Full Text & Highlights: 2012 Throne Speech

November 2, 2012 | 26 Comments

[Updated] This morning [Nov.2] Governor George Fergusson delivered the Throne Speech, which outlines Government’s legislative agenda for 2013.

The speech covered a wide range of topics, some of the things covered include: a bronze statue will be made for Bermuda’s only Olympic medalist Clarence Hill, setting a concrete date for re-opening the St. George Golf Course, ending conscription, and introducing a new Bill that will address protection against discrimination based on age and sexual orientation. Some of the highlights are posted below.

EEZ:

To provide more economic stimulus, Government is extending the Economic Empowerment Zones, creating three new zones in North West Hamilton, Middletown, and North Village, and extending the existing North Hamilton Zone. There will be six economic empowerment zones in Bermuda, zones which should afford much needed relief and support to entrepreneurs and other small businesses and generate jobs

Tourism:

The goal is to further develop sports and culture tourism, wildlife and eco tourism, business and entertainment tourism, and even take advantage of the many shipwrecks in Bermuda’s coastal waters to promote underwater tourism.And the promotion of medical tourism with the help of the new and soon to be completed state-of-the-art hospital is on the drawing board.

Aquaculture:

A report earlier this year by the U.S.-based Brookings Institution described the Blue Economy as a “$500 billion-and-growing global water technology business sector.”

Tapping into this new economy starts with Bermuda developing a National Aquaculture Strategy, one that takes the necessary steps to develop a myriad of local marine-based industries—from water tourism to discovering new sources of energy from water.

Bermuda has enough ingenuity—and enough water—to lead this industry, which would provide a much needed diversification to our economy

Screening of children:

Accordingly, the screening of two-year-old children, presently provided by the Child Development Programme, will be made mandatory and extended to include children up to three years of age.

Honouring our athletes:

Each parish council will create a Hall of Fame to celebrate past sporting heroes, and all Olympians and Paralympians, past and present, will be honoured with bricks bearing their names in the walkway at the National Sports Centre. A special provision—a bronze statue in a special location—will be made for Olympic legend Clarence Hill.

St George’s Golf Course:

Government will set a concrete date for re-opening the St. George Golf Course, and ensure that only Bermudians will be employed in landscaping the course and managing the concessions.

BIU Credit Union

Government has determined to provide assistance to the Bermuda Industrial Union Credit Union. The mission of the credit union is to promote the economic interests of its members.

In these testing economic times, members of the BIU Credit Union have sought assistance from their cooperative in large numbers.

To assist the Credit Union in its time of need, your Government will provide the Credit Union with grant funding in this fiscal year.

Financial Assistance for Seniors:

The Government plans to amend the Financial Assistance Regulations 2004 to allow seniors who are homeowners, or who have an interest in real property, to be assessed for applicable financial assistance benefits.

Conscription:

The strength of the organisation makes it ideally suited for modernisation and the further amend the Defence Act 1965 to provide for an expanded full-time element in the Regiment and an end to conscription.

“The focus of a 21st Century Bermuda Regiment will be on an enhanced maritime role, greater engagement in border control and increased operations with the other uniformed services.”

“The timetable for the end of conscription and the transition to a modernised Regiment will be set out in 2013 by the Ministry of National Security.”

Discrimination based on age & sexual orientation:

Your Government has made a determination. Justice is about fairness and equality of access for all. Bermuda does not have that standard and it is to our collective discredit as a democratic country in the 21st Century.

Bermuda’s Human Rights Act 1981 no longer meets the standard for human rights in a 21st Century democracy. Government proposes therefore to replace the outdated Act in this Parliamentary Session with a new broadly based Bill that will address protection against discrimination for a range of characteristics including age and sexual orientation

The full Throne Speech is below here [PDF]:

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  1. Photo Set #1: 2012 Convening Of Parliament | Bernews.com | November 2, 2012
  1. I wonder,, says:

    What no negative, sarcastic, cynical comments as yet?? Is everybody still sleeping?? lol

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    • Sad Truth says:

      Here's the first one for you then. Did they announce the election date? About the only thing anyone cares about at this point, as far as any electioneering promises(lies) I think most people are fed up, I for one won't even be reading their propaganda any more.

