Video: Premier Cannonier On Travel Expenses

March 1, 2014

[Updated] Premier Craig Cannonier responded to the recent criticism from Opposition Leader Marc Bean about his travel expenses, saying that in eight or nine months the PLP spent about $191,000 on travel, while he spent $171,000 in 14 months.

The Premier said it’s important to get revenue into Bermuda from the outside world, and that international business is not going to just come here and set up, we have to get “out there to the world.” .

Speaking yesterday, Premier Cannonier said, “I think a lot of smoke has been thrown out there to the public about the travel of the Cabinet Office.

“If you take a look back at the 2011/2012 budget, you’ll see that $234,000 to $235,000 was spent in Cabinet, the actual spent. If you take a look at the 2012/2013 budgetary year, you’ll see that $205,000 was spent. But we must remember that part of that 2012/2013 year…was attributed to myself.

“That means that for the time period of 14 months that we have been Government, the Cabinet Office has spent a total of $171,000 and maybe a few change there. $171,000 for the last 14 months.

“If you go back to the previous Government, PLP Government and what they spent the previous budgeted year, they have spent more in the previous budgeted year – than I spent in 14 months,” added the Premier.

Premier Cannonier speaking on travel expenses:

“I’m flabbergasted at this whole thought of I need to cut back on my spending and travel of the likes. We have cut back tremendously, and the numbers speak for themselves.

“I think the public is getting a little tired of all this smoke and dagger type of stuff. Put up or keep quiet, because the numbers do speak for themselves. Let’s not speculate here and throw out things that damage the reputation of this Government seeking to cut back on the costs for this country.

“It might be said, if you really look at the numbers, because the election was held in 2012 under the PLP Government there was no travel at all during the months of October, November and December because the election was on….people were out campaigning and the likes.

“What I spent in 14 months, can likely be shown to compare to what they spent in about eight or nine months. In that eight or nine months, they spent about $191,000, and here I am in 14 months spending $171,000.

“I’m just flabbergasted at this foolishness, and that’s what I’m going to call it, foolishness, because I continue to ensure that when I travel to the East Coast, I go by economy. If we do the long flights, yes, we go by business.

“The whole idea in the business that we’re in, in Bermuda is international business. The international business is not going to just come here and set up domicile.

“We’ve got to get out there to the world and that’s what we’re hearing….if you want our business, you’ve got to come to us. Gone are the days where businesses will come to Bermuda and just set up.

“We’re in a competitive market out there, and we’re competing against the world. It is imperative, that I make no excuses, I don’t apologize for the travel that we do because it is important that we get revenue getting into this country and it will only come from the outside world.

“We do travel, but our cost, far less than what’s been put out there by the PLP,” said the Premier.

We asked the Premier about the most expensive trip listed, [around $48,000 | $13,000 for transportation] which was for nine people at the Bermuda Student Reception and World Islamic Economic Forum, which were both held in London.

The Premier addressing the audience at the World Islamic Economic Forum last year

Premier at WIEF

Premier Cannonier said, “There was nine of us. We went to the World Islamic Economic Forum. Bermuda may not be aware of this, but this is a huge event to be able to sit down with the Islamic nations to talk about potential investment.

“It is a highly secure, regulated event. We had nine people go. We had a strong showing, because we’re seeking an investment in the rest of the world.

“For nine of going back and forth, it wasn’t a close event. We had to travel quite a ways. We had to have special security protocols put in place. I had to be in a car by myself, the Minister also had to be in a car by himself. This is a highly secure event.

“We were the only nation outside of London allowed into this thing. This is a tremendous opportunity that we had as little Bermuda was able to be amongst this forum,” explained the Premier.

“We sat on the panel. I sat on the lead panel at this World Islamic Economic Forum. Now, we’re following up with that. From that, we now have a meeting in March coming up, late in March where we’re going to talk more details about investment in this country.

“These things are paying off. Again, our spend in travel is far less. We’ve cut back tremendously since the PLP Administration. We are making the cuts that are necessary,” concluded the Premier.

A PLP spokesperson said, “The Premier continues to duck responsibility and accountability for his actions. Saying ‘the PLP did it too’ is an excuse and a weak attempt to deflect from the fact that despite holding no Ministry he has played a pivotal role in breaking the OBA’s promise to reduce travel costs.

“The OBA campaigned on doing things a better way. Since taking office they have broken promise after promise without apology and have acted like openness, transparency and accountability were just things they said they believed, but never truly meant.

“The OBA has been the Government for 14 months and by now should be capable of manning up, standing on their own two feet and taking responsibility for their actions.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. Mazumbo says:

    Thanks Sir, very informative, now can you clarify de guy that bummed a ride on Jet Gate and affiliation with Mr. Nathan Landon?

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      So you agree the trumped up criticism of travel expenses was a crock of crap?

