Govt On Housing & Road Traffic Amendments

August 15, 2018 | 7 Comments

The Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Act 2018 was read, debated and passed on August 10th which will allow the Government to start roadside sobriety testing, and the Bermuda Housing Amendment Act will permit the Bermuda Housing Corporation to begin the process of converting the Grand Atlantic property into a condo-hotel and “if this was not done on Friday, the project could have been delayed until next year,” the Government said.

OBA Express Concern

The statement from the Government follows after Opposition Leader Jeanne Atherden said the OBA had “grave concerns about an abuse of process which saw Bills tabled in the House of Assembly and then going through first, second and third readings in the same day.”

“Both the Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 and Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Act 2018 were tabled and pushed through in this way,” Ms Atherden said.

“The usual procedure is that Bills are tabled and then debated following a two-week period which allows a review of the proposed legislation and the ability to consult with the lead Minister, technical officers, and key stakeholders to briefed or to address any concerns that may arise.

“Not being allowed that process and being required to just agree to the passing of legislation without having the opportunity to properly consider it, is a dangerous precedent and leads the way for the law of unintended consequences to come into play,” Ms Atherden added.

Government’s Response

A Government spokesperson said, “The Road Traffic Amendment and Validation Act 2018 was read, debated and passed without objection in the Lower House on 10 August. This validates the current orders and will allow the Government to commence roadside sobriety testing.

“The Bermuda Housing Amendment Act 2018 [PDF] will permit Bermuda Housing Corporation to begin the process of converting the Grand Atlantic property into a boutique Condo-hotel.

“If this was not done on Friday, the project could have been delayed until next year. This project will create job opportunities for Bermudians and that is why we ensured the legislation was passed before the summer recess.

“Notwithstanding the comments from the Opposition, when they were informed last Wednesday that the Bills would be read, debated and voted on during the final session in the House, they were advised that Public Officers could walk them through the amendments and answer any questions they had.

“The Opposition members declined this offer. Nonetheless, both bills passed without objection. This means, following the Senate’s approval, roadside sobriety and the Grand Atlantic condo-hotel conversion can proceed.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Mr. Premier - How about a discussion on DEBT says:

    Dear Bda Gvt.

    I remember a day when senior statesmen Sir John Swan and the late Larry Burchall spent a tremendous amount of time helping Bermudians understand the impact that the mountain of debt amassed under previouus government administrations would have on Gvt’s ability to fund its public service obligations.

    Mr. Burchall provided solid reasoning as to the impact that Nanci would have on the Government’s purse.

    I recall that Mssrs. Swan and Burchall’s arguments were clear, concise and without any interference from political rhetoric.

    The public debt is a crushing issue for our country. Why then is the Premier/Minister of Finance not discussing it.

    This should be his number 1 priority given his dual roles.

    Bermudians need to understand the priorities our our Premier and his cabinet.

    Blessings abound.

    • Wahoo says:

      Perhaps he does not understand it. Maybe he does not care about it. Maybe he has torn a page out of someone else’s play book and thinks that if you ignore something it will go away.

  2. sage says:

    What exactly was the Road Traffic Act Amendment? What did they need to do to pass the law?

    • Think about it says:

      Because disrupting traffic for the purpose of testing citizens was unlawful as without probable cause they cannot test, search or arrest. Now they can from a sobriety perspective!

      • sage says:

        So next time they try a random ‘stop and search’, I can just ride away after telling the cops it is unlawful? Funny that drunkards rights trump everyone else’s.

    • Hmmmm says:

      Because they messed up the roadside sobriety section the 1st time around and had to fix it… Haven’t seen the new iteration, but the last one failed to allow allowed for refusal to take the test and didn’t specify the type of Breathalyzer (people would have been walking the straight line)

      The real reason it wasn’t in place for cup match (I suspect)

  3. chart says:

    “If this was not done on Friday, the project could have been delayed until next year.”

    I call BS. False urgency.

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