Video: Finance Minister On Aecon/CCC Deal

May 13, 2015

“The notion that somehow we were doing some sort of deal with Aecon before we met and dealt with CCC is nonsense” and the “idea that somehow we had some sort of plot or collusion is ludicrous,” Finance Minister Bob Richards said today [May 13], adding that “there is nothing that we have done that has not been according to the book.”

Background

In November 2014, Minister Richards announced that Government reached an agreement with Canadian Commercial Corporation [CCC] for the construction of a new purpose built airport terminal building, which would cost in the “range of $200 million.”

Speaking at a press conference at that time, Minister Richards said, “Having carefully considered all its options, Government has decided to avail itself of a novel procurement model offered by way of an arrangement with the CCC.”

Minister Richards added, “CCC will select a Canadian developer from its already pre-selected stable of Canadian firms. This company will enter into a contract and Concession Agreement with the Bermuda Airport Authority to develop and manage the project.”

The agreement has been strongly criticised by the Opposition over the past few months, who said, “Bermuda deserves better than privatisation through the back door without a tender process.”

“The fact that the OBA Cabinet is willing to forgo over $1 billion of future revenues without a fair, open, and transparent tender process is a slap in the face to good governance,” the PLP have said.

Documents Released

In a statement yesterday, the People’s Campaign said they have  ”documents that reveal the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, have played active roles in a plot that will give hundreds of millions of dollars in Government revenues and operational control” of the airport to Aecon Concessions. The documents can be found online at Airportemails.tumblr.com.

There are over 2,000 pages of emails and 42 extracts posted on the Tumblr website, which the People’s Campaign said were received as a result of an Access to Information request made to the Canadian Government. No one involved — Aecon, CCC or the Government — have denied their authenticity.

The emails cover months of correspondence, and show Aecon approaching CCC about the airport which they said “would be similar to the Cayman Islands” adding that the “intent is to privatize the airport operation.”

They go on to discuss many other matters, with Steve Nackan of Aecon emailing CCC to say that AECON can “generate a list of questions” using the “same stuff we generated for Cayman” and suggests “maybe we get some of those questions planted”.

In December 2014, Mr Nackan mentions that his “team” attended the PLP Town Hall on the matter, and emailed through a report about it, which said a “focused communications strategy is in order to counter the opposition…”

Screenshot of one of the emails, which shows Aecon talking about the “CCC cover”

wendy dempsey Bermuda Mou

In an email sent in November 2014, Minister Richards, when sending a statement via email, said “I’ve fuzzied up the no new debt part in view of the funding gap,” and he explained the use of that term today.

People’s Campaign To Hold Town Hall & March

The People’s Campaign will be holding a town hall meeting on Thursday [May 14] at 5:30 at St. Paul’s Centennial Hall, and are also “calling upon all Bermudians to make their voices heard” on Friday [May 15] at 9am at the House of Assembly “demanding that all persons involved be held fully accountable.”

CCC Responds

In response to questions, CCC President and CEO Martin Zablocki confirmed that Aecon “alerted” them to the opportunity, saying that that CCC “through discussions with Aecon was alerted to the exciting opportunity to redevelop” the airport.

Mr Zablocki said, “The Canadian Commercial Corporation [CCC], a Canadian Crown corporation, through discussions with Aecon was alerted to the exciting opportunity to redevelop the L.F. Wade International Airport.

“As standard procedure when opportunities are identified in this way, CCC assessed the viability of the project with the Government of Bermuda to ensure that it was a good fit for this unique contracting approach. CCC also ensured that the supplier had the ability to successfully pass its rigorous due diligence process, including an integrity compliance review by a committee within CCC and an assessment of the supplier’s technical, managerial and financial capability.

“As a past supplier on a similar project, CCC was aware that Aecon has substantial experience and a strong track record in developing, financing and operating transportation infrastructure projects in Canada and globally. CCC stands by its decision to work with Aecon as the prime Canadian sub-contractor to CCC in support of the Bermuda Government’s aim to solve the complex challenge to deliver a first tier airport.

“CCC is committed to the highest standards of bilateral cooperation and ethical business practices with regard to the development of this project and looks forward to working together with the Government of Bermuda on a tailor-made solution to the pressing need to redevelop the L.F. Wade International Airport.”

Bernews also attempted to get comment from Aecon, however we have not received a response as of this time.

Finance Minister’s Comments

Speaking with Bernews today, the Minister said, “First let me say, I take any statements by anybody that impugns my integrity or impugns the integrity of this government – I take such statements seriously.

“And so it’s very important that I set the record straight personally, as opposed to sending by email, so that people can know exactly what the facts are and what we are trying to achieve.

