Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer:
Honourable senators, I rise today to give a heartfelt thanks to the Honourable Bob Nault, Vice-President of ParlAmericas and Chair of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas, Alisha Todd, Director General at ParlAmericas, and all parliamentarians of the Canadian delegation for last week’s Gathering of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality in Trinidad and Tobago.
I extend sincere thanks to our host, the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, for their warm welcome to Port of Spain.
A special thank you to Nadine Stewart-Phillips and to my guests in the gallery today, Jesille Peters and Kieron McDougall, for their help in making my stay in Trinidad and Tobago one of the best experiences of my life as a senator. Both Jesille and Kieron worked tirelessly to offer me the visit of a lifetime. Thank you.
Their efforts made me appreciate the true beauty of the country and the conversations I shared with the people, who were very welcoming.
I would also like to thank Nadia Faucher, an analyst at the Library of Parliament, and David Novoa from International and Interparliamentary Affairs for their support in making this trip a success.
At this event, participants from 22 countries shared experiences and learned from one another about how to apply a gender lens to policies, programs and legislation related to climate change.
The training sessions are a highlight of ParlAmericas gatherings and a valuable opportunity for all of us both to engage in continuous learning and to exchange the experiences that will make us better legislators.
Honourable senators, I want to share something special with you. Yesterday, May 30, was the anniversary of the arrival of Indians to Trinidad and Tobago, also known as Indian Arrival Day. Indian Arrival Day is a holiday celebrated in the nations of the Caribbean and in Mauritius to commemorate the arrival of people from India to their communities. Trinidad and Tobago was the first country to start this holiday.
As an Indian from East Africa, I never thought that any country would celebrate our arrival. In Port of Spain, I was truly touched to attend events commemorating the arrival of Indians.
It gave me such a warm feeling that the people of Trinidad and Tobago celebrate their differences. They are proud of the presence of various cultures within their communities.
There is a lot we can learn from the people of Trinidad and Tobago as they set examples for values of acceptance and cultural pride. I will cherish those memories forever. Thank you very much.