As we celebrate the end of an eventful year, marked by triumphs and trials, we embrace the new year with hope and optimism. It is in this spirit of hope and optimism, that I greet you my, brothers and sisters in Petite Martinique, Carriacou and Grenada, and wish you a very Happy New Year.

In the last 12 months, we experienced several challenges as a people. We continue to be challenged by the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic: the disruption of regular school for yet another year, loss of jobs, businesses and livelihoods, and most devastatingly, loss of 200 members of our community: mothers, fathers, siblings, friends and neighbours. Among other things, we were challenged and tried by the increase in cost of living and high unemployment among our young people.

Amidst all the hardships brought on by Covid-19, we also witnessed the best of our people. Our parents and teachers working together, going the extra mile to ensure our children adapt to their new normal and still excel in their studies. Countless Grenadians at home and in the diaspora generously giving to those most impacted by Covid-19. Others volunteering by supporting those serving on the frontline, and in some instances, serving on the frontline themselves. Many providing material support, and beyond that, comfort and kindness to the sick and those who lost loved ones. As a party, our members contributed to these efforts in virtually every constituency. These responses from our ordinary Grenadians of all walks of life, leave me hopeful and optimistic that our future as a people is bright.

In 2021, our NDC party transitioned to a new generation of leaders. Ordinary citizens of Grenada, the delegates of the NDC, reposed confidence in me to lead the new NDC and our country into the future. This awesome responsibility I accept with humility and excitement, knowing that my colleagues and I can depend on your help and support. The outcome of NDC Convention 2021, was a triumph for our party, our country and for democracy. Our county needs change. Now, this new year, is when we begin to make that change in earnest.

The NDC under my leadership is ready to build a new vision for Grenada. We are ready to lead the transformation of our country by rebuilding our crumbled institutions, by providing equal opportunities for upliftment and wealth creation for our people. We are ready to lead in the return of patriotism and national pride in all our dealings. This new year calls for renewed commitment from all of us. We call on all our citizens to join us on this new journey in this new era.

As you ring in 2022, celebrating with family and friends, keep in mind that Covid-19 is still here. In fact, we have seen an increase in positive cases in the past week. I urge you therefore to protect yourself and your loved ones by following the protocols in place. The primary responsibility for not getting and spreading Covid is yours.

Once more, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I wish you and your family a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2022.