Live Blogging: Parliament’s Debate

May 7, 2010

For the first time today, Government Ministers were questioned during the House of Assembly. Previously, Minsters made statements and then questions had to be submitted in writing and would be answered approximately ten days later. The new pattern follows the model of the UK House of Commons.

Below we are live blogging it for any political junkies. To refresh your screen press the ‘F5′ key:

10am: House begins, general rules and statements read out. Speaker of the House Stanley Lowe [PLP] asks for Ministerial Statements.

10:12: Premier Dr. Brown [PLP]  presents four statements; one about the issue with the UK over the Aircraft Register, a study about feasibility of transferring some Government operations to St. George’s and Southside, the Public Access to Information Bill, and commends the Transport Control Department [TCD] which he said was previously the subject of many complaints, and has made significant improvements recently winning a Techweek award.

10:33: Health Minister Walter Roban [PLP] speaks on FutureCare; physician reimbursement, budget aspects, Phase 2 of the plan, town hall meetings, and saying they had 68 new people enroll during April 2010.

10:42: Energy, Technology and E-Commerce Minister Michael Scott [PLP] speaks on Techweek; explaining the objectives, and reviewing the events held, commends the knowledge of the students of Victor Scott at the launch, and says the introduction of ‘Hectors World‘ is part of their dedication to Cyber safety, and thanks the sponsors.

10:51: We say in a completely unbiased manner that Minister Scott made the best statement of the day [perhaps the year?] when he commended the Techweek awards winners, and mentioned Bernews win for Best Local Website.

10:55am: Culture and Social Rehabilitation Minister Neletha Butterfield [PLP] speaks on the Children’s Reading Festival at the Youth Library, saying over 1,000 people turned out, and thanked all who participated to make it a success. She also speaks on May being Foster Care Month, saying over 100 children in Bermuda are in foster care, and commends foster parents calling them ‘unsung heroes’. The Minister mentions three events; tag day on May 14, Church Service at Bethel at 11am on May 23, and that the charity was selected for the May 24th marathon derby.

10:59: Works and Engineering Minister Derick Burgess[PLP] speaks giving an update on the court construction project, saying the building shell is virtually complete, says the glass has extra security, plumbing is 95% finished, security accesses control and CCTV 30% complete, lighting 60% complete, that there are approximately 100 workers on site each day, and that the projection will be managed with ‘fiscal prudence’.

11:09: Ministerial statements ends.

11:10: Dame Jennifer Smith [PLP] speaks on the transcription of the audio and visual of the sessions of the House of Assembly, explaining the progress, saying it will offer better reflection, also saying that in the future the audio will be streamed online in the future.

11:17: Question period starts, for the first time in Bermuda’s modern history.

11:18: John Barritt [UBP] speaks, saying he wished to ask the Premier a question, and will wait till he returns

11:18: Louise Jackson [UBP] speaks on FutureCare, about the cost of the premiums, and asks Minister Roban to explain how calculated phasing of Futurecare which discriminates against people on the basis of age, can be justified as it violates human rights.

11:20: Minister Roban [PLP] says he is ‘bewildered whether that is a question or statement” and that it is not discriminatory

11:21: John Barritt [UBP] asks about the aircraft registry, and why the UK is concerned, Premier Brown [PLP] responds, Mr Barritt asks another question, Premier Brown says Bermuda has the largest percentage of Russian aircraft, back and forth continues…

11:26: The subject of UK complaining that Bermuda is revenue raising with the aircraft registry, Dr Brown says he thought raising money was okay – the House appears in agreement, and Dr Brown asks the speaker to “record the moment”

11:27: Dr Grant Gibbons [UBP] asked what changes the UK asked Bermuda to make in reference to UK aircraft. Dr Brown responds, back and forth continues

11:29: John Barritt [UBP] mentions the Coco Reef Lease

11:31: Patricia Gordon-Pamplin [UBP] asks if Premier is prepared to correct an oversight in the statement in which the member of brought the bill, is not recognized by name. The Speaker says “we will not entertain that, as the matter is yet to be debated”.

11:32: Minister of Environment Glenn Blakeney [PLP] sends out condolences to traffic victim Andre Hendrickson, saying he knew him through football, calling him an exemplary father and saying he will be missed. He congratulates the Carifta team, the Gymnastics Federation on their meet, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s race series, and the National Rugby Association for winning their series in the Caymans.

11:36: Minister Zane Desilva [PLP] commends Bermuda’s First Lady Wanda Henton Brown for receiving an award

11:39: Kim Swan [UBP] sends condolences to the family of Oliver Caisey Sr, calling him an “icon” at St Georges Cricket Club.

11:40: Randy Horton [PLP] send three families condolences, and commends others. Condolences continue from other MP’s.

11:47: Minister Butterfied [PLP] congratulates Reverend Betty Furbert-Woolridge for becoming the first female Presiding Elder in the Bermuda Conference of the AME Church.

11:51: Shawn Crockwell [BDA] offers condolences for the death of Paul Sofianos, a well known DJ.

11:52: Condolences and congratulations continue from other MP’s. Numerous MP’s ask to be associated with the congrats to Rev Betty Furbert Woolridge.

12:05pm: Condolences and congrats continue from various MP’s

12:09pm: Congrats & Condolences time ends

12:10pm: Premier Brown [PLP] introduces the Public Access to Information Bill and Media Council Bill.

12:11pm: Trevor Moniz [UBP] asks the Government to review immigration act, specifically the law pertaining to locals with a foreign spouse paying additional fees to buy a house.

12:12pm: Subject of gaming comes up, see here for our live blogging of that.

- finished -

[Disclaimer: this does not represent every single statement made, and is not fully inclusive]

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics