Kingston, 28 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that long jumper Tajay Gayle was “simply great” in winning the long jump gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar today, creating a record for Jamaica.
Minister Grange said:
“By becoming the first Jamaican man to win a field title at the World Championships, Gayle, has demonstrated in no uncertain manner his class and it is only fitting that his good performances have been capped by a gold medal at the Championships.
“I wish to let Tajay know that entire Jamaica is thrilled by what he has accomplished in Qatar."
Kingston, 26 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has said that “A Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism which is being designed in Jamaica to measure the contribution of Sport to the national economy represents ground-breaking progress”.
Minister Grange made the statement at a workshop yesterday during which participants work on the design of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for use by stakeholders in Sport. The workshop was led by Andy Preece, consultant from the Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom.
The Sport Minister told representatives attending from 32 organisations concerned with Sport that “I want to thank you for your involvement from the beginning of this process. It began here in Jamaica with the first National Stakeholder Forum in October 2018, where we introduced the concept of being able to measure the contribution of sport to national development and to the economy.
She said the intention was to develop sport specific indicators that would assist in measuring the impact that the sector has on Jamaica’s development as a country.
“We have to take deliberate actions to position sport, physical activity and physical education as major contributors to our respective national development agendas and ultimately to achieve the international development goals. In almost every sector, sport is used for non-sport outcomes. We use it to keep fit, to mobilize communities for action, as a peace-building tool, for fun, as entertainment, for upward mobility, to earn - but we seldom stop to take stock of how that affects us."
The Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism will also help to identify some of the gaps in sport development.
“We are working with stakeholders such as yourselves, for example, to explore regulatory mechanism for safeguarding sport from corruption, which is a worldwide epidemic. We are working with entities such as the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission and the CTOC to ensure that our athletes are protected from illegal trafficking in persons and matters relating to match fixing.
“This framework therefore is a game changer! While it is being championed by my Ministry its success depends on your inputs and commitment.”
“But, ladies and gentlemen, as our key stakeholders and partners in national development through sport, the work doesn’t stop here. We expect that having benefitted from your feedback, we will rationalize and finalise the framework which will then be accompanied by an implementation plan which we will need your help to implement."
Minister Grange thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat for working alongside Jamaica, noting that it was an exchange because “the Secretariat was learning from us as much as we are learning from them.
“The partnership is mutually beneficial as Jamaica sits on the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport and in a few days will be sharing our experience with the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for sport. Not only that, but Jamaica’s role as a pilot country in the development and use of the broader Commonwealth sport indicators well noted and applauded,” the Sport Minister concluded.
Grange announces partnership with UWI Open Campus to combat sexual harassment
Kingston, 23 September 2019 – The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and The University of the West Indies Open Campus have agreed to collaborate in providing training and to engage in areas of research to address prevailing cultural stereotypes associated with sexual harassment.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange.
Minister Grange said “the partnership with the UWI Open Campus is designed to increase awareness on the provisions of the anti-sexual harassment legislation, and promote a climate of dignity, respect and tolerance in our workplaces.”
Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth had offered support to the Minister in the areas of training and research to combat the conduct, utterances and attitudes associated with sexual harassment.
Dr. Longsworth indicated that The UWI Open Campus has long recognised “the general lack of knowledge, training and education when it comes to sexual harassment at the workplace.” She noted that sexual harassment at the work place “can be enduring and persistent and is seen as a significant occupational health psychology problem which leads to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, drug and alcohol abuse.”
Dr. Longsworth said research shows that organisational climate is a strong predictor of workplace sexual harassment and that in many cases, hierarchical power dynamics, particularly among males, are at the root of sexual harassment. Minister Grange reiterated the Government’s commitment to addressing this problem in a comprehensive manner, and pointed to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Bill which is now before a Joint Select Committee of Parliament.
The Minister said legislation was “critical in dealing with sexual harassment, but it was crucial that every workplace takes steps to prevent this very serious crime through effective training and the development of policy that focus on eliminating certain behaviours and practices that unconsciously give rise to sexual harassment in the first place.”
Dr. Longsworth, in commending Minister Grange for her advocacy and commitment to this initiative, indicated that the partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will now expand on a national level. She noted that earlier partnerships through the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute included a series of sexual harassment sensitisation training sessions in partnership with TPDCo, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the University Hospital of the West Indies, the University of Technology, Jamaica, and the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica.
Kingston, 19 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has given the following statement on the compensation of victims of the Coral Gardens Incident of 1963.
As representatives, we have two main obligations: to do what is right and to do it in the right way. I returned to government in 2016 on a mission to do the right things for culture, gender, entertainment and sport.
It was in this spirit that we started and completed the process of clearing the records of our National Heroes and other freedom fighters. It was the right thing to do. It was in that same spirit that we began a process of reconciliation with our Rastafari brothers and sisters.
There is no doubt that what happened in Easter, 1963 at Coral Gardens to members of the Rastafari community is a stain on Jamaica’s development. For 54 years, our Rastafari brothers and sisters lived with the physical, psychological and emotional scars of that incident and the feeling that successive governments had let them down by not sufficiently acknowledging what they had been through.
That changed in April, 2017 when Prime Minister Andrew Holness decided to do the right thing by taking responsibility and apologising for what happened in Coral Gardens in 1963 — before he was even born.
Doing the right thing is not always simple, popular or expedient; reconciling with our Rastafari brother and sisters is none of those things. It is, however, the right thing to do and we must do it in the right way.
Included in the Prime Minister’s apology in 2017 was a commitment to establish a Trust Fund in the amount of J$10M to the victims of the Coral Gardens incident. The amount was recommended by the Office of the Public Defender, which had started an investigation into the Coral Gardens incident in May, 2011. The Public Defender proposed a Trust Fund of no less than J$10M subject to review if further analysis suggests the need for a greater sum. By the end of the 2017/18 financial year — in keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment — my Ministry forwarded, not only the promised J$10M, but an additional J$2M to the Administrator General’s Department as Trustee to establish the Fund.
We needed a fair mechanism to determine how and to whom compensation should be paid and turned again to the Office of the Public Defender to continue its work at locating survivors and getting information on their current socio-economic and living conditions. In its earlier report in 2015, the Office of the Public Defender said it was “unable to find a yardstick by which to recommend individual monetary compensation.” However, at our request to continue its work, the Office of the Public Defender underwent a careful, detailed and lengthy search and compilation of data (since 2017) and finally submitted a report to the Prime Minister in April, 2019.
While the Office of the Public Defender was conducting its comprehensive survey of socio-economic and living conditions of the survivors, my Ministry had been working with the Administrator General’s Department and Jamaicans for Justice, which represents the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society, on establishing the terms which will govern the Trust Fund. We anticipated the report of the Office of the Public Defender to finalise the Trust and move to begin making payments.
However, in its 2019 report the Office of the Public Defender concluded: “Even after our survey of socio-economic and living conditions of the survivors, the material gathered still fell below that which was sufficient to allow us to make any reasonable estimate of damages.”
Therefore, the issue of a fair mechanism to determine compensation continues to occupy our attention in light of the conclusion of the Public Defender. I recognise that the survivors of the Coral Gardens incident have waited a very long time for acknowledgment, an apology and compensation from their government and I am determined to work day and night to expedite the process so that they will not have to wait much longer.
The official apology and the establishment of the Trust Fund are part of a broader programme of reconciliation with the Rastafari community.
The Government alongside the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society has identified land that will ultimately be used to house a permanent Elder Care Home for the victims. In the interim, we are taking steps to make ready temporary facilities to serve as the Coral Gardens Elder Care Home. Through the efforts of my Ministry, wheelchairs, furniture and furnishings have been provided to survivors by Food for the Poor, the Ministry of Labour & Social Security, and private donors.
Additionally, my Ministry has pursued making other provisions for the welfare of the survivors and the Rastafari community in general, in consultation with the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society and Jamaicans for Justice from time to time. At our last meeting at the end of August, 2019 we agreed that we would work towards actioning additional initiatives in October, 2019.
I have also appointed a Cultural Liaison with responsibility for Rastafari Affairs. The Liaison is Mrs. Barbara Blake Hannah a known expert in Rastafari heritage and matters relating to the welfare of the community.
I want a new, improved relationship with I and I Rasta brethren and sistren and with the team, including the directors of the Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society, I am working hard to achieve this new I-nity.
We will see this reconciliation process, including compensation for the Coral Gardens incident, through to conclusion. It is the right thing to do.
Kingston, 18 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, is underscoring government policy, in keeping with the Jamaican Constitution, which does not permit discrimination on the basis of religious or cultural practices or race.
Accordingly, Minister Grange said, it is not acceptable for any person in Jamaica to be discriminated against, or denied services on the basis of how he/she wears his/her hair.
