THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER WANTS IMPROVEMENTS IN NATION’S BUREAUCRACY
As Jamaica’s economy rebounds from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Andrew Holness acknowledges similar improvement is not occurring in other sectors of society. In particular, he cited the rising crime rate and lack of improvement in education and solid-waste management as national sector failures. He called for greater engagement of the Jamaican people to provide the human capital that can convert societal dreams into policy, law, and implementation. He noted the role that public bureaucracy has in this effort and called for an overhaul of government institutions, which require experienced and well-trained people who will take advantage of opportunities to improve. Holness identified a need for a “new breed of technocrats.” Dr. Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and Public Service, said the Jamaica House Fellowship program is designed to address this issue and provide young people with the chance to experience government work at the highest levels and inspire them to make future contributions to the nation.
FACT-FINDING TEAM FROM JAMAICA PREPARING REPORT ON CANADIAN FARM WORKERS PROGRAM
A fact-finding team from Jamaica traveled to Canada to evaluate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, and after a two-week visit, is in the process of preparing a report on its findings. Karl Samuda, Minister of Labor and Social Security will present the report to Parliament. The report is based on investigation of a random sample of Canadian farms to determine the conditions in which Jamaicans are employed. The investigation was undertaken following complaints from several Jamaican farm workers in Canada about their working arrangements. The initial findings determined that there was no justifiable basis for the workers’ concerns, but further investigation in some areas was continuing via worker and employer interviews about the level of care and responsiveness provided to the seasonal laborers. The report will include an outline of the team’s discoveries and recommendations for the improvement of the Jamaican Overseas Employment Program in Canada.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
JET-BLUE AIRLINE RELAUNCHES NONSTOP FLIGHTS FROM NEW YORK TO GUADELOUPE
JetBlue, a rapidly expanding air carrier, has resumed its flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Guadeloupe’s Pointe a Pitre International Airport in Grand Terre. The service is in operation with flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays every week. The service will provide a boost to the island, which has experienced a serious lack of air travel options from the United States in the past. In addition to the expanded air service, in Guadeloupe is experiencing increased growth in new hotels, including Club Med La Caravelle, the luxury La Toubana resort, and Habitation in St. Charles, one of the island’s top spots for its growing rum tourism.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICAN AMBASSADOR TO U.S. ENCOURAGING BUSINESS INTERESTS TO APPLY FOR E2 VISAS
Jamaicans who want to invest in businesses in the United States have been encouraged to apply for the E2 Treaty Investor Visa, according to an announcement by Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the US. Marks said that applying for the visa will allow business stakeholders to access the benefits available through cooperation between Jamaica and the US. The visa allows nationals from nations what make treaties related to commerce with the US to enter the country for the purposes of directing and developing the operation of the enterprises in which they have invested or are in the process of investment. To be eligible, applications must be nationals of countries that maintain the relevant treaties, immediate family members of a holder of an E2 visa, and that the companies in the treaty nations will send as key staff to manage the affiliate or branch in the US or that will establish such an affiliate or branch. The E2 Visa differs from the US Green Card in that it does not provide residency for the holder, however.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA’S NEW ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN INVITES TRAVELERS TO RETURN TO THE ISLAND
Jamaica has seen tourist arrivals higher than pre-COVID levels, according to Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, who added that this shows the travel sector is resilient. Now, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) wants to encourage travelers, many of whom were impacted by the pandemic, to return to Jamaica as it is the perfect destination in which people can rediscover their “sense of adventure, natural curiosity, human connection, and ultimately realize their most valuable human potential,’ Bartlett said. The new ad campaign was created by Accenture Song, the JTB’s ad agency of record, and highlights the island’s natural attractions and its friendly people. It was filmed with more than 50 local Jamaican crew members and shows real couples and a real family to showcase the authentic Jamaican experience. The campaign’s music was created by Jamaican music producers. The goal of the campaign is to create “aspirational itineraries” customized to three potential visitors: adventure seekers, family vacationers, and seasoned, older travelers.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
MISS LOU FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS WANT TO MAKE THE FESTIVAL A YEARLY EVENT TO PRESERVE HER LEGACY
The “Miss Lou Festival,” an inaugural festival held in the Jamaican home community of iconic folklorist, poet, and performance Louise Bennett Coverley, better known as “Miss Lou,” in October 2022. It was such a success that Opal Palmer Adisa, the head of the Louise Bennett Coverley Festival Committee, wants to make it an annual event. A highlight of the festival echoed a 1963 essay by Mervyn Morris on reading Miss Lou “seriously,” during which speakers suggested that there is a way to “properly” speak what some people call “bad English.” “Bad English” refers to creole, dialect, patois, or the Jamaican language. Miss Lou is widely recognized for “valorizing” folk/African culture in Jamaica and for showing the Jamaican Creole is a legitimate language that can be used to create literary art and for academic purposes. The festival organizers are interested in maintaining Miss Lou’ legacy and the way she fought the idea she learned as a child that everything about Jamaicans was “bad.” Through her work, Miss Lou had a specific objective that the festival wants to highlight, and that is that society needs to appreciate and respect ordinary Jamaicans and Jamaican culture.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICANS KERRICA HILL AND JAYDON HIBBERT NOMINATED FOR RISING STAR AWARDS
Two Jamaicans, Kerrica Hill and Jaydon Hibbert, are on the shortlist of nominees for the World Athletics title of Women’s and Men’s (respectively) Rising Star Award for 2022. Kerrica Hill, who attended Hydel High, won the 100-meter hurdles title at the World Under-20 championships in August 2022 with a time of 12.77 seconds, the fastest in the world for the year. She was also a member of Jamaica’s 4×100-meter team that took gold and set a new U-20 record with a time of 42.59 seconds. Jaydon Hibbert is a former star at Kingston College and made the list after winning the World U-20 triple jump title in August 2022. He also had the six best U-20 performances of 2022 in the world. Hibbert is Jamaica’s triple-jump champion as well. According to World Athletics, the nominations reflect the stand-out performances turned in at the World Athletics U-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia; the World Athletics Championships Oregon22; and other world events. The winners will be announced on the World Athletics social media platforms in December 2022.