PC Response: Minister/CCC/Aecon Conference

May 21, 2015

Following yesterday’s press briefing with Finance Minister Bob Richards and senior executives from the Canadian Commercial Corporation [CCC] and Aecon, the People’s Campaign said the “timing of this press conference and the sudden presence of the parties is more than coincidental considering that in the past when CCC and Aecon perceived the government to be ‘getting hammered’ they tried to form a common front to come to their defense.”

“Much to our disappointment Minister Richards and the Team comprising of Mr. Martin Zablocki, President and CEO of CCC; Mr. John Beck, Executive Chairman of Aecon Group Inc; and Steve Nackan, President of Aecon Concessions made presentations as if they were oblivious to some of the very serious questions that arise from the documents,” the People’s Campaign said.

The full statement from the People’s Campaign is below:

The People’s Campaign for Equality, Jobs, and Justice welcomed the opportunity afforded to the principles of the proposed Airport development to clarify the proposed project that has been shrouded in secrecy and laden with diversionary tactics to avoid answering reasonable and legitimate questions with regard to the process used to put this “deal” together.

On Wednesday May 20th, 2015 Deputy Premier/Minister of Finance Bob Richards held a press conference at the Cabinet office along with Mr. Martin Zablocki, President and CEO of CCC; Mr. John Beck, Executive Chairman of Aecon Group Inc; and Steve Nackan, President of Aecon Concessions, to provide clarity and an update on the Airport development.

To our great disappointment instead of providing clarity and answering many of the questions surrounding this “deal” the principles were silent on the question of how we have gotten to this point.

The timing of this press conference and the sudden presence of the parties is more than coincidental considering that in the past when CCC and Aecon perceived the government to be “getting hammered” they tried to form a common front to come to their defense.

This strategy is supported in the documents and flies in the face of establishing good faith with the people of Bermuda. Current behavior can be informed by past practice on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 following criticism of the government in the press Steve Nackan of Aecon sent the following to the CCC team, “the Government / Minister is getting hammered over all kinds of issues including lack of tender, back room deals, and concerns about corruption…we need to find a way to support them.”

Fullscreen capture 5212015 52248 PM

So, is this latest press conference an attempt to provide cover and support to protect their interests- having already spent a ton of $$ on this deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

It is Minister Richards who has been adamantly reciting the mantra that the model to be used “Demands total transparency adhering to the best international practices.” [Nov. 10th 2014 press conference]

The acquisition and subsequent release of e-mails show that Minister Richards is the only one on the team who may subscribe to such sentiments. The people’s Campaign along with many people throughout Bermuda would have hoped that this was an opportunity for Minister Richards and the “team,” to clarify and lay to rest many of the questions and concerns that have gone unanswered up to this point.

Much to our disappointment Minister Richards and the Team comprising of Mr. Martin Zablocki, President and CEO of CCC; Mr. John Beck, Executive Chairman of Aecon Group Inc; and Steve Nackan, President of Aecon Concessions made presentations as if they were oblivious to some of the very serious questions that arise from the documents.

The first issue that seems to have been glossed over is that for over a year Minister Richards has declared as an absolute, CCC brought Aecon to the project. It is crystal clear that this opinion is not supported by any of the other parties nor by the facts.

Is the Honorable Finance Minister willing to finally acknowledge that it is AECON who has been driving this deal, and in fact initiated contact and brought CCC to the table and not CCC as he has been representing to the country? And if he did not know this, then why didn’t he? Additionally, what role and knowledge did the Minister of Transport have of these events given that they are under his remit?

Martin Zablocki, President and CEO of CCC, stated during their press conference on May 20th, “Aecon brought this project to CCC’s attention after conducting its own due dilligence.” [Bernews May 20th 2014]

This point’s to the question; When Aecon was doing its own due diligence was it operating under the manufactured cover of CCC as reflected in the documents or is this an example of a detail that would be “deemed commercially confidential?” And how does this conform to the, “Demands of total transparency adhering to the best international practices.”

Mr. Zablocki further states, “we [meaning CCC] conducted our own due diligence review of Aecon with respect to the company’s business ethics and managerial, technical, and financial capability to deliver on the contract.”

