Opposition Announces Shadow Cabinet Shuffle

April 30, 2014

[Updated with video + full speech] Opposition Leader Marc Bean announced a Shadow Cabinet shuffle this morning [Apr 30], with numerous Opposition MPs taking on new roles.

David Burt [Finance], Lawrence Scott [Transport] and Michael Weeks [Community & Sports] will retain their Shadow portfolios, while the remaining Shadow Ministers have all been re-arranged.

Mr. Bean said, “The team I have unveiled today, represents the first of a series of announcements that will provide the public with a clearer picture of the alternative solution we offer to the OBA. We stand united, we stand committed, and we are ready to govern.”

The new positions are below:

  • Derrick Burgess as Shadow Minister of Labour Relations & Seniors
  • Zane DeSilva as Shadow Tourism Minister
  • Michael Scott as Shadow Attorney General
  • Kim Wilson as Shadow Health Minister
  • Walter Roban as Shadow Public Safety Minister
  • Wayne Furbert as Shadow Economic Development Minister
  • Walton Brown as Shadow Minister for Immigration & External Affairs
  • Lovitta Foggo as Shadow Education Minister
  • Glenn Blakeney as Shadow Environment Minister
  • Rolfe Commissiong as Shadow Minister for Human Affairs
  • Dennis Lister as Shadow Minister of Public Works

Update 11.49am: The Opposition Leader’s full statement follows below:

“Since assuming the leadership of The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party, I have committed to standing up for the people and offering new ideas and new solutions to the problems facing Bermudians.

I have been fortunate to serve alongside men and women of strength, intellect and talent, and with a shared commitment to the protection of Bermuda’s people, Bermudian interests, and the island that we love.

While we may hold less seats than the OBA, the level of willingness and ability is higher, the command of the issues is stronger, and the connection to the Bermudian people is unbreakable.

There is a renewed spirit in our community…a spirit that says that Bermudians will not be content to be second class citizens in their own country…a spirit that says the old ideas that have failed us, must be cast aside and replaced with new ideas and new approaches to the problems of today.

Bermuda is changing….Times change and so must we.

To that end, I am determined to field a Shadow Cabinet that reflects Bermuda as it is and with the vision to carry the issues of the people forward.

Derrick Burgess has faithfully served the workers of this island and has championed fairness, equality and improved conditions of workers for decades. It is Derrick Burgess’s passion for Bermuda’s workers and society’s most vulnerable that makes him the ideal person to fill the post of Shadow Minister with Responsibility for Labour Relations and Seniors.

Zane Desilva possesses the work ethic, energy and commitment to Bermudians that is needed to rebuild this critical pillar of our economy. Zane Desilva is committed to Bermuda and committed to Bermudians. He will hold the Tourism Authority accountable and fight for Bermudian jobs and opportunities in this critical industry as Shadow Tourism Minister.

The tenure of the OBA’s AG has been fraught with expensive blunders, bad legal advice and offensive statements directed against Bermudians. Michael Scott will stand up for Bermudians, hold the AG accountable and force him to raise his performance for the good of Bermudians as Shadow AG

Kim Wilson provides valiant service, commitment and reliability on matters that impact our community. She will fight for affordable healthcare for ALL Bermudians and hold this OBA government accountable as Shadow Health Minister

The safety of our people and the maintenance of law and good order are essential as we build a Bermuda that puts Bermudians first. Walter Roban brings toughness, integrity and tenacity to the shadow cabinet as Shadow Public Safety Minister

The fact that Lovitta Foggo is joining a PLP Shadow Cabinet for the first time, in addition to her excellent service as parliamentary whip, is a testament to the wealth of talent within our Party. In education there is a need, not just for accountability but for leadership and a vision that sees our young people as a priority, not a problem. Lovitta Foggo has shown that she will fight for the people of St. David’s and now she brings that same fighting spirit to stand up for Bermuda’s students and their parents as Shadow Education Minister

