PLP: Airport Deal Was “Tainted From The Start”

May 13, 2015

[Updated with videos] “These documents prove collusion to extract over a billion dollars from Bermuda in the form of a no-bid contract,” and the deal was “tainted from the start,” Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt said, adding that the “Minister of Finance is unquestionably compromised and “the path now leads only to his resignation or removal and the termination of this entire shameful affair.”

The Shadow Minister was speaking at a press conference today [May 13] which followed the release of over 2,000 pages of emails between Aecon, CCC and Bermuda Government officials over the contract to redevelop the airport.

Update: Video #1 of the Q&A portion of today’s press conference

Mr Burt said, “The One Bermuda Alliance’s proposed privatisation of the LF Wade International Airport will result in a revenue stream of well in excess of $1 billion going to Aecon Concessions.

“I have now had the opportunity to read and digest the comprehensive documentation obtained through the Access to Information request filed in Canada – and in a word, it is shocking.

“Each and every key assurance provided by Minister Bob Richards has been shattered by the glaring revelations of the backroom wheeling and dealing by those to whom we have been asked to entrust this Bermudian asset for the next 35 years.

“For the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance to admit in an email that he, “Fuzzied up the no new debt part”- speaks to his character and lends me to question what else has this minister “Fuzzied up”.

“The internal machinations revealed in these emails display a callous disregard for the interests of this country and there is a strong inference to be drawn that this country’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance is either complicit or acquiesced in this entire affair.

“It is now clear to all that this deal is not honest and is without merit. It cannot proceed and it must be stopped immediately.

“The Minister told Parliament that “CCC chose AECON, not the Bermuda Government” – the documents reveal that claim is 100% false. Yesterday, CCC issued a statement which clearly indicated that they were alerted to the deal through AECON.”

“At the best these documents prove collusion to extract over a billion dollars from Bermuda in the form of a no-bid contract – and the actions of the Minster and Aecon may be in violation of the spirit of the Good Governance Act.

“And so on Friday, I expect for the Minister to account for misleading Parliament and the people of Bermuda. At the very least he owes everyone that.

“However – his position, whatever the explanation, is untenable. This deal is tainted and we now know that it has been tainted from the start. The Minister of Finance is unquestionably compromised. The path now leads only to his resignation or removal and the termination of this entire shameful affair,” said Mr. Burt.

Update: Video #2 of the Q&A portion of today’s press conference

Also speaking at today’s press conference was Opposition Leader Marc Bean, who said, “I would like to express my disappointment in Minister Richards and the One Bermuda Alliance, for the simple reason of the potential negative effects on all of us, as a result of actions that will only erode genuine investor confidence in Bermuda, while causing embarrassment and reputational damage to our Island home.

“There is no job growth because there is a lack of foreign direct investment at this time. Why, you may ask, in-spite of the policy efforts of the OBA Government? It is simple. Investors have to see certain prerequisites in a jurisdiction that engenders real confidence…foundation stones if you will, in order for a decision to invest and create jobs is determined.

“The fundamental prerequisite is Good Governance, with Transparency, Accountability, and most importantly, Honesty, as the guiding principles. A lack of jobs and investment is a reflection of the standard of governance within a jurisdiction, and in this case, a reflection on the promise-breaking OBA Government.

“Yes, Bermuda is in need of economic stimulus. Yes, Bermuda is in need of jobs. But what Bermuda does not need is a Government acting in its own self-interest, misleading the public, and misleading the House of Parliament.

“This is exactly what has happened with Finance Minister E. T (Bob) Richards. Minister Richards has misled Parliament by stating that there was no previous relationship with Aecon and that Aecon would be subcontracted through CCC.

“Now we see evidence in these documents that Aecon was using CCC only as a front and that Aecon was the preferred contractor the whole time.

“In addition, we should all be concerned by the Finance Minister’s admission in one email that he has “fuzzied up the numbers…” In the real world, if an accountant or investment advisor admitted to such an act, he/she would be accused of fraud.

“For the Minister of Finance to do such a deed, has now raised additional questions and potential problems for the entire country. Major International Corporations have gone bankrupt and seen their stock price plummet to zero overnight, for such admissions in the private sector.

Update: Mr Bean and Mr Burt’s statements at today’s press conference

Mr Bean said that Minister Richards and the OBA government “have caused yet more reputational risk to our jurisdiction” with these latest revelations following the “Jetgate scandal which caused the resignation of the former Premier Craig Cannonier, and other nefarious behaviors which are, at this point, too numerous to mention.”

Mr Bean added, “No one wants our country to fail. As Opposition, it is our job to hold the government accountable. We all wish for success, but there are processes and procedures that must be followed, and if at the very top they are broken, then we have set ourselves upon a course towards decay.”

