Minister Travel Website: Trip To Rio Cost $31,566

September 16, 2016 | 172 Comments

A trip last month by Minister of Social Development & Sports Sylvan Richards and his Permanent Secretary to Rio for the Olympics cost $31,566, according to a recent listing on the Government’s travel webpage.

Air travel was listed at just over $20,000, with $10,991 listed for accommodations.

The trip duration was listed as from Friday, August 05, 2016 – Sunday, August 14, 2016, and the web page listing said, “The Hon. Sylvan Richards, JP MP, Minister of Social Development and Sports, represented the Government of Bermuda at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 from August 5th – August 14th along with his Permanent Secretary.”

Expenses

  • Air Travel: $20,290.00
  • Ground Transportation: $130.00
  • Accommodation: $10,991.00
  • Meals: $105.00
  • Miscellaneous: $50.00
  • Total Cost: $31,566.00

Update 12.51pm: As a note, per many comments below, we did try and get clarification from Government yesterday on the cost, and have asked them again for any further information and will update if able.

click here travel cost listings

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Comments (172)

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  1. NO MORE WAR says:

    Wow 20K for travel? So let me get this straight, I’m taking a pay cut so these mothers can take lavish trips. Seriously wtf.

    • jt says:

      Your pay cut ain’t due to these mothers but the other mothers. The ones you were likely silent about.Those mothers just never broadcast their expenses son.

      • Onion says:

        It’s no excuse. The previous lot were worse but this is still bad.

        • The previous lot built up in 14 years, these fools are catching them up in 4 years.
          I hope he was an Ambassador to de fullest for that price.
          LMFAO

          • Onion says:

            The previous lot had Cabinet spending a million dollars a month on travel.

            • swing voter says:

              you can’t make this right. we were told this was going to stop.

              • Onion says:

                Have you even read my other comments? I literally said “It’s no excuse. The previous lot were worse but this is still bad.”

                • ReallyReallyBETTTY says:

                  OUTRAGEOUS, UNACCEPTABLE, OBAubp said they would do better, but actually seem to be doing worst………not good….at all……………..really

                  • Onion says:

                    The OBA are spending far far far less than their predecessors. That doesn’t justify this kind of spending but let’s put the numbers in context. Remember, in 2009 the PLP were spending $6.5 million a year in Cabinet.

            • swing voter says:

              you can’t make this right. we were told this was going to stop. you wouldn’t even support Flora Duffy financially as the #1 triathlete on the women’s circuit. BTA could have leveraged her position to attract a WTA event by adding Bermuda to the circuit. But u have the nerve to run down to Brazil on my tax dime? Shameful.

              • Moonbeam says:

                I am in agreement that ONE minister should attend such functions, but I also hasten to add that participants in all sports should be receiving more financial help from Gov (especially, Olympians and Paralympians). What happened to the millions that were given to the local soccer team ? The greatest thing they did was to insult themselves, the Government, and the people of Bermuda with their questionable conduct.

              • 2 Bermudas says:

                Look it’s 2 Bermudas now welcome to my World. Sylvan tell these jokers to kiss you’re a$$ they need every one they can find to win the next election.

            • Oh no says:

              That is a lie

          • serengeti says:

            Funny how little comment the Atherden trip cost is getting.

          • jt says:

            Gracious you’re a thicky.

            • Thoughtful says:

              thicky? typical expat comment!! haha now that I know that, what you say is irrelevant!

              • jt says:

                Wrong.
                And when your attitude about expats sinks us you’ll see how wrong your attitude was on that too. Then again, probably not.

              • Zevon says:

                Different when it’s Tweed though I bet.

          • TO ONION JUICE…. hahahahaha. I love it.

        • jt says:

          Not disagreeing. Just can’t stand the failure to assign any accountability to why were really where we’re at.

          • Thoughtful says:

            ….and how much further along are we with the promise of 2000 jobs 5 YEARS AGO???

            “just cant stand the failure to assign any accountability to why were really where we’re at”

            AND NO ACCOUNTABILITY FROM THE OBA WHY WE ARE STILL WHERE WE ARE AT TODAY, 5 YEARS AFTER ALL THE BROKEN AND FAILED PROMISE!!! LIKE I SAID BEFORE….YOU HAVE THE MENTALITY OF A ROCK!!

            • Jus' Wonderin' says:

              “AND NO ACCOUNTABILITY FROM THE OBA WHY WE ARE STILL WHERE WE ARE AT TODAY, 5 YEARS AFTER ALL THE BROKEN AND FAILED PROMISE!!! LIKE I SAID BEFORE….YOU HAVE THE MENTALITY OF A ROCK!!”

