Democratic Alliance On Municipalities Bill

July 22, 2010

Craig Cannonier, Leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, has issued a statement saying that he and his colleagues are prepared to support the Municipalities Bill if the “justifiable concerns of the Government are met as well as those concerns of the Corporation”, and went on to say that they recommend that the Government temporarily withdraw the Bill and try and find some common ground between the parties. Mr Cannonier said should no agreement be reached they recommend the Bill be re-tabled in November as is.

The full statement is below:

Over the last two days representatives of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance have met with both the Corporation of Hamilton and the Minister in charge of the Municipalities Bill, Minister Zane DeSilva, to try and find some common ground between the parties and to obtain a fuller understanding of the Bill. What is clear is that there is a lot of ambiguity created on both sides.

After much discussion within our caucus, I can say that my colleagues and I are prepared to support the Bill if the justifiable concerns of the Government are met as well as those concerns of the Corporation. We need some open dialogue and collaboration.

We recommend that the Government temporarily withdraw the Bill until such talks occur and should no agreement be reached the Bill be re-tabled in November as is. We believe that common ground can be found given our discussions with the two parties.

If however this suggestion is not taken up and the Bill proceeds we would like to make a few points in reference to the Bill as it is currently being tabled. There appears to be some disquiet that the Bill is intended to strangle the Corporation. With a few minor amendments to the Bill this fear can be eliminated quickly. We have proposed some amendments in this regard to the Government and our MP’s are prepared on Friday to table those amendments.

As for the issue of expanding the vote – we in the BDA absolutely welcome the extension of the franchise to residents of the City. It is the right and proper thing to do. To be absolutely clear – we recognize that the retention of the property vote is inequitable but believe that property and business owners, who after all pay taxes to the City, should continue to have some form of say in the way the City is run.

We are deeply concerned that residents of North Hamilton have not over the years received the services they deserve but at the same time why should property owners and businesses in North Hamilton’s EEZ be deprived of a vote when they have invested in North Hamilton? So we propose that in addition to all adult Bermudian residents, landlords and Bermudian business owners in the City should also get to vote – but one vote only – not one vote per business. The owner of property and businesses will receive only one vote no matter how many properties or businesses he owns, whether it be on Front Street or Curving Avenue.

The BDA believes it is a new day and are always seeking a Better Way. Through consensus building we believe we can achieve the change Bermuda needs and desires. We believe the suggestions we have made will benefit the City as a whole.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Kennette J Burgess says:

    COH need some type of reform b/c the residents and business owners of North Hamilton over the years DO NOT receive the services they deserve and not the same treatment as those on other ‘rich’ parts of the city. This needs to stop and stop NOW! Prejudice is alive and well. God bless us all!

  2. Mike says:

    And there was me thinking – somewhat foolishly – that the BDA might be a sensible alternative to the PLP.

    How silly of me!

    The bill (which will get passed today) is about the financial strangulation of the CoH. St George’s is already dead thanks to the PLP.

    The bits and pieces in the bill that mention reform are simply window dressing to take your eyes of the main ball in the game – financial castration.

    BDA – I am ashamed at you. You are about as useful and as promising a party as a wet lettuce. Go back to the UBP.

  3. terry says:

    From the corners of the country the cities and the farms with years and years of……tucked up neath their arms…….

    Might not be relevent to you but I had this dream about Lacy J.Dalton singing a song from years ago and I as usual fashioned it to meet the time……..

    “God bless the boys who make the noise on 16th Avenue”.

    Change to be ‘City Hall Avenue’………maybe it’s just me.

    “Lacy J Dalton..

    Genre-Country

    “16th Avenue”.

    I need a beer……..Maybe I can get one from the “Cabinet”.