OBA Leader & Minister On Blame, Jobs & More

February 19, 2019 | 87 Comments

“The Premier’s attempt to play the blame game over jobs that have failed to materialise is an act of desperation,” OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said, while Minister Jamahl Simmons said the “Opposition seems more interested in attacking the Government than in standing up for the Bermudians who have seen their dreams of jobs with this company dashed.”

The Opposition Leader’s comments follow after Premier David Burt accused the newspaper of having “joined hands” with the OBA in a “concerted effort to cast doubt and irreversibly tarnish this Government’s work in the diversification of this economy” adding “specifically the fintech industry.”

According to Premier’s speech in the House, a company which planned to set up an office and hire people in Bermuda changed their mind due to a “brazen and unprofessional” interaction with a reporter and the “disregard for facts or the right of an individual or company affairs to remain private.”

The report in question was apparently one titled “Company seeks six sports-trading operators,” which detailed jobs that were advertised on the Government’s Bermuda Job Board website.

The report cited the job ad as saying the employees’ key responsibilities would include “monitoring live events and processing data in real time, monitoring the automated systems, following defined escalation procedures when issues occur, supporting other group operational teams located around the world.”

The Royal Gazette responded to the Premier’s comments in an editorial, and Dexter Smith, the editor of the newspaper, later added that while they “would rather not have to be forced into a position to defend ourselves against political attacks”, they will not be “bullied by them, and by that I mean the Government, the Opposition or their associated acolytes, into not doing our jobs for the people of Bermuda.”

Audio, via the Government CITV Youtube channel, of the Premier’s remarks in the House:

Mr. Cannonier said, “The Premier’s attempt to play the blame game over jobs that have failed to materialise is an act of desperation, of someone who knows they are sitting in the ‘last chance saloon’, who knows the pressure is on. He has over-promised and is now underperforming.

“Did the Premier step in to save the day with this company? Did he even try? What did he do? That is the story we all really want to hear, isn’t it? That’s the story I want to hear and I want to hear it without the protection of parliamentary privilege.

“Or, is there an untold backstory here that we are not hearing?

“All we have heard is how the Premier is happy to lay the blame for his own failing policy at someone else’s door in an attempt to deflect and distract from reality. This is no more that hearsay politics and a sign of a Premier in meltdown mode.

“By blaming others, he is deflecting from the fact that his one and only economic policy is failing; distracting people away from the appalling state of the economy and Government’s intent to pile more and more taxes onto the backs of hard working Bermudians instead of cutting spending.

Audio of OBA Leader Craig Cannonier:

“Yes, 20 new jobs going elsewhere is a real blow, especially as six were expected to be Bermudian – and goodness knows Bermuda needs all the jobs it can get right now – but people are asking: where are the other jobs?

“They are asking: where is the plan to improve the economy now; when will retail sales stop falling and what will workers do once the big OBA construction projects end? They don’t want to listen to playground politics, they want action.”

Response From Minister Jamahl Simmons

In response, Minister Simmons said, “We should all be deeply concerned about the circumstances outlined by the Premier on Friday in the Motion to Adjourn.

“Six Bermudian jobs gone, an office lease cancelled, executive relocations and accompanying rental of housing gone, payroll taxes to be paid to Government gone and the reality that this one negative experience by one company could impact negatively on Bermuda in incalculable ways.

“Mr. Cannonier said in his statement, ‘Yes, 20 new jobs going elsewhere is a real blow, especially as six were expected to be Bermudian and goodness knows Bermuda needs all the jobs it can get right now – but people are asking: where are the other jobs?”

“If the Opposition truly cared about more jobs and opportunities for Bermudians, they would condemn at every turn anyone or any entity that seeks to undermine that.

“Unfortunately the Opposition seems more interested in attacking the Government than in standing up for the Bermudians who have seen their dreams of jobs with this company dashed…”

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  1. trump supporter says:

    Flip flop Jahmal.Guess he had to say something to justify the wage.
    Wonder if all the gold is still on island.

    • Maddog says:

      Oba spent 100 million on a boat race and gave away all the revenue
      At the airport for 30 years!!!!

      • trump supporter says:

        You suffer from doing correct math too!