In the course of “conducting [their] own due diligence” did Aecon supply and or provide CCC with documents to provide “a paper trail” to legitimize their own selection? And was Steve Nackan advised by Wendy Dempsey Assistant General Counsel of CCC to only include responses to questions in the due diligence package that would “support the choice of Aecon.”

These practices do not reflect proper due diligence by either CCC nor by the Bermuda government who seem to have adopted a “stick your head in the sand approach” to this project. We will just stick our head in the sand while you put things together which preserves our right to claim plausible denial with regard to how things have been done and when you have ticked all of our boxes we will pull it out and move forward.

So, rather than clarify the issues, the Minister and his accomplice the Minister of Transport along the other party surrogates, those who speak without even taking the time to read and review documents but speak with as much authority as a whistle in the wind hiding behind the sanctity of the unhallowed walls of the House of Assembly have doubled down on their denials even when the evidence and the Honorable Ministers partners speak contrary to what he has been adamantly saying to the people of Bermuda.

Well Mr. Minister, Mr. Premier and the other paragons of transparency and accountability the people are waiting!

In Solidarity
Representatives of the People’s Campaign
Rev. Nicholas Tweed  |  Jason Hayward  | Chris Furbert

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Comments (71)

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  1. Yawn says:

    Yawn.

    Talk about spinning a story.

    We the people are beginning to think that you don’t want new jobs created in Bermuda–your actions speak so loud I can’t really hear what you are saying.

    Have a Blessed day!

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      Please tell me you’re taking the mickey m8 -
      “We the people are beginning to think that you don’t want new jobs created in Bermuda”

      That is such a load of rubbish :-D

      • Lois Frederick says:

        So you really aren’t as neutral as you say you are. Why not be honest rather than pretending to be something you are not?

        • Jus' Askin' says:

          I am honest and that is why You try to discredit me ;-)
          If You took time to take on what I say, You’ll realize that all I want is a “Better Bermuda for All Bermudians”
          This country will continue to fall because people still do not hold their own parties accountable.
          When challenged the response is “Well UBP did it”, “Well PLP did it” why not challenge your own party and keep them honest ;-)
          We know You are not neutral but that does not matter to me. With all the things OBA has done, just ask yourself, and please be honest with your answer. WHAT IF PLP WAS DOING THE SAME THING? Would You feel the same way about it?

          • Lois Frederick says:

            Don’t believe you. Your comments reveal who you are, whether you admit it or not. I don’t pretend to be neutral. But what I know is that the OBA are trying very hard to get Bermuda out of an impossibly difficult place. Reality will always mean things don’t always go perfectly and real life is messy especially with the financial straight jacket imposed by the former plp government, on Bermuda and the current Government.

            the plp have their very obvious agenda and you are spouting much of their “concerns” regarding the airport, with no balance. The only reason, is to attempt a roadblock on any progress. It won’t happen though. Their hope is to delay and get at minimum, a Swiss Challenge, which would mean adding at least 3 years to the process, as the process would have to restarted. Financing would also come into question, as the big advantage, completely overlooked by those criticising, is the enormous benefit of a guarantee of the project funding by the Canadian Government. Any other bid would not have that element, unless they were a Sovereign State.

            Think about it, the 3 year delay, while clearly delaying job creation would also take it’s construction start date past the next election. The plp have grand delusions of victory and being back in the drivers seat, any reaping the rewards. That is not going to happen. What is going to happen, is what has been proposed, with a start date in a years time. Summer 2016. Creating a significant amount of the jobs that the OBA promised.

            • Jus' Askin' says:

              No doubt You are OBA as You never answer the question(s) asked :-D

              • Lois Frederick says:

                As I already wrote above, I don’t pretend to be neutral – you do. You are only kidding yourself.

                • Jus' Askin' says:

                  I’ll ask again – WHAT IF PLP WAS DOING THE SAME THING? Would You feel the same way about it?

  2. hmmm says:

    Are you questioning Deloitte’s independent review?

    • Jus' Askin' says:

      Deloitte’s independent review of “The One Horse Race” ;-)

      • hmmm says:

        Of the process !

        You really ARE clueless SMDH

    • rhonda says:

      That’s like signing a mou for a Porsche then having Deloitte tell if I am getting a good price for it,that is all well and good.

      What Deloitte is not doing is saying if a Honda Accord can also do the job that we require.

  3. Rev. Tweed please, take a break and get back in the pulpit where you’d been invited to preach the “Word” from and stay out of our/Bermudas politic!

    • Bill Stephens says:

      Amen to that!
      What makes Rev. Tweed an economist or leader on the world stage anyway? All he knows how to do is “spin the word” – opium of the masses..

      • Mockingjay says:

        Dr. E.F. Gordon was a certified doctor who came to Bermuda and saw the injustice being done to the masses and did his due diligence as a Man to right the wrongs, same as Monk who was also a Preacher.
        So instead of addressing the issues why these men are taking a stand you B!@# and complain about their job.
        Keep on their back Tweed, as long as their B!@#ing and complaining you’re doing something right.

        • Ed Case says:

          The point here Mock is that thsi airport requires the talents of financial experts, legal experts, and complex international negotiations. merely believing in a magic man in the sky does not automatically make a person an expert on these fields. We would be foolish to listen to anyone but experts in this.

          Just because Tweed can get your attention with his beliefs does not make it so. If a plumber was shouting about this, would you pay attention, unless he was talking about the airport bathroom?

          Thats the point. I trust the experts, not the man of god and the two union men. They all collect money off of hard working people, with promises.

        • hmmm says:

          Calling people names….I see you found your level.

    • Tough Love says:

      The Bermudian blood in Rev. Tweed allows him to help Bermudians. Since when have ministers ONLY preached the word. For the record, ministers are ther to help the people, that’s what ministry is. Something our politicians could remember as they are heads of ministries.

  4. James says:

    This is one of the most poorly-written press releases I have read in some time. And folks take this group seriously?!

    • Kangoocar says:

      James, I don’t!!! The only thing that comes to my mind when I see a picture of those 3 is, ” the three stooges??” And I move on to other articles!!!!

  5. Terry says:

    Rev. Tweed

    Jason Hayward

    Chris Furbert.

    The Three Horseman.

    Shalom.

    • Yahoo says:

      More like the three stooges.

    • Spongebob says:

      Boggles my mind how you take three men and equate them to the scriptures in the bible.

      Is this the begining of Armageddon? You mean it is starting in Bermuda? Because of this airport issue, it will bring down world governments and the final chapter will begin?

      You place a big burden on a small island that it will cause such mayhem.

  6. Ringmaster says:

    A bunch of people with no experience in the business world taking words out of context and trying to sound important. It’s not surprising “corruption” will appear as the PLP/PC have been accusing the OBA of such. If there is corruption, yes, it should be uncovered and dealt with by the right authorities. However, it is clear the PC/PLP/BIU Combined Opposition are just out to make trouble and are vexed they and some supporters wasted money to send 4 PLP MPs to London to stir up trouble and it backfired. Let’s hear about their trip to London tomorrow in the House. Should be fun.

  7. desmond says:

    I sad d same thing yesterday they didn’t give answers to a lot of revelant questionn mainnly. Lies by. All parties. Minister. Ccc. Jobs. R u serios.

  8. shirley Richardson says:

    For those who don’t want to question the governments motives in this
    debacle It appears to be a lot easier to attack, the leaders of the people’s campaign. Especially the attacks on Rev. Tweed, Bermudian blood runs through this man’s veins, considering the fact that his fathers life was threatened because he stood up for the oppressed people of Bermuda,

    so now his son is doing the same, and he,s being attacked by some folks who don’t care about Bermudians, they only care about trying to cover for a Government who is only interested in the big money people.

    I say shame on those who does not have the backbone to demand that this government live up to their promises of openness, and integrity .

    Now I’ll wait for the haters response.

