PLP Questions Premier On Private Jet Travel

May 29, 2013

Reports that Premier Craig Cannonier and Minister of Tourism Shawn Crockwell “accepted a private jet ride from a developer bidding on the Club Med property is very troubling,” said Shadow Minister of Tourism Wayne Furbert.

“If this story is true, this represents a serious breach of ethics and places a cloud over the whole Club Med bidding process,” said Mr Furbert. “It also represents a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.”

In response to Mr Furbert’s statement, Premier Cannonier said that he was contacted by a group of interested investors to attend a meeting in Washington D.C, and due to scheduling conflicts, the investors could not all come to Bermuda at the same time.

The Premier said they offered to fly himself along with Attorney General Mark Pettingill and Minister of Tourism & Transport Shawn Crockwell to their location for a one day meeting.

Minister Crockwell said “This particular meeting is no different from meetings that are conducted regularly on-island. The only difference is location. We did not feel that it was appropriate for the tax payer to incur the cost of a potential investor’s request for information.”

The full statement from Mr Furbert is below:

News reports that the Premier and Minister of Tourism accepted a private jet ride from a developer bidding on the Club Med property is very troubling.

If this story is true, this represents a serious breach of ethics and places a cloud over the whole Club Med bidding process. It also represents a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

The Premier who ran a campaign on openness, transparency, accountability and high standards of ethics must come clean on the details of this or any other gifts or favors received from businesses either currently or potentially holding government contracts.

The Premier and his Minister must answer the following questions:

1) Have you or any member of your Cabinet or Parliamentary group ever received any flights, gifts or favors from businesses local or foreign who currently hold or are attempting to obtain government contracts?

2) What is the total monetary value of the flights, gifts or favors obtained by you, or any member of your Cabinet or Parliamentary group?

3) Who are the companies, individuals or entities that provided these alleged flights, gifts or favors?

4) What contracts do these companies hold or are attempting to obtain from the OBA?

5) What is the nature of the relationship of the OBA, the Premier, members of Cabinet or Parliamentary group with companies, individuals or entities that provided these alleged flights, gifts or favors?

If the Premier performs his usual routine of running from questions and ducking responsibility for the actions of his Cabinet, we intend to appeal to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a commission of Inquiry into these dubious and highly unethical activities.

The response from Government follows below:

In response to the accusations made today by Shadow Tourism Minister, Wayne L. Furbert, the Premier, the Hon. Craig Cannonier JP, MP offered these remarks:

“The vision and the passion of the government to capture the interest of foreign investors to stimulate job creation is an ongoing objective. We’re excited about the fact that so much attention is being demonstrated.

The trip in question came about after I was contacted by a group of interested investors to attend a meeting in Washington D.C. to discuss a number of investment opportunities for Bermuda, including that of hotel development and gaming.

Based on their own scheduling conflicts, the investors could not all come to Bermuda at the same time. They therefore offered to fly the Hon. Mark Pettingill, JP, MP, Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs and the Hon. Shawn Crockwell, JP, MP, Minister of Tourism & Transport along with myself to their location for a one day meeting, where they presented development options for Bermuda.

The group was keen to know the current status of several properties, including that of Club Med. We also had the opportunity to present our vision for Bermuda. No code of conduct has been broken. ”

Minister Crockwell said “This particular meeting is no different from meetings that are conducted regularly on-island. The only difference is location. We did not feel that it was appropriate for the tax payer to incur the cost of a potential investor’s request for information.”

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Comments (181)

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  1. Gareth Bale says:

    “A serious breach of ethics” – a criticism by the PLP!!

    You haven’t got a voice lads, you invented serious breaches of ethics.

    • collins says:

      Who paid for the jet ? could it be possible that the individuals that are interested in the club med development paid for this trip due to cost effective ? think about it…. the potencial developers have many people involved in this wonderful news, so let us not go on and on about a private jet.
      Wayne where were you when Brown used a private jet for all of his cronies to come to bda for the love fest and concerts ? wayne enough is enough of you….. get a life man.

      • The Truth! says:

        Wayne Furbert, they flew to a MEETING!!!!!

        How is that a GIFT????

        It is not like they were given an all expenses paid trip to Bora Bora!!!

        The more you speak, the more stupid you sound!
        Perhaps you should be quiet so that we only assume that you are not that bright instead of speaking up and removing all doubt!

        • Black Soil says:

          Wayne: I have some unemployed Uighers who want to cut your grass, paint your roof, maybe do ya walls and blinds too.

          • Roger says:

            Flip flop = idiot

            • Sir George Somers says:

              The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) allows companies to provide reasonable and bona fide travel and lodging expenses to a foreign official, and it is an affirmative defense where expenses are directly related to the promotion, demonstration, or explanation of a company’s products or services, or are related to a company’s execution or performance of a con¬tract with a foreign government or agency.

              In this specific instance, the actions appear well within the provisions of the FCPA.

              • Bermudian says:

                We are not in the USA.

                • JMad says:

                  But the act encompasses US businesses in their dealings with overseas politicians

        • Tracy says:

          The Premier said that they couldn’t all make it to Bermuda at the same time for the meeting! Yet they was all in attendance for that one day. Just like they flew them out there on a private jet for one day they could have done the same thing and came her for the meeting. Something is not right and the Premier needs to come clean and tell the truth!

          • WTF says:

            Tracy, they must have had other meetings and scheduling conflicts that they could not leave Washington DC to meet in Bermuda, therefore the Premier went to them. Six of one, half a dozen of the other come to mind.

          • Think about it says:

            Think about it Tracy they said they had other meetings so they could not be here. that could mean that they had other meetings that day in Washington so the would not be able to fly here and get back in time for their other meetings. People do not just have one meetings a day people like this have multiple meets in a day.

          • iabingi says:

            It was a four seat jet…. one for the pilot and three for the guests.

          • foldgers says:

            why? it did not cost us any money.. just curious.. what explanation would satisfy you and how will it ease your mind.. this righteous indignation is boring.. if i had heard this uproar during the downward spiral of the last several years.. i could take the nay sayers more seriously.. so.. just asking .. come clean about what.. as long as the public purse was not dented.. lets just be thankful he did not bring back any hapless fellows he might have felt sorry for during his short stay

    • Yes, maybe, “ethically incorrect” but lets us not forget those famous words used more than once by the former P.L.P. Govt. “ethically wrong but NOT ILLEGAL”

      • Tracy says:

        @ Raymond Ray! You are one confused person!

        • Xman says:

          As long as we the people did’t pay for the trip – than why make
          all the stupid noise about it. —
          wasted noise!

      • say it like it is. says:

        Why is this ethically inorrect? They accepted a ride from a business man, the Government did not pay for anything, they got a free ride. Why are people so dopey. Get a life will you? write about something important.

  2. B says:

    They’re all the same once they get the “power”.

  3. Cleancut says:

    I also heard that they had champagne and smoked salmon on the jet as well.

