Minister Apologizes To Carlos Amaral & Board

July 20, 2018 | 18 Comments

Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch offered an “unequivocal apology to Mr. Carlos Amaral, Chairman of the Board of Agriculture and the entire Board” for a statement he made last week, explaining that the “Farmers Association has been advocating for a regularization of leases as far back as 2016 based on the correspondence I have now had sight of.”

Speaking  in the House of Assembly today [July 20], the Minister said, “You will recall that last week I also spoke on the subject of Farming in Bermuda.

“I rise this morning specifically to offer an unequivocal apology to Mr. Carlos Amaral, Chairman of the Board of Agriculture and the entire Board for erroneously stating last week that: I also agree with the statement by Carlos Amaral, Chairman of the Board of Agriculture, that ‘the problem with farmers leases needed examination’ although I wonder out loud why it has taken 5 years for anyone to say anything?

“I have this week been made aware that, contrary to what was implied by the schedule of leases provided that prompted my statement – it is incorrect – in fact the Farmers Association has been advocating for a regularization of leases as far back as 2016 based on the correspondence I have now had sight of.

“As an aside Mr. Speaker, my Ministerial colleagues must use my experience in this regard to not assume that they know or are being told everything that is happening in their Ministries. I encourage them to do as I will now – follow up on projects begun before July 18th last year, but not yet concluded and get such a list from staff in each area of their Ministries.

“This government is fully committed to farming in this country and will use all resources at its disposal to encourage, expand and develop wider participation in farming in Bermuda.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, you will recall that last week I also spoke on the subject of Farming in Bermuda.

I rise this morning specifically to offer an unequivocal apology to Mr. Carlos Amaral, Chairman of the Board of Agriculture and the entire Board for erroneously stating last week that: I also agree with the statement by Carlos Amaral, Chairman of the Board of Agriculture, that “the problem with farmers leases needed examination” although I wonder out loud why it has taken 5 years for anyone to say anything? Mr. Speaker, I have this week been made aware that, contrary to what was implied by the schedule of leases provided that prompted my statement – it is incorrect – in fact the Farmers Association has been advocating for a regularization of leases as far back as 2016 based on the correspondence I have now had sight of.

As such I apologise to them without reservation. Mr. Speaker, let me stress that other than the vacant lots, the land is being farmed and there is no intent to use this land for anything other than farming. The expired leased land is still being farmed with the farmers paying their rent regularly. The statics presented last week of 13 properties appearing to have expired leases and 2 in dispute over ownership are correct – but only since June this year.

As an aside Mr. Speaker, my Ministerial colleagues must use my experience in this regard to not assume that they know or are being told everything that is happening in their Ministries. I encourage them to do as I will now – follow up on projects begun before July 18th last year, but not yet concluded and get such a list from staff in each area of their Ministries.

Mr. Speaker, in the wake of this new information I have ordered that a plan and timelines to fully address the outstanding leases be implemented as a matter of priority with the understanding that unless there is a compelling reason not to [and a fulsome case needs to be presented to justify same] – all arable land leases are to be for 21 years less a day so they don’t have to be dealt with again anytime soon or require Parliamentary scrutiny.

As I stated last week – this government is fully committed to farming in this country and will use all resources at its disposal to encourage, expand and develop wider participation in farming in Bermuda.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Stormy daniels says:

    Horse is out of the stable now.

  2. Thank you, Minister Burch.
    Unlike oba, you apologize for shortcomings.
    Oba and Fehy apologized for NOTHING!!

    • Hey says:

      Rubbish, Burch is just playing games.

    • Answer says:

      When are we going to get an apology for the racist statements about the Chief Justice?

      How about an apology for the lies spread prior to the last election?

      An apology for private information being fed to the PLP in order to give them an election advantage?

      To start with.

      Then I think they should all apologise for being useless….

    • The real Terry says:

      STRAIGHTFORWARD please enlighten us what they have to apologize for

  3. Y-Gurl says:

    It’s dissapoin that our “leader” doesn’t have the good sense to reign this minister in and put a halt to his racist remarks. These outbursts cause further divide in our community and we are tired of listening to the borderline educated remarks and personal attacks.

    • Golly says:

      Couldn’t agree more except what bother me more is that each time he makes a racist remark, there isn’t a peep from Premiere Burt, the other PLP ministers, PLP supporters and most notably quiet CURB!

  4. WSP says:

    @straightforward, Bermudians are still waiting for an apology from the previous administrations putting us all in debt for the next century

    • Humprey says:

      And what debt is that.?you won the election now move on,don’t keep talking about Obama (move on)

  5. Merrick says:

    I wonder who told him to that. Most out of character, perhaps he can next apologise for single handedly ruining the economy and our credibility as Home Affairs minister when he sent all those jobs packing…

  6. Ac says:

    And that apology will come after the JetGate, America’s Cup and airport give away spree is given by the OBA. Bermuda all you have to do is sit and listen to the Milkman

    • Golly says:

      Such bull and here is why, PLP had their own Jetgate : Just google Dr Brown and Globalhue. Americas Cup made Bermuda more than it spent unlike Beyonce Concert, Faith Based Tourism, Diaspora Tourism and Globalhue Contract. Regarding the Airport, the PLP had already put forth their own plans for the airport that cost more, and could not find a way to pay for it! The OBA did. And lets not forget the truth that PLP supports conveniently leave out. how is the airport deal and different than the Deal the PLP made for our hospital?

  7. Onion Joke says:

    He has “has sight of” information? That means he can presumably read! So how about the 500 to 2 objections on his ATV tour????

    • Onion vomit says:

      No chance. Come on, it’s a new F&F plan, you know that….

  8. Southampton says:

    Congratulations Mr. Burch. You are human after all.

  9. Stevie says:

    Time for Burt to tell Burch to go away. But that won’t happen because smug face Burt is weak.

  10. Nah loonk….your a good fellow but my island is innundated with rats…please advise…boss your the guy can you assist or not?

  11. Cause we need this done.

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