Ming: ‘St. George’s MPs Virtually Non-Existent’

April 1, 2015

[Updated] “The St. George’s MPs were virtually non-existent in terms of their participation in the meeting,” Senator Renee Ming said following last night’s [Mar 31] OBA Town Hall In St George’s.

Last night’s Town Hall was hosted by MP Kenneth Bascome, MP Nandi Outerbridge and MP Suzanne Roberts-Holshouser, and saw presentations from Premier Michael Dunkley, Minister of Tourism & Transport Shawn Crockwell, Minister of Public Works Craig Cannonier and Minister of Finance Bob Richards.

Those in attendance included OBA MP Susan Jackson, OBA MP Sylvan Richards, OBA MP Cole Simons, OBA MP Jeff Sousa, OBA MP Glenn Smith, OBA Senator Vic Ball, PLP MP Lovitta Foggo, former St George’s MP Kim Swan, St George’s Mayor Garth Rothwell, Deputy Mayor Quinnell Francis as well as Senator Ming.

In a statement this evening, Senator Ming said, “Last week, I submitted an opinion column speaking to the non-attendance of OBA MPs Kenneth Bascome and Nandi Outerbridge at a meeting held at East End Primary School regarding school consolidation and possible plans to close the school.

“Soon after my opinion column was published, plans were made public of an OBA Town Hall for St George’s to be held on March 31. I was happy that at long last, the OBA MPs for St George would be hosting a Town Hall for their constituents.

“Imagine my dismay, however, when I attended the meeting last night and the St. George’s MPs were virtually non-existent in terms of their participation in the meeting. The attendees were treated to presentations by the Premier and other Cabinet members, but there were no statements made by or questions answered by any of the St. George’s MPs.

“MP Bascome spent most of the evening in and out of the room, but not participating in any meaningful way. MP Outerbridge spent her time passing the microphone around, and her only verbal contribution to the evening was to thank everyone for coming out. St. George’s South MP Suzanne Holshouser was also in attendance, but made no verbal contribution to the meeting.

“This behaviour is insulting to the residents and constituents of St. George’s. They have a right to hear from their MPs on the many issues facing St. George’s. It was clear by last night’s behaviour that the St George’s MPs must have been directed to play a supporting role in the meeting, rather than take on questions from the general public, or speak to the issues.

“In the two and a half years since being elected to Government, the people of St. George’s have had very few opportunities to hear from and interact with their MPs and this latest farce is a slap in the face to all who attended and expected to hear from MPs Bascome, Outerbridge, and Holshouser.

“Surely MPs Bascome, Outerbridge & Holshouser have opinions on the widening of the Towne Cut, on the Hotel at the Club Med Property, and on the potential closure of East End Primary. Surely they have an interest in the Airport Redevelopment, on the rebuilding of the Causeway, and the St. George’s Police Station.

“St George’s residents must ask themselves how these MPs can effectively represent them in Parliament if they refuse to even speak to the issues at a Town Hall Meeting,” added Senator Ming.

Update: In response, an OBA spokesperson said, “If you read the attached flyer [PDF], it says the meeting would be hosted by the area MPs with presentations by the Premier and Ministers.

“The area MPs arranged the meeting and greeted and spoke with attendees before and after the meeting – i.e. they hosted. The Premier and Ministers presented. Audience members asked questions and they were answered. Senator Ming was at the meeting and didn’t ask any questions or engage the OBA Parliamentarians.

“That the opposition want to create an issue concerning who spoke and who didn’t is ridiculous and yet another attempt to distract the public from the OBA’s work to move Bermuda forward.”

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Me me me me me me Ming me me me me me.

    So much concern for the people that she makes it all about her.

    Shameful

    • What went wrong says:

      I think what is shameful is the fact that OBA MPs can’t be bothered to show up to a meeting of parents in their own constituency.

      You know what else is shameful, hosting a Town Hall for your constituents and not saying anything!

      • Unearthed says:

        We have yet to see one shovel in the ground for the old Club Med site or a cruise ship for St. George. We want the town of St. George to be reinvigorated not disregarded. Seems like they don’t care about people who live in St. George. The MPs who represent St. George didn’t even speak.

        They kept quiet and Bob Richards stirred everyone’s attention on the airport project. They made sure they had a heavy police presence presumably because they know people aren’t happy and are becoming increasingly frustrated with their government.

