Premier Michael Dunkley Meets With AME Bishop

January 3, 2017

Premier Michael Dunkley said he met with Bishop Ingram this afternoon to discuss Rev Tweed’s work permit application, and said in the discussion he reviewed the position taken by the Minister of Immigration, the “reasons for this decision are clear” and the “Government’s position on the matter is therefore unchanged.”

The Premier’s statement follows today’s BIU and People’s Campaign meetings, which were called after it was announced that Rev Nicholas Tweed’s work permit would not be renewed.

The BIU held a general membership meeting this morning, and the People’s Campaign held a meeting this afternoon at St. Paul AME Centennial Hall.

“There was a decision taken earlier today at the BIU meeting,” BIU President Chris Furbert said during the afternoon meeting .

“The final motion was that the BIU membership had decided not to return to work until this matter with Rev Tweed and the airport project is resolved.”

“What they added to that, was that we need to inform the Government that if these two matters are not resolved, then the America’s Cup will be in jeopardy,” Mr Furbert added.

The Rt. Rev. Gregory G.M. Ingram met with the Premier this afternoon, and following that the Bishop spoke with people gathered at St Paul’s and answered questions.

1 hour 40 minute video of this afternoon’s public meeting at St Paul’s which the Bishop spoke at:

In a statement this evening, the Premier said, “I have met with the Bishop Ingram this afternoon and can report that we had a full and frank discussion about the situation with respect to the work permit application involving the Rev. Nicholas Genevieve-Tweed.

“In that discussion, I reviewed the position taken by the Minister of Immigration in her decision to uphold the Immigration Board’s denial of the work permit application.

“The reasons for this decision are clear:

  • The failure of the employer to advertise the position as required for every work permit application, and
  • The failure to provide accurate and complete information as required of every applicant.

“The Bishop had questions about Bermuda Immigration law and I answered those questions directly. The rules that support Bermuda’s Immigration policy are designed first and foremost to protect Bermudians in the work place.  

“They have been put in place to make sure every Bermudian gets every opportunity to secure employment that might otherwise go to a non-Bermudian.

“Protecting employment opportunities for Bermudians is one of the most important responsibilities of the Bermuda Government.

“When developments challenge these protections – as they have in this case – the Government must be resolute in the defence of Bermudian opportunity. The Government’s position on the matter is therefore unchanged.

“The principle at stake is fundamental: one set of rules for everyone. We need that principle in place – and the level playing field it implies –to build a future that is open to all Bermudians to share in and prosper.

“All that we ask of any work permit applicant is to abide by those rules, and that is what the process in this particular case endeavoured to make happen.

“The lapses that led to this situation are unfortunate and disappointing because they have served no constructive purpose.  What is even more disappointing is that there are some who are choosing to rally Bermudians to fight an Immigration issue over a non-Bermudian and call for interruptions in the lives of Bermudians.

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Bishop Ingram and to hear his views on the matter. He is a great spiritual and community leader whom I have got to know, respect and support in recent years.

“He leads a vibrant church that plays a vital and positive role in the life of the Island. I have faith that we can move forward from this situation for the better Bermuda we all want.”

click here Bermuda Rev Tweed’s work permit

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