“I think the most important thing here is to re-emphasize the fact that the Government of Bermuda had a meeting with CCC in Toronto on the 4th of June last year. The delegation consisted of myself, the Attorney-General, the Financial Secretary, and the Director of Airport Operations.

“We went to meet CCC and Aecon were there, and also a gentleman from the airport in Quito, Ecuador….a country that used Aecon in the past. The meeting was held in the office of CIBC in Toronto, who are our financial advisers on this project.

“I think I saw an email that we met at Aecon’s office – that’s not true, we met at CIBCs office.

“At that meeting, that was the first time I had ever met Steve Nackan, I never met him before. It was the first time I have ever met Don Olson, the Marketing Director from CCC. I had never even heard of Aecon before May 2014, and the only reason I heard of them is because we were organizing this meeting.

“So, the notion that somehow we were doing some sort of deal with Aecon before we met and dealt with CCC is nonsense.”

Video of the Minister’s remarks [apologies for the low audio!]

Minister Richards said, “I became aware of this model of financing and development towards the end of April from our financial adviser, and I thought that it could be useful to Bermuda because it will enable us to build a new airport, create a few hundred jobs. What’s wrong with that? Creating a few hundred jobs? And not increasing government debt at the same time and having the project be guaranteed not to have overruns. Those were the things that were really attractive to me because of our financial situation.

“One of the emails that I read said that the Minister of Finance was intrigued; he sure was, because it was something that was a way for us to create these jobs. It was a way for us to help to redevelop Bermuda. It was a way for us to reduce the risk of being cut off from the world because of hurricanes. It was the way for us to do all of that without increasing the government debt, which is already way too high.

“So yeah, I was intrigued. So we were introduced to Aecon at that meeting. I had never had any contact with that corporation…didn’t even know they existed in April.

“So the idea that somehow we had some sort of plot or collusion is ludicrous, quite frankly, and it’s really a desperate attempt of what I call the ‘combined opposition’ to try to throw mud on the efforts of this government to move Bermuda forward.

“It’s really pathetic and sad that the efforts to create hundreds of jobs for Bermuda…this attempt to thwart that by throwing mud on our efforts to do that.

“Let me be clear, when I stated in Parliament that CCC introduced Aecon to us, that’s exactly how it happened. We went to a meeting – an official delegation of this government – and we met CCC for the first time and we met Aecon for the first time.

“That was how it happened, so my statement to the Parliament was 100% correct, because CCC are providing these guarantees,so the notion of somehow CCC being a front for Aecon is absurd.

“CCC are 100% owned by the government of Canada – how can a government agency be a front? It’s nonsense, particularly in the structure of this deal, that they are guaranteeing to us that this project is delivered on time and on budget.

“So if Aecon go and blow their budget, CCC has got to pay, and that will be part of the contract. So clearly, that’s not a front. That is providing an important part of the risk mitigation that we have in this project. I want to be clear on that.

Minister Richards added, “If anyone can show that there’s any email from ‘yours truly’ before that meeting of June 4, 2014, they got something to show – because there is no email, because I didn’t know these people, and I was head of delegation on that, because the airport deal is all about the finance.

“Normally an airport deal would be the Minister of Transport, but it’s all about the finance here. So I was heading up this delegation, and we met them for the first time. So there’s no communication between me and Aecon before that meeting.

Minister | Email Reference To Privatization

The Minister said, “There was some email about privatization – just because somebody says – it wasn’t me, it wasn’t anybody from the Bermuda government – that said this is privatization, because someone said it doesn’t make it so.

“I have said all along that this is a partnership, not that dissimilar from the one that the former government made for the new hospital wing…not that dissimilar.”

Minister | ‘Fuzzied Up’

Speaking about his email that said, “I’ve fuzzied up the no new debt part in view of the funding gap,” the Minister said, “I used, in an email that I did send, something about fuzzying up numbers.

“That, perhaps, is a loose term, but what I was talking about is that this spending gap that we thought we had at the time – we didn’t know how much it was.

“I didn’t know the dollar figure; we had a lot of moving parts going on at the time. So I could not be definitive about what that gap was, so I had to make a statement that wasn’t definitive.

“I like to be definitive – people who know me realize that I like to be definitive, like I’m being definitive here with you this morning. But I was not able to be definitive at that time because we didn’t exactly know what the numbers were – things were in motion at the time and, quite frankly, they still are; to a lesser extent, but they still are.”

Minister | Does The Minister Have Concerns Over Aecon Contacting CCC

When asked if he had any concern over how the offer came into play, with Aecon contacting CCC, the Minister told Bernews, “No. I had made a statement in Parliament, the budget statement about some of the intentions of this government.

“And one of them was to have a P3 project to redevelop the airport. So, I told the world that this was the intention of the government, to redevelop the airport on a private-public partnership basis.