        • Lois Frederick says:

          Wow, what a skewed perspective of events. The Min of Tourism anticipates a “shovel in the ground” in late summer or early fall at the Club Med site. He even said that he understands the scepticism of many, as we heard many announcements over the years that led to nothing. He is confident though, that this time it is going to happen and they are at an advanced stage. The Min of W&E spoke of dredging the channel and that St. George’s had to decide whether they wanted that or not. The dredging would be done next year, along with other dredging work to be done on the North Channel and possibly in the Hamilton Harbour area.

          The OBA has actually done more for St. George’s in the last 2 years than had been done for the decade before. Give them another few years and see the changes that are coming. Everyone had a chance to voice their concerns and I even heard Aunt Peggy get her chance to ask whatever she wanted to ask. Overall, it was a good overview of all the positive activity that is about to happen in the East End that we shall all look forward to, because even those like you that are fighting against it will benefit. Half full or half empty, that’s your choice. I know which attitude gets better results.

          • Unearthed says:

            All that is just words and “No Action”. Nothing has happened and everything you typed are promises which mostly the OBA cannot keep. We have heard the same stories all before.

            If this conversation was about actions, the OBA would be “Silent”.

            • Lois Frederick says:

              Come on now. It must have slipped your mind of the positive things that the OBA has actually already done for St. George’s. Let me remind you. Remember the $750,000 grant, back in March 2014, that was given to St. George’s for repairs to the Town and to purchase two new trucks to replace 12 year old vehicles? And let’s not forget about the new Fuel Levy that will raise $430,000 a year to invest in the St. George’s. Tell me those aren’t actions. For that matter tell me anything the Former Govt. did that equates to anything as tangible as those two actions? As for the future plans, you sound like you really don’t want the more than $375 million dollars, that is going to be invested in the East End over then next 4 years. I feel sorry for you.

        • Tolerate says:

          Not gonna argue anything you have said here as you have your own opinion and this is NOT an attack; but an observation.
          Your comment,
          They made sure they had a heavy police presence presumably because they know people aren’t happy and are becoming increasingly frustrated with their government.
          This actually shows where we have, as a people degraded to an extent that a “heavy police presence” was required; and NO, I don’t believe the response was due to a threat, but more reactionary by the police going forward, as a result of past occurrences. This should be a concern. Everyone at that meeting had a right to speak and be listened to while feeling safe in their given rights. No-one; be it a citizen or a government figure should EVER feel threatened when such events are held. I get what your saying about frustration; but first and foremost we MUST remain civil.
          Witnessing this “heavy police presence” should not be a comment to boost or take lightly.
          IMO

    • wow says:

      OBA St. George MPs don’t have a say anyway. They are just figureheads let’s be real. They keep quiet unless asked to speak. They don’t have viewpoint or a say.

  2. Lois Frederick says:

    I was there and was not insulted. The main thrust of the evening was to hear first hand from Cabinet Ministers about big plans for the area and after the Q&A session, time really didn’t allow for much more. Otherwise it would have gone on till midnight. I am sure there will be other meetings to discuss other issues that affect local residents of the area. It would be nice to hear what Renee Ming thinks about the hotel development that is planned to break ground in late summer or maybe the Airport Terminal construction that will be hiring 600+ people next year, or the new marina for St George’s. Or is that the kind of information not worth holding a meeting for, to give up to date news for residents to hear first hand about? I was there and I was not insulted, I was happy to hear all the good news, after years of doom and gloom, laid on for us by the party Renee Ming represents.

    • What went wrong says:

      You likely aren’t from St. George’s, as there was no one from this end of the Island that thought it was OK for silence on the major issue down here, East End Primary!

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        So YOU speak for everyone in St. Georges?! I was there and it was fine…just didn’t have time to answer many questions.

  3. Terry says:

    Possibly because the questions et al were addressed to the Premier and Cabinet Members.

    Hello.

  4. Damned if You Did says:

    What is this noise even about Senator Ming? If you wanted to hear from the MPs in attendance to get to know their opinion, why not just direct a question to them?

    If the local MPs had presented , you probably would have complained that you didn’t hear from the Premier, or someone else.

    I would assume hat if you had know questions to ask or real significance, that would mean the presentation was enough to answer any questions or concerns you had? If it wasn’t and you didn’t speak up, I guess it is you that didn’t do a good job.

  5. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Simple answer is they weren’t there to present and Ms. Ming is grandstanding.

  6. Yahoo says:

    More empty noise from politicians trying to make it look like they are important.

