Premier: Speech An “Extraordinary Attack”

March 16, 2012

After lawyer Kevin Comeau spoke at a public forum about allegations of corruption and his view of shortcomings in the Good Governance Act, Premier Paula Cox called his speech an “extraordinary attack” which contained “reckless and misguided statements.”

On Wednesday [Mar.14] the Centre for Justice hosted a public forum entitled ‘Your Right to Know’. The panelists [Mr Comeau, UK journalist Heather Brooke, Saul Froomkin QC, Larry Mussenden, Peter Martin, and Nicola Williams] discussed topics including the Public Access to Information Act [PATI], the Ombudsman Act, the Good Governance Act and the Audit Act.

A press statement from the Centre for Justice last night said they are “committed to enabling healthy and open discussion on legal matters” which affect the community, and open discourse may be subjective at times and they do not select speakers to express the views of Centre for Justice.

Kevin Comeau spoke about allegations concerning the millions of dollars in cost overruns with Government contracts, and said the biggest problem in prosecuting cases of high level corruption is that due to “political sensitivities” the police and DPP need an “almost airtight case before they can prosecute”, and obtaining proof requires “a way to follow the money.”

Mr Comeau said, “The independent person who investigates these Government contracts — the Auditor General — unfortunately, is not authorized under Bermuda law to follow the last half of the money trail. She only has the authority to investigate transactions between the Government and the parties with whom it contracts.

“She has no power to subpoena the private records and banks accounts of these contractors or the suspected Government Officials to find evidence of illegal kickbacks.

“Under Bermuda law there is only one way to follow the money to reveal all the facts concerning suspicious circumstances surrounding politically connected Government contracts: a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Inquiries Act (1935).

“The problem is that only the Governor is authorized to issue a Commission of Inquiry and, because of the political sensitivities involved, he is unlikely to do so unless the Premier requests a Commission…” said Mr Comeau.

“Speaking specifically on the Good Governance Act, Mr Comeau said: “The Good Governance Act deals with the powers of investigation for three people: (i) the Director of the Office of PMP, (ii) the Director of Internal Audit and (iii) the Auditor General.

“The first two persons report internally to the Government (i.e. to the Minister of Finance and the Cabinet Secretary) and third person, the Auditor General, is completely independent.

“The Director of the Office of PMP and the Director of Internal Audit, both of whom effectively report to the Premier, have the right to demand and obtain all documents from Government.

“But the Auditor General — the only truly independent investigator of Government financial wrongdoing — is denied that power. That makes no sense whatsoever,” said Mr Comeau.

When asked a question by an audience member about the basis for allegations, he said that numerous Government capital projects over the last ten years [citing the Berkeley Institute, Port Royal Golf Course, Heritage Wharf, the new Courthouse, TCD] have resulted in large cost overruns.

Mr Comeau said that “generally only two things can cause large cost overruns: managerial incompetence and financial corruption,” and he also cited “multiple damning reports of two Auditors-General.”

Premier Paula Cox issued a statement last night saying Mr. Comeau “ignored” the fact that Good Governance legislation will be introduced in phases.

“Shame on Mr. Kevin Comeau for his reckless and misguided statements,” said the Premier.

“This speech is an extraordinary attack made worse by being under informed and ignoring numerous public statements on the topic. I hope that it is not done wilfully. In essence it appears as if it is being made up as the speaker went along.

“The statement that the reason for the overruns in all the projects can only be due to corruption (or managerial incompetence) – does that apply only to this Government or is he being even-handed in levelling the criticism since there are a number of instances of over runs that preceded this Government’s election.

“In making his unfounded accusations, he calls into question the integrity of not only Ministers but that of Civil Servants.

“Additionally, Mr. Comeau ignored the fact that Good Governance legislation will be introduced in phases. Regarding the changes to the Audit Act, he is once again under-informed. I liaised with the Auditor General directly as to her recommendation for changes to the Audit Act.

“As was stated in the throne speech, “The Government will introduce legislation to enable public authorities include the Director of Internal Audit and the Auditor General to ‘follow the money’, that is, ensuring that money paid to vendors, contactors and organisation receiving grants is used for the purpose for which it was authorised”

“This Government will remain focussed on the task at hand, delivering for the people of Bermuda and improving the level of governance in this Island. Our track record on improving governance is long one.

“This Government has strengthened the office of the Auditor General, is enacting Public Access to Information, created the office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Internal Audit, and the Office of Procurement and Project Management.

“We have enacted good governance legislation and whistle-blower legislation and there is more to come. Those who would seek to mislead must be reminded of the facts,” concluded the Premier. The Ministry of Finance also released a document on the Good Governance Act [PDF here].

A statement from Governor Sir Richard Gozney said, “You may be asking her directly but the Auditor General has not sought from me support for a change in the Good Governance Act; it is a hypothetical point but should the Auditor General make such a request naturally I would discuss it with the Government.

“If I were to appoint a Commission of Inquiry my understanding is that the Bermuda Government would be legally bound to pay, out of the Consolidated Fund. So funding is not the main issue for me. There is a more important reason why I am not yet convinced that a Commission of Inquiry is a good idea.

“A Commission of Inquiry is not a police investigation. As I understand it a Commission of Inquiry’s conclusions on their own would not be enough to lead automatically to court proceedings; there would have to be police investigations and there would need to be witnesses willing to make statements, and willing to appear in court to substantiate those statements.

“Witnesses have not so far come forward to the Bermuda Police Service to substantiate the talk of corruption and at present I remain sceptical that, even if some of the allegations were to be well founded, witnesses would do so.

“If there are witnesses to corruption I very much hope they will go to the Police now. The Police will then get straight on with an investigation, to put the evidence to the prosecutors. My own view is that, without producing evidence for use in court, a Commission of Inquiry would raise expectations which would probably not be met.”

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  1. out of patience says:

    Methinks she doth protest too much

    • seriously says:

      Not too often does something get this level of response from the Cog. She must be worried that people might listen to what he said.

      • all clogged up says:

        yup extaordinary alright…..for good reason…excessive change orders drive the costs of all government projects through the roof and what….NO QUESTIONS ARE TO BE ASKED????

        • Pelican says:

          But maybe this is just what the PLP wants/needs…….an opportunity to galvanize traditional anti-expat sentiment. It doesn’t matter that he’s not politically affiliated, they’ll just associate Mr. Comeau with the “enemy” and love every opportunity to release statements such as above to rally the PLP heartland.

          • Maddog says:

            White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social, political, historical and/or industrial dominance by whites.[1] White supremacy, as with racial supremacism in general, is rooted in ethnocentrism and a desire for hegemony and power, [2] and has frequently resulted in violence against non-whites. Different forms of white supremacy have different conceptions of who is considered white, and not all white supremacist organizations agree on who is their greatest enemy.

  2. Todd says:

    “…I hope that it is not done wilfully. In essence it appears as if it is being made up as the speaker went along….”
    I guess the Premier does not read the RG, where this was all posted as an Opinion piece a few weeks ago.

    • Maddog says:

      In one breath, The OBA say that they will not privatise government departments and they will not fire civil servants. In the next, they say that they are going to eliminate the Ministry of Tourism and establish a Tourism Authority.

      Establishing a Tourism Authority is tantamount to privatising the Ministry of Tourism which will necessarily mean laying off civil servants who may not get replacement jobs during these challenging times. Patricia Gordon Pamplin, OBA spokesperson for Tourism, made the OBA’s commitment to a Tourism Authority clear in her candidate launch speech. She noted that we would find the right people with the right skills to administer Bermuda’s Tourism plan. Quite a slap in the face to the hard working men and women in the Tourism Department!

      In his Budget Reply, Bob Richards never addressed the issue of how an OBA Government would fund this new Tourism Authority, but this is consistent with other proposals trial ballooned by the OBA.

      Premier Paula Cox noted, “The Reply to the Budget was the OBA’s opportunity to present a detailed and constructive agenda. Instead of providing solutions, they once again offered vague ideas without being transparent about how they’re going to be funded or implemented.”

      The Premier continued, “The OBA can’t have it both ways. They can’t say that they are going to privatise much of the Ministry of Tourism and abolish the post of Minister of Tourism in one breath and then, in the next, say that they are going to protect all civil service jobs. They either protect jobs or establish the Authority. No matter how you slice it, the OBA is misleading you.”

      Minister Wayne Furbert added, “The OBA pledged to cede power to the Governor who would appoint the Tourism Authority. It’s clear that the opposition has no confidence in the hard-working men and women in the Department of Tourism.”

      Rather than stating what they would do differently, the OBA is repeating initiatives already underway by the PLP Government such as a reduction in consultants and instituting a hiring freeze. The Bermudian public deserves specifics: what would the OBA cut? And whose jobs are on the chopping block?

  3. kevin says:

    This makes the second time that Mr. Comeau has made the untruthful statement about there being generally two causes of cost overuns. He chooses too ignore even the possibility of human error, change of requirements and increased cost of materials or even unanticipated weather delays. I believe that he has done this intentionally so one has to question his motives!