      • BETTTY TRUMP says:


        NONSENSE And nothing but SPIN once again from the UBPOba whom promised us TRANSPARENCY.

        This Premier holds NO NO Ministry. He brings little if nothing back from his travel trips. He spends on things which could have been cut back on. REALLY….asking others to share the burden, while he lives high on the hills. REALLY

        I understand the need of any Minister to travel. It is required due to Bermuda’s location. But the UBPoba dug a big hole pre-election in regards to Travel, now that it is biting them back in the butt, they are fighting to stay afloat of the rough waters….SPIN, SPIN and more SPIN..

        • Poor Gourmet says:

          No more than your Dr of Spin did, in fact far far far far far less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • somuchless says:

          Betty go out in your yard and hold up a bucket cause you obviously need something to do with your life.

        • Trumps says:


          Since you are so critical of the Premeire and his response. I respectfully ask that you answer one question for me.

          What exactly did the PLP bring to Bermuda with their $191K in travel spending?

          • X man says:

            Once again BETTY TRUMP your rambling about this and that – you sound like
            you know it all – show us the figures. – lay them out so we can see them – that way
            we can compare ti see who spent what for what for.
            The Trips that the PLP could not have been all that good – certainly not if you left Bermuda with 2 billion Dollars
            in Debt. —— show us the facts. — or are you hiding something.

  2. ma says:

    considering the fact that the former Premier held the finance ministry portfolio as well as that of Premier, I would say that the PLP, although have spent more during that time period, former Premier Cox was around the world actually signing TIAs, while we have no idea whether the trips by the present premier were to do with any progree in business for the island.Premier Cannonier holds no portfolio and the business he proports to do is invisible…It was what the former premier was doing because we saw the write ups and interviews, on the other hand a breakdown of what the present Premier has been doing is not evident. Just because you can stay under the former administrations travel budget doesn’t mean the government is saving…The transparency that was called for before the election needs to be resonated moreso now because this present Premier seems unable to effectively communicate.

    • Furburger says:

      So the PLP should have spent even less on travel when the Premier and finance minister were one and the same.

      The fact they did not speaks volumes about how poorly the finances were controlled over the last few years of their governance.

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      So you were fine with Premeir Cox fling around to accept awards from various groups for donating money to them…………….



    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      WELL SAID @ MA WELL SAID @@ MA…. I could not have put it any better. You put it correctly. This excuse from the Premier does no good as to how the public view him. He is listening to only those in his circle, which is small, but the larger circle does not consider his actions worthy nor required.

      This is still too much money spent on travel. The Premier holds no Ministry. He brings back little if nothing to the table. He has lost his dignity by failing to be honest, and allowing his expensive Consultant to SPIN this one for him. Folks will not fall for it, most folks are much more smarter today in regards to political actions of the UBPoba. …..REALLY

      • Trumps says:

        So if during the PLP reign ONLY Ministers traveled on business and not anyone else then wouldn’t that mean that the cost of their travel would be LESS?

  3. Coffee says:

    I have no argument with the Premiers travel expenditure . What I do have a problem with is the free stuff . You people raised hell when Dr. Brown allowed the students of Bermuda to ride public transportation for free . Craig Cannonier , Mark Pettingill , Shawn Crockwell and the Ghost Rider bumming a ride ,travelled for free to Washington, D.C. On a private jet to discuss golfing in Bermuda . I ask you , what’s will that trip cost US ?

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      You have a problem with what he didn’t spend now? Okay.

      • Coffee says:

        @Sandy ..Didn’t your mom warn you about taking gifts from strangers , or did you take them anyway ?

  4. do what u have to do! says:

    Great Job Mr. Premier! You shouldn’t have to apologise to these idiots, you are doing great! I can’t believe they don’t understand how you guys are heping us tremendously by cutting spending and saving, and also travelling for the RIGHT reasons, without bodyguards. They are ungrateful and you have to ignore them and keep up the good work!

    • I'm a Idiot says:

      Did you see the latest polls? His ratings are down that’s a great deal of idiots who will not support him as Mr. Premier next election.

      • Trumps says:

        So you agree that idiots DON’T support him…LOL.

      • Chingas Bye says:

        And how were Doc B’s poll stats when he was leader????

    • IB says:

      I support the Premier, but it is good for travel expenses to be questioned regularly. Why did 9 people have to go to this Islamic forum? The answer is, they didn’t. Islamic finance is an alluring idea, particularly with the whole Black Muslim thing from the 1960s, but it will come to nothing because Muslim countries have their own Bermudas. They have Qatar, Dubai, Singapore, and Labuan. Bermuda has nothing to add.

      If the Premier wants to attract business to Bermuda, he should focus on implementing the Sage commission report recommendations in full, reforming Immigration, and bringing down the cost of living. Sending 9 people to an Islamic conference is, yes, a waste, and it should be vigorously questioned.