  7. Senator Renee Ming, Madame you seem to have much to say / write yet I hadn’t heard a word from you when the floor was opened to them in the room e.g. the public :-(
    The representatives where a part of the Town Hall Meeting which had the appropriate Ministers on hand to answer all pertinent questions that anyone in the room may of had that was in reference to what are the plans for St. Georges and the airport.
    It’d been hosted by the 3 One Bermuda Alliance Ministers who represent St. Georges allowing the public to have all their question answered by the appropriate Minister from the proverbial top.
    I hope that satisfied them who seem to see only what they choose to see :-( By the way, no-one did say the school will be closed, as rumor has it.

    • Bermudian Momma says:

      @ Raymond Ray, did you see the Minister for Education present? I did not. Also, they who control the microphone determines who gets to ask questions or make comments.

      • Had you read the article, the one where the Minister Wayne Scott had been in attendance then you too would have “seen the writing on the wall.” By the way, he never mentioned the school will be closed.

  8. Alvin Williams says:

    Remember puppets never speak unless the puppet master pulled the strings.

    • jt says:

      Alvin…..shhhhhh.

    • Barracuda says:

      Ewart Brown springs to mind !

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Or perhaps it was because they weren’t there to present, as the flyers advertised, and no one actually directed questions their way. I’ve been to a few presentations, and at no point has anyone other then the presenters ever spoken unless something was deliberately directed their way… it’s kind of how it works. Here I thought this notion was common sense.

    • Creamy says:

      So who is pulling Ming’s strings?

    • Yahoo says:

      Then why are you speaking Alvin?

  9. jt says:

    For 14 years I never once saw or heard from my MP.
    12 more years to go to try and beat that record.

  10. Kangoocar says:

    Ms Ming, I have felt the same way about your plp for many years now, I have repeatetly asked were the $800 million of our money went, and all I keep hearing are tree frogs??? Being you seem to be vocal, can you tell me???

  11. Barracuda says:

    There has been a lot of noise lately from the PLP , it will get worse , then there will be revelations . Cool heads will hopefully prevail.

  12. Go Whistle says:

    Did Kim Swan put you up to this? Are you in need of attention as well?

    • Eastenders says:

      Kim Swan speaks up for the East End. Grandstanding is your Premier who does not know to tell the truth

      We will be Voting for Kim Swan – definitely not Craig nor Nandi. Craig you would be a bigger fool if you allow them to kick you out of the safest OBA seat; but then again, you know, but we don’t know what the sweet deal is?

      • The Streets of The East says:

        Kim Swan Nor Renee Ming speak for St.geo They are the real puppets. I can also see Mr.Bascome around st.georges daily doing whatever he can being an ambassador for the town, You can also find him cleaning or trimming road side trees.He is very appoarchable . I hace once saw Jennfier in St.geo doing anything but sitting down the beach drinking with the rest of the brainwashed clan. Renee use to have a alot of respect but lately shes been a empty vessel nothing but negative with no answers. As for Kim well we all know he motive.. was a great guy to but too nice for politics and doesnt really have anything to offer.

        • Bermudian Momma says:

          @ The Streets of the East – so MP Bascome is more of an ambassador for the Towne of St. George’s than Senator Ming or Mr. Swan based on what? He is out and about the Towne on a daily basis. Both Senator Ming & Mr. Swan have full-time employment elsewhere so one would not expect to see them in the Towne out and about on a daily basis like MP Bascome cleaning or trimming road side trees. I would have thought that was the responsibility of either the Ministry of Public Works or the employees of the Corporation of St. George’s. I recall seeing Senator Ming and family at a clean up organized by the St. George’s Parish Council – she was a member of the St. George’s Council. Also, she was and is on several committees that arrange the various activities in and about the Towne. When I am able, I listen to the House & Senate when they are in. Senator Ming is consistently articulating her concerns and support for St. Georges in the Senate so much that the other Senators started to refer to her as Senator St. Georges. I have yet to hear either MP Bascome or Davis articulate their concerns or support for St. George’s in the House. I do recall MP Bascome in the House talking about think about bring a bill that would result in jail time for men wearing their pants sagging.

      • Double D says:

        That’s right. Vote for the Party that tried its best to decimate St. George’s financially. That will show your love for the Old Towne.

        Might I remind you that the OBA has done more in 2 years for St. George’s than the PLP did in 14 years.

        The corporations revene stream given back after being ripped away by the PLP. Also, a $750k grant to the corporation for infrastructure enhancements. See the work in the square? Thank an OBA candidate for that and ask the PLP why they tried to suffocate the Old. Town financially. Don’t forget to thank the OBA also for that .25% tax levied on the oil docks with all proceeds going straight to the coffers of st. George’s.

        See the big hole on the side of a closed golf course and the splt where a local Bermudian owned business once stood but was forced to close for a failed foreign developer despite promises from the PLP. Now watch by the end of summer when these promises come true because of the OBA.

