By Lincoln Depradine
Pride Contributing Writer
TORONTO, Ontario— Grenada’s economy is “growing” and nationals abroad must continue to play a role in the country’s further development, the island’s tourism minister has said.
“Things have improved tremendously in Grenada and our government is working very diligently to bring Grenada to the next level,” Alexandra Otway-Noel said last Saturday in Toronto.
The minister was speaking at Coronation Park at the 8th annual Grenada Day Festival, which she described as a “tremendous” event.
The festival of food, arts and craft, music, dance and other cultural presentations, was organized by the Grenada Day Cultural Association, with support from the Grenada Consulate in Toronto and various Grenada groups in the city.
It also received some corporate sponsorship, as well as the backing of the Toronto Police Service and politicians from the federal, provincial and municipal governments.
Otway-Noel, a rookie politician, won a seat in parliament as part of the 15-0 general election clean sweep in 2013 of the New National Party headed by Prime Minister Keith Mitchell.
“I bring you greetings on behalf of our honourable prime minister who couldn’t make it here because we’ve had lots of events going on in Grenada; lots of good things are happening,’’ said Otway-Noel, who is also Minister of Civil Aviation.
“We’ve just had carnival which was a big success. And, we had record numbers of visitors coming to our shores this summer. So, we’re doing very well.’’
Otway-Noel reminded the Coronation Park crowd, who included former Grenada Sports Minister Patrick Simmons, of her ties to Canada.
“Not too long ago I was part of the Canadian Diaspora myself. I grew up here and went to school here; and then returned home to help build our country,’’ she said.
“I want to say—in terms of building our country—that all of you play such a significant role in building our wonderful country and I want to thank you. We appreciate everything that you do for us at home.’’
Grenadians in the Diaspora could play the role of “ambassadors’’ for their homeland, Otway-Noel said.
“As minister of tourism I am very proud of all of you because I know you tell your co-workers and your friends that Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is paradise. We know that it’s paradise; you just need to tell everybody else,’’ she said.
“So, help me do my job and let’s make sure Grenada continues to grow.’’
In brief remarks, C.J. Augustine-Kanu, the recently appointed Consul General for Grenada in Toronto, pledged to work for unity.
“I will continue to unite our people and move things forward toward a brighter tomorrow with various initiatives such as community outreach, (and) meetings with investors and businesses to attract them to come to Grenada,’’ Augustine-Kanu said.