Finance Minister Bob Richards has responded to the release of the emails, saying that the “idea that somehow we had some sort of plot or collusion is ludicrous” and that “there is nothing that we have done that has not been according to the book.”The Minister’s full remarks can be read here, and all our coverage of the airport redevelopment project can be read here.

Marc Bean’s statement follows below:

Good afternoon All,

We have, like many Bermudians, reviewed the files posted to the website by the Peoples Campaign yesterday. These documents, obtained through Canada’s Freedom of Information Act, relating to the Redevelopment of the LF Wade International Airport, should greatly concern all right thinking Bermudians and Residents.

In fact, I would like to express my disappointment in Minister Richards and the One Bermuda Alliance, for the simple reason of the potential negative effects on all of us, as a result of actions that will only erode genuine investor confidence in Bermuda, while causing embarrassment and reputational damage to our Island home.

I am disappointed, because my mind immediately gave consideration to the plight of our young people who are in the process of returning home this month and next, as recent university graduates. Young people, who, in following the wise guidance of us adults, exhibited the discipline to educate themselves to the standard by which they may one day return to Bermuda, and offer a useful contribution to our society. Young people whose parents sacrificed financially in order that they may one day become productive members in our community.

I am disappointed because the sad reality is that most of these young persons, upon returning home, will not be able to find employment. They will not gain employment because there is no job growth in Bermuda. There is no job growth because there is a lack of foreign direct investment at this time.

Why, you may ask, in-spite of the policy efforts of the OBA Government? It is simple. Investors have to see certain prerequisites in a jurisdiction that engenders real confidence……..foundation stones if you will, in order for a decision to invest and create jobs is determined. The fundamental prerequisite is Good Governance, with Transparency, Accountability, and most importantly, Honesty, as the guiding principles. A lack of jobs and investment is a reflection of the standard of governance within a jurisdiction, and in this case, a reflection on the promise-breaking OBA Government.

Yes, Bermuda is in need of economic stimulus. Yes, Bermuda is in need of jobs. But what Bermuda does not need is a Government acting in its own self-interest, misleading the public, and misleading the House of Parliament.

This is exactly what has happened with Finance Minister E. T (Bob) Richards. Minister Richards has misled Parliament by stating that there was no previous relationship with AECON and that AECON would be subcontracted through CCC.

Now we see evidence in these documents that AECON was using CCC only as a front and that AECON was the preferred contractor the whole time.

In addition, we should all be concerned by the Finance Minister’s admission in one email that he has “fuzzied up the numbers…” In the real world, if an accountant or investment advisor admitted to such an act, he/she would be accused of fraud.

For the Minister of Finance to do such a deed, has now raised additional questions and potential problems for the entire country. Major International Corporations have gone bankrupt and seen their stock price plummet to zero overnight, for such admissions in the private sector.

Minister Bob Richards and the OBA government have caused yet more reputational risk to our jurisdiction by their apparently willfully corrupt activities. These latest revelations follow the Jetgate scandal which caused the resignation of the former Premier Craig Cannonier, and other nefarious behaviors which are, at this point, too numerous to mention.

At this stage, it would be customary to call on Premier Michael Dunkley to show that he will not condone this activity in his Cabinet and under his leadership. It would also be customary to warn the Premier that failure to act will show that he supports this behavior, and that is an indictment on the entire OBA Government.

Unfortunately, I am obligated to state what must be apparent and obvious to all at this point in time. The habits of willfully poor governance, cronyism, and corruption, are not the issues of one or two Ministers of Cabinet, rather, it is a problem that is systemic within the higher levels of the OBA as an entity. It is a culture that has as its lead, the current Premier. Under the principle of collective responsibility, the Premier knows and approves of everything his Cabinet colleagues act upon, and if per chance he may claim ignorance, that would amount to an admission of shirking his primary responsibility, obligations and duty.

Let me make myself abundantly clear and for the record. I do not have any tolerance for any form of cronyism and/or corruption, whether in the past, present, or future. Whether under the UBP, PLP, the OBA, and definitely not under a future PLP Government!

Why? Because the voters of this country have at least 99 reasons to vote for a person or political party, which is everybody’s right. But nobody willingly votes for a corrupt politician, unless of course they seek to personally benefit at the expense of everybody else.

No one wants our country to fail. As Opposition, it is our job to hold the government accountable. We all wish for success, but there are processes and procedures that must be followed, and if at the very top they are broken, then we have set ourselves upon a course towards decay.

Moral Bankruptcy in politics must come to an end, so I will await the response from the Premier and his Deputy as to whether they are willing to govern themselves accordingly, and do the Honorable thing.

-

David Burt’s full statement follows below:

The One Bermuda Alliance’s proposed privatisation of the LF Wade International Airport will result in a revenue stream of well in excess of $1 billion going to Aecon Concessions.