        So go ahead and vote for the Party that brought st. George’s to its knees and vote against the Party that is bringing money and life back to the Old Towne. All that shows is your love for Party and. It st. George’s as you claim.

        On top of that when the PLP was destroying st. George’s where was Renee Ming? Again a classic case of Party before country. She didn’t care then about st. George’s and she doesn’t care now.

        Notice how she didn’t mention one of the numerous items discussed Tuesday night that will benefit st. George’s? That scares her and her Party, so they must attack and deflect.

        This Senator has written three pieces in as many week with all of them attacking the OBA MPs and not offering one solution or even a creative thought. But I guess when that’s all you are capable of that’s all you got to offer. No suprprise here as she was second choice for the PLP after their young rising star had to resign his candidacy due to racist social media posts (seems to be a theme for the PLP).

        So I’ll say it again. Senator Ming doesn’t care about st. George’s now and she didn’t care about it when the PLP destroyed it financially. She cares only about Party.

        • Kangoocar says:

          Double D as always you are totally correct!!! As I always say, ” you can’t fix stupid ” anyone that lives in St George and votes for the plp, ARE STUPID!!!!!

      • Go Whistle says:

        Kim Swans does definitely speak, he just fails miserably at it. For starters he has not been vocal about St George’s for some time now and when he does talk he is talking lies. So that earns your vote….nice.

        The Premier laid a solid foundation of factual information to begin the meeting – I could see where you would have a problem with that. I know you are used to hearing the “we had to lie to you….” to start your meetings.

  13. 69SSRS says:

    So……you ask a question, and the boss comes to answer it?

  14. Roger says:

    when they were elected they were labelled as surrogates, let them play out their role.

  15. Lois Frederick says:

    A question I had for Renee Ming was about the Immigration vote in the Senate last week. I really mean’t to ask her last night. Last Wednesday, after all the scaremongering I heard and views on how bad this would be for suffering Bermudians, why when it can to the vote was there complete silence? Surely, as a matter of principal, if the PLP felt so strongly as to have an unruly invasion of the Senate, you could have said “nay” when it came time to the vote, “Standing Strong for Bermudian”. Really makes the PLP seem completely all over the place when it comes to a position on this matter.

  16. Edmund Spenser says:

    Let me see if I understand this, complains that the OBA St George MP’s don’t listen to the people. Then complains at a town hall meeting they spent too much time listening and not enough talking. Next the senator will be complaining that water is wet.

  17. !!!!!! says:

    Renee, I like you. You are very nice, kind, sweet,loving, caring and from a good family but sweetheart do me a favor hon !!!! stay on the porch and let the big dogs handle this sweetie!!! politics is not your expertise…….. I will never vote for you nor my ENTIRE FAMILY…….We dislike PLP……. By the way, you rookie are starting to fuss already….ggrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhh how irritating……

  18. Onion says:

    Have to divert attention away from the basic facts that this meeting totally undermined a lot of the PLP’s misinformation campaign about the airport.

  19. Coffee says:

    Senator Ming , all those MP’s you mentioned are already thought of as fools , no need for them to open their mouths to confirm . None of them have one single original thought in their head .

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      You must be talking about the PLP/UBP!! Shame on you for talking bad about your own party!

  20. lifetime says:

    Renee you fell for the old okey doke. You really thought you had that much power? You thought you could write a letter blasting them and then get them to speak on it? Umm no. Keep in mind who you are dealing with you. You are still new to the game. I’ll give you an E for effort.

  21. Coffee says:

    Kenny woulda said ,’ wif dis he,ah new ear port we get tah charge you lot a St.Georges tax and a toll four usin hour bridge .

    Nandi , would say ‘ and we will provide for a fee of course , get this , unhackable WIFI !

    Susanne would gleefully tell all , ” and no doubt that $250 million dollars could afford us to rename the airport after a Fox or, a Foggo or Lamb , because after all St.Davids Islanders were displaced in the building of the base and runway , no Wades lost nuffin in the deal .

    Bob, Shaun and Micheal couldn’t have those guys spoil the fun !

  22. Starting Point says:

    “The St. George’s MPs were virtually non-existent in terms of their participation in the meeting”

    Because unlike the arrogance of the PLP, the meeting was an opportunity for the area to speak and ask questions. This statement by Ms. Ming is a perfect summary for the PLP – Arrogant wanna be celebrities. Anyone in the Civil service during their time will, if being honest, identify the arrogance of the PLP ministers as the number one challenge in doing our work.