“Now on any good company that’s in that business would have picked that up and said ‘Hey, there is an opportunity, perhaps and opportunity out there for us to participate in this.’ So if Aecon contacted CCC, they are just being good business people. The point is that nobody in this government contacted Aecon. That’s the point.

“And we would have not talking to Aecon unless it was part of this CCC-based model which provided us with those guarantees, because we wouldn’t be making a deal with Aecon if we didn’t have those guarantees and if we had to borrow money to do it. Because I had stated right of the bat that we are not going to borrow money to do this.

“So we found a model to satisfy all those criteria. So, if Aecon saw that there was an opportunity there and contacted CCC, that’s their business. That most important point is that the government of Bermuda didn’t approach Aecon.

Minister | How Close Is Deal To Be Closed

When asked how close the deal is to being closed, the Minister said, “I’m not sure, but I am hoping we are close.”

Minister | Closing Words

In wrapping up his statement, the Minister said, “I think the people of Bermuda need to focus on what we are doing here.

“What we are doing is trying to create hundreds of job opportunities for Bermudians, to provide new infrastructure without increasing the government debt and with guarantees against overruns.

“It’s a unique model and we have proceeded to try to negotiate with the players, all above board, all according to the book. That’s what Bermudians need to know….there is nothing that we have done that has not been according to the book.”

Update 2.42pm: The PLP is presently holding a press conference on this matter, and we will post another story with their statement later today.

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Comments (82)

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  1. NCM says:

    Thank you, Minister Richards. Will the People’s Campaign now retract their accusations of corruption, collusion etc?

    • Mockingjay says:

      Too late Sponge Bob aka Fuzzie Bear.

    • Don’t hold your breath :-(
      Tomorrow they will be parading outside the Government building making fools of themselves. Why? because they’re the ones “who can’t see the trees for the forest”.

      • I see we just may have more rain today,(5/14/15) :-( In the event it does rain, how many are coming out to oppose “progress”?

        • Mockingjay says:

          Easy Stormin Norman, de wheels are in motion just sit back, relax and see how our Forefathers showed us how its done.
          Opposing Lies.

          • “Mochingjay” There’s one extremely important fact you and a few others fail to accept it’s
            that the One Bermuda Alliance are Government
            for now a least. In other words they’ll have the majority of votes…

    • RU Kidding says:

      Minister Richards – as a note, when you are in a hole, stop digging!

      “The notion that somehow we were doing some sort of deal with Aecon before we met and dealt with CCC is nonsense” and the “idea that somehow we had some sort of plot or collusion is ludicrous,” Finance Minister Bob Richards said today [May 13], adding that “there is nothing that we have done that has not been according to the book.”

      1) The emails show that Aecon started this deal and that the deal has always been with and for them.
      2) Maybe no plot, but you’ve been communicating with Aecon for some time!
      3) What book is that? Not financial instructions! Maybe you have your own book?

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Yes the emails show that the deal was being lead by Aecon, this is because Aecon presented the opportunity to CCC and CCC allowed Aecon to take the lead, keeping them abreast of the developments and ensuring that CCC was at any high level meetings. At no point do they say that this was the done deal the PLP make it out as, or that Aecon had full control of the deal, in fact they show that CCC legal team was keeping on top of Aecon and responsible for the legal dealings.

        • Well there’s one thing many have right, “it’s a done deal” and that be that. Of course, unless England has something to say.

    • Rhonda says:

      I looked up Fuzzied up the numbers as MoF, stated it was an approved accounting term, here is what I found…

      Definition of
      fuzzy accounting
      Accounting
      accounting practices that mislead investors
      company accounting practices designed to inflate earnings or earnings estimates in order to attract investors

  2. Chris Notorius says:

    Note to People’s Complainers:

    1. Move onto your next anti OBA project.

    2. Ditch the church guy – he’s not helping your cause.

    • Political roar says:

      On point 2. it’s interesting that a non-Bermudian can be so high up in the ranks yet they only call on Bermudians to march.

      • Mokingjay says:

        Yup, and thank God for Dr. E. F. Gordon, he was Trinidadian and look at the contribution he made to Bermuda and the Racist Oligarchy had the same sentiments as you.
        Well then again History ALWAYS repeats itself.

  3. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Bernews, I can’t hear a word the Minister is saying and I have my speakers up to the maximum.

    • Bernews says:

      @Ms Furbert, yes the video audio is not good at all, sorry about that!

      We had a timing issue and our cameraman couldn’t edit it to late tonight, so I did it..and clearly this did not end well, I think I messed up the audio setting. I will try and get our cameraman to to a better version later if he has time! However that said, the vast majority of the Minister’s comments are above in text form.

      Patricia

      • Lois Frederick says:

        It is perfectly listenable at my end. Can hear everything clearly. Some hiss, nothing more.