Since the Minister’s announcement of this deal in November 2014, our objections on behalf of the people of Bermuda have been based on its merits. The record will reflect that the PLPs position has been that a project of this magnitude must be subject to a competitive bidding process so that the people of this country can be certain that Bermuda got the best deal.

I have now had the opportunity to read and digest the comprehensive documentation obtained through the Access to Information request filed in Canada – and in a word, it is shocking.

Each and every key assurance provided by Minister Bob Richards has been shattered by the glaring revelations of the backroom wheeling and dealing by those to whom we have been asked to entrust this Bermudian asset for the next 35 years.

For the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance to admit in an email that he, “Fuzzied up the no new debt part”- speaks to his character and lends me to question what else has this minister “Fuzzied up”.

For the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance indicate to a vendor on a project of this size and scope that he has the power to, “put aside the typical competitive procurement processes”- should alarm all Bermudians!

The internal machinations revealed in these emails display a callous disregard for the interests of this country and there is a strong inference to be drawn that this country’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance is either complicit or acquiesced in this entire affair.

It is now clear to all that this deal is not honest and is without merit. It cannot proceed and it must be stopped immediately.

The Deputy Premier and Minster of Finance told Bermuda that:

  • This deal requires, “total transparency, adhering to international best practices” – The documents reveal that is false as CCC’s own counsel said, “CCC is not transparent in its contracting”.
  • That CCC would do its own due diligence – The document’s reveal this was a sham as emails show AECON was “creating a paper trail” to justify their selection as a contractor.
  • Finally the Minster told parliament that “CCC chose AECON, not the Bermuda Government” – the documents reveal that claim is 100% false. Yesterday, CCC issued a statement which clearly indicated that they were alerted to the deal through AECON. On this critical point which the minister has belligerently refused to concede as recent as Monday, he is impeached by the words of the very organization he says created the deal. It is clear that a construction company saw an opportunity to make a profit and brought in a partner in CCC to create the veneer of legitimacy around what from the very beginning was a determination to privatize Bermuda’s airport, build a new one and make handsome profits in the process.

At the best these documents prove collusion to extract over a billion dollars from Bermuda in the form of a no-bid contract – and the actions of the Minster and Aecon may be in violation of the spirit of the Good Governance Act. At the worst these documents demonstrate that this is a government that has corrupt behaviour at its highest levels which in a Bermuda where so many of our citizens are looking for work is wholly unacceptable.

And so on Friday, I expect for the Minister to account for misleading Parliament and the people of Bermuda. At the very least he owes everyone that.

However – his position, whatever the explanation, is untenable. This deal is tainted and we now know that it has been tainted from the start.

The Minister of Finance is unquestionably compromised. The path now leads only to his resignation or removal and the termination of this entire shameful affair.

-

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  1. hmmm says:

    This is such guff

    • I wonder if the Shadow Minister of Finance, David Burt spent as much time on the Port Royal Golf Course funds…
      You are doing what is expected of you and that’s the bottom line but it don’t make you or anyone else with such accusation correct does it?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I too read the documents. What do they show, that Aecon presented CCC with a potential opportunity and as such CCC chose Aecon to work with in trying to get the deal. Nowhere did they say that the minister had approached or colluded with Aecon to produce this deal. It only came about when Aecon and CCC pitched it to the Minister. The earliest emails say this. The emails show that it is as the Minister said, only after the presentation was he interested in the idea and wanted to be provided more details. The emails show that Minister Richards and others even rejected the initial MoU and LoA, and that almost caused CCC and Aeon to reconsider taking the opportunity any further. They show that contrary to PLP claims, that CCC and Aecon had no idea the government had hired the law firm Bennett Jones to assist in the negotiations until the lawyer was introduced to them. It is true the lawyer knew a couple of the members of the CCC team, from past dealings with CCC with other contractors. At one point the emails even show that government required CCC to provide due diligence that Aecon could do the work. All of the emails show this, and show that this was not the done deal from the start that the PLP keep misrepresenting it as, that it has taken quite a lot of work on the part of CCC and Aecon to get even a non-binding MoU and LoA with the government. And once again we hear this misrepresentation that this a billion dollar deal… with continuing Mr. Burt’s mathematics to include revenue lost to expenditures as income that is available, it is no wonder the PLP sunk us into so much debt. I can’t help but think of a couple question of my own on this; one, it took 5 months from the date of the last email for the PC to produce these documents, when the Canadian Access to information act requires that the request be turned around in no longer than 60 days? Two, when these documents were only released yesterday afternoon, in less than 24 hours the PLP managed to digest over 2000 pages of communique and determine that they irrefutably show the Minister colluded with Aecon, when almost the entirety of the emails are between Aecon and CCC as they struggle to get this deal, and any emails involving the minister or a government rep are requests for information or responses to concerns raised?

