[Written by OBA Leader Sen. Craig Cannonier]
Thou shalt not lie.
At the end of last week, the PLP deliberately distorted the OBA’s position on term limits. They said we would “end” term limits instead of what we actually said, which was to “suspend” them for a period of two years pending a review that gives us a policy that works better for Bermuda.
It was a simple, straightforward recommendation our economic team had made among a raft of others to get Bermuda back on track, where we are once again producing jobs, not job losses.
Bermuda’s economy is in crisis with unprecedented and growing unemployment, cost-of-living hardships for thousands of families and real doubt about Government leadership.
The situation is serious and we need to be at our best – open to ideas and honest dialogue for solutions that work for people.
Without batting an eye, the PLP immediately subverted this effort, trying to twist it into a political fight based on a lie.
The Premier’s team said the OBA’s plan “to end” term limits would be “nothing short of a disaster for the Bermudian worker.”
The distortion is desperate and pathetic, showing us they are more concerned about politics than policies to make Bermuda work better for Bermudians.
The OBA is taking great care to put forward policies to build an economy that enables our people to have a job, build a career and pay their bills.
We do not have that now because the PLP Government has presided over the largest loss of opportunity and employment in Bermuda’s modern history.
That failure is the starting point for our review of what can work better for Bermuda. We have looked closely at issues such as term limits and concluded it should be suspended for two years pending a review that gives us a policy that puts Bermuda first.
Let’s look at two facts: Since 2000, the number of Bermudians in the work force has steadily declined while the percentage of non-Bermudians in the workforce has grown.
Couple these trends with the growing ranks of the unemployed and it is PLP policies – nobody else’s – that have been “nothing short of disaster for the Bermudian worker.”
The suspension of term limits does not mean abandoning protections for Bermudian workers. We have a work permit system whereby all incoming workers are vetted by government before permit approvals are given. This is the real line of defence for the Bermudian worker and there is no question that it must remain in place. It can be better managed, but remain it must.
This brings me to my last point, going back again to PLP distortions. In attacking our position, they said the term limits policy was instituted to protect Bermudian jobs. Well, again, that’s not true.
In October 2008, then Home Affairs Minister David Burch wrote a letter to Bermuda’s employers that the term limit policy was introduced to dispel expectations among long-term non-Bermudian workers “that they could ultimately acquire permanent residence in this country…
“Most employers,” Col. Burch said, “mistakenly believe that the policy was introduced to make more jobs available for Bermudians.”
The PLP today is ignoring its own rationale for the term limits policy and distorting our position in order to pick a fight. They are willing to say anything to distract people from thinking about new approaches, new ideas that can get this island back on track.
They are doing it because those new tracks to growth and prosperity are rejections of the economy the PLP has made: where jobs and opportunity are leaking away and hope and confidence is being challenged.
It’s dead end politics, divorced from reality, and promising us nothing more than more of the same, which is getting Bermuda nowhere. It’s time for change; it’s time for leadership that puts Bermuda first.
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Articles that link to this one:
- PLP: What Happened To The 2 Year Suspension? | Bernews.com | January 31, 2013