Fahy: ‘Cannot Support Development At This Time’

January 25, 2013

hamilton harbour bermuda generic[Updated] The Government said it cannot support the Corporation of Hamilton’s Waterfront Development Project at this current time due to lack of information, Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said today [Jan 25].

Minister Fahy was expressing his concern regarding an upcoming announcement planned by the Corporation of Hamilton [COH] to discuss its proposed waterfront project.

The COH is expected to make an announcement about the waterfront project this coming Monday [Jan 28].

As the Minister responsible for Municipalities he warned that it would be “highly premature” to make any pronouncements about such a significant project when the Government – who is expected to be a major partner in the project – hasn’t been “properly or suitably briefed about the development initiative.”

Minister Fahy said, “The Premier and I met with the COH for the first time on Friday, January 18, and we were only advised at that time that they were making a public announcement on January 28, regarding this project.

“We asked the COH not to move forward at this time for two specific reasons. One, we have absolutely no knowledge of the project in terms of its scope or design and two, we have not been provided any opportunity to conduct any due diligence with respect to the proposed financiers or developers.”

Minister Fahy noted that as recently as Wednesday Jan 23, he met once again with Hamilton Mayor Graham Outerbridge and some of his team and made fresh requests for the COH to suspend their proceedings, in the interest of establishing a proper partnership and getting a full briefing of the proposals.

However, he said the COH denied the request citing that due to financial obligations related to the January 28 announcement they had no choice but to proceed with their original plans.

Minister Fahy said, “The Government has been put in a terribly precarious position and it’s very regrettable that we cannot come to a reasoned agreement on this matter.

“For these reasons, the Government must advise the public that it cannot support the Corporation of Hamilton’s Waterfront Development Project at this current time. That’s not to say that there will not be support in the future, however the Government has no information and thus we cannot in principle support this project.

“Like all major projects Government must give consent in respect of planning, immigration and labour issues as well as potentially grant duty concessions and approvals for mortgages by foreign entities over Bermuda land. In the absence of any information the Government has today advised the Corporation that such consents will not happen.

“It is the Government’s hope that information required to consider the development will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, as we do agree that the impact of the project is significant to our economy and to the reputation of Bermuda in the international marketplace.

“We do not wish to been seen as obstructive – however a project as important to Bermuda’s future must be in partnership with the Government. We again urge the COH to hold on their announcement pending a Government review,” concluded Minister Fahy.

Update 4.44pm: Mayor Graeme Outerbridge said: “We understand the Minister’s position and have received communication from his office on this matter. However the process the City began last summer and the commitments we have made to our partners requires that we move forward as planned.

“Our planning began before the general election was called and the subsequent change in government. We respect Minister’s Fahy’s request and look forward to partnering with him and the Bermuda government on this important Hamilton initiative.

“Given our contractual obligations, the meeting with stakeholders on Monday at 12noon, in the Earl Cameron Theatre, will take place. We have also called a press conference for 3:00pm on Monday during which we will share with the local media the details we will provide during the 12noon meeting.

“I want to state clearly, and this will be reiterated on Monday during our meeting, no plans have been drawn up. Our process going forward will encourage and support government and the general public’s full participation,” continued the Mayor.

“The meeting on Monday is an information session which will provide the attendees with details of our process and where we are to date.

“We look forward to meeting with Minister Fahy in the near future to establish a formal working relationship on this important Hamilton project.”

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Comments (44)

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  1. longtail says:

    One must hope that the OBA will also look at the mess that has been left behind regarding COH by the previous government - business and property owners who pay the bulk of Corporation taxes have NO say in how the Corporation is run or how or where the taxes are spent is but one facet of the issues that need to be addressed.

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    • OMG says:

      @longtail - yes that whole mess needs to be cleaned up.

      How would anyone think for one moment that the main income producers would not to have a vote/say in who to vote in. Let alone the remove of the main source of income for the COH - dock fees.

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      • Black Soil says:

        What we have seen is that Change needs to come to the CoH. And I'm talking about how the Major and all the Aldermen are elected. If we change that, we'll attract more candidates, and better quality candidates.

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    • windwater says:

      Forget the PLP why talk about them when they are not elected. Graeme Outerbridge needs to come correct with this water front. Graeme nor the OBA can blame the PLP since this project is still in the planning phase. I hope they get it right and put together something marvelous which will help boost tourism.

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  2. swing voter says:

    No comment. No defense......

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  3. C.B.A. says:

    I like this. It will be different from the previous government who were quick to promise us the world and give us nothing. Except debt that is.

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  4. Argosy says:

    It didn't take long for the PLP Mayor to start stiring the pot!!

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    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      Yup and ultimately he and his team will take down the city to the city and its residence being the ones to hurt just to oppose. Watch the PLP in the House I bet any money that the PLP will wait for an important issue to vote and block it trying to force an election.

      LOL

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      • Me says:

        R u ALL sooo obsessed with the PLP who really cares. Aren't we supposed to be moving forward.

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    • windwater says:

      It's about time to stop talking PLP. They are no longer the elected party. This is now between the COH and the current government. We do need a new water front, and I am glad the Minister wants to perform due diligence to make sure the "right" waterfront is being built for our harbour.

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    • Webster says:

      Argosy, the pot is boiling over !!!

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  5. Nuffin but de Truth! says:

    Graeme Outerbridge is useless

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    • Webster says:

      Nuffin ,the COH are a bunch of guys who have no real jobs !! and were hoping to get paid for their services, not going to happen Graeme and the rest of you lot.

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    • ismellarat says:

      not to Kathy Gee and collegues - perhaps to former mayor

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  6. Jim Bean says:

    Wth - this is grounds for repeal of the act!

