Former diplomat and President-designate of the Senate, Reginald Farley, has described his two years as High Commissioner to Ottawa as productive.
Reflecting on his tenure following a ceremony today at Government House in which he was sworn in as a senator, the former diplomat stated that he was able to strengthen bilateral relations, improve diasporic relations and provide consular services to Barbadians in Canada.
He listed some of his notable achievements as the deepening of relations between Barbados and Canada, as well as between CARICOM and Canada; the hosting of a virtual CARICOM/Canada dialogue on June 17, and the establishment of a Technical Joint Committee on Safe Travel on June 26. Relations with the diaspora were also strengthened via the use of technology to leverage participation in a number of events.
When asked if he had expected to be elevated to such a position in his political life, he explained that being the Speaker of the House, or President of the Senate, was not in his “contemplation”, but about representing the people.
“I had always planned to enter politics and my target age was around 45. When I was 32, the late Prime Minister Arthur called me and said: ‘I want you to be my Minister of Industry and Commerce, would you accept?’ I said ‘yes’ and that was it. So, I entered via the Senate, and immediately before that, I was the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, advocating for private sector policies,” he recounted.
Senator Farley said he sees his new role as being a mentor, and as an opportunity to give back some of what he has learnt over the years. He promised to give the new assignment his full attention. Senator Farley was a former Minister of Industry, Commerce and Business Development; Economic Development; and Education, Youth and Sports.