    Eat your heart out furbie! oh! i forgot you can’t any more.

    • Yes sir’e Cleancut; jealousy and envy are motherF—-r(watch your mouth Raymond)

      • Tracy says:

        @ Raymond yes you should shut up! OBA are starting off on the wrong track! I just wished I didn’t vote for them! Nothing they said they was going to do was true! They are no different from the PLP!

        • Sir George Somers says:

          In particular what did they say to you they would do, which they haven’t done in the very small space of 6 months they have been in govt (in a five year term)

        • Cleancut says:

          The Premier and two ministers are not on a private jet bound for Cuba on a mission to smuggle in 4 Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

          They are on the jet to save Bermuda in the form of a massive hotel which will provide hundreds of jobs and revenue to save our soles.

          But the PLP really do not care about Bermuda, all they care about is regaining power.

    • GoodIdea BadIdea says:

      I heard that they wore tophats, wore monocles and spats on their shoes as well! How posh a day they had.

      For investors of this level, it’s better use of their time to fly people to them rather than for them to take time and fly out to Bermuda. Their investment of the private jet saves them – 5-6+ hours of flight time to come here rather than have meetings in their office which costs them zero down time.

      As long as it isn’t on the governments dime and there isn’t a perceived “gift” from the meeting then it’s not out of the question. Now if the meeting was to take place at some posh resort, took more than the minimum amount of time to accomplish the meetings and there was much “down time” (of course that never happened under the previous administration). That might be something to be concerned about.

      • Nanny Pat says:

        Wait, you mean to tell me this meeting wasn’t held at the Playboy Mansion? Dam, OBA got stuck at a blah board room – ha, suckers!

  4. Bermuda Male says:

    Oh please do bring on a Commission of Inquiry. I would love to see that can of worms opened. It will get ugly for many.

    So please Mr. Furbert follow through on your threat as the whole establishment needs a good clear out. But ultimately be careful what you wish for:)

  5. Same old ubp says:

    Wow from being a prisoner for steal drugs to Minister of Tourism now free private jet. You go Crockwell. I need to join the OBA.

    • Sad says:

      Yup same ole UBP. Always attracting investors.

      • Wow says:

        Does that include hiring former drug dealers? Then we back on the UBP track.

        • Curious says:

          HA! How about former convicted armed robbers?
          Get a life, PLP upset that progress MIGHT be made on things that they utterly FAILED at.

          • Fed Up says:

            I’m with you on that one. oh how people forget or chooses to forget.

    • collins says:

      same old,what about your mate Rolf ? at least Crockwell did something with his time in prison ……he is a lawyer !!!!! and old Rolf is still a bull @#$%^&…with no job…..I am so proud of what minister Crockwell has achieved in his life……

      • Wow says:

        Does that include selling drugs or stealing them from the safe then selling them? Yes we are so proud. Do you know what heroin does to people? Look it up it’s the worst form of drug.

        • watching carefully..commenting cautiously says:

          I am not an OBA supporter but I must say that the criticisms of Mr Crockwell are not helpful or relevant.

        • Fed Up says:

          and you have never done enything wrong?

      • Wow says:

        But then again YOU people don’t care as long as he does what YOU people want.

        • R@s cl@d says:

          By you people, do you mean intelligent people ?

          • tired of the BULL says:

            if you feel more intelligent than yes you people. SMH

        • Come Correct says:

          Can you elaborate on who “YOU people” are? Also, I suppose stealing and selling heroin is somehow a far more servere crime than discharching a firearm while robbing a bank, you should ask the parents of the victims of gun violence what they think. Wrong is wrong, it’s really that simple. both of these men have put their past behind them and thats where all of us should leave it too. Back to the story at hand, it really blows my mind that people are making a big deal of this when there are potential investors looking at OUR island. Don’t you think this is something WE NEED? Personally I don’t care if they used a top secret teleportation device to get there or stole unicorn and flew. What I do care about is getting back to the Bermuda I knew growing up where people had jobs. Yes I can certainly see how this could be perceived as a gift. How many people own a private jet? But really, lets look at the overall potential good this could do for our island while still making sure our “leaders” are held accountable. You think our politicians are receiving gifts… please tell me how much work Bazarian did on this site. It’s been a vacant illegal scrambling track for how many years now? Oh, and then there’s the fact they flew 3 of our politicians out on a private jet… that tells me these people sh!t dollar signs.

        • Zombie Apocalypse says:

          “You people”? Says it all doesn’t it.

    • say it like it is. says:

      What about Charles Richardson and Rolfe Commissish????? LOL!

  6. Cost Cutting says:

    No Breach, however it would seem this way. If more potential investors or countries want to fly the PREMIER on a private jet on THEIR Company expenses or their OWN money, with no STRING attached to the offer, I AS A TAXPAYER have NO PROBLEMS WITH THIS.

    PLP would raise an eyebrow to this. I mean it is no different than Dr. Brown accepted a lot of irregular offers from different people to show his face and support in conferences or just to be in the LIMELIGHT. But all that was done in Taxpayers expense. And lets not foget that we are reeping the BILL now.

    Im sure theie will be a few PLP “HATERS” who think that this is unethical. BUt lets not remember. Keeping cost down is our first priorty alongside with unemployment.

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      You are missing the point. How do you know that the Premier et al actually went to a meeting and just didn’t just get a free plane ride to DC to do some shopping as long as this company gets first dibs at any new projects or contracts. This is why ministers and civil servants are not allowed to receive gifts… You lot are arguing about this and you don’t even really know what happened. No one knows except for the people who were on that plane.

      • whatever says:

        Because so many property developers are falling over themselves to build resorts in Bermuda.

  7. Balanced Facts says:

    This is how business gets done and how smart that the tax payers incurred no cost for which the PLP would have jumped up and down screaming! But tell us about your trips on any “alleged” jets Mr. Furbert please? How many ?For what? What perks did you get as Tourism Minister hmmm? DId PLP Government not make use of Company Jets and NOT for business and the tax payers had to pay the gas bill…hhmmm??? Good time at the Football PLP Gents ??? Keep throwing out this nonsense Wayne and Co! This PLP Opposition is true to form…and sure seems to have a short memory!!!! Seems like a smoke screen to avoid the real investigations that some Opposition people must be sweating about…just a little huh guys…just a little?

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      How do you know that the premier actually went to a meeting in DC?

  8. waitasecond says:

    Ok, I can accept that it may have been in Bermuda’s best interests for the Premier and the Tourism Minister to attend. But the Attorney-General? What can he contribute? Isn’t taxpayers’ money better spent with him on the ground in Bermuda? The PLP Government forgot that they work for the people of Bermuda – I hope the OBA have learnt from that mistake

    • truth says:

      They took him because the OBA has 2 crews in it the racist UBP and the good boys club BDA. Craig took his troops that support him.

    • Hey says:

      Perhaps discussion on matters of law needed to be explained and that the representative for the island is the person who went.

    • Balanced Facts says:

      I think a lease, contracts, development and planning etc. might involve a bit of law…for a one day meeting! Sound like good use of time and effort to me…and not at tax payers expense! No one would have asked the PLP to go to a meeting like that…wonder why?

  9. Smiths Parish Resident says:

    Please Wayne Furbert stop annoying everyone with your childish accusations. You and some of your
    PLP followers spent a great deal of time and tax payers money flying around the world – even trying to attract would be tourists who had not even heard of Bermuda before. You did what you thought would attract tourists to Bermuda
    and failed. Please allow the OBA get new investors to put their money into Bermuda. We have a good product to
    offer.

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      How do you know that the premier actually went to a meeting in DC?

      • foldgers says:

        i do not care what he did it did not cost us any money … this issue is mute.. if you understand business, a jet ride is nothing a business trip is nothing ,, we are supposed to be an international business hub.. step up to the 2000.s …many more people than you know have flown in private jets.. its not the big deal that you all making ….like i said,, internationally a private jet is just business

  10. Come On Man says:

    I think you PLP knuckle heads should keep your trap shut before getting the facts. Because ever time you open your mouths you shoot yourselves in the foot. Almost guaranteed.

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      Funny you talk about facts. How do you know for a fact that the Premier and company really went to a meeting in DC? Do you have all the facts? Or do you just believe it because they said they went.

      • say it like it is. says:

        I wonder how may times your going to ask the very same question Darkside? I guess he went because he said he did DUH!!!!

      • Come On Man says:

        @Darkside that is the dumbest statement I’ve read in a lomg time. You must be a PLP supporter. I tell by the lack of an intelligent reply.

  11. mixitup says:

    And the PLP Ministers flying commercial first class got pie in their face for doing so… But I’m not surprised at all by the supportive comments on-line about this story, I read between those lines long ago..

    • Balanced Facts says:

      Tax payers paid for those flights…this one was paid for by potential investors. Good Business. Understand why PLP supporter would not get it!

      • mixitup says:

        “Paid for” by potential investors? And I don’t get it?? Oh right…only a certain group of people are considered corrupt, slipped my mind for a second there..

      • mixitup says:

        Do you even hear yourself? It’s now “Good Business” when a year ago it would’ve been considered underhanded wavors and favors, scratch my back I’ll scratch yours. You need to take a looong look in the mirror buddy.

        • Mad Dawg says:

          Do you seriously not see the difference? People who wanted to invest here send their own transport so that they can talk to the three top guys. The three guys go to a meeting, then come back. No vacation, no shopping. It’s efficient, quick, free of cost to the taxpayer. I don’t know if you noticed, but there haven’t been a ton of people lining up to develop Club Med in the last 25 years.

          What exactly would Ewart Brown have done differently? Would he have turned down the lift on a private jet? No. He flew regularly on private jets, accepting lifts. Would he have instead spent taxpayer money on three first class tickets, and spent longer on the trip? Doubtful. Would he have demanded they come here? That sounds possible, given his reputation, but that would be unlikely to result in a new hotel.

          • Bermudian says:

            He probably would has use teleconferencing, so he wuoldn’t waste time time flying their.

            • Bermudian says:

              *there*

            • Mad Dawg says:

              He didn’t use teleconferencing to set up his drug wholesale operation in India, did he. He flew there on taxpayer funds to set up his personal business deal.

  12. Joe says:

    Having a rare old time, along with their trip to the Masters golf on the government purse, all expenses paid….

  13. A. Little says:

    Please Mr. Premier, “come clean with openness, transparency and accountability”, so that the former PLP can learn a ‘valuable lesson’ in how to conduct the ‘peoples business’, and oh yes please Mr. Premier, while your at it, “appeal to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a commission of Inquiry into these dubious and highly unethical activities”, of the former PLP government…..the gall of some people, go back to sleep Mr.Furbert.

  14. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Hey flip flop,go right ahead and carry out your threats!
    I’d love to see all the plp up on corruption charges!

  15. Naive Observer says:

    I am not a PLP supporter (anything but!) however this is not the way things should be done. Freebies are never free and the people providing the ride clearly had an interest. This is highly suspicious and potentially illegal under the US FCPA legislation. Politicians in other countries have been forced to resign for accepting similar rides. It also gives the perception that this might be expected from other potential investors. The Premier is wrong on this one and should admit that and make it clear that no similar rides or gifts will be accepted by any member of or employee of government in the future. An apology is in order to the people of Bermuda for this lapse in judgement.

    • Betty Dump says:

      How is attending a meeting a freebie/gift? if it were some sort of payoff I would have a serious issue with that… but they went to a meeting…

      • johnny says:

        Who organised the meeting? How long had the meeting been scheduled (hours/days/weeks/months? If the meeting was so important for Bermuda, why was the public not informed before the Premier left for the meeting? What was the outcome of the meeting?

      • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

        How do you even know they went to a meeting? Because they said so?

    • Bermewjan says:

      Absolutely! Unfortunately, it would seems that many of the bloggers on this string and the OBA Government themselves do not seem to understand what “CONFLICT OF INTEREST” means. Shame really!

      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        When Ewart accepted free private jet rides from corporations while Premier, was that a potential conflict of interest, or was that different somehow?

      • mixitup says:

        Of course they understand “Conflict of interest” but only when it’s convenient to them.

        • Zombie Apocalypse says:

          A conflict of interest might arise when someone benefits as a result of a gift or favour from someone. In this specific case, how exactly did these people benefit? They were transported to and from a business meeting, all taking place in one day. If they hadn’t gone using this jet, they would have gone commercially, paid for by the taxpayer.

          It isn’t like they were being transported with their wives on private planes to their vacation homes, which is what Ewart used to do. I can see a potential conflict there.

          But how exactly have these three guys benefitted financially from this?

          • Joonya says:

            Bermewjan/mixitup, hello..de Zombie is looking for and answer..

          • Bermewjan says:

            A conflict of interest relates to the role undertaken and a benefit, gift, bribe or any other type of incentive that prejudices or may be envisaged to prejudice or create bias in relation to said role.

            In this instance the OBA accepted the, um, inducement of a private airline flight (at the very least) from a party interested in the development of the Club Med property. By doing so they disadvantage any other parties interested in the developing the Club Med property and be default are seen as being biased towards the party from whom they received the bribe.

            As a previous poster mentioned – in the US this would result in dismissal from their position at the least and prosecution at best.

            This behaviour makes our government look like a immature fools who can simply be bought for a private airline ride.

            We need to be better than this and we need to have our politicians be capable and on the ball! I am aware of our countries political history and I am talking about today and our future.

            We are in a world where the Chairman of HSBC has said he plans to reduce HSBC’s exposure to Tax Havens such as Bermuda. If we have bribes being accepted at the highest levels of our government we look like we deserve such a decision.

            Come on people, stop defending corruption and pressure our government to perform honestly and capably!

