Minister Perinchief: Throne Speech Initiatives

November 6, 2012 | 4 Comments

[Updated with video/OBA statement] Ending conscription is a nod to the change in role for the Regiment that this Government will continue to devise, Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief said this morning [Nov 6].

During last week’s Throne Speech the Governor said 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.

Speaking today, Minister Perinchief said: “The creation of a full time Bermuda Regiment will capitalize on the existing nucleus of key professionals that are presently full time employees. Ending conscription is a nod to the change in role for the Regiment that this Government will continue to devise in consultation with all affected parties.

Minister Perinchief continued: “Concurrent with our plan to eliminate conscription, I have agreed with His Excellency the Governor that a review of Bermuda’s security and defence services should be conducted.

“With the Regiment poised to assume an increased maritime security role, and several other services in need of new equipment, it is appropriate that a review now be conducted to determine what Bermuda needs to continue to be well equipped to deal with both man-made and natural threats and challenges.

“The scope of the review will be to determine what Bermuda’s security and defence requirements are, what is needed in terms of personnel and equipment to meet these requirements, and what organizational structures are needed to do this.

“It is proposed that the review be conducted by a committee consisting of a Civilian Chairperson, the Deputy Governor, the Secretary of National Security, and representatives from each of the uniform services. Once named, I expect the Committee to produce its report and recommendations within six months.

Minister Perinchief continued: “The cynicism of this season cannot be allowed to put a damper on ideas, progress or vision. Public safety knows no Party affiliation and so our work must cross Party and constitutional lines.”

Minister Perinchief’s full statement follows below:

Even in public safety there are new horizons. Maintaining safety and security in Bermuda is a challenge that this Government continues to meet with robust support for the Police, and as this Throne Speech demonstrates, by embracing innovative methods of delivering for the people.

The creation of a full time Bermuda Regiment will capitalize on the existing nucleus of key professionals that are presently full time employees. Ending conscription is a nod to the change in role for the Regiment that this Government will continue to devise in consultation with all affected parties. This is a change whose time has come and which forms part of a wider strategy to compliment the hard work of the Police, to strengthen the role of border control and to realize a more efficient means of keeping Bermuda safe.

Concurrent with our plan to eliminate conscription, I have agreed with His Excellency the Governor that a review of Bermuda’s security and defence services should be conducted.

Bermuda’s security and defence agencies include the Bermuda Police Service, the Bermuda Regiment, the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service, HM Customs, Border Control, and Marine and Ports. Often there are overlaps in some of the security and defence areas covered by these agencies. While this overlap can be justified by necessary technical or jurisdictional factors, financial prudence dictates that these services be reviewed to ensure there is no expensive duplication of capital investment or roles. With the Regiment poised to assume an increased maritime security role, and several other services in need of new equipment, it is appropriate that a review now be conducted to determine what Bermuda needs to continue to be well equipped to deal with both man-made and natural threats and challenges.

The scope of the review will be to determine what Bermuda’s security and defence requirements are, what is needed in terms of personnel and equipment to meet these requirements, and what organizational structures are needed to do this. The review should take account of the real technical, practical and legal needs of Bermuda’s security arrangements. Additionally, those conducting the review should be able to think radically and to some extent independently of institutional inclinations to minimize change or jurisdictional borderlines.

It is proposed that the review be conducted by a committee consisting of a Civilian Chairperson, the Deputy Governor, the Secretary of National Security, and representatives from each of the uniform services. Once named, I expect the Committee to produce its report and recommendations within six months.

Every Ministry has a role to play in renewing the prosperity of Bermuda. National Security will do its part by continuing to streamline immigration practices, opting for technology and user-friendliness every time. In the first instance we are actively working to reduce the turnaround time for the production of Bermuda passports. I am confident we can get the time down to a working week….5 to 6 days to produce a passport is achievable and I have challenged the Immigration team to work towards this.

For our guest workers and business visitors, the process of reducing the red tape has already begun. Several kinds of work permits are no longer paper but are easy to carry, card size with machine readable capability. We will continue to work towards a paperless system within the area of border control.

The ideals expressed in this Throne Speech also provide me with the opportunity to announce the fulfillment of an important promise made in the area of border control. Last week’s Official Gazette carried a notice that will bring into existence the red/green system at LF Wade International Airport. With effect from 19th November arriving passengers will have the option of using a green or “nothing to declare” line. This will benefit Bermudians and returning residents as well as making the airport experience easier and faster for our business travelers. We promised it and on 19th November it will be delivered.

The cynicism of this season cannot be allowed to put a damper on ideas, progress or vision. Public safety knows no Party affiliation and so our work must cross Party and constitutional lines. Through the Ministry of National Security this Government enjoys a relationship of strong functional cooperation with Government House, the Police and private sector partners to whom these issues are of importance. This will be maintained and grown.

The people of Bermuda recognize this and it is reflected in the increasing trend of community satisfaction with the police and crime fighting efforts. We will continue to support the Police as they earn the confidence of the community through their increasing record of results.

The quality of life our people enjoy and the continued confidence in Bermuda as a jurisdiction of choice rests on the foundation of public safety. This Government has a strong record in this area and the vision set out in this 2012 Throne Speech clearly details our commitment to keeping Bermuda safe.

Thank you.

-

Update 5.27pm: An OBA spokesperson said: “We have already said that we believe the Premier’s announcement about conscription was prompted by the upcoming election. We note that this is the second election before which the Government has made a similar statement.

“That being said, we have no objection to the review that is proposed. Any attempt to eliminate “financial overlaps” is a step in the right direction, and fits with our plan to appoint a commission to eliminate wasteful spending in Government.”

Share via email

Read More About: , ,

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. terry says:

    As they say in Bermuda Wayne; the Governor honely raid vat yoo lutt rote.
    He did not rite the throne speech. Yoo lutt dehid

    He did not present it to Government.
    Yawn.

    Like(0)
    Dislike(0)
  2. Y-Gurl says:

    I thought the dinosaurs were extinct, time to retire with your 1960's ideas Perinchief, make way for someone with fresh ideas maybe you could attend community college and computers and modern stuff

    Like(0)
    Dislike(0)
  3. Y-Gurl says:

    OK this clown has tabled a "Bermuda defense force" similar to the Jamaican defense force, so now well have armed soldiers hanging out the back of open backed land cruisers defending our borders, where are our borders Perinchief, is that the border between Southampton and Warwick, yet another example of the inability of the Bermuda Police to do their jobs that we need to hire "about a hundred" of these people to further destroy our image to the dwindling tourists, is this really where we have sunk to, how third world we are becoming that this pensioner is allowed to table stupid ideas to spend tax dollars . RIP Bermuda

    Like(0)
    Dislike(0)
  4. Mind boggling stupidity... says:

    If this government knew that they would end conscription why did they squander:
    1) Our tax paying dollars defending the act in the courts
    2) The Courts time
    3) The opportunity to reach out to BAD before they suffered financial costs on this matter?

    Surely they didn't draft this matter up recently but seeing the outcome of some of their other pronouncements that have ended up with unintended negative consequences, I could hardly be surprised if they did.

    Like(0)
    Dislike(0)

Leave a Reply