to Premier of Nevis Dr Mark A. Brantley. See highlights. AFUWI gala 2022 5 NEW YORK, NY: JAMAICANS AT home and abroad are being encouraged to remain steadfast in their vision of achieving spiritual renewal and transformation as the nation marks a significant milestone – the 60th anniversary of Independence. That is the focus of the Jamaica Diaspora Day of Prayer and Fasting, a consortium of Jamaican clergy, along with Christian and community leaders, who founded the prayer movement in New York City in 2004. The annual day of prayer and fasting, scheduled for Saturday, July 30, at 12 noon, EDT, will be more than a time of prayer, praise and worship, coming against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 health crisis and the many challenges facing the island nation at this time. Event organisers are hoping that Jamaicans everywhere will take time to not only celebrate the milestone of nationhood, but also the need for a renewed sense of hope through prayer. The call to prayer, led by pastors and leaders chosen from across the regions, will run for about 30 minutes. The multidimensional service includes prayer, messages of inspiration, and music. Persons may watch and participate on a number of social media platforms, including live-streaming via Facebook. Online donations will be accepted for charitable endeavours in Jamaica. Churches and community leaders wishing to participate may call IPMI at 718-241-2162. THE GRAND Concourse Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Bronx has had its COVID -19 outreach programme, funded by the NewYork City Health Department, extended for an additional six months. The church, in conjunction with the Fund for Public Health in New York and the NewYork City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has been undertaking a public education campaign to get the word out on COVID-19 and vaccination against the virus since August last year. Under the programme, the church will continue to hand out masks, sanitizers and test kits, with volunteers advising the public about COVID-19 protocol and available centres to access vaccination. A spokesman for the church said that while they will be working on providing up-to-date information and resources to those situated in the 10452 zip code, the mission is to reach as many persons in the community as possible. “Through this progamme, we will be working to address vaccine resistance in our community,” the spokesman said. As a long-standing pillar of the Highbridge/Grand Concourse community, the church’s desire is to provide factual, scientific information to the public regarding COVID-19. “It is with that goal that we intend to educate and encourage all members of the community to stay informed about the virus and the protections available,” said the spokesman. The Grand Concourse Seventh-day Church has been in existence for more than 40 years and serves a population of several hundred persons. The church has a rich history of social outreach in the community and engages in a number of programmes aimed at improving the lives of parishioners. NYC Health Department extends funding for church’s outreach project Focus on renewing hope for 18th annual Diaspora Day of Prayer Culture, Gender and Sport Minister Olivia Grange receives a warm welcome from The Rev Michael Ward, pastor of the Holy Family Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens, at the service to launch Jamaica 60 Independence anniversary activities in South Florida recently. Looking on are Jamaica’s consul general in Miami, Oliver Mair and special adviser to Minister Grange, Ali McNab. DERRICK SCOTT THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 | | NEWS

THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - JULY 2, 2022 | | NEWS 6 Sophia Findlay/Gleaner Writer TORONTO: GLOBALLY, JAMAICANS are gearing up to celebrate the country’s diamond jubilee, come August 6. In the lead-up to the milestone anniversary, the Jamaica Tourist Board recently hosted a Canadian diaspora press trip to the island for journalists from several media houses. The media practitioners, who are Jamaicans, used the four-day excursion in the capital, Kingston, and attractions in St Mary and Portland, to experience, explore, and re-connect to their roots. Their follow-up mission is to entice Jamaicans in the diaspora to visit during this year of celebration. Among the enchanting offerings were guided tours of the Craighton Coffee Estate, located over 3,000 feet in the Blue Mountains ,and the SunValley Plantation in Oracabessa, St Mary. Jerome Thomas of the Craighton Coffee Estate, who did an educational-packed presentation on how the coffee plants grow, and how the beans are reaped and processed, remarked that women are usually commissioned to help with selecting the best beans. “Women are considered gentler in picking out the beans and choosing the right colour, because that sex is not considered colour-blind,”he stated. “In order for coffee to be labelled ‘Blue Mountain’ it has to grow in the Blue Mountains, [just] as champagne in Champagne, France,” he pointed. Craighton Estate is now owned by the Japanese Ueshima Coffee Company, who directly manages the estate and exports most of the coffee beans to Japan. The group visited the statue of Jamaican reggae legend, Bob Marley, Heroes Park, the National Stadium and Devon House, a heritage