Column: Richards On ‘False & Misleading Claims’

March 7, 2016

[Opinion column written by Sylvan Richards]

The Opposition’s chief propaganda agent, Christopher Famous, continues to make false and misleading claims about the OBA Government and the policies that are being implemented to benefit all Bermudians.

In his attempt to re-write history he provides no credible evidence to back up his misinformation and half-truths, and insults all Bermudians by assuming our people are ignorant of the facts.

Take, for example, his spin on Term Limits. Yes, the OBA said Term Limits would be suspended while the policy was reviewed. However, once the OBA became government, we found legal opinions submitted to the Minister responsible for immigration in 2006, 2007 and 2008 that all reached the same conclusion – that Term Limits were harmful to the economy and contributed to Bermudian job losses.

Sylvan Richards Jr 160307

There was no longer a need to review the policy as that work had already been done and ignored by the PLP Government. This is an example of politically expediency at its worst.

The PLP ignored the damage and job losses forced on Bermudians by the misguided Term Limits policy. And who suffered the most harm from this misguided policy? You did, Mr. and Mrs. Bermuda.

The highest number of work permits in Bermuda’s history – 18,131 in 2007 – were granted under the PLP Government. More than 70% of term limit waiver applications were granted under the PLP which led to residents being here for 15 or 20 years and longer.

Yet now, based largely on the skin colour of these long term residents and assumptions on how they might vote, Mr. Famous wants us to deny them rights in a place they have contributed to for much of their working life and kick them off the island.

As has been repeated many times, the OBA did not grant PRCs the right to apply for status in July, 2014. In 2002 the PLP amended the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act that paved the way for 1,455 PRCs to apply for status. The Chief Justice ruled on this matter and there was, and still is nothing the OBA Government can do to prevent these applications going forward.

When working on immigration reform during the last few years the Minister proposed a raft of measures, some of which have been implemented and some of which have not. Allowing children of work permit holders to seek summer employment, for example, was proposed but shelved.

The same is true of commercial immigration [as has been implemented in some of our Caribbean Neighbours to the south] but this was also shelved by the OBA Government as it was felt such a policy was not in Bermuda’s best interests.

Mr. Famous attempts to re-write history by ignoring the fact that the PLP Government increased the amount of land that could be held by non-Bermudians from 2,000 acres to 2,500 acres and the PLP also allowed exempt companies to invest in residential property.

He ignores the fact that the Job Makers Incentive Act, which allows senior executives in International Business to not be subjected to term limits and seek Permanent Residency, was introduced by the PLP Government in 2011.

He uses quotes out of context, as he does for the Minister of Finance, to try and incite racial division.

Mr. Famous’ daily deceit and spin simply fertilises the Opposition’s truth deficit. He is Bermuda’s Chicken Little – he keeps shouting that the sky is falling but it’s not. The economy is growing and investment and opportunities for Bermudians are increasing.

Mr. Famous is simply carrying out his marching orders from Alaska Hall to continue the sustained program of dis-information and falsehoods, therefore, Mr Famous is part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

- Sylvan Richards

testimonial-divider

20 Most Recent Opinion Columns

Opinion columns reflect the views of the writer, and not those of Bernews Ltd. To submit an Opinion Column/Letter to the Editor, please email info@bernews.com. Bernews welcomes submissions, and while there are no length restrictions, all columns must be signed by the writer’s real name.

-

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (22)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Speaking truth only says:

    Junior Minister, please don’t allow yourself to be distracted by your own party. While you or your speech writer is focused on little Mister Famous, your party is about to pass legislation allowing same sex marriage, something that you oppose.

    We need you, as a member of the OBA back bench, to keep your eye on the ball, sir. If not, the coach will simply keep you out of the game permanently.

    • Really Really Bettty says:

      ….one of the more weakest Minister ever in Bermuda’s History….written by TRewtrue and ToniMagnus OBA PR team falling fast….surrogate for sure…..ahah

    • Keetha says:

      How is it that Sylvan Richards is an elected politician whom is a JUNIOR Immigration Minister, yet Fahy is a non-born status Bermudian whom was appointed as the Immigration Minister by Craig and left in place by Michael D? Just a bit curious how this all would have played out had Sylvan been the Minister.

      If Cabinet appointments are based on some kind of reward systems, didn’t Sylvan actually win his seat therefore assisted the OBA directly in over throwing the former government.

  2. San George says:

    Your disregard for these people will drive them to the demagogues.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

  3. hmmm says:

    Well said Richards !

    If only people could realize they have been and are being played by the PLP….the PLP played people for fools when in office and are playing people for fools now in opposition.

    Quit being a sucker and realize you are being played !

  4. No longer a member says:

    What a hypocrite of the highest order. But this does not surprise me, he has the same hate that the party he represents has. This is why I could never be part of that party again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hate, Hate and more hate!!!!!!