              Kind of hard to move forward drastically when we guys are still paying at least $150,000 A DAY just to get the debt to manageable amounts. SMH but you wouldn’t understand that anyways…only a sucker believes in promises lol

              • Thoughtful says:

                LOL lets see who will be laughing next election….This sucker!! hahaha

                • Jus' Wonderin' says:

                  It’s not like it’s a competition, at the end of the day the OBA are stil the lesser of two evils and by all means go vote the PLP back in next year and see what happens. Guess you’re waiting for 2025 to see their vision lmfao! Jokes on you if you vote them back in…what’s really so bad about the OBA?

                • steve says:

                  I dont think anyone should laugh following any election. Lots of ignorance in our politics, but none of it is funny.

                • Spit Bouy says:

                  @ Thoughtful,

                  Well your laughter wont last long. Once the incompetent PLP has finished sinking Bermuda the hurray for my team mentality will quickly disappear.

                  It wont matter who you voted for before x 10 elections, it’ll just be more misery all around. I hope you enjoy it.

              • Thoughtful says:

                No I wouldn’t understand that…maybe the same reason why I don’t understand why me and my family voted OBA last election…right?!?!

              • jt says:

                Not as far along as I would have liked but further along than we would have been.

              • johnny says:

                you sound like the new contractor that was hired to fix up the old contractors mess.
                – “yeah, no problem, hire us and we can easily fix this house.
                - 4 yrs. later and the house is in worse condition now and doesn’t look like it will ever get fixed.
                But – the new contractor somehow found a way to fix up the guest house and has put all of the project’s money into this so that at least the rich guests will be comfortable during their free stay.

      • Thoughtful says:

        You have the mentality of a rock…Just because the previous government may have done the same thing, its ok for the present government to follow suit? You do realize that it could be one of the reasons why they are the FORMER government?? The OBA were voted in to do opposite….well at least that’s what their election platform was based on but have proven they are no different!! I cant believe people are still pointing fingers at a FORMER government that was voted out almost 5 years ago! I am a swing voter and voted OBA last election because I thought that they cared about people like me and who look like me but its clear to me that I was “DECEIVED” but it wont happen again!

        • codfish says:

          To be fair, Dec 2012 isn’t even 4 years ago. Can you not understand that the island was left in such a dire state that it will likely take another 10 years to come anywhere near close to repairing the damage caused by the PLP?

          That said, $$$$s like are being quoted here are not helping the OBAs cause.

          • Thoughtful says:

            I said ALMOST 5 years ago….but is that all you took from my comment? I also told you that I’m a swing voter so are 10 of my family members so I know what damage was caused but I also know about the empty promises that persuaded me to vote OBA and we are NO CLOSER TO 2000 jobs and other broken promise then we were ALMOST 5 YEARS AGO……IM SORRY 3 YEARS AND 9 MONTHS AGO DEC 2012!!

      • T.H says:

        I don’t understand why, the UBP actions are often deflected by what the previous government has done.

        Why isn’t the OBA held accountable for their actions? The economic state during the PLP’s governing was stronger and stable that what it is now.

        Shouldn’t the UBP adapt to the current economic climate by doing what is in the best interest of the tax payers and people of Bermuda.

        After all they did promise to bring change when they were elected. Albeit they have brought changes many of which have been a detriment to the lower and middle class people of Bermuda.

        • serengeti says:

          It’s compared to what the previous government did because at the time you lot said that was perfectly normal and understandable. And that was far greater expenditure than we ever see now, even including this example.

        • Thoughtful says:

          Yeah its like your brother stealing something from a store and you using his theft to give you reasonable cause to do the same thing 4 years later….doesn’t make it right BUUUTTT he did it SOOOO……

          • serengeti says:

            This expenditure is less than a tenth of what Ewart spent. It’s less than the amount Ewart spent on luxury limos.

            SOOOO anyone who is not a moron can see the difference.

            • Thoughtful says:

              Anyone can see the difference?? LOL YOU KEEP OPENING YOUR MOUTH AND PROVING YOUR NOT ONLY A MORON BUT HAVE THE BRAIN OF A ROCK…. it doesn’t matter if one thief steals something of less value than another thief…TO STEAL IS WRONG!! THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION WHETHER THE DIFFERENCE IN VALUE $10 $1000. I ONLY THOUGHT YOU HAD THE BRAINS OF A JELLYFISH UNTIL YOU OPENED YOUR MOUTH AND CONFIRMED IT!!

