OBA: Government Document Is “Electioneering”

June 1, 2012 | 73 Comments

[Updated] Brochures mailed to residents by Government are “electioneering campaign” documents that should be paid for by the PLP not taxpayers, OBA MP Mark Pettingill said this afternoon [June 1].

The brochures are “electioneering campaign document that should be paid for by the Progressive Labour Party in their campaign to be Government again,” said Mr Pettingill. “The taxpayers should not be picking up the bill for a document like this.”

“They are doing it before an election we all know is coming,” Mr Pettingill said. “It’s outrageous, unethical and improper.”

Mr Pettingill said the PLP should be “reimbursing the taxpayers for these particular brochures.The people of Bermuda should not be paying for this.” Photos of the document Mr Pettingill was referring to are below, they will enlarge slightly if clicked.

Photo example #1:

Photo example #2:

Photo example #3:

Photo example #4:

Update 4.45pm: The Government responded to this issue, saying: “In December of 2011, the Ministry of Finance released the Pre-Budget Report. In that report the Government committed to joining the Open Budget Initiative. Joining the Open Budget Initiative and giving a commitment to budget transparency is yet another step towards better governance in Bermuda.

“One of the commitments which were made on page 30 of the pre-Budget Report is as follows:Citizen’s Budget: A Citizen’s Budget is a nontechnical presentation that “can take many forms but its distinguishing feature is that it is designed to reach and be understood by as large a segment of the population as possible”.

“A citizen’s budget is a simplified summary of the budget designed to facilitate discussion. In 2005 and 2006 the Government issued a guide to the budget. The Government will re-introduce this document with the 2012-13 budget statement. The distribution of these pamphlets started in March as they were made available at the Open Budget Town Hall Meetings.

“The publication and distribution of the Citizen’s Budget document this year, is in keeping with the government’s commitment to transparency and understanding in the budget process.”

Update 6.53pm: A PLP spokesperson said, “Mark Pettingill and the One Bermuda Alliance are so upset with the pamphlet released by the Government of Bermuda because it undermines their ability mislead Bermudians about the budget.

“The budget pamphlets includes a lot of inconvenient truths for his party. It shows that you can’t magically balance the budget by simply “cutting consultants,” “Ministerial travel” and “Ministerial Salaries” as he and his party would have the people believe. It’s shocking that a party that is supposedly committed to transparency is upset when the government is proactive and transparent with the people about where their money goes!

“Which is it, OBA, do you want a transparent budget or do you want to keep Bermudians in the dark? You can’t have it both ways”

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Comments (73)

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  1. Don't want it says:

    I'm sending mine back "return to sender".

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    • GVT Mechanic says:

      I'll be joining you! Didn't know this was paid for by Gvt and not the PLP - it is pure electioneering, how did the Cabinet Secretary let this happen?

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      • SpecialGIrl4You says:

        Well done government of Bermuda. Information of this kind is important for the people to have. I am very impressed with the flyers.....please please send out some more....... Mark go get a life and find a new way to make a valid point...

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      • Yup says:

        The PLP are in power to spend your money...not their money.

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        • Yup says:

          My flier had Derrick Burgess in it talking about all the wonderful things his ministry is doing. Sad thing is, some of the info in the flier is wrong.

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      • Huh? says:

        You did not know it was paid for by Gov? Serious?! It has "Government of Bermuda" plastered across the front.

        Anyway, Government said they were implementing an 'Open Budget' process and now that they are sending the information straight to the people you complain. I'm confused?

        Should Government cease to operate until after the election? Will this solve the "electioneering" problem? Seems to me anything the current Government does for the people will be seen as just electioneering.

        BTW the way to get elected is to do what is best for the people...so I guess your right. This is electioneering.

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    • Out of flight says:

      Everyone says what is the Govt doing. Sending out facts. so they call it electioneering. when they don't send it out people say they are doing nothing. Give me a break. Make up your mind and stop being hypocritical.

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      • Pastor Syl says:

        Facts are one thing. The language of this pamphlet is slanted however. A headline like "Doing the right thing" is pure electioneering. A budget is a line by line document: this is anticipated income from these sources, this is anticipated expenditure.

