Videos/Text: Premier’s Throne Speech Comments

November 4, 2011

[Updated] There can be no “no-go” subjects as Government attempts to manoeuvre Bermuda out of the worst financial crisis since the beginning of World War Two, Premier Paula Cox said today [Nov.4].

Speaking at a Cabinet Office press conference following the reading of the Throne Speech by Governor Sir Richard Gozney, Ms Cox said nothing could be considered off the table as Bermuda tries to reinvigorate  its corporate and tourism infrastructures and put Bermudians back to work.

“We must look beyond tomorrow, and plan for the future,” she said. “We need to welcome foreign investment to our shores, and that will mean introducing bold measures to free up Bermuda.

8-minute video of the Premier’s statement:

“We need to make sure that our economy is diversified and our tourism product is modernised. That is why I am particularly pleased to announce the joint partnership between the Government, the Corporation of Hamilton, and the private sector under the auspices of Bermuda First to develop the waterfront in the city of Hamilton.

13-minute video of the Q&A:

“We cannot have a 21st century tourism product with a 19th century harbour. Partnerships such as these are what Bermuda needs. That is how we will build one another together.”

The Premier’s full remarks appear below:

Good Afternoon, Ministers of the Government, Parliamentarians, members of the media and the people of Bermuda.

Today you will have heard this Government’s 2011 Throne Speech. We focused on eight key themes:

  • Job Creation
  • Strengthening our economy on our road to recovery
  • Exploring new opportunities
  • Empowering our youth
  • Supporting those experiencing hardship
  • Expanding the social pact we have with the people of Bda
  • Fighting crime and enhancing our justice system
  • Improving Service Delivery and Accountability in the Public Service

Masakane! “Let us build one another together.”

This statement is the theme of the Government’s 2011 Throne Speech. We live in tough times, however Bermuda has always come together during difficult times. We came together during Hurricane Fabian; we came together during the Belco fire and we must again come together to help each other during this current economic crisis.

Let us build One Another together.

This year’s Throne Speech is a result of a government that has listened to a wide variety of individuals and groups. We have challenged ourselves to be bold. As a result, I am particularly proud of this Throne Speech which outlines initiatives that are achievable and encompasses subjects that will touch the lives of all of our citizens.

We cannot build one another together while persons are unable to find work. Jobs are the number one priority of this Government. That is why in the Throne Speech you have heard a number of initiatives that not only provide jobs now for Bermudians, but also provide incentives to enable employers to create jobs for Bermudians in the future.

Bermuda, “No-one should have any excuse to choose a life of crime versus constructive engagement to contribute to their community.” We must provide our people a clear path to re-enter the workforce with skills for a career that is relevant over the long-term to provide them with the life style that they aspire to.

  • As a result, we will unveil Job Corps in the second quarter of 2012 and we will also establish a Cisco Training Academy. For our people to succeed in the 21st century we must ensure that our people have 21st century skills.
  • We must look beyond tomorrow, and plan for the future. We need to welcome foreign investment to our shores, and that will mean introducing bold measures to free up Bermuda.

We need to make sure that our economy is diversified and our tourism product is modernised. That is why I am particularly pleased to announce the joint partnership between the Government, the Corporation of Hamilton, and the private sector under the auspices of Bermuda First to develop the waterfront in the city of Hamilton. We cannot have a 21st century tourism product with a 19th century harbour. Partnerships such as these are what Bermuda needs. That is how we will Build one another together.

As a Government and as a country we should also be prepared to have the crucial conversations even when they are on thorny issues; that is what 21st century Governments do. Therefore we intend to:

  • Review the Defence Act to ensure that it is still relevant in a 21st century Bermuda;
  • Ensure that incarceration is not the first choice for dealing with our youth who may choosing the wrong path;
  • Decide whether gaming has a role in our tourism product.
  • Seek to address issues of inequality and going to further advance age discrimination;
  • Improve the health insurance system, especially removing the need for up-front payments to doctors
  • Ensure that support is given to those most in need.

These issues will garner a great deal of discussion and, possibly, angst in some quarters, but if we are to progress as a country, there cannot be any “no-go” subjects.

The Governor added some remarks at the end of the speech that I would like to underscore. He stated that we must support the charitable community in Bermuda. Part of building one another together is working in partnership with charities. Bermuda is blessed to have so many charities that are committed to helping our people and our community.

This Government has committed to formalising as social pact with the private sector, charities, and sports organisations to ensure that we work together for the betterment of Bermuda.

