Timeline Of The Rise & Fall Of Craig Cannonier

May 21, 2014

Craig Cannnonier’s fast-tracked rise from political newcomer to Premier crashed down on Monday evening with his resignation following the “JetGate” scandal, with his time in office marking one of the shortest times a Premier has ever served.

Bursting onto the political scene only a few short years ago, Mr. Cannonier was elected leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance in 2010, elected leader of the One Bermuda Alliance in 2011, elected to the House of Assembly in 2011 and became Premier in 2012.

Here we take a look back at some of the key moments in Mr Cannonier’s political career, which will continue on with the Devonshire MP planning to sit as a backbencher.

Feb 2010: Mr Cannonier elected as BDA Leader [Link]

In February 2010 Mr. Cannonier was elected leader of the now-defunct Bermuda Democratic Alliance, winning 157-38 over Myron Piper. The party later dissolved and merged with the United Bermuda Party to become the One Bermuda Alliance.

May 2011: Mr Cannonier appointed as a OBA Senator [Link]

Following the formation of the OBA in May 2011, Mr. Cannonier was appointed to the Senate, a position he held for six months.

Sept 2011: Mr Cannonier elected as OBA Leader [Link]

Replacing OBA  interim leader John Barritt, Mr Cannonier was elected by party members as the new OBA Leader, receiving 344 votes [50.44%], while Bob Richards got 330 votes [48.52%].

Nov 2011: Mr Cannonier elected as an OBA MP [Link]

After veteran MP John Barritt stepped down in C#12 Devonshire South Central — which is widely considered a safe seat — Mr. Cannonier cruised to a victory in the by-election winning 82.89% of the vote, marking his entry into the House of Assembly. He was sworn in as the new Opposition Leader after winning the by-election.

Dec 2012: One Bermuda Alliance Elected [Link]

The OBA swept the PLP from power after 14 years, winning a 19-17 victory at the polls and 52% of the popular vote [15,928 votes to 14,186], with Craig Cannonier becoming the new Premier.

March 2013: “JetGate” Occurs [Link]

Mr. Cannonier, Attorney-General Mark Pettingill, Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell and the Premier’s business associate Stephen Dacosta flew to Washington via a private jet owned by Mr Nathan Landow. This trip wasn’t publicly acknowledged until two months later.

Feb 2014: Allegations surface about Mr Cannonier [Link]

In the House of Assembly, Opposition Leader Marc Bean alleged Mr. Cannonier told him a developer was willing to make an “upfront payment for a casino licence,” while Opposition MP David Burt alleged Mr. Cannonier offered him a contract in exchange for his support for dropping the casino referendum.

Feb 2014: Mr Cannonier denies allegations [Link]

Mr Cannonier refutes the allegations made by Mr. Bean and Mr. Burt, calling them “bold faced lies”,”utter nonsense,” “below the belt” and “simply untrue.”

Feb 2014: Mr. Cannonier sues Mr Bean and Mr Burt [Link]

Mr Cannonier said the “reckless allegations” made by Mr Bean and Mr Burt were “extremely dangerous and potentially damaging to the country” and said he will seek damages for slander. On February 21st Mr Cannonier filed writs in the Supreme Court against Mr Bean and Mr Burt, however due to the aspects surrounding Mr. Cannonier’s resignation, it is seen as very unlikely his lawsuits will proceed.

March 2014: Mr Cannonier declines to answer questions in Parliament [Link]

When questioned by the Opposition in Parliament over his relationship with Mr. Landow, Mr. Cannonier declined to answer, citing the lawsuits before the Courts. When asked if he had met Mr. Landow before the “JetGate” trip [which he had], Mr. Cannonier said,  ”I refuse to prejudice myself concerning this matter.”

May 2014: Mr Cannonier steps down following further JetGate controversy [Link]

The month of May saw a tumultuous series of events including Think Media’s report, OBA members spending two days huddled inside OBA headquarters, questions raised about what happened to a $300,000 donation from Nathan Landow and ending with the 51-year-old politician tendering his resignation.

What Happens Next?

  • Craig Cannonier will remain an OBA MP, representing Devonshire South Central
  • Michael Dunkley– who was the Deputy Premier under Mr. Cannonier — will serve as Premier
  • The OBA’s constitution dictates they need to hold a leadership election following the resignation of a leader, and that is expected to happen later this summer. Premier Michael Dunkley is seen by many as the front-runner.
  • Questions still remain about what exactly happened to the $300,000 donation from Mr. Landow. OBA Chairman Thad Hollis said the party is conducting an internal inquiry and they will make their findings known to the public.
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  1. watchfuleyes says:

    Start getting the time line ready of Pettingill and Crockwell because they are on borrowed time as well. We all knew the Premier had limited time going into his Premiership, but more will fall behind him …

    • sonso says:

      hopeful for our country i see, smh. it is the attitudes such as yours that will, unfortunately, be the demise of our country.