        The government should be talking about how much they plan to spend and what they plan to spend it on. They should also be clear about where they have cut costs, so that the people can easily see that their government is being fiscally responsible with the people's money.

        This document speaks about programs but doesn't give information about costs of same. It quotes percentages without providing actual amounts to back them up. How can I know for sure that there is a surplus in the balance of payments if you do not provide actual monetary figures? You could tell me anything and I am just supposed to accept it as fact because you said it? The document speaks of "continued improvement" in the construction industry because of KEMH. Last I heard there were very few Bermudians employed there. I am not reassured because of one construction site. I am glad the WEDCO project was not mentioned since those prefabs will require specific expertise that most Bermudian construction workers do not have. I am amazed that this document speaks of the "resilience" of IB. Based on what evidence? The increase in companies registered here but without offices that employ Bermudians? Please!

        Given the lack of trust voiced by so many of the population, if I were the PLP and if I were truly on the up-and-up, I would be going out of my way to prove those mistrustful people wrong. I would be making every effort to be transparent and above board. I would most definitely NOT be giving anybody any excuse whatsoever to be able to accuse me of abusing my position or mis-using the people's money.

        So PLP, who really paid for these pretty pieces of expensive paper with their pretty pie-charts and dearth of actual use-able information???

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        • SpecialGIrl4You says:

          YOU MIis-inform people every Sunday in church....presenting like you love the Lord, yet you write such mis-guided comments on Bernews everyday...I suggest you deal with yourself first before calling someone else a name..

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  2. As Usual says:

    LMAO. Are you serious OBA. The Government shouldn't send out information on the Budget to the poeple in this country.

    One day you complain about transparency, the next day you say there is too much. Make up your mind.

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    • 32n64w says:

      Why didn't the Government simply send these out when the budget was first released?

      If this was truly a transparent and apolitical act why do the flyers contain only platitudes and omit failures and/or detailed budget analysis?

      The reason is these are electioneering documents produced at the taxpayer's expense.

      PLP - Betraying Bermudians since 1998

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      • Joonya says:

        PERIOD.

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      • Out of flight says:

        It is called accomplishments. That is why it was sent out. when they did the budget it was mere expectations and planning. Be honest. Don't you want the facts?

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        • Hmmmmmm says:

          Do they spell out the 100milliom dollars we now throw down the drain every year from now on before we even start as a result of the PLP mismanagement. How many jobs does 100million dollars cover...about Two thousand jobs at the Median pay rate of 50,000 per year. That is what the PLP have thrown away. Have they done a good job for Bermuda...HELL NO.

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  3. sick of the nit picking! says:

    I agree, this is funny................first the complain is there is not any transparency next minute you have a problem with the Government telling us how They spend the peoples money. As a young Bermudian, not into politics it seems like the OBA are not showing us how they will lead, they are picking fault with the PLP. OBA tell us what you will do, and how you will do it!

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    • so-n-so says:

      and picking fault is the job of the opposition. just think if the OBA wasnt throwing up the flags as much as they are, how much more the PLP would be getting away with? i understand where you are coming from as i am a young bermy as well who, quite frankly, is disgusted with the state of politics in bermuda right now. i dont care what government runs the country, they can be purple, black, yellow or white, as long as they have the country's interests at heart. the PLP sure doesnt, so what is our other other option? i am not prepared to let bermuda slip through the cracks even further than we have. i personally think that we need a change of political strucutre on the island (ie get rid of party politics) but unless we do not get involved in the current system of government, the incumbents will be the least willing to change the system. you and i will be inherting this mess in a few years, what are you going to do when that day comes?

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    • Nitting you a Pic says:

      Actually they have. Check out the document at http://www.facebook.com/groups/onebermudaalliance/doc/246676312083095/

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  4. Joonya says:

    "Bermuda is still seeing the effects of global economic downturn"
    yeah right. Come on Paula You mean the effects of poor, inexperienced decision making with regards to immigration and labour relations, and wild spending habits. And lets not talk about tourism with idiots making the decision on when to run buses or not. I hate politricks and spin doctors!