site and one of the island’s most celebrated historic landmarks which is the architectural dream of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel. The heritage site also boasts the flagship store of the popular Devon House I-Scream that has over 27 flavours of ice cream, including‘Devon Stout’and‘Strong Back’. The tour included the new Devon House facility designed in honour of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, which was opened recently by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. Called the Edward Seaga Suite, it is a space that may be used for weddings and other events. The Duppy Rumwas also unveiled to honour the late head of state. In fact, an interactive cooking session was put on for the media delegation to learn about and make a traditional Jamaican Sunday dinner. The wordsmiths learned about the areas surrounding the Blue Lagoon and the Monkey Islands during the boat tour operated by Norman Livingston, commonly known as ‘Boxer’, who has guided celebrity guests, including Beyonce, Rihanna, and Tom Cruise. He pointed out, and gave commentary on, the unique homes featured in Hollywood blockbuster films such as Cocktail, NoTime to Die, TheMighty Quinn, and Barbadian Rihanna’sMan Down video, shot in Portland. Piggy’s Jerk Centre, a popular eating spot during the filming of NoTime to Die for British actor Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond, was a pit stop that served spicy jerk chicken and festival, washed down with bottled coconut water. But it was Sun Valley Plantation in St Mary that is the highly recommended must-see for visitors who want to learn about the flora and fauna associated with the island. Lorna Binns, and her son, Brian, presented an educational walk through on a section of the 34-acre property which bore Jamaica’s national flower, the lignum vitae, and national tree, the Blue Mahoe, and later a cooked version of the national dish, ackee and salt fish. Herbs, flowers and trees of all sorts, including black pepper, allspice, jackfruit, breadfruit, sugar cane, fever grass, mint, rosemary, avocado pear, green bananas, plantains, otaheite apples, mammee and their specialty, coconuts. The 90-minute tour involved seeing specimens from the era of slavery to Jamaica’s national bird, the hummingbird, otherwise known as the doctor bird. Aloe vera, commonly called sinkle Bible’, was showcased and its exponentially healing properties demonstrated. It’s a great teachingmoment for parents in the diaspora to introduce their children to their Jamaican heritage. In the meantime, the Harbour View Roundabout street food experience, the IrishTown Café operated by Natoya McFarlane, and Gloria’s in Port Royal, would authenticate the Jamaican food and culture experience, magnifying the eclectic and organic offerings of the island. For culture, The Kingston Dub Club is the leading spot for conscious roots reggae music and entertainment in the capital city. Located in the hills of St Andrew, with a bird’s- eye view of Kingston, the place encourages dancing and friendly revelling. The launch of Jamaica 60 Canada was held on March 26 in Toronto, and an array of events are scheduled across Canada tomark the diamond jubilee of Jamaica’s Independence. The illumination of the Niagara Falls on August 6 and many flag-raising ceremonies in different cities across the country are A tantalising cultural reconnect - Canadian diaspora media enjoy island hotspots for Jamaica 60 At her Irish Town Cafe, Natoya McFarlane serves up a scrumptious meal of jerk snapper, complemented with festival, fried bammy, roasted breadfruit and sweet potato. PHOTOS BY SOPHIA FINDLAY Lorna Binns, and her son Brian of Sun Valley Plantation in St. Mary. Devon House’s senior tour guide, Barbara Beckford. Norman Livingston, popularly known as ‘Boxer’ at the world-famous Blue Lagoon attraction in Portland. jamaica at

7 Chris Ramsaroop/Contributor BY THE time of publication, Doug Ford will more than likely be re-elected as premier of Ontario. Every political pundit has preordained Ford as a victor, despite the fact that most Ontarians desire change. A brief overview of Ford’s Ontario. The most recent budget statement proposes cutting $1.3 billion from education, $632 million from children’s and social services. Additionally, healthcare underspending is estimated to amount to $3.1 billion. Over 4,900 residents and workers have died in long-term care facilities during this pandemic; over 45,000 people have filed workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19-related workplace injuries. In a slap to the face of injured workers, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced that a $1.5-billion surplus in the province’s workers’ compensation scheme - monies that should pay for benefits and healthcare for workers - is being sent as a rebate to employers. This election should be the opportune time to provide public scrutiny over a government’s record. Yet this election cycle has been anything but. Ford has refused to answer questions regarding privatisation of public resources such as healthcare and education by stealth. Activists have been arrested for exerting their democratic rights. Conservative politicians have refused to participate in election town halls and forums. Recently, a group of advocates (includingmyself ) organised a forum regarding