Minister Grange said her Ministry would work with government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure that guidance issued on grooming and appropriate appearance for work or school does not target specific hair textures and hair styles, race or religion.
Kingston, 12 September 2019 – All is now set for the installation of the statue of the Jamaican Olympic and World Champion sprinter, Veronica Campbell Brown.
On Thursday (today), the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, received the all clear from Campbell Brown.
Minister Grange said:
“We’ve been in discussion with Veronica and the sculptor, Basil Watson, about the design, but today when Veronica saw the maquette she said, ‘Yes, this is it!’. She loves it!"
The statue in tribute to Campbell Brown — to the scale of one and quarter life size — will be mounted at Statue Park in the National Stadium and unveiled during a special ceremony on Sunday, 20 October 2019.
The Campbell Brown statue is the third of four statues in tribute to outstanding Jamaican athletes that are being designed by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport as part of its Jamaica 55 Legacy programme.
The first two statues of Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce were unveiled in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The statue of Asafa Powell, the last in the series, is being finalised.
Kingston, 11 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, said today the statue of Veronica Campbell Brown, one of Jamaica’s most celebrated track athletes, will be unveiled at Statue Park at the National Stadium on October 20, 2019.
The Minister made the announcement as she addressed the press conference called by the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Administration to announce Jamaica’s team to the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar between September 27 and October 6,
“Veronica’s statue will join those of Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce with the customary the Unveiling Ceremony at Statue Park.”
Minister Grange added that the athlete is now visiting Jamaica as guest of UNESCO and the Jamaica National Commission on UNESCO, of which the Minister is the Chairman.
“You will recall that Veronica Campbell Brown was the first UNESCO designated Champion of Sport in the Americas, that designation having been conferred on her in 2009.
“VCB’s focus has been on women and girls in sports, advocating for equal treatment for them and for clean sports,” Miss Grange said.
Kingston, 11 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, announced today that a group of investors from Canada that are “standing by” to build an ice rink along with a bob-sled practice track and an 800-room boutique hotel on Jamaica’s north coast.
Minister Grange spoke at the press conference called by the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Administration (JAAA) to announce Jamaica’s team to the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, later this month.
“At this time, I will not say exactly where on the North Coast but will do so soon. The ice rink will facilitate tournaments and pre-season training. The investors are ready right now to sign a memorandum of understanding to get the activity going. They will be visiting Jamaica shortly.”
The sport Minister said Jamaica became a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation in May 2012, the first Caribbean nation to do so. “But in order to compete at the Winter Olympics the country must have at least one ice rink and a development programme,” she said.
The Sport Minister also congratulated Jamaica’s Senior Men’s Ice Hockey team once again for creating history by winning the AmeriGol-Latam Cup on Sunday in Coral Springs, Florida in the USA.
“It was a splendid performance as Jamaica continues to show the rest of the world how good we can be in sports which are not traditional to us.”
Kingston, 7 September 2019 - The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has congratulated the Jamaica Senior Men’s Ice Hockey team for “a splendid display in which you created history by winning the AmeriGol-Latam Cup in Coral Springs, Florida in the USA.”
The Jamaica team beat Colombia 2-0 on penalties in the final today after the match was tied 2-2 at full time. The other teams in the competition were Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Argentina.
Minister Grange said:
“Jamaica continues to show the rest of the world how good we can be in sports which are not traditional to us and I really want our Senior Men’s Ice Hockey Team to know how proud we are of what they have accomplished on the ice.”
Miss Grange said the Jamaica Ice Hockey Federation must also be highly commended for the fine showing of the team.
Kingston, 5 September 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has named members of the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel for the next three years.
Minister Grange said the appointment of the Panel is in keeping with the Anti-Doping in Sport Act and the World Anti-Doping Code.
Attorney-at-Law, Kent Gammon, is returned as Chairman.
The two Vice Chairmen are Hugh Faulkner and Georgia Gibson-Henlin, both Attorneys-at-Law.
The other members of the Panel are:
- Dr. Donovan Calder, Medical Practitioner
- Dr. Marjorie Vassell, Medical Practitioner
- Dr. Japheth Ford, Medical Practitioner
- Dean Martin, former Vice President of the Jamaica Paraplegic Sports and Social Club
- Heron Dale, former President of the Jamaica Football Federation
- Denise Forrest, former President of the Jamaica Women’s Hockey Association