Before I close, I would like to thank the many persons who contributed to the Throne Speech. I would like to thank the Cabinet Office staff, my Cabinet colleagues, the members of the PLP Caucus, and the Central Committee of the PLP. I’d also like to thank the many Bermudians who have spoken to us over the years, and given us your thoughts, suggestions, and encouragement. This is your Throne Speech as much as it is mine.

Over the next few weeks, your government will be taking this Throne Sseech to the people. We want to hear from you, so please make sure you engage. We cannot build one another together without your input, it is welcome.

Bermuda, The world is in economic crisis. The leaders of the world’s largest economies are right now struggling to plot a course forward as their competing national interests threaten their vision of shared prosperity. They are paralyzed, as they are not willing to come together for the greater good.

Will Bermuda follow their example? Will our differences distract us from making shared progress together? Will the desire of some to re-fight old battles cause us not to act? As a country we must accept the fact that if we are not all winners then we will certainly all be losers. Building one another together is not just a theme, it is an imperative. While we can only achieve success together, the Government must take the lead to energise our stakeholders and our citizens.

Bermuda, this government intends to be progressive in its policies and progressive in its actions. This government is ready to lead and will not duck from the responsibility of making decisions. We are committed to empowering our people to succeed, and building a Bermuda not just for tomorrow, but for the future. We will listen, we will consult, and we will take action.

Bermuda, lets build one another together. Masakane!

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Comments (16)

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  1. Videos: Dignitaries Arriving & Throne Speech : | November 5, 2011
  1. Back to school says:

    If there is a need to quote Madiba then at least get the spelling right

    Masakhane !


  2. Terry says:

    “And will not Doc from responsibilities”…….

    Slow down Bernews…your posting too fast.

  3. Noel Ashford says:


    In Reference to this

    -> As a result, we will unveil Job Corps in the second quarter of 2012 and we will also establish a Cisco Training Academy. For our people to succeed in the 21st century we must ensure that our people have 21st century skills.

    Have you not woken up and realized that most companies have moved their IT services off shore???? You did Work for an exempt company right? This is all managed from abroad ;0 These were some of the first jobs to leave bermuda. Way to go on spending money on something that will never benefit Bermudians ever ;0


    • She worked for an exempt company? says:

      You do realize that she was rarely in the office don’t you.

      Paula may not realize it but the only reason that Evan hired her was so that, if he needed a favour, he could make a quick phone call. It had absolutely nothing to do with her abilities as a lawyer.

    • James says:

      Wow, can you open your eyes a little or speak about things that you DO know about! Could it be that establishing a Cisco Training Academy would allow thus trained Bermudians to compete for jobs outside of Bermuda? How could this NOT benefit Bermudians?! Also perhaps, just perhaps, some people might actually come here to train at this place. Cisco training is internationally recognized.

      I really don’t like to defend Premier Cox but fair is fair. Perhaps this is a good idea, at least its a thought outside of the box. I know many young Bermudians who could/should take advantage of something like this.

      Have a rethink on this one mate!

      • C. Anthony Francis says:

        This is/was already in place at the Berkeley Institute as far back as 2004. I agree that a cisco academy would be a great asset for our students. It would provide great opportunities if coupled with internships.

      • Noel Ashford says:


        I have a BCS, an MBA in Technology Management and varioushigh level storage and networking industry certs. There are few better qualified to speak on this. Unless you work for an ISP or a cloud provider down the road, these are no longer jobs due to the high cost of putting them in Bermuda that are managed in Bermuda. you will be hard pressed to find a CCIE that works in Bermuda these days. I am friends as well with the CCIE who manages most of Bermuda’s cisco concerns from a consulting and ISP perspective – so yes I do know what I am talking about. This venture is many years too late as that ship already sailed. I also have setup one of the larger Cisco shops on island… I applaud an effort in any right direction, but anyone in IT in bermuda would tell you that IT is dead in Bermuda – good jobs anyways. I also manage and work with approx 20,000 + IT professionals at current managing something much larger than Bermuda itself techically and wish i could say what but you may be surprised.

        My answer as to how this will NOT benefit Bermudians is that this isn’t something that companies want Bermudians doing. They have a bermudian set it up and someone else abroad manages these items.


        • James says:

          Well Noel, its nice to know that you do what you are talking about. But I stand by one of my points that an academy such as being suggested would benefit Bermudians if they so choose to participate. Bermudians, you included, must start to realize that there are other opportunities outside of Bermuda. Using your example, how come someone based in Bermuda cannot properly remotely manage a network located somewhere else? (Besides the obvious probable higher cost) Just a question, I’m sure you will have an answer to this.