              • serengeti says:

                Who ‘stole’ something? They went on government trips, which are a matter of judgment.

                You keep talking about ‘stealing’. Are you an idiot?

                • Thoughtful says:

                  Just using theft as an example…YOU REALLY ARE A DINGBAT!!! YOU MAY BE RIGHT…I MAY JUST BE AN IDIOT…TRYING TO DEBATE WITH A ROCK OR SOMEONE WITH THE INTELLIGENCE OF A ROCK!COMMON SENSE IS NOT SO COMMON ANYMORE!so with saying that,i wont respond to your lack of basic common sense replies..Have a Bermudaful Day!

                  • serenegti says:

                    So when you use capital letters, are you shouting?
                    You’re sitting there in your underwear shouting at the computer aren’t you.

      • Jb says:

        At this point the previous lot are not important …. They aren’t calling the shots anymore! BUT you can bet your bottom dollar this will lead to you being asked to take another pay cut !!

    • serengeti says:

      Well if you’re taking a pay cut you’re obviously not a civil servant or public employee.

      • reddamtibi says:

        its called a furlough day genius…

        • serengeti says:

          Which stopped last year. If you lived here you would know that. Or maybe you’re off today having one of your 70 sick days a year.

    • Moo Billy Goat says:

      A Biily gat does not moo. Anyway. Did the Minister ever express any interest in an economy seat? No
      The PS is entitled to BUSINESS if the flight is over 7 hours. So if he goes business class, you can’t have the Minister in economy. So you are trapped. Maybe now OBA members can see how foolhardy they were when they criticized the PLP. You can’t win. You might as well MOO because the PS has to go business……there in lies the need for a change. And they (PS) simply have to get used to it or leave.

    • Widget says:

      We deserve an explanation as to why two people spend $20,000.00 to fly to Brazil and back. Come on seriously. That five grant each way. Seriously. Look I know the the last group of gronies were bad but there is no good reason why this has happened.

    • filobedo21 says:

      I would like to know if this was first class travel, and if so why? Was it because of seat availability by booking late. Answers are needed.

  2. Thinker says:

    $20,000 on airfare????
    $11,000 plus on accommodation????

    Please tell me that was a typo!!!!
    WTH IS WRONG with this fool?
    Do explain WHY?????

    • serengeti says:

      You must have been that time Ewart spent $320,000 on travel, including $53,000 on ground transportation. Of course, the details were kept secret in those days for as long as possible.

      • Thinker says:

        What can’t you people stick with the issues being discussed????
        You are the same group that tells Black’s to move on over the history of slave!!!!!
        This Minister and his underling just spent $20,000 on air and close to $11,000 on accommodations and you remind others of Ewart Brown’s overspending?????
        How do you feel about this present overspending?????

      • Yahoo says:

        Doesn’t make this right. We have < 10 athletes in the Olympics and this guy spends $30k on a boondoggle? Literally hundreds of better things to spend this money on.

      • Thinker says:

        For those who are confused:
        TODAY – 16/9/16
        STORY – MINISTER RICHARDS’BRAZIL TRIP!!!!

        • reddamtibi says:

          We know what time it is “thinker”- the problem is that you as yet haven’t figured it out.

          Enjoy your cushioned lifestyle while it lasts chum…

    • stunned... says:

      chances are that significant others were included on the trip. acknowledging that friends and family also benefited from the trip wouldn’t go down well, MP Richards and cohort have remained mute on this topic.

  3. ROGER LAMBERT says:

    $20k + ON TRAVEL:(:(. WHAT THEY, TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD 10 TIMES? TOOOO MUCHHHH!!! $11k+ + ON ROOMS!!! HOW LONG WERE THEY THERE FOR? THEY MUST HAVE HAD THE MOST LAVISH PENTHOUSE:(:(.

  4. No Way! says:

    This has to be a mistake,Bermudians are still losing jobs and he spent $20000 on accommodation for 2 people. Something is wrong with this picture. Election hurry up and come please.

  5. Onion says:

    Richards needs a reality check. The government is essentially a large publicly funded charity and should behave as such.

    Where’s the public benefit of spending this $31,000?

    If it can’t be demonstrated then Richards and the PS should reimburse the public.

  6. Lady Bug says:

    Someone in government has to break down the airfare and explain to us why it is so much.

    This is going to start a major controversy if someone can not justify it – so much so that we need to see what class he traveled in – or did they hire a private jet at some point?! This amount for flights just seems absurd.

    • Onion says:

      Probably due to the Olympics.

