House of Assembly Sitting Deferred Until Friday

November 29, 2016

[Updated] The House of Assembly confirmed that the meeting scheduled for tomorrow [Nov 30] has been deferred until Friday [Dec 2], as “AECON and CCC have agreed to release the Schedules publicly,” so the Speaker asked the Government to move the debate from to Friday so that Members can review the documents.

The Schedules relate to the airport redevelopment agreement, which the PLP has raised concerns about, and earlier today some people gathered at the House of Assembly grounds, and unofficial suggestions indicated that people planned to return tomorrow morning.

Bermuda House of Assemby banner

A statement said, “The House of Assembly today announced the meeting scheduled for Wednesday 30 November, 2016, has been deferred until Friday 2 December 2016.

“The Speaker of the House, The Hon. K.H. Randolph Horton, JP, MP, stated, “Over the past few days, I have had several meetings with the Premier, The Hon. Michael Dunkley, JP, MP, Opposition Leader, The Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, and their respective teams.

“During these meetings, I suggested that more time be allowed to study the just-released reports surrounding the airport redevelopment project. The reports are:

  • Overall Business Case – Entrustment Report [November 17, 2016];
  • L.F. Wade International Airport Redevelopment / The Entrustment Report Summary document [November 2016]; and
  • Value for Money Assessment prepared by Steer Davies Gleave on L.F. Wade Airport Redevelopment Project Final Report [November 2016].

“I also raised with the Government the importance of releasing the Schedules of the Airport Development Agreement.”

Mr. Horton added, “The Deputy Premier noted that the Schedules were subject to a non disclosure agreement and he would have to obtain permission from AECON and CCC. I asked him to get permission from them.”

“This afternoon, I am pleased to report that AECON and CCC have agreed to release the Schedules publicly. I then asked the Government to consider moving the debate from tomorrow to Friday so that Members can review all document in preparation for the debate. This was agreed.”

Speaker Horton concluded, “All the documents, including the Schedules, have been emailed to all the Members of the House.”

Update 7.48pm: Premier Michael Dunkley said, “Debate on legislation regarding the redevelopment of the L.F. Wade International Airport will take place on Friday instead of tomorrow.

“The Speaker of the House of Assembly, after consulting with the Government, made the decision to postpone the debate to give Members of Parliament time to review just-released documents relating to the proposed Airport Agreement.

“The Schedules had been part of a non-disclosure agreement between the Governments of Bermuda and Canada through its agency, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and its prime subcontractor Aecon Group Inc., and so were not made public last week with the release of other documents related to the Airport project.

“The release of the Schedules – at the behest of this Government – is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to fully inform the people of Bermuda at all steps of the Airport Redevelopment Project.

“It is my hope Members of the Opposition take this opportunity to review the documents for Friday’s debate to approve a project that will:

  • Generate jobs, career and business opportunities for Bermudians
  • Get built on time, on budget, and
  • Stimulate economic growth with no increase the national debt.

“This is a project of national importance that will protect and strengthen Bermudian families for years to come. We look forward to Friday’s debate,” the Premier said.

Update: The 229–page Airport Development Agreement, as just released, follows below [PDF here]:

airplane click here copy (1)

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Comments (28)

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  1. Gotta luv em says:

    I would like publicly thank the Opposition Leader David Burt..for fighting for us the people even when it appears that we don’t care and aren’t interested. ..as many of us are simply oba….burnt out….there is one issue after another with them…they need to be vote out soon..

    It’s unbelievable that any conscious Bermudian..black white..plp or aba… should accept MPs voting on a bill that they fully do not understand, due to privacy clauses….

    Shame on the oba….

    Wake up Bermuda..now is not the time to slumber …

    • jt says:

      The time to wake up long since passed and damage done. Lesson learned? I doubt it. Outrage and concern is conditional only. A return to quiet acceptance can be expected.

      • hmmm says:

        @ Gotta love them. Do you understand every bill that is read in the house, do you understand every consequence of every bill? I think not. what you are doing is pandering to the media propaganda of the PLP, which is designed to stir up emotions and discontent and all in their game of getting votes.

        where were your comments on the half a billion PLP airport bill??????

        The PLP know the airport is the best solution available for Bermuda, the PLP know if it goes ahead they will lose votes, if they can stop it they will win votes. That is the reality , the rest is just noise.

    • Hurry up and vote these @$$€$ out.