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ Build a Better Bermuda
        The gist of the emails show that Aecon purposefully acted to hide their position of leading the effort to get the contract. Some may consider that to be a shrewd business practice but others may conclude it shows a lack of integrity.

        Reference the value of the contract, it is true that it involves GROSS receipts over the course of 35 years of close to $1bn. The NET revenues will be at least $250m plus interest, plus profit since the project must be paid for.

        For transparency, the gross revenues and net estimated revenues over the course of the proposed 35 year concession agreement should be disclosed.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Aecon emails show typical business action, and while it may be argued about whether it was lack of integrity or

          • Build a Better Bermuda says:

            To continue… Whether it was lack of integrity or just simply ensuring they were cleared by CCC to take point on certain matters on their behalf, no where do the emails indicate that Minister Richards or any party in the government was colluding to give Aecon this deal. A deal they still do not have due to, as the emails elude to in several stages, the due diligence the government team has been managing. And irregardless of the expected $1b of revenues, the true value of the contract is only in the actual profitablility.

    • Franklin Jr says:

      I invite the PLP to get acquainted with my taint

    • Huh? says:

      “This is such guff”

      Indeed those two are wearing clown pants under that desk, and really big colorful shoes.

      Once upon a time the PLP could be taken with some seriousness. Jennifer Smith as earnest about her ideas even if you disagreed with them as was Alex Scott. Then came the purge. Every single person in the PLP who was worth anything, who spoke their mind, or who threatened to talk any sense was pushed out no matter how faithful they were to the party. You don’t hear from the good ones any more because they are not there.

      Now this is the standard we have come to expect. Two bozos in suits picking the wrong point to argue and thinking that they are being badass politicians. It’s so ridiculous that I want to cry.

  2. Balanced Facts says:

    When is Beans Trial Date? Will there be more trials to follow? PLP distractions??? Hmmmm

  3. Enough says:

    It is quite clear that Burt & Bean have no idea as the dealings that have taken place over such a complex agreement. It comes as no surprise as it has been made obvious on a number of occasions that neither of these guys have any grasp on how to do business.

    Yet again the PLP are behind making false accusations towards the OBA and resort to calling for resignations. Absolutely appalling that Bermuda allows for these clowns to continue to behave like this. If there were any resignations to be had I can call out a number of names…..Bean, Burt, DeSilva, W. Furbert, Brown and as he falls in the same bracket, Chris Furbert too.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      There are several things to consider that discredit the PLP in this argument; they release shortened snippets of emails that can be imaged to convey their own perception, when if you read the whole chain and other relevant emails, the they take on a different light. They constantly talk about this as an over a billion dollar loss to Bermudians, when the reality is quite different, that is the reality of not including the revenues that have to fund the expenditures as any sensible economic advisor will tell you, that money isn’t yours to think of as yours (Small wonder that with this financial mentality the PLP seems to embrace that they sunk us in the hole we are in). The constant talk about this is a back door method to privatize the airport, facts are, the airport is already privatized. It is cleaned by a private company, security is managed by a private company, airport service are handled by a private company… it is only really a public employees as admin and ATC. There is customs and a police presence as well, but that can’t be privatized for the new airport. And I find myself In agreement with Minister Richards, that even if there had been a tendering process, there is no guarantee that we would be getting a better deal, history shows this with tremendous prevalence. While it would be nice to believe it would, the simple facts are that we need a new airport, and we cannot afford to build it ourselves and the government was presented with an option that meets these needs and have taken a bold step to follow it further along. Minister Richards has been as above board about it as one can expect from a politician, and the emails when read in their entirety support this. It can also be said that he has been far more above board with these dealing than any of the PLP can ever claim to in their government dealings.

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ Build a Better Bermuda.

        Are you able to answer the following questions given your castigation of the PLP’s financial acumen?

        What is the estimated gross revenue of the airport for the next 35 years?

        What is the estimated gross expenses of the airport for the next 35 years?

        What is the estimated difference between gross revenue and gross expenses of the airport for the next 35 years?

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          It is true that the gross revenues are estimates to be around $1b over the duration of the contract, however the expected expenses are expected to be around $700m, meaning the true value of this contract is estimated to be around $300m. When you look at this figure, it roughly equates out to how much we would have to spend borrowing to make finance it ourselves, but that option would not come with a garantee that there would not be cost overruns, meaning, with the full weight of history to back me, we might be forced to borrow more in order to build it ourselves. When the airport redevelopment was first proposed and plans drafted years ago, it was originally estimated to have a cost of around $200 – $250m. What these emails show is that while many would look at the communications between CCC and Aecon as they try to get this deal as shady, they read like the standard operations for any companies at that level in these sorts of dealings. While the emails reflect that the CCC/Aecon consortium is out to get this deal, they also highlight the level of difficultly the have encountered in trying to close it, in almost entirety due to the government making sure the deal is above board, the people have certain guarantees, and the final result will be worth it for us.
          What we have seen in the last few days from the PLP/PC collusion is that they have taken these documents, feed snippets to the masses with no relevant backgrounding, and written in their own narrative to fill the spaces. When you read the entirety from end to gruelling end, it is clear that even with this singular view into the full dealings, that there is no real support to the story the PLP/PC present.