      Most expensive I could manage for a week in Rio with first class airfares was about $11,000 each. Business class was only about $5600 each. These two managed to spend almost $16,000 each (but I’m not sure how long they were there).

      Reimburse or resign.

      • Lady Bug says:

        I certainly see the Olympics being a HUGE factor, but if airfare did cost that much for every single person traveling there I would have doubted they would have even had spectators at that cost!

        They need to break the cost down, its that plain and simple.

        • I WAS IN RIO says:

          I went to the Olympics. Booked 2 weeks before and paid $1,100 round-trip with the regular people in coach….

          • serengeti says:

            I’ve been to DC. Managed to get through the whole thing without spending $16,000 on limos in one trip.

          • Lady Bug says:

            Thank you for your response. It definitely sheds some light on the cost factor of the Minister to others who traveled during the same time.

  7. San George says:

    This is real taxpayer money. People and businesses are struggling to survive in order to support these self-serving people. There austerity will be shown at the voting polls.

    • Onion says:

      We don’t have a better option to vote for. Remember, the previous lot had a Premier spend $350,000 in travel in a single year.

      • filobedo21 says:

        Cause of the entourage that Premier surrounded himself with, and of course the hangers on. Still these costs pales in comparison the $800 Mil that is still un-accounted for.

    • Onion says:

      At least the OBA seem to have a sense of shame when they get caught doing something stupid.

      • Thoughtful says:

        you talk out of both sides of you mouth…one hand its unexceptable someone should resign…on the other hand you are justifying it because the FORMER government probably did the same thing….read your contradictions! A person like you cant be trusted!

        • Onion says:

          I’m not justifying anything. But people are making a false equivalence between the OBA and PLP. They aren’t as bad as each other. The OBA is bad in this case AND the PLP were ten times worse.

          There are a lot of hypocrites trying to turn this into a knock on the OBA when they support the PLP when in fact both parties have behaved badly.

          • Thoughtful says:

            you are certainly justifying it..why cant you say that its bad and leave it at that why mention the PLP when everyone knows what happened under the PLP government..reason for I and many other swing voters to vote them out!! The OBA didn’t win because of YOUR vote, we know that no matter who represents the PLP they would NEVER get YOUR vote..lets be honest!! Also, why are you comparing this to Ewart?? Why even bring up his name especially since we have had 3 or 4 leaders of this country since his leadership?? One in which resigned from the OBA for questionable underhanded dealings?? I get it you just don’t like him personally! FYI the PLP were not as bad as the OBA in their 1st four years as government…NO WHERE CLOSE!! LIKE HE!! WILL THE OBA GET ANOTHER 10 YEARS TO OUT SPEND THE PLP!! In other words if PLPs spending was bad in years and this Government spending is this bad in 4, I would take the lesser of the 2 evils…we have no other choice!!!

  8. Truth says:

    Really? The whole Olympic thing in Bermuda takes a whole lot of ‘hanger ons’ to these events. Namely the Ministers in question, the sports federation presidents, etc. NONE of these people make one tiny bit of difference to the performance of the athletes.

    Take the ATHLETES and their COACHES only. And their real coaches – the ones who actually train them, as opposed to the national coach (though sometimes I realize those are one and the same).

    Until the team gets to be more than 20 athletes there is no need for all of the officials that countries like the USA and UK have there. Even then – I doubt they need all of their officials but then again, their economies are about a million times the size of ours.

  9. swing voter says:

    another failure to live up to your promise to be more conservative. Really what choice do I and other swing voters have in 2017 when you fail…..FAIL

    • Thoughtful says:

      I have a family of 10 swing voters that voted OBA last election in a seat that was won by the OBA by 3 or 4 votes…pick the bones out of that!!!

  10. Just the Tip says:

    The people who post bitching about the airfare need to stop acting like they never left the island before. The fare is normal for a flight to Rio, don’t believe me go on aa.com and try it cause i did tryied booking for tomorrow leaving returning in a week the leaving ticket was $1090 and i didn’t bother with the return or finding out what the taxes were.

    • Thoughtful says:

      What are you trying to say?? the ticket you booked was $1090 his travel was over $10,000. Your math is waaaay off!

    • Thoughtful says:

      Please tell me where and who has TICKETS to Rio for over $10,000?? You are the only one that sounds like they have never left the Island!!

    • Onion says:

      It’s not normal. I did a check on Expedia. Business class flights were half as much. Not even first class was that expensive.

