[Updated with video] During this morning’s [Nov 2] Throne Speech, the Governor said the Defence Act 1965 will be amended to end conscription.
The Governor said: “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.”
The policy of conscripting young men to serve in the Bermuda Regiment has been in the news for some time, with the group Bermudians Against the Draft [BAD] leading the anti-conscription movement. BAD took the case against conscription all the way to the British Privy Council, which upheld conscription in 2010.
The Premier had indicated this last month, saying they are “committed” to “move away from mandated conscription”.
Update: National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief speaking on the matter at the post-speech press conference:
- Minister Perinchief: Throne Speech Initiatives
- Minister Dunkley On Overseas Regiment Training
- Video: Bermuda’s New Governor Sworn In
- Photos/Video: Governor’s Farewell Ceremony
- Video: New Security Review Committee Formed
- Photo Set #2: 2012 Convening Of Parliament