      • @ LaVerne Furbert: Now really, would it have made any difference to you hearing the conversation? Your views would still remain the same, “lopsided” :-(

    • Chris Notorius says:

      Quick summary for you Ms Furbert:

      All the claims the People’s Complainers made were total and complete BS.

      The church guy did not help at all – that was clearly a big mistake. Even stupid people would know he was foreign.

      They have no reason to hold a march now or a tarn hall meet’n – but I expect they will to try and rally the masses into hysteria as usual.

      • Sickofantz says:

        Another Bermudian Foreign Hater.

        • Christopher Notorius says:

          I would comment if your comment made any sense at all. As it is it could mean a Bermudian hater of foreign people, or a foreign hater of Bermudians. You aren’t in the least bit clear.

          Perhaps you have a future in politics.

      • Mokingjay says:

        I just love when the people get the wake up call, could have just imagined how my Forefathers resisted the powers that be at that time and see how the perpetrators and their minions squirm and moan.
        Priceless

    • Sakina R says:

      Don’t worry, you wont like to hear what he has to say anyway LOL.. another PLP/PC non issue!

    • jt says:

      No doubt.

    • Zario says:

      I heard the minister fine. I could not hear the questions though.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      It is a sinister plot to keep you out of the loop. All of the OBA supporters can hear just fine.

      The OBA has supreme control of the internet & has the power to filter who can or cannot hear content.

      • Mokingjay says:

        That’s the ideology of U.B.P./oba and their minions, supreme control and power but the People United will never be defeated, we are Resilient and Mighty, we proved that coming across the Middle Passage !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • You R-A-Fing dreamer! whoever it is you are that’s hiding behind a pseudonym. Are you also afraid to sign your birth give name? :-(

  4. Ryan says:

    I believe there are later emails that address the “cover” reference, which may be important to include for context.

  5. stunned... says:

    as someone said, “move along folks, nothing to see here…”

    the corruption, collusion are all wannabe activities that the (some)PC had hoped to find. try harder next time. agreed, get rid of Al Sharpton wannabe. surely there is a well qualified Bermudian for that job, right bro Chris?????

    • Mokingjay says:

      I like when the Tea Partyers get mad, same scenario when Dr. Gordon and them went through.
      The more things change the more they stay the same.

  6. aceboy says:

    They are going to march again?

    Pfffft.

    Go back to where you came from Tweed and stop agitating on behalf of the PLP and BIU.

    Ridiculous. The PC do not represent very many Bermudians at all. They need a name change.

    • stunned... says:

      i propose SPC – Some People’s Campaign

  7. aceboy says:

    Millions missing from Port Royal and you jokers are marching about a non issue.

    Priorities are way out of whack.

    • Unbelievable says:

      It’s cuz the People’s Campaign don’t have the nerve to actually criticise the PLP. It’s all intertwined anyway – the PC/PLP/BIU. It’s all the same organisation.

      The OBA is doing stuff that the PLP didn’t actually do when they were Govt and that angers those who naturally oppose the OBA.

    • stunned... says:

      ACEBOY – re millions of missing $:

      simple explanation:
      * monies were spent without any oversight by the ministry of finance
      * monies were spent because of a manadate allegedly given to the board by the then premier and minister of tourism to produce a golf course suitable for the PGA tournament
      * one of the board members said that they did not concern themselves with the accounting details
      * the auditor general is still awaiting to take sight of transactions, reports etc and until then cannot make a determination as to where the funds went
      * notwithstanding the above, the board members offered that some of the budget overruns were used to prop up the poorly performing golf courses, namely, ocean view and st. george’s club.

      im afraid i don’t anticipate any new information coming out of future PAC meetings on the topicbut i would like to be pleasantly surprised.

    • Richard says:

      Tit for Tat is not the answer here folks.

  8. Unbelievable says:

    haha the People’s Campaign is now part of the “Combined Opposition”.

    I can’t wait for the new airport to open.

  9. Chris Notorius says:

    It was clear from the start why the two Union leaders want to kill the airport deal – it will seriously reduce their income.

    But including a foreigner on a Grassroots Bermudians PLP group?

    That is just Tweedledum.

  10. Chris Notorius says:

    People’s Complainers Meeting, May 13th 2015.

    #1 “So you guys, what we gonna complain about next”?

    #2 “We need something even more embarrassing – to make us look like real fools.”

    #1 “But we already look like real fools.”

    #2 “I know but if we cause another pointless distraction people will forget this disaster and move onto the next one.”

    #1 “Good point – let’s complain about foreigners – that’s always a good one.”

    #2 “That ain’t goona work you fool. We’d need a Bermudian spokesman?”