      • serengeti says:

        Your check on Expedia wasn’t to travel anywhere during the Olympics though was it. Do you think that might have made a difference to the cost?

      • serengeti says:

        Business Class in September is $6,794. First Class is $20,661.
        Per person.
        Not during the Olympics.

  11. Johnny says:

    Was this a business or Pleasure trip? The reason I am asking is that on Business trips food is usually paid for. Why are all of the expenses high except for the food? Did they not eat?

  12. RoseBud says:

    So according to this article our elected officials spent around $20,000.00 on transport???? Someone from government is going to have to explain this seriously, because this is ridiculous. I just done a Travelocity and I put in random dates for the fall season. I am aware of the fact that they may have traveled during “peek” season, however the I put in the exact number of days not the exact time of year. However, I am finding prices from $1,099.00. With that being said, I do understand that they may have traveled first class, however there tickets should not have amassed to a total of $20,000.00. For me, I believe that this type of spending is selfish, especially when you have local citizens such as the ones down at Gulfstream who are lacking basic survival essentials and living in horrendous conditions.

    • Yikes says:

      Im thinking he actually rented a Gulfstream at some point on the trip because thats a lot duckets for two people

  13. Whoa says:

    When I went to Rio my ticket cost around $1,500

    • serengeti says:

      you were there for the Olympics were you?

      • Thoughtful says:

        UMM when purchasing a ticket the price is the same whether you are going to Olympics or not….It may be a slight change in price because the Olympics was held in Brazil around the time of travel….they cant distinguish who is traveling to Brazil for the olympics or who is traveling to Brazil to go beaching. Just because the Olympics was held in Brazil tickets are not going to be 10 times the avererage price….another jellyfish!

        • serengeti says:

          let me guess. You don’t get out much, do you.

          • Thoughtful says:

            I’m abroad now and have been for the last 2 months! I travel at least 4 times a year…what I am saying is that tickets to travel ANYWHERE is NEVER 10 times the average price no matter what event is taking place!! I have travelled to both soccer and cricket world cups also I frequently travel to watch NFL,Baseball and NCAA FOOTBALL GAMES! I was just at the WWE SUMMER SLAM with my family…plane tickets were $200….so to answer your question NO I DONT GET TRAVEL TOO OFTEN!! I was just joking when I said that you have the brains of a rock BUT YOU KEEP PROVING ME RIGHT!!

            • serengeti says:

              Oh sure. You fly everywhere for $200. How smart you are.

              • Thoughtful says:

                no just NEW YORK where I have been for the last 2 months and to take my famiy to WWE Summer slam! The tickets were $89 plus tax which amounted to around $200 each…who said about flying anywhere else for $200 dollars?? WOW YOUR UNINTELLIGENCE IS ALARMING!! LMAO

        • Just the Tip says:

          Have you ever tried buying a ticket around cupmatch? doing right now isn’t so bad but even a month before cupmatch the price goes up, the airlines have control of their prices and know when events such as cupmath or the Olympics so yes the price does go up

          • Thoughtful says:

            I NEVER SAID THE PRICE DOESNT GO UP…read my comment! What I said was that the price doesn’t go up 10 times the regular price it would cost to travel to that destination because of a sporting event or any event at that as YOU suggested in your first comment! KEY WORDS: DOESNT GO UP 10 TIMES!!

  14. Branco says:

    Don’t they think about the message they are sending? What value did the Minister and his Permanent Secretary honestly hope to add and why did he need to take the Permanent Secretary? Surely he could have hired a local baggage handler? Bermudian athletes need funds for training. Just imagine how much that $30K would have meant to an up and coming athlete or to send our best footballers to a camp where talent is discovered early on! Unbelievable complete waste of time and impact to our sporting future!

  15. Branco says:

    OK do the math for 10 nights for 2 people is 20 nights which at $10,000 works out to $500 per night per person! What suites did they both stay in? A very good Marriott only runs $250 a night for a good room. Are these people completely mad when people out there cant afford their rent? $30,000 dollars would pay 1 month rent for 30 needy Bermudians!

  16. joly says:

    This was not a good expenditure of public funds. I mean, seriously.

  17. Marshall says:

    Absolutely NOTHING compared to the former Government travel expenses, at least he didn’t have 4 body guards and travel consultants and friends with him etc.

    • shutthemdown says:

      you are stupid!!!

    • Thinker says:

      To day is September 16th 2016-story being discussed is regarding the PRESENT MINISTRY!!!!!
      SOME PEOPLE STAY STUCK ON STUPID!!!!!!!

