Hundreds of Guyanese residing in the Greater Toronto Area came out in droves over the Canada Day weekend to welcome the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, H.E. Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.
Waving small Guyana flags, President Ali was given a champion’s reception by hundreds of Guyanese-Canadians, whether it was at a mandir, an area mosque, a church or a banquet hall north of Toronto.
The objective of the brief visit was for President Ali and his delegation to outline the formidable strides the people of Guyana have made since the People Progressive Party (PPP) came to power in 2020.
President Ali outlined the many investment opportunities in various burgeoning industries such as the demand for soy and corn, eco-tourism and, more recently, a “mom and pop” export flower and roses production business.
President Ali explained how Guyana’s economy is being transformed as a result of oil production. He walked the audience through a series of transformations in key sectors such as agriculture, tourism and health and wellness.
The President presented a holistic vision to improve the economy of Guyana, “free of corruption, while raising the quality of life for all Guyanese, of every creed, race, faith, region of domicile, just One Guyana,” he said
“Guyana needs you, we need your skills, we need your expertise,” President Ali exclaimed to loud applause.
President Ali joined Toronto’s International Muslims Organization (IMO) members for breakfast on July 1. In his speech, Dr Ali dispelled some of the myths and rumours about what life is like in Guyana. He asked those in attendance to anchor their perception – their truths – of Guyana in facts rather than base it on Tik Tok and gossip peddled on social media channels.
President Ali’s visit was highlighted by a festive gathering at La Primavera Banquet Hall hosted by The Official Diaspora Engagement.
President Irfaan shared his government’s achievements, economic growth and projections, and projects currently in progress, and he articulated a clear vision for Guyana’s socio-economic and political transformation, which will create enormous opportunities for all Guyanese.
The President’s “One Guyana” initiative was a recurring theme in Dr Ali’s speeches.
The President said Guyanese should see the common humanity in others, meaning “every Guyanese – regardless of ethnicity or faith – should be treated with respect and dignity.”
Dr Ali demonstrated why he is called “the people’s president.” He would not shy away from greeting, hugging, encouraging and taking endless photos-ops with anyone who approaches him.
One of the speakers at the main event described the President as a “unifier of Guyanese.”
“In President Ali, Guyanese see their hopes and aspirations for a better future for the present and future generations to come. In their eyes, one can see that the level of expectation during President Ali’s tenure of governance has been set at an exceptionally high level.”
Judging from the turnouts at all events featuring the President, it appears that Canadian-Guyanese sees President Ali as the most likely leader to lead his nation to One Guyana, prosperous, generous and humane.
IMO’s President, Omar Farouk, said that his organization is always honoured and feels very privileged whenever they are given the opportunity to host a visiting President from his homeland, Guyana. He recalled past Presidential visits, including those of President Janet Jagan, President Bharat Jagdeo, President Donald Ramotar, as well as Prime Minister Sam Hinds.