  5. Vote for Me says:

    Simple exercise.
    Take the Premier Cannonier’s costs for 12 months
    Take former Premier Brown’s travel for 12 months and divide by 3 (Premier, Tourism and Transport)
    Take Premier Cox travel for 12 months and divide by 2 (Premier and Finance)

  6. Tired of the BS says:

    Premier please stop trying to BS the public. The 2 last leaders were responsible for 2 positions. Mrs. Cox’s was Premier and Minister of Finance & Dr. Brown was Premier and Minister of Tourism. When you look at what they were responsible for you can understand why they were traveling. Premier you have 4 or 5 people working under you that you personally hired. 1 Driver, 1 Maid, 1 Chief of Staff who also acts as your bodyguard, 1 Writer and 1 Political Advisor. What does that leave you to do? Answer nothing!!!!!! Are you the leader or the character in Iron Man 3 movie who was the Mandarin, because the movie was funny. People are not buying your story anymore. We need a strong leader right now I’m looking at Mr. Bob Richards or Mr. Michael Dunkley.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Cox did two positions and made s*** job of both of them. She was absokutely fri**in awful. Thank god that woman is gone.

      • Merts says:

        You sound like you’re under stress Sandy Bottom stfu

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          Yeah, well she was an awful premier and finance minister. She was a disaster. Absolutely incompetent. Bermuda’s economy was ruined her and her ilk. The PLP.
          So get out of the way and let the adults run things.

      • Impressive says:

        Yes Sandy Bottom, thank God we have a Premier who is so bad at communicating and relating to the electorate, that the average person is loosing respect for the position of Premier. Slowly but surely, there will be no prestige associated with the position if this man continues. Growing up the average Bermudian was accustomed to believe that this position was held by an intelligent person, and one who students could work hard to achieve to be like. Now we have a Premier who can’t even address the public, can’t make a statement without someone writing it for him, doesn’t want to answer tough questions or engage in live interviews or debates etc.. Frankly its just a public embarrassment, and for the good of the country I really wish the OBA would raise their hand and acknowledge they made a error and address the situation as soon as possible.

        • Chingas Bye says:

          Yup, the Doc was a smart guy, and where did that get us.

  7. Senior says:

    Where are his answers to the many questions raised over recent months? The OBA made this man the Premier – he needs to start acting and speaking like one. His “You know me” utterance was absolute nonsense. No, I do not know you and after months of listening to you lying and ducking questions, I don’t want to know you!

    This man is a joke!

  8. ubp/plp/oba swing voter says:

    Craig don’t say anything please your’re making the party look bad. Please employ someone to talk for you. You don’t have the convidence of the people and some of the OBA die hards are starting to say this. Which I believe you already know.

  9. C says:

    Same game…. Different players……it’s called politics…..

    • Fairylands voter says:

      He is not a player, more like a Mickey Mouse. If I wanted to live in Disney World I would buy shares and invest. Place someone as leader who speaks and understands what their talking about not a rabbit who keeps ducking the media like their hunters. I have too much money invested in my company. Captain Craig Cannonier you have my permission to abandon ship.

  10. CC – the new DREB & will shortly follow his footsteps – so will OBA if they don’t get their act together! ……

  11. Mike Hind says:

    So, the new attack is:
    He doesn’t hold a Ministry, so he’s bad, m’kay?

    Got it.

    It’s complete nonsense, but… got it.

  12. Angelo BB says:

    OBA, PLP, UBP etc etc…all the same. I think Democracy in itself needs a serious reform where we can abolish political parties and as a people we should have a more hands on in political decisions…instead of every 4 years or so.

  13. swing voter says:

    why piss on Cannonier when he and the OBA have real investors chomping at the bit….compared to the other lot who traveled on my dime and came back with nothing but a smile on their faces…it don’t take a rocket scientist to see the difference. Yes, the travel expenditure to date is high, but its gonna prove to be a worthwhile expense should we see Arab money show up and a hotel project take off.

    • see and expressing says:

      Good move but you don’t have checkmate they didn’t borrow 800 m and take a ferlog day from goverment workers some of us see what your doing

      • Chingas Bye says:

        You are right , the PLP LOST $800 million.

  14. ABC says:

    @Mike Hind u r a clown
    lmao muppet

    2 be continued

  15. Navin Johnson says:

    has a US President or UK Prime Minister held a cabinet ministry at the same time….under the PLP due to a lack of qualified people there were multiple ministries but thinking of Brown and Cox they screwed up whatever they did so what is the point? at least under the OBA there is some hope of recovery without the OBA we would continue our slide towards the third world…..and when you mention skill at public speaking how can your possible include Bean and Burgess?

  16. Jay Maloy says:

    It’s like all the PLP supporters just forgot about all the extravagant first class voyages that their leaders took.