    • Project Fail says:

      Ms Richardson, just so you know Bermudian blood runs through my veins too! However, unlike Mr. Tweed I have spent my ENTIRE life her in Bermuda living, working, volunteering and contributing to Bermuda! He arrives back on the rock from decades of living and working in the US and UK and is now here preaching about how things should be!? Is he trying to become known for something? Is he trying to be “somebody”? I for one am suspicious of his motive.

    • Ian says:

      Most of these folks try to forget about the God awful legacies they’ve thrived on as a people. A man is only good in their eyes, and hearts, so long has his actions are aligned with their interests. Richards can spin and lie until the cows come home. And they will never batter an eyelash to it. Rev Tweed knows all to well how a certain group on this island think and move to advance themselves. And that ‘bothers’ them.

      • Lois Frederick says:

        Bob Richard’s does not spin and does not lie. He is the antithesis of what a politician has become to be known for. He doesn’t tell people only what they want to hear, as most other politician tend to do. Some people find him condescending. Others find his blunt and straightforward style refreshing, especially after the syrup of the last Finance Minister. With her, everyone was left wondering what she had said after a speech, because it was nonsense, dressed up with flowery ramblings. Bob Richards is a straight shooter and is without doubt, the best Finance Minster Bermuda could ask for in these perilous times.

      • e says:

        Rev Tweed knows all to well how a certain group on this island think and move to advance themselves.
        –Oh yes, no doubt. He neatly encapsulates our national race hustlers (of various stripes) and grievance mongers who love pointing fingers at everyone but themselves for their own personal and political failures.

    • Make my day says:

      A lot of the PRCs the PC group were complaining about also have Bermudian blood in their veins….ironic isn’t it.

    • Zevon says:

      Rev Tweed is not Bermudian. He s an expat. That is a fact.
      The other fact is that the PC is just a mouthpiece of the PLP. It is the mouthpiece for the extreme views of the PLP.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Is this deal the best way to run transparency, no. However, I do agree with Minister Richards approach as he is addressing the immediate needs of Bermuda, and cannot support the PLP/PC collusion as they continue to mislead people by taking truths and spinning them to lies. I will not go too deep, as I have repeatedly highlighted these instance, but will say this; Rev Tweed has shown that he did not come here to stand up for the people, just the PLP. The unions have shown repeatedly that they are more than willing to meddle in our politics for the PLP, and have repeated mislead their own memberships this year alone. The emails they released actually supports the minister and his effort to get Bermuda a good deal on this airport, with the PLP/PC snippets showing that when actually read on a whole, business at that level is tough, hard fought and usually loose with moral behaviour… but so far, no signs of illegal or the collusion the PLP/PC asserted to.
      The minister is doing due diligence, the emails show this, the fact that we have an independent review of the contract shows this and irregardless of whether this had gone out to tender or not, the final say on value will lay with the Design Construction contract. The fact that the PLP/PC mechanism is still harping on about this being an OBA deal to sell out Bermuda (in the face of the fact that this being done to an independent review for value, and being beared to the FCO for their approval) only highlights that they are running this as nothing more than a PLP election smear campaign. Becuase, had positions been reverse, you can be assured, Mr. Bean and his party would have no issue at all, and there wouldn’t be a PC in the face of a PLP government rampant disregard for what is best for the people of Bermuda.
      Finally, the main reason most people have an issue with Rev Tweed, isn’t that he isn’t Bermudian, it’s that he hasn’t lived here and now shows up with a singular sense of polarized social justice. While the issues we face today can be traced from issues of his father’s time here, they are not the same, and many can be tied what the PLP did (or didn’t do) in their years at the helm. He has chosen to back the PLP on political grounds, not social justice.

  9. pot stirer says:

    Half of the peoples campaign are probably unemployed, which is very sad really.
    But I hope you arent the ones rallying with the campaign and this could be helping some of them get employed. Its time for people to put there egos and colours behinds them.
    MAYBE IF ITS A FLOP OR 38 MILLION OVER BUDGET THEN START RALLYING, BUT FOR NOW THINK SENSIBLE!!!!
    Im going for run!!