The Economic Development of our island must be a priority and must include ALL Bermudians. With job losses mounting, new ideas, a new vision and a new direction are needed. Wayne Furbert has the experience and the desire to see Bermudians placed first in jobs and opportunities. He will bring forth the ideas and vision to transform our economy, attract new businesses to our shores, diversify our economy, and put Bermudians first as Shadow Economic Development Minister

The environment is not just about the trees, the air and the sea. It is about the quality of life of Bermudians. The fight to protect our natural resources must grow beyond protecting open spaces and animal life, to protecting the quality of life of the people that call this island home. Glenn Blakeney has the experience and drive to move the environmental debate into the 21st century and provide a new approach to the issues that face us all today, and in generations yet to come.

Bermuda today has control of our immigration, yet external affairs remains held firmly in the hands of the Governor. While this is the status quo today, one day it will change and we must be prepared for that day by beginning to grapple with how we protect our borders and Bermudian interests on the world stage. This is a necessary step in our political maturation as we begin to prepare ourselves for self-determination. Walton Brown understands the history, the laws and the issues facing Bermuda and the need to fight against efforts to use immigration to marginalize Bermudians. As Shadow Minister for Immigration and External Affairs, Walton Brown will play a pivotal role in our political and social maturation process.

Rolfe Commissiong is no stranger to the fight for freedom, justice and equality. Bermudians, ALL Bermudians deserve the right to enjoy the full bounty of their citizenship; equal pay for equal work, equal treatment in jobs, housing and opportunity and equal treatment under the law. As Shadow Minister for Human Affairs, Rolfe Commissiong is equipped to provide solutions and move Bermuda forward

Dennis Lister has been a source of wise counsel, sage advice and a source of calm at the center of any storm. He is the bedrock of our Parliamentary caucus and a continued inspiration to all of us who believe in a Bermuda that works for Bermudians. I am pleased that he has accepted the Shadow Ministry of Public Works and look forward to him taking a more prominent role in holding the OBA accountable to Bermudians

Finally David Burt, Lawrence Scott and Michael Weeks retain their portfolios of Shadow Finance Minister, Shadow Transport Minister and Shadow Community and Cultural Affairs. As with my other colleagues, they have performed their roles with honor and distinction, and we look forward to working with them in the year ahead.

The team I have unveiled today, represents the first of a series of announcements that will provide the public with a clearer picture of the alternative solution we offer to the OBA. We stand united, we stand committed, and we are READY to govern.

Thank You

-

Update 2.28pm: A PLP spokeperson said, “The PLP would like to clarify that contrary to media reports circulating, this is not the first time in the Shadow Cabinet under PLP Leader Marc Bean for MPs Dennis Lister and Rolfe Commissiong.

“Mr. Lister has served as Shadow Minister responsible for Quangos, and Mr. Commissiong as Shadow Minister of Workforce Development. This is the first time for Ms. Lovitta Foggo, who prior to this appointment was serving exclusively as the Opposition Whip. Now she will be responsible for both positions.”

Update 2.52pm: An OBA spokesperson said, “We wish them the best of luck, and offer our congratulations on their new responsibilities.”

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  1. verbal kint says:

    This seems a rather odd move right now.

    • Nancy 3 says:

      Well Done Mark Bean.

      Great Active Opposition, working in the interest of the people of Bermuda. Keep it up !! Well done !!

      Nice to see Lovitta. Foggo as Shadow Education Minister finally be given a post. Mrs. Foggo I expect you to speak up in regards to our Education system moving forward. Congratulations Mrs. Foggo.

      Great changes and fit for most of the above Ministers. Lets keep at it.

      Strong Movement forward.

    • watching says:

      I think its a perfect move. The House reconvenes next week and this is the perfect time to make any changes.

      • jt says:

        Both parties seem intent on regularly shuffling ministers and shadow ministers – many of whom have no real expertise in any of the areas they preside over or shuffle to – and for what purpose? Seems like a odd trend in Bermuda politics.