            • JMad says:

              “This behaviour makes our government look like a immature fools who can simply be bought for a private airline ride.”

              Oh, I didn’t see the part where the Government agreed and handed over the rights to the property.

              “Come on people, stop defending corruption and pressure our government to perform honestly and capably!”

              Where is the corruption? That’s a big claim to make.

            • JMad says:

              “be default are seen as being biased towards the party from whom they received the bribe”

              You think that two successful lawyers and a successful business owner will be simply wooed by a sinlge private jet ride to give away rights to a development property?

              If I was the investor I would sue you for the suggestion that a bribe took place.

              • Bermewjan says:

                Nobody’s that thick. Either you didn’t read my post correctly or you are being willfully ignorant.

            • Zombie Apocalypse says:

              And how exactly would this constitute a benefit, gift, etc? They would presumably either travelle dthere by this method or some other method, and none of the alternatives would have involved any of them spending their own money, as it was on official business. The only difference is that this did not involve the expenditure of scarce taxpayer money.

              None of them benefited personally. None of them received anything. They just went and came back. None of them took their families on a vacation, or received anything of value personally. How, exactly, do you equate that with (in your words) a “bribe”?

              You’re being hysterical and, frankly, ridiculously immature.

              By the way, can someone produce this “Minister’s Code of Conduct” that Furbert talks about? I notice he’s vague about it.

              • Bermewjan says:

                Perhaps you should look beyond your tit-for-tat OBA to PLP prejudices, then you might be able to see the wood for the trees and stop posting pointless, unthoughtful drivel in reply.

  16. Sir George Somers says:

    What would the PLP have done if they were in the situation?

    1) Not attended the meeting and hamper Bermudas future. or

    2) Used taxpayers money

    Who will give me an answer?

    • Building a better Bermuda says:

      Not the PLP, they never felt the need to answer to the people before.

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      How do you know they went to a meeting and this was not just a free trip to DC? Because they said they went to a meeting?

    • Navin Johnson says:

      They would have attended the meeting and asked what was in it for them at that point the meeting would have ended……

    • collins says:

      Sir George, the answer will come very soon …. and the O.B.A. Will be congratulated for their efforts to get Bermuda and their citizens back to work….please give our Premier a chance,he is a good guy…. unlike the former premier who had scores to settle !!! and spent our money on body guards and the likes of Beyonce and other stupid things like the “love fest” for his personal friends…

  17. js says:

    The trip according to the Premier was to discuss investment opportunities including that of hotel development and gaming.

    That probably explains why they had the AG along so that he could brief the investors about the possibility of gaming legislation being tabled in Parliament.

    If the intention of the investors is to develop a hotel with a casino then we all know that project is DOA and its probably a good idea that no public money was spent pursuing that pie in the sky idea.

    By all accounts the Premier is well intended although sometimes the logic just doesn’t add up.

    A perfect example is his interview with British media when he declared that the increase in company registrations for the first quarter of the year was as a consequence of the work permit policy changes despite the fact that none of the new registrants were of a class 4 insurer and will never be resident so as to require a work permit.

    However what it does do is muddy and confuse Bermuda’s reality which is fine as far as Bermudians are concerned cause all we do is simply sounding off of each other as we have no real skin in the game.

    I’m sure the potential investor’s with real money need clearer waters in which to dive into and probably wanted the Premier and his ministers to clear things up.

    Unfortunately in Bermudian politics there is a huge gulf between what a person says they can do and what they can actually do.

    Most of them are only good for dancing with gombeys.

  18. swing voter says:

    (1) Finally a couple of potential investors with real money
    (2) Finally a government that knows how to do business ‘no strings attached’
    (3) IT DIDN’T CAUSE ME AND OTHER TAX PAYERS A DAMNED DIME!!!!

    • Bermewjan says:

      No, except now any other potential investors are automatically disadvantaged due to this alleged bribe, which just makes the Bermuda government look like a banana republic.

      Come on people.. you cannot honestly believe this is acceptable behaviour!

      • Mad Dawg says:

        How would the hoards of other potential investors be disadvantaged? Presumably the meeting would have taken place either way. The only difference is that the taxpayer didn’t have to pay travel costs. How does this disadvantage some other potential investor, exactly?

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      How do you know that they really went to a meeting?

      • GoodIdea BadIdea says:

        How do you know the Apollo 11 astronauts actually landed on the moon?

        I think that hopefully a transparent government would provide details to their respective departments (with due respect to NDAs in place) about the nature of their meetings and the principals involved.

        If there is gaming involved, you can bet that this flight was a mere drop in the bucket for these investors / developers.

      • Observant says:

        Do you not get tired of posting the same damn thing over and over again?

  19. Building a better Bermuda says:

    Tread carefully on that slippery slope there Mr Furbert, was it not you who attempted to mislead the people when you tried to bury the fact that you terminated the lease on the last investor in the lead up to the election.

    I can see this being a conflict of interest if there was several interested parties bidding to develop the property, but there isn’t. The last party was more interested in sitting on the property rather than developing it. So if these investors wish to fly members of our governement so they can get more information about potential investing here, hey I am all for it. As for the team that went, it make sense, well the Premeir might be a little excessive but as the leader of Government it does add weight to the mission. Minister of Tourism is pretty well a given, and as for Minister of legal affairs, well since one of the points of interest was gambling which is not yet legal, it makes perfect sense to have the countries top legal officer to help walk them through Bermuda’s current and potential legal landscape. And even if nothing comes of this, at least it didn’t cost us much.

  20. waitasecond says:

    I said earlier that I can accept that it may have been in Bermuda’s best interests. Actually, on reflection, I would have preferred that they travel commercial and charge us. I think they have the humilty to acknowledge that this was a mistake – apologise, learn and let’s move on with fixing the country.

  21. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    1)it didnt cost Bermuda a dime!

    2)it might bring a hotel and in turn much needed work to the Island.

    3)NOTHING at all illegal in going for a flight on anyone’s aircraft!

    4)SHUT UP!

    I’m tired of people on this Island running their uneducated,bigoted mouths about stuff they know nothing about and pretending they know everything!

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      You don’t really know if they even went to a meeting, you are just believing it because they said they went to a meeting.

      • JMad says:

        So why does Mr. Furbert so adamantly believe they attended a meeting with the developers?

        Is he tryign mislead the public with such accusations?

      • George says:

        Darksideofthemoon – you’re an idiot! Try adding something constructive to the conversation instead of repeating your conspiracy theory post 50 times “but how do we know they actually went to a meeting”!

        A member of the opposition has made a serious accusation of breaching code of conduct/unethical behavior at the Premier and several of his Ministers and threatened to bring the matter to the attention of the FCO (which is not only a hypocritical but a farcical accusation) and all you can do is repeat the same thing over and over again!

  22. 32n64w says:

    I guess Mr. Furbert wasn’t aware that a previous PLP Premier had no problem asking a number of reinsurance companies to keep him in mind whenever their chartered PJs were flying to/from Bermuda so he could bum a ride.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Exactly.