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      “increased cost of materials” you mean like the cost to rent a crane for the peir right? That type of increase ?…………..some posters make me

      LOL all day long .”alright alright alright you gonna learn today”……..

    • Family Man says:

      You’re absolutely right. I remember it rained for three days in a row when they were building the TCD building. Obviously, it’s unanticipated weather delays such as those that caused the costs to almost triple. Nothing to do with corruption or cronyism so move along now, there’s nothing to see here.

    • Got your blinders on! says:

      You speak nonsense!
      Human errors, and increased material costs are the responsibility of the contracted builder. Inclement weather is also something that every contractor should be aware of and include in thier cost estimations. Finally, changes in project requirements can be classed as managerial incompetence (decidedly rampant in this government with Ministers who are unfamiliar with the field of their portfolio and rarely settled long enough to become familiar), one of Mr. Comeau’s two causes for cost overuns.
      So to answer your question, Mr. Comeau’s motives are likely to cultivate interest in and discussion of the potentials for corruption in Bermuda as well as to highlight any cases of actual corruption!

    • J Starling says:

      Kevin, wouldn’t what you suggest largely fall under the heading of ‘managerial incompetence’ which Mr. Comeau suggests of one of two possible explanations for the cost overruns? I mean, we all accept that the initial costings were estimates and that the actual cost would be greater or (less likelier) lesser, but these cost overruns for some of these projects just seem WAY too great for even those estimates. So, either there were errors in the initial design and estimating of the projects in question (which would be managerial incompetence at the get-go), or managerial incompetence throughout, or something more sinister. I don’t know, and the Government has done little, so far, to really answer much of these questions and account for these issues.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Kevin, You’re wrong. Mr Comeau is not being ‘untruthful’ about the reasons for cost overruns. Far from it.

      Cost overruns as a result of your examples, i.e. unanticipated weather delays, unplanned materials costs, and human errors, fall under Mr Comeau’s heading of “managerial incompetence”. In fact, these things would be (and have been) classic examples of managerial incompetence.

    • Cleancut says:

      Scandals? Unethical? Unlawful?

      http://www.bermuda.org.uk/the_scandal.htm

    • Kim Smith says:

      Human error… to the tune of millions of dollars? Please tell me you aren’t serious!

  4. Don't care what anyone says:

    This Government has a real problem with criticism. Get over it. Do you job properly. Stop blaming the messenger. From what I see, he told it like it is.

    • Specialgirl4You says:

      Government does not have a problem with constructive critism, if it is based upon facts, and not political spin. Generally, constructive criticism should address an area that needs improving but does not speak to the person’s self. Constructive criticism should be a reasoned, unemotional response in an effort to impact change. One must present all the facts, and not spin the criticism in one direction and forget major facts. Mr. Comeau has been spinning this issue, without all the facts for weeks, and it is now apparent he is a political detractor for the OBA/UBP.

      • Specialgirl4You #2 says:

        It also doesn’t matter that he’s done his research, is being completely objective and has far more experience and right to speak on this subject than the Premier…he’s still an OBA/UBP troll who made the The Hon. Paula Cox look bad, and that means that whatever he says, no matter how true, cannot be taken as truth.

        • urrrrr says:

          “that means that whatever he says, no matter how true, cannot be taken as truth.”

          huh?

        • Specialgirl4You says:

          PLEASE GO FIND A NAME FOR YOURSELF and not the same one as me.

          If you stand strong on your position, than find a name for yourself. Just because he is a Lawyer, does not mean he is correct on all issues. Laws are debated daily because of the level of interpretation is not always as it is. The Premier is also a qualified lawyer, and he holds no better position than she. He did not make the Premier look bad, but rather himself as he is attempting to spin political rhetoric in favor of the OBA/UBP, this was so blatantly obvious.

          • star man says:

            Ho-hum….

          • Specialgirl4You #2 says:

            Plus its just so laughable when you OBA/UBP trolls fling accusations at the Premier that are based on absolutely nothing except facts and logic, which everybody knows aren’t important or essential to good Governance. Its also pathetic that you all think I’m changing my position and arguing with myself, when in reality I’m the only one who truly understands this OBA/UBP propaganda for what it is. Its really simple and I’ll try to explain it slowly in terms that you can all understand: If the OBA/UBP says it, than its complete garbage regardless of how much sense it makes or how much objective research its based on. Their only mission is to slander the Premier and make her look bad, even though its not their mission at all.

            • Can we join your Lemming Club??? says:

              Here’s a quote from the above posting from specialgirl4you – (which, as usual, makes NO sense, like all of her postings…….):

              ‘If the OBA/UBP says it, than its complete garbage regardless of how much sense it makes or how much objective research its based on. Their only mission is to slander the Premier and make her look bad, even though its not their mission at all.’

              First of all, perhaps she could learn how to write properly. She has mis-spellings and leaves out punctuation all over the place, as usual…. no surprise, really.

              Secondly, I really hope her absurd ‘views’ don’t represent the thinking of too many people, as her thoughts continue to lack development, or indication of ANY sort of thought process at all, and on top of it all, she offers NOTHING in terms of solutions or fact-on-fact response. Why does she write at all? At the end of the day, with all her verbose carrying on, she continues to contribute NOTHING…… quite tiresome to see her posting under just about every subject.

              SO it’s no surprise, really, that she just wants everyone to blindly accept everything said by the Government, as God’s Own Truth. Clearly she thinks that the concept of thinking critically means we just don’t like the person so we’re going to write mean things…. either way, she writes like a nutcase…… I am starting to think she is secretly an OBA plant who is writing craziness to make it look like PLP supporters are out of their minds…… it’s the only thing that makes sense.

              • Pastor Syl says:

                @ can I join your lemming club: You missed the #2 on SG4U#2′s satiric post.

            • proudbermudian says:

              specialgirl4 OH, this is Betty Trump from the RG blogs, I can tell because she uses OBA/UBP all the time, GOTCHYA!

            • Specialgirl is Right says:

              Since you love my name and insist upon using it, that speaks volumes about me !! I love you like it, especially since we are different sides of the political fence. The “Avatar” are different, and so folks know it is not me, for whom you speak.

              If the OBA/UBP trolls were filing accusations against the Premier that were based upon real facts, I would have no problem with it, but this is not the case.It is instead presented from one’s own perspective, and lacking solid facts to support what Mr. Comeau is spilling out of his mouth. He needs to tell the entire story, and not one side of what he thinks. Lawyers are good at Spin.

              This is the real Specialgirl4YOu, but since this OBA/UBP individual insist upon using my name, but not my Avator……I will let him/her have their joy after all that is likely the only joy they will have.

              • Specialgirl is Right says:

                Looks like a plot to attempt to attack Specialgirl4 you by using her name. But, silly OBA/UBP fans must reallize that the “Avators” are different. Specialgirl will continue to speak out, even if the debate is difficult for the OBA/UBP. Get used to it.

              • Rockfish#1 says:

                “Lawyers are good at spin” —Really?

    • urrrrr says:

      Thou shalt not criticize the PLP… don’t you know that?

  5. LaVerne Furbert says:

    a Canadian, has lived in Bermuda since 1989 where he worked as a corporate lawyer until his retirement in 1999. Mr. Comeau is the holder of a Permanent Residency Certificate and now directs much of his effort toward the development of social policy proposals, particularly proposals to reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots in Bermuda.

    • J Starling says:

      The diabolical fiend. Living here for years and, in his retirement, offering his ideas to help reduce the gap between haves and have-nots in Bermuda. How dare he!

      Just kidding – for what it’s worth, Mr. Comeau has a blog where he posts his ideas (although this most recent speech isn’t up yet), so, if Bernews is unable to get a copy of his full speech (the PLP’s response is available on their site), I hope Mr. Comeau provides it there. That way we can all look at what was said rather than what is alleged to have been said.

      Not sure if Bernews allows links to it, but it’s at http://bdagoodgov.org/

    • Whatever says:

      What’s your point?

    • CBA says:

      Your posts would have more credibility if you at least once criticised your own government. How can you not realise that even PLP supporters are tired of hearing you?

  6. LaVerne Furbert says:

    It’s most unfortunate that Bernews has not published Mr. Comeau’s speech in its entirety so that Bermudians can really see how a Canadian, living in Bermuda as “Permanent Resident Certificate holder” thinks about the leaders of this country.

    Shame on the Centre for Justice for allowing him to spew the garbage that he spewed on Wednesday night. It’s not as if Ms. Memari was unaware of Mr. Comeau’s attitude towards our leaders.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Likely Ms Furbert because it was slander. A news organisation that prints such falsehoods can be held liable.

    • familiar says:

      So, you’re not a fan of people hearing more than one perspective on things?

      Shame on you, Ms. Furbert, for not supporting freedom of speech and freedom of information.

      • Mad Dawg says:

        She freely admits to being a bigot and willing to engage in discrimination. It’s hardly surprising she takes this position whenever someone disagrees with her.