      • Black Soil says:

        CC could have gone down in history as our greatest Premier…he was given the opportunity….AND HE MESSED UP. Instead he will go down as a fart between Paula Cox and Mike Dunkley. WHAT A SHAME!!!

        • X man says:

          CC may not go down as the greatest Bermuda Premier but he will go down as the Premier led
          the defeat of the PLP after there 14 years of reign – in a General Election with a new Political Party.
          So he screwed up – but his victory in that election made many of us wake up.

          Marc Bean just get all the Skeletons out of your closet and just beware of CC because he now has plenty of time on his hands. — how transparent are you.

    • Greed Killed Bermuda says:

      I agree – get started. They stood behind Craig during this!

    • JAWS says:

      Pettingill will be ok, but Crockwell lets just say better produce! Right now he knows he’s got one foot in the door and one foot out. He’s on burrowed time. He’ll be the next one jumping ship asking for the PLP’s help either that or the OBA serves him his walking papers. Come on the Premier had 2 of Bermuda’s Top legal minds on the “”"”Private Jet”"”"” and know one gave him advice. Making matters worst you kept it from the other Oba. Premier Dunkley I wish you the best. The buck stops with you now my friend the next election is 2017, don’t waste anymore time. The Oba did not win by much votes.

      • Bermudian. says:

        Top legal minds, I don’t think so, two very ordinary lawyer that happen to be members of the OBA..

        • Iron Man says:

          Can’t be that ordinary 2 jobs combined will pocket him $350k +. What was your paycheck brother?

          • Hurricane says:

            In the case of government ministers, more fool of you Iron Man if you think that there is any correlation between salary and the mind. The very fall of CC proves that; he obviously wasn’t very smart and look at what his salary was.

      • Rich says:

        So why will Mark be ok? What has he produced to date?

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      don’t make me laff bie…you better get YOUR timeline ready, lmfao

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      The Governor and Dunkley should have insisted that both Pettingill and Crockwell *resign* from the Cabinet and the A G’s position in particular ASAP!!

      Pettingill is not fit to be the Island’s A G – as he was actively involved in this whole *Jet-Gate* mess from the beginning and could give you ALL the answers concerning the $300K in a heart-beat!!

      The Attorney General is supposed to be beyond-reproach in ALL his legal dealings and proceedings!! This man Pettingill falls far short and does NOT pass-muster – as a man of *Character and Ethics*!!

  2. nok says:

    why was Craig sueing Bean and Burt for again!!!!!lol he was trying to shut them up!!!lol

  3. Jonathan says:

    What’s real disgusting is all of Bermuda, OBA & PLP had a Premier going around talking about integrity, trust and how things have change. Here he was allegedly doing things behind every ones back for his own greed. The man couldn’t even handle talking to the Press. Why was he made leader over all the other smart members in the OBA?

    • Regular Joe says:

      Ask his OBA members, because they elected him…

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        Simple…. Behind “closed-door” dealings!!

    • Ian says:

      Because they wouldnt have won going into the election with a membert of team UBP at the helm, especially had it been Grant Gibbons or Michael Dunkley. I think Grant is the sharpest tack on their team, and likely one of the sharper minds in local politics period.

      • Double Standards says:

        So what does that say about the people that wouldn’t vote for these two individuals based on what they look like despite their noted abilities?

    • Maturity! says:

      Fool!
      It was for cosmetic reasons. They needed a black face to win the election. Bob Richards is too out of touch with the people, Shawn Crookwell well must I say anymore? Sylvan does not get the fact that he does not have to sell out to be accepted, Wayne Scott cannot be trusted and Kenny Bascome is laughable the others are not worth mentioning. So here comes good looking light skinned smooth talking Pastor Reverend Craig Cannonier he took them by storm with his preaching antics. The white people felt that he was convincing enough to the gullible black public and it worked…They just didn’t know what to do with him when he got in! Well he has solved that problem for them…Perhaps they were wise enough to see that he did not befit the position because of a lack of experience and true sophistication.