    • Tracy says:

      I guess you really know! That is hear say too because you was not there to here themoput that question forward! You sound just as stupid! I just wish that I never voted for the OBA/UBP!

  23. really says:

    Someone give Furbie some straws so he can stop grasping.

  24. I recall reading the excellent book USS Bermuda by Don Grearson where there was a meeting by top PLP officials and potential developers of Morgan’s Point where Arthur Hodgson is alleged to have arrived late for the meeting dressed very casually in jeans and then proceeded to insist that the development would be more or less for Bermudians and would not be turned into another Tucker’s Town. End of the involvement for the potential developers.
    We could also have had a Ritz Carlton Hotel on the site where the unsold condominiums are sitting on South Shore but the PLP scuppered that also and frightened away investors.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Is that the meeting where Lister grabbed the dude’s tie? Bunch of amateurs…

      • swing voter says:

        you have got to be shyting me! tell me you made that up ;-(

        • Sandgrownan says:

          Go read the book, it’s in there

        • Sandgrownan says:

          Actually, even worse was how the PLP destroyed development on Morgan’s Point. It’s a great book and uncomfortable reading for PLP supporters.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      It’s this meeting:

      The biggest item on the BLDC agenda after the election was getting Morgan’s Point off the ground. It had been nearly two years since the false start with Rob Davies’s MHIL. In the months after that enterprise was sidelined, when the project’s viability seemed doubtful and Bermuda’s shortcomings as a place to invest loomed large, the West Group arrived on the scene like the Seventh Cavalry. It had money, background, credibility, expertise and tailor-made enthusiasm.

      Now, in the weeks following the PLP’s historic election victory, the BLDC was anxious to get things moving again. The West Group, for its part, had been waiting patiently since the late summer for Bermuda’s political scene to settle down with a new government. It had continued its due diligence in the months before the election and met with key members of the UBP government and the PLP Opposition. They heard nothing to discourage their interest.

      By December, the West Group was ready to pull the trigger on the project. It was prepared to commit $31 million of its own money, plus $55 million in debt-financing towards the first phase of the project. That would build the golf course, install all infrastructures, clean the environment, demolish obsolete buildings, re-create the Brothers Islands and lay down the first phases of the town centre and marina. But before any of this could happen, the West Group needed government support for concessions and legislative approvals considered essential to the project’s viability. These included easing restrictions on sales of houses to foreigners, convenient ferry service between Morgan’s Point and Hamilton, and the capping of the West Group’s liability for environmental costs beyond the $10- to $12 million it was prepared to spend on cleaning the site. The BLDC apprised the government of the developer’s list and its own eagerness to get things going.

      By mid-January, the stage was set. West Group executives flew to the island to meet with the government for its response to the concessions request. They entered the meeting at the Cabinet Office having just received the “full support” of the BLDC board of directors. Jerry Halpin took his seat at the back with one of his investors, a young businessman from Silicon Valley. Pat Shooltz, the West Group’s senior vice-president for business development, was the company’s front man. His counterpart across the table, Terry Lister, was flanked by Eugene Cox, his daughter, Home Affairs Minister Paula Cox; Transport Minister Dr. Ewart Brown and Tourism Minister David Allen.

      Shooltz reviewed the project’s various components and its development timeline, which called for the completion of Phase One by the spring of 2001. He spoke of the West Group’s patient investment philosophy being well suited to Morgan’s Point, given its huge upfront costs would not pay out for approximately eight years. But all depended on the Bermuda government granting project concessions and providing support for various regulatory approvals.

      During Shooltz’s remarks, Environment Minister Arthur Hodgson entered the room dressed in jeans and an untucked denim shirt and took his seat. (Prior to the meeting, Halpin had been warned that Hodgson had been saying some odd things to developers around the island and that he should take what he said with a grain of salt.) Shooltz said he would like to ask each minister for comment on concessions for which they would be responsible. Paula Cox was first, but she apologised, saying she had not had time to study the West Group’s proposals and to consult with her colleagues. She nevertheless thought there was a need to balance the West Group’s “wish list” with the government’s mandate.

      Lister directed Shooltz to Hodgson whose environment ministry would be pivotal in capping the developer’s liability for environmental problems beyond its $10-12-million cleanup. Hodgson, smiling, sat forward and stunned the West Group. The government, he said, was not interested in development for development’s sake. Bermuda had 28,000 people “at the bottom end of things and one third of the people at the top…how do we re-structure this?” With that rhetorical question in the air, Hodgson spoke about the US and how its economy had been built on the backs of blacks and coolies, yet was owned by whites. In Bermuda’s Tucker’s Town in the 1920s, he said, blacks had been kicked off the land to build a golf course and hotel. Now, the only blacks there were caddies. Hodgson said he would prefer to have the people still living on the land growing potatoes. Exceptions to the rules had been made to build tourism, but after 50 years, the dispossessed and Bermudians at large “still don’t have a share” of the value they helped create. Hodgson wanted Bermudians to start benefitting from the use of their land.

      If the West Group was going to invest $90 million at Morgan’s Point, Hodgson said, he wanted to know when Bermuda was going to have that $90 million. “When will we repatriate that investment?” He said he was thinking of an arrangement akin to a household mortgage that left Bermudians owning the house. In the West Group’s case, he proposed establishing a fund over 15 years, wherein the company’s money would be invested until it matched its initial outlay. The West Group would get its original investment back and the earned money from the fund’s investments would be distributed to Bermudians, perhaps for continuing education and job-training that would help them get “to the top of the pack.” If that wasn’t enough, Hodgson added that the project should include low-cost housing for Bermudians. The government, he said, was not interested in seeing the construction of another Tucker’s Town.

      Hodgson sat back in his chair. The room was silent. Shooltz and his colleagues seemed at a loss for words. Lister cleared his throat. Morgan’s Point, he said, represented a real investment and business opportunity in which Bermudians could become owners and operators. The government wanted that.

      Lister quickly moved to the next concession item: relaxation of residential restrictions for non-Bermudians, which he understood might be difficult for the West Group in terms of selling Morgan’s Point houses. The important thing for the government, he said, was to ensure Bermudians got “a fair crack at all housing.” The restrictions Lister referred to were long-standing measures to protect the housing market for Bermudians, who otherwise could be outbid by foreigners with more money. Anything below a certain house value was simply not available to non-Bermudians. It was policy to keep Bermuda for Bermudians. Lister said removing the policy was probably not going to happen.

