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Solomon Islands’ Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States of America, Robert Sisilo, completed his cross-accreditations by presenting his Letter of Appointment to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on Monday.
TWO Solomon Islanders from Guadalcanal Province created history when they were handed their employment permit for Canada on Thursday as part of government partnership with Canada.
Amelia Muse and Careka Volly are the first two Solomon Islanders to have been granted the permit under the Canadian government’s Immigration nomination program.
They two touched down at the Vancouver International Airport and were escorted by Immigration and Customs officials to the primary processing centre where they were granted their work permits which are valid for 24 months.
During this period Muse and Volly will have to apply to have their Canadian permanent residency processed.
The nomination of the duo is the first ever for Solomon Islands.
Guadalcanal’s minister of Education Lazarus Rina congratulates Careka Volley as Ms Muse and Premier Veke look on. Photo: GP Communications
GUADALCANAL Premier Anthony Veke has CITREC, Guadalcanal Province graduates to ensure that they uphold their employment commitment to the highest standards as GP prepares more of its graduates for Canadian jobs.
In a historic event for the Province and the Solomon Islands, both Amelia Muse and Careka Volly of Guadalcanal on Thursday received their immigration nomination documents for Canada that came with an employment confirmation and the opportunity for the duo to remain in Canada on permanent basis as residents, a process they will apply for when arriving in Canada under the immigrant nominee program.
“This package I am going to be providing you today is your future,” Mr Veke told the duo.
“With Jobs and Immigration soon you will be in Canada where you will earn and learn and live with your family,” he added.
“Soon you will call Canada your permanent home.
“Least you should forget the people of Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands. As your premier and on-behalf of Government of Guadalcanal I wish you the very best and may blessing of God and well wishes of people of Guadalcanal always shower upon you both.”
Premier Veke further added:
“I want you both to show your dedicated commitment to your employer.
“I want both of you to prove your skills, dedication and professionalism.
“I want you to make my government and people of Guadalcanal and overall Solomon Islands proud.
“Your are the face of our nation and province so don’t let us down.
“Uphold your employment commitment to the highest standards as you take this new challenge in Canada.
“Let me at this juncture also thank the Canadian officials for their continued support to my province.
“I know that Guadalcanal is setting the stepping stones for this opportunity for the Solomon Islands and I am proud that GP is willing and able to prove its success.”
Premier Veke further added that his government’s partnership with CITREC is providing unforeseen opportunity to the nation as a whole.
Mr Veke also confirmed that employers and Canadian officials are considering more graduates for nomination.
“We remain optimistic that this opportunity is history in making and we will continue to see more results of hiring from the Canadian employers,” Premier Veke said.
Both CITREC –Guadalcanal graduates Ms Muse and Mr Volly are on their way to Canada as food supervisors for an international fast-food restaurant chain.
This time their employment in Canada is not seasonal but for a complete 24-month period within which time frame they will apply to become Permanent Residence (PR) of Canada.
Both have been nominated under the Immigrant Nominee Program.
Both Mr Volly and Ms Muse have created history for the country, becoming the first Solomon Islanders to be nominated under the Immigrant nominee program.
Also approved to travel with Mr Volly is his spouse and two dependent children who will soon all call Canada their home.
In total 4 persons in Mr Volly’s family will be travelling to Canada while Ms Muse will be travelling as the only principal applicant.
Mr Volly’s children will soon be entitled to go to school in Canada while his spouse upon arrival into Canada will be eligible to seek a temporary work permit while their PR application for Canada is being finalised within Canada.
Canadian Immigration Officials made a decision on both the files of Mr. Volly and Ms. Muse on Friday last week
Both Mr Volly and Ms Muse are confirmed to be receiving a salary at rate of Canadian $14 an hour which in today’s conversion works around Solomon $86 an hour per worker.
They will be employed at an international fast food chain as Supervisors. Both were handed over their employment letters yesterday.
