[Updated with videos] The PLP officially released their election platform — entitled “Moving Forward Together” — both online and at a press conference held this morning [Dec 6] at Alaska Hall. Premier Cox first addressed the media, followed by Derrick Burgess, Dame Jennifer Smith, Jonathan Smith and Marc Bean.
Some of the highlights include amending the law to permit the naming of sex offenders, review the law so that civil debtors are not imprisoned, amend the criteria for housing to allow companies to hold real estate, consolidating public health insurance products like GEHI and HIP, and establishing a Blue Economy [sea-bed mining, aquaculture & offshore fishing] to create jobs and revenue.
The platform also says the PLP will embark on a plan to redevelop the airport, commit to upgrade Bermuda College to a university/college in a realistic timeframe, introduce the Mini Bill on gaming so that the referendum can proceed, establish a Small Claims Court and require able-bodied people receiving financial assistance to do a minimum of 10-hours community service while receiving benefits.
Premier Cox said: “The PLP believes in Bermuda, and we stand strong for Bermudians. We know that this country can succeed because our people always rise to the challenge and come together through crisis. We know that there is nothing that together we cannot accomplish.
Premier Cox continued: “”Recovering from the economic crisis will require us all to learn some new things and to take some different approaches, but we must never forget our guiding principle: an economy that’s built not from the top down, but by average Bermudians.
“In these challenging times, though, even the most hard-working Bermudians are struggling to find those ladders of opportunity that will lead them to a better life. We understand that, and that is why we work every day to create an environment that encourages job creation, economic growth, and personal evolution.
Some of the highlights of the platform are below:
- Commit to upgrade Bermuda College to a university/ college in a realistic timeframe
- Complete the first phase of converting the Marsh Folly into a national park.
- Implement a comprehensive feral cat and chicken strategy in cooperation with NGO’s
- End conscription and move to a smaller, full-time, professional regiment
- Amend the law to permit the naming of sex offenders
- Review the law so that civil debtors are not imprisoned
- Amend the criteria for housing to allow companies to hold real estate
- Expand the number of Economic Empowerment Zones
- Implement the National tourism plan.
- Pursue opportunities to expand Medical tourism
- Implement the recommendations of the Taxi Commission.
- Introduce the Mini Bill on gaming so that the referendum can proceed
- A new sentencing framework/reclassification for different types of drugs
- Introduce a National recycling programme including bottle deposit legislation
- Establish a Small Claims Court
- Strengthen the child support legislation
- Attract cruise ships with an emphasis on locating an appropriately-sized ship for St. George’s
- Install cameras on buses.
- Expand local commuter ferry service with the acquisition of additional ferries.
- Embark on a plan to redevelop the airport
- Regulate Debt Collection practices
- Continue to recognise and salute local heroes with naming and honouring ceremonies.
- Consolidate public health insurance products like GEHI, and HIP to enhance efficiency and improve administration as we serve Bermudians
- Require able-bodied financial assistance clients to undertake a minimum of 10-hours community service while receiving benefits.
- Create new revenue streams using the Blue Economy, telecommunications/E-Commerce and other sources of potential revenue.
- Encourage business to choose Bermuda as a jurisdiction by enhancing our work permit policies while being mindful of the needs of Bermudians, and businesses
- Enhance the Incentives for Job Makers legislation to expand opportunities for Bermudian employment
- Work with the financial sector including the Bermuda Stock Exchange to create a local bond market denominated in Bermudian dollars available to individual Bermudian investors and institutions, primarily for financing infrastructure project
- Action the plan from the Gulf Cooperation Council task Force to diversify and to grow the economy
- Expand job opportunities and revenue through the establishment of offshore fishing within our 200 mile economic zone
- Establish a Bermuda Space Enterprise Zone and enter into a commercial agreement with a satellite operator for the use of our Orbital slot.
- Establish a Blue Economy inclusive of Sea-Bed mining, Aquaculture, and Offshore Fishing, creating job opportunities and revenue
“This election is more than just politics,” said Premier Cox. “It’s a defining moment in our history – a choice between two different paths – and it has the potential to lead us to a more vibrant and inclusive Bermuda.”
The full 40-page PLP platform is below [PDF here]:
Update 1.51pm: Video of Premier Paula Cox making the announcement below.
Update 2.01pm: Video of Derrick Burgess and Dame Jennifer Smith at this morning’s announcement below
Update 4.22pm: Jonathan Smith & Marc Bean
Q&A held after the prepared statements were read
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