      Shooltz said past discussions had established that mechanisms could be put in place to ensure Bermudians had “first crack” at Morgan’s Point housing before the international market. Now, it seemed, the government was saying if the houses didn’t sell locally, they could not be sold to foreigners. “This project won’t go ahead if that policy is in place,” he said. The project needed to sell its 300 homes if it was going to work. Its total cost-housing and all else-was expected to be in the neighborhood of $300 million. Cash flow was crucial with that kind of investment. “If we limit our range of customers by (these restrictions), this project is not going to be viable. We can’t sit with fallow inventory.” Paula Cox responded to the concern. She said she didn’t know what kind of commercial timeframe would work for house sales, but the government’s real interest was making sure Bermudians got first crack at the housing. “That’s what we’re talking about. Our view is that we’re prepared to look at a relaxation.” Cox had created an opening for the West Group on a vital concession, but it seemed to matter little. The air had gone out of the room with Hodgson’s remarks. The atmosphere seemed impaired.

      Tourism Minister David Allen was the minister at the table who arguably had most to gain from a “go” at Morgan’s Point. He had dramatically promised to turn around Bermuda’s faltering tourism industry in the first 100 days of the new government. Morgan’s Point could symbolise that turnaround. But perhaps sensing his colleagues’ mixed thinking, he passed on the opportunity to speak forcefully for the West Group plan. Allen said he was interested in having a new hotel built, and probably sooner than later, but Morgan’s Point represented the last opportunity for Bermudians, “so we have to be careful how we approach it.” Shooltz, with a hint of agitation, called for a time-out. Morgan’s Point, he said, had been brought to the West Group as an opportunity and “we’d like to know that it’s all our vision.” His company intended to bring capital and development expertise to Bermuda. Morgan’s Point promised much: a $300-million investment over eight years, of which 60 percent would remain in the island, “trickling down” scores of jobs in the short and long terms, new housing to meet growing demand, opportunities for Bermudians to become business owners, and project contractors with training programmes to “raise people to the next level of jobs.” The West Group, he said, wanted to know if the Bermuda government wanted that.

      “I think the vision is shared,” Lister said. Nothing said that morning had “caused us to shift. If we’re not saying what we or you want to hear, that’s okay.” He said he was trying to get behind the thinking; discussion was part of the process.

      Shooltz continued to work his way down the concession list, which he used to clarify the West Group’s thinking. The hotel needed government support, period. The economics would not work without it. The West Group needed an absolute cap on its liability for any environmental problems beyond its $10-12-million cleanup. Banks would not support the project without one. As Shooltz worked his way through the list, ministers said they could not give final answers, but pledged to continue working towards them.

      Carl Musson said there was some urgency to the process. The BLDC was aiming to have government support in place for final financing by June, and construction to start by November. Jerry Halpin, who had remained silent throughout the meeting, said ministers should know there was a window of opportunity in the financial world. “It’s there now. A year from now, I don’t know.” The meeting ended with the West Group and the BLDC leaving the room in a daze. The project that was viewed as a reality 60 minutes earlier seemed shockingly in tatters. Musson approached a colleague and said: “As a Bermudian, I have always been proud that we are a sophisticated, smart island. Today I’m embarrassed.” One MHIL representative reported that just outside the meeting room, Halpin said: “These people are communists. Get me off this island now.” When that comment was put to him, Halpin said: “I don’t think I quite said that. I think I said something to the effect that this is the basis on which communists proceed.” Halpin was also reported to have told the representatives from MHIL: “This was to be my last project. I wanted it to be fun, to do a good thing and even have a place of my own here, but not now. We’ll stick with you for another few months, but as of now, we’re out of this.” In 2004, Halpin remembered the meeting vividly: “We had lined up sufficient financing to get the project done and we thought it had to be started in a short time because we thought the world economy was going to change, which it did in late 1999 and 2001. We thought if it were not pursued in rapid fashion, it would coincide with the downturn.

      “But (Hodgson) started to lecture and lecture, and I made some notes. He was critical of the US for not letting in enough immigrants and when we did, they ended up picking fruit or cotton, and I was thinking, ‘Forgive me, but my grandfather was an Irish potato picker. Everyone in the US is an immigrant, or came from immigrants, so what is he talking about?’ And to say we hold people down, well, we’re doing well – not everyone, but you know what I mean – and we’re all free to do what we want.

      “I think the first $10-12 million we were to put in there was (for environmental restoration) and here’s this environmental chap giving us a hard time up front. He really disturbed me, frankly. I heard the chairman (Lister) passed him a note to say ‘Shut up.’ One of the Bermudians took the note out of the wastebasket.” Halpin said he was also disturbed by Hodgson’s statement that “we should put up affordable housing next to a five-star hotel. I was thinking the plan (for Morgan’s Point) had been approved by the government. That wasn’t going to work. It was a series of things like that that spooked us.” Despite the warning about Hodgson before the meeting, Halpin was deeply shocked. This was partly due to the fact the PLP had been very encouraging prior to the election. Halpin recalled Opposition Leader Jennifer Smith could not have been more receptive and friendly, “but then we ran into this chap and that ended it. He would have had jurisdiction over the first money into the project.” The reaction of one minister at the meeting was not much different than Halpin’s: “Hodgson’s comments were outrageous. The whole deal died right there that day.”

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Swing voter , you need to get up to speed with what’s been going on on this island for the last 15 years.

      That’s the meeting where Hodgson stood up after the presentation and said ‘Well , we’re not going to be like the American Indians and just give our land to the white man.’

      And that from someone who was in attendance. Reliable source.

      Anyone wonder why there was NO overseas developers interested in Bermuda during the PLP’s reign of terror ?

      Bad word travels very fast. Faster overseas it appears than it does locally.

      • JMad says:

        And the millionaires/billionaires club is quite small and close knit and so word travels even faster about these type of events. Just ask Bloomberg.

        Imagine the benefits Bermuda and her people would have received if Morgans Point was developed in the late 1990s instead of being scuppered by overzealous politicians.

        Time for the Tourism Authority to be created and made functional and to rid politicians from our tourism product completely.

    • No he didn't says:

      Ok ….so had PLP built the RItz Carlton Hotel on that site we wouldn’t have heard you OCD OBA bloggers wailing about how unsafe the site was/ is?Hmmm. How Fake!!

  25. Johnny Boy says:

    Wayne Furburt, you are making a fool out of your party again,, you need to think before you complain about something that could potentially be a huge asset to Bermuda.. There are a couple of coffee shops for sale in Hamilton. Maybe it’s time for you to return to what you are good at, small talk,,, get with the programme and work with the current government,,,

  26. johnny says:

    How much time is needed for the OBA supporters to get the “PLP did this, PLP did that” tune out of their heads. At some point they must start to realise the mistakes of their party. At this point they believe the OBA can do no wrong. I am not saying that they have done everything wrong but they can’t even acknowledge when the OBA has blundered no matter how big or small.
    In this situation Minister Crockwell must think we are dumb, he says that the money boys could not all get to Bermuda at once, but they could all get to D.C. for the same meeting? If they could get to D.C. they could have gotten to Bermuda (1.5hr flight) and could have come on the same plane that those Bermuda bies went on their joyride in. Maybe its because they didn’t feel like coming to Bermuda because their only real interest in Bermuda is for money and thats it. The money Boys probably felt that these Bermuda bies would do anything they say, as the OBA policy since being in office is to cater to the wealthy foreigner first and foremost and at all costs.

