Video: MP David Burt After Airport Info Session

October 21, 2015

The Minister of Finance said that if the deal was cancelled that they would have to pay at least $2-1/2 million, and before doing that it would have made sense to examine other options, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said.

Mr Burt was speaking after last night’s information session on the airport redevelopment plan which saw presentations from Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell, Finance Minister Bob Richards and Economic Development Minister Dr Grant Gibbons, as well as representatives from CCC and Aecon.

2-hour video of the airport meeting:

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Burt said, “I think it was billed as an airport information session and there was some information that was given, but by and large it was a repeating of the talking points of the One Bermuda Alliance’s attempt to convince the 75% of the people in this country who are opposed to privatization of Bermuda’s airport.

“I think that’s what we saw. We saw, whether it was from the Minister, whether or not it was from the representatives of CCC and Aecon all spoke about the fact that there’s not going to be any debt, how this is almost going to be a best deal possible.

“The fact of the matter is that number one, we do not know if Bermuda could’ve gotten a better deal because we have not asked anyone else and that is the single fundamental problem with this process.

“We should at the very minimum go to other persons to say, “Can you meet or exceed this deal” and that is not something that is done. So clearly, we do not know whether or not the Bermudan public is getting the best deal.

“There is one thing that we also know is that Aecon is going to make a profit off of this deal. That is a very true fact. That is the very nature of privatization.

“We saw in the talking points, which were handed out by the government today, that when asked whether or not this is privatization, they say that no this is not privatization.

“In the very next sentence they say that a special purpose company is going to be formed by Aecon to operate and maintain the airport. I think the people can see through what has been said tonight, and I think the people’s concerns are still raised.

“We need to make sure that we get value for money and what I think is most important is that we have a project that we as a country can actually afford.

“We can look to the Cayman Islands who were given a project from CCC, which was very similar to ours and Aecon and decided that they were not going to do that, scaled that down and renovated their airport for $70 million.

“There are options that we have not yet considered and those are the things that we should certainly be looking at. Once again, we find ourselves in the exact same place we were before where the government is hell-bent on pushing through a project which CCC today admitted was not their own.

Mr Burt said it “was Aecon’s project from the start, and the Bermudian public are going to see millions and millions of dollars of profit and revenue” go to a “Canadian company without a tender.”

“We can certainly do better and I hope that the people, we’ve now seen young people who’ve come out and old people who’ve come out in opposition to this project and one would hope that the Minister of Finance and hopefully the Premier is listening and will follow the Good Governance Act and put this project out to tender to make sure that we are getting the best deal possible,” added Mr Burt.

MP David Burt speaking after the airport meeting

When asked about the financial cost of potentially cancelling the deal, Mr Burt said, “It absolutely concerns me and here’s the reason why.

“The Minister of Finance today said that if the deal was cancelled that they would have to pay at least — key point — at least $2-1/2 million to Aecon, at least.

“We sign an agreement which has committed the government to spending money without examining other options. It would make sense before you commit the government to spend the money to examine the other options to ensure that this is the best deal, but the government has not done that.

“That violates financial instructions and that violates the Good Governance Act but we don’t hear anything from the Auditor General. We don’t hear anything from the independent watchdogs.

“We hear silence, so once again the Progressive Labour Party is going to stand up and we’re going to stand with the numerous concerned citizens who are wondering how the government can commit us to spending this money when there are independent reports that state that value for money has not been met and there are additional things that need to be done to ensure that we can reach value for money.

“The proper way to go would’ve been to find out the other options first, and if then you really decide that Aecon is the best option, then you go ahead and proceed that, but to bind us to spending money on them without knowing if there’s a better deal, that means that if we were to find a better deal we have to pay Aecon and then go with the better deal? It does not make sense.

“Once again, it is flawed management of this project from the One Bermuda Alliance which seems to be able to find money for their own projects but cannot find money for those people in need in this country.

Mr Burt added, “Today I got a phone call of community centres that were told that they are going to be closed down by the end of the year. That’s what happens. We had people who were told they were going to lose their jobs. We had people who were told what is going to happen to the students…..but today we hear $2-1/2 million signed away with no questions and no problems asked.

“There’s a real problem when it comes to priorities of the One Bermuda Alliance government,” concluded Mr Burt.

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Comments (44)

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  1. Really! says:

    Burt Math WRONG AGAIN!

    2.5 Million are funds that Aecon have spent thus far.

    None of that is government money so what does that have to do with a community center closing down….

    BURT MATH 1+1=4

    • Maybe he’d overlooked this: (October 21, 2015)

      I saw the headline and thought they were going to answer questions about projects like:

      Berkeley Project
      Cruise Ship Terminal
      T.C.D.
      Dame Lois Bldg.
      Bda. Emissions
      Tuckers Point S.D.O.
      Global Hue
      Faith Based Tourism
      T-Street & B.H.C.

      Shall I go on? Well,thank goodness we’re not holding our breathe…

      • umok says:

        The troll himself. Can’t stick to a topic and provide substance. He has to go in the past and dig up conspiracy and garbage.

