Column: MP Leah Scott On BTA Legislation

November 27, 2018 | 15 Comments

[Opinion column written by OBA MP Leah Scott]

In the House of Assembly on Friday, November, 23, MP Scott Simmons spoke of “dismantling” the BTA. When challenged on the use of the word “dismantle”, MP Simmons then tried to waffle his way out of the statement, but there is no denying that MP Simmons used the word “dismantle”.

He was then followed up by Minister DeSilva who said that while former Finance Minister Bob Richards might have only been “looking under the hood,” he is planning to not only just look under the hood of the BTA, but “he is going to tear the car apart”.

Back in March 2014, the then Leader of the Opposition Marc Bean stated that “a PLP Government would ditch the [new] independent Tourism Authority and take its work back in-house or make it find its own funds”.

He went on to say that “The current arrangement with the Tourism Authority will change and change immediately.” He promised the authority would either “absorbed back into Government proper” or “truly have it privatised — if your budget is $25 million, go and fund it”.

In October 2017, then Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Jamahl Simmons stated that Government will transform the ACBDA into the Bermuda Event Authority [BEA] which will build on the experience of hosting the America’s Cup and “utilize a far more diverse and inclusive approach to finding, attracting and managing events”.

In the 2018 Throne Speech, the Government made mention of advancing the BEA. Though there has not been much discussion around what a BEA would look like, it would seem to me that there will be some overlap between the BEA and the BTA and, at some point in time, one or other of the entities would have to eventually be dissolved.

So, has the PLP taken the first step in tearing the BTA car apart? If that is the ultimate intention, then it is unfortunate. The BTA was specifically established, under the OBA Government, to be an independent body.

The BTA has been successful in its initiatives and continues to go from strength to strength, and Bermuda is enjoying the fruits of their efforts. The BTA act, as amended will, more than likely, counteract any chance of economic and social enhancement, rather than stimulate it.

I said it before, and I will say it again…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

- Leah Scott is the Shadow Minister of Tourism 

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Comments (15)

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  1. Double S says:

    They killed gaming with their desire for unbridled and unopposed power.

    Why not the BTA as well?

    PLP are slowly becoming an autocratic Government who have no time for anyone who doesn’t a) look like them or b) think like them. Next step is dictatorship. This scenario has been played out hundreds of times throughout human history.

    • Black Soil says:

      The PLP are killing Bermuda’s future.

    • Wrong says:

      The OBA killed gaming! Get it straight! They tried to hurt a Bermudian entrepreneur from entering the market and leading Bermuda in this area! I attended the PLP Education workshop and It is comical to read such an uninformed post and frankly insulting to us businessmen who under the OBA regime were set aside and marginalized by the likes of the OBA (Fahy, Gibbons and Dunkley) and the commissioner and gaming consultant. Thank god the PLP had the sense to step in and stop such nonsense.

      • Double S says:

        You wrote that the OBA killed gaming, but provided not one shred of evidence to back up your little rant. Typical.

        You can rewrite history all you like. Doesn’t make it the truth.

        Despite advertising for a seasoned executive for more than a year now they haven’ had any callers. know why? Because of the PLP’s power hungry nature which saw them kill the independence of the Gaming Commission. no one in their right mind would put their reputation in the industry at risk to work for a Omission that is susceptible to political interference and possible corruption. PLP and their desire to control each and every aspect of Bermuda will be its and our downfall. And supporters such as yourself that blindly support such self serving behaviour are the reason they are able to act in such an autocratic manner.

        You love the PLP, but you hate Bermuda as a whole.

  2. DeOnion says:

    Tearing the car apart – but the Government said they won’t interfere … hahahahaha!

  3. Slipnut says:

    Nothing more than a money grab. Plus a paycheck for friends and family.

  4. watching says:

    Ms Scott knows that this is fixing what was a wrong set in place by her government, but she cannot admit to that. Politics at its best/worst.

  5. kevin says:

    Money hungry plp are control freaks and this was an independant authority who were doing a stella job without political interference….oh well all good things must come to an end ( the plp way ) they will screw this up and add to their impeccable list of failures.Don’t worry plp faithful after they damaged the IB industry they took aim at our real last hope to be successful…but be confident you to will pay …
    At least zane won’t go and sing the US national anthem at mets stadium …or will he

  6. Jus' Askin' says:

    BTA must GO!!!!!

    • Ringmaster says:

      Thank you for such a well reasoned response. It will take some time to digest your reasons as to why the BTA must go. OK, why?

      • Wrong says:

        Because they are spending our money without our input and checks and balances! Not what the OBA advertised at all! Time to answer to who writes the checks!

        • Truthertz says:

          Actually the BTA is audited each and every year by the Auditor General. And to date each audit has come back clean.

          The comment above is what happens when all you do is listen to radio talk shows and self serving politicians.

          Dare to think for yourself for once. It’s refreshing.

          • Jus' Askin' says:

            “Accounting for the Spending does not JUSTIFY the Spending” ;-)

            • Double S says:

              They spend less than the failed DoT used to and have actually seen success despite tighter budgets.

              But yet you and your team want to go back to Faith Based tourism and other failed PLP schemes simply because the BTA wasn’t your team’s idea…

              Thus it can be deduced that you love your Party over your country.

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