  10. NCM says:

    This is beyond ridiculous. Pathetic. And an insult to all the people trying to create and provide jobs for Bermudians.

    There’s no smoke and no fire and this group is rubbing two sticks together whilst hiding behind the sanctity of the unhallowed walls of the pulpit and unions.

  11. Lois Frederick says:

    Are they going to be protesting again tomorrow outside the House? Such a worthy cause, getting in the way of jobs and making mountains out of molehills still.

    The email highlighted is a case in point. If they are using that as evidence to strengthen their case, they have no case. It simply states that the Government is facing trumped up accusations by objectors and they need to respond accordingly. That email does not incriminate anyone. This is a campaign of misinformation that has no teeth and most see right through it.

  12. Coffee says:

    London will investigate .

    • jt says:

      I look forward to a full and detailed report from the PLP on their trip to London.

      • The only two walking together from the Customs Hall and Immigration this evening,(after British Airway landed)that I’d witnessed while there meeting our houseguest were; Leader of the Progressive Labour Party Mr.Marc Bean and Shadow Minister Mike Scott. The other two, Mr.Zane DeSilva and Mr. Walton Brown both exited the facility separately…And, by the way, there hadn’t been any Progressive Labour Party supporters rallying around the airport nor anyone from that “bull-crap” group calling themselves,the People’s Campaign.

  13. Terry says:

    Irony is ‘Ringmaster’ they are being fed by the ones that have lost the ‘trough’ per sey.

    Evil hands are at work here.

    And no Beyoncé is not coming.

    Shalom.

  14. kangoocar says:

    I just have to wonder when the ” three stooges ” will ever get tired of listening to themselves??? Give it a rest already??? While these three continueously spew their nonsense, the rest of us go getters are taking advantage of what the OBA has put in place!!! I have always inspite of the plp been lucky with my business ( through hard work ) but have seen a very large uptick in the last two to three months which has lead me to hire a new trainee!! The OBA needs to ignore this nonsense and get the Airport built and keep doing what they are doing with everything else!!!

    • Project Fail says:

      Curly said ….Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck.

  15. Common Sense says:

    Where were the PC during the misuse of the People’s money by the PLP, when the real damage to our economy was being done. If they cared about the people, and not the PLP, they would have been shouting from the rooftops.

    • shirley Richardson says:

      No surprise at all, This issue is not about the PLP or the PC it’s
      about selling our airport to some company, who will make a ton of money off of the people’s assets. It’s about not going through the proper tendering process.

      If one continue to ignore those emails from the Pati office in Canada, as made up documents from the PC, then all I can say is this old saying from back in the day,

      ” COMMON SENSE AIN’T COMMON NO MORE”.

      • Kangoocar says:

        Shirley, you would be taken more seriously if you displayed this same outrage when YOUR plp allowed the bank of BDA to sell out to HSBC!!! Our BIGGEST bank and you somehow had nothing to say about it??? Your comments are welcomed!!!!

      • Zevon says:

        There you go again. No one is “selling the airport”.

        • Ringmaster says:

          What has caused the present administration to take a different approach is the $150,000,000 every year sent out of the Island to pay Bermuda’s debt, racked up since 2007. That $150 million could be used to rebuild the infrastructure that has been allowed to rot away including the Causeway. Instead, the peoples’ assets being Bermuda itself, was sold off.

        • johnny says:

          You are absolutely right, if we were selling the airport, we would actually get money for it. We are actually giving it away.

      • Franklin Jr says:

        To say a sheep has 5 legs does not make it so

      • Sandgrownan says:

        You clearly can’t read

  16. Trulytruly says:

    I really think Rev Tweed needs to reflect on what he wants his legacy to be. I see his association with this group as a way to emulate or reach to the level of his father in relation to the theatre boycott back in the day. That was a just cause, this campaign is not. It is an embarrassment. When will Rev Tweed realise that and let the other chief members continue on with their not so hidden agenda.

  17. Coffee says:

    London’s on the case .

    • Zevon says:

      There’s no “case” to be on. Their making themselves look like idiots.

