Imprisonment and large fine Earlier this week, the Senate approved the measure that includes sanctions and specifies that perpetrators, co-perpetrators and accomplices of a homosexual marriage face a penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 Gourdes. Foreigners on Haitian territory stating are also affected by the bill. It stipulates, “No foreigner can avail himself of his personal status and the provisions of the law of his country to solicit the celebration in Haiti of a marriage between two persons of the same sex.”This bill must now be transferred to the Lower House for debate before being sent to the Executive for publication in the official newspaper “Le Moniteur.” Bill implicates foreigners Haitian lawmakers have approved legislation prohibiting same sex marriages as well as banning all forms of public demonstrations in support of homosexuality. When the vote was taken on Tuesday night, 50 per cent of the Senate was not present. But 12 Senators voted in favor of the bill, while one voted against and another abstained. This bill, in addition to prohibiting marriage, or attempted marriage, between two persons of the same sex in Haiti, also prohibits all forms of public demonstrations in support of homosexuality and proselytism in favor of such acts. Furthermore, the bill stipulates that “any promotion, in any form or by any means, constitutes an offense of contempt of good morals and public decency.”
Haiti’s Justice and Public Security Minister Heidi Fortune has banned Custom agents from carrying firearms “under any circumstances” as a strike by the workers entered its 10th day on Tuesday.“This temporary measure is adopted in order to prevent any untoward incident likely to endanger public order,” Fortune said in a statement after the National Police of Haiti (PNH) said they were taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the various customs posts of the Republic.Tension increased recently after Economy and Finance Minister, Jude Alix Patrick Solomon, reportedly made arrangements to unload refrigerated products and products for assembly plants with the help from the PNH.“Saturday, we made arrangements to allow customs officers who want to work to do so. PNH officers occupy customs entrances to prevent untimely disruptions to those who put pressure on employees who want to work,” said Solomon.The executive committee of the Association of Haitian Customs (ADH) Sunday dismissed a call from the Finance Minister to return to work claiming that the government had been disrespectful including not implementing the memorandum of understanding signed in October 2017 providing for salary increases and special status of Customs officers.However, the ADH said areas have been established within the main Customs offices to allow for the clearance and delivery of medicines, antiretroviral drugs, human blood bags, aid shipments, oxygen cylinders and the bodies of nationals, who died overseas.
Over the weekend, thousands of people took to the streets of South Florida and marched across part of the city following a week of demonstrations calling for justice in the death of George Floyd. In a video message, Ford Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione thanked the peaceful demonstrators saying: “They came with a message. Their message was heard and it was not overshadowed nor overtaken by folks with the intent of diluting that message.” #BlackLivesMattters if there is anymore #protest in #Wynwood can someone hit me up so i can donate snacks, water and my time. It was beautiful out there today!!! #miami #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/2zXtzy9Kv8— ashaloutelyash (@AshaloutelyAsh) June 8, 2020 Photo: @chuckstrouse via Twitter On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators marched through South Florida in a show of solidarity in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Doral, Sweetwater, and Miramar. On Sunday, larger crowds gathered on the streets of Homestead, Wynwood and Miami Lakes for the ninth day of protests. Downtown Miami protest: Protestors take a knee in front of the First Church of Christ Scientist on Biscayne and NE 19th Street. @SFMN_FIU pic.twitter.com/0qiG6qhpBJ— Helen Acevedo (@Helenacev) June 6, 2020 A protestor laid down shouting “I can’t breathe” in front of Miramar police. @SFMN_FIU pic.twitter.com/8Nif8dE8Gc— JordanColl (@JordanColl1726) June 6, 2020 Unlike last week protests, these demonstrations were peaceful and organized, and saw residents adhering to the curfew orders that have been implemented. In Hollywood, scores of police officers also joined the protests.