  5. Stickbone says:

    This is interesting as MP Richards apparently doesn’t have an problem with the misinformation spread by Preserve Marriage who wants to impose its religious view, based on pure opinion and misdirection, to call a referendum that will allow the majority to choose which rights are enjoyed by a minority.

    That misinformation is OK, but TCF’s alleged misinformation is worthy of a opinion piece.

  6. mixitup says:

    So term limits were so damaging that the Cayman Islands adopted our stance and set theirs at 7 years.

    Term Limits were so bad for Business but 70% of the Businesses received waivers or extensions of their permits.

    So you’ve erased Term Limits now what? Hence the call for comprehensive immigration reform… The doors cannot remain open forever, there must be mutually agreed upon timelines, 8 year term limits with one extension of 3 years? Or no Term Limits and any and everyone can come over for work purposes and stay forever? which is what your Gov’t has essentially allowed. What about my 10 year old Son? When he turns 24 and would like to start his career in Insurance will there be a priority for him to work in his country? Or would this little Black Boy have to stand in this extra long line that is not moving because everyone in comfy in their post? Stats show that young Black males have to work twice as hard on a norm to get to the same spot as their white counterparts, you are making it 3 times as difficult by opening these gates.

    • LOLOLOLOLOLOL says:

      Cayman Islands is a bad example. Remember, their ratio of foreigners to locals is well in favor of the foreigner.

  7. Ian says:

    Slyvan I wouldnt wish it on anyone the feeling you experience that moment when, with crystal clarity, you realize you were a massive sellout to your people. And you can see for yourself these bloggers will only pat your back as long as you’re towing the line for their cause. Show the slightest bit of hesitation pushing their agenda forward and they will have NOTHING for you. And you know that.

    • smh says:

      Sounds more like he’s saying the PLP were a massive sellout to Bermuda! We were sold to foreign lenders for $2B

      • So Tired says:

        …and we still continue to be sold. So who’s doing/done the best selling? A sale is a sale!!!

  8. Average Bermudian says:

    Bermuda is now in this position due to the removal of Term Limits
    However, the Employers in Bermuda are the real problem as they can almost bring into Bermuda anyone they please and claim there is no one suitable on island. This practice must be stopped.

    Sylvan Richards is selected to role this proposal out to the public. The most divisive proposal of the OBA
    I have known Sylvan for many years and find it hard that you support this proposal.

    Your credibility in the Bermudian community is “FINISHED”

    • Really Really Bettty says:

      .he is not a very smart individual and seeking approval by folks who really do not care for him, as long as he keeps on doing their bidding……truth……

  9. planeasday says:

    “The highest number of work permits in Bermuda’s history – 18,131 in 2007 – were granted under the PLP Government. More than 70% of term limit waiver applications were granted under the PLP which led to residents being here for 15 or 20 years and longer.”

    Wouldn’t this be seen as a rational response to the explosive growth our economy saw up to this point Mr. Richards? Are you suggesting your party would have done it a different way at the time? Surely some of the people who post responses on this very website have benefited from this decision (henceforth they are here on this island as a result) yet the PLP is derided by you (and them?) for this?

    “He ignores the fact that the Job Makers Incentive Act, which allows senior executives in International Business to not be subjected to term limits and seek Permanent Residency, was introduced by the PLP Government in 2011.”

    I remember this all too well…In my company we saw a rash of promotions to “senior executive positions” in order to take advantage of this provision. By your wording Mr. Richards you seem to be in disagreement with this Act – or at least view it as a negative when mentioned by Mr. Famous yet you and your party has done nothing to amend this apparent problem have they?

    “Mr. Famous attempts to re-write history by ignoring the fact that the PLP Government increased the amount of land that could be held by non-Bermudians from 2,000 acres to 2,500 acres and the PLP also allowed exempt companies to invest in residential property.”

    Apparently you agree with this as well Mr. Richards? What has your party done to reduce this effect? Oh wait you have REDUCED the ARV for overseas funded land ownership…

    Mr. Richards you really should think before you speak – in highlighting (what you clearly feel) are the PLP’s past deficiencies you are highlighting your own party’s at present.

    • Think again says:

      That’s a lie on 18,131!!!

      • planeasday says:

        If that is a lie blame Richards not me – if you look closely you will see that i am quoting his words…

  10. Wake up says:

    Slyvan I know you on a personal level. My thing is how can you continue to be the OBA’s lap dog. What did they promise or fill your head with? You can’t see their just using you bro! The minute you sway they will cut your legs off and call you all kinds of names. When That day happens your people will still be there with open arms.

    bless

    • mixitup says:

      For real – We need you Sylvan.

    • planeasday says:

      It is not what they are promising to give him…it is what they are promising to take away…