          While my involvement in IT only encompasses a portion of my responsibilities, the larger portion being electronics based, there is still ample opportunity for Bermudians in these fields both here in Bermuda and outside. We have to start thinking outside of our very familiar box. This world we live in is not getting any larger, in fact its getting smaller and smaller. This alone creates opportunity. There is more to Bermuda than the land between St. Georges and Dockyard!

          And I probably wouldn’t be surprised at what you currently manage as you wouldn’t be surprised at some of the international responsibilities that my department manages, which is 100% Bermudian I might add! In your example, why can’t more Bermudians do what you are currently doing? Why can’t an IT management company based in Bermuda support IT networks anywhere in the world, priced such that they are globally competitive?

          I still say a rethink on your part may be needed. Opportunity abounds my friend.

          • Noel Ashford says:

            James, I admire your interest in IT. I also share this passion. However the trends are just stating different – Companies have already migrated the larger datacenters offshore. They have built ITAAS setups / Private cloud in many instances to manage remotely. I know as I was asked to build one that would have put my Bermudian co-workers out of a job had completed this… You may not yet be in a position to see this occurring but I have been.

            I understand the need for new modern age economies but ask yourself this, with the cost of bandwidth and labor to Bermuda, when the rest of the world is running dark fiber, creating MPLS and enjoying 50 megs for 50 $ at home… Why come to Bermuda for 4 megs, 200 $ or a T1 for 1400 a month? Imagine what 100 megs to BDA is… We aren’t competitive nor can we be in the middle of the ocean on IT Bandwidth costs. So to answer your question as to why, I hate to quash a dream but I would advise against holding your breath on waiting to see Bermuda turn into an offshore IT venture, The US will go to Mars and Pluto before this happens. It’s impossible to be competitive solely based on economies of scale and distance from mainland.

            Why can’t more do what I do? Well, for one they need different passports and visas and degrees and need to be willing to leave Bermuda, but other than that, it was a rare opportunity. I am not however the only Bermudian moving abroad in IT – there just aren’t enough opportunities to go higher up in IT in Bermuda – it’s too small – again, economies of scale.

            As a Bermudian tax payer, people would be paying to shrink the tax base in essence, as to make use of this cert – you need to move abroad currently unless you want to be a CCNA or CCNP that just sets up a router once and watches a foreigner manage it… I like more of a challenge than that personally in what I do for a living.

            I hope you find this to be a well thought out answer. I don’t know how else to answer on the state of IT in Bermuda… If you haven’t yet seen this, eventually as you progress you will… It’s a sad realization as a Bermudian but true none the less.


    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Noel Ashford, as you have already made it public that your father and I know each other, I must say that I find it hard to believe that you are your father’s son as you are one of the most disrespectful bloggers on this site. I’m sure you did not play marbles with Premier Cox and to refer to her as “Paula” is unacceptable to me and others. It is either Mrs. Cox, Ms. Cox, Premier Cox, or even just plain Cox is acceptable. I do not expect you to agree with anything the Premier or anyone else associated with the PLP says, if it is at all possible, please show some respect. I am aware that this may be difficult for you as I’ve heard you were very disrepectful to the former premier as well.

      You are living proof that Bermuda doesn’t only has a problem with young black males.

      • Noel Ashford says:

        Not true at all. I agree with at least one thing the premier did recently this week…Care to venture a guess what it was? Notably, I talk to Dr. Brown whenever I see him – you may wish to get your facts straight. I think he was a politician through and through, well-spoken and I enjoy talking with him when I see him. I have seen Dr. Brown and his wife Wanda twice of late, abroad and locally, so try your best to get your facts right. I disagree with actions that occurred under his tenure and I have that right as does every other Bermudian – I know this may be hard for you to digest as often you comment without doing your homework and let anger talk instead of facts.

        Again I also remind you that I did personally meet with the PLP with the intent of wanting to serve my island no matter how much – I take it you’re a keen fan of Wayne Furbert then seeing your stance on party politics? The BHC scandal however significantly turned me off of attaching my name to a record like that – another fact you may wish to recollect before your usual well thought out comments.

        It is okay to disagree with actions you don’t agree with from your government, we see it daily in more democratic parts of the world where the government hasn’t instilled fear in the people to make them afraid to talk up! It seems clear that you however follow party politics to the death seemingly – even when they clearly don’t follow you..? Do you agree with all things that the PLP does then? There’s no mistakes whatsoever under their tenure, Dr. Browns or Paula Cox’s? I think not….