Meanwhile, some hospitals say they are running out of beds, particularly in South Florida. Dr. Nicholas Namias, chief of trauma and surgical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, one of the state’s largest, said converting regular rooms into COVID-19 rooms requires them to have negative airflow to prevent the virus’s spread. Barring that, hospitals at least need to have the capability to isolate patients. Florida passed the 300,000 mark of confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday and reported more than 100 daily deaths for the third time in a week, prompting state Democratic leaders to accuse Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of not acting aggressively enough to stem the virus. Also Wednesday, Walt Disney World reopened its Epcot and Hollywood Studios theme parks. Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom reopened Saturday. The parks were the last of Orlando’s major parks to reopen after being shuttered since March. Both Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando opened last month. Calvan reported from Tallahassee. Associated Press reporters Cody Jackson in Palm Beach Gardens, and Mike Schneider in Orlando, contributed to this report. Florida’s rolling seven-day average for deaths is now 92 per day, triple the 31 posted a month ago, just before the toll began creeping up and then exploding last week. Hospitals reported Wednesday morning that they are treating 8,276 coronavirus patients, a jump of 84 from Tuesday. As of Tuesday, Florida had the No. 2 death rate in the country, slightly behind Texas, which has 25 percent more residents. “There is failed leadership in the governor’s office,” State Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson said during an online news conference shortly after health officials reported 10,181 new confirmed cases. The new report brings the total number of confirmed cases to 301,810 since the outbreak began in the state March 1. The governor’s “hands-off approach is not working,” Gibson said. “He’s losing the war against the pandemic, and that means the people of the state of Florida are losing the war against the pandemic.” – AP The Democrats called on DeSantis to not push for schools to reopen. “We cannot even control an outbreak of lice in our schools, so how are we going to control not spreading this virus?” Sen. Janet Cruz asked. During a state school board meeting Wednesday, DeSantis reiterated his education commissioner’s decision to reopen Florida’s schools next month, saying children are highly unlikely to become seriously ill from coronavirus and don’t frequently pass the virus to others. Democratic Sen. Oscar Braynon warned that DeSantis’ failure to act could lead to reclosing the state’s economy, which would prolong the economic misery that has gripped much of the state. “It would be foolish not to listen to the parents,” the governor said. Still, he has been criticized for refusing to issue a statewide order requiring masks in public places. He says that should be left to local officials because some counties, such as Miami-Dade, are more hard-hit than more rural, less-populated counties, which have few cases. Several counties and cities now require masks. DeSantis has defended his coronavirus response. He frequently cites his decision in early March to ban nursing home visitations, saying it saved lives compared to New York, where 700 per day were dying in April. He also says his close relationship with President Donald Trump has gotten Florida needed equipment, drugs and support. All parks are capping attendance, requiring reservations and checking the temperatures of all employees and guests. Masks are being required.__ He did say that precautions need to be taken to protect teachers and other adult staff, and that online classes need to remain available for children whose parents want them to stay home. Florida’s schools closed in mid-March. “It’s only going to get worse,” he said. Republicans outnumber Democrats 23-17 in the Senate. A healthcare worker walks around a car to test a passenger at a drive-through Covid-19 testing site in Florida. | AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee The state recorded 112 deaths Wednesday, the third time in the past seven days it has reported more than 100—a mark that had only been topped once before last week. The state has now recorded 4,626 COVID-19 deaths. “We’re getting to the point where it’s going to be full,” Namias said. “We have gridlock and we won’t be able to take patients and they’ll just be stacked in the ERs.”