        Every time you post, it makes me dislike the OBA even more. Thank you.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      He also misses the fact that no one else has presented any other viable options.

  2. serengeti says:

    “to convince the 75% of the people in this country who are opposed to privatization of Bermuda’s airport.”

    Er, No. If Burt is just going to lie he should try not to get his story straight. It was 75% of 407 people, not 75% of the “people of this country”. And those 407 people were asked a one-sided question to begin with, designed to provoke a specific answer, and that question was actually nothing at all to do with ‘privatization’.

    And, in any case, nobody is suggesting ‘privatizing’ the airport.

    • WarwickBoy says:

      Without siding one way or the other with the issue at hand, you do not understand how statistical sampling works. You do not need to ask every individual in a population to get a fairly accurate representation of the views of that whole population. Hence, only 407 people needed to be surveyed to get a result with the level of confidence referenced by the polling company.

      When polls are released in the US regarding politics or any other matter, do you think they ask all 300 plus million people their views? Of course not!

      I suggest you do some reading on how statistical sampling works and look specifically at calculating the appropriate sample size, given a population size, and at confidence intervals.

      • serengeti says:

        He misrepresented it. Plain and simple.

        Still, at least this time there was no dishonest “editing” of a DVD. So that’s an improvement.

      • navin johnson says:

        who does the polling…someone with PLP affiliations?

        • WarwickBoy says:

          That may be so, and you can question the wording of any questions used if you choose. However, the political affiliation of those conducting the survey has no bearing on the sampling of the population. The sample size needed for a given confidence level remains the same no matter who asks the questions, and that is the point I was addressing.

          • mixitup says:

            You actually entertained this?

            • Impressive says:

              Indeed,, Its ironic the people who are always attacking the PLP and its supporters for their assumed/implied lack of intelligence can’t seem to understand how statistical sampling works.. Its really sad out there in OBA Hateville.. So I am to assumed that if the person who owned the polling company had OBA/UBP affiliations then the poll is 100% accurate?? Yet with all their “intelligence” one can’t see the Bias in their thoughts??

              • Lois Frederick says:

                There are those on both sides who can’t get their heads around polls. As with any poll, inherent bias needs to be weighed into any outcome. Although he may want to be seen as fair, the pollster clearly has a political motive. Don’t think he can really argue that point with his obvious affiliations.

    • watching says:

      then you must not believe any poll because no poll is a survey of every individual person. They are all samples of the population.

      And if you are taking a government entity and allowing someone else to run it for 30 years or whatever the time frame is, and allowing them all the revenues from it, then yes it is privatization.

      • serengeti says:

        Firstly, the poll was not about ‘privatization’. So that was Burt’s first issue.

        Second, it was a poll. Of 407 people. It did not constitute ’75% of the people in this country’. That was Burt’s second issue.

      • hmmm says:

        You forgot all the costs.

    • Cow Polly says:

      And looking at the ‘likes’ (45) / ‘dislikes’ (6) on Serengeti’s post, 90% of the population are not opposed to the building proposal for Bermuda’s airport.

      So again, Mr Burt – you do not speak for me or 90% of the population….. gotta love statistics.

  3. Lois Frederick says:

    There is every expectation by the Govt that the airport will be redeveloped. The 2.5mill is a non issue as that would only come into play if the project does not proceed with CCC/Aecon. The plp has less and less to complain about as this process plays out. I hope the trip to London was deemed good value for money by the opposition. This is the only method by which the airport can be financed in our present fiscal position. I see as things stand now they will break ground at the end of next year and take 40 months to complete. Keep calm and carry on.

  4. Kevin says:

    I would appreciate it if the PLP do not speak for me although not polled I would support this initiative in principle but would have liked to see the second bid if only to say one was received. If there is anyone who knows about poor governance he definitely speaks with experience.

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    Maybe Burt can remind us of what that ‘gonna do’ Government, the PLP, spent on a new terminal, that there was no objection to at double the price, then the whole project was aborted without so much as a fence erected around the site?

    How much for NOTHING Mr Burt? Where was the money coming from to build the $800M plus terminal that the PLP wanted to build? Where were all the questions then?

    • umok says:

      With the increased Airport taxes ,the profit will approximately reach 6 million a year. 6 million a year is for more than NOTHING. Are you still lost in the Bermuda Triangle out there drifting?? Because you talking garbage like your normally do. You and Raymond must be on the same ship with no paddle.

      The government can’t even afford to pay its own staff so why should give up that kind of profit a year right now. The OBA is nowhere near balancing the books or even making a surplus. This is not the time to be giving away revenues and profits.

  6. San George says:

    CCC and the St. George developers should trod lightly as historically the best deals in Bermuda are retained by the status quo. They always give the worst deals to foreign capital. You have got to be kidding to think Bermudians don’t have the financial clout to finance the Airport, hotels and a new bridge.

    • Sincerious says:

      Really ? So where have they been the last 10years or even the last two? Sounds like we could but won’t, so we b*tch and complain and do nothing.

    • Cow Polly says:

      And which Bermudians are you referring to? The only ones I’ve seen do anything to support our failing economy are the Greens. Surely you’re not expecting them to build us an airport too?