        Notably, no wonder your party will never enact PATI – they also don’t seem to believe in freedom of speech – I am entitled to my opinion as you are yours. Interesting take on your comments – you seemingly confuse public service to the UBP as a chairman for two years, no criminal record, a Bachelors and an MBA and a good work record contributing to Bermudian society as my being a social problem and white males who disagree with the PLP as a social problem, do you actually have any other tricks Laverne except for the race card – it seems to be your universal tool – it is a fix for everything right, just apply two race cards and the problem is gone, call me in the morning to mimic a well-known adage? I gave many years of service to a School in Bermuda – more attention than PLP ever gave a school in Bermuda seemingly and have worked in IB for two very large insurers over the years and I support and manage an entity at current larger than all of Bermuda combined MANY times over. I dare say there isn’t a single Bermudian that does what I do on a daily basis and I have much to be proud of. Yes, clearly I am a significant social problem – to the PLP, as I have a mind of my own and a mouth and I am not afraid to exercise to speak up for what I feel is right.

        In my opinion, under the PLP the island is on the brink of economic and social collapse and the pace of degradation is highly accelerated and out of control and quite frankly, there is nobody else to blame except the government. They squandered our funds, did nothing about the crime problem and worried only about increasing their own salaries while in office – something contrary to being a civil servant. So, you will have to excuse me if I don’t like seeing my home fall apart and I feel it’s the fault of the government and those who led it into the ground. Under the PLP we’re concerned about the future of our island now, seriously concerned. Under John Swan and the UBP, they gave the island a future and the PLP undid it slowly via the likes of a select few PLP members (being conservative in my numbers there) and others such as the colonel making foreigners with a different opinion feel unwelcome – heck we even got questioned to marry a foreigner. Well PLP or whoever else contributed to this outcome, you won! They left and continue to leave – how will the blue collar sector support themselves? Another instance of a well thought out approach by the PLP and deep dive into what makes/MADE our economy tick once upon a time.

        You are correct Laverne, I find it challenging to post rosy comments about the PLP at current as well as a select few (names need not be mentioned again) that went that extra mile to add to our social problems… You can extrapolate as you must on that comment and as I know you will. The PLP isn’t all bad as I have stated on many occasions, but I dare argue that they have strayed drastically from their grass roots principles – I am certain that Freddy Wade would have definitely had very serious questions of the last regime and why we are where we are now as a country and why the public purse was squandered so much, as well as why the PLP as an opposition cried foul daily on cronyism and nepotism and they became exactly what they despised..?

        I think Dale Butler is another great example of a good PLP politician as well, but then again, he was pushed to the side for talking out too much just like you would do to me if you could. He wasn’t towing the party line and disagreed with the current regime as do I

        In conclusion, Its hard to view any cog of this disaster as being reusable in a different machine to achieve a different outcome… I think you will find this is a shared sentiment next election.


  4. Maddog says:

    No comments must be good.

  5. anon says:

    lol for a person that use 2 walk trough de back door


  6. wotless says:

    Well said premier! Your supporters have been waiting a long time for a progressive agenda!

  7. PLP Government Worker says:

    Dear Ms Furbert,

    Is there any benefit to not always attacking people based on your knowledge of their parents, relatives or prior work experience?

    The culture of personal attacks, over constructively debating issues will get us no where.

    Also if someone is not Bermudian, or white, why do they have no say in Bermuda’s affairs? Surely the non-Bermudian Spouses of Premier’s Scott, Brown and Cox all give them external insight that also helps shape our Island’s policies.

    Your steadfast support of the PLP is superb, but I find it hard to accept that every supporter of the PLP is comfortable with your approach and constant negative message, the votes in the Constituency 6 Branch election evidenced this fact.

    You have been exposed to an exceptional segment of Bermuda’s contemporary political history, in this last phase of your career you should consider an approach that will honour your contribution to our society.

    One would think that you were held on Front Street and publicly beaten by a white Governor, or the 40 Thieves with the hate and anger you voice.

    Its time for a constructive conversation, please use your contacts to assist with Premier Cox’s agenda and (soon to be won at the Polls) Manadate to help with the important work ahead.

    And no, I will not give my name as all you will do is attack me and the sensitivity of my current role in Government prohibit me from making public statements such as this, but as someone sharing the same racial background as you its really full time you consider a different approach, please. Like me, many find you highly embarrasing.

    Wishing you all the best with your remaining time in public and community life.

    PLP Government Worker