          • Vote for Me says:

            @ Build a Better Bermuda
            Your commentary is more realistic now. These are the simple facts that should be reinforced by Minister Richards. My only disagreement is whether the active involvement of CCC and Aecon to conceal the involvement of Aecon represents a shrewd business move or a lack of integrity.

            One commentary would be that if Aecon would act in such a manner to get the contract, what else would they do during the course of the next 35 years to conceal anything they do not want the public to know.

            • Build a Better Bermuda says:

              It is what Minister Richards has said, several times, it is the PLP/PC who keep using the $1b dollar figure to deliberately misrepresent facts for nothing more than politricks. As for The CCC/Aecon cover notions, it seems less of a means to cover up Aecon involvement, than ensuring that Aecon had legal stand to lead this on behalf of CCC as Aecon had the lead for this.

      • Absolutely,”Build a Better Bermuda” Such a wonderful presentation, and as “Sherlock Holmes” would say, “It’s elementary my dear friend Dr. Watson.”
        I’ll mention another important fact to the equation,
        “It’s not how you fall but how you rise that matters.”
        “The importance of making decisions is based on fact”
        (Ms. Arleen Brock)

  4. Zevon says:

    Don’t tell me. Another thing they’re “concerned” about.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      HA! Like the Soviet Ambassador at the end of the movie The Hunt for Red October.

      Hilarious but so sad at the same time. The PLP had better worry more about what comes out of the mouth of their own leader than what the OBA is up to.

      The basic workings of the terminal deal are out in the open & not difficult to understand, at least by those who want to understand.

      There are those who do not understand, do not know that they don’t understand & have no interest in learning how the deal works. Much easier to be herded around by the likes of Burt & the self appointed mysterious arm of the PLP.

  5. Truth (Original) says:

    From Marc Bean speaking on

    “The fundamental prerequisite is Good Governance, with Transparency, Accountability, and most importantly, Honesty, as the guiding principles. A lack of jobs and investment is a reflection of the standard of governance within a jurisdiction, and in this case, a reflection on the promise-breaking OBA Government.”

    Wow. Just wow.

    If this is true then it is an undeniable fact that Bermuda had an exodus of jobs under the PLP Government. That being the case, you would have to agree, based on your own admission above, that it was a “reflection of governance with our jurisdiction” and not the “global economy” as the PLP love to claim !

    What a bunch of hypocrites and jokers.

    How anyone listens to this drivel is just beyond me.

    • Political roar says:

      “lack of jobs and investment”

      Greenes upgrade Princess and build beach club, Pink Beach, Morgan Point and Ariel Sands. Outside investment for an airport rather than public funds which we don’t have. Also the AC which is now back up to six teams.

      That’s probably more private investment in two and a half years than in the fourteen previous.

      • rhonda says:

        Hey weren’t the island over heat, under the plp… so are we now boiling over

        • serengeti says:

          So you don’t want any more jobs then. Got it.

  6. nomoremoney says:

    um, did the hospital get tendered to Mcalpine??? no!!!

    • mud on the wall says:

      BCM is the local affiliate for that company. but black and Mac was a part of that team.

    • Bermuda Jake says:

      Yes, it did. There was a public process and the bid submitted by the Paget Consortium, which included McAlpine, was awarded the contract.

      • Onion says:

        That’s what’s so asinine about this whole thing. The OBA had a blueprint that would have put them total above question but instead they went and did this.

        Totally stupid move.

        I expect the PLP to be intellectually dishonest and full of you know what. But I expect better from the OBA.

  7. mud on the wall says:

    Plp and the PC are just like Fox News, twist the facts and make up your own while leading blind sheep.

    • Bill says:

      And there are too many blind sheep in this country.

  8. stunned... says:

    now, now…here are some smelling salts…

  9. Mockingbird says:

    Like Berkeley Pro Active Deal?
    Or TCD Deal
    or Bda Emissions Deal?
    the list goes on….

    • Sickofantz says:

      But does that make it right?

      • Zevon says:

        There’s nothing “tainted” about it.
        They don’t want jobs created under this government because it will make the PLP look bad. That is all this is about.