    It’s like they forgot that it was PLP leaders who even went as far as to buy themselves a whole bunch of ridiculously large for Bermuda’s roads, luxury automobiles for their ministers to prance around in to show their higher status. Might as well be carried around in a palanquin like an Egyptian princess.

    If they had stayed in power any longer we probably would have seen a PLP yacht.

    Our hard earned tax dollars spent on that, is somehow fine. The Premier simply doing what the Premier does for travel, somehow that’s outrageous.

    Bermuda is in the mess that it’s in because of the outrageous spending of the PLP. They want you to forget that and vote them back in.

  17. sadforbda says:

    #gettastepping Craig!

  18. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    One of life’s greatest lessons is found in the game of Monopoly, which deals with the very foundation of this countries existence. REAL ESTATE.

    I used to play my brother at Monopoly, we used to break and bend the rules and borrow vast quantities of money from the bank to buy properties that we could not pay for out of pocket, we even used the money to pay fines and rents.

    We were rolling the dice in order to “break the bank”.

    The fun part came when we agreed to let the bank borrow money with a hand written backed note, that was in effect printing money, to buy the land on the board on which the hotel stood on.

    We were inflating collateral.

    Determining value, is not easy, it is an art form gained for years of experience.

    There were many lessons learned that day.

    One of of us became very wealth while the other went bust.

    We sent real estate in to a tail spin from which there was no recovery we had created so much debt the game eventually crashed.

    We had no more money it was all tied up in credit.

    In effect the property debt exceeded the property value.

    some call it “living the life of Riley” or “living in a fools paradise ”

    In simple terms,say in you buy a car for say $10,000 with a loan of $9,000 when you add the coat of the loan to the first cost of the car you wind up paying more for the car than it is worth or in other words an upholsterer roller skate could cost as much as a luxury car.

    Is Bermuda living for a day?

    Here is the crunch , when you borrow money, from some body they, in fact” own you” Minister, because they hold your collateral,your pound of flesh as it were.

    We need to teach the Game of Monopoly in schools the kids would learn how to make investments ,under stand banking, how to make money, how to loose money. learn the value of things.

    Some times I wounder if Bermuda is playing the game of Russian Roulette.

    • JUNK YARD DOG says:

      Let me define a Recession as I see it.

      May be it is the best thing that has ever happened.

      It is “Time out” where you, the working man goes head to head with big business IBM. GM. GE. etc.

      We are all PROTESTING the rising cost of living which has got to STOP, failing that you will soon be paying $120.00 for a dozen eggs, you are already paying $8.00 something for gas, 3 X that of the US.

      This recession has HURT each and every one of us in one way or another, from the Government to the man in the street ,I hope what I am going to tell you will not be perceived as callous, reality is reality when is see that the Vegas hotel empire is CHOMPING at the bit, people are not spending.

      I have heard many Bermudians say that as one door closes another door opens, that mind set may not necessarily SAVE our bacon every time,we are now force to face up to REALITY and deal with it.

      So lets get down to the BUSINESS of managing money, I will not tell you what to do, but may I tell you what I would do and by the way I am no different than you, I have been out of work and experienced the bad taste of fabricated redundancy.

      I will sell my dining room table to keep my home and put food on the table and wear my old clothes,ride a bike, take a vacation in Bermuda and more.

      It is call SACRIFICE.

      I have been going with out all my life,it is amazing what we can do without.

      I hope this recession has turned the people of this country into PRUDENT BANKERS, it boils down to what you WANT and what you NEED.

      I am very prudent with my spending , we both cut grass.

      Ms. SUSAN ORMAN gifted, brilliant money manager was on PBS last night, she is coming to Bermuda to lecture people about managing debt and survival in understandable and simple terms.

      See you there is is not free.

  19. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    @Navin Johnson…

    No Navin, Terry Lister was very qualified to be Minister of Finance under the former PLP Government, he was never considered because Dame Jennifer and Paula are good friends and Paula was handed the finance portfolio after her father’s death and in appreciation of the good job that she did within the Home Affairs ministry. In the Ministry of Home Affairs she was very competent.

    But to reiterate, qualified people were there, but the PLP hierarchy has a status quo within its thin ranks. Unless the delegates get together and make substantive changes to break the stranglehold of concentrated power by the hierarchy, you will be shout out and shout down or ‘democratically’ stopped from being able to intertwine when your Party verges off course again.

    And ministers with two portfolios were a big part of the problem by PLP ministers, their incompetence at being able to handle two portfolios was glaringly obvious, so WHY bring it up?

    And the take a slight digression, right now, I would watch very carefully as Bean is Brown’s protégé and the power behind the throne, or, the guiding hand who may stir the PLP back into power. And the return of the PLP to power is the return of Dr Brown in some future capacity.

    Dr Brown, why are you apprehensive to debate me?

    London, England