  11. Just a matter of time says:

    Should we be dealing with a company who is: 1) the potential contractor (Aecon) who conveniently has Bda contractor connections and 2) on July 3, 2014 admits to attempting to use an identification other than their own, e.g. asking CCC, a Canadian Govt agency to use the CCC logo as a “cover” to mask their own identity solely just for their own agenda? All the while operating in an environment composing of ‘back channels’? Why the deception? Aecon actually wanted to POSE AS ANOTHER COMPANY by making the suggestion to state “We are the CCC team” in their correspondence! This sounds desperate. This appears to be an attempt to collude. Auditors would jump all over this in a heartbeat in their attempts to properly establish 3rd party players. How is this not being misleading ultimately to the people of Bermuda?? The emails do not show CCC’s response to Aecon unless I missed it. Remember this company has Bermuda contractor connections which already shows a conflict of interest from the start. Wake up people!

    Can’t the Minister create jobs another way other than being mixed up with this? Or at least conduct a proper tendering process to clean up this mess. I wouldn’t want to touch this with a ten foot pole. Let’s start over. Bermuda cannot afford to get mired with this controversial project any longer as this matter is being seen by many overseas. Minister, our reputation is at stake here if this continues.

    • stunned... says:

      have to agree in part.

      let’s start again – put it out to tender, see what interest is out there. if after review aecon is still the front runner, then forward on. it will at least put to rest the appearance of corruption, back channel deals, collusion etc. having said that the SPC – Some People’s Campaign/others will still subscribe to conspiracy theories.

    • Better Bermuda for All says:

      yea yea yea…..can’t the Minister create jobs another way…seriously??? He’s CREATING JOBS which is a good thing. “The PLP would rather burn the whole thing down if it meant they could be king of the ashes”

  12. Sickofantz says:

    What an intelligent eloquent and well meaning man. I apologise to you Mr Richards yesterday (on the strength of a show) I thought that you had mislead the people. Now I see how wrong I was to jump to inaccurate conclusions. Thank you Sir for your service to Bermuda and it’s people.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Be careful who you listen to from now on…

  13. Devonshire says:

    After watching the People’s Campaign show I was left in no doubt as to their true political motives. They have no credibility now.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Hoisted on their own petards with this one. Fools.

  14. Alvin Williams says:

    This will not cost Bermuda a penny hey? This is not foreign aid given to Bermuda by Canada. It it were not resting on potential economic benefit for the Canadians; they would be no where in sight. Canadians already own and control large areas of our economy car sales supermarkets. Why are we going to give them our one and only national Airport?

    • Bermuda Jake says:

      We are not giving them the Airport. We are not selling them the Airport. They are leasing the Airport, following which, we own it. The Bermuda Housing Corporation used to do this with derelict homes. Pay to have them fixed, rent them out until the renovations were paid for and then return them to their owners. It’s really that simple.

      • frank says:

        30+ years is a long time this whole deal needs to be stopped and put out to tender
        It is clear that something was not done above board.
        And if this is proven than the minister needs to step down.

        • I’ll repeat myself once again.
          Come, come now; who has the money,(locally)that are willing to front the Government? The P3 plan is a win-win plan…The monies required to build a new and improved airport will not come from the Government nor our pockets. C.C.C. take on all responsibilities e.g. maintenance and wages, etc. They will take a percentage of income to help maintain the airport and a portion to go towards them being reimbursed, and yes, we too will collect a portion but after them 30 odd years we receive a new and improved airport that has been kept up over them years at no expense to our government,(no-matter who that’ll be)nor you or I will spend “Jack”. So what’s all the ra-ra about?

  15. Rossy says:

    Suddenly from “People Campaign” to “People Crap-pain”

  16. Smh says:

    Fuzzied up is a slick way of saying I hid the truth from the ppl…who the flipping hell gives BOB RICHARDS the RIGHT to Fuzzy up anything!!!??? If you oba ppl are cool with that cool then that shows your character, you are all wicked and nasty ppl! You talk about the PLP, but the reason the plp lost is because a large group of their supporters didn’t vote because they felt as tho the plp had lost its way, that’s why they lost! Because the ppl said no more! So all this politcal loyalist arguing is irrelevant because the only group that has proving it doesn’t care about party politics, they only care about right and wrong are the plp voters that didn’t vote! All you die hard UBP/oba ppl are nasty! You vote in block form you don’t care about right or wrong just as long as the plp don’t get in…but don’t you see that most ppl don’t care? They only want what’s right! And these documents prove that what Bob richards done which was “fuzzy up the numbers” was deliberate and WRONG!

  17. 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.