      • wahoo says:

        Why are you mad? You voted for this you should be a happydoggie. Sit!

      • red rose says:

        here we go … same old, same old …. same old tired and incorrect statements. You operate exactly out of the Jamahl Simmons playbook …

      • Come Correct says:

        OBA did not spend $100 million on AC, it came in under budget (something the plp has never done) and returned over $300 million. The airport hardly turned a profit, just about broke even…we got a free airport. Facts seem to indicate you have no clue.

        • Really says:

          But who benefited from it? And dont fix your trolling mouth to say everyone cause that’s a BIG lie.

          • LaV says:

            “But who benefited from it?”

            Those of us with skills and a desire to work…so, you’re right. Not everyone benefited.

          • JohnnyB says:

            Really* Have you tried J&B firewood pizza? The lead singer of the big chill….ALL of the staff that worked the event for months. All of the locals who are now sailors…The list goes on and on

          • wahoo says:

            What? You didn’t benefit? Did nobody came and spoon feed you? Get off your stupid a$$ and do something for yourself! People with barrels of money were running around here and I suppose you were one of the ones trying to make them uncomfortable.

          • Really says:

            I’m going to address all you trolls at once. It’s that the best you can do naming a couple of vague examples that CAN’T be quantified to its actual impact on employment and the economy for the LONG HAUL. Keep grasping straws. The Americas Cuo didnt provide a future. And you talking about months when it only lasted a month. Where are dem 2000 long term jobs?

            • LaV says:

              Really, you just got you fat a$$ handed to you…crawl away munchkin, your time is up.

            • JohnnyB says:

              America’s Cup was never supposed to have long term jobs, that was a different. Two independent studies done by PWC and Deloitte price it was a major home run for Bermuda. Are you suggesting PWC and Deoitte are wrong

            • 2 Bermudas says:

              Americas Cup done more than the Black Mayor’s Conference, Global Hue, Playboy Mansion, and Faith Based Tourism combined!! And Det dur was de Platinum Period!! Hahahahaha!!! Carry on!!

            • Come Correct says:

              It lasted 2 years. Now tell us what the plp has done.

            • question says:

              Where are Burt’s promised Fintech jobs?

          • MsFedUp says:

            I benefited. I’m Bermudian. I was working freelance (because no jobs), struggling to make ends meet. But because of the AC, I had 17 months of consistent busy work.

        • Really says:

          Excuse me they DID spend over 100 million. Who would believe anything the OBA says when you all have been proven liars? But ok let’s say 100 mill wasnt spent and it came under budget, what about them 2000 jobs?….mic drop…

          • LaV says:

            ” Who would believe anything the PLP says when you all have been proven liars? ”

            FTFY

            • Really says:

              When have the PLP told an outright lie to the ppl like Craig Cannonaire and the OBA did or are you all going to fabricate that as well as all the other lies u all love to tell…

              • Really says:

                The OBA used black faces to get in power and tried to lie their way out of that. they lied on gaming, they lied on Jetgate and continue to lie on that, they lied on job creation, they did absolutely nothing to grow the economy or diversify it like they said they will for the long run, they lied on stopping the shootings, they continue to lie on the actual cost of the Americans Cup, that’s just a few examples. Please highlight when the PLP have lied even close to those examples.

              • Come Correct says:

                Coming from the person here spitting outright lie after lie.

          • Double s says:

            By that logic you must not believe a thing from the “we had to deceive you “ PLP, right?

          • Really says:

            I mean it’s so ironic that you all are so great at math now with your ridiculous simple math posts to highlight the Airport and Americas cup argument but when you Bring up the FACT that the OBAUBP DOUBLED the debt all of a sudden you all are legally blind and dont know basic math playing dumb. Hypocrisy at its finest…

            • LaV says:

              Really…you sound angry…like a petulant child not getting their way. This is why you’re simply dismissed and a wack job racist. You don’t have an audience.

            • Question says:

              The OBA did not double the debt. You keep saying it, but it isn’t true. If you keep saying it, it just makes you look stupid.

              The PLP did manage to increase debt by 600%, way more than double, in their last 7 years. So that’s a FACT for you, since you like FACTS so much.