injured workers. The governing Conservatives refused to participate in this pivotal forum. So what are elections for when regular people can’t ask elected officials what steps they will take to improve their daily lives? It’s incomprehensible how the political chattering class can coalesce around the current regime. It’s a political echo chamber that bears no resemblance to the day-to-day realities of working-class communities. Yes, people are exhausted and fed up with COVID-19. Yet the government’s offerings are ending restrictions and carrying on as if the ongoing health crisis has ended. Nothing is being offered to proactively improve the lives of the most vulnerable segments of our society. The most egregious moment to me occurred recently in theWindsor-Essex region. Doug Ford visited a greenhouse for a photo op for his re-election. Viewers would have been treated to a smiling Ford with a backdrop of one of Ontario’s wealthiest agricultural operations. However, what was left out? The Caribbean and Central American workers, who were sent home early so that Ford could do his media event uninterrupted. According to the workers they lost half a day’s work. Money they desperately need to feed their own families. It’s so obvious whose side Ford is on. He’s no friend of the working class, despite his many efforts to sway blue-collar workers. In a region that was so hard hit by the virus, as well as an industry where approximately 3,000 agricultural workers have tested positive, Ford stated in absolute terms that he sides with the rich and powerful. In envisioning an Ontario where every resident matters, we need to end the many ways people feel both disenfranchised and disempowered by our current democratic decision-making process. Elections should not be a ‘gesture’but a meaningful exercise to build a robust and healthy society. Politicians should never be given a carte blanche when they hide from us, the electorate. Nor should we accept a political class that is at the beck and call only of campaign donors. It is imperative that we demand a democratic system that is inclusive, representational of all, and engages in redistributing the province’s wealth. Those who have been left behind deserve much better than what is offered by the current regime. - Chris Ramsaroop is an organiser with the activist group Justice for Migrant Workers, an instructor in the Caribbean Studies Program at the University of Patrick Beckford/’Contributor ON AUGUST 6 this year, we celebrate 60 years of Independence. We did not initially opt for independence as a nation back then. The government at the time under Norman Manley preferred a federated West Indies. Ignorance and lack of foresight divided the Caribbean. Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago voted to withdraw, using a referendum in each island that called for federation versus independence. The people in both islands chose independence, thereby killing the federation. In retrospect, it is one of the reasons for our collective struggles. Since our Independence was not planned, I believe our system of government needs to be modernized. Our prime minister used horrible taste to announce at a function during her grandson’s visit, his Government’s intention to not have the Queen as head of state. I agree that the move is well overdue. However, the discussions must not be rushed, but well thought out, with contributions from every sector, and not politicised. My preference is for an executive-style elected president, with an elected Senate of one representative per parish and a population threshold figure, where the parishes that reach such numbers are assigned an extra Senate seat. The size of Parliament should be decreased, with each member of parliament (MP) having a larger population to represent. MPs and senators must be full-time and not be eligible to be ministers. The executive president should have no more than 13 entrenched departments/ministries. We should dismantle parish councils and make three county councils – Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey, each parish represented with an amount based on population. Local municipalities must be reserved for metropolitan areas with elected mayors. For example, inTrelawny - Falmouthmunicipality should cover from Stewart Castle to Greenwood East to North, Daniel Town, Hague, Rock, Martha Brae, Holland. There should be no more than seven council members, with the mayor having veto power. Within a year, under three county commissions to be chaired by former chief justices, citizens, civil society organisationmust be given opportunities to present submissions. After, all three county subcommittees meet and recommend the new constitution (of ) at least two (2) styles under a ceremonial/executive head of state. This must be followed by a referendum to the people of Jamaica for the majority’s selection. The aim is to have mean, lean and functional governance. A provision for the impeachment of all elected officials at every level must be entrenched in the Constitution. Any new Constitution must include term limits of no more than two- to four- or five-year terms. There must be (a provision for) declaration of assets, and recall of elected officials, including impeachment. Finally, the diaspora does not need Senate seats or voting rights. An organised diaspora council free from governmental interference could make annual presentations on specific subject areas. My fellow diasporans used the argument of ‘we contribute to GDP that is equal to tourism’, but never admit that 90 per cent of their contributions/remittances is for loved ones. The further argument that the United States of America allows diaspora voting is far from true, as with an absentee ballot, US citizens are allowed to vote from a congressional district. Discussions on Independence must not be rushed Elections should not be a ‘gesture’ Ford Ramsaroop THE WEEKLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 | | NEWS


