Tuesday, 6 September 2016

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Audrey Marks looks ahead + Joseph Matalon talks campaign financing + Ruel Reid wants safer schools

STICKS & STONES: As the new academic year unfolds, Education minister Senator Ruel Reid has made it clear that his ministry is holding fast to its zero-tolerance policy when it comes to violence in schools. “We have an obligation that our school compounds are safe and that our students and teachers can operate in an environment that is conducive to learning,” Reid says. “Our schoolyards and classrooms are for developing our bright young minds and will not be allowed to be impacted or overrun by violence. We believe that it is critical that we send the message as forcefully and as clearly as possible.”

SECOND TIME AROUND: Jamaica’s newly appointed Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks, sees myriad opportunities for the growth of US-Jamaica relations in 2017 and beyond. “The main reason this time I considered to go back as ambassador is that the Government has clearly enunciated the goal for economic development, with a focus on bringing in investors,” she says. “But I think there is a clear role to continue what we had started, which is to focus on potential investment opportunities in the Diaspora and also with the Americans.”

CHECKS & BALANCES: If Joseph M. Matalon had his way, the proposed changes to Jamaica’s campaign finance legislation would be speedily enacted to prevent further misuse of funds donated to political parties. “We think it is very important as a corporate citizen to make note of what is going to be capable of misuse in the manner of what is being alleged,” the ICD Group Chairman says on the heels of recent PNP allegations. “I am hoping that particularly in light of what is happening now, that it will increase the Parliament’s resolve to get that campaign finance bill passed and implemented so that there can be a level of regulation that would assure that nothing like that could go on.”

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