  18. Just a matter of time says:

    You know all of this witless name calling to denigrate the PC and the Opposition, Union et al does not alter the facts and is of no use. Why would you want to deal with a company that wanted to falsely misrepresent by using another company’s logo like it’s their own? It’s like me using a Government Department’s logo or letterhead as a way to piggyback and hide to further my agenda in a no bid contract when I don’t even work in that Department. I still don’t see how that works if I am signing my name. If it’s all so above board, why suggest communicating this way at all? It smacks of collusion. How on earth do the OBAers on this board justify that? All I see as responses on this board is childish name calling, nothing more.

    If the Minister said he did not know Aecon from the very beginning, fine. But he knew they were there at that first meeting they had at CIBC and still continued with this no bid contract for them. Now we have this craziness surfacing? What is the justification for continuing this and ruining our reputation as a result. I’m sorry but this current airport project and yes, even jobs is really not worth this type of stain which could last for years to come. We just had a recent downgrade. Why would the Govt risk Bermuda’s reputation at this juncture? OBA, you have already compiled a huge list of blunders. But this one is a biggy. The Minister cannot continue to turn a blind eye and treat this like it’s no big deal. It is. Our country deserves better.

    • stunned... says:

      this must be the Olympics because i see some serious high jumping and jumping to conclusions.

      If one researches Wendy Dempsey a recipient of Steven Nackan’s email, one will find that she is Assistant Legal Counsel to CCC. Reading just that one email suggests a number of things. 1. There is a very close relationship between Aecon and CCC given the informality of the language. 2. It is possible that CCC may have extended cover to Aecon in the past. We don’t know and is that our business? 3. There is no mention of the government official Mr Richards or delegates to suggest that they were part of any collusion or attempt to rig the facts.

      Lastly you speak of a number of unsubstantiated events such as Bermuda giving Aecon a no bid contract. If I am not mistaken the MOU is between Bermuda and CCC. CCC is in effect guaranteeing their chosen contractor which is in this case, Aecon. CCC is on the hook backed by Canadian taxpayers money if things go wrong. So if there is any reputational risk the lion’s share would be held by Canada, CCC.

      It is possible the combination of no money outlay, and CCM assuming the risk are what is making this proposal attractive notwithstanding that it will create jobs for both locals and foreigners which will ultimately boost our stagnant economy.

      I concede that that while Minister Richards may conclude that this deal works for Bermuda, due process should be seen such as putting the RFP out to tender even if only to confirm what he already knows.

      I also see nothing wrong with the Minister of Finance and Shadow Minister collaborating, to be clear, working TOGETHER, on this deal because of the long tail nature of this project which will directly or indirectly impact all of us and will undoubtedly outlive successive general elections. It is imperative we get this done correctly.

  19. Pastor Syl says:

    So, let me try to get this right. Aecon learned from Minister Richard’s last year’s Budget that we wanted to get the airport refurbished/rebuilt/upgraded, and that a priority was also to get Bermudians back to work, and further, that we are BROKE.

    Aecon alerted CCC to this fact, and again, knowing we have no money, came up with a plan which would allow the work to be done. Instead of Bermuda having to borrow more money (at abysmal interest rates, plus diverting funding from other necessary projects/initiatives), airport revenues would be used to provide a return for Aecon. Not knowing how much the airport revenues were likely to be, since air arrivals are fluctuating, and although Bermudians continue to travel fairly frequently, diminishing employment and therefore possible changes in departure frequency make estimating revenues from this source difficult to project, Min. Richards used the term “fuzzy”to indicate that the figures were a guesstimate.

    Most of the workers on this project, except for the chiefs, are to be Bermudian.

    Any cost over-runs would be handled/guaranteed by CCC, so Bermuda wouldn’t have to cover any funding.

    To date, despite charges to the contrary, I have yet to understand where anybody received any money above or under the table.

    I have not heard of any other company that would or could undertake this work without having to be paid either up-front, half-way through or even at completion – which would then necessitate Bermuda (God forbid) having to borrow the money to make such payments.

    So, I ask most sincerely, is there a Bermudian company with the where-
    with-all to wait to be paid over a 30 year period with chancy, unguaranteed revenues?

  20. Just a matter of time says:

    @Smh. Exactly! It’s about right or wrong. If this were the PLP I would be saying the same thing even though I am a supporter. Wake up people!

  21. Just a matter of time says:

    @ Better Bermuda For All “yea yea yea…..can’t the Minister create jobs another way…seriously??? He’s CREATING JOBS which is a good thing. “The PLP would rather burn the whole thing down if it meant they could be king of the ashes”

    Well that is what the Minister would be doing, burning it down if he continues. Why does this have to be the ONLY way to rebuild our one and only airport especially now that we know of this information? Start over! Let me clarify. I am not against building another airport which can create jobs, we can upgrade yaddy yada. However I am NOT for selling out more of our country in order to do this. I am for a proper tendering process to see who else is out there to handle this for fairness, integrity and competition so that Bermuda is seen to be above board. And I am for more Bermudian involvement in the process. Not a straight closed door no bid opportunity to foreigners with a Bermudian company connection having an inside track from jump. This is our country…every precious 21 square miles of it.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      What part of Bermuda is BROKE, BTW thanks to the PLP, do you not undertand?