9 NEW YORK, NY: Jamaica’s participation at the Winter Olympics could soon rival that of the summer version of the quadrennial global sports spectacle. That was the essence of the message from Christopher Samuda, Esq, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), during his keynote address at the reunion and awards gala for the Montego Bay Comets Athletics Club/Comets Club International, staged at the Antun’s Catering Hall, Queens, NY, on Saturday, May 28. “IN AN ever-evolving world of sports, the JOA inspires change makers and innovative leaders while honouring history makers who pioneered the success of the present in realising hope for tomorrow’s victory,” he offered. Alongside bobsled and skiing, he mentioned figure skating, snowboarding and ice hockey as disciplines in the new and exciting frontier in the country’s ongoing quest for gold and glory. Samuda noted, too, that Comets Club International, at 45, continues to be a landmark in the annals of athletics exemplifying the mettle and character which accomplished Olympians and special honorees, Veronica CampbellBrown, CD and Donald Quarrie, CD, embody. Following a short video tribute, Olympians Donald Quarrie and Veronica Campbell-Brown were presented with Lifetime Achievement tokens for ‘inspiring a nation to greatness with their outstanding body of work, on and off the track’. Both have already been recognised by the Government and people of Jamaica, with national honours in the order of Commander Class (CD). Other awardees were: JodyAnn Dixon, a promising 400m runner, freshman at Hinds Junior College, Mississippi, and formerly of Clarendon College and Edwin Allen High School, who is the first recipient of the Rising Star Award. Myrtle Wedderburn, secretary/ treasurer of the Comets Club organisation, was recognised with an award for distinguished service and a tremendous sense of volunteerism, spanning four decades. The near capacity audience was entertained by the True R=Tribute Organization AllStar ensemble, headlined by LeRoy Graham, Jr, on saxophone and the award-winning, reggae recording artiste Carl McDonald. Comets Club Int’l honours ‘history makers’ THE PLANNERS MEET THE HONOREES. Lifetime Achievement awardees Veronica Campbell-Brown (4th left) and Donald Quarrie (5th left) meet committee members (from left), Barrington ‘Boca’ Campbell, director; Aubrey Campbell, founder/ executive director; Ameryia Thomas Campbell, member; Michael Campbell, president; Nova Perrin, vice-president/chair; LeRoy Graham, Jr, member/partner; and Myrtle Wedderburn, secretary/treasurer. LEONARD MCKENZIE PHOTOS LEONARD WHISPERS OF COMMENDATION. Hall of Famer John Melbourne (right ), host of the Winners’ Circle sports – WVIP, 93.5 FM and platform, presents Veronica Campbell-Brown, with her Lifetime Achievement Award from the Comets Club Int’l. THE BIG THREE. Keynote speaker Christopher Samuda, Esq, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), is flanked by (left) Olympians Donald Quarrie and Veronica Campbell-Brown after they were presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Comets Club Int’l/Montego Bay Comets Athletics Club 45th Anniversary Reunion & Awards Gala on Saturday, May 28. NEW YORK, NYC: THE 64-MEMBER non-profit umbrella organisation of alumni associations of primary, secondary, and tertiary education institutions in Jamaica is hosting its 32nd annual High School Graduate Awards on Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m.. This is the signature programme of the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations (USA), Inc (UJAA) and it will be their third virtual presentation. IN CELEBRATION of Jamaica’s diamond jubilee, UJAA is focusing on engaging in outreach activities in all 50 states of the USA, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The progamme includes academic and extracurricular achievement awards and the essay competition. All graduating students are asked to complete a Student Profile Application and comply with the requirements in order to be eligible for cash awards. The essay competition is separate and optional. However, students are encouraged to submit an essay based on the given topic and the specified rules and criteria. The grand prize winner of the essay competition receives a trip for two to Jamaica. There are also consolation prizes. The deadline to submit applications and essays is June 1. The award winners will be announced on the UJAA website,, on Tuesday, June 28, and students will be contacted individually. Alumni group marks 32nd celebration of high-school graduates JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 |