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  7. Phi says:

    Does not surprise me with the COH.. They just do as they feel.. Changing parking on front street without even consulting or talking to business owners... Some of us trying to make an honest living, and they just take away 4 hours of prime time. $100 an hour for 4 hours is a lot of money for a small business. Can mean staying in business or closing doors.. All of this because someone did not want the dock entrance outside of their 1@ story building.

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  8. Bobmarlin says:

    Time for a democratically elected Mayor of Hamilton?

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  9. Bobmarlin says:

    @longtail
    Agree 100%.

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  10. Triangle Drifter says:

    Now that would make perfect sense to Graeme Outerbridge & the PLP COH, spend millions on a new waterfront with cruise ship piers jutting out into the harbour with no ships destined for Hamilton in the foreseeable future & no way to get into Hamilton without major widening at Two Rock Passage.

    Typical PLP. Never saw a dumb idea that they do not like.

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  11. Rick Olson says:

    Will be very interesting to see what was agreed to as Hamiliton needs a boost .....why all the secrets ?

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  12. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Graeme Outerbridge is someone's puppet!

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    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Graeme is certainly not a puppet of the PLP. I've never seen where he has ever said anything positive about the PLP. I'm waiting to hear from the PLP as to their talks with him as he has been most disrepectful of the PLP government on Facebook.

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      • Huh? says:

        LOL they didnt keep you updated Verne? You just keep waiting then

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        • Argosy says:

          She's just confirmed it - the PLP/BIU are pulling his strings! Thanks.

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  13. Family Man says:

    Strange way to run a new business development that is going to need lots and lots of government approvals. Good thing Graeme and his crew have lots of experience running successful ventures otherwise his partners might think this was starting off on shaky ground.

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  14. Ringmaster says:

    Why the rush and secrecy? Are there vested interests involved?
    Someone needs to tell the Mayor that since the election, law and order has been reinstated. No more shady and questionable dealings by Government, Municipality or Quango will be allowed.
    If the CoH tries to go ahead without the Governments buy in, they will fail miserably and hinder any progress in such a redevelopment.

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  15. Common Sense says:

    This has to be cause for very serious concern. According to Mayor Outerbridge, the COH has already entered into "contractual negotiations" requiring that they must go forward as planned. With what? They seem to want cooperation with Government for some kind of project but as Minister Fahy so clearly says, the Government cannot support the project at this time because of a lack of information. I think it is fair to ask just what kind of contractuial negotiations the COH has committed to. To say that Mayor Outerbridge has extremely limited business experience is being kind. The warning bells are ringing loud and clear

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    • swing voter says:

      you hit it mate. you see how the breaks was put on WEDCO...the guys that were hand picked to develop that marina are probably gonna walk away because the deal will be under a microscope. Fahy asking question made COH nervous, undercover plans about to be exposed so they had to force thing ahead under the banner of 'contractual commitments"

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      • Argosy says:

        Perhaps some good doctor and is going to put up the money and his construction buddies will do it on the cheap for the people of Bermuda!

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  16. Bobmarlin says:

    Give business the right to vote.
    No vote,no taxes. Mayor Outerbridge and his entire team got voted in under false presences.Give EVERYONE the right to vote,especially the persons that pay taxes.Taxation without representation should be a thing of the past.

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  17. A Little Wisdom says:

    There is one person on that team that has questionable business experience and one I would not trust. When I look t the make-up of the team it looks very much like a PLP setup.

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  18. LMMFAO says:

    OBA can reverse, let them all eat cake

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  19. Jus' Askin' says:

    St. George's has fallin' and now Hamilton will.
    This OBA will create a Bermuda I will enjoy ;-)

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  20. Impressed says:

    What a breath of fresh air - for once a Minister who is not afraid to be bold!
    Thank you Minister Fahy for looking out for the island as a whole on this one and also respecting the roles that the civil servants play! Far too many times civil servants were left to clean up the mess made by irresponsible "cart before the horse" decisions by former Ministers!

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  21. Vulpes says:

    Both Sir John's new building and Ewart and Phil's present HSBC locations (the former Trimminghams or possibly the Albuoy's Point building) are practically ready made casinos - I imagine the real argument is to a great extent along these lines.

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  22. Mad Dawg says:

    Finally we are getting some honesty from a government minister, rather than lies and promises we've been fed for years.

    What a refreshing change.

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  23. Triangle Drifter says:

    “Given our contractual obligations". Hey, hold on there Graeme & cohorts, how can you have contractual obligations when no plans have been drawn & nothing has been put out to tender?

    Outerbridge & crew are in way over their heads. Lets see the real stakeholders of Hamilton collectively withhold paying taxes to COH & protest outside of City Hall. The PLP/COH won't last a term.

    NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Heard that one before?

    There lot of them should resign in disgrace & let some real business people get on with the business of running Hamilton again.

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  24. Verbal Kint says:

    There is nothing much to run in Hamilton since Government took all the revenues and left COH out in the cold. I think that may have been done by the previous Gov't. so COH couldn't hold the gambling issue hostage.

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  25. Y-Gurl says:

    Good job Minister, and lets hope you don't back down, Outerbridge is an idiot leading idiots, is this really his first job, it worries me when I hear he is going ahead despite Goverments objections, and Minister while you are at it can you find at least one qualified engineer to work on our city and maybe we will discover 20 foot sidewalks with a radius that doesn't allow traffic to turn and flow was a mistake by an "engineer"

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  26. Bobmarlin says:

    Business owners and building owners in Hamilton.
    With hold tax payments,until you can vote.Taxation without representation is not fair.Our forefathers fought for the right to vote.Residents,business owners in Hamilton and building owners should be given the right to vote.It is very simple as to why.Those mentioned pay additional taxes,that persons outside of Hamilton do not.
    Thus the comment "no taxation without representation"!

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