Health Minister, Jeffrey Bostic “The government has repeatedly made it clear that it shall accommodate all Barbadians abroad wanting to return home during this crisis, and therefore the increasing number of positive cases is to be considered in the context of our moral obligation to open our doors to citizens and residents of this country wanting to return home. “The overwhelming majority of the now 132 positive COVID cases Barbados has recorded has been Barbadian citizens or residents,” Bostic said. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados government says it will continue to accommodate all nationals overseas wishing to return home even as the island continues to experience an increase in coronavirus (COVID-q19) cases. “The Ministry of Health and Wellness has prioritized scaled up testing, isolation and contact tracing since we recognize that these are the measures which most effectively help us to keep the infection out of the general population. He said rapid diagnosis and isolation are the keys to the prevention of transmission. Over the weekend, the island recorded 12 new cases and Health Minister Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic said the six women and six men testing positive were all citizens or residents of Barbados who were returning home. All 12 are asymptomatic. Barbados now has 132 positive cases of the virus. “We continue to rely on the gold standard PCR COVID-19 test on entry as well as our recent decision to conduct a second test at the end of seven days quarantine for those persons arriving from countries deemed high risk,” he added. “Nevertheless, with the return of commercial flights to Barbados, these numbers are to be expected. Our public health protocols are proving their worth, as they allow us to detect and isolate people arriving into the country with the viral illness, before they leave the port of entry, in this instance, the Grantley Adams International Airport,” he added. Bostic said that’s why the testing protocol that Barbados has in place is so vital to the island’s ability to respond to the public health threat posed by this global pandemic. CMC
“Most of the countries in the world (not just Dominica) are listed as a level 3 or a level 4 destination. This comes after they have lifted the previous level 4 worldwide travel advisory that has been in effect since March 19, which advised U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19,” said the State Department official, who is based in the caribbean. Meanwhile, Skerrit has also warned nationals about taking to the airwaves here to call for demonstrations and other activities, saying that these situations are being used by Washington to further impose travel restrictions on the island. “Dominica is one of the top countries in the management of COVID-19 and we are prepared to share our practices with countries like the United States. But this (advisory) is not necessary and if you are saying don’t come to Dominica, what about your country.” “The CDC is providing this updated travel advice in light of the risk that COVID poses and so that travellers can make informed travel decisions. Level 3 includes a wide range of countries including countries as diverse as Norway, Canada, Japan, and Zimbabwe,” the official added, with the Barbados-based US Embassy providing some clarity on the advisory which was published on the CDC website on August 6. “The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented risks for travellers. Given current global conditions, most countries around the world are currently a Level 3 or Level 4. We routinely review safety and security conditions in destinations across the world, and will update destination-specific information as appropriate,” the embassy noted. ROSEAU, Dominica – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says he has written to the United States, complaining at the decision by Washington to place Dominica and other Caribbean countries on a list of high-risk countries to be avoided by its nationals because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Let me say to the United States, you know this travel advisory that they issued…stop your ignorance and so forth, if you do not know, call me, call us we will give you information, but this unnecessary travel advisory (is) based on nothing really. ‘Let us not be so indifferent to the plight of the developing world and developing countries like Dominica. We do not have the resources that you have, but we have pride in ourselves and we are a resilient people. We have been through many challenges and we have survived. ‘It is unfortunate that this was done and I am hoping that the United States would fix this. We have written to them formally, objecting to this information,” Skerrit added. Over the last weekend, a US State Department official said that the placement of countries like Dominica on a level 3 or high-risk country for COVID-19 under the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) ranking is actually a downgrading of the Centre’s travel advisory. ‘So we must be very careful about what is our contributions towards this threat of civil disobedience and civil unrest in the country,” he said. “On the issue of threats of demonstrations, this is what our citizens have to be mindful of. If you go on the radio, those talks shows and say we are going to protest, block roads…these things have implications,” he said, adding that he is not the only person being affected by these calls. Skerrit, speaking on his regular Sunday night television programme, questioned why would the United States “want to create this problem between you and the citizens of the Caribbean. According to the latest figures, the United States has recorded 162,000 and 5.05 million infections as a result of the virus, while the worldwide figures are 732,000 deaths and 19.9 million infections since the first case was detected in China last December. CMC “Why would you tell people don’t come to our country because of COVID-19? We haven’t had a case in how many months and everybody who has tested positive, knock on wood, thank God, in Dominica has survived, including an 85-year-old man with all set of underlying conditions. By comparison, Dominica has recorded 18 confirmed cases and no deaths. Only Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago have registered in excess of 200 positive cases and nearly 100 deaths within CARICOM. “It will affect the hotels, it will affect the tour guides, the taxi-operators…it will affect everybody, because if people don’t come to Dominica, the hotels will be empty, no tour guide can make money, no your operator can make money. All CARICOM countries are listed in the CDC travel advisory.
