Fellow Grenadians, visitors, friends.
I bring you greetings on behalf of my Cabinet, my family and on my own behalf for a wonderful and festive season. Once again, it is the time of year that as a people we acknowledge and celebrate the birth of the Christ child, his life and legacy.
This is also a unique time of year for Grenada, our region and for the rest of the world as we are all still deeply affected by the lingering difficult economic conditions. It is however, the season of hope, peace and goodwill to all men, and in Grenada we have good reason to be thankful.
We must recognize the fact that most businesses and government have been able to preserve the jobs of the employees. We must recognize efforts of the GCNA in ensuring a better Christmas for our nutmeg farmers by paying more than EC $3 million in bonuses this year.
We must recognize the untiring efforts of our OECS government and the welcomed payment to BAICO policy holders in excess of EC $5 million. We must also recognize the fact that we were able to continue all of our safety net programmes ensuring that our disadvantaged, were cared for.
It is with the expectation that things would indeed be better and with a renewed sense of hope that we look to the future. Collectively, we look forward to increased growth in the economy, the arrival of the first guests at the new Sandals La Source Resort, and the resultant benefits to our local our farmers and small business owners; to reaping the benefits of the exploitation of our oil and gas resources, in collaboration with Trinidad and Tobago; to the implementation of the many projects that we have been able to bring to the commencement stage.
Therefore I encourage us all, as a people, to use the opportunity of Christmas to be thankful for what we have and what we have been able to achieve. As the turnaround continues, albeit slow, the onus is on each Grenadian, every single one of us, to put our shoulders to the wheel to produce our way to prosperity.
Our efforts have begun to pay off and our economy is slowly on the rebound.
However, we must recognize that the challenges remain and resources are limited. We must therefore spend wisely and be prudent. I encourage you to purchase and utilize more locally produced fruits, vegetables and products, especially during this period.
As we enjoy the festivities that accompany the celebration of Christmas, we must remember and pay special attention to those who are less fortunate, challenged or incapacitated among us. We should take some time to read the Christmas story to some of our retirees or the children at the various children’s homes. They too deserve our love and our attention during this season.
I wish you all a season of peace and joy as we work together, hand in hand, to build a more sustainable future for all.