    • Kangoocar says:

      Coffee, no they are not!! They gave the 4 stooges/plp reps a Union Jack pin to attach to their jackets ( which they won’t ) and told them to go back home!!! I just wish bermuda was not their home??

      • Mixitup says:

        “I just wish Bermuda was not their home?” Are you serious? I would love to see you proclaim your wish on the steps of city hall for all to see… Nahh you’ll never be that silly now would you?

    • Confused says:

      Coffee – London’s on the case of your hero Brown also!

  18. Coffee says:

    Bobs got some answering to do .

  19. Wait your turn says:

    Wait until we uncover all the PLP emails via PATI. I swear to Jah you lot represent the opposition and not Bermuda as a whole.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      That’s why PATI was delayed for so long.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      You think they left any behind, what do you think they were doing as soon as they lost the election.

    • rhonda says:

      If every plper went to jail, does that exonerate, the oba from doing some of the same things the plp was accused of doing.

  20. Zaob Yob says:

    So, the timing of the OBA’s news conference was some kind of an underhanded coincidence! And I suppose that the PC’s sudden presentation of contrived e-mails immediately before the re-convening of Parliament wasn’t? And don’t get me started about the simultaneous and highly questionable poll by Cordell Riley of 407 loyal PLP supporters.

  21. Never Never says:

    You people are funny as hell you know things aren’t right but instead of taking a moment to pause and think you attack the People Campaign for calling out their bull SMH don’t worry everything will come to light even if Bob gets his brand new airport. Lol hahahahaha

    • Kangoocar says:

      @never never, and for your enjoyment, the name of OUR new airport should be ” Bob Richards Int!! “

  22. Just a matter of time says:

    So it really doesn’t matter HOW we get the jobs, so long as we get them by any questionable means right? We get jobs but process be damned! It’s like selling your soul. OBA really didn’t expect this reaction from the people. They really think Bermudians are stupid and come out with every diversionary tactic there is: the Deloitte review of….whatever, the tri-partnership of CCC/Aecon/Somers hatched from the very beginning with no bid, shrouded press statements by the major players which only made matters worse in my opinion. And CCC now saying how they always have their own ‘team’ but will look at Bermuda’s existing skill sets. Ahhh. Here it comes. Suddenly those jobs don’t sound quite as plentiful. Tell me now after all of this. Is proper process a thing of the past now with this Government? Because after this, anything goes.

  23. Never Never says:

    @ Kangoocar we already know that you wish a certain group was not home to Bermuda.

    So you and people who think like you can do what you always have done no surprise there it doesn’t matter to me what the name of the airport is but it does to you apparently lol hahahahaha your showing your a@@ again SMH.

    What a joke when are you leaving it’s been at least 2 years now that you said you’re leaving unlike you I have the right connection to Bermuda not just what I can take from Bermuda and its people.

  24. huh says:

    Much ado about nothing

  25. clearasmud says:

    It is a shame that Everyday people come on here and attack people who dont agree with them. Because of the blatent respect that they show for each other the real issues get lost.
    I dont think Minister Richards has been as transparent as he could be because that review was limited to assessing the methodology of the P3 funding. Deloitte only do what is asked of them.
    What is not clear is whether the minister was aware that a second Canadian company that also has P3 experience had contacted CCC to express their interest. This information can be found in the emails where the company that built the Bahamas airport asked CCC how they could get involved. At a minimum we may have been able to determine if they could do better than Aecon.

  26. AS YOU ARE says:

    I think they went looking for the cedar! HEY AFTER ALL WE FOUND THE LIMESTONE:)

  27. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    if these three clowns would even PRETEND to be as zealous and active in their supposed quest of caring about “the people” by putting as much energy into investigating the mismanagement and huge overspends and huge unaccounted for sums the people’s money I might BE TEMPTED to listen to them – their bias and real agenda is so evident and showing however it is laughable. The only people they are fooling is themselves. What worse they beileve their own PR!!

  28. Gombey Liberation Partier says:

    So many of you disagree with the PC when they point out that the process to insure that Bermuda got the best deal for a new airport was not followed, but do you agree with John Barritt when he said the same thing and that it should be put out to tender?