Dunkley: ‘PLP’s Commitment To Negative Spin’

February 25, 2018 | 59 Comments

“The PLP Government will never ever say the airport project is a good deal for Bermuda – no matter the facts,” former Premier Michael Dunkley said, adding that “the PLP’s obsessive commitment to negative spin on the Airport makes it impossible for them to see the forest for the trees.”

Mr Dunkley’s comments follow after Premier David Burt held a press conference to release the airport agreement review, with the Premier saying the airport agreement “stands as a stain on the relationship between a Government and the people it is meant to serve,” and cancelling it would cost a “minimum of $196 million.”

“Therefore, unfortunately, as the Minister of Finance, it would be fiscally irresponsible of me to bankrupt the Country, damage our credit rating, and sink our reputation globally by paying a penalty of millions of dollars to terminate the contract; in fact, it would be just as fiscally irresponsible as it was for the former OBA Government to enter into this contract in the first place,” Premier Burt said.

Work underway on the airport site earlier this month:


Mr Dunkley said, “Bermudians should understand that the PLP Government will never ever say the Airport project is a good deal for Bermuda – no matter the facts, no matter the positive professional judgments on the deal, even by their own consultant Leigh Fisher.

“They will never acknowledge the oppressive economic realities that surrounded the deal – including a PLP record in office that left Bermuda economically hobbled, with thousands out of work and government finances severely compromised.

“They will never acknowledge that the OBA Government managed to negotiate an agreement with the Canadian Government that guaranteed the project be delivered on time and on budget and be paid for over time by users of the Airport, not Bermuda’s taxpayers.

“They will never acknowledge – as their consultant did – that the Agreement achieved important benefits such as:

  • No increase in sovereign debt
  • No impact to Debt/GDP ratio
  • No effect on Bermuda’s credit rating
  • With room left available for other projects and priorities

“The PLP’s obsessive commitment to negative spin on the Airport makes it impossible for them to see the forest for the trees. As a result, Premier Burt’s statement on Friday locked on to the fact that the Airport contract, like virtually all contracts, are binding, and that to break it would cost Bermuda dearly.

“The Premier’s spin ignored his consultant’s conclusions that

  • “The terms and conditions of the Project Agreement are broadly consistent with other similar contracts.
  • “The interest rate for the long-term debt is within market range.
  • “The return on investment for the equity sponsor, Aecon, is within market range, and
  • “The balance of risk/reward is consistent with other similar projects.”

“The Premier’s spin ignored the judgment of a Blue Ribbon Panel put together by the OBA Government to assess the Project Agreement – a panel comprised of highly reputable, independent-minded Bermudians who concluded that the transaction was “commercially sound and reasonable…”

“His spin also ignored his consultant’s recommendation that the Project Agreement contained optimizing opportunities to expand workforce development, training and jobs for Bermudians; as well as social investments to promote education, productivity, better health and social inclusion.

“We say: ‘Get on with it. Stop spinning. Do your job.”

“Bermuda negotiated a good deal for a new Airport in the midst of serious economic challenges and in the face of extreme political opposition – a deal that is generating jobs for Bermudians that will support their families while rebuilding infrastructure critical to the future of the Island. That’s not spin.

“On a final note, given the Premier’s words on the importance of government transparency, he should report the cost of Airport review by Leigh/Fisher and disclose whether or not it was a sole-sourced contract.”

The LeighFisher Review of the Airport Agreement follows below [PDF here]:

airplane click here copy (1)

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Comments (59)

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  1. So why did you sneak in de House 5am to pass it?

    • sandgrownan says:

      Because there were a bunch of criminals threatening to prevent people going about their lawful business.

      • The deal was crap, MP’s deciding on a deal that they didnt know the full details on.

      • TRUTHISNOW says:

        How dear you call the people of Bermuda Criminals…thus why there was such a victory at the polls. The king of SPIN IS DUNKLEY…..he never answers questions, avoid providing the correct information and is not able to debate with some level of creditability……

        The OBA was not TRANSPARENT and NEVER told the people the full details of this deal….now we are forced to except such a deal…..despite such a good beating at the polls, the OBA still do not get it…..

    • shrew says:

      because your paid attackers were stopping democracy!

    • The real Terry says:

      Onion Juice, 24 – 12 LOL and you can’t even collect the garbage Not to worry though the airport deal is so far above your pay scale your ignorance is forgiven.

  2. God says:

    Go make milk and fill our kids with sugar Mr D! I hope they tax the he’ll out of those killer fruit drinks you import too! You are part of the problem with rising health costs in Bermuda!

    • shrew says:

      why don’t you simply stop buying the drinks?

      • Captain obvious says:

        Good grief man you cannot use logic here in LaLa Land it is forbidden.

    • The real Terry says:

      Do not lie God, it was you and your party that replaced the old hospital that was always full with a new expensive one with 100 less beds, that dumb a$$ is helping drive the cost of health care up as much as anything. Maybe when you contribute a fraction of what Mr. Dunkley does for the community, then you might be able to throw rocks at someone.