    • Richard says:

      I couldn’t agree more and that’s why we voted the PLP out in hope that we would get a government that was a great deal more transparent and ethical.Sadly what we voted in instead was more of the same. What we have is a government that promised a referendum on Gaming and quickly moved away from that promise. We voted in a Premiere that was embroiled in the messy JetGate; forced to step away until the air cleared and to date nothing has been resolved. It still smells and we await answers. To add insult to injury he’s back in another very important Ministerial role. We have no-bid contracts doled out to build the Village at Dockyard. And now this debacle. A Deputy Premier / Minister of Finance so deeply involved in this crap.
      Again, the PLP was voted out of power and rightfully so. I did something that I never thought possible and voted against a party that I had always supported. I naively thought that the OBA would somehow be different and what I’ve found is more of the same.

      • Hmmm says:

        The OBA are very different.

      • Tolerate says:

        @Richard, I agree with up to a point. I too do not want the same thing; however for me the PLP has not shown me they are capable. Listen to me first before you judge. The PLP harmed this country financially and that is a FACT. They also showed poor decisions and management for a Government and like yourself, I played a part in voting them out.
        Now we have the OBA. Yes, there are things I would like to be done better; however when you look at the issues the PLP constantly hark over, Jetgate, the money from their Campaign and even this new airport dealing; they for me are issues the PLP are blowing way out of proportion and using as a political tactics.
        As we have two political parties in Bermuda, I feel the PLP has NO idea of getting Bermuda out the mess they created, so instead have taken on the tactics of discrediting the OBA at every opportunity and winning back the Government by default. If they can rally up the masses enough to vote against the OBA based on the OBA, they will win the next election.
        For me this is crazy. The PLP should be stating a case why they are the better Party to run the country based of ideas of government; NOT on “the other guys are not trust worthy, or the new word of the decade TRANSPARENT.”
        You have to agree; based on decisions and dealings under this Government, Bermuda is turning the corner.
        Be honest about it,no matter if you like them or not there is fresh opportunities and new interest in Bermuda.
        IMO

        • stunned... says:

          tolerate – since the reign of terror Bermudians have been dragged down to being either for or against one party with nothing in between. Bermuda will get nowhere with this level of (non) thinking. typical of a school yard fight – you did this, well, you did that – mentality. not even natural disasters like hurricanes have made any difference to how we think and behave.

      • Spectator says:

        What are you talking about…”no-bid contracts doled out to build the Village at Dockyard”? A project manager was appointed, but beyond that, all projects require bids. And we have had, so far, dozens of local contractors and hundreds of Bermudian workers involved in building the Village. And they are proud of what they have accomplished and excited about the future. Really, just listen to your sorry self.

    • Johnny says:

      Or like an airport with no plans for bathrooms that isn’t even that old that they now want to replace, or a national stadium that took 12 years to not finish that didn’t even have changing rooms.

  10. Trulytruly says:

    Tainted by the PLP.

  11. aceboy says:

    “These documents prove collusion to extract over a billion dollars from Bermuda in the form of a no-bid contract,”

    LOL

    Is this the best guy the PLP can put forward as Shadow Finance Minister?

    Really?

  12. Redman says:

    This would be a more accurate headline,

    PLP: Attempt to Derail The Airport Deal & Force Resignations Was “Tainted From The Start”. Fail!!

    Give it up you Losers. move on to your next Non Incident as Mr. Richards just stuck a fork in this one and turned it over.

    Rubs eyes, yawns turns page.

  13. Lois Frederick says:

    Listening to him, Burt has very, very little of substance to say, followed up by, that the Finance Minister must resign. Weak, weak, weak and this is Burt’s baby. His case has no merit. Yes, we understand the PLP are against the way it’s being done. So what?

  14. nomoremoney says:

    I’m sure Aecon will be moving that Marketing manager out the door. CCC will surely sanction them for that.
    and …It is common practice for Canadian companies to source the projects and then put them in front of CCC, thats how it works. CCC does not have the resources to search the globe for projects for Canadian companies. With so many Canadian here in the industry, and some companies with Canadian ownership it was likely to happen the minute the discussions were tabled in the house or elsewhere.
    It would be good to know that BAS/Serco, a local company owned by a Canadian company, which operates services in the industry now, has a strong presence. Just ask who manages the HSBC’s buildings maintenance and many others. Seen any trucks around with IFM written on the side? So the fact that a Canadian company found the job, put it in front of CCC is how it happens. Now thats its out, the idiot MM that wrote the email about using CCC logo, we’ll he’ll be in deep trouble, I expect.

  15. Dylan says:

    Burt and Bean really wow and they believe what they say…thats good because the facts are what they are and no matter how bad you want us to see your way …well we don’t…. the opposition now needs to be replaced with those who really want whats best for our country time for a new sesame street show…. how we waste time it is no wonder we went from $120 million in the black to $1.5 billion in red….in 14 years….

    • Richard says:

      Actually the PLP inherited close to $160 Million in debt from the UBP. Under Jennifer/Premiere and Eugene Cox /Minister of Finance, that debt was lowered and remained so for several years.

