Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, says the Government remains committed to the growth and development of cooperatives, as these entities are critical to Jamaica’s social and economic development.Addressing a stakeholder conference staged by the Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS) in Montego Bay today (October 19), Mr. Brown said cooperatives are among the best ways of doing business to empower people, and must figure prominently in the country’s efforts to achieve inclusive development.“We want cooperatives to be fully recognised as part of the solution to economic and financial problems. The time has come to include cooperative actions in major socio-economic development strategies for sustainable and equitable prosperity,” Mr. Brown said.He emphasised that cooperatives are an important ingredient in the Government’s thrust to stabilise the macroeconomy, create a more business-friendly environment, and stimulate domestic and foreign investments in order to move Jamaica from its “extended history of low economic growth and stagnant job creation to a path of sustained economic growth and employment expansion”.The Director General also commended the DCFS for its role in facilitating the establishment, development and supervision of the overall operations of cooperatives, which have grown over the decades to become a strong national movement.He said new studies have shown that cooperatives are responsible for almost 10 per cent of the world’s employment and have been pivotal in bringing wealth to rural areas, preventing many families and communities from sliding into poverty.Consequently, he said, the cooperative movement must be made commercially viable, so it can continue to serve the marginalised.“A telling fact of the suitability of cooperatives is that during recent decades when countries in many regions have experienced collapse of their financial systems and when several market economies have experienced economic meltdown, cooperative-run businesses and industries have remained largely untouched. Here in Jamaica, the credit unions are as strong as ever,” he said.Mr. Brown noted that c-operatives have played a vital role in strengthening the agricultural sector in particular, by giving farmers access to capital and resources they need for productivity as well as markets.“Agricultural cooperatives have been making an important contribution to food security in numerous countries. It has now become one of the main job-creation sectors in rural areas, where the majority of the world’s population struggle with poverty and malnutrition,” he said.The conference was aimed at enabling greater networking among credit unions and the producers and services sectors of the cooperative movement.It was staged in collaboration with several of the island’s credit unions, and targeted members of producers and services cooperatives. Areas covered included the capitalisation of cooperatives, cooperative regulations, and the importance of training and education on cooperative development. The conference was aimed at enabling greater networking among credit unions and the producers and services sectors of the cooperative movement. Director General in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vivian Brown, says the Government remains committed to the growth and development of cooperatives, as these entities are critical to Jamaica’s social and economic development. He emphasised that cooperatives are an important ingredient in the Government’s thrust to stabilise the macroeconomy, create a more business-friendly environment, and stimulate domestic and foreign investments in order to move Jamaica from its “extended history of low economic growth and stagnant job creation to a path of sustained economic growth and employment expansion”. Story Highlights
TORONTO – The five years a mentally ill man spent in maximum-security immigration custody before being deported to his native Jamaica did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment, Ontario’s top court ruled Thursday.In upholding an earlier decision, the Court of Appeal agreed Alvin Brown’s lengthy detention was neither arbitrary nor indefinite, and concluded he had no claim to damages in the case.“Despite delays and unanticipated problems that resulted in the lengthy detention, (the incarceration) had not become illegal because there was a reasonable prospect of the removal being effected throughout the process,” the Appeal Court found. “Although the (Canada Border Services Agency) encountered a number of problems and the delays were significant, these were largely caused by the Jamaican authorities.”Brown arrived in Canada in 1983 as an eight-year-old and became a permanent resident in 1984. The federal government revoked his residency status in 2005 and ordered him to leave following a string of convictions, some for violent offences. Canada Border Services Agency detained him in early 2011 after he had served his time pending his removal.He spent the next five years in a maximum security prison trying unsuccessfully to have the removal order quashed. During that time, immigration officials tried to ensure he had the necessary travel documents. Jamaican officials wrangled over whether he was in fact a citizen and then raised questions over his mental-health needs.Ultimately, the Jamaicans issued him travel papers and he was deported in September 2016 as his lawyers argued the father of six, who is in his 40s, deserved damages of $1,500 for each day he had spent in immigration detention.In December 2016, Superior Court Justice Alfred O’Marra ruled against Brown. Among other things, O’Marra found no rights violations and that Brown had received adequate medical care while in custody. The judge found the detention was warranted given Brown’s history, and blamed Jamaican authorities for much of the delay in deporting him.Brown appealed, alleging O’Marra made several errors. Among them, he argued the judge was wrong in failing to find the detention had become indefinite because it had long been clear the prospects of a quick deportation were slim. The Appeal Court disagreed on all counts.Contrary to Brown’s assertions, case law does not set a maximum length for detention, the Appeal Court said. Instead, the panel found, assessments of a detention must turn on the specific facts of each case in which the rights of a detainee against arbitrary or indefinite detention and the reasons for the incarceration must be weighed against the prospect of reasonably speedy removal.The Appeal Court also rejected arguments that international law and principles “somehow stand for” the idea that any such detention longer than 18 months is illegal.On the issue of whether Brown would have been entitled to damages if his detention had been deemed illegal, the Appeal Court said it simply did not have the information to make such a determination. The record was “simply inadequate,” the court said, because Brown had raised his constitutional argument in the context of an application to be released from custody — an application that became moot when he was finally sent to Jamaica.Any future Charter-violation applications in similar circumstances should be raised and dealt with in standalone proceedings, the justices said.A Federal Court judge ruled last July in a separate case Brown raised that Canada’s rules for detaining foreigners who can’t be deported quickly are constitutional.