    • facts of the rock says:

      God…another fake

  3. Micro says:

    In the interest of transparency that the “new” PLP keep going on about, the cost of this review should already have been reported.

  4. JohnBoy says:

    Slam Dunk!!

    • Justin says:

      Does this mean granny got pepper sprayed for nothing?

      • JohnBoy says:

        Granny got pepper sprayed for disobeying like everyone esle who blocked a government building. Try blocking the US President and see what happens.

  5. Oh really says:

    Burt and party will never admit when last in power they bankrupted the island. He can spin anyway he likes but we know the truth. Admit that to your people Burt. All The party does is lead a bunch of nay sayers that do not think for themselves. If PLP leader says the key is purple they believe it. Think for yourselves part people.

  6. Oh really says:

    And how much did this report cost??? Transparency Burtman lets have it. More money spent that we cannot afford. SMDH once again at the fools.

    • wahoo says:

      Yes how much did the report cost? How much time was wasted reviewing the report? I think all 24 went to de press conference so waste of productivity for sure (insert joke of choice here).

      End result Premier David Burt informed us that a contract is a binding agreement that is difficult and expensive to break….thanks I never knew.

      Nowhere did the report mention that this is a bad deal or that a better deal was there to be had.

      It was a let down to me as I was starting to feel a bit optimistic about my premier who looked a little embarrassed if I am not mistaken. I guess they are still trying to win an election that they already won, trying to make the OBA seem to be terrible people but it back fires a bit when you call a press conference that resembles a last gasp.

      Well I guess we still have a review of a report on December 22nd. But wait now we have proof that the plp and others were misinforming or outright lying to people to get them to protest in the first place.

  7. Toodle-oo says:

    I’ll wager that by the time my comment is posted OJ will have already been here continuing his lies about the AC and finishing with ’24-12′

    • Manuel says:

      OJ keeps on about 24 – 12 because that the total number of brain cells he has and the total number he can use at any one time…

  8. Lives in Reality says:

    Regardless of the current leader, the gameplay is still the same, selective memory of history. Since Rward Brown, every following PLP leader basically says, “I reject reality and substitute my own!”. How quick he forgets, Faith Based Tourism (basically giving tax payer’s money away), Dame Louis Brown Evens building, the cruise ship terminal, port royal golf coarse, the emergency housing on the former Southampton base lands,grand slam of golf, the causeway with the “temporary” permanent bridge and the list goes one of PLP failures with heavy financial cost to the island we still don’t know how and when will be paid off.

  9. Marge says:

    The airport deal was a great deal, so you die hearts get over it.
    The L.F.Wade airport was a disgrace to the name of a man that we all respected.

  10. Really.... this again says:

    MP Dunkley, What I remember is that the Premier stated that he would evaluate the contract and try to get a better deal for Bermuda if possible. That included evaluating our ability to cancel the contract. He did just that and disclosed that there is no real out clause and that it would be too costly to so. Not everyone thinks that the airport contract was great deal for Bermuda, some OBA supporters included. As for your criticism, he didn’t ignore the consultants report on maximizing opportunities for Bermudian employment, education ….. he just didn’t mention them because they are a given. He did release the report for all to read! However down the road, if the government does not take advantage of those opportunities, than as the opposition you can ask questions and hold the government accountable. Remember there is spin on both sides! You locked us in and now all we can do is move forward.

  11. gg says:

    You go Dunkley! Let them have it. OBA have been too quiet lately.

  12. somuchless says:

    Dunk. Why even bother. The plp can’t even admit the good.

  13. campervan says:

    I can see why you have chosen to speak thus Premier Burt. It is to appease your base and its frankly disappointing and weak of you IMHO.
    It does not inspire confidence in you as a man of finance. Surely much better rise above this pettiness and give credit where it is due, no?
    I can also pick from the bones of your statement that a further $196 million of debt will bankrupt the Country. As a man of your word and a man of finance, can we hold you to this?

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    Well now Michael Dunkley, there goes any hope you had of being invited to the opening ceremony of the new terminal. Not like you had much hope of being on the invite list in the first place

  15. I and I says:

    “The OBA opposition will never say the airport project is a bad deal for Bermuda – no matter the facts,” FORMER Premier Michael Dunkley will never say!

    • Strictly politics says:

      Thank you. The spun goes both ways. Now let’s see what the wash throws out…..

    • Pequot1612 says:

      Why would they when two panels including the PLPs own said it’s a fair deal. The main issue here is the PLP did not want the OBA to go through with this project so they could oversee it and we the taxpayers would have been saddled with another disaster that ultimately would add more debt to what the PLP created during their last tenure.
      Where was your concern when they were spending us into debt with cost over runs high paid consultants and a bloated civil service?
      Don’t worry history will reveal the true worth of the PLP and all you fools who support them will have to admit you supported a party that destroyed our country.

  16. Alan says:

    A sore loser, but nonetheless a loser – twice in fact.

  17. Marcus in Hong Kong says:

    The only 2 problems I have are:
    1) They rammed it down our throats when the knew all we wanted were some jetways that should have gone in on the last renovation not to mention losing control to foreigners.
    2) We will no longer have a “Bermudian” airport. This new glass and steel tower is just a different version of every other airport in the world. We might as well let Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and MacDonald in like “everywhere else in the world “.