    • Kim Smith says:

      Ms. Furbert – did you actually read Mr. Comeau’s speech? This was an excellent explanation that is empowering to any who are not bound by blind loyalty to the PLP. Please explain your issues with Mr. Comeau’s speeches specifically and do leave out all of the surly references to his being a Canadian living in Bermuda. He didn’t steal the right to be here… it would have been conferred upon him as was his right. Bring forward the points that you so object to so that we can actually test your mettle!

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Yes, Ms. Smith, I have acutally read Mr. Comeau’s speech. If you, want I can e-mail you a copy so that you can read it for yourself.

        On Page 1 of his speech, 7th paragraph, Mr. Comeau writes “As you may recall, the police launched an investigation into a number of allegations of corruption involving several Cabinet Ministers and PLP backbenchers, which included (i) allegations that Dr. Ewart Brown and another Minister coerced the head of the Bermuda Housing Corporation to purchase Dr. Brown’s property in Flatts at an inflated price and (ii) allegations that a contractor did major renovations at Dr. Brown’s home and then billed the Government’s Southside housing project for that work.”

        What Mr. Comeau has failed to share with his audience was that after allegations of corruption by people like Mr. Michael Dunkely and “The Son of the Soil”, the Premier at the time, Dame Jennifer Smith, ordered a police investigation. The Bermuda Police Service was assisted by Scotland Yard. In addition to the investigation by those two organisations, the Auditor General also carried out an investigation. At the end of the day, one Bermuda Housing Corporation member of staff was charged and duly tried in Supreme Court. No Cabinet Minister and no backbencher was found guilty of any wrong doing.

        Mr. Comeau goes on to write “The then Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Kulandra Ratneser, explained that he would not be proceeding with the prosecution of any Government MPs because even if some of the allegations were true, they will have only amounted to unethical behaviour but not a criminal offense.” That statement is not true on the part of Mr. Comeau. But Mr. Ratneser can speak for himself.

        I could go on paragraph, but space does not permit.

        I’m wondering now, after listening and reading Mr. Comeau’s “stuff” what criteria is in place for granting permanent residency to non-Bermudians. I’m also wondering if anyone has investigated Mr. Comeau’s background.

        I find it very interesting that after living in Bermuda for only ten years (1989 – 1999) that he was able to get a Permanent Residency Certificate and was able to retire. Something is wrong with that picture.

        • Tired of nonsense says:

          Follow Reuters
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          Thu, Mar 15 2012Court rejects media gag order in Bermuda

          Link this
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          A view of Bermuda in an undated photo. Bermuda’s media should not be banned from reporting further extracts from a leaked police dossier about corruption at the British territory’s public housing corporation, London’s Privy Council ruled on Monday.
          Credit: Reuters/Bermuda Department of Tourism/Handout
          Related TopicsUK »
          HAMILTON | Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:09am GMT

          HAMILTON (Reuters) – Bermuda’s media should not be banned from reporting further extracts from a leaked police dossier about corruption at the British territory’s public housing corporation, London’s Privy Council ruled on Monday.

          Five law lords said Bermuda’s chief justice and court of appeal acted correctly when they refused to interfere with the freedom of the press.

          Bermuda’s Attorney General Philip Perinchief and Police Commissioner George Jackson asked for a media gag earlier this year after a weekly newspaper, the Mid-Ocean News, alleged Premier Ewart Brown, former Premier Jennifer Smith and other cabinet ministers had been investigated in a police probe of allegations of wrongdoing at the Bermuda Housing Corporation.

          FREE GUIDES AND REPORTS FROM DIANOMIADVERTISEMENTIncome Guide
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          Free Investing for Income Guide from BestinvestDownload FREE GuidePolice had sought to find out whether Brown pressured the corporation to buy a house from him at an inflated price, according to local media reports.

          When the probe ended in 2004, acting Director of Public Prosecutions Kulandra Ratneser said many of those investigated could only be accused of bad ethics, and that some of them had escaped prosecution due to Bermuda’s antiquated corruption laws.

          At the Privy Council hearing, Lord Justice Hoffman referred to those comments and said, “He’s quoted as saying it’s unethical but not criminal. If that’s so, surely the public has a right to know if their politicians behaved unethically?”

          http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/10/30/uk-bermuda-press-idUKNAT41107820071030

          • Tired of nonsense says:

            My apologies as I am not too sure why that ended up posting in the manner that it did. But here is an excerpt that is relevant:

            When the probe ended in 2004, acting Director of Public Prosecutions Kulandra Ratneser said many of those investigated could only be accused of bad ethics, and that some of them had escaped prosecution due to Bermuda’s antiquated corruption laws.

            At the Privy Council hearing, Lord Justice Hoffman referred to those comments and said, “He’s quoted as saying it’s unethical but not criminal. If that’s so, surely the public has a right to know if their politicians behaved unethically?”

            (Full link in above post)

            • Mad Dawg says:

              Did you see that LaVerne?

              “Antiquated corruption laws”.

              And that was eight years ago.

        • Sandgrownan says:

          You’re an evil, disgusting and poor example of a human being. Shame on you Laverne.

          • Specialgirl4YOu is Right says:

            This abuse and personal insult, please Bernews, do something about this post by Sandgrown, these post by OBA/UBP border on liable and unethical behaviours.

        • Jason says:

          Unlike the present government he worked hard invested wisely and didn’t live beyond his means. that’s how he was able to retire here! Living here he has doing nothing more than putting money into our economy. I know him personally and as a Bermudian I am happy to have him on our island looking out for law abiding Bermudians that is sick of this corrupt government.

    • jt says:

      Read my post below re: status. I won’t use the term racist as it is far too loosley batted about in this country – but Bermuda is most certainly full of bigots – case in point evidenced above.

    • Pastor Syl says:

      LaVerne: it seems everything you don’t agree with is “garbage.” Fortunately, not everyone agrees with you. How about the idea of hearing all sides so each of us can make up our own minds about the issues. It appears to me that much of what Mr. Comeau had to say has been voiced by others. You make it sound as if it is primarily because he is a Canadian that you have a problem with him voicing his take. What? Only Bermudians are allowed to be distressed? I would think anyone who is resident here should have the right to agree or disagree with what is happening where they live.
      And what’s with the “Permanent Resident Certificate” reference? Are you making veiled threats? Should he be worried? I would hope we haven’t sunk that low yet to threaten someone’s residency because he happens to ask some difficult questions of the government, questions, by the way, that many of us are asking. As one who has lived in a couple of other countries, I have never been threatened because I spoke my mind – and you may believe I have spoken my mind. Freedom of speech is supposed to be a right that isn’t dependent on one agreeing with the government.
      Perhaps the real problem is that, once again, here is a person that holds some respect in the community and God forbid, people might listen to him!

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Sylvia, I don’t makee veiled threats. I just find it interesting that after only ten years of living in Bermuda, he has permanent residency.

        Unlike you, I have read Mr. Comeau’s speech in its entirety and speaking of veiled threats, there are many contained in his diatribe.

        Is freedom of speech only a right for some people? Are you saying that you and Mr. Comeau should have the right to freedom of speech and I shouldn’t.

        You are correct – God forbid that anyone should listen to Mr. Comeau.

  7. Conspiracy!! says:

    This guy Kevin Comeau is dangerous! Flying all the way to Bermuda to manipulate, attack and outright lie to people. Lavern Furbert was right on the radio yesterday when she told Everest that the panelist were skewed and I think that this another OBA attemt to make the present government look bad.

    • Soooo says:

      The Government doesn’t need anyone to “Make them look bad”.. They do a great job all by themselves!!!

      • Get Real says:

        You took the words right out of my mouth…I said the same thing after reading the above comment and then I read your comment and saw that we think alike!

    • Kim Smith says:

      The danger with comments like this one is that it isn’t so easy anymore to tell if you are joking or being serious. Just in case you are serious, open your eyes and ears!

  8. Don't care what anyone says:

    However, at least she is not calling him a racist – this would have been the old way of dealing with it. Perhaps the PLP is maturing after all. Or maybe they finally realise that beating the old race drum is no longer working – for anyone. Either way – deal with it PLP. If you did a good honest job and none of this would happen.

  9. Trident says:

    kevin cormeau was way out of line, can u imagine a bdan going cormeaus hometown in canada and accusing the govt of corruption based on hearsay and flawed reasoning.

    • J Starling says:

      If the Bermudian had lived in Canada for a certain period of time, had permanent residency there, or even was an expert in their field (and speaking on the basis of such), then so what? I’m more interested in the critique of his argument, and Ms. Cox’s rebuttals of it, than attacking him on the basis of his being Canadian.

    • jt says:

      In Canada the information would be freely available.

    • Family Man says:

      I’ve even heard of some Bermudians moving to Canada to take advantage of their medical system. Shame on them.

  10. Family Man says:

    As I understand it, the only independent investigator Bermuda has, the Auditor General, doesn’t have the power to subpoena documents or follow the money trail to gather the evidence necessary for criminal prosecution.

    Only a Commission of Inquiry can do that.

    But Paula won’t call for a Commission of Inquiry until she see’s sufficient evidence of criminality that will hold up in a trial.

