BDA: Hunt’s Position Does Not Reflect A Change

May 7, 2010

bermuda democratic alliance At approximately 4:30pm today [May 7] Bermuda Democratic Alliance [BDA] MP Donte Hunt spoke out against gaming during the debate in the House of Assembly.

The BDA’s official position is that the party “supports the concept of gaming in Bermuda, but only in association with legislation that will clearly, fairly and transparently regulate its implementation.

During the debate, Mr Hunt referenced varied studies and cited social concerns for his lack of support for gaming. Six hours later during the debate, UBP MP Cole Simons said the BDA made a statement they support gaming and that “one third of the BDA team” came out against gaming during the debate, an obvious reference to Mr Hunt being 1 of the 3 BDA MPs.

You can read the full coverage of the debate on gaming here.

Leader of the BDA Craig Cannonier released a statement at 11pm tonight clarifying the BDA’s position.

Statement in full:

Proceedings in the House of Assembly today have seen a series of passionate speeches in debate of the Green Paper on Gaming.

The official Alliance position was made clear in my statement communicated to the press this Wednesday in support of the concept of gaming, but with heavy qualification in terms of implementation.

As you know Alliance MP Donte Hunt chose today to speak against gaming.

We recognize that the debate today represented a discussion regarding the Green Paper – not whether gaming was to be legalized – therefore MP’s were able to express their points of view and those of their constituents.

MP Hunt had previously expressed his reservations regarding the social issues associated with gaming during the Alliance’s Caucus debate on Tuesday and it was accepted that MP Hunt would be at liberty to address these during the debate in the House of Assembly today.

The Caucus shared his concerns and those of many others in Bermuda regarding the social impact of gaming on our community, and this is why the Alliance’s support for the concept of gaming was duly qualified in our press statement.

The Alliance encourages independent thinking and we are willing to debate differing points of view. To be clear however, MP Hunt’s remarks do not reflect a change in the Alliance’s official position, per previous statements.

In due course we will release a more comprehensive statement on gaming so that there are no misunderstandings about where the Alliance stands on implementation of gaming and the heavy restrictions that would have to be in place for support of any bill should such a bill come before the House of Assembly.

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