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  5. doomed says:

    Of everything going on in the country, this is what the OBA wants to talk about?

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    • Hmmmmmm says:

      Because it is proapaganda that has thrown more money down the drain. THE PLP ARE DESPERATE, they KNOW THEY HAVE FAILED.

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      Do you agree then that Bean should focus on something other than legalizing weed and pitbulls? Assuming you think that politicians should focus on important issues?

      By the way, taking tax dollars and spending them on yourself is regarded as pretty a serious crime, usually.

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  6. Chart says:

    These are PLP campaign flyers paid for by Govt money. The fact that different versions of the same document feature different ministers - presumably for different constituencies - makes that plain.

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    • Grouper says:

      Yup!

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    • Don't waste my money says:

      They've been doing this since day one . Using OUR money that neither we or they have any longer to further the propaganda for the PLP.

      I'm just shocked that it's not all cover to cover 'PLP green' too.

      As for 'doomed's' remark above , why not ? It's OUR money is it not ? Many years ago in the run-up to a general election the UBP published a leaflet that showed a photo of a black hand shaking a white hand. Innocuous enough anywhere else in the world , but noooo , not Bermuda.
      The picture was framed as such that the black hand looked to be shaking 'up' to the white hand. The PLP accused it of being racist and made such an unholy stink that the UBP had to pull it and loose thousands in costs thanks to the 'perceptions' of thin skinned very imaginative Bermudians.

      So ya.. Go OBA

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  7. Mark, The PLP are prepared to do what ever it takes to WIN! What is the OBA prepared to do to WIN? ELECTIONS ARE RUN TO WIN.DON'T GET IT CONFUSED.SET YOUR EMOTIONS ASIDE AND COME UP WITH A PLAN TO WIN.THE NAME OF THE PERSON WHO COMES SECOND ,IS NEVER REMEMBERED FOR A REASON.

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  8. Josef Goebbels says:

    I approve of this brochure, great job PLP.

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  9. Finally some common sense says:

    The reason that Bermuda is so poorly run is because the supporters of the PLP are happy to endorse whatever they do, but do not demand excellence from them. The failures are not necessarily those of the PLP government, but rather, from those who think mediocrity is an acceptable standard. Information is one thing, but to have flyers that show different ministers at work being sent to those ministers' constituencies is REALLY transparent!!

    What they are saying is that we cannot baffle you with our spin verbally, so we are going to spend your money to show you how wonderful we are! Really sad.

    Thsi should not be an OBA observation, it should elicit an outcry from every eligible voter. If times are so hard, where is the money coming from to produce these spin pamphlets. Should have taken those funds and paid 2 hours worth of interest on the debt.

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    • Don't want it says:

      Amen Amen,Common Sense

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    • SpecialGIrl4You says:

      @ Common Sense...please do not attempt to degrade the intelligents of the PLP members or supporter... We are smarter than you think and we know what is good and not good...but this is good. Getting information out to the citizen is key role of any government. YOU the UBP/OBA did this several times while in government, never did any one of you speak to the matter......now you find something wrong with it....come on......lets get real here....

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      • Hmmmmmm says:

        PLP members are in it for self, and to hell with Bermudians. $100million before was start every year you have thrown away. That is 2000 jobs down the drain. It is going to increase too. You are intelligent at serving your own house and to hell with Bermudians. Intelligence has nothing to do with it.

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  10. Terry says:

    It's all about getting the last gold hog penny.
    Even though they were not made of gold they are worth thier weight.
    Ewart Brown said it best. We had to deceive you.
    Well, he's back in town.
    Matt Billion is my name...........................

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  11. @Work says:

    I got one of these in my mailbox yesterday. As it did not have my name nor correct mailing address, I figured it was put in my mailbox by mistake and threw it away.

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    • pepper says:

      I got three of them in my mail box !!!and it is only two of us living here !!!!!!!!!!!!! what the hell is going on ?

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  12. Zombie Apocalypse says:

    How are they being delivered if they're not properly addressed? The Post Office should return them to the sender, or throw them away, like they do all the other mail with a comma missing in the address.