  27. Yng Black Mind says:

    This has got to stop, Bermuda!

    I am tired of this “double” standard when it comes to the current government.

    Regardless of what the previous government may have done or not, this should not be used as a “justification” for the current government to get a “free” pass too.

    Forget party – - forget all that crap – - Accepting this “ride” IS a conflict of interest as the potential investor is engaging the government to gain from said government.

    Bottomline – - this was a wrong move by the government – - sometimes it isn’t about the money, it isn’t about the jobs – - this is about the way in which you , the people of Bermuda, allow the OBA government to do stupid sh*t and get away with it – - all due to your hatred of the previous government.

    Grow a set and see what is clearly in front of you

    Those who know understand
    Yng Black Mind

    • ... says:

      I concur!!! Some people’s judgment has been skewed by their dislike of the previous government. To those people I simply ask that they picture their previous elected officials in the same situation… now that sentiment to where it belongs. That’s what keeps politicians honest. If you keep giving people a free pass simply because they tell you what you want to hear to your face, you’re inviting corruption. You can look way past the previous government for examples as the principle has more to do with human nature and it does with political affiliations. I myself am not saying that they have done anything dishonest, but it could raise some ethical issues and as a political figure one should avoid situations that could be viewed dicey/dishonest. Either way someone should be asking questions and that’s what the opposition did. Either way, right or wrong, at the end of the day are we better off by the opposition raising the question? Yes we are!!!

      • ... says:

        shn: now direct that sentiment to where it belongs

  28. DarkSideofTheMoon says:

    The reason that the opposition is bringing this up is because there is no proof that they attended any meeting. This could have just been a bribe for future contracts, etc. No one knows what really happened except for the people that were on that plane. Just because someone says something happened doesn’t mean that it did. Yes the PLP lost because of their arrogance, but the OBA supporters are enabling their new government to follow the same path.

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      So your position is that if there was in fact a meeting, then there is no problem. That’s good.

      Do you really think that three grown men just fly back and forwards to DC for a day, just for the hell of it?

      Do you really think planes are made available for people to go on a pointless joyride?

    • rock says:

      Sorry, would you like mommy to write a note for their absence? Or should they get the investors to call Bermuda and say that the Premier and co cant come into work? Silly silly thoughts. Im sure in time, contracts will prove they went to a meeting.

    • Mr. Change says:

      Agreed 100%!! These types of occurrences were fundamentally wrong when the PLP were in power and are equally as wrong now!!! Why supporters of the current government can not call it as it is is beyond me as they had no problem doing so in years past!!!

      • JMad says:

        Please show me the outrage when the PLP met with a potential developer?

        It cost nothing to the taxpayer and nothing was signed away to a foreign investor. If you want to talk about that lets talk about the gifting of taxpayers land to Coco Reef and who sat and still sits as either a shareholder or director of its parent company.

        Lets start there and then we can move on to a ONE DAY trip to DC that cost the taxpayer nothing and didn’t receive any BDA land at preferable terms.

        You first.

        • The Truth! says:

          I am hopeful that the Auditor General will soon be in a postion to release a Special Report on this deal!

  29. JMad says:

    It is laughable that some think going on a ONE DAY trip DC, of all places, is some sort of “gift.” Have any of you been to DC? But hey we don’t need investors or new hotel developments. We have been experiencing a Platinum Period for the insudtry for nearl a decade now if you didn’t know.

    Now spending the taxpayers money to fly to India and then coming back to BDA and setting up a generic drug distribution company with the same individual that you flew to meet in India now that is a gift.

    Still waiting for that Bollywood movie to be filmed in BDA as well as the thousands of Indian tourists we were promised as well.

    But the smartest thing that Mr. Furbert mentioned was the possibility of a Commission of Inquiry. I saw please follow through Mr. Furbert, but I am not too sure you or yours would like the ultimate outcome or findings of such an inquiry. I will call the motherland myself for you to start the process.

  30. a young bie says:

    This is just normal business practice.

    Would you all complain if these investors where to offer to buy the Premier and these Ministers lunch ?

    How many business deals are made over a round of golf ?

    Investors of this magnitude are able to afford these luxuries in their normal course of doing business. For them to spend THEIR money to set up a potential business meeting in not out of the ordinary. It is not as if they went away with their wives for 3 or 4 days and stayed in luxurious hotels.

    And as for DarkSideofTheMoon, even Mr. Furbert acknowledges that they went to the meeting and then tried to spin it as being unethical. Really ??? I guess if you shout your wrong message loud and often enough you are hoping that someone will start believing you conspiracy theory. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones Mr. Furbert. You were a Minister as well and we know some of the perks you received. Call in the Commission of Inquiry to investigate that Faith Based Initiative or have we gotten a case of amnesia as it pertains to that?

    There was nothing illegal or unethical in them going on that plane. That’s just how big business is run.

    And I am neither an OBA or PLP supporter…

  31. Firefly says:

    Reading all the comments by those who are complaining about this trip, paid for by a group of developers, to discuss possible investment in Bermuda, is giving me hives!

    If they hadn’t gone to the meeting, these same people would be crowing about the government bypassing a golden opportunity to bring in much-needed investment in our tourism product.

    If they had gone to the meeting on the Government’s dime, they would have been squawking for forever and a day about that too.

    Next thing you know, these same crybabies will be demanding to know what the Premier and Ministers are having for lunch, who was with them and who paid for it!

    SMDH….

  32. Rockfish#2 says:

    How can we attract investors if we continue with this childish nitpicking?
    To suggest the Premier, Tourism Minister and the Attorney General would fly to Washington for 1 (ONE!!)day to have some fun, is the height of stupidity!
    Are we trying to attract business or not??

    Wayne repeat after me—We need overseas investors, repeat again.

  33. Joonya says:

    Chipmunk Furbert, where were your ehtics during the PLP taking days??
    You make me laugh bie! Stop nitpicking and start moving with the rest of Bermuda. If not, go sing a song and have a fish cake.

  34. Winnie Dread says:

    Simple it is not a matter of how they GO to the meeting, it is how did the meeting GO.

  35. Jean says:

    Hmmm….how many times did a former premier and his sidekick fly in Gilbert’s jet? Answer that PLP unwashed!!!!

  36. Jean says:

    Hey young black mind….this is the only investor that’s interested. That has money….go back to school and leave the running of the country to the grown ups. Oh. And it wasn’t a secret either…unlike ascertain former premier’s trips with Gil…..

    • Yng Black Mind says:

      @Jean:

      You really should read post before you comment – - just saying for future reference.

      Addditionally, if you are going to comment about my post, logic would state that you would reply directly to it – instead of posting individually where I actually needed to search for your “post” to me…

      But with that said, let’s look at your post and try to assist – -

      Hmmmmmm – interesting – - ahhhh, that’s wrong – - huh?? where did I say that?! (maybe I should just explain, then, huh?!)

