Minister: Stone Removal From Blackwatch Pass

May 15, 2015

[Updated] Speaking in the House of Assembly today [May 15], Minister of Public Works Craig Cannonier provided an overview of the circumstances surrounding the removal of the stone wall at Blackwatch Pass.

The Minister said, “In recent weeks there has been much media attention concerning the removal of a stone wall at the Blackwatch Pass junction improvement project that is being carried out by the Ministry of Public Works.

“I can inform this Honourable House that all the stone had been returned to the Government Quarry by Friday 8th May 2015. I would like to stress that the value of the stone wall as rubble fill material has been estimated to be worth $875.00.

april-Bermuda-Stone-3

Minister Cannonier added, “I received a request for permission to remove the stone on the evening of Friday 10th April 2015. I contacted the Principal Highways Engineer on the morning of Monday 13th April 2015 to discuss the request only to find out that the stone had already been removed over the weekend.

“It is alleged that consent to remove the stone had been given by one of the site team. I made it clear that this situation was unacceptable as this did not comply with Financial Instructions. The police were contacted for advice on how to proceed where it had appeared that the stone might have been removed following verbal consent from a Ministry employee.

Update: Audio of Minister Cannonier speaking with Bernews about matter outside the House today

“The Police’s advice was that if there had been no criminal intent then it would be a Ministry matter rather than something that the police would get involved with. The Ministry contacted the party who had made the email request on the Friday evening and it was confirmed that he had removed the stone.

“No Ministry employee was working on site either Saturday 10th April or Sunday 11th April 2015,” the Minister noted.

There was also an exchange surrounding Minister Cannonier’s knowledge of a PATI request submitted by MP Walton Brown over this, and we will have coverage of that later. [Update: That story is posted here]

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, in recent weeks there has been much media attention concerning the removal of a stone wall at the Blackwatch Pass junction improvement project that is being carried out by the Ministry of Public Works. I can inform this Honourable House that all the stone had been returned to the Government Quarry by Friday 8th May 2015. I would like to stress that the value of the stone wall as rubble fill material has been estimated to be worth $875.00.

Mr Speaker, I received a request for permission to remove the stone on the evening of Friday 10th April 2015. I contacted the Principal Highways Engineer on the morning of Monday 13th April 2015 to discuss the request only to find out that the stone had already been removed over the weekend. It is alleged that consent to remove the stone had been given by one of the site team. I made it clear that this situation was unacceptable as this did not comply with Financial Instructions. The police were contacted for advice on how to proceed where it had appeared that the stone might have been removed following verbal consent from a Ministry employee. The Police’s advice was that if there had been no criminal intent then it would be a Ministry matter rather than something that the police would get involved with. The Ministry contacted the party who had made the email request on the Friday evening and it was confirmed that he had removed the stone.

Mr Speaker no Ministry employee was working on site either Saturday 10th April or Sunday 11th April 2015.

Mr Speaker, on another issue I am pleased to be able to report that all repair work to the property at 6 Perimeter Lane will be complete by 22nd May 2015. This will enable the tenant to move back into the property. This Honourable House might recall the devastation caused to 6 Perimeter Lane following the storms on 14th February 2014. This resulted in both the owner and the tenants having to be rehoused in property belonging to the Bermuda Housing Corporation. A substantial amount of renovation has been required to make the property habitable again. I wish to thank the owner and the tenants for their patience in what has been a long drawn out process for them.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Works and Engineering team for the very quick repair of the wall on South Road just east of the Paget Lights. The existing wall supporting the road had failed which meant that there was a very high risk that the adjacent section of road itself would have also collapsed. Repair work started on Friday 1st May 2015 and even though it had been estimated that work could take up to a week, everything was complete by the evening of Sunday 3rd May 2015. This is an extremely commendable effort and helped to keep disruption to the travelling public to an absolute minimum for which we are all very thankful.

Thank you Mr. Speaker

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Comments (21)

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  1. The Dark Knight Returns says:

    I just do not understand, so this MP is good enough to be a Minister but not good enough to be Premier.

  2. Cedar says:

    All this for stone, yet still no answers on the cedar.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I know, it is a sign of serious hypocrisy that Mr. Brown would make such a huge ordeal about rubble, but has done nothing to get to the bottom of where valuable cedar went under his own parties watch. Where are the email records for this incident?

  3. Great reading such “inspiring reports”. Yet Minister Craig Cannonier sir, we all would appreciate hearing / seeing further work done along Palmetto Rd / Marsh Folly so as the residents can feel more comfortable as will the public that commutes to and fro via this throughway…

  4. ann says:

    will sleep tonight knowing the $875.00 worth of rubble is back where it belongs. Please PLP I need something to laugh at you for next week!!!!

    • Scoalsy says:

      Has the missing cedar from the St Georges post office been returned? or better yet will it ever be returned!!!!

  5. Be Realistic says:

    Well thank goodness we have finally got to the bottom of this, what shall we call it..STONEGATE…what a relief…..seriously..

  6. Micro says:

    Two Bermuda cedars were removed from Botanical gardens recently; they had been blown over in Fey. One definitely could’ve been stood back up as it was doing quite well laying on its side, the other had dried out, but it too likely could’ve been saved had it been stood back up months ago. They were not very big trees and easily could’ve been stood back up by hand.

    I’m quite certain that wood didn’t make it to the dump, I’m also certain it didn’t make it back to the quarry for use in public works projects.

  7. clearasmud says:

    I dont understand why the minister did not forward this email request to the PS who is the proper person to deal with this type of issue? Shouldn’t a former Premier know how government is susposed to work?

    • Mockingjay says:

      Should is the key word.

    • Hi-Lite says:

      PMSL!!! Do you know the W&E PS???? She would not have even got around to reading the email yet.

    • WHAT says:

      Now you understand why he got fired as the Premier!! He should have went through the PS.

    • Project Fail says:

      Timing..this all took place on a Friday and was supossed to be dealt with on Monday, but the stone was removed on the weekend.

  8. Coffee says:

    Craig would rather resign then admit to wrongdoing … Check his record !

  9. Tom Cooke says:

    Rubble…..

  10. Northshore says:

    I saw that stone and someone would have to pay me to take that “TRASH” because that is what it was “TRASH” So to all of you who didn`t see this “TRASH” “SHUT UP” !!!!! Idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Kettle or pot says:

    Make sure Mr,Brown knows where all the trash and leaves that are picked up along the road side are going..

  12. Stumped says:

    Talk about a waste of time by all on this matter. Do you know how much you are paying govt workers to collect load and store this bit of trash. Have you thought of the peoples money being spent in the offices and yards dealing and writing and managing a load a rubble. Some times we don’t take the time to count the real cost and we complain about budget over runs and spending. The govt continues to pay for a load a rubble wow. This is what your tax is being paid for OK

  13. And to think…we thought we would have to pay to have this removed….and wasn’t it ruddy decent of our wonderful Govenor to provide us with so much land to provide the people with safe passage….you gottah love this guy…did any o’you ingrates say thank you?