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The Government is eyeing the ginger market in Canada.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the agriculture sector is where most Solomon Islanders can actively participate in economic development.
He says there is currently an opportunity for Solomon Islands to export ginger to Canada.
“And there’s a big huge market for ginger right now in Canada as we are talking, they want 10 containers every month and this not a difficult thing for us to do. You take 200 women in all constituency to plant ginger and you can sustain 10 containers every month, that’s what we are talking about here.”
SIBC News understands Solomon Islands has also been exploring the possibility of engaging in a large-scale export of cassava to the Canadian market.
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Prime Minister Sogavare, (Right), with the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada, His Excellency Dwivedi.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has praised Solomon Islands growing relations with Canada, saying he looks forward to further strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and also fully utilising the labour mobility opportunities which Canada presents.
The Prime Minister said the recent success of two Guadalcanal – CITREC graduates in Canada as seasonal workers further present opportunities for the Solomon Islands Government to consider Canada as a labour mobility partner in areas of tourism and hospitality.
The two graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Volly have returned home after ‘successfully’ completing their four months employment in the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada. They were employed as kitchen helpers.
Prime Minister Sogavare made the remarks during his meeting with the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada, Excellency Ashwant Dwivedi, at the Prime Minister’s Office last week.
The Prime Minister is of the view that he would seriously consider and pursue these opportunities with the help of the Honorary Consul General to Canada in his capacity as the as Chairman of CITREC.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Sogavare also praised the Premier of Guadalcanal Hon Anthony Veke and his provincial government for their commitment to aggressively pursue labour mobility opportunities with Canada.
“I must congratulate Guadalcanal Provincial government and Premier Veke for this labour mobility arrangement with Canada. This partnership has surely started to yield results and I feel that there are many others who can take advantage of this opportunity at the national level.”
“I am indeed very encouraged by the earnings of the two workers from Guadalcanal Province during their seasonal employment in Canada,” Prime Minister Sogavare added.
The Prime Minister said should the earnings be consistent, Solomon Islands like other countries in the world can place itself as an exporter of seasonal workers to Canada.
Solomon Islands sends its workers to Australia and New Zealand as part of its seasonal employment arrangements with these two countries. This year Canada became the third country to provide seasonal employment for Solomon Islanders when Guadalcanal Province sent two of its people for seasonal jobs in Canada.
Consul General Dwivedi told Prime Minister Sogavare that Canada presents great opportunities for Solomon Islands seasonal workers.
“Based on immigration reports in 2014, a total of 278,980 foreign workers were employed in Canada. I’m sure in future, Solomon Islands can add to these numbers,” Consul General Dwivedi said.
He further said the foreign remittances foreign workers in Canada send to their home countries are calculated at over Can$24- Billion annually.
“Mr Prime Minister I hope you will find these numbers compelling to engage with Canada’s labour mobility sector. I look forward to working to strengthen labour mobility partnership for the benefit of people of Solomon Islands,” Consul General Dwivedi said.
Consul General Dwivedi also discussed with Prime Minister Sogavare the various opportunities that Solomon Islands can seek in the agriculture sector with Canada, saying that Canadian businesses consider Solomon Islands as a country that can become a supply source for fruits and vegetables.
Consul General Dwivedi who is Canadian International Training & Education Corp (CITREC) board chairman met with the Prime Minister whilst on a three- day visit to the country.
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GP PARTNERSHIP HELPED FILL LABOUR NEEDS- CANADIAN MINISTER
Saskatchewan Governments Minister for Economy Honourable Jeremy Harrison has praised his provinces partnership with Guadalcanal Province saying it has helped local Saskatchewan employers fill needs that the province had experienced last summer.
“This partnership has helped local employers fill needs that they had this past summer and will assist the Guadalcanal students build their careers back home in Solomon’s” Minister of the Economy Harrison said.