      • Noncents says:

        @ Onion Juice

        Honest question. What is your position on the Port Royal, Berkeley and Hospital projects? Do you think they were successful? If given the chance, would you repeat those contracts?

      • Widget says:

        @Onion Juice

        Why so you can vote those @$$ back in. What amazes me is you never question where the $800.000.000. Went and where it might be? Enlighten me and just maybe I will give you some super. Until then I do not agree with you.

        • Its me again says:

          Uhhh….

          Unaccounted for doesn’t mean stolen. If it was stolen the OBA would be doing everything in their power to consolidate power using that.

          • Just the Tip says:

            Ummm.. if you you have over 4 years to hide money then its hard for people to use it against you.

          • Derek says:

            If it’s not theft it’s incompetence.

            It’s not exactly good either way!

      • James H says:

        Cos the People’s Leaving Party would be so much more batter. Hahahahaha

  2. really says:

    So people have TWO DAYS to review the schedules before the house votes???

    If the deal is good and fair, why wouldn’t you allow more time for review now that you have agreed to release more information on it?

    The rush creates even more suspicion.

    • jt says:

      Creates suspicion. Artful endeavours.

    • hmmm says:

      If it takes you more than two days to review after having copius amounts of information over the course of the last year + through documents and presentations, then perhaps you SHOULD NOT BE in the house.

      Stop trying to stir up distrust….The bill was originally going to be read today…so extra time has been given to those in the house.

      • Smh says:

        The document that is 229 pages long was just released…..are you serious

  3. bluwater says:

    Poor David Burt can’t get his homework done? Maybe, he’s tying to finish off his long promised Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

  4. Kevin says:

    can’t wait for the reaction because if it is in fact as the OBA have been saying all along a sound , prudent exercise where will all of the Burt /PLP supporters sit …its quite obvious the only project the PLP supporters will be happy with will be a failed project that will double in cost …then they will be happy because that is what they love and understand and will accept .

    • Johnt says:

      This is politics, they’ll find some thing to latch onto and turn into the next national crisis. My bet is they’ll lhang their hat onto the revenue guarantee or power supply (which of course we already know about making their existing point of no transparency irrelevant).

      Don’t expect anything to change, the opposition will shout that this is still the worst deal for Bermuda whilst offering no alternative (best to forget about their earlier efforts in 2008).

  5. Need Peace says:

    It is still clear that the pro Aecon deal bloggers have not matured politically. They’ll have a rude awakening when the truth about it is finally revealed.

    If this deal was above board there would be no reason for lies. If you feel comfortable getting duped again(if you like to put it that way) by any Party, with our fragile economy, you are probably the holder of more than one passport.

  6. Vote for Me says:

    “The release of the Schedules – at the behest of this Government – is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to fully inform the people of Bermuda at all steps of the Airport Redevelopment Project.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Minister Richards and by extension the OBA have ‘fought tooth and nail’ to keep the schedules confidential.

    The next step is to allow an appropriate amount of time for the public and PLP to study the schedules and give real input to the debate.

    For anyone to expect the public and PLP to review and analyze the schedules (that took several months, if not years, to develop by at least 50 people) before the Christmas recess does a disservice to all Bermuda residents.

    • sandgrownan says:

      What’s your alternative? It can’t go out to tender because we have no money. We can’t rebuild, because a) we have no money and that’s b) throwing good money (if we had any) after bad.

      The reason we have no money is because of the PLP through incompetence or corruption. Take your pick, it’s one or the other.

      Do you want inject cash into the working and middle classes for many years or are you against that?

    • sonso says:

      “Nothing could be further from the truth. Minister Richards and by extension the OBA have ‘fought tooth and nail’ to keep the schedules confidential.”

      Incorrect, the schedules have been subject to a non-disclosure agreement which bars either party from releasing them prior to the final contract being signed. No fighting any teeth or nails, Bob has laid it out but some people (cough, cough) choose to conveniently ignore what is relevant and true.

  7. watching says:

    We must thank the PLP for pushing for transparency on this issue. Now finally under duress the OBA release some information. However 2 days is not enough time to review this information, and these schedules do not represent the entire agreement. The OBA may have yielded at this juncture, but rest assured there is more they need to release. There still needs to be an Independent review by the Auditor General.
    Dunkley and Richards are clearly on the backfoot here.

  8. wassup says:

    can we dock them a day’s pay?

  9. Terry says:

    Burt.
    “There is no full stop on page 97 after the word Airport on line 11.

    We need more time.

    Shalom.