Video: MP David Burt On Airport Information

February 14, 2016

For the Minister of Finance to say that some of the information contained in the airport development agreement is “private and cannot be shared with the people’s representatives” is an “affront to the people and taxpayers of this country,” said Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt.

“Earlier today in the House, the Progressive Labour Party asked the Minister of Finance to table the entire airport development agreement. At our last meeting, he said that he was going to table the airport development agreement. It was not tabled,” Mr Burt said on Friday.

David Burt Bermuda 160214

“Only a portion of that agreement was released, however all of the schedules that are inside of that agreement which contain vital issues, such as the land which is going to be turned over to Aecon, such as the money, taxpayer money that is going to be guaranteed to be paid to Aecon, and the projections of which they’re using for this project.

“All of those items have not yet been turned over, and I think it is impossible for the people of this country to actually adequately state whether or not this contract is a good deal, without seeing the numbers and to see what the Government has negotiated.

“Today the Minister of Finance got up and responded and said that all of the schedules have been redacted, so he cannot table them. This an affront to democracy.”

Screenshot of the schedules in the airport agreement:

schedule and interpretation Bermuda Feb 14 2016 2

“This is an affront to right thinking people, and this is an affront to the people and taxpayers of this country to have a Minister of the Government stand up, the Deputy Premier and the Minister of Finance, say that all of the information in so far as amount of money of which he has negotiated in the future that is going to come from the taxpayers, is private and cannot be shared with the people’s representatives.

“The fact remains is that this is information that has to be made public. This is information that is required in order to make sure that we know that we are getting a good deal, and this is information that the Progressive Labour Party will continue to press for, and will use all legal means at our disposal to bring transparency to an agreement that is looking to give away our airport to a Canadian company without a tender for 30 years, which means billions of dollars of revenue that will leave this country, that will regularly come to the people of this country are going to go to a Canadian company. It is not right, and we need to know what the Minister is negotiating.

Audio of the exchange between Mr Burt and Minister Bob Richards on the airport agreement:

“I think what’s also interesting is, that with all the stuff that we’re talking about finances and making sure that we follow the rules and the regulations, the Minister of Finance negotiated a contract that stated that, when all is said and done and the airport is priced and how much it will be, if the Minister of Finance or the Government elects to ask anyone else to see if they can give us a better deal, Aecon has the right to void the contract and the people of this country have to pay a penalty.

“That is what was negotiated by the One Bermuda Alliance Government. That was what was approved by the Ministers of the Cabinet, and that was what was signed by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, who is supposed to be the one who is upholding financial regulations, but is now being said that the taxpayers of this country will have to pay a penalty if we even look to get a better deal.

“It is a shame, and the Progressive Labour Party will continue to hold the Minister of Finance to account on this project, which is not in best interest of Bermudians.”

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Comments (25)

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  1. jt says:

    What are Mr. Burt’s thoughts on blind trusts relating to capital projects?

    • aceboy says:

      Indeed. An AFRONT to the people.

    • Zevon says:

      Great question. Perhaps Mr Burt would like to “bring transparency” to that.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      I doubt Burt will offer an opinion, but I would imagine the COI will.

  2. PPamplin says:

    What is interesting is the extent to which the Opposition want for all information to be made public. One can only point to the termination contract with a former executive of the hospital in which a condition of the huge settlement was that the content was to remain secret.

    There has been no outcry to reveal those terms, maybe because they were done under a former administration.

    The Opposition also insisted on the House knowing the terms and conditions of MRG’s which led to competing airlines demanding the same terms and conditions, thereby costing the Bermuda public more than it would otherwise have paid.

    It is dangerous to insist on publicly revealing information that can prove detrimental to the country. But, I guess, that never stopped MP Burt.

    • Kangoocar says:

      Totally agree ” ppamplin” Also what is a REAL affront is the following, Burt as chairman of the PAC! continuously sweeping the Port Royal shinanagins under the rug!!! Also the plp not even trying to explain why $800 MILLION of OUR tax money is unaccounted for??? And don’t get me even started on the Heritage wharf, Berkley, Dame Lois Building, forgiveness to the BIU of their performance bond and the ugly ( low cost?) housing units in Warwick that only one sold?? Which I find shocking being Min weeks, proclaimed buyers were lining up all the way around the block to purchase them?? I understand politicians say silly things sometimes, but the plp politicians take it to a level that, can only be considered as absurd!!!!!