    • flikel says:

      Let’s set a few things straight. The police, in particular the Special Branch section, plan and execute security for our Government officials. The police is under the remit of the Governor.

      The ‘bodyguards’ were police officers. The use of which has to be sanctioned by the Governor and by the Special Branch. The former Premier cannot simply use police officers, as bodyguards, at his discretion.

      • serengeti says:

        He had bodyguards because he wanted them. He took two bodyguards to New Orleans. Once he went, every subsequent Premier miraculously managed without bodyguards, or motorcycle outriders, or limousine motorcades.

        • Thinker says:

          Where was your loud obnoxious voice as they drove around in limos? Had bodyguards??
          Thought so……pretty social media so you stayed the coward you really are without saying the b**** to publicly speak up!!!!

  18. Rhonda says:

    As long as its the OBA it okay..but no way plpers should get the privileges….that are reserved for the Master’s House. .

  19. Tomas says:

    Why aren’t BTA execs travel & living expenses made public? What is good for the Government should be good for the BTA!

  20. john says:

    We voted them in to do better, not the same as the previous GOV

    • Onion says:

      There is no comparison. The previous government spent over $500,000 per month on political travel.

      This trip was a waste of money but the PLP were 10x as bad.

      • Thoughtful says:

        exactly what I’m saying…. It may not be right but justification for me stealing something is that my brother stole something a few years ago…IT MAY NOT BE RIGHT BUT MY BROTHER STOLE A LITTLE MORE THAN I DID….SO ITS OK!!

        • Just the Tip says:

          True but when your standing court do you expect to get the same time as your brother??

          of course not because you expect the judgement to be based on what you did but if the Judge gives you the same sentence as your brother is that fair?

  21. stunned... says:

    let’s be fair and ask MP Richards what benefit or public service for Bermuda was derived from that trip. if it amounted to the same value of MP Atherden’s trip, then he should fall on his sword.

  22. jackpot says:

    Why would Dunkley agree to this trip? Poor leadership!! Attending the Olympics in Brazil has absolutely zero benefit for Bermuda. This was not business but pure pleasure. One would think that Sylvan would be smart enough to foresee that this would not go down well with the electorate but he has already said publicly that he isn’t that smart!! I just shake my head at the clueless OBA. If this was to advance new business or create an initiative that will ultimately help Bermudians then ok but the Olympics, please!

    • serengeti says:

      August 6, 2012
      Premier Paula Cox and Minister of Youth, Families and Sport Glenn Blakeney are currently in London at the 2012 Olympic Games.
      Premier Cox said, “It is important to show the flag for Bermuda and our athletes who were selected and earned their place here as part of the world’s best..”
      Last night, Premier Cox and Minister Blakeney attended the Olympic Stadium for the track and field events, and they along with more than 80,000 people watched the Olympic Men’s 100 meter final, where Usain Bolt once again bested the field to win the gold medal.
      Premier Cox said the occasion was “a memorable one, not soon to be forgotten”.
      “This has been an amazing experience. The atmosphere here in London is so electric. The crowds are so passionate, and the calibre of athletes has been first class. Certainly the men’s 100 meter final featuring Usain Bolt was the highlight of today’s events. It truly was a wonderful spectacle,” the Premier said.
      Premier Cox continued, “I and Minister Blakeney are so pleased that we are able to be here to support all of Bermuda’s Olympic athletes. They have given such a tremendous effort at these games and all of Bermuda should be so very proud of their achievement.
      “It was great also to run into Bermudian Patrick.Singleton who is here also in an official capacity.”
      Premier Cox said: “Bermuda is aggressive on many fronts. We take our sports seriously. Further we take the accomplishments of our Bermudian athletes seriously.
      Meanwhile, Minister Blakeney who witnessed first hand Bermuda’s athletes performances this weekend said, “I had the distinct privilege to see Flora Duffy make a very commendable effort during the women’s Olympic Triathlon after taking a nasty spill early in the cycle leg of the race.
      “I also saw Tyrone Smith compete in the Finals of the Men’s Long Jump as one of the world’s 12 best athletes in that event.
      “Jillian Terceira just missed making the third qualifier and I look forward to seeing Tyler Butterfield and Arantxa King who both compete this Tuesday in the Men’s Triathlon and Women’s Long Jump, respectively.”
      A Government spokesperson said: “Later this week, [Thursday, Aug. 9] the Premier will host a special reception in London for the Bermuda athletes, where she and Minister Blakeney will personally thank them for representing Bermuda with pride, integrity and grace.