    It is actually madness that Ms. Ming has only these comments to make this week, next week her breaking news story will be she noticed a plastic bag in the St. Geroges Harbour, her ‘opinion’ piece will be headlined with, “OBA attempts mass murder on Bermudian turtles by refusing to clean the harbour, even Bermudian turtles are at risk from this government!”

  23. Triangle Drifter says:

    Had the Premier & Ministers not been there she would have grumbled that the OBA did not care enough to bring the top brass. Had the top brass not been there it would have been up to the MPs to answer questions on details that they might know little about creating confusion as facts have to be clarified by those who know.

    The PLP needs to be helpful & pose relevent questions otherwise be quiet & let the big boys & girls get on with cleaning up your failed experiment & complete the projects that you said that you were gonna do but never did, like the new terminal, which should be named the Moe Ware Terminal for somebody who actually had a major impact on aviation in Bermuda.

  24. Dorothy Peniston says:

    Just wondering, would there have been a Town Hall Meeting if not for Sen. Ming’s opinion.

    • Trulytruly says:

      Considering I got my notice of a meeting emailed to me officially on March 10th and Renee Ming’s opinion piece being posted over two weeks later on March 25th , I can safely say that there would still have been a meeting without Renee Ming’s opinion piece. The OBA does not set it’s agenda based on opinion pieces written by Opposition Senators. Hope that helps you.

  25. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    PLP / Ms Ming scraping the bottom of the barrel. Noise for noise sake.
    Give it a rest PLP. Remember Chicken Little ? you have more than exceeded your quota of the sky is falling in…………What part of “people have stopped listening” do you not get?

  26. Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

    Thank you Ms. Ming for speaking on my behalf as I agree with what you have said. I did not attend the meeting, but I have only seen one MP, MP Roberts-Holshouser, and it was refreshing to see an OBA MP. The one who ran in my constituency, I never see. These are facts. I don’t care what the PLP did from 1998 – 2012, I care about the elected officials are doing now.

    Being that said, I expect you Senator Ming to be completely involved in the community and allow all constituents to participate in a form of direct democracy, through you, if you are ever elected.

    • serengeti says:

      So the local MPs and senior Ministers hold a meeting in your constituency to speak directly to constituents about matters affecting your constituency.
      You don’t attend.
      Then, a couple of days later, you complain that you ‘never see’ your MP in your constituency.
      Quinton, if you wanted to see your MP in your constituency, and if you wanted to air how you feel about things, you could have attended the meeting. It was two nights ago. You should have attended. Instead, you wait two days and then complain about how you “never have the chance to see MPs”.
      It comes across as pretty ridiculous.

      • Quinton Berkley Butterfield says:

        So because I didn’t attend the meeting, I’m not allowed to bring up my displeasure of no MPs showing up since 2012?

        Secondly, you do not know if I could have attended the meeting, what my personal obligations are and so forth, so please do not tell me what I could and could not have done…

        • serengeti says:

          You avoid the point. The point is that the MPs did “show up”. They held a public meeting, two days ago, in your constituency, when you could have discussed with them anything you wanted.
          You didn’t bother to go, but then you go on to blame them because, as you put it, you ‘never see an MP’.
          Well, if you wanted to see your MP, you had the chance. It’s you who didn’t show up, not them.

  27. Tolerate says:

    OK Ms. Ming… Wow….
    SMH

  28. Tolerate says:

    I think from previous Town Hall Meetings, the local MP’s have spent more time bashing the Government, in the PLP’s case; that maybe Ms. Ming was expecting a similar reaction from the OBA?
    Was the expectation for Bascome, Outerbridge and Holshouser to get up and defend or spin their relevance?
    Because none got up on their Soap Box, was I insulted?
    Information from the horses mouth was presented; whats Ms. Ming’s real issue here?
    Maybe because none took the bait to get in a debate with her; which from reading, was NOT the intentions of this Meeting.
    Just a good old fashion Meeting to try and move along with progress; guess not what she had hoped for.

  29. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    St.Georges Residents are trained to be nice……hence mums the word…..Dog and Pony show .The rest of the Island gets busy……..protesting and fighting for their rights.! Check the history of the Island and its Peoples..!Facts which cannot be denied.!

  30. C James says:

    I’m sure Ms Ming was expecting a bit of a showdown – like when the “White mental illness” lady went off at Bob Richards down at no 6 shed.

    Or like when two dozen union folk disrupted the Senate with “Vee shell not, be moooed”

    I look forward to Ms Ming’s complaint that it is somehow the OBAs fault when it is too hot at Cupmtach.

  31. They have better things to do…