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    • Rumandcoke says:

      No post code on mine so why was it delivered?

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      • Come Correct says:

        Holy crap! All of you, do you not understand? The rules they make do not apply to them. Get it through your thick skull now because there's most likely 4 more years of this to come.

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  13. Soooooo says:

    The question I have is, were the mailings targeted: IE, if I live in Sandy’s South, was the PLP candidate for my constancy on my booklet and that of my neighbors (same for sandys north etc). If this is the case then the mailings are obviously political in nature and sent for no reason other than the upcoming election.

    If they are random, and purely highlighting/explaining the budget, then who is the fool that sent them so late or was it just our over efficient postal service?

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  14. We Like says:

    Pettingil & OBA, stop complaining & Get a clue.

    This stuff ain't new. They been at the post office for over a month. It had useful information. The strange thing is I don't see them online, but as a lot of seniors don't go online it was a good thing to send out in the mail.

    Anyone realised pettingil sounds like a read snob?

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  15. ATTENTION OBA: THE PEOPLE OF BERMUDA NEED PERMISSION TO VOTE AGAINST THE PLP: IT'S LEFT UP TO YOU TO GIVE THEM A REASON.

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    • Smodney Rith says:

      It is up to the voters to make an inteligent decision on whether or not they want change. Vote plp and keep things as they are, or vote for change, its simple. Let's say oba get in to power, you don't like how they operate, did you pay your taxes out of your paycheck this week/period? Yes? Good, then collectivley as the people of Bermuda, tell them to get the f@ck out and tell the plp come again with something new. Eventually if a party wanys to remain in power, they will have to come with something that benefits the people and not just them and the fam.

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      • ??? says:

        Change just for the sake of change isn't a wise decision! The OBA are STILL NOT saying anything new, to me. So I'm left with a very hard decision, who do I vote for? There is no clear decision.

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        • Don't waste my money says:

          We can only pray that there's very few people with your lack of understanding and poor eye sight .

          ''Hard decision ?? '' Lord help us . The writing is on the wall.

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    • SpecialGIrl4You says:

      They have not given us a reason, their behaviours reflect that of the UBP, and little of the party really reflects any real change...so no voting PLP is the way...where are their answers to anything except to cry wolf......

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      • Hmmmmmm says:

        There are reasons 100million dollars worth of reasons. That is just the interest the PLP are costing us every year. Wait until the debt is due to be repaid. Refinancing will cost us more each year on top of the 100million as interest rates rise. What do we have to show for the extra one and a half BILLION dollars they spent over and above what Bermuda can physically generate as income.

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  16. joe says:

    It's not about information, it's about the money, stupids.
    The PLP can send this out, but they pay, not the taxpayers. I think it is quite simple. Lets see, printing and mailing? Maybe 20K. Then give the OBA similar to do their mailing. Simple.

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  17. James s says:

    "Let us build one another, together" it does not even make sense!

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    • Triangle Drifter says:

      No it doesn't. Build what? What is another? Another what?

      Makes no sense at all. Look who is coming from. A dumb slogan like that should not be surprising at all.

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    • Don't waste my money says:

      Well , ''XPress yourself'' and ''Make It Happen'' made about as much sense too.. They sure did ''Make it happen''... sigh

      Constantly feeding on simple emotion , nothing more , nothing less.

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      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Unfortunatley simple emotion works on the simple minded & the PLP wants to keep them that way. Hand out meaningless pretty brochures with pie charts & simple stuff, hold a rally or two to whip up emotions, issues be damned, maybe give out some flags & a T shirt or two & you have the vote of the poorly educated who cannot think for themselves & have no idea of what it takes to manage a successful little island.

        Works like a charm every time. Well, it did 3 times. Hopefully enough are getting the message that money does not fall from the sky & $2B debt & what it costs to service that debt is very real.

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  18. Its Danger says:

    I say the OBA and the PLP members should all be lined up on front street as they are no better than one another. All they do is bicker moan and groan and wo suffers is the average Bermudian. The main issues are still not resolved nor are they being looked at, while the average Bermudian is still out there paying these wind bags salaries that are not hurting. MPS shut up and start solving the problems or get out of the house so someone that can make a difference there sit in your place.