            • Come Correct says:

              2.6 billion plus 2.6 billion is 5.2 billion and our debt isn’t that high, yet. So that’s another lie.

              As far as 2000 jobs, governments aren’t supposed to create jobs. They create an environment for businesses to thrive and thus hire more staff. That’s a bit difficult to achieve with protests every other week. Explaining how this is achieved may be a bit over your head.

              • Toodle-oo says:

                *governments aren’t supposed to create jobs. They create an environment for businesses to thrive and thus hire more staff.*

                Something that unfortunately needs to be read and repeated daily by about 70% of the voters on this island. Not that I believe they’ll ever ‘get it’ when you think that there’s still people waiting for one of those 2000 jobs very foolishly misstated/promised by the OBA.

          • JohnnyB says:

            Nope, it was $67Mil

          • DeOnion says:

            There is the problem in a nutshell. ‘Where are the 2000 jobs’.
            This is pure opposition style politricking. But you (the plp) are NOT in opposition yet you still talk about it!
            To the present – where are the jobs under the plp?

          • 2 Bermudas says:

            2,000 jobs? If Bob Richards was smart he’d have cut 2,000 employees in the civil service instead! Then they could have been retrained and rehired in the private sector and there’s your 2,000 new jobs and a balanced budget. Does Burt or Curtis have the courage to do it?!?! Hahahaha!!

      • Johnny B says:

        Im going to do some VERY basic math real quick…

        The new airport roughly costs $267 Million for construction + $16 million for demo..For simple math and the fact most project run their 10% overhead lets say $300 Million.

        Bermuda was given a $300 Million airport for 30 years of revenue.

        That’s $10 Million/year that Bermuda is given PLUS we don’t even have to operate it. Where would this money of come from has we not gone into a PPP?

        Simple Math!

        Oh and you forgot to mention how much money the AC made Bermuda based of two independent reports by the most respected accounting firms in the world.

        • Trump supporter says:

          Some people don’t understand math if it’s not 1.2 overrun math.

        • Dumb says:

          Those reports were complete crap as no expenses were listed or factored in. Very poor performance from these so called reputable firms who cover their butts. Just read the fine print dummy!

    • red rose says:

      It’s a family of flip flops: flip flop Jamahl, Flip Flop Furbert and Flip Flop Kim ….

  2. Ringmaster says:

    Where was Jamahl Simmons when the the PLP Opposition were attacking the OBA on an almost daily basis against the America’s Cup, the airport etc? Where was he when Tokio Millenium Re made over 50 jobs redundant? Jamahl is a prime example of a politician who has no use outside of being an MP.

    Any company who doesn’t want to say whey they do and then throw their toys out of the pram is not the sort of company Bermuda needs. Premier Burt gave no information about this company, had it been vetted and passed by the BMA, was it registered, was the business legal in Bermuda? Where is the Fintech Bank promised by Premier Burt? Why does he hide behind Parliamentary privilege?

    • Double S says:

      Do as I say and not as I do is the MO that the PLP lives and operates by.

    • red rose says:

      TMR? yes great point! Come on, let’s hear the PLP on that!

      • Maddog says:

        Oba spent 100 million on a boat race and gave away all the revenue
        at the airport for 30 years!!!!

        You are righ the Oba gave away all the money …do as I say!!!!

        • LaV says:

          LOL@Maddog….if you keep repeating it, do you think it will come true?

          moron

        • Mike Hind says:

          Seriously?

          Does anyone believe this nonsense when you say it?

          You know the Americas Cup MADE the island money, right?

          And the “revenue from the airport for 30 years” got us a new airport?
          Where would YOU suggest we got the money for the new airport?

          I get that you have a partisan, party narrative to push, but is spreading misinformation and lies really what’s best for Bermuda?

          • Delete says:

            We did not need a new airport that cost us 30 years of income and one that was not competitively bid on! Keep playing your little banjo and drinking rum and leave the rest to us big boys!

            • LaV says:

              “We did not need a new airport that cost us 30 years of income ”

              Yes, we did. Remember 9/11? bermudas airport is not secure. You wouldn’t understand that because you’ve probably never been in an airport…stop list etc..