    They must be grinning from ear to ear in Martha’s Vineyard.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      UM, the premier doesn’t call a commission inquiry the Governor does.

      If you read what the governor said above, he sees no need for such as the police can proceed with the laws on the books.

      Isn’t in interesting how everyone talks about corruption yet NO ONE is ever even charged.

      • Big D says:

        Well, in one instance, where a Government representative executed a contract with an individual, that was so loose/flawed that the individual used the contracted monies for his own benefit… and there is no “corruption” that can be proven.

        So VOR, what “word” should we call this abuse of tax payer’s money and who should we hold accountable for the weak contract?

    • Kim Smith says:

      And she won’t confer upon the independent Auditor General the power to access documents… something that she could do easily… and which would be evidence of her commitment to PATI and Good Governance.

  11. Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

    Conspiracy: Even if this was the OBA trying to make Government look bad – THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO. Politics is a dirty game – and it will get much dirtier than this in the next two months before the election on May 15th.

    • WAIT - WHAT??????? says:

      we’re having an election on May 15th???? says who???? when was an election called? i missed that episode…..

  12. The road to hell says:

    “Shame on Mr. Kevin Comeau for his reckless and misguided statements,” said the Premier.

    In essence she’s been doing the same for years without question.

    Reckless and misguided? Paula – they are two of your key-words.

    Shame on you, Paula. Have you seen what you’ve done to Bermuda – step outside your ivory tower and see what’s happened to the islands you are meant to be governing.

    It’s just as well Mr. Comeau has a residency visa or his permit wouldn’t be renewed for sure!

  13. Doesn't Even Matter says:

    Good Governance…Transparency…all these pipe-dream ideas that will forever be part of a government/opposition sales pitch. At the end of the day, politicians are in it for Self – then Party – then People. They only got to please the people every 5th year anyway. How quickly do the majority forget about the little past B.S. that these politicians get away with. “This too will pass”…heard that before? PLP / OBA / UBP its all the same formula.

  14. Think About It says:

    I’m so frigging tired of my posts being in moderation ALL DAY. Bernews just post it already. And don’t give me any b.s. about you being asleep or busy because there are more than 10 posts that were submitted after mine that are up.

    • all clogged up says:

      Hey Think about it…..your post is probably liable and/or criminal

    • amen says:

      Hmmm same thing happens to my posts sometimes and no it was nothing said that could get bernews in trouble/liable. Bernews never used to be like this, yet everyone else is free to post whatever they want whenever.

      • Specialgirl4YOu is Right says:

        Sorry folks “No Commission of Enquiry”…..Kevin failed on his attempt for the OBA/UBP. Look, even your trick to use my blog name has failed, as you did not realize that the “Graphical Representation” is “different” from the one I use. The “Avator” is different picture, so sorry your attempte to fool people has also failed.

        Reply

        • Shaking the Head says:

          No need really for a Commission because Paula Cox has admitted by having to pass Good Governance Regulations, albeit on a phased basis, that these types of matters took place. However, as I said earlier, why isn’t a Commsission convened if only if it results in clearing Dr Bown’s name? Obviously you are one of the ones who don’t want to see this happen.

        • Pastor Syl says:

          Sorry SP4U: I don’t think anyone was fooled. It was easy to recognize the satire.

      • Rummy says:

        Follow the money.

  15. To be Honest says:

    HEY @Carse Yer Wote (Original) Says:” HOW DO U KNOW THAT THE NEXT ELECTION IS ON MAY 15th? I guess just U have heard about that!

    • Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

      I guess the secret is out then. “Watch & Learn Grasshopper”. Roll on May 15th.

  16. Cancer says:

    Whenever a big name comes out to critisize the flipPLoP all the blind loyalist comes out of the woodwork. I have to laugh when I see the comments by posters like Kevin – the Great Defender who is LaVerne – And even my new friend Trident who can’t accept when anything is said about the faults of this sad government. You guys need to accept that the PLP has been the downfall of Bermuda and will go down in history for the worse Government that has ever ruled this country. We have gone 30 years backward. I can’t believe I voted for the PLP back in the day so I have to take some of the blame as we find our way going to hell. I’ll never make that mistake again as it will be OBA all the way. I’ll be like OBAma and keep hope alive. Vote OBA! no more unethical behavior!

    • J Starling says:

      ‘Downfall of Bermuda’; ‘gone back 30 years’ – I’m sorry, but that’s pretty hyperbolic and extreme. The PLP certainly haven’t lived up to expectations, and there’s plenty to criticise them for, but I think it’s a bit extreme to make those kind of assertions.

      And just because the OBA isn’t the PLP doesn’t make them any better – that same type of argument was one that Dr. Brown used in his campaign to become PLP Leader (not Scott, take us to another level) – just because he wasn’t Mr. Scott is barely an argument in favour of Dr. Brown, and he never really expanded on what the ‘next level’ was going to be, much like the OBA today. Mind you, the PLP’s not done much to tell us why we should vote for them again either. At the moment, despite some bright sparks in both camps, I don’t want either of them in power.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      Cancer, making stuff up again. “I can’t believe i voted for the PLP back in the day” who are you kidding?

  17. Voice of Reason says:

    So, this guy gets REBUKED by the premier AND governor. I wonder how he’s even considered to be credible in the first place.

  18. Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

    To be honest: We’ll just have to wait and see the result of the election on May 15th. Personally I’ll be sittin there with my Dark & Stormy, secure in the knowledge that PLP is out in time for Bermuda Day.

  19. familiar says:

    My impression from her response is that she failed to understand what he was talking about and has reacted without putting full thought into it. Usually there’s a reason someone freaks out over something.

    Mr. Comeau stated his beliefs in the matter, based on his understanding of the laws as they stand, and he did not say that there was only one way for over runs to occur, only how they ‘generally’ occur.

    It’s an opinion which the Premier, apparently, agrees with part of. That the Good Governance Act is not as comprehensive as it should be to allow the parties involved to do their jobs to the best of their ability. If it was as comprehensive as it should be, there wouldn’t be more to roll out.

    Basically what we have here is an opinion, followed by an over-reaction.

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      The Premier did not say the new laws would be retroactive, so I guess they will cover future bad behaviour. The past will therefore be buried, so Mr. Comeau is correct.

      The is the classic case of close the barn door, the horse is gone.

  20. Puzzled says:

    I was at the meeting on Wednesday night and Mr. Comeau’s comments were given with a polite tone and genuine concern for the state of our COMMUNITY. Regardless if it were a PLP or OBA Government, Mr. Comeau would have made the same statements. In fact it wasn’t until a member of the public requested further explanation from Mr. Comeau did he decide to speak further to his initial comments.

    @ Laverne Furbert, why do you wish to discredit Mr. Comeau because of his immigration status? This island would never be where it is without foreign intellectual capital and I hope your comments are heavily criticised by those with Bermudian status. Many times those with PRC certificates are expected to simply observe the political climate while they are taxed without representation. They cannot vote so excuse them if they feel the need to contribute in some capacity to their community.

    • Specialgirl is Right says:

      You must be puzzled about the real political game at work here. These folks want power so bad, they would do just about anything. I think you better watch the political game carefully we are in “Silly Season”..

      • Familiar says:

        And this is somehow so different from those folks who want to keep the power so badly that they will do just about anything?

      • Kim Smith says:

        Who are you talking about… the PLP?

  21. To be Honest says:

    HEY @Carse Yer Wote (Original) Says:” U keep saying that the next general election is May 15th and this isn’t a fact so STOP spreading FALSE propaganda. I know that your OBA! I hope that if the election is on May 15th you can still come back on this website and admit your defeat. Don’t get excited too early cause you could be crying on the 15th of May and bawling crockodile tears by the time May 24th comes so LAY BACK!

    • Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

      All I can say is, see you at the voting booth on May 15th. Have a nice day. I have very reliable sources.

    • Come correct says:

      Crying? I don’t know about that, what I do know is I’ll be laughing, laughing at over a decade of blind ignorance and stupidy (appologies but theres really no other words for it), laughing because shortly after the plp/black beret cadre were elected I got my british passport. That’s called forward planning. Crying though? My heart cries for my people, my island, my home, every single day. Only the people can put an end to this madness (ending the madness doesn’t mean electing a different party either), we have become complacent, we are lost.

  22. I just cringe when ignorant people say ” get rid of the foreigner” ” go home”. Do they not realize the exempt companies are the only ones holding this country together, and shall we forget again how many millions they donate to Bermudas social issue charities.

  23. Pastor Syl says:

    “Good Governance legislation will be introduced in phases”

    Given the amount of criticism this government has endured (not in silence, however), one would think they would put every effort into getting the Good Governance legislation IN ITS ENTIRETY on the books in record time. That would enable the truth to come to light and either shut everybody up or allow any miscreants to be brought to book. For sure, the legislation to allow the Auditor General to pursue the money to the utmost needs to be on the books with a quickness!!