“The Government wishes to inform that the issue of the Haitian and Dominican flags at Terminal 252 has been resolved, in accordance with a prior agreement between the Republic of Haiti and the Republic Dominican, following meetings organized during the months of January and February 2020. A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister said it had taken note of “the unfortunate incident” which had occurred on Monday “on the Haitian-Dominican border at Malpasse-Jimani…in Dominican territory”. CMC “Therefore, the Government deplores this misunderstanding which tends to harm friendly relations between the two countries. It took the opportunity to inform the public that an investigation was opened to determine the perpetrators and co-perpetrators of this act,” the statement noted. According to the local authorities, several Haitians had decided to remove the flag on the pole claiming that Haiti had ownership of land up to the Province of Azua. It said shots were fired as a result of the incident. It said arrangements have also been made to hoist the two flags at Terminal 252, in order to maintain calm and serenity on the Haitian-Dominican border. PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – Haiti has condemned the “illegal” actions of some of its nationals who earlier this week lowered a flag that had been erected by the authorities in the Dominican Republic along the border between the two countries. They said it was an initiative that provoked the intervention of the Dominican soldiers of the Specialized Land Border Security Corps (CESFRONT) who were confronted with protesters throwing stones and bottles. “In order to normalize the situation, a special ceremony had been planned during which the flags of both countries had to be hoisted at the same time on both sides of the border line. Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola.
“I would have thought that Biden would have tried to stay away from that a little bit,” he said. After being elected to the Senate in 2016, she quickly gained attention for her assertive questioning of Trump administration officials during congressional hearings. In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. The 55-year-old first-term senator, who is of Jamaican and South Asian descent, is one of the party’s most prominent figures. She quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended. One standout moment of her presidential campaign came at the expense of Biden. During a debate, she said Biden made “very hurtful” comments about his past work with segregationist senators and slammed his opposition to busing as schools began to integrate in the 1970s. The president told reporters on Tuesday he was “a little surprised” that Biden picked Harris, pointing to their debate stage disputes during the primary. Facing fundraising problems, she abruptly withdrew from the race in December 2019, two months before the first votes of the primary were cast. She will appear with Biden for the first time as his running mate at an event Wednesday near his home in Wilmington, Delaware. But the early promise of her campaign eventually faded. Her law enforcement background prompted skepticism from some progressives, and she struggled to land on a consistent message that resonated with voters. Trump, who has donated to her previous campaigns, argued she was “about the most liberal person in the U.S. Senate.” Biden, who spent eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, has spent months weighing who would fill that same role in his White House. He pledged in March to select a woman as his vice president, easing frustration among Democrats that the presidential race would center on two white men in their 70s. Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Biden an opening, and he enters the fall campaign in a strong position against the president. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state. Scott Olson/Getty Images Harris launched her presidential campaign in early 2019 with the slogan “Kamala Harris For the People,” a reference to her courtroom work. She was one of the highest-profile contenders in a crowded Democratic primary and attracted 20,000 people to her first campaign rally in Oakland. A woman has never served as president or vice president in the United States. Hillary Clinton was the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. Two women have been nominated as running mates on major party tickets: Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. The list in the legislation included practices Harris did not vocally fight to reform while leading California’s Department of Justice. And while she now wants independent investigations of police shootings, she didn’t support a 2015 California bill that would have required her office to take on such cases. She was elected California’s attorney general in 2010, the first woman and Black person to hold the job, and focused on issues including the foreclosure crisis. She declined to defend the state’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage and was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Biden’s search was expansive, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leading progressive, Florida Rep. Val Demings, whose impeachment criticism of Trump won party plaudits, California Rep. Karen Bass, who leads the Congressional Black Caucus, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose passionate response to unrest in her city garnered national attention. “Joe has empathy, he has a proven track record of leadership and more than ever before we need a president of the United States who understands who the people are, sees them where they are, and has a genuine desire to help and knows how to fight to get us where we need to be,” Harris said at an event for Biden earlier this summer. At the same event, she bluntly assailed Trump, labeling him a “drug pusher” for his promotion of the unproven and much-questioned malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus. After Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in response to protests about the death of George Floyd, a Black man in police custody, Harris said his remarks “yet again show what racism looks like.” Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump. The vice presidential pick carries increased significance this year. If elected, Biden would be 78 when inaugurated in January, the oldest man to ever assume the presidency. He’s spoken of himself as a transitional figure and hasn’t fully committed to seeking a second term in 2024. Some Biden confidants said Harris’ debate attack did irritate the former vice president, who had a friendly relationship with her. Harris was also close with Biden’s late son, Beau, who served as Delaware attorney general while she held the same post in California. “We made progress, but clearly we are not at the place yet as a country where we need to be and California is no exception,” she told The Associated Press recently. The national focus on racial injustice now, she said, shows “there’s no reason that we have to continue to wait.” Harris joins Biden at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people in the U.S., far more than the toll experienced in other countries. Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused severe economic problems. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality. Their parties lost in the general election. Shaken by the attack, Biden called her comments “a mischaracterization of my position.” The exchange resurfaced recently with a report that one of Biden’s closest friends and a co-chair of his vice presidential vetting committee, former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, still harbors concerns about the debate and that Harris hadn’t expressed regret. The comments attributed to Dodd and first reported by Politico drew condemnation, especially from influential Democratic women who said Harris was being held to a standard that wouldn’t apply to a man running for president. Harris, born in 1964 to a Jamaican father and Indian mother, spent much of her formative years in Berkeley, California. She has often spoken of the deep bond she shared with her mother, whom she has called her single biggest influence. “There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” she said. “And that little girl was me.” Harris’s record as California attorney general and district attorney in San Francisco was heavily scrutinized during the Democratic primary and turned away some liberals and younger Black voters who saw her as out of step on issues of racism in the legal system and police brutality. She declared herself a “progressive prosecutor” who backs law enforcement reforms. But Biden and Harris have since returned to a warm relationship. Harris has taken a tougher stand on policing since Floyd’s killing. She co-sponsored legislation in June that would ban police from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set a national use-of-force standard and create a national police misconduct registry, among other things. It would also reform the qualified immunity system that shields officers from liability. Harris won her first election in 2003 when she became San Francisco’s district attorney. In that post, she created a reentry program for low-level drug offenders and cracked down on student truancy. In announcing the pick, Biden called Harris a “fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.” She said Biden would “unify the American people” and “build an America that lives up to our ideals.” – Associated Press
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley last week Friday said he had gone into voluntary quarantine after he had been exposed to a person suffering from the coronavirus (COVID-19) on August 10, election day. He said most importantly, persons must wear a mask once outside the home or in an enclosed space which is being shared at close quarters. Rowley, who was sworn into office on Wednesday at the head of a new 22-member Cabinet, said that given the circumstances under which “we all now live I once again take this opportunity to appeal to all citizens to each do your part to help fight this virus by strictly following the health instructions of regular attentive hand washing and sanitization, physical distancing and no congregation in groups above five persons”. In a message posted on his Facebook page, Rowley, 71, said that it had come to his attention on Thursday night that on the night of the election “I was exposed to someone who later tested positive for Covid-19. “With the discipline that is expected of us together we can fight and beat the uncontrolled expansion of this virus.” “I have been tested and the results are negative. Out of an abundance of caution I have been advised to remain in quarantine at home until next Monday when the full fourteen day period would have expired,” Rowley wrote. The announcement by Rowley comes as Trinidad and Tobago surpasses 1,000 COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, the twin-island has 1,031 cases and 15 deaths. CMC