    Goggle “Koh Samui” airport in Thailand and check the ratings.. favorite airport in the world.

    • aceboy says:

      But you are fine with the hospital right? That wasn’t rammed down our throats and was totally transparent?

      • Kathy says:

        So, we go ahead with a different party and do it all over again? That makes it right!

    • Kathy says:

      I agree. It was the manner in which the project was brought to the table. 90% of Bermudians did not like the project to begin with (OBA and PLP supporters alike). This became obvious when the OBA had to start creating promotional videos about it to try to “convince” the public what a beautiful airport it was going to be and to get on board!

      The project was rammed down all our throats whether we wanted it or not, which we are all now stuck with….all to create a few jobs and feed a few Bermudian families in an attempt to convince the Bermudian public they were a the Party who could create economic change, which eventually backfired most powerfully against them in the election.

      In the end the airport is neither:

      A) ours, nor

      B) even close to being a Bermudian airport

      This is what happens when you don’t listen to your constituents – not just some of them, all of them, Mr. Dunkley!

    • peelpee says:

      “all we wanted were some jetways”

      But you actually needed an airport that conformed to international security standards…which Bermuda currently doesn’t have.

      “We will no longer have a “Bermudian” airport. This new glass and steel tower is just a different version of every other airport in the world. ”

      You were impressed with the former shed, with fake butteries?

  18. Jus' Askin' says:

    Trees from the Forest ;-) ;-)


    PLP & OBA continue to prove they are CLUELESS :-(

    The mere fact that a contract like that would be signed , proving we had 0 leverage and 190 mil would bankrupt us should be ALARMING

    Trees from the Forest ;-) ;-)

    • mixitup says:

      EXACTLY! Burt needs to keep digging, the OBA Gov’t knew they were out the door and locked BDA in for some reason, and it’s not for the good of the wider populace either. There is more to this than people are willing to see.

      • shrew says:

        oh please. you want more than you can see? start investigating the ‘trust’ that was set up for the Dame Lois Building, Port Royal, Global Hue and so on and on and on. there is nothing to see re the Airport. the PLP were even given a copy of the contract before it was officially released and even Leigh Fisher says it’s a good deal.

      • Reuben says:

        Or they did incase they lost and wanted to prevent the PLP government from causing cost overruns

      • peelpee says:


        The real conspiracy is that the oba wanted to turn the airport land into a launch pad for ‘space based industries’ :)

  19. Ringmaster says:

    Despite all the negativity from the PLP, in 4 years time they will cut the ribbon with smiles and loads of onlookers. Then to cap it off they will rededicate the airport in memory of L F Wade. Oh the irony and hypocrisy.

    That’s what 24-12 gets Bermuda.

  20. facts of the rock says:

    Burt and Dreb,two of a kind,LIARS.

  21. Kevin says:

    Burt and Co. can’t tell the truth they must find something they can spin and create doubt mistrust amongst there flock.There are many of us who know that the airport deal will be another Project that the OBA developed that Bermuda will see economic success. Can’t say the plp can make that claim on any of the projects they created. Just a side note thank you also to the OBA for the St. George’s development a sight for sore eyes amongst a golf course closed by the plp a club house demolished , no fire station no police station no help from the plp St.George’s will come back

  22. Yawn says:

    Dunkley. Can you please just be quiet. You were irrelevant when you were the premier and nothing has changed. You had no impact then and very little has changed with you.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      You seem to forget that Michael Dunkley could have called an election when the PLP was in disarray when Marc Bean was forced out and the OBA would have won the election easily. He chose not to do so.

      The decision Michael Dunkley made then was the best thing for Bermuda, not the best thing for OBA politics. For that, if nothing else, Michael Dunkley deserves credit, not denigration as a politician

    • Anbu says:

      Compared to who? Burt? Lmao. Where has he even been?

  23. Realist says:

    I truly wish Mr. Dunkley was still our Premier.

  24. mixitup says:

    Look at the OBA heard…lol The focus of this report now needs to zero in on why was this contract was locked so tightly, unlike any EVER. I won’t be suprised to find that there are factions locally that will receive some kick back for 30+ years, keep digging burt!

    Note: Dunkley has time to pen letters but not show up in Parliament?

    • shrew says:

      DIG ALL YOU WANT mate! the PLP just want you to be focused on this while they spend all our money and increas the debt and legislate bigotry.

  25. Mark says:

    Wait the PLP uses negative spin and wont accept reality? Wait, they are just like the Trump people? And in other news, rain is wet!

  26. watching says:

    SO now he is the Shadow Minister of Transport, or is he Shadow Minister of Public Works? Let’s just call him Shadow Minister of Everything, Minister of Nothing.

  27. aceboy says:

    Over 250 new civil servants…the PLP will never learn.

    • Athena says:

      Aceboy, you got it right!

      Between adding to the CS and playing the Bitcoin roulette this administration exhibits signs of taking us back in history to I would say……2012.

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