      • Zevon says:

        Yes. Until Brown and Cox got the steering wheel. Then all hell broke loose. Budgets came and went, and they over spent every single time. They borrowed, they spent. They borrowed, they spent. The debt went up. And up. And when they left, there was no cash, and over $2bn in debt plus pension obligations.
        When the PLP got into power there was nil unemployment, a fact almost unique in any economy in the world. When they left power there were 5,000 Bermudians unemployed. And all that Cox and Burt kept telling us was that “recovery is just around the corner”. Dreamers and liars.

        • Mockingjay says:

          And don’t forget they were responsible for the World recession.

          • Dontworryboutathing says:

            We have had recessions before and were never left in this mess.

          • Trulytruly says:

            No. Just putting bermuda in a vulnerable financial position so when the world recession hit bermuda was in such a weak state it only got worse. Thanks plp…even with record revenues at the time the plp was borrowing hundreds of millions a year. When those revenues dropped guess what happened? Had to borrow even more. That’s the plp’s legacy. It’s the same legacy as the recently defeated Labour Party in the UK. People couldn’t put any faith in a party that spent like drunken sailors. Puts fear into common folk.

          • Zevon says:

            Mythical world recession. A PLP myth. Like the unicorn.

          • serengeti says:

            Bermuda’s recession was self-created. Plenty of countries had no recession at all. The PLP created Bermuda’s economic problems.
            And their big plans now? To do something in 2025. Oh great. I’m sure the unemployed have ten years to wait for a job.

  16. nomoremoney says:

    and if the local contact/friend for Aecon was BAS /Serco, with some strong PLP ties, what then?? and SERCO specifically has a strong track record of managing airports. They have won awards for the Vancouver airport,and so what then i ask?
    Sadly these Politicians are all friends in private to a degree, but when it comes to playing with the country’s business, they go at it to win favor and votes, and don’t really give a damn about what they are projecting into the community, the youth, and the tourism markets with their accusations, tales of suspicion and oppression. It really makes us look juvenile. Grow up you lot!

  17. kenick says:

    I’m tired of al the Plp’s manufactured scandal and bs and I don’t see they could be a government.

  18. jt says:

    The OBA and CCC and Aecon need to clarify this and be crystal clear as to where things stand currently and how things will move forward. Otherwise the PC and PLP will continue to cherry pick this and form it into the mould of their choosing. Perhaps the OBA should just initiate an external investigation. Both would be miles beyond anything he PLP ever offered the public withbtheir many Problem is…those waiting for work continue to wait..longer and longer.

  19. Huh says:

    PLP should certainly know the meaning of the word tainted.

  20. Terry says:

    Only thing “tainted” is the reputation of the PLP.
    Brought on by wanna be zealots who got little from the last Regime.

    Paula sits in a castle and Ewart sits……..wherever he wants.

    Follow the money.

    Shalom.

  21. Unbelievable says:

    The Progressive Labour Party really has no leg to stand on when it comes to financial affairs of the country.

    Look at it t his way…if they regain the Govt at the next election, can you really say you are happy with David Burt as finance minister? No I don’t think so.

  22. Ringmaster says:

    Considering that the idea of having a new airport was talked about during the PLP term of office it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that companies that might be interested will have heard about it and started to make a move to get a contract. That would include getting prospective developers, contractors etc in place. So prior to and following 2012 I have no doubt there were plenty of contacts made to the Bermuda Government from potential companies eager to get such a lucrative contract.

    That’s how the private sector work. Unfortunately the PLP seem eager to show they still have no idea about business, and assume everything involves corruption and backhanders.

    • Bullseye says:

      In fact the PLP already had plans in place for a new airport. One who saw them told me it was like the Taj Mahal. Financing was of course up in the air.

      The PLP are angry at any progress the OBA may make, and sadly that means they don’t want Bermuda to progress either. This firestorm is a joke. They want you to hate the Americas Cup too for it is a sham and just glitz for the OBA to get reelected. They say that for all they want is to be reelected themselves. They want Bermuda to sink so they can get in and tell you that they told you so. Meanwhile the OBA on their first term is struggling to find opportunity and growth, and they get hotel property development, the AC, and a new airport built on a 35 year lease and the PLP are screaming murder. How many hundred years did Coco Reef get? How about the whole of front street getting handed over for centuries and the PLP are defending that yet someone wants to build us a brand new airport for no money down and the terms are 35 years? time for bed.

      • Family Man says:

        I remember the plans the plp had for the second airport in Dockyard – to be used when the weather at St. Davids prevented planes from landing there.

      • It’s true, Minister Bob Richards may not be the brightest crayon in the box but he surly is brighter than the two representatives of the Opposition Party on the screen, Deputy Minister of Finance David Burt and Leader of the Progressive Labour Party, Mr. Marc Bean who are doing no-more than attempting to convince us there was wrong done by O.B.As Finance Minister Bob Richards and the One Bermuda Alliance on a whole…

      • Pete says:

        The PLP folks seem to somehow forget the mid 2000s when then Pmr. E. Brown proposed a new 1/2 billion $ terminal, to be financed and run by the Chinese the exact same way the OBA is mistakenly trying to do now.
        WOW what a loss of memory ???