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    • the combined opposition says:

      Sorry - we were all off at the secret white people's meeting deciding what to complain about

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  2. Boom Bye Bye says, 'me no deh pon dat" says:

    eef all dat! whens de eefing election?!

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  3. Curiousone says:

    I predict that the election will be called later this after noon at the press conference thats going to be held by the Premier and her Ministers.

    She will probably announce herself as running in the election then she will annouce the election.

    I predict the election will take place December 19 or 20th as the schools come out on the 18th of December. The schools are needed for polling station purposes.

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  4. LOL (original TM*) says:

    Any mention of PATI or where they took her..........................

    LOL

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    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Never happen. Not under a PLP Government. Too many skeletons hidden in too many closets. Throw the PLP out & let the investigations begin. Time to clean house. The GP cars & the blingy trucks are just small stuff. Just where has that $1.5b gone?

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  5. island girl says:

    same crud...different year! Enough of the electioneering Ms Cox AND company and call the election NOW!

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  6. swing voter says:

    NOTHING!!!!! Where is the Arab and Chinese money. Where is the 'red carpet' incentive to attract more foreign investment. What about the satillite spectrum. What the hell is gonna make me wanna vote for you this time around.

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  7. Slow Down Bda says:

    Tourism : how vague!
    I'm not surprsed at the lack of comments - this malarky (sp??) doesn't deserve them. I just wasted my time posting this!

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  8. No True Case says:

    Another opportunity lost, for the government to look outward by legislating to attract external capital.

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  9. smith says:

    Money to the BIU credit union ?????? THIS IS BULL$%T !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Um Um Like says:

    All of this could have been addressed in 1998. Get crackin PLP losers!

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  11. cool... says:

    @smith---stfu! this is expected after all, workers use the Bermuda credit Union and may need some assistance instead of going to social assistance.

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    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Total BS. Why give money to the BIU? It benefits a subset of people at most. Certainly doesn't help all Bermudians in need. And it just about guarantees there will be no way of knowing who gets what. Just the way they always do things.

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      • stillpulse! says:

        @ Zombie Apocalystic------once you arise from your zombie state; revelations will be revealed...just like bank of butterfield recieved assistance! You are probably not a member so wouldn't understand!

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        • Mad Dawg says:

          It's not "just like the bank of Butterfield" at all.

          Butterfield was a loan guarantee. In other words, it was a guarantee to enable the bank to stay open. Not a penny was handed over. It was a bad idea, but this is different. The throne speech says they're going to fund the BIU Credit Union with grants. Cash will go to the Credit Union. And then that cash will disappear into the pockets of undisclosed friends and family.

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  12. smith says:

    Why should me...the poor joe average former middle-class taxpayer support a BIU's lack of cash credit union?

    Its the BIU's responsibility to support the credit union...it's their credit union and owned by their members!!

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  13. street wise says:

    Election Fluff. At best.

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  14. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    I believe that the OBA will thin out like Dunkerley's hair after the election . So keep calling for it , as if next November's Throne Speech will be written by John Swan and Larry Burchall .

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  15. tidbit says:

    WHAT A JOKE OF A THRONE SPEECH!! TOOK 14 YEARS TO DECIDE TO DO SOMETHING FOR CLARENCE HILL!

    BERMUDIANS ARE NOT STUPID MADAM PREMIER!!!

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  16. Verbal Kint says:

    The title is "Let Us Build One Another Together". Since I am self-built, my only remaining role would seem to be to help build someone else (at my expense). Sounds like typical rhetoric from this gov't.

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  17. Verbal Kint says:

    The initiative for establishment of a Judicial Complaints Authority is a good idea, although I doubt it will have real purpose. The part of that statement I disagree with is the part that states "It will bring Bermuda in line with other modern reputable jurisdictions." Other? Bermuda'a judiciary is neither modern nor particularly reputable.

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  18. Ringmaster says:

    The comment about St George's Golf Course is interesting. The golf course is part of the lease for the promised hotel, so how can you take back the course? Unless the hotel is not being built, but surely not after all the promises, beginning in November 2007, that construction was about to begin?

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