“Saskatchewan is known all over the world for our brand of hospitality and we take pride in the fact that students from around the world, including the Solomon Islands, come to our province to gain valuable experience in our tourism industry,” Minister Harrison said.
Guadalcanal Premier Anthony Veke has praised the People and Government of Saskatchewan saying the Province and its citizens are playing an important role in building Guadalcanal’s economy.
Premier Veke’s comment follows return of two Guadalcanal citizens from Saskatchewan who had been employed in the Province as part of a 4-month seasonal worker program.
“ I commend the leadership of Premier Brad Wall and his government and the people of Saskatchewan and especially those businesses who have come forward to provide seasonal employment to my people. Thank you very much for this opportunity,” Premier Veke said.
This educational partnership support’s the entry of recent tourism graduates from the Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands by allowing them to work and gain first-hand experience in Saskatchewan’s renowned hospitality sector. The two graduates arrived in the spring of 2016, and they were employed as Kitchen Helpers at a restaurant facility in Regina.
“ As stated by the Saskatchewan Government member in the legislature in October 2015 this partnership is helping to meet labour shortages in the Saskatchewan province which continues to experience shortages of workers in its tourism and hospitality sector,” Premier Veke said.
This is a partnership between Canadian International Training & Education Corp. Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council, and the Solomon Islands province of Guadalcanal.
Premier Veke said that the steps taken by the Saskatchewan Government and stakeholders in supporting seasonal workers being sent for employment opportunity in the province has opened opportunities for Guadalcanal residents to build their lives and help build tourism standards of the province.
“The most important aspect of this partnership is that what our citizens learn being employed in Saskatchewan over the 4 month period is what they bring back to Solomon Islands tourism sector and the remittances they contribute to the economy,” Premier Veke said.
Premier Veke said that in particular he is grateful to Minister Harrison who sees this partnership as a learning and earning opportunity. “We have a tourism industry that is recording increase in visitor arrival and every aspect of training helps us improve our services,” Premier Veke said.
Province of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands has been praised by the Canadian Hotel and Tourism sector for being the leaders of the labour mobility partnership between the Government and People of Canada and Solomon Islands.
Just recently two GP-CITREC graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Volly have been praised as those who have proven themselves as Guadalcanal’s best brand ambassadors for displaying what they have learned in their classroom setting and to excel in the workplace.
Tourism and Hospitality Association leaders following deployment of two seasonal workers from the province of Guadalcanal which Canadian hotel says workers have exceeded industry expectations and has opened significant opportunities for more hiring of CITREC-GP graduates in the summer of 2017 by the industry.
Both Amelia Muse and Careka Volly were employed as seasonal workers for four months. They were employed in Canada as Temporary Foreign Workers and were granted a 4-month work permit upon their arrival into Canada in July of this year. Both departed for Guadalcanal on Saturday successfully completing their 4 months tenure with the Canadian employer.
“ It was a true honour and pleasure to work with Careka Volly and Amelia Muse over the last 4 months. It was inspiring to witness their skills improve to the level that they achieved in such a short period of time, Waterfront Beach Grill CEO Denny Joyal said in a statement.
“I appreciate the commitment and dedication they showed to both our business and to myself personally. This program was a win for everyone involved and I look forward to participating in it in the future”. Mr. Joyal said.
“Our partnership with the government of the Solomon Islands, CITREC and employer Mr. Joyal has been incredible. Two graduates arrived in the summer of 2016 to work at the Waterfront Beach Bar and Grill in Regina Beach and became the first workers to participate in this truly unique program and what I can confirm is that there is growing interest from my members to participate in similar opportunity next summer in 2017. This means more hiring from the Province of Guadalcanal of the CITREC-GP graduates,” President and CEO of Hotel & Hospitality Association in Canada Jim Bence said.
Mr. Bence said that as the first employer to work within the CITREC-GP program, Mr. Joyal took those first great steps into uncharted waters and embarked on a voyage that has set the framework for the future, continued success of the program.
