Prime Minister Gaston Browne has said that Ambassador Calvin Ayre is “easily” the single largest private sector developer in the country
Ayre, a Canadian-born is a naturalized citizen, having received his citizenship via the Immigration Act and not via the Citizenship by Investment (CIP).
His philanthropy and investments in Antigua and Barbuda are of his own accord.
He owns and constructed Canada Place to the tune of over $40 million dollars, the ongoing construction of a retreat centre at a cost of $40 million US dollars, and his plan to construct, later this year a luxury resort and residences – a Nikki Beach project.
In addition, Ayre just launched a $540,000 project at the University of the West Indies to allow 200 students to further their education there.
“For his contributions to the development of Antigua and Barbuda we say thank you and we are eternally pleased. I say to Ambassador Calvin Ayre, sincerely thank you. An unapologetic thank you, for your commitment to this country and certainly to the region. Your contributions have made a difference, especially your economic contributions. Today, Ambassador Calvin Ayre is easily the single largest private sector developer on the island” Browne said in a statement today Thursday
“Ambassador Ayre, evidently has shown a significant amount of commitment to the people of this country and he should be celebrated. I want to encourage all Antiguans and Barbudans to embrace him. He is a citizen and I want to emphasize the point that he has been a good citizen and a most productive citizen in terms of his investments,” he added
Prime Minister Browne said other members of the business community should contribute to community development and worthwhile projects.
“We all know that the best of them is charity. And they say that charity is the best form of love. Ambassador Ayre is showing his love for the people of Antigua and Barbuda in a very tangible way by making these significant contributions, these significant gifts. In fact, I would say that he is also the single largest philanthropist. We are eternally grateful. And by giving, that is the way in which you demonstrate love for people. I am encouraging other businessmen and other professionals in this country to follow the lead of Ambassador Ayre by giving not only to the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus, but generally to the society. For us to become more giving and more empathetic people. There are many things that we can volunteer to do, but unfortunately, we do not have a strong culture of volunteering, and I’m hoping that this will change as we look at the contributions of people like Ambassador Calvin Ayre,” according to the prime minister.
He also gave his government commitment to invest in the development of its people, not only in academic education but also in vocational and technical education.
“My government agrees with Principal Williams of the Five Islands Campus that there is a need for us to assist individuals in the workforce to increase or improve their job proficiency. And that is certainly an area that we welcome as we continue to expand the university’s lifelong learning programmes. I am especially concerned about proficiency within the public sector, and we have held private discussions with Professor Williams to help us to provide training for public servants, perhaps on the university’s programme so that we could increase job proficiency. This contribution by Ambassador Ayre will assist in this regard,” he said.
The prime minister anticipates that the project will soon commence in an effort to increase productivity within the public sector
“We do not believe that retrenchment is a solution. I believe increasing productivity is a solution. That is why we have asked the university to partner with our administration, to continue to develop our public servants and to provide training for the public and private sectors as we seek to increase national productivity.”