    • serengeti says:

      “You have got to be kidding to think Bermudians don’t have the financial clout to finance the Airport, hotels and a new bridge”

      That’s the kind of thinking that they used in Greece and Puerto Rico.

    • Sickofantz says:

      So you think the Bermuda government should borrow money to fund it? Seriously?

  7. Starting point says:

    once again the PLP are found wanting.

    First the 75% is a joke, a survey that asked a question to illicit a response.

    “That violates financial instructions and that violates the Good Governance Act but we don’t hear anything from the Auditor General. We don’t hear anything from the independent watchdogs.

    so the experts charged with examining things like this are not complaining yet we are supposed to believe the PLP brain trust that they know financial instructions better….lol PLP budgets for 12 years show thats not the case.

    At the end of the day, the OBA is the elected government, we gave them the power to make the decisions, we the people will judge the results, end of story.

    We did the same when the PLP built a school with a non existent contractor who did not even own a truck, then bailed out their union friends who guaranteed the loan, thus essentially embezzling 4 million from the tax payers, we the people judged this and other actions and voted them out. Thats how the political system works.

  8. Balanced Facts says:

    When Burt starts talking “facts” Im always waiting for Ernie from Sesame St to come running in holding up number cards!

  9. Terry says:

    Can’t wait for “Ernie” to chime in at some stage.

    Burt and Ernie.

    Sesame Street………………………………

  10. navin johnson says:

    I thought the Hospital was a PPP

    • Terry says:

      “PPP”
      You mean ‘PLP’ or similar…..

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It was, it was also pretty much the same model that the PLP propose, an authority independent of the government (ie. BHB) tendered and funded the construction, however, since the BHB is mostly government funded and broke, the government is having to bail out the financing of the new wing, and on top of that, the prime contractor is still contracted further to run the facilities management of the new wing, on top of the monies they are being paid for the construction. They effectively privatized the hospital facilities management.
      The idea of an independent authority that the PLP threw out there as there alternative is nothing more than a fluff notion that could only have worked in pretty much the exact same way their hospital contract worked. And in the end, there would have to be some sort of privatization involved, much like the OBA plan. And I don’t know why they keep harping on about this privatizing the airport, they effectively did that when they were in power already.

  11. Bermyman says:

    Does he not realize that this is $200m+ of inwards foreign investment? We cannot piecemeal renovate the existing airport and incur those costs.

    It does not matter what Burt says regarding this project, he is under qualified and never brought one project under his PLP Government Tenure in at “value for money?”. Not one! NOT ONE!

    • When it comes down to the Shadow Finance Minister David Burt, he and a few others are extremely wet behind their ears…Sad yes but true :-(

      • JAWS says:

        The only thing wet is your face from the grey cloud that rains on you and proceeds to follow your bad personality around everyday:)

        • Since I have nothing else to do I’ll play your game.
          I’m sure you have heard this before, “envy and jealousy will get you,(nor other like you) nowhere?”

  12. Just a matter of time says:

    Whenever a PLP politician or PLP supporter speaks the vitriol kicks up into the stratosphere on this board.

    ad hominem: Latin for “to the man.” An arguer who uses ad hominems attacks the person instead of the argument. Whenever an arguer cannot defend his position with evidence, facts or reason, he or she may resort to attacking an opponent either through: labeling, straw man arguments, name calling, offensive remarks and anger.

    Once again, the OBA supporters refuse to address the fundamental issues underlying this disaster of a plan. So they attack the opponents instead with all sorts. The Finance Minister has already signed off on this plan without even getting a second bid under a cloud of vagueness. That is not good governance. Period. It matters not what the PLP supposedly did in the past. The OBA touted themselves as the party of good governance, transparency etc. We are simply not seeing that in this case.

    The Americas Cup has certainly been a perfect distraction…

    • Terry says:

      Troll

    • Impressive says:

      In other words, its a very immature and irrational atmosphere in OBA Hateville again today. ho hum

    • Northshore says:

      Stop your noise Tweed, and to the OBA,,, Build the Airport ,NOW!!!!

  13. Just a matter of time says:

    @Terry. I rest my case.

  14. Barbara Cooper says:

    David Burt needs to get his head out of the sand – and re-educate himself with true facts ! His rhetoric is tiresome. Doesn’t he realize how he is continually embarrassing himself ??????????????

  15. Joe says:

    Yawnnnnnnn used to respect this guy now he just whines all the time step above this and ur crazy colleges ur better

  16. bluebird says:

    I know that the PLP/BIU DO NOT WANT PRIVATATION as it will affect their membership therefore the DUES paid by the TaxPayer from coming in.
    The reality is that our Government is HUGE in comparison to our 60,000
    Population.We somehow think that we are a BIG COUNTRY and we are not.
    The DEBT is Huge left by the PLP/BIU to their children and their Grandchildren.
    And they still want to keep borrowing $220Million dollars per year instead of PRIVATIZING majority of Government services.
    Anyone who says no to anything. “WELL” how about you paying for it.
    As we cannot contimue to live LARGE on other peoples money.

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