Dec 29, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – We at this news network roll out the red carpet of welcome for His Excellency, Mark Berman, the new Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana. Welcome, sir! And we trust that this stint will be mutually respectful and helpful. When this is so, then the interests of both Canada and Guyana will be well served. If it is not, as in one-sided, then things go downhill.
As we extend the courtesies due to His Excellency, we remind him and his team that we have one agenda only. It is about what is good for Guyana and all of its peoples. All other considerations fade to the margins. We can appreciate that High Commissioner Berman has identical priorities regarding his own responsibilities to his country and his fellow Canadian citizens. As much as we understand and respect the Canadian High Commissioner’s position, where the interests of Guyana are concerned, we have no friends, we have no competing loyalties that come close, and we have no qualms about presenting in the clearest terms where we stand.
One of the things on which we have taken a sharp, firm stance, is this oil of ours and what has been done to us from the inception, and which continues to plague us through still more missteps and hesitancies. One of these involves the weakness and exposures that we have to our environment, and which flows from our oil production. Specific, it is the way that our contracted oil producing partners from close to where the High Commissioner hails from; operate to the detriment of this nation and its reputation for caring for the environment by doing everything it can.
To be frank, we currently lack the expertise to manage our oil production environment, to our liking, to our benefit. Because of this vulnerability, we are taken advantage of and held to ransom. We just do not know enough, are not strong enough. But we did notice from a short biographic sketch that we had published announcing the naming of His Excellency as Canada’s next High Commissioner to Guyana that he has had significant exposure though longstanding and high-level involvement with environmental work in several official capacities. In fact, we would go so far as to state that the new High Commissioner qualifies as a bona fide expert on matters of the environment. In view of this background, High Commissioner Berman could be worth his weight in gold to Guyana.
It is something that we urge the sitting Government of Guyana to explore early and capitalize upon smartly. It is this same something that we respectfully invite High Commissioner Berman to lend a guiding hand here and there, from behind the scenes, and especially in controversies and crunches concerning this oil of ours. He could be a hoped-for authoritative voice in our oil environment, one that we currently lack severely. We see him as part resident unofficial consultant and in such a manner that does not impinge on his national obligations.
What we lack in awareness and knowledge, the High Commissioner could furnish adeptly. To those who say that this is not the role of the High Commissioner, we agree wholeheartedly. Still, as we do so, we recall (and call on our fellow Guyanese and guest Canadian friends to remember, too) the persistent and potent role that the High Commissioner’s immediate predecessor played in this country’s quest and struggle for electoral democracy. The more we weigh that and think about that, the more we believe that we are neither stepping out of bounds nor straining the parameters of diplomatic protocol. Truth be told, as we see it, we are simply extending the continuum of helping hands on issues that count and in times of dire need. This did not cause any insurmountable problems before; thus, we fail to see how it could present any at this time, and for what we encourage.
Examine this particular senior envoy, and it is clear that he has been a trusted advisor at home to senior people, capable authority in several foreign locations, and someone who is always on the rise when the environment is under the microscope. We say again, therefore why not? And not to forget: welcome and have a lovely stay here.
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