            • Johnny B says:

              Im going to do some VERY basic math real quick…

              The new airport roughly costs $267 Million for construction + $16 million for demo..For simple math and the fact most project run their 10% overhead lets say $300 Million.

              Bermuda was given a $300 Million airport for 30 years of revenue.

              That’s $10 Million/year that Bermuda is given PLUS we don’t even have to operate it. Where would this money of come from has we not gone into a PPP?

              Simple Math!

            • Ringmaster says:

              @ Delete. You’re right. A few tents and tables would have been sufficient for the passengers. Maybe a lunch wagon for food.
              30 years has a certain ring to it though. A wing of the hospital for example built using a very similar format, but without the transparency and oversight by outside entities.

            • roadrash says:

              But Walton Brown is happy to say GDP is up – thanks to projects like the airport (and the hotels).
              You are displaying the same hypocrisy as government which is power, even if they do still behave like they are in opposition

            • Come Correct says:

              Yes, we did. The existing airport barely made a profit anyway.

            • Mike Hind says:

              I love how you lot always resort to personal attacks when you can’t actually answer questions.
              Especially when you do it while hiding like a coward under your hood of anonymity.

              Real bravery.
              Real integrity.

              Really good for our country.

        • Red rose says:

          And that answered my question how

    • 2 Bermudas says:

      They obviously weren’t concerned when they blocked the house or blocked Pathways to Status making foreigners feel unwelcome. What a change of heart now that they are the gov’t!! hahahaha!!!

      • road rash says:

        Yes, they were ready to roll out the welcome mat to 14 guest workers. I guess they’ve finished immigration reform already.

    • Paul says:

      Of all ministers to reply (Jamahl Simmons )what a joke, he needs to stay out of politics.

  3. Double S says:

    What kind of company decides to leave because the media asked very simple questions as to what they do? Sounds shady and a company that is in contravention of Bermuda ‘s so called ‘gold standard.’

    Another point of interest is that only 6 of 20 jobs would be Bermudians meaning the PLP had promised that said company would automatically receive 14 work permits. Kinda goes against their Bermudians first mantra hub?

    • Observer says:

      Where are the protesters or should I say PLP sheep that seemed to come out of the woodwork when ever the OBA proposed to open more work permits for foreign workers.

  4. dawn DeRerd says:

    come on Jamahl – how many jobs did the AC create, the airport, the hotels? How many jobs has the gaming commission created? how many jobs created from the AC legacy? I could on and on …

    And You fail utterly to answer this question: “Yes, 20 new jobs going elsewhere is a real blow, especially as six were expected to be Bermudian – and goodness knows Bermuda needs all the jobs it can get right now – but people are asking: where are the other jobs?

    Or this: Did the Premier step in to save the day with this company? Did he even try? What did he do? That is the story we all really want to hear, isn’t it?

    The PLP has a record of attacking small business in Bermuda, it did everything it could to stop the airport (which has helped push up GDP for this Government) and it snubbed the AC to the extent that any legacy (job creating) opportunity has gone.

    So where are the jobs, Jamahl? Remember the MOUs? Where is the next construction projects? Utter B/S from an overpaid Minister of Propaganda. We should demand our money back, now.
    This makes me so angry.

  5. Blinded by the stupidity says:

    Sorry but everything about this Company sounded like an issue. Bermudiens should all be extremely concerned that we have a Premier that is so desperate that he appears to be willing to turn a blind eye and allow dubious entities that could cause permanent damage to our reputation and economy. I can’t believe that thing have gone this badly for Bermuda, this quickly. There is no hope or economic stimulus in sight. 25-11

  6. Retro says:

    This reeks of something. What kind of business gets defensive when a newspaper asks who they are and what services are on offer and why is Burt so outraged ?

    • DeOnion says:

      Because his one and only policy is not working and his political career is in the balance.

      • Retro says:

        Yeah, but don’t you want to know who was behind the secretive company. It seems really dodgy to me.