  4. Islandgirl says:

    This is very sad for our country!! We have politican in office that are very selfish and wicked. All this is going on whilst people suffer and cannot feed their family and make their rent!!! It is very concerning….

    I have said before that if you have been convicted of a crime you should not serve in any political office. Crockwell should not be in office an should also resign!!!!

    • Double Standards says:

      Does that include Commissiong as well?

  5. I heart 441 says:

    Politricks, the Bermuda version!
    Now that this episode is over, roll up ya sleeves and get to work Dunkley for the country.

    • Rich says:

      How is this any different than say, Toronto, NYC, Trenton-NJ, London, etc etc???

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      its too late…people, from what ive gathered, jus here on this site,talk shows and in public have lost their faith or confidence in the oba…so the new spanner had a flaw, so we go back to the old spanner that works but also slips an busts up ya knuckles, if you know what i mean.

  6. nuffin but the truth says:

    Look out for the next installments of this series

    The Timeline Of The Rise & Fall Of EWB, followed by
    Timeline Of The Rise & Fall Of de Cog,followed by
    Timeline Of The Rise & Fall Of MB.

    Popcorn,Candy and Ice Cream are available in the Lobby.

    • Now Playing In Select Theaters‎ says:

      Now Playing In Select Theaters‎ the OBA Experiment, oh dam wait 18 months later lost the main actor. Not a problem time to change.

      Now Playing In Select Theaters‎ THE RETURN OF THE UBP!!!!!!Get your tickets now for Free Milk and Casinos.

      The only movie that has to re scripted is the OBA, you fools lost your main character. Craig where are you? That’s like going to Disney World without Mickey Mouse. Maybe Mikey Hinds knows where he is, he’s always got something to say on here.

      • Now Playing In Select Theaters‎ says:

        Oh and don’t forget the Herb. That will help you win the next election.

      • Coffee says:

        Mike Hinds you say ? Surely your not asking for The whereabouts of Mike Hinds ?

        Well let me tell you exactly where Mike could be found nowadays . He’s upstairs of of that music place next to that real persons health store .

        What’s he doing up there ? If I tell you he might get mad , but I’ll tell you anyway .

        Of course he’s up there pickin an ol banjo the new premier gave him as a gift, an everybody is up there right now line dancin and doing that heel an toe , heel an toe cause Mr. Dunkley is the NEW PREMIER . Out with the old and in with the , um mum old !

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        Craig was like the first whiteguy to appear at the Apollo…lmao

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

    “Pirates of the Atlantic” sadly this movie started many moons ago and not one has been brought to justice! Maybe times are changing and the public will hold ALL to account!!

    • nuffin but the truth says:

      Due to Compliments by Copyright holders,
      You Tube regrets “Pirates of the Atlantic” has been removed.

  8. Coffee says:

    Marriages of convenience last only as long as it’s necessary .

  9. I say bring back the PLP Marc bean for premier

  10. faith says:

    What is sad to me is how many people stand in line to witnes the ‘disgrace’ of our countries leader just so they can say look what we did.

    The real losers in this are: we the peoples of Bermuda. We are a country the size of some businesses yet we cannot get our acts together …unless it’s to harangue and peddle gossip.

    We should be the gold standard; yet we come off to others as juvenile, bickering fools who would rather cut off our collective noses, yes, just to spite.

    • bermudaglobetrottersdotcom says:

      Well said, as many who will now complain about and ridicule the man, voted to put the OBA in office.

      One day we will learn to solve our own problems, and stop giving politicians so much rope that they hang us all with it.

  11. Ace girl says:

    Did anyone ever account for the $300,000? Or do you just ride off into the sunset?

    • LOLOL says:

      Well didn’t someone go on vacation. Maybe he’s lol at all of us!

  12. Eddie Boy says:

    Oh well ‘ it’s back to running the Gas Stations for Craig Cannonier
    I ‘m sure that the PLP leader Marc Bean is very happy that he had his say in Craig’s removal from office.
    Now its more likely to be a showdown with Dunkley.— a lot tougher and a lot more bullheaded than Craig.
    Craig Cannonier was a bit green compared to Dunkley who likes to argue any point to the end. – seen him argue one time
    at a Cup Match game.— no push over here for Marc Bean.
    As for Marc Bean – is he sure that all the stuff that he’s doing is ok — because a lot of eyes will be closely scrutinizing
    all of past and his business. —- OBA wants blood on this guy!
    As each political party is embroiled in this War what gets done for Bermuda — answer is so simple — NOTHING!
    Enjoy your Golf game Craig.