    To whoever it was – Mr. Comeau was not criticised by the Governor. What the Governor actually did was issue an appeal to those who know the truth of any wrong-doing, if indeed there was wrong-doing, to man-up and report it to the Police, so they can then engage in a full scale investigation. However, given how difficult it has been to get witnesses to murder to come forward, it will take a miracle or a very active conscience to get witnesses to come forward in this instance.

    • Voice of Reason says:

      I disagree of course. The governor basically said, the Auditor General hasn’t indicated to me that she is being stymied, which is was HE is implying as she’s saying the Auditor doesn’t have the power.

      He also said some crap in the speech about the government has to agree to fund a commission of inquiry before one is held, which is false.

      Not everything he says is off the mark, but he does need to watch that his comments become less worthy because some of the stuff he says is.

  24. Rummy says:

    LaVerne, J.Starling, wow. Love is in the air.

    These two in the same thread. You know things are hotting up.

    A confused person and a communist.

  25. Cancer says:

    Several posters have commented that Mr Comeau is trying to make the PLP look bad. Excuse me… But the PLP doesnot need any help doing that – they do bad all by themselves! The only time I mention the PLP’s name is when I say “PLease Leave Politics!”

  26. Argosy says:

    Typical screeching over reaction from the PLP to a opinion expressed in genuine good faith by a well qualified individual. And most right-thinking persons in Bermuda fully agree with him!

    An Auditor General who does not have access to Government documents that she needs to see in order to do her job? Yeah, right, that’s certainly open and transparent governing!

    Time for a change! I wonder how the PLP will sound & react when they are in opposition?

    • EXPress says:

      @Argosy “Time for a change! I wonder how the PLP will sound & react when they are in opposition?”

      Go back and read the news from the 1980′s and 90′s……….. Time for a change!

      oh and the music was good too!

      Scorpions Wind of Change

      I folow the Moskva
      Down to Gorky Park
      Listening to the wind of change
      An August summer night
      Soldiers passing by
      Listening to the wind of change

      The world is closing in
      Did you ever think
      That we could be so close, like brothers
      The future’s in the air
      I can feel it everywhere
      Blowing with the wind of change

      Take me to the magic of the moment
      On a glory night
      Where the children of tomorrow dream away
      in the wind of change

      Walking down the street
      Distant memories
      Are buried in the past forever
      I folow the Moskva
      Down to Gorky Park
      Listening to the wind of change

      Take me to the magic of the moment
      On a glory night
      Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
      With you and me
      Take me to the magic of the moment
      On a glory night
      Where the children of tomorrow dream away
      in the wind of change

      The wind of change
      Blows straight into the face of time
      Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
      For peace of mind
      Let your balalaika sing
      What my guitar wants to say

      Take me to the magic of the moment
      On a glory night
      Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
      With you and me
      Take me to the magic of the moment
      On a glory night
      Where the children of tomorrow dream away
      in the wind of change

  27. Nathelee Simons says:

    PUZZLED: I agree with you 100%,after living in Bermuda for 12 years, I have learnt a lot, appreciate enough but somehow still cannot ‘wrap’ my head around the immaturity on a political level (YES it happens all over the world), however, without being naive…I had this hope that because Bermuda is BLESSED to be a small community some events that happens ‘everywhere’ else would never become a HUGE issue. My opinion is that the Premier has decided to respond in a manner similar to a person who thinks an issue is too close for comfort or “FIRE at the tail’ as my people say. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!! if you know there has been some managerial incompetence be honest in outlining to the people of Bermuda where it occurred and put TANGIBLE accounting measures in place to ensure 99% CONTROL. DON’T be too high and mighty to acknowledge wrong/error people WILL RESPECT you for it!!!!
    Ms Furbert, I am a very strong supporter of the PNP in Jamaica but will NEVER place myself in a position of defending any action which becomes ‘questionable’ whether ILLEGAL OR UNETHICAL,that’s does nothing for the progress of a party nor the country on a whole. For you to blatantly discredit someone because of their ‘immigration status’ is complete ignorance, but then again I must admit I have personally experienced similar situations as a spouse of a Bermudian, glad that I learnt very early how to handle such situations. I pray for INTEGRITY and STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE to become the core of politics, but most likely I am just fooling myself.

    BERMUDIAN VOTERS I SUGGEST YOU ALL WATCH THE MOVIE INVICTUS AND LEARN… IF NOT FOR THIS GENERATION, PLEASE ENSURE THE FUTURE IS MUCH BETTER FOR THE CHILDREN THAT WILL NOT EVER HAVE TO USE RACE AND CRONYISM TO DISTORT THE REAL ISSUES.

    • pepper says:

      Nathalee.I saw the movie “Invictus” twice and what a powerful message from Mandella, IF ONLY WE HAD MORE LEADERS LIKE HIM !!!

  28. Victor says:

    Any political party that can give us the likes of Ewart and his cronies hasn’t a leg to stand on and for The Cog to pretend that she was not party to the Brownite chicanery of these many years is merely hypocrisy dressed up as wishful thinking. Good for you Mr. Comeau.

    By the way, it’s only going to get more outrageous when the OBA win the popular vote but end up with fewer seats than the PLP because of the gerrymandered constituencies. Then this democracy will be exposed for the sham that it is.

  29. Kevin Comeau says:

    Just to be clear, I have no connection to the OBA or the UBP. I am simply a retired lawyer that, five or six years ago, decided to start researching and writing social policies to decrease the gap between the haves and the have-nots in Bermuda.

    Two years ago, when it became clear that the have-nots (as well as the rest of the island) were being severely harmed by the large growth in gang violence, I shifted my research and time toward finding a way to dramatically reduce gang violence; hence, my recommendations as found on the website of the Good Governance Institute of Bermuda (www.bdagoodgov.bm).

    When it became clear that the Government was going to cut millions of dollars from social programs and charities that help disadvantaged Bermudians, I again shifted direction to research reasons why the Government debt that caused these cuts had skyrocketed, and it became clear that massive and highly suspicious cost overruns on Government capital projects had been a major contributor to that debt and those funding cuts.

    So now I am speaking out again in the hopes that Bermudians will find a way to follow the money to get back those millions of dollars. Right now, the only way to do so is through a Commission of Inquiry, which would have the power to subpoena the bank records and share registers and other documents of the contractors who are at the heart of the controversy. It also would have the power to subpoena the bank records of those elected officials at the heart of the scandal. By following the money a Commission of Inquiry can do what witnesses in Bermuda are too scared to do on our closely knit island.

    A Commission of Inquiry is our best hope of unearthing the hidden evidence to finally prosecute those responsible for any possible corruption over the past ten years that may have cost Bermudians hundreds of millions of dollars.

    I hope that clears up any misperception of who I am, what I am doing, and why.

    Kevin Comeau

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      Your intentions matter to no PLP supporter.

      How you achieved your Bermudian status and the color of your skin is far more important to them.

      Facts and logic come in very very distance last…

      • Ole says:

        Stop the nonsense Tired guy.. That practise has been in play since its inception. It’s called politics and both sides play it badly.. So stop it!!

    • Puzzled says:

      (Reposted from Above)

      I was at the meeting on Wednesday night and Mr. Comeau’s comments were given with a polite tone and genuine concern for the state of our COMMUNITY. Regardless if it were a PLP or OBA Government, Mr. Comeau would have made the same statements. In fact it wasn’t until a member of the public requested further explanation from Mr. Comeau did he decide to speak further to his initial comments.

      @ Laverne Furbert, why do you wish to discredit Mr. Comeau because of his immigration status? This island would never be where it is without foreign intellectual capital and I hope your comments are heavily criticised by those with Bermudian status. Many times those with PRC certificates are expected to simply observe the political climate while they are taxed without representation. They cannot vote so excuse them if they feel the need to contribute in some capacity to their community.

      ____________
      Thank you Mr. Comeau for your contribution. In time most will acknowledge you acted with good intentions, and that you have a history of supporting the people of this island. Keep Calm and Carry On!

      • Specialgirl is Right says:

        Sounds like you are extremely naive, politics is a dirty game, and the OBA/UBP will play it any way they can. They will do anything for power, but will have someone else do it, to try and keep their hands clean. This is a political game that Mr Comeau is playing, who do you think he is associated with? Come on, open up your eyes, and stop thinking he seeks to do good.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      So Mr. Comeau, you are intimating and insinuating that someone in the government has stolen money. Shame on you. Are you forgetting that Scotland Yard was brought to Bermuda to help with the investigation of the “BHC Scandal” that was created by the then UBP. Are you also forgetting that it was the Premier (Jennifer Smith) who ordered the police investigation?

      I would be interested to know why you decided to retire in Bermuda after only living here for ten years. I would also like to know how you were able to get a Permanent Residency Certificate after living here for only ten years.

      I’ve lived in Bermuda all my life and worked hard, but I certainly could not afford to “retire in Bermuda”. Something smells fishy to me.

      • star man says:

        Bull. You could just lay back and collect your rents (no gays need apply)….

      • Rick Rock says:

        LaVerne,
        You’re just making stuff up out of thin air. It’s absolutely childish. Why don’t you argue your point like an adult?