      Lets say you have some land, no cash reserves, lots of debt that you have to pay on, & you want to build a commercial structure on that land. No bank is going to loan you the money to do it. You are a bad credit risk.

      Along comes somebody who says that they will build for you at no upfront cost. But…there is a catch. That somebody wants all of the revenue that the building generates for a set period to cover building costs, running costs & a reasonable profit too.

      After the payback period is up you get the building, along with the running costs & income from it.

      What is so hard for so many to understand? What is so distasteful of such a deal?

      Bermudians will be employed during construction. Bermudians will be employed operating the new terminal.

      What is the problem?

      • Redman says:

        @ Triangle Drifter,

        So simple even a Caveman could understand it!! Sadly too many of our populace make Cavemen look like rocket scientists and many simply can’t think for themselves… unless they are told what to think. ;-)

  22. Bermy says:

    People’s Campaign/PLP – If you want to earn any credibility and win votes from a swing voter such as myself. Ask the questions that matter! Quit throwing mud in the hopes of finding something that sticks. You’re an embarrassment!

    Now let me assist by being more specific because you don’t seem to be keeping up. The only question that matters is are the people of Bermuda getting a good deal or not. That’s it. Who cares how this came about. Who talked to whom first… blah blah blah. Those with any semblance of intelligence in this country know that what matters is are we getting enough value, in terms of benefits (e.g. jobs, economic stimulus, new airport, etc.), for what we are giving up (i.e. lost net income from the airport).

    All other questions, hype, and rhetoric, are distractions that only work on the simplest minds among us.

  23. Bermuda123 says:

    Well said Pastor Syl

  24. Need Peace says:

    You people crack me up! It’s funny you said the same thing about Jetgate until the Premier resigned! It’s clear to me that Minister Richards only concentrates on the meetings prior to the July 2014 email. I don’t believe a single word out of his mouth! Who is the minister’s financial advisor? Were they the person that approached Aecon on the minister’s behalf that started the trend of collusion? If the minister is trying to put a spin on this whole issue, he is doing a poor job! His family must be so proud of him!

    Many have posted trying to insult Rev. Tweed! He has more integrity in his baby toenail than the whole of the OBA possess in their whole bodies collectively! The problem here is not the People’s Campaign, the PLP nor the Unions. The OBA are a bunch of unscrupulous cowards who refuse to take responsibility for their own misdeeds. They WILL NEVER EVER WIN ANOTHER ELECTION, FOR THEY ARE THE WORST GOVERNMENT IN BERMUDA’S HISTORY!! UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE WORST LEADER KNOWN TO MEN!!

    This is not a political issue. It is a national issue! The sooner you realize it, the sooner we can move forward together. This airport deal WILL NOT go forward, so move onto your next blunder! Don’t worry….we’ll wait!

  25. Smh says:

    What part of “Bermuda is broke” so let’s sign over a potential source of revenue for 35 years sounds logical to you? Do you not understand that the point of the deal is to make massive profit for the company involved? Or are you being naive or maybe even a bit disingenuous? You sound silly, nothing is free, and these ppl that want to build it are thinking “long” term! Which means they have calculated the cost to build the airport and the potential “profit” they can make after the 35 year period and they are in a position to laugh to the bank! It’s buisness! Don’t try to make it sound all poetic, would you buy a house with no money down? And if not ask yourself why!? High interest rates maybe??? But you already knew that inna?

  26. On de Hill says:

    Smh, don’t you realize that there are expenses in running an airport? Do you know how much it cost to run the L F Wade International Airport? Let me educate you then. It cost around $20 million to run and the revenues are around $23 million when you include the departure tax which currently goes to the Tax Commissioner. I used the word “around” (or fuzzy) as they are not exact, particulary the revenue side. But they are close so this shows that there is not a net loss of a billion dollars of revenue (as David Burt has misrepresented) because the government will NOT have to pay the expenses. Maybe that is too difficult for the PLP supporters to grasp. The government is trying to creat new ways to increase the Airport revenues because currently the net revenue gain is around $3 million.

    Those are the facts!!!

    • Thanks “On de Hill”. It is blatantly clear the means of finding out the truth…Public information is available to them that will ask for it and read it themselves; but no, certain people are like a bull with a ring in its nose, being led where he who holds the rope / chain want them to go…

  27. Just a matter of time says:

    Ok so $200 million or so is spent by the company which would take say 2 years to construct creating jobs in the very short term. In 2 years those jobs to the hopefully majority Bdian workforce (I won’t hold my breath) finishes up and they are jobless again. In the meantime during the remaining 33 years all the profits go to CCC and partners projecting to be over a billion that leaves the country. The Bermudians working there full time will continue to be paid out of the Government budget as always. And what would be the condition of the airport after 35 years? Probably in need of another upgrade. So what’s the deal to Bermuda again?…

  28. Just a matter of time says:

    Oh and who pays for all the maintenance etc during the 35 years after the airport is constructed?