“This truly is a huge win for the employer, the government of the Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, CITREC the SHHA and, most importantly, workers Amelia Muse and Careka Volly. They return home with valuable tourism experience and fantastic memories of a wonderful Saskatchewan experience.” President Bence said.
Solomon PM pays tribute to Father of Nation
Late Sir Peter Kenilorea, Former Prime Minister of Solomon Islands .
One of the brightest lights illuminating the pathway this Nation followed to this day has been extinguished.
Darkness has descended where this bright light once illuminated our path forward in nation-building; and within this dark space, lay our grief with a sense of loss of hope, deep aspirations and fervent goodwill that were the beacon upon which this great leader we farewell today, fashioned his vision; and by which he led the Nation forward into political emancipation on 7th July 1978, and helped to shape its progress thereafter.
Words cannot express the great loss we experience now, and over the past days since the sudden passing away of this Great Statesman.
I am overwhelmed by the enormous outpouring of grief for this wonderful man, distinguished statesman and leader; an ordinary father, and a Godly man, who devoted his entire life to doing our Nation and People all the good we experienced to this day.
He gave so much to make this Nation what it is today, and demanded so little in return.
- Our People and Country achieved independence from Great Britain through the quiet and calculated determination of our great leaders and statesmen, who have since left this life.
If there is a Solomon Islands version of Whose Who Encyclopaedia, the names it would record of Solomon Islanders who achieved distinguished service to the people and country would not be that many.
Indeed, these great statesmen and leaders who received recognition for their unselfish deeds and sacrifice, and who led our Nation and People to where we are today, are not as many as one would expect.
They include those who have since left this life – the likes of Solomon Sunaone Mamaloni, Sir Fred Osifelo, Sir Jacob Vouza, Sir Baddeley Devesi, Sir Dudley Tuti, Sir Lloyd Gina, Sir Ellison Pogo, Sir Mariano Kelesi, Sir David Kausimae, Sir Gideon Zoleveke, Sir George Lepping, and Sir Moses Puibangara Pitakaka.
Less than a handful of great leaders are still alive and continue to serve our Nation and People with steadfast loyalty and unreserved sacrifice. They include Sir Nathaniel Waena and Sir John Ini Lapli (former Governors General), Sir Frank Kabui (our Governor General), Sir Francis Billy Hilly (former Prime Minister), Sir Allan Kemakeza, (also retired former Prime Minister and long-time politician), Right Hon Ezekiel Alebua (former Prime Minister), Sir Albert Palmer (Chief Justice), Sir John Muria (former Chief Justice), Sir Bruce Saunders; Sir Dr Trevor Garland, Sir Dr Nathan Kere, Sir Henry Quan and Sir Thomas Chan.
Distinguished Guests and People of Solomon Islands,
At around 4.30 in the afternoon on Thursday 25 February (exactly 6 days ago), God in his mercy and love, called to rest, another one of our great leaders – Sir Peter Kenilorea, who also shared the membership of the Privy Council with the Right Honourable Ezekiel Alebua, the only two in Solomon Islands.
Sir Peter Kenilorea was the fourth Solomon Islander to receive Her Majesty’s Knighthood award in 1982. Only three other locals received the same award before him – late Sir Fred Osifelo in 1977, late Sir Jacob Vouza in 1979, and late Sir Baddeley Devesi in 1980.
By all accounts, the late Sir Peter Kenilorea must rank as one of the greatest among these men of distinguished standing. His achievements during his distinguished career in the civil service, and later in the political circles in the years leading to and since independence is, firm testimony to this fact.
The Country is not left in the dark as regards the description of what it means to be a leader through the eyes of this great man. He left behind a well -articulated volume of an auto-biography that tells it all as it is. It is just appropriate at this occasion that we allow him to tell it all by making reference to this great work of literature.