        • Concerned says:

          the hill area on southside st davids near VIP/KC plumbing are located was supposedly cleared out to make room for that airport

      • Concerned says:

        don’t forget white’s island to Rev Ike(?)

  23. de fence says:

    Wouldn’t the proper forum for this be the Public Accounts Committee, rather than trial by soundbite?

  24. shirley Richardson says:

    Just reading some of these blogs says a lot, for one it’s obvious that many of these statements is an indication that, some people can’t handle the truth, to say that the PC and the opposition are telling lies, tells me that some of you folks believe that all of those disturbing emails, from the Canadian pati legislation is also a bunch of lies.

    It appears that the Pati, administrators must be secret PLP, and Peoples campaign supporters

    I’ll wait for the haters response!!

    • Unbelievable says:

      The point is that there’s nothing in those emails that actually says the Minister was doing anything illegal. That actually is the point.

    • .am says:

      Comments. You’re reading comments.

      Not blogs.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      You know how i know you didn’t read the emails?

      If you did, you really suck at reading comprehension.

    • Redman says:

      @ shirley Richardson,

      Just reading some of these posts from the pro PLP posters it’s obvious most haven’t read any of the documents. Just repeating what they’ve heard.

      So where is the corruption??? I’ve read all the bullet points and will soon start on the actual emails but no corruption yet. Yawns.

  25. Christopher Notorius says:

    Pathetic PLP

  26. Bermuda123 says:

    How else were we going to finish building an airport?

  27. common Sense says:

    Calling for the resignation of Mr Richards is ridiculous as he the most competent Finance Minister that we have had for ages, and all Bermudians, of all political persuasions, should be glad that he is using his talents to try to turn the economy around after the disasters of the PLP. I’m rather saddened that David Burt seems to be the best that the PLP has.

  28. Coffee says:

    Subterfuge and skullduggery is the hallmark of those who prefer to peep from under the hood !

    It’s a good thing that their every keystroke is saved in a place where they don’t have any power to retrieve the embarrassing , telltale and amateurish attempts of conducting business on behalf of the Bermudian people .

    I’m ashamed of our government , we all should be .

    • Redman says:

      @ Coffe,

      If you’re ashamed of the OBA as a Govt then using that barometer you must have been held back from jumping off of a tall building when the PLP was the Govt!! LOL

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Nontroversy

    • Truth and Nothing but the Truth says:

      @COFFEE

      What you need be ashamed of is the plethora of BS from the PLP!!

  29. joank says:

    Let’s get this airport up to the standard it should be. It us a disgrace in the state its in today. Stop jabbering and get the job done for everyone’s sake! Can we paint the outside ONE colour?

  30. Coffee says:

    And to think that they would attempt to trick the UK government into rubber stamping this nonsense should be an affront to every right thinking Bermudian ….. But it’s not !

  31. Chris Notorius says:

    As usual, the PLP (and the People’s Complainers)are hoping that if they tell a lie enough times, that it will become the truth.

  32. ROGER says:

    The C C C & Aecon did a good job of selling themselves to Government. Thus no other companies got to bid on the project :( . There’s a BIG world of workable ideas & contractors out there. Government guaranteed the Bank of Butterfield $200M a few years ago & Butt got it. A similar could have been tried for the Airport.

  33. Tainted or not it is a start….your just upset you didn’t think offit maybe…i for one would appreciate full discloser of proposed plans and structure if possible for perusal….some will always object…we know this …it is our legacy…it is what has always held ourselves from our collective destiny…there is a fellow…a wonderful fellow that you should endeavor to view on utube…his name is rev. Charles…please view;-”cast the first stone”…and he has his signiture song there as well…these will explain my view on this entire fiasco.

  34. Alvin Williams says:

    I once heard that a former Prime Minister disavowed his own opinions he had written in a book about this country’s social history and it’s economic relation with it’s former colonial ruler. I found that hard to believe that a person would actually do that? until I heard this government current finance minister do the exact same thing when he dismiss his own words in the E-mails that were release; Strange; strange and very strange indeed.

  35. Y-Gurl says:

    Sounds like the Digicel BTC deal that went through, tainted from the start…but approved anyway!

  36. Truth and Nothing but the Truth says:

    The PLP are truly out of their depth , because of that all we get from them is BS and more BS !!!

  37. anydeeng says:

    Wow you guys say some harsh things about people you dont know. Grow up a little and help the country a little bit yourself.

    Start acting like a dam citizen rather than an unsatisfied customer. This is your country too.

  38. Me says:

    The pop is tainted with U BP members