    • You are so fr****ing dumb! Read the information,(or have someone that is able to read) explain to you just how the C.C.C. will,(with emphasis on “will”) maintain and be reimbursed and how our Government,(no-matter who they may be)all Bermudians connected will also,(again, “will”)be making a wage at no expense to none of us e.g. “we lot” So, tell us, what’s wrong with this proposition?

  29. Pete says:

    Just do not understand the fancy to build this expensive over priced white elephant, that will join the Hospital, Berkley Institute, Court House, TCD, Port Royal Golf course, it goes on and on.
    What about building the much need bridge at the causeway ?? And we don’t need a huge bridge over castle Harbour where cyclist won’t be able to use when it`s windy, so can`t get to / from home in St. George, let alone work.
    The present terminal just need`s renovation section at a time, we don’t need expensive jet ways costing as much as a small biz jet, let alone the progressive maintenance. Airport needs decent perimeter roads so vehicles can properly and safely negotiate around the airport.
    All a huge public relations display by Gov. people, but little / no benefit to Bermudian people. Imagine if this was done as proposed several years ago, and the Chinese where in charge ??
    Air travel will not boom here in here future to warrant such a project, just improve on what we already have, which fits into the local scenery, not some huge glass monstrosity, let alone the environmental damage to the area. I wonder why Stuart Hayward & Co. are strangely quiet about this. ???

    • Question: Who will “foot” the monies needed for us to build this bridge? The airport wouldn’t cost us “Jack”…

  30. fred says:

    politicians… need I say more?!

  31. Smells fishy says:

    This is deeply depressing.

    It appears that the OBA is following the well-trodden path of dodgy and pointless contracts. Just because politicians of all flavors regularly do this, it does not make it right. One day, we may get politicians of integrity.

    Minister Richards should pull the plug on this asap, and resign. (and yes – it sticks in the throat to agree with the PLP)

    I struggle to understand why we need a new airport. The existing one could be fixed up so that it doesn’t leak. This is a tiny island, and our airport reflects that.

    We also did not really need three emission testing centers either for that matter.

    • stunned... says:

      this is all a tempest in a teacup.

      * the airport is a disgrace.
      there is no reason that a planned phased approach to repairing the airport can’t be constructed and a finite amount of cash allocated each year until an overhaul can be properly planned, sourced and executed. the $400k saved by not having the AG show could easily buy paint etc. additionally, there are laborers/workers sitting up at Westgate doing nothing all day. Utilising them would minimise labor costs, hell even W&E (watching and earning) could utilise their excess capacity. No additional labor cost, as they are currently underemployed.

      * the rush to enter into a 35-year obligation/arrangement serves two purposes.
      one, to create jobs in the short term and to improve return election results. secondly, it palms off the responsibility for the capital project well into the future when most us writing will be most likely dead.

      now what? are we going to let our dichotic way of thinking refuse to accept the proposal because the government introduced a solution before the opposition? is the opposition just being disruptive and acting hysterically with fake attention to protocol and process just because they can? what solutions if any have the opposition provided apart from the alternative, that is to do nothing?

      kindly enlighten me on the best way forward for Bermuda.

  32. Triangle Drifter says:

    It is a shame that there are so many who cannot grasp a business concept even when it is put into the simplest of possible terms.

    The terminal needs to be replaced. Like an old car, there comes a time when it cannot be patched up any longer. The old terminal has been in operation since the early 1950s. It is way overdue for replacement.

    Terminal needs have changed drastically over the years. I wonder how many forum writers have seen even mid sized regional terminals these days? Even they have jetways.

    We need an at least an 8-10 gate terminal, with more than one capable of accomodating the largest thing flying in the foreseeable future.

  33. Truth (Original) says:

    What corruption are people talking about? Is the Minister getting a kick back of some sort? Is someone in the OBA somehow getting paid or some other nefarious benefit from CCC hiring Aecon?

    WHO CARES !!!!???

    If anything, it would seem that there is a potential issue between the selection process between CCC and Aecon but I don’t know enough about these things to judge and neither do I care, quite frankly. What does any of that have to do with Minister Richards and Bermuda ? All we care about is getting a quality producton time and on budget. We don’t care who builds it !

    Can the combined opposition please let the adults get on with the business of running the Country instead of insisting on distracting them like petulant children looking for attention.

    You made a mess now step aside and let the adults clean it up.

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