He would argue “A leader makes mistakes and says `Sorry’ to anyone who is aggrieved by the misfortune. It is clear, Humility ranks as an important virtue in leadership according to this great man, in words and deeds.
- Indeed, the late Sir Peter will be remembered for his kind generosity, humility, and fair and just manner he treats everyone who have come into contact with him.
- His first job with the Protectorate Government was as a teaching staff of KGVI in 1968, and was one of only two local staff. His qualities as a teacher became immediately apparent. His 1968 Form 5 Cambridge School Certificate group performed outstandingly, and it drew much commendation from the then Principal, who had earlier cautioned him of being too lenient with his marking of a Mock Trial examination for the same group. When the real examination results came out and almost resembled the Mock trial outcome, the young and inexperienced Peter Kenilorea was congratulated. The Principal also apologised for questioning his judgement of his students’ ability to pass the mock examination with outstanding results.
It was one virtue he learnt of a real leader which shaped his leadership character while serving in civil service and his political career – that a leader should never feel too big (or important) to apologise to his subordinates. Sir Peter wrote about this incident in his Autobiography published in 2008.
During those days when there was scarcity of specialized skills in the public service he wasJack of All Trades and he demonstrates that to be good at what you are doing you must have an appetite for Success.
- His entire civil service career revolved around performing multi-functional roles requiring multi-professional skills and personal attributes. His qualities flourished around a broad scope of very senior role positions in the former Protectorate and in the pre-Independent Government public service between 1971 and 1976.
- Behind these magnificent and noble achievements lie a simple-minded, humble, but quietly ambitious mind, and unwavering enthusiasm to learn and educate him-self around everything he did while at work, in his home, at church fellowships and in all engagements in and outside the country.
- From his early childhood school days right up to the time he took reign of the Country’s first Executive Government as Prime Minister of the newly independent Solomon islands Nation, and in every single civic role he got engaged in henceforth, Sir Peter held an unrelenting belief that God was his personal Guardian, his Coach and his Life-Guide, and he constantly sought his divine mercy and guidance in everything he said and did.
- Even when he knew God would summon him to join him in His eternal Kingdom in Heaven last Thursday, Sir Peter remained steadfast in his belief that it is God’s plan that if he should succumb to death, then it would happen without pro-longed pain and suffering. God answered Sir Peter’s prayer faithfully. He passed away quietly and honourably in his home amongst his beloved wife Lady Margaret and close relatives.
- Throughout his career, b he very ably combined his professional skills and personality – as senior executive administrator including roles as teacher, District Officer, District Commissioner; senior lands officer, magistrate, community educator, governance advisor and rural development advocate; project administrator, local court trainer, and as advisor on local custom to the Protectorate Governor at that time.
- His political career was even more amazing.
To many village people whom he met and interacted with, the late Sir Peter was `the government’ and everyone held him in the highest respect and admiration, for his accessibility, honesty, generosity, and absolute loyalty to the call of duty to serve people from all walks of life in government, church circles, and in the rural villages all around the country.
He was a living example of what Trust, Loyalty and Perseverance are all about in leadership.
- Late Sir Peter earned unreserved trust, loyalty and obedience from both the people he served and people he sought help from. An incidence at Queen’s Birthday Celebration in Kirakira in 1975 is a fine example of his popularity amongst people. Sir Peter wrote about it in his 2008 Autobiography.
Three aspects of the Queen’s Birthday celebration highlighted the highest level of trust and respect common people held towards this great man.
First, he decided and publicly announced that the occasion was to be the first dry celebration people in Kirakira were to experience. There would be not a single drop of alcohol served during the feasting.
Second, he successfully obtained agreement of Tikopian community chiefs in Kirakira, for the villagers to fish for the occasion – and got no less than 2 tons of fresh fish over two nights fishing.