      • stunned... says:

        the question that must be raised – is it necessary for politicians to attend the Olympics just to be spectators – surely they can avail themselves to BBC etal. it would have been a better gesture to host a welcome reception for the athletes, families and friends at the Government House grounds. $5,000 versus $30,000 is more palatable.

    • serengeti says:

      Of course, we have no idea what Cox and Blakeney spent on their UK Olympic trip in 2012. In those days travel expenditure was top secret.

      • Thoughtful says:

        lol wrong example….I guarantee you it didn’t cost $30,000 dollars including A SPECIAL RECEPTION FOR A NUMBER OF OLYMPIANS…..but this trip to Rio cost $30,000 for 2 people oh btw no SPECIAL RECEPTION for our 2 SPECIAL OLYMPIANS!! SHAME ON YOU TO USE THAT AS AN EXAMPLE….A REAL JELLYFISH YOU ARE LMAO.

        CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR SPECIAL OLYMPIANS…YOU DID US PROUD..WELL MOST OF US!!

        • serengeti says:

          I was answering the genius who said “Attending the Olympics in Brazil has absolutely zero benefit for Bermuda. This was not business but pure pleasure.”

          Well, the PLP sent two Ministers for an extended trip to London, where they watched Usain Bolt and yucked it up with the mucky mucks.

          I know how it’s always ‘different’ when you lot did it. Of course it is.

          • Thoughtful says:

            You also questioned how much money Cox and Blakeney spent while at the Olympics in your very next comment, so cut the Bull!!

            • serenegti says:

              I just pointed out that when Cox and Blakeney travelled at taxpayer expense to the 2012 Olympics, we were never told how much it cost.
              In those days it was a big secret.

              All facts. Funny how you lot hate facts, isn’t it.

      • Onion says:

        In the year 2012-2013 the former Premier spent over $200,000 on travel. So presumably that trip would be included.

        • serengeti says:

          If it was $200,000 in that year (a remarkably round number…what a miraculous coincidence) then Blakeney’s expenditure would have to be added.

          Does anyone think Sylvan Richard’s annual expenditure exceeds $200,000?

          • Thinker says:

            Such a fool is this rabbit who keeps popping up to bit from the carrot fed to the minons!!! The present Primeir has and used bodyguards – go back before Baron was POSTIONED!!!
            No one batted an eye that he was being paid as a bodyguard and Senator but then again you wouldn’t see that would you knucklehead???

            MIKE DROP!!!!

  23. clearasmud says:

    Did the Minister have an official role that adds value to Bermuda? Was it really necessary for him to be there for the whole 10 day duration? If not he was on vacation and should pay for his own vacation.

    • Tomas says:

      I assume the Premier had to approve the trip, he should have to provide details of the expected ROI.

  24. Triangle Drifter says:

    The PLP drum beaters are in no position to complain about this junket. Plenty posters have already reminded them why not. Broken glass makes deep cuts.

    The OBA does not get a free pass. How did these two run up $10,000 each on air? Business or first class? What was the return on this trip? Did the athletes evensee tthese two? Did they attend the events to give support?

    • Just the Tip says:

      It was probably business given the expense,the return trip would be included in the amount in the article and and there was plenty of pics showing him meeting our athletes and give there support, Bernews had a few articles about his trip as i recall.

    • clearasmud says:

      Its very telling that you called it a junket!LOL.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Why? I called it as I see it. You won’t find me in any sheeple pasture blindly following.

  25. Jeremy Deacon says:

    Ten days, two people, $15k each, $1,500 a day.

    Even allowing for price hikes due to the Olympics, that seems an awful lot, so we need some answers:

    Air Travel: $20,290.00: what class?
    Ground Transportation: $130.00
    Accommodation: $10,991.00: what star?
    Meals: $105.00 why so little?
    Miscellaneous: $50.00
    Total Cost: $31,566.00

    Also – what did the Minister and the PS do while they were there? What was the itinerary? Who did they meet? Did they help put Bermuda’s name forward in terms of trade?

    If the questions can be answered in the positive, it provides context, if they cannot – then dumb is as dumb does.

    • serengeti says:

      Just for info Jeremy, NY – Rio (the standard route from here) flight time is almost 13 hours, for that one flight.
      So I think we could probably expect that it would have been similar to whatever class any PLP politician would have chosen for a 13 hour flight.

    • serengeti says:

      Well I just had a look Jeremy.
      Business Class to Rio from here, one stop, $6,790 if you go this week. Of course at the time of the Olympics they would have increased the cost.

      22 hours getting there, 17 hours getting back.