        You question why Mr Comeau would retire here “after only living here for ten years”. First, he has lived here since 1989. That’s a bit more than 10 years. Second, maybe he likes it here. Third, you might want to recheck the latest PLP stance on wealthy nonBermudian residency.

        All your “questioning how he got a permanent residency certificate” arises out of your erroneous statement about how long he has lived here.

        If “something smells fishy” to you LaVerne, you might want to look closer to home about where the rancid smell comes from.

      • Kim Smith says:

        @Laverne… I think you have a real problem with hatred… it seems to just ooze out of most things you say.

    • navin johnson says:

      Thank you Kevin for having the guts to stand up for what is right and wrong with the system we are stuck with…You are a voice for the silent majority in Bermuda.

      • pepper says:

        Navin ,why do you think Kevin has the guts to stand up for what is right or wrong with the system ? and as you say he speeks for the silent majority… why the hell are we so silent ? what are we afraid of ? why do we let so few rule over us ? time for a change….

    • Truth (Original) says:

      Thank you for your courage, time and effort for the people of Bermuda Mr. Comeau. I appreciate you and your efforts to hold this Govt accountable

  30. Hmmmmm says:

    One day in my beloved country, the microphones will belong to the best and brightest and the people who speak into them will have the authority, competence and qualifications to do so. Only in Bermuda could this ordinary corporate lawyer garner such a following and be taken as a voice to rival the elected Government. Everyone else on the panel had some background and foundation from which to speak. Even Saul Froomkin who is no friend of this Government gave a reasoned presentation befitting a former Attorney General and a QC. Comeau’s sole qualification for being on the panel is that he busies himself reading, googling, transposing Canada for Bermuda in his writings and opinions and is anti-Government. To say that cost-overruns are the result of either corruption or incompetence is so outrageous and beyond belief and moreover untrue.Comeau is the poster-child for term limits. His sense of empowerment in his adopted home is bred of this constant refrain we are made sing: “I must be friendly to them; I must be welcoming to them; I must give them whatever they want”. Someone asked if this would be allowed if one of us attempted to do it in Canada; the answer is a resounding no, because Canada makes it clear that gaining citizenship or right of abode in their country is a privilege and not a right like we have cultivated in people like Comeau. The bigger question for us, particularly those of us of colour, is how this guy’s comments, which comprise only what he has heard and read from the same sources to which we have access receive such attention and are conveyed to us as truth. I know the answer and it has everything to do with messenger and not message. Comeau is also an argument for economic diversity. How sad it is that the ethos behind all of the Government’s recent initiatives in the area of finance and economic concessions is based on the premise that we need people like him in our country. To quote Rick Santorum ” it makes me wanna throw up.”

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Quick..someone call a bwwwwwwwwwambulance.

    • Tired of nonsense says:

      Do you actually have any rebuttal to the claims past the fact that he is a “nasty white foreigner?”

      And I am pretty sure that free speech is afforded to all in Canada and not just Canadian citizens. And I am pretty sure I was able to crticize the political establishment and machinations during my poli sci years at a Canadian University and even participated in debates that argued against the ruling Government at the the time. And I am pretty sure they didn’t yank my student Visa or even threaten to do so.

      Only in Bermuda do you have ex-senators and Govt supporters demanding a background check be conducted on Mr. Comeau and advocating for his PRC to be stripped.

      Only in Bermuda is this somehow considered to be democratic.

      So instead of attacking the messenger explain to us plebs how Mr. Comeau is wrong in his assertions. Thi should be easy as you stated “how this guy’s comments, which comprise only what he has heard and read from the same sources to which we have access receive such attention and are conveyed to us as truth.”

    • Lady Scribbler says:

      Hmmmmmmmmmmmm- who are you and what the heck on you on about? So let me understaned. You believe this guy shouldn’t have been on the panel because he is a PRC holder? Well then let’s ask all those wonderful people who donate time and millions to our charities, our schools to hold their money, we don’t need it or them. We only want to hear from “real Bermudians” or those that look like them.

      • Hmmmmm says:

        Get a grip. Never said that. What I did say is how does a garden-variety corporate lawyer of whatever variety get the currency to be economist, social worker, psychologist, political commentator, gang expert, law guru, good governance authority etc…… I don’t give a rat’s ass about his status…he could be from Mars for all I care. He’s a bog-standard, ordinary, run of the mill corporate lawyer who has elevated credibility just for opening his mouth. i would’ve thought having 36 of those was enough for you all.

        • Rick Rock says:

          Oh really, you “don’t give a rat’s ass” about his status? You didn’t make an issue of that?

          What did you mean then, when you said he’s a “poster child for term limits”?
          What did you mean when complained about his, as you called it, “sense of empowerment in his adopted home”?

          Isn’t it the truth that you don’t like these opinions because they are expressed by someone from Canada? Why do you deny it? It’s clear from what you said.

          And I agree with Mr Comeau. When there are enormous and constant cost overruns, it is going to be either corruption or incompetence. It would be nice to be able to know which of these things has happened, and when, and by whom. The only reason not to be interested in the reasons for constant endemic cost overruns, is fear of the answer.

    • Familiar says:

      What utter nonsense.

      None of those people in government, elected and otherwise, were anyone special until they took it to mind to speak up and act, which is no different than what Mr. Comeau is doing.

      How dare you judge this man simply because he was not born on our soil? He came here. He fell in love with our country. He was given permission to reside here. He belongs here a surely as any one of us who simply had the luck to be born here. And really that’s all that makes us ‘real’ Bermudians. Luck.

      There are plenty of people on this island, who were not born here, whose opinions I disagree with, but I would never, ever presume to say they had no business being here, or no business stating their opinions, be they black, white, purple or green.

      “Particularly those of us of colour…” Guess what. Look around you. Everyone is a person of colour. Embrace the bloody rainbow.

    • Argosy says:

      Here’s why IB left!

      Thanks for making it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR hmmmmmm…..

    • Specialgirl is Right says:

      You are correct HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM well said. This is a political move by Mr. Comeau, so I think he is only fooling himself and the OBA/UBP trolls. I am wise that he and the OBA/UBP are moving a chess piece on the board in an secret move, but got caught out…..

  31. Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

    Seems to me that Kevin was just reporting the facts and giving his opinion. Last time I checked, we live in a country where we are allowed to do that. PLP does all it can to silence critics yes, and intimidation is their usual tactic. Many people like myself, have been forced into using pen names as a direct result of this intimidation. It must really upset PLP now that there are avenues such as Bernews to air our views without being identified. My comment to you is: Tough Titty!

    Its not like PLP doesn’t do this every last frickin day!!!!!

    Roll on May 15th

    • Ole says:

      What happens when you wake on May 16th and the PLP are still in power?

      Tough titty I guess!!!

      • Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

        Ole: It will be complete confirmation that a large portion of the electorate in Bermuda are retarded.

        Have a nice day.

        (Our pole is subject to a 0.0069% errror or some bullsh!t)

    • Specialgirl is Right says:

      Kevin was spinning political rhetoric for the OBA/UBP…he is their chess piece, to keep their hands clean. Read between the lines.

  32. jt says:

    Way too many Bermudians make me sick. I am a Bermudian, but not by birth, so of course not a real Bermudian. I earned stautus (yes earned is the correct term) after much contribution to this island, but I only wanted my status because of the financial benefit and certainly not of any aspiration to join the ranks of what I so commonly see hear as ‘Bermudian’. I refuse to acquire a Bermuda passport. My passport from my place of birth will do fine, thank you, and that is a place I am proud to associate my name with.

  33. Truth is killing' me... says:

    Or politically incorrect…for de PLP that is!!!

  34. Specialgirl4You says:

    Bernews,
    Can you please somehow, prevent persons from using the same nicknames? As I can see that some one is using my name, and the Avatar . Graphical representation is different from the one I use. There are many of names out there, so no need to mock my name.

  35. goodness sake says:

    Hey Mr C keep up the good work I certainly have enjoyed reading your articles in the RG and have been most interested that they sparked no rebuttle until now. So glad that you are unmoved by the paraniod cheer leaders of the PLP/UBP/BIU, your calm reasoned approach to a very white hot and explosive political time bomb is refreshing. No need to be concerned too much about the GREAT DEFENDER she will survive as usual. If you are wrong about any of your assertions wouldnt we want to know? Grow up guys this adult politics welcome to the real world!

