TORONTO, Canada – After welcoming attendees to an event for the Bahamian Diaspora, in Toronto, Canada, on April 15, 2023, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said that had the honour of meeting two “outstanding” business owners, that day: Kaylandra Edgecombe and Zhorrah Grant.
“Their success stories are truly inspiring, and I am incredibly proud of each of them,” Prime Minister Davis said.
He noted that Ms. Edgecombe was the owner of the Old Nassau Bahamian Restaurant. Ms. Grant was the owner of Hair Granted Beauty Supply, Canada’s largest Black-owned beauty supply retailer, and it also sells Bahamian-made brands.
“I also had the pleasure of meeting Jamsin Dorsett, who is the President of the Association of Bahamians in Canada,” he added. “They are all shining examples of the Bahamian spirit, lifting up not just themselves, but all Bahamians.”
Among those present for the event were Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service the Hon. Fred Mitchell; Parliamentary Secretary of Tourism, Investments and Aviation (MOTIA) John Pinder; Director General of Tourism Latia Duncombe; Bahamas High Commissioner to Canada (Ottawa) His Excellency V. Alfred Gray; Consul General Al Dillette; Bahamas non-resident Ambassador to Brazil His Excellency Dexter Johnson; and other government officials and stakeholders.
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that his Government remained focused on tackling cost of living in The Bahamas, education, crime, and national development.
“We are also committed to exploring remote work opportunities for Bahamians abroad and living in Canada, allowing them to work on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas,” he said. “We do not frown upon those who leave the Bahamas to live in Canada; instead, we see them as ambassadors of our great nation.”
“I am delighted to announce the opening of a new Consulate General Office in Toronto, further strengthening the relationship between our two countries and providing a valuable resource for Bahamians living here in Canada,” Prime Minister Davis said. “This is a testament to our commitment to support our Bahamian community abroad and to foster stronger ties with our Canadian friends.”
He stated that, in addition, he was eager to hear the stories of those in attendance that night about living in Canada and their ideas on how they can build a better country.
“Your experiences and perspectives are invaluable, as they offer a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by Bahamians living abroad,” Prime Minister Davis said. “By sharing your thoughts and insights, we can work together to develop innovative solutions and strengthen the bonds that unite us as a nation.”
“And, as we approach the monumental milestone of 50 years of Independence, we invite you to join us in the festivities that will take place across our beautiful archipelago,” he added. “We encourage you to celebrate our rich history, vibrant culture, and unwavering spirit, whether you are here in Canada or back home in The Bahamas.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that his Government recognised the tremendous contributions of Bahamians living and working abroad. He said that his Government was “immensely proud” of their achievements and the positive representation of The Bahamas that they provided.
“I would like to extend a special invitation to all to return to The Bahamas and get involved in our nation-building efforts,” he said. “Your skills, knowledge, and experiences are invaluable assets that can help to drive our country’s progress and prosperity.
“The Bahamas is not just defined by its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, but also by the resilience and determination of its people.”
Prime Minister Davis said that, as they looked forward to the next 50 years, he encouraged them to work together to create an “even more vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous Bahamas for future generations to inherit”.
“In closing, I would like to express my gratitude for your unwavering support and dedication to our beloved country,” Prime Minister Davis said.
“May the spirit of unity, love, and camaraderie that has brought us together tonight continue to guide us as we move forward, hand in hand, towards a more prosperous and brighter future for The Bahamas.”