At the 1993 pageant in South Africa, Hanna was the popular winner of the crown, becoming the third Jamaican woman to do so. Upon completing her reign as Miss World, which included attending the installation of Nelson Mandela as the first Black president of apartheid-free South Africa, Lisa returned to Jamaica to focus on her tertiary education. In 1998, she completed a bachelor degree in media and communication, followed by her master’s in communication studies in 2000—both at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. Lisa Hanna during the National Debates on August 25th. In 2003, Hanna tried her hand in broadcasting, hosting the Jamaican talk show “Our Voices” and then later, in the United States, as a guest presenter on “Xtra.” In her opening statement, she displayed eloquence and poise, while posing a clear and convincing argument for the PNP’s social policies. She posited that her party “has given the majority of Jamaicans access to educational opportunities, good healthcare and social services” because it is the party that believes in “social investment and not social control.” Political analysts in Jamaica are speculating should the PNP, which is far behind in the polls, lose the next general elections, party leader Dr. Peter Phillips would be strongly challenged, or could resign, and Hanna would be one of the contenders. It is also speculated if the PNP even wins, Phillips, who has serious health challenges could still resign, and again, Hanna is seen as a contender to succeed him in this scenario. The former Miss World had completely thrown herself into university life, with a string of achievements, including building a computer lab in the Faculty of Arts as her final-year project. It was by chance that Lisa Hanna ended up on the People’s National Party’s (PNP) team for the first national debate, on social issues, leading up to Jamaica’s general election on September 3. At the first of three political debates, held on August 25, Hanna was the clear leader of the PNP team, displaying a passion for politics and the Jamaican people as well as confidence that her party will form the next government. And, the highly popular party treasurer and former minister of youth and culture—who some political pundits see as a possible leader of the PNP in the not-too-distant future—took full advantage of the opportunity. Over the last few years, as the leadership of the PNP has come under scrutiny, Lisa Hanna has emerged as one of the party’s bright stars, with many supporters even suggesting that she would be the best fit for party leader. Her slew of admirers from around the world believe with their own certainty that she is more than just a pretty face. And her track record as a leader has also supported that argument. Hanna was born in St. Mary in 1975, to Rene Hanna, a farmer, and Dorothy Hanna, a hairdresser in St. Ann. The Hannas moved to Kingston where she attended the Queens All-Girls High School in St. Andrew. High School was Hanna’s training ground for politics, as she blossomed as a student counsellor, house captain, games captain and eventually, head girl. At the end of her high school career, when her other classmates were beginning to look at colleges, the 18-year-old turned her attention to beauty pageants and entered the Miss World pageant. Continuing her lifetime theme of leadership, Lisa Hanna became Jamaica’s youngest female member of Parliament in 2007 when she contested and won the seat for South-East St. Ann. During that time, she was also appointed as the opposition spokesperson on information, youth and culture. At the 2011 general elections, the PNP came into power and she was subsequently appointed as minister of youth and culture by former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, serving in that portfolio from 2012 to 2016 when the PNP lost the general elections. She then ripped into the leadership of the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), suggesting that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had “exacerbated the desperation and anxiety of Jamaican people.” She claimed that the PNP has always been the party to take Jamaica out of periods of adversity and is committed to doing it again if they win the elections. Hanna is currently married to Jamaican business giant, Richard Lake. She has one son, Alexander Panton, from a previous marriage to former senator and businessman, David Panton. During her tenure as minister of youth and culture, she formed an inter-ministerial committee for children, which collectively worked with all ministries and children’s agencies to lobby for children. The committee had several achievements, including the separation of children from adult correctional facilities and police lock-ups, the introduction of the Arts For Life Program at the South Camp Facility for Girls, the allocation of increased resources to help find missing children, and much more. She also spearheaded the successful lobby for Jamaica’s first-ever election to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee leading to Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains’ dedication as an official World Heritage Site. She currently serves as the shadow minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade. She has been re-elected twice as MP for South-East St. Ann.