  36. Cancer says:

    Specialgirl insee your back after a few days. It was so nice having a break from you and Laverne. J
    However I see your still spinning the same old rhetoric in your attempt to try and save the PLP. I guess it’s your duty as a paid blind loyalist tomake it appear that whoever has anything bad to say about the PLP must be a OBA supporter. As a blind loyalist to the PLP you will attempt to make up excuse after excuse in your attempts to defend them. You must realise the PLP is a failed party that has run out of all ideas on how to govern and has set this island back 30years. The PLP is the worse government Bermuda has ever seen. Never have we seen so many mistakes made, bad and unethical behavior, scandals, project overruns, money unaccounted for, I can go on and on! Others can see it but you specialgirl and Laverne will make up excuses, defend, deny and try to use any other political spin to save the flipflop party. The two of you must realise the PLP is finished. More and more people want nothing to do with them and are moving over to the OBA. I like others will never vote PLP again. They must clean up their act and in the meantime select a leader who actually knows what their doing. The people of Bermuda are tired of the lies, coverups, cheats, unethical behavior, and your defending

    • Specialgirl is Right says:

      @Cancer your the leader of “blind-followers” for the OBA/UBP, you are on here hourly, spilling your political rhethoric. You have no right to questions or suggest that Laverne or myself no have right to present our viewpoints. You are the constantly naming and blaming the PLP for everything. YOu are a coward, in Cyber-Space hiding out daily and spilling out nasty comments, if that is what OBA/UBP is all about, I think few would want to be apart of that. So do not continue to think that what you say is “Gospel”, and others will believe you. The only persons that will believe and do what you do are other OBA/UBP followers with the same level of low mentalitity. Even an attempt, likely by you to use my name on the blog, not realizing the “Avator” is different is silly under the table practice that is common and expected for the OBA/UBP troll like you.

      • star man says:

        Ho-hum… exactly what “nasty comments” are you referring to?

  37. Specialgril4You says says:

    Its all cool. PLP an all thet!

  38. Random says:

    Premier Cox states that “The statement that the reason for the overruns in all the projects can only be due to corruption (or managerial incompetence) – does that apply only to this Government or is he being even-handed in levelling the criticism since there are a number of instances of over runs that preceded this Government’s election.”

    The short answer is: “Yes, it should”. However, as the government in power, it requires that governent to want to bring the promised good governance legislation into law. The general public frustration is that, as the Premier states (“numerous public statements on the topic”), this is still just talk about the subject and no actual defined plan of action.

    As soon as all that been promised is brought into law, it will allow the appropriate level of investigation. Then I am sure everyone can rest assured that all historic (including pre this governent’s election in 2007), current and future contracts that significantly over-run can be fully investigated. Then, if they are just simple managerial issues around not being able to estimate, capture or control budget costs; then the appropriate training and instruction can be given to make sure future capital projects are better forecast to allow more accurate planning of the public revenue.

    Based on the agreed benefits that is being promoted by all parties, it would seem to be a win for all involved and now is time for the governent to action this legislation!

  39. righttoright says:

    When you read the response from the Premier you have to wonder if she is saying if the previous government did it then its ok for this government to do it.

    Note: “The statement that the reason for the overruns in all the projects can only be due to corruption (or managerial incompetence) – does that apply only to this Government or is he being even-handed in levelling the criticism since there are a number of instances of over runs that preceded this Government’s election.

    What seems to be said that its ok for over runs or in Kevin C’s words mis management or corruption because the previous government did it. I do not believe you can compare apples to apples because they previous G were in power for over 30 years and they left a small amount of debt, this G has a Billion dollars of new debt in 12 years and if they stay in power for the next 12 years you might see a 3 billion dollar debt which in the eyes of the G is an investment.

  40. SpeciaIgurl4You says says:

    What a lovely day today!!!

  41. Oyeah says:

    Spend spin and attack at work

  42. Vote for Me says:

    This whole story is about media manipulation!! Most are reacting to what was reported and highlighted in the media. How many attended the event or listened to the entire video?

    I think most of us have missed the point in the ‘Comeau story’. Mr. Comeau gave a presentation as one of at least 5 panelists. Immediately following, Mr. Mussenden state that he disagreed with 99% of what Mr. Comeau said. Mussenden then expalined the difference in role for the Police to investigate and the Auditor General to report.

    Mr. Froomkin in response to an audiene question explained th need to be careful not to be libellous when making unsubstantiated public accusations.

    In response to a question, Mr. Comeau then stated that his comments about corruption were his opinion and only based on circumstantial evidence.

    Unfortunately (but understandably) the media have only played Mr. Comeaus comments and created an erroneous (intentional??) impression that Mr. Comeau’s statements are factual.

    The solution… be selective when reading or listening to ‘second hand information’.

  43. Funny Thing but says:

    LaVerne, funny thing but the BHC investingation into EFB et al was stopped before it was completed. The police officers working on the case said the investigation was stopped before the DPP had reviewed all of the evidence presented to him.

    And you might want to ask yourself what became of said DPP afterwards.

  44. navin johnson says:

    Kevin the voice of Bermuda’s silent majority…..thanks and keep the pressure on….

  45. Shaking the Head says:

    If there was nothing to be afraid of, a Commission of Enquiry should be welcomed by the Premier, as it would clear Dr Bown’s name once and for all from all these allegations. So why not call for one? However, two issues come to mind. Firstly, several years ago, Dr Brown required all Cabinet Ministers to sign a Pledge of Allegiance to him personally. Paula Cox was one of the signatories. Is this Pledge still in force? Secondly, the fact that The Premier refuses to request a Commission, despite accepting there have been “unethical” behaviors in the PLP Government which now require Good Governance laws to be phased in, reeks of inside knowledge and the need to keep these matters under wraps. Cans of worms come to mind.

  46. Cancer says:

    The best day of this year will be the day after the next election. Keep hope alive!

  47. LaVerne Furbert says:

    I see by the Immigration and Protection Act that a Permanent Residency Certificate goes for $120,000.00. Obviously Mr. Comeau did quite well while working in Bermuda for those ten years. I wonder if we can follow his money.

    • Shaking the Head says:

      Many years ago, your ancestors came to Bermuda. Despite the hardships they were granted full Bermuda citizenship allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of being Bermudian. What a shame you don’t use that for the benefit of Bermuda and put a stop to all your xenophobic and bigotted ideas.

    • Truth (original) says:

      I am so disappointed in you Mrs. Furbert. What happened to you? Why would we need to follow his money? Whatever he earned, he earned before Bermuda and during Bermuda. It is private money. We scrutinize the Govt because it is public money, our money and they can’t spend it any way they please without proper accountability.

      In defending this pathetic Government, you have been reduced to leveling personal attacks against someone who is asking legitimate questions. I wish you could truly see yourself and the position that you are in. We must not defend wrong doing (real or perceived), using personal attacks to hush up dissidents.

      Maturity demands that we confront problems head on, addressing tough issues with moral courage and not to find arbitrary fault with someone because they asked a legitimate question …and then never address the question in earnest.

      I maintain, the PLP is a shadow of its former self and have undeniably lost their way.

    • Rockfish#1 says:

      @ The Defender/8 votes,
      We wonder if the members can follow the BIU money.(all of it!)

    • Mad Dawg says:

      And how did you get your real estate LaVerne? How did you become one of the upper class landowners, while taking a (ahem) “modest” salary as an employee of the BIU? Let’s follow that money trail.

      By the way, for you and all the other lame brains out there, i know plenty of people who got their PRC’s for no payment at all.

      The $120,000 charge you’re talking about, LaVerne, was instituted recently by Cox to try to stem the flood of business leaving the island as a result of Term Limits. Another failed PLP scheme. Yoou would know all this if you weren’t so busy spewing nonsense on internet sites.

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Maybe Mr. Comeau can share with the rest of us how one can retire after working only 17 years after graduating from college, especially when “he only enough money to pay the bills but not much more. Certainly that would help those Bermudians like me who hardly have enough money to pay our bills.

        • Mad Dawg says:

          What a ridiculous person you are.

          And how did you become one of the rich landed class LaVerne? While working for a modest union salary? We’re interested how you came by all your money and real estate while pretending to be workibg class.

          By the way, are those union accounts up tp date ?

        • Stuart Hayward says:

          Laverne, when are you going to cease your attacks on the messengers and pay attention to the message. No matter where Mr. Comeau was born or what work he did where, or where he resides, he raises issues that should concern us all. One of the key issues he raises is that the Good Governance law doesn’t give adequate investigation powers to the Auditor General, who’s is the only INDEPENDENT office that can delve into questionable fiscal practices by our leaders. Speak to that issue.

          You have claimed that the 1968 election brought freedom of speech into being (or words to that effect). But the personal hounding you and your cohorts are visiting on Mr. Comeau, and others, are not much different than the dampers on free speech of earlier years.

          Freedom of speech includes the freedom for someone else’s speech to be different than yours. If you want to be a good example for the next generation, focus on the content of the speech and quit trying to poison the character of the speaker.

        • star man says:

          Maybe you’d like to tell us, Ms Furbert, how Dr Ewart Brown managed own a big home in Bermuda, a big home in TCI, an apartment in Manhattan, and a huge prestigious home on Martha’s Vineyard?? How the hell did he manage all that? and “will never have to work again.” How’d he do that, LaVerne?!

          • Hmmmmm says:

            How else do you expect a successful doctor to live? Just because he doesn’t engage in this front of riding around on a mobylette to Government House means he stole the money? You people really are sick. One doctor is his neighbour, living in an even bigger home, right next door!! Why does he have to be the only doctor in the country to take a vow of poverty? fed up.

