5 Questions with Michael Farquharson, Candidate for Global Jamaica Diaspora Council – Canada Region

Michael Farquharson

Michael Farquharson is a husband, father, volunteer, community advocate and a Transportation Professional. He was nominated, in 2018, to run for City Council for Brampton, Wards 9 and 10 due to his work in the community as a volunteer, soccer coach and Board member at his local Church. Engaging constituents from all nationalities leading up to the elections he was the runner up with almost 5,000 votes as a first-time Candidate. He is the Co-Chair of the Diversity (Canadian) and Inclusion Council at his place of employment. He is also a Director on the Afro-Caribbean Conservative Canadians Network (ACCCN) serving persons mainly from the Afro-Caribbean community. Michael is married to Denise Farquharson, for the past twenty-one years and they have three children. Here are 5 questions with Michael Farquharson.

What is your connection to Jamaica?
I was born and raised in Jamaica. I attended Saint Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), where I studied Mechanical Engineering. I was the Deputy Head Boy, Cadet Sergeant, Vice President of the Maths Club and Student Council Representative.  I was successful in eight CXC subjects and I was awarded a full scholarship to attend Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin, USA.

Have you been involved in the Jamaica Diaspora Movement or Jamaican related organizations before?
Yes, I am a supporter of the Jamaican Canadian Association and the Jamaica Ex-Soldier Association (JESA) Toronto Chapter. In November of this year, I was privileged to attend the 27th Annual Fundraising Banquet of the JESA with my brother who is a soldier in the Jamaica Defense Force and was selected to represent Jamaica at this event.

If elected what will be your main goal in this role for your constituencies?
My main goal will be connecting more members of the Jamaican Diaspora in Canada, in order to facilitate the further expansion and inclusiveness of the engagement process.

Many in the Jamaican community abroad don’t know much about the Jamaica Diaspora movement and its goals. What will you do to change this perception and get all Jamaicans in the Diaspora involved?
I will engage and encourage members of the Jamaican community to get involved and partner with us to affect positive change in our Country. I will use my experience in running for political office and the connections that I have made to do this. This vehicle of the Jamaica Diaspora movement needs to be promoted in every aspect, to every person with a Jamaican Heritage, as an avenue that all Jamaicans can play in the further development of our Country, no matter where in the world we live.

Recently there have been some who have expressed concerns about not having a voice and too much government involvement in the new The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council format that is being adopted. Do you have any thoughts on this?
I believe the government has to take the lead role in any initiative to get the Jamaican Diaspora involved in matters concerning Jamaica and the future of Jamaica. If the government does not take the lead, approvals and supports the Diaspora Council, then all we have is teeth and no bite. By the government being involved in the process, and in this case the format, then the recommendations made by the Council will be given more consideration and be more readily accepted. These will lead to policy change to benefit Jamaicans as a whole.  The Jamaican Diaspora and the Government need to work together to accomplish changes that will benefit our nation and our people.

Is there a cohesive goal for the Jamaican Diaspora that people can rally around?
I believe the cohesive goal that the Jamaican Diaspora can rally around is that “We are Jamaicans and we are everywhere, making positive contributions to Jamaica and the world wherever we go”.

Thanks for your time and all the best in the election. Do you have any closing thoughts?
The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council is a great avenue for Jamaicans living outside of Jamaica to be engaged and to contribute to policy initiatives.

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Xavier Murphy