        • roadrash says:

          Indeed, I very much want to know, i’d even like to know the name of the company LOL

    • wahoo says:

      Sure does reek and OBA’s word “desperation” sums it up entirely. Fintech sounds to be a bust which is a huge embarrassment for PLP and even if it did materialize there was never going to be any great benefit to Mr and Mrs. Bermudian. The desperation is evident with the minister of finance scrambling to find revenue and because he has no AC of his own he is coming after real Bermudians for our hard earned dollars. The desperation continues with planned take over of the corporations. Curb is now called into action to tell us how we should be taxed as if they are financial gurus.

      Meanwhile Dr. Brown is feeding the minions with free lunches.

    • red rose says:

      ones that operate MRIs …?

  7. question says:

    People are getting sick and tired of their endless excuses for their own failures.
    They have 25-11. They own any failures. It’s all within their control. But all we hear are excuses.

  8. Johnny B says:

    Initiate blame game! RG is the reason why fintech failed hahaha. This government is ridiculous looking for any way out

    • wahoo says:

      Beware the government who would want to stifle the media….

    • Trufth says:

      I literally burst out laughing when I heard this on the news. Sad and pathetic. This is something you hear on a playground after school.

      We are in a real bad way if this is all they’ve got as an excuse for failure. Desperation. I’m seriously getting scared of where we are headed. I haven’t been scared before, but this is getting real.

  9. Johnny B says:

    “Unfortunately the Opposition seems more interested in attacking the Government than in standing up for the Bermudians who have seen their dreams of jobs with this company dashed…

    Isn’t this tactic taken directly out of the PLP handbook? I seem to remember a lot of fuss around the airport and Americas cup, both of which created a ton of jobs and stimulated the economy.

  10. dick francis says:

    why do we have to hear from Simmons – why can’t the premier speak for himself?

  11. road rash says:

    Really? This is the best response they can muster? No answers to the questions? More deflection.

    And this: “Or, is there an untold backstory here that we are not hearing?

    is there?

  12. Dready says:

    The PLP sheep luv their party even if it means licks!

  13. The real Terry says:

    The questions the R G asked were the first questions the government should have asked, but obviously they did not so one is left to speculate as to why the premier would entertain an application from any company without asking those simple questions. What was his reason?

  14. Tout says:

    The question no one seems to be asking is what type of business this unnamed company was planning to do. Would it have been legal in Bermuda? What sports would be featured? If it was US sports, this is very complicated from a legal perspective and could cause problems with US authorities.
    The fact this company has never been named, and Immigration seems to have been OK with this, suggests the Government knew that this was risky and was trying to keep it well below the radar.

  15. Donna says:

    I still notice some expats working on retail stores, my niece has applied to some without success. Is retail cashier a job for qualified expats? I don’t think so

    • sandgrownan says:

      Call the immigration hotline then. Stop whining.

    • LaV says:

      “I still notice some expats working on retail stores, my niece has applied to some without success. ”

      Maybe your niece is incompetent, quit your whining…stop expecting handouts from the people you hate.

    • JohnnyB says:

      Donna, what stores? I will go down there and investigate. Also, how do you know they are expats?

    • Toodle-oo says:

      A) How do you know they’re expats ? Did you ask them or is there something about their ‘appearance’?
      B) Maybe they’re spouses of Bermudians ?

    • kinky says:

      Maybe these expats are married to Bermudians,I see a lot of DR girls married to locals.

  16. Really says:

    Been said these ppl are angry at them losing the election and govt the way they did so they are going to attack us through their economy and propaganda machine. Everyone sees the blatant attempts at sabotage that is being carried out against Fintech. These ppl do not want to see Bermuda change for the better. The 40 thieves and the OBA minions are satisfied with having it all to themselves.

    • Double S says:

      I can show umpteen examples of you lot trying to derail the AC , airport and St. George’s hotel Development’s, but I bet you can’t produce one piece of actual and factual evidence of anyone trying derail the fintech initiative.

  17. LaV says:

    ““Opposition seems more interested in attacking the Government than in standing up for the Bermudians who have seen their dreams of jobs with this company dashed.”

    I wonder if he can actually taste what he spews.
    This government is disgusting, childish. Grow up.

    • LaV says:

      …and racist. Ignoring it won’t make it go away….the world knows that the majority population of bermuda are racist and homophobic. Burying your head in the sand doesn’t make you better than me, sweetie.

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