      • 1st. I wish to thank “PPamplin” for being straight forward and to the point. There had been numerous screw-ups under the 12 plus years of Progressive Labour Party Leadership :-(
        As for you “Kangoocar”, I totally agree with you 100%…

      • The PLP Did it!?!?! says:

        Look who popped up the chief OBA cheerleader!

        Guess what – you are just like Ppamplin, the PLP did it, so we can do whatever we want.

        That didn’t work so well for the PLP in 2012 and guess what no matter what amount of blogging you do it won’t work for the OBA in 2017.

        BERMUDA DESERVES BETTER!

      • BeachBums... says:

        @@@ Mr. Kangoocar – It’s funny that you can only revert back to the past doings of the PLP and what they done… But why?? You continue to reap about the past doings like you have the POWER to change the past doings of the PLP when NO ONE CAN so why do you sing the same sorry song ya been singing for the past 3.5 years… Why can’t you address what is taking part in the PRESENT? Why do you have to refer back to the PAST when you can’t CONTROL THE PAST? And since you wanna refer back to the PAST why can’t you address the UBP’s PAST but can only address the PLP’s PAST!?

        But taking politics out of this and solely focusing on what the deal entails I ask you can you be satisfied with what is at stake here? Let’s talk present and future as this is what we got…. $250 Million on the airport and we get brand new AIRPORT – but the aging getaway to our island (The Causeway) is gonna collapse sooner then later and what if that falls in? How is the fancy new Airport and the visitors it brings in gonna see our fabulous island without connecting to the main land?

        If it doesn’t cost the taxpayers any money according to Uncle Bob … Why does the taxpayers have to make up the shortfall in revenues if visitors choose to go elsewhere?

        Does a new airport guarantee visitors will show up to BERMUDA? What does Bermuda have to offer them?

        Again leave the politics out of this ….

        • Kangoocar says:

          Obviously, reading comprehension is not one of your strong suits is it???? Rum swizzle Burt as chairman of the PAC, should have long ago dealt with all that I mentioned!!! But fear not, the COI will do what your plp have hidden from!!! I can’t believe you and your types of thinking is so flippant to what amounts to a $BILLION of OUR money that it has somehow vanished and today we have many people that can’t even feed themselves because of it??? So, I will not keep the plp out of it because they have EVERYTHING to do with it!!!

    • The PLP Did it!?!?! says:

      PPamplin,

      I can sum up your response with the following – “The PLP did it so why can’t we!”

      Nice of you to compare a hospital CEO contract to a 30 year contract for our only airport and link to the rest of the world. I think that is a classic case of apples and oranges.

      Have you even seen what is in the contract? Do you know what your children are guaranteeing?

      One would think that the OBA would want to be as transparent as possible, especially given that this wasn’t put out to tender and the bad smell this deal has had from the very beginning.

      I live in hope, but its seems the OBA is intent to excuse their behaviour by saying the PLP did it so its OK.

      No wonder why this country is screwed!

  3. Jus' Askin' says:

    OBA 2012-2017 :-D

    They truly think they will be ok no matter what the results will be in 2017 ;-)

  4. Jerry says:

    Yawnnnnnnn

  5. Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

    just musical chairs for the PLP MP’s Burt’s turn after Walton after Diallo after yada yada yada….does anyone really care what any PLP MP says other than Betty? no credibility based on 14 years of lies, overruns, missing funds and on and on and on……joke….

    • The PLP Did it!?!?! says:

      Yup, doesn’t matter what the OBA signed us up for. They could be screwing us worse than the PLP, but we don’t care because they aren’t the PLP.

      Aren’t you the least bit concerned about a contract for 30 years that apparently the terms are too secret to be disclosed…

      You wouldn’t tolerate this for a minute if this was the PLP, but because it’s the OBA its OK..

      OBA bloggers astound me. WOW!

  6. Lois Frederick says:

    The continued chutzpah is staggering.

  7. Jerry says:

    They had to deceive us !

  8. A B C Shunt says:

    NO ONE cares plp your voices spoke loud and clear during the reign of spending and THIS TO SHALL PASS era so just find something useful to b!%@h about. this round table of who is the crybaby for the week is getting old as well.

  9. flikel says:

    Why do people constantly blame the messenger instead of focusing on the message? Let’s assume Burt and the PLP are incompetent and all around bad people.