Then, in his usual simple and humble way, he managed to convince the Police and the Chief Prison Warder to allow the prisoners (many whom he had sent to custody as Sitting Magistrate) to accompany him to cut leaves and firewood in the bush, for the feast. All the prisoners obliged, without any incidence whatsoever; even though they knew they won’t attend the feasting and celebrations. Such is the high regard the community held for late Sir Peter, as their District Officer then.
Time will not permit us to dwell in detail on the lessons of leadership manifested in the life of this great man. He has certainly touched many lives including this one. His exemplary public life and the values he believed in and practiced will remain a challenge to all who aspire to be leaders in this country.
He detests corruption in all of its forms and correctly argues that Solomon Islands with all of its potentials can only be successful if we take the bold step to weed out the evil scourge of corruption. According to him corruption is a manifestation of a life that is void of the character of Jesus. It is a powerful statement and a solemn reminder to all who claim to be Christians in this country.
This is an advice we must take seriously as a nation. For not to do so would be doing injustice to the man who has done so much to nurture the growth of this country from its inception and continue to be concern about it to the time of his passing on.
I am proud to have served him and the late Solomon Mamaloni during their terms as prime ministers of our country as a Tax Officer, moving through the ranks of that department to become the first Solomon Islander to localize the Commissioner of Inland Revenue through their encouragements.
When I finally became the prime minister of our country at the height of the ethnic tension in year 2000 he became one of the pillars upon which we lean on to restore peace and normalcy to the country. He worked so tirelessly with Sir Paul Tovua as co-chair of the Peace Negotiation, in collaboration with Sir Allan Kemakeza to bring the warring parties together. Despite his ill health following his retirement, he continues to engage with the government on matters as small as the welfare of public servants to national issues.
My last official correspondence with this great man is four weeks ago. He was concerned about the welfare of constitutional post holders and suggested that we amend the relevant laws to establish a pension scheme for all constitutional post holders.
I assured him that the government will pursue the course of action suggested. Such is the selfless life of this great man who even at the stage where his health would not permit him to play an active role in nation building, he still cares about our country and its people.
The country has certainly lost a great man. The least that we can do in his honour is to follow his example.
On behalf of the people of Solomon Islands from Shortlands in the west to Vanikoro in the East; from Lord Howe and Sikaiana in the North to Rennell and Bellona in the South, I take this opportunity to thank the people of East Are, Are for giving us this great man and for the great and outstanding contribution he has made to this nation. He will be greatly missed.
Of course behind a great man there is a great woman and I wish to acknowledge Lady Margaret for standing by his side all these years up to the time he was called to rest. May God continue to give you the strength you need to carry the pain of the loss and may his love fill the void created!
We are comforted by the knowledge that His soul rests in peace with the God that he continues to faithfully serve to the point when he was called to rest.
Sir, take your well – deserved rest with the assurance that “We shall meet again on that Beautiful Shore, in the sweet Bye, and Bye”. Source PMO, Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Hon. Milner Tozaka (R) with Honorary Consul General Ashwant Dwivedi.
Foreign Affairs Minister Milner Tozaka has confirmed the Solomon Islands Government’s interest to engage in labour mobility and Trade opportunities with Canada.
A statement from the Foreign Affairs and External Trade quoted Minister Tozaka as saying plans are underway for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to make a historical visit to Canada and hold talks on a number of important bilateral issues including labour mobility arrangements, clean energy and also to seek export opportunities for the people of Solomon Islands.
Minister Tozaka expressed these commitments at a recent meeting in Honiara with the visiting Chair of the Canadian International Training and Education (CITREC) and Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General Ashwant Dwivedi.
Mr Tozaka said Canada is considered a strong partner and they strongly believe that there is an opportunity in Canada that the government can take advantage of not limited to labour mobility.
Meanwhile, Mr Dwivedi met Prime Minister Sogavare who welcomed the opportunity with Canada, saying as members of the commonwealth, both countries share strong partnerships and he further looks forward to his proposed visit to Canada.