General secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), Senator Toni Moore, is the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for the constituency of St George North.
And during her introductory address on Wednesday night, Moore sought to reassure members of the union that her voice would not disappear now she was part of the party machinery.
“. . . My commitment to those members of the Barbados Workers Union who may be uncomfortable, who may wish to support but not sure if they are liking this right now, I am not leaving the union,” she said.
“I am not joining this move to be silenced, but on the contrary, my decision is to not only be heard, but be heard more loudly in a way that I can impact meaningful change and bring difference to this country.”
Moore joins fellow BWU heads Sir Hugh Springer, Sir Frank Walcott and Sir Roy Trotman into elective politics.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley made the special announcement via social media, flanked by other mask-wearing party members. She said Moore was unanimously chosen at all levels of the party because she was “a strong woman”, while her “academic, social and professional background” made her “the right fit”.
“I am ecstatic because I believe that Barbados will find that she will add tremendous value to the debates in the House of Assembly, to the programmes and projects of the Barbados Labour Party and to the cause of labour generally,” Mottey said.
She noted Moore’s vice was “steadfast” in the defence of the working class in Barbados.
Moore, who comes from Edgecliff, St John, but moved to St George as a young girl, said the overwhelming feeling was humility. She thanked the BLP general council, members of the executive in the St George North branch who stepped aside, and her family, some of whom were present, for their support.
She also tried to get ahead of the narratives that will be raised going into and during the by-election.
“I have not been a party person; don’t hold that against me. Neither do I expect you to hold previous statements made by me of not seeing the necessity to walk the political road,” she explained.
“That was taken at a time when that was my belief, but things have changed. Not only COVID has caused change, but experience has changed that and during the coming weeks and months you are going to hear a lot of things, a lot of attempts to undermine what is on the table now and the objective that this union, my joining you is intended to achieve.”
Moore will replace outgoing Member of Parliament Gline Clarke, who served in the area for 26 years. Last Sunday night, he announced his resignation, effective September 30, to become the High Commissioner to Canada.
In endorsing Moore, who told him many years ago she would be the next candidate for St George North, Clarke urged all of his supporters to give her an even more overwhelming majority than the 81 per cent of the vote he earned in 2018 and said he would be walking with her during the campaign.