  2. somuchless says:

    Wonderful. Keep them in the shadow.

  3. O'Brien says:

    Rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic comes to mind…

  4. PBanks says:

    Is it usual for the Opposition Leader to not have a shadow portfolio, as a curiosity?

    • Amused says:

      Odd question. What portfolio does the current Premier hold?

      • PBanks says:

        That’s part of the point I’m making. Before, the Premier was usually also Minister of something, and the Opposition Leader was Shadow of something.

        Somehow, we’re now at a position where the Party Leaders don’t have ministerial responsibility, which seems unusual.

        Of course, the 5-so-far ‘dislikes’ prove that some people are more interested in cheerleading for their party of choice instead of providing feedback or arguments to the question raised.

    • Rich says:

      He shadows the Premier. That is, he is the opposition critic for the general leadership of Government, but also the various responsibilities that come under Cabinet Office, such as the Civil Service, Department of Statistics, Govt IT, etc.

      Interestingly, the London and DC offices also come under the Premier, but presumably they will now be dealt with in opposition by Walton Brown who takes over responsibility for “External Affairs”.

    • Bermewjan says:

      He will not have time for a shadow portfolio, as it is quite clear from this announcement that he will be too busy herding cats.

  5. Terry says:

    Great news.
    This will put the OBA on the defensive.
    Ready to govern.
    Well yah got a few more years with all these new shadows coming and going.
    Commonly called ‘partly cloudy with a chance’.

    I need a rum.

  6. Chris says:

    Why on earth we he take Wayne off of tourism and put Zane there? Mr. Furbert was IMO a very good tourism Minister and a great shadow. Why change something that is working?

    And Commisiong , the one who referred to a previous BDA MP as a house ****** is in charge of immigration??

    • what in the world says:

      Maybe you hit the submit button before taking time to read who was allotted what, but Walton Brown is the Shadow Minister for Immigration.

      • The More Things Change says:

        The fact that the PLP feels that a man with such a nasty, divisive and downright hate filled mentality is a person that is “ready to govern” such a diverse island, highlight exactly what the PLP is and has always abeen about.

        Ms. Toni Daniels was absolutely right in her Monday column in which she stated the PLP is a Party that seeks to maintain divisions amoongst ALL Bermudians. You can’t, with a straight face, place such an individual into a position of power and claim that you are a “progressive” party. It is simply impossible to reconcile the two.

        “Standing strong” for division and intolerance. Point blank.

    • Truth Teller says:

      Commissiong denied calling Mr. Dill a house n______ at the time. And the word of some anonymous person which the gazette cited as proof does not strike me as definitive in that regard.

      Nonetheless, we all know that Mr. Dill thinks that certain peoples ice is colder than others. You can parse that any way you want.He will never have any integrity on that issue as far as I am concerned.

  7. No no no billy!

  8. Change for the sake of change…with no idea of a resounding knock off effect….sheer folly!

  9. Bermuda Boy says:

    Who Cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. watching says:

    Well done by Mr. Bean. Keep the OBA on their toes.

  11. Navin Johnson says:

    Good that the role of the “shadow” means nothing other than the occasional press release complaining about something…..I was not aware Blakeney was still around as he has been silent since the election….as for the rest? Thankfully they are the Opposition and therefore useless……

  12. verbal kint says:

    I wonder how Kim Wilson, the former AG, feels about being replaced as the shadow AG? DeSilva in tourism is even more thoughtless than DeSilva in Health. Including Lovita Foggo is good, but why move Brown from Education?

    • watching says:

      Brown has intimate experience working on governmental policy as it relates to visas, passport control, and external relations. His placement in Immigration and External Affairs is perfect for his skillset.

  13. North says:

    OBA – has a Premier & 9 Cabinet ministers – 10 total. PLP 1 + 12 = 13 TOTAL.
    I guess they plan on spending a lot more money on their Cabinet than OBA. Thankfully they are the Opposition & may they remain there for a VERY LONG TIME….