    • Victor says:

      A cheap shot and you know it. Let’s follow your pal Ewart’s money first

    • sandgrownan says:

      Laverne..jesus…engage your brain (if you have one) before you put your mouth into gear (which we know you do)

    • Codfish and Potatoes says:

      Maybe he should get a refund seeing the quality of our current government.

    • PRC for $120,000 says:

      No – that’s a specific category of PRC that was recently instituted and applies to CEO’s of certain companies – it does not include the majority of PRC holders that applied after living here for 20 years.

    • Kim Smith says:

      Obsessed much?

  48. Specialgirl4YOu is Right says:

    Sorry folks “No Commission of Enquiry”…..Kevin failed on his attempt for the OBA/UBP. Look, even your trick to use my blog name has failed, as you did not realize that the “Graphical Representation” is “different” from the one I use. The “Avator” is different picture, so sorry your attempte to fool people has also failed.

  49. Cancer says:

    Laverne you got issues…

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      I think anyone who is breathing has issues. So I’ve got issues because I’m wondering how Kevin Comeau could retire at 41? You, Kevin Comeau and others are constantly alleging that Dr. Brown and others in the PLP stole money. I guess that makes us even when it comes to issues.

      I could see you having a problem with Dr. Brown if he retired at 41….

      • Shaking the Head says:

        If only Dr Brown did retire when he was 41 Bermuda would be a much better and financially affluent place. The rate you’re going you may never retire as the BIU will need all its funds and more to pay the workers for the upcoming General Strike.

      • Stuart Hayward says:

        No, Laverne, you’ve got issues because you’re obsessing on the messenger and either ignoring or tying to divert attention away from the message.

        In case anyone has forgot, the main message Mr. Comeau delivered is about the disparity in investigative powers among the agencies that could get to the bottom of incidents where corruption is suspected. While the Auditor General is the ONLY truly INDEPENDENT office among those agencies, the Auditor General’s office was denied the powers to doggedly follow the money trail. But at the same time, those powers were given to two other agencies, both of which lack the Auditor General’s independence.

        It’s like pumping up the tires on the bikes that are locked while leaving the unlocked bike’s tires flat. None of the bikes can go, even though a lot of pumping up was done.

        Let’s keep our attention on the message.

  50. Hmmmmm says:

    27 hours and counting….my comments are still “awaiting moderation”. But Comeau’s rhetoric gets reported in triplicate…….what a double standard.

  51. Cancer says:

    I’ve been blogging on Bernews for some time now. I can positively confirm that more and more people are now speaking up against the PLP. Many of these people were faithful supporters like myself who in the last few elections cast their vote for the PLP. But because of the behavior of certain indiviguals I find many people will now either vote OBA or not just vote at all. Most people who will not vote are the many disenchanted supporters that agree PLP has lost their way and is unable to govern this island into prosperity. As long as there are people like Laverne Furbert and specialgirl4you (who ever she is) who speak their daily rhetoric, nonsense and propaganda the PLP will never be able to rise up to the power they once were because those two blind loyalists would defend them to their last breath no matter how wrong the PLP are. The people of Bermuda will be fooled no more Laverne and specialgirl. Your flipPLoP party is finished!!!!!! The two of you look so foolish everytime you make a post! Until you two blind loyalist can finally admit that there have been times when your flipflop has made mistakes you will never get the respect that only you think you deserve! Regards cancer!

  52. Kim Smith says:

    Follow the money!

  53. Jeff says:

    There are a lot of questions to be answered, most of us know the answers already, that is why we are so upset.

  54. Stuart Hayward says:

    Let’s not lose sight of the message!

    In case anyone has forgot, the main message Mr. Comeau delivered is about the disparity in investigative powers among the agencies that could get to the bottom of incidents where corruption is suspected. While the Auditor General is the ONLY truly INDEPENDENT office among those agencies, the Auditor General’s office was denied the powers to doggedly follow the money trail. But at the same time, those powers were given to two other agencies, both of which lack the Auditor General’s independence.

    It’s like pumping up the tires on the bikes that are locked while leaving the unlocked bike’s tires flat. None of the bikes can go, even though a lot of pumping up was done.

    Let’s keep our attention on the message.

  55. Pastor Syl says:

    The Governor appears to be saying that he won’t call for a Commission of Inquiry because it won’t have the power to prosecute if wrong-doing is found.
    What a Commission of Inquiry WILL do is clear away the miasma of uncertainty, rumor and suspicion that has dogged this government since shortly after Dr. Brown became premier. It has been very divisive. Maybe we won’t be able to charge anyone with a crime, but we will at least know, once and for all, if criminal acts were committed.
    I for one, would like to see an end to the speculation. I want to know the truth, no matter what it is. If Dr. Brown et al are innocent, then his name and reputation can be cleared, along with the embarrassing cloud hanging over this island.

    Another thing the Commission of Inquiry won’t do is explain why the Auditor General has not been given full powers to do her job efficiently and effectively. Why does the Governor have to wait for her to ask or complain before he can request the government to rectify the situation, when it is clear that she cannot do her job properly the way things stand.

  56. White Caps says:

    To clarify, Mr. Comeau has been living in Bermuda for 23 years. He is not affiliated with any political party.

    Premier Cox must, without further delay, give the Auditor General the necessary and full legal powers to follow the Bermudian people’s money.

  57. Pastor Syl says:

    The Governor appears to be saying that he won’t call for a Commission of Inquiry because it won’t have the power to prosecute if wrong-doing is found.
    What a Commission of Inquiry WILL do is clear away the miasma of uncertainty, rumor and suspicion that has dogged this government since shortly after Dr. Brown became premier. It has been very divisive. Maybe we won’t be able to charge anyone with a crime, but we will at least know, once and for all, if criminal acts were committed.
    I for one, would like to see an end to the speculation. I want to know the truth, no matter what it is. If Dr. Brown et al are innocent, then his name and reputation can be cleared, along with the embarrassing cloud hanging over this island.

    Another thing the Commission of Inquiry won’t do is explain why the Auditor General has not been given full powers to do her job efficiently and effectively. Why does the Governor have to wait for her to ask or complain before he can request the government to rectify the situation, when it is clear that she cannot do her job properly the way things stand.

  58. Pro Bono says:

    In response to Hmmmmm:

    You quite reasonably hope that “one day the microphones will belong to the best and brightest”.

    Mr Comeau is certainly one of the “best and brightest”. During a 30 year career including as the CEO of a multinational business, I’ve worked with some of the best lawyers in the world, in several countries and continents. Mr Comeau stands out amongst the most intelligent and honest lawyers I’ve worked with.

    You also hope that the people who speak into these microphones “will have the authority, competence and qualifications to do so.” As a hugely experienced and exceptional lawyer, Mr Comeau unequivocally has the qualifications to interpret the law, as he has done in this instance. He’s far more than just competent: in my experience, he consistently displayed quite exceptional problem solving skills in many areas of the law and also business

    Which leaves authority. I don’t think you’re questioning his right to talk, which is guaranteed by the principle of freedom of speech. The real issue is why he has such elevated credibility. The answer: because he has won it.

    Mr Comeau has deeply impressed many people by voluntarily applying his legal skills and intellect to research and untangle the laws as they apply to the numerous social and legal challenges facing Bermuda. Most recently he has summarised the legal position regarding good governance in a concise and understandable way. This also has shown great courage because it has predictably led to vitriol such as yours.

    Regardless, we get it and I won’t persuade you. You don’t like the messenger. Yet only the message really matters. Nobody with legal training has, so far, persuasively refuted a single aspect of Mr Comeau’s legal analysis. If he is correct in his interpretation of the law, what is Bermuda willing to do about it?

    Mr Comeau, thank you for your guts and selflessness in saying what so many Bermudians have been whispering for several years. May your bravery allow the pus of this festering issue to be drawn and a healing process to begin.

  59. Hmmmmm says:

    Interesting. Why is the burden on me to rebut the claims he makes but he bears no burden other than to make them? No evidence, nothing that will stand scrutiny in any court or tribunal, but I have to rebut them. This same democracy you all seem to think is under siege also has some other rules that you might be well advised to apply. As Comeau would’ve learned in law school, one is innocent until proven guilty. That even applies to Dr. Brown. And the standard to which guilt must be proved for a criminal conviction is beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proving that guilt is on the person who asserts it NOT reversed onto the accused. Those parts of this precious democracy have been thrown out the window by these rabid posters here and elsewhere. Even if in my heart of hearts I think you are a racist bigot, my genuine belief is not enough to convict you of it; there must be evidence and not just my writing it a thousand times, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, if you’re prepared to sacrifice all those fundamentals of your democracy and your rule of law just to get Ewart then fine; let’s roll…..because that, like any sword, cuts both ways. So, I don’t have to rebut Comeau’s allegations, he has to prove them; that’s the way my country works.And what is criminal is forcing the hand of all of the institutions of Government, the independent watchdogs and others into changing the law, spending millions on countless investigations and fueling a division among the people just to quench your thirst for revenge or your unsupported suspicions. I for one, have had enough of the lot of you