10 ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO DUST !! THE ODEAH MAN FROM Haiti is back. WATCH OUT!! Get your results in 36 hours, GUARANTEED. Work with the dead for RAPID RESULTS !! Expert in all cases, no exceptions. Court case, Sickness, Immigration, Remove bad luck, Reverse curses and ghost, House cleansing and many more...! Call now..! (718) 600 - 6735. One Call Will Truly Convince You! One FREE question by ‘phone RESULTS GUARANTEED! 954.770.0984 Is God-gifted for over 40 years, removing all problems of life. SISTER ALBERTA PSYCHIC SPIRITUAL HEALER Neil Armstrong/Gleaner Writer TORONTO: WHEN THOUSANDS turn out for the annual Pride Toronto Festival Weekend in June, Pride Month, they will be in for a treat from some of the biggest names in dancehall and soca – the ‘Queen of Dancehall’Grace Hamilton, aka Spice, Jamaican dancehall recording artiste, and Patrice Roberts, Trinidadian soca singer. With a career spanning over 20 years, Spice will be the headliner to kick off the weekend on the TD main stage at Yonge-Dundas Square in the heart of Toronto on June 24, and Patrice Roberts will be the headliner at Blockorama, the longest-running and largest stage at Pride, on June 26, the closing day of the festival. This happens at the Bud Light SeltzerWellesley Stage annually, which is directly across fromWellesley subway station. Spice is recognised as one of the biggest dancehall artistes in the world. Her mixtape ‘Captured’ debuted at #1 in 2018 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart, and in 2021, she released her début studio album‘10’. Earlier this year, Spice became the first female dancehall artiste to be nominated for a Grammy in the best reggae album category. Patrice Roberts was named the youngest female Road March winner for her collaboration with Machel Montano titled ‘Band Of The Year’ in 2006. For over 20 years, Blockorama has been a celebration of and for the Black LGBTQ+ community and allies, organised by the collective, Blackness Yes! It was born from the lack of representation for African, Black and Caribbean LGBTQ community members during Pride Toronto’s yearly festival and has been a space that celebrates Black love, joy, music, and community. This year, the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) – Canada’s largest Black-specific AIDS service organisation – has been selected as Pride Toronto’s Charity of Choice and will be celebrating the first in-person celebration since the onset of COVID-19 under the theme, ‘Proudly Different, Beautifully Diverse’. “We’re excited to be back on the road this year for an in-person Pride. And we invite all to be a part of all initiatives planned for this summer’s Toronto Pride,” says Black CAP, which is led by Jamaican Gareth Henry. Meanwhile, just over a month after the Pride Toronto Festival another event will celebrate Black LGBTQI+ communities from around the world in the city. Pride Toronto is collaborating with Global Black Pride and Blackness Yes!to produce the first in-person and hybrid event in Toronto. Global Black Pride, the first global Pride event that brings together Black LGBTQI+ communities across all continents, will hold its first-ever physical programming in Toronto from July 28-31. The event will celebrate Black culture and diversity, providing a space for activists and community-based organisations across the globe to engage and reflect. Pride Toronto says this additional programming will help “build on the incredible work Blackness Yes! has been doing for the community for many years and brings additional attention and learnings to the experiences of the Black 2SLGBTQ+ community worldwide”. Spice, Patrice Roberts for Toronto Pride Festival Spice displayed on the Spotify board at the Eaton Center in Toronto. Spice, the new dancehall queen, wreaking havoc on the senses. THE WALNUT Foundation presents its 8th annual Walk the Path walkathon on Saturday, June 4, at Etobicoke Creek Trail, Brampton (10K). Registration at 8:30 a.m. Walk starts at 9:00 a.m. Call 416-568-7442/905-799-2759 A Different Booklist Cultural Centre presents a conversation with author, Jason Mott, about his new novel, Hell of a Book, and Louis March, founder of the Zero Gun Violence Movementon Thursday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Facebook Live. adifferentbooklistcc The Black Business and Professional Association will hold ‘Get Your Golf Game On,’ that enables scholarships for black students on Saturday, June 11, at Angus Glen Golf Club, 10080 Kennedy Road, Markham. Registration at 12pm, tee off at 1:30pm. The Jamaican Canadian Association’s summer family picnic will take place at Victoria Park Lion Pavilion on Sunday, July 10, 10a.m.-5p.m. at 55 King Street East, Cobourg. Adults: $40, children under 12, $25. Call 416-697-5818 to book tickets. The Jamaica FoundationHamilton celebrates Jamaica 60thon Sunday, August 7, 2:00 p.m. at Hamilton City Hall with a RingDing concert and tribute toMs. Lou. Thanksgiving Service onAugust 14, 4:00 p.m. at Apostolic Holiness Church, 40 Empress Avenue, Hamilton Events A parade of 500 graduating students of four high schools; CW Jeffreys, Westview, Emery and Downsview, will make its way to York University where a celebratory lunch and student awards will be made on June 8. The 9th annual Walk With Excellence Celebration kicks off at C.W. Jeffreys at 10am and concludes at the nearby university at 2pm. THE WEEKLY GLEANER | JUNE 2 - 30, 2022 | | ENTERTAINMENT/EVENTS