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  19. Special Delegates Conference says:

    Dear PLP,

    please have a Special Delegates Conference, one item on the Agenda

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go, also Patrice, Glen, Derrick, Marc,

    Special Delegates Conference required urgently.

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  20. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    I love this information send out by government....Keep it coming government good information is key.....do it again and again....Well done Paula...Smart way to ensure that our people are informed of the FACTS........

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    • Huh?... says:

      These brochures are not facts. They are spin and half truths that feed the naive voters paid for by you and me. Good information, as you call it, would include hard facts and an actual balances. Not conveniently picked percentage categories with large chunks of expenditures missing. Any accountant (and there a many in Bermuda) can see right through this.

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  21. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    @Special Delegates Conference says.....must the delegates of the OBA/UBP party.....well it sure is not the PLP party....

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  22. Yes says:

    People who love to spend the people's money

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  23. Special Delegates Conference says:

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

    Cox must go

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  24. Triangle Drifter says:

    The PLP don't have a sugardaddy this time around bankrolling their election campaign. Their moneypit of 98 is lucky he did not get locked up in the Netherlands.

    Their only way to fund a campaign this time is to use public funds, obtained directly or indirectly. There is no shame...

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  25. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    WELL DONE PLP government, a smart way to go....the information is key..and that is why the OBA/UBP fans are crying out wolf.....Mark sounds so defeated and boring. Lets keep pushing the information out there...it is key to letting our people know the "FACTS vs the FICTION as told by the OBA/UBP..................PLP FOREVER......

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    • Grouper says:

      The information just shows that the Pee L Pee Govt. don't have clue on how to run the Govt. finances. Should help the OBA get more votes

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  26. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    Been out since March as they were made available at the Open Budget Town Hall Meetings............why cry wolf now OBA/UBP

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  27. I see nothing has changed - the flip flop PLP party still trying to play games, spin and lie to the people. However he end is near Can wait until Paula is gone - her and Brown are the two worse Premiers we've ever had. And you thought Alex Scott was bad? Well Paula I hope your counting the days you have left.

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  28. @ Special Delegates Conference - Patrice Glen Derrick will not be re-elected as they are useless but Mac Bean will - Paula may have to step down from the Premier as their own Cabinet are fighting within and want to see her go. She is not clued in and can't relate to the people of Bermuda and there is discontent and disharmony - if she is not careful she may not even be reelected as she has destroyed Bermudas reputation as finance minister and now Premier. If the PLP want any chance of winning the next election they to to first of all get rid of Rolfe along with their clueless leader. But then again they have no talent within to replace her. What a shame.

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  29. A Visitors Perspective says:

    Well, I'm convinced- this isn't electioneering, it's just a new transparency initiative. I'm not sure how much transparency it adds, since there's no new information, only reformatting of the previously presented budget, with pretty pictures and snapshots of candidates, but based on the comments here, Government believes it enhances transparency. So that must be the case.

    So, by all means, keep the information coming. With this new transparency initiative, when will Government release the Thruster Wall study? Or the details and history of the PHC contract? Current revenue estimates vs. budget? More information on the backlog and processing of work permits? The tendering documents for Grand Atlantic?

    I can't wait for this flood of information that Government is promising.

    AVP

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  30. SpecialGIrl4You says:

    OBA/UBP are afraid and upset over information that has recently been put out there for the public...this speaks volumes in terms of the fear that OBA/UBP are now feeling.....why express so much fear ?.......Maybe the truth has been told to the public now...and they would prefer to continue to spread "Fiction vs Facts" .............stop crying wolf all you OBA/UBP folks.....information has been out since March.....govt please send out more, I looking forward to it......

    Govt has won on this one.......................

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  31. Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the great effort.

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  32. Bullseye says:

    I'm sorry, but I missed something here.

    ESTIMATED revenue.
    ESTIMATED expenditure.

    this is like sayign we had talsk with the cruise lines about cruise ships in St Georges. It means nothing. It is fluff.

    Everything they estimate goes WAY overboard in expense and good luck taking in $900 million this year. No way.

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