    Does this mean the OBA gets a free pass to do whatever they want and the PLP cannot provide comment or criticism?

    By all metrics, there is little transparency in this airport deal and the entire process is questionable. This should be the focus and not the PLP.

  10. BeachBums... says:

    Help me understand and lets sit back taking out the politics and looking at it from a neutral prospective…

    Questions for anyone that has sense out there…

    1. If there is a better deal out there why does the taxpayers of this Country have to pay CCC/OBA/Aecon to get out of this contract then to search for a better deal? Do we just trust Uncle Bob that this is the best deal possible but yet we have to PAY CCC/OBA/Aecon if the revenues short fall … Which leads me into my next question….

    2. Why if the air arrivals fall short within the fiscal year the taxpayers have to cover the revenue lost for that year by people not choosing to fly to expensive Bermuda? But yet Uncle Bob said that the taxpayers will not have to pay a dollar and this is the most affordable deal possible…

    3. What is the rush for the new airport? – We all know that it is not going to guarantee more people coming to this island because we have a new fancy airport that you are going to be in no more then 2 hours leaving or coming….

    4. The life expectancy on a new airport build brand new is 30-35 years max…. What happens after that? We are gonna be due for a new Airport?

    5. Why is Uncle Bob unable to provide the figures for this project? Why is he saying that information is private?

    No politics just questions looking in from the outside…

  11. planeasday says:

    So yet again we witness the Red Team Play #1 in their playbook…

    It goes like this “To hell with any impropriety our Team (OBA) may be orchestrating because the other Team (PLP) did it – regardless of how bad in fact it may be to the general rules of good governance and transparency.”

    Lets continually drive whilst looking in the rear view mirror – guess what? Crashes happen that way too!

    Fools…

  12. First I wish to thank “PPamplin” for being straight forward and to the point. There had been numerous screw-ups under the 12 plus yrs. of Progressive Labour Partys Leadership :-(
    As for you “Kangoocar”, I totally agree with you 100%…

  13. the truth will set you free says:

    Bahamas Government Criticized for Signing Deals with Foreigners

    February 14, 2016 | Posted by Jasmine Nelson – Atlanta Blackstar

    Former Bahamas Electricity Corporation executive chairman Leslie Miller said on Wednesday that he does not understand why the government says it “believes in Bahamians” when it is “always bringing in the foreigners.”

    He was responding to the recent agreement signed between PowerSecure and Bahamas Power and Light, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BEC.

    As a part of the deal, which was signed on Monday, PowerSecure signed a five-year management services agreement with the government to run BPL.

    “We wanted to have a joint venture with a Bahamian group with them [PowerSecure] so whatever knowledge they had could be transferred to them,” the MP said.

    “I don’t know why we continue to say that we believe in Bahamians and you always bringing in the foreigners.”

    Miller said it is interesting that in this day and age the government talks about “believe in Bahamians [and] believe in yourself”.

    “That is our mantra,” he said.

    The Progressive Liberal Party campaigned on the slogan “Believe in Bahamians” during the 2012 general election.

    Miller said the former BEC board envisioned for BEC a similar scenario that occurred with the Nassau Airport Development Company, which was managed by Canadians and is now managed by Bahamians.

    “We brought in the Canadians and now, thank God, they are gone,” he said. “Bahamians are running it properly. You must empower your people. It can’t be rhetoric. People aren’t stupid anymore. You have to empower them that we can look to our future. That’s what we have to do.

    “We don’t need any foreigners to tell me what the future should be. My past experience tells me what I should do in the future,” Miller said. “The plan we had was as good as the plan they have. But nobody listened to us, but they will listen to the other brothers because their skin color [is] a little brighter than mine.”

    Malcolm X – Slavery ended on paper but not in practice

  14. “The sun’ll come out tomorrow
    So ya gotta hang on ’til tomorrow
    Come what may tomorrow! tomorrow!
    I love ya tomorrow!
    You’re always a day away!”
    ~
    (Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical Annie)

    With all due respect to little orphan Annie, just thinking about tomorrow takes us away from the things we should do today. Indeed, what we are enjoying or suffering today is largely a result of the decisions we made yesterday. And, just like yesterday determined today, today determines tomorrow.
    Yet even though we somehow know that today matters, we have tremendous difficulty fully realizing its value and importance. Why? Partly, it’s because we have a warped view of success