      If you want to go First Class in September, it’s $20,661 per person. Again, probably would have been more during the Olympics. So it looks like it was likely Business Class.

      Which to me seems reasonable for this length of journey.

  26. Educated says:

    But you spent all this money to go and support under funded athletes…

  27. HISTORY says:

    Total spent on food for the 2 week stay was $105.

    What did they eat for the 2 weeks – bread and water ?

    These expenditure of each of the categories listed do not make sense. !!!!!

    • stunned... says:

      food – perhaps they took all their meals at the hotel where they stayed. The $105 was probably cost of food at the airports and street vendor purchases…

  28. stunned... says:

    i really thought MP Sylvan Richards had more sense, class, awareness or perception. i had read reports relating to his attendance at the Olympics and wrongly assumed that he was there on his own accord/dime. silly me.

    • serengeti says:

      Did you think Cox and Blakeney were in London on their own dime in 2012 when you read about that?

      • Thoughtful says:

        why not find out the cost when we had government representatives at the Olympics in the 60s or 70s when Clarence Hill won the bronze medal??LOL Serengeti has the brain of spaghetti.It would be funny if it weren’t true! You are soo sad!!! borderline pathetic!!

        • serenegti says:

          I’m just looking at what happened at the most recent Olympic games. Funny how you lot don’t want to talk about that isn’t it.

          • Thoughtful says:

            lol serenegti or zendrive today? The same person 2 different personalities but still don’t have the combined intelligence of a rock!! lol

          • Thoughtful says:

            serenegti or Serengeti??? You are really as dumb as a rock!!! You could at least spell your name correctly after changing it to post under a different name then liken your own comments. Did you ever think that I would believe that others are as brainless as you…jellyfish! lmao SERENEGTI or SERENGETI lol thanks for your unintelligent posts…you started my weekend with a good laugh!

  29. jackpot says:

    Wait a minute! Isn’t the Government broke? Haven’t we heard multiple times by the Finance Minister that we are in extraordinary financial times? That we must adhere to austerity measures? Cut the budgets for Education, Tourism, and the list goes on but we can pay for a Minister, who is also an Insurance Executive, to go on a 10 day vacation to Brazil. Now I am neither OBA or PLP so don’t go there with me “serengeti”. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it! My issue is that the OBA says one thing and does this type of nonsense. The Minister of Finance and the Premier should be embarrassed! There should be a freeze on Ministerial Travel which is not absolutely essential. And the example with former Premier Cox and former Minister Blakeney actually says it all. Didn’t the PLP lose the election in 2012? hmmmmm

    • Thoughtful says:

      Serengeti is the same person as zendrive!! lol they don’t even have the intelligence to alter their comments…they post the same thing!! Dumb and Dumber haha

  30. Southampton says:

    Not called for. We the tax payers have to pay for this?
    These people should be made to pay for some of this expense.
    Free travel, free hotel and whatever? Not called for.
    Neither party member should be travelling like this.

  31. Southampton says:

    Our ministers take advantage of their position. They will suck us dry to the bone. And for what. The same old crap we put up with for years. Does not make a difference which party is in power. It is the same garbage.

  32. Peter says:

    that’s a big reward trip for someone against marriage equality oh that’s right I got mine!

  33. clearasmud says:

    Perhaps its time we get more information on the value added of these trips rather than just the dollars spent. Specifically what was the purpose and what was achieved then we can put the expense into better context.

  34. Unbelievable says:

    Something doesn’t look right. $20k on flights for two people? I don’t fly that often but 10k for one person flying? The accommodation at 10k is plausible if they were there for that length of time. I think he got his flight costs wrong.

  35. stunned... says:

    MP Richards – do the right thing and refund the government purse at least 50%. this expenditure is indefensible. Set an example or do you suffer from “entitlemus extremus” as well…

  36. John says:

    Just $105 dollars on meals ? What he on a diet don’t sound right of course the steak & wine dinners likely lumped into hotel costs

  37. Jonathan Land Evans says:

    Sending a Government Minister and his Permanent Secretary to the Olympics seems a ridiculous and wholly unnecessary extravagance. It would be great if someday the Bermuda Government manages to extricate itself from the delusions of grandeur that it has been increasingly suffering from since the 1970s, though it doesn’t seem likely. Personally I don’t really think that Government needs to be significantly involved in such things as sports and the arts at all, but it would be nice if Government would at least exercise some fiscal restraint.

  38. stunned... says:

    what is MP Richards ulterior motive: is he trying to sabotage his own party and government with this bad behavior and press? #dontunderstand

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