    • somuchless says:

      North they was hoping you can’t count lol

    • watching says:

      That’s an advantage to being Opposition – you aren’t constrained to the same parameters of the Government. Chalk one up for them!

  14. Lick My Chicken says:

    Putting Zanie in tourism so he can get the contracts for the hotels, etc. hmmmm LOL smart politrickians, just smart.

  15. LOL(original TM*) says:

    Hows does any of this match up with the Government portfolios? See below:

    Dunkley – National Security – Roban Shadow Public Safety
    Moniz – Health and Environmental Protection – Wilson Shadow Health, Blakeney – Shadow Environment, Burgess Shadow Seniors
    Fahy Home Affairs – Burgess – Shadow Labour Relations, Brown – Shadow Immigration, Blakeney – Shadow Environment (planning), Commissiong – Shadow Human Affairs?
    Gibbons – Education and Economic Development – Foggo – Shadow Education – Furbert – Shadow Economic Development
    Crockwell – Transport and Tourism Development – Scott – Shadow Transport – DeSilva – Shadow Tourism

    Then

    Scott – Community, Culture and Sport – Weeks Shadow Community and Cultural Affairs, Commissiong? – Shadow Human Affairs
    Gordon-Pamplin – Public Works – Commissiong? – Shadow Human Affairs (because of housing) and Lister – Shadow Public Works

    So what this shows is that PLP needs at least two shadows to every OBA Minister, some could have three or four against them! Some Shadows cover more than one Minister- Ministry names dont match up, portfolios are confused – totally crazy- good luck in the HofA figuring out who the Shadow is in different debates? Bizarre!!

    OH – and External Affairs – Governor of Bermuda – shadow external affairs or perhaps Shadow Governor = Brown!

    • watching says:

      they don’t have to match up. Duh…

      • PBanks says:

        That – and recall also, in days past the UBP had created Shadow Ministries where there wasn’t a Ministry established for it in the first place.

  16. Concerned Citizen says:

    Well done Marc Bean, I’m pleased with the new responsibilities you have given your team. Im also sure that you made the decision, unlike our Premier who obviously takes instructions from unknowns. Perfect example is getting rid of Nalton Brangman and Sylvan Richards from cabinet(his original supporters), and replacing them with an entire UBP cabinet.
    Congrats to Lovitta Foggo, I look forward to your contribution in Education. Walton Brown, did a great job, but as Marc Bean stated, the PLP has quality in their ranks, capable of contributing in multiple areas. Walton will be excellent in his new role, as will every other Shadow Minister. This shuffle shows me that Marc Bean knows how to get the best out of his team. When will the OBA provide us with such leadership, when will Bob Richards step up!

  17. Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

    What a stranger name for a ministry, Labour Relations and Seniors, whilst the young are working, seniors are retiring.

    I agree that Walter Brown has made an impact as shadow education minister. Now in this immigration and external affairs shadow ministry he’s up against a powerhouse in Senator Fahy. However, notwithstanding his constitutional knowledge, he has not always thought through the diplomatic implications thoroughly.

    Rolfe Commissiong in human affairs, is there a Human Affairs ministry in Government or just a department? And honestly can he deliver the PLP’s position on human affairs without setting the clock back from toxic rhetoric?

    Why didn’t you look at giving an opportunity to Senator Daniels in human affairs? The PLP could do with a fresh, positive image with some-one who sets a tone of reason over emotion.

    With these PLP named ministries, it appears that Government ministers will be double tagged by their Opposition colleagues.

    Just a thought…

    London, England

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      I seems that shadow ministers are MPs. Senators speak on multiple issues. Marc Daniels certainly proves that point. The Opposition doesn’t have to copy the Government. The Late Mrs Jackson was the shadow for seniors for years, but there was never a stand alone seniors ministry.
      Amazing how you point out the labour-seniors combined responsibility. Do you have a problem with Dr. Gibbons combining education and economic development?

      • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

        @Concerned Citizen…

        I am on record as stating that the Premier should make education a stand alone Ministry, it’s much too vital to the economy and the future of Bermuda to be anything other than precisely that.

        And may I also state that Lovetta Foggo has earned her right to become a new shadow minister. She has demonstrated her work ethic, strategic abilities and overall championing of the issues in her area.

        BUT the ministry of education? This is the most politically astute ministry of the entire Government, they are in many respects more organised than some unions, certainly more vocal and very articulate, essentially the teachers of Bermuda. They think it through before they act and/or react. They have a long history of either mentoring a minister (Dame Jennifer) or sending other ministers’ political dreams up in flames – time will tell.

        And finally, after all the disrespectful grief that Derrick Burgess put the late Mrs Jackson through, “Auntie Louise”, it’s inspiring to see that he has emulated both Mrs Jackson’s and the OBA’s decision to recognise seniors in the national platform of the PLP’s re-schuffle.

        What’s adage, “there is no greater compliment like a copy-cat.”

        RIP Mrs Jackson, and Derrick, she’ll be watching YOU!

        London, England

        • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

          FINAL EDIT

          @Concerned Citizen…

          I am on record as stating that the Premier should make education a stand alone Ministry, it’s much too vital to the economy and the future of Bermuda to be anything other than precisely that.

          And may I also state that Lovetta Foggo has earned her right to become a new shadow minister. She has demonstrated her work ethic, strategic abilities and overall championing of an essential issue of healthcare.

          BUT the Ministry of Education? This is the most politically astute ministry of the entire Government, they are in many respects more organised than some unions, certainly more vocal and very articulate – the educators of Bermuda. They think it through before they act and/or react. They have a long history of either mentoring a minister (Dame Jennifer) or sending other ministers’ political dreams up in flames – time will tell.

          And finally, after all the disrespectful grief that Derrick Burgess put the late Mrs Jackson through, “Auntie Louise”, it’s inspiring to see that he has emulated both Mrs Jackson’s and the OBA’s decision to recognise seniors in the national platform of the PLP’s re-shuffle.

          What’s adage, “there is no greater compliment like a copy-cat.”

          RIP Mrs Jackson, and Derrick, she’ll be watching YOU!

          London, England

    • Robert says:

      Well said

      • Ringmaster says:

        Senator Daniels would be a good choice except he has blotted his copybook with his Opinion about Real Bermudians. He is finished within the PLP unless he tracts his article, repents and apologizes.

    • jt says:

      Agree completely on your comments regarding Mr. Commissiong. In no way can this be seen as the PLP moving forward. Mr. Daniels would seem to have been a smart and refreshing change if they truly desire to present fresh ideas and a new image. This choice indicates otherwise.

  18. wow says:

    Zane DeSilva as Shadow Tourism Minister
    Rolfe Commissiong as Shadow Minister for Human Affairs

    HAHAHAHAHAH…..

  19. frank says:

    derrick burgess is in the right spot but I think that wayne furbert should have stayed in tourism that’s my thouhgts

  20. nuffin but the truth says:

    the defunct plp playing pass the parcel!

    as for Commisiong as Shadow Immigration Minister..that’s ALL he will ever get.

  21. Take it Easy! says:

    Everything that come out of that mans MOUTH is black and white!

  22. Encyclopedia says:

    “We are READY to govern”….that sounds ominous and maybe it tells something. Are some OBA MPs planning to switch sides?

  23. Navin Johnson says:

    They get extra pay for being a shadow Minister? thought that would be why they have created more Shadow Ministers than there are ministries to shadow….got to wring as much out of this place as they possibly can particularly since the big gravy train left the station when they lost the last election….

    • PBanks says:

      I thought only the Opposition leader gets additional pay, not Shadow Ministers

  24. Gotham says:

    Interesting choice for Human Affairs, that kind empathetic humanitarian who would never pull a weapon on anyone .