      My post wasn’t about if there was a single investor or not – fact.
      It wasn’t about if it was a secret or not – fact.

      You failed in your attempt to “bad-mouth” me by telling me to “go back to school and leave the running of the country to the grown ups”.

      My post was about the level of disrespect that is displayed to anyone who doesn’t believe that the OBA government is doing an EXCELLENT JOB – - that they are TOTALLY WRONG AND STUPID for even thinking bad about the current government.

      That concept is wrong to me – - we all have opinions and should be able to express them without fear or favour.

      But what can I expect from someone who, instead of providing a clear, sound reason for this “kick” back trip, posts statements like “unlike a certain former permier’s trips with Gil….”

      That’s your MO – you can’t defend the current OBA Government without blaming or pointing at the PLP – - well, I am going to be like Eminem – and take the power out of your hands – - Dr. E Brown completely screwed up Bermuda and the PLP made bad decisions – - Now you don’t have that option anymore – - deal with the current situation and get on with it.

      Yng Black Mind
      (those who know understand)

  37. George says:

    So for the sake of educating us all and abating speculation on the subject here’s a few questions that you should ask yourself after reading the article and before passing judgement/forming an opinion on this matter;

    Who went where when and how? What was the purpose of the trip according to the accuser and the accused?

    Who/what defines this trip as being a gift or favor? i.e. Wayne Furbert doesn’t get to define this alone because he is an opposition MP!

    How was this trip a breach of the Ministers’ code of conduct/unethical? again Wayne Furbert doesn’t get to define this alone because he is an opposition MP!

  38. Bermudian says:

    Who cares if they went for a ride on an investor’s private jet!!!! This happens all the time all over the world people. As long as I/we’re not paying for it….its the norm of doing business. You know…take a client out for lunch or dinner….DUH!!! In this case it was a private jet ride….WHO CARES!!!!!! The mentality of you lot amazes me sometimes…and yes I said you lot….and NO I’m NOT a foreigner…born and raised in Bermy.

  39. JMad says:

    I say just kill the deal with these investors to satisfy the blood thirst of the PLP and their supporters.

    Tell them that their private jet utilized for a ONE DAY trip was a mistake and their money isn’t needed here anyways.

    Maybe we can just all get together, cut out all types of need for foreign investment, and build our own hotel.

    If I was a potential multi-million dollar investor I would simply walk away from this island as I wouldn’t want my reputation besmirched by supporters of any political party.

    Bermudians are our worst enemies.

  40. waitasecond says:

    The responses from many of my fellow OBA supporters are disappointing. This constitutes at best inappropriate behaviour and should not be tolerated. Until yesterday I have not smelt the stench of sleeze in Bermuda since December 2012 and have been enjoying the fresh air. I put it down to a lapse of judgment and lack of experience in Government. Let’s not condone it or lynch them either but we need to send a message that we expect better conduct from those in public office

    • Bermyman says:

      Yes, we should not attend meetings with people who want to invest in our Island because they want to assist us with transport. Terrible that the government should even look to speak with people who want to build a hotel on a derelict site.

      • Bermewjan says:

        Try thinking it through before posting. It might help.

    • Bermewjan says:

      Finally, a sensible response!

  41. waitasecond says:

    p.s. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq. (“FCPA”), was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.

    Did the A-G consider this before he slipped into his leather arm chair on board the private jet?

    • JMad says:

      So now a payment was made? I thoughtthe “gift” was a ONE DAY trip to DC.

      Apparently we all missed the payment made part of the trip. Please elaborate on this alleged payment so that we can ensure the Commission of Inquiry is well aware and can’t be hidden by the Government.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      Perfectly correct. But no payments were made to anyone.

  42. Truth is killin' me... says:

    I don’t care if all three were flown out at someone else’s expense (not the taxpayer) and even received lap dances from Beyonce in the “Champagne Room”! As long as Bermudians (all of us) reap the benefits of this trip i.e. a hotel being built and BERMUDIANS BACK TO WORK!!!

    • Bermewjan says:

      Try his out for size – If we continue to conduct ourselves in a way which makes us look like we have poor governance and can be so easily bought we will continue to have the sort of threats recently made by the Chairman of HSBC, which paraphrased is essentially that HSBC intends to reduce it’s exposure to Tax Havens like Bermuda because of the belief that we are somehow part of the tax avoidance problem.

      Links to bribery and alleged corruption like this article will only exacerbate this problem… and having so many OBA supporters posting that they condone such behaviour makes it even worse.

      IF you like the OBA so much and want them to avoid the sleaze and corruption label then why don’t you hold their feet to fire on this and make sure that it doesn’t happen again, instead of simply brushing it off as ok?

  43. Bermyman says:

    The Dock was not properly built on time: but the ship came in, docked and the arrival was a success.
    The Ferry is not here yet: But arrived in time to meet the scheduled demands.
    The Premier flew on a private jet!: which was paid for by people who are considering spending 100′s of millions in the Island and creating jobs.

    Wow! is it just me or is the PLP a bit jealous and bitter? seems so. Everything they complain about is a success, so they try their hardest to tarnish it in some petty way. Not really effective opposition, just plain hating on success where they failed.

    Wayne is upset he could not sing and dance his way to achieving financing for a hotel. How many times did he tell us it was happening when it was not?

    Give me a break, they didn’t even pay for the jet!

  44. waitasecond says:

    Ok then. From the Brown University website:

    “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits gifts [note "gifts"] and transfer of anything of value, including delivery of information, to a foreign official for the purpose of influencing the individual to conduct business or to obtain an improper advantage in securing or retaining business.”

    Now, I have never been on a private jet before and I suspect nether had these three gentlemen. However, I would very much like to, even for a one day trip to DC. I can imagine that it is somewhat intoxicating to travel cosetted in all that padded leather luxury, arriving at a private airport, being whisked away in a chauffer-driven car etc. Might that not, perhaps, have some slight effect in endearing the hosts to our Government and thus placing them in a position of conflict? To take the words of the quote above, do you think that the hosts provided the private jet for the purpose of influencing the Bermudian delegation to conduct business or to obtain an advantage in securing business? Of course they did. We can all form an opinion as to whether that was improper but it was certainly a foolish thing for our Government to have accepted.

    • Sad says:

      What did they transfer other than information?

      Did they give them the plane to keep?

      • Bermewjan says:

        Hahaha such idiocy. Did you really think this through before posting?

    • Mad Dawg says:

      They received nothing at all of personal value. Believe me, sitting in a leather chair on a plane for three hours to attend a business meeting is of no personal value. It’s a pain in the ar$, quite honestly. They didn’t use the jet to go on vacation, or take their families, or go to their second home in Martha’s Vinyard. They went o a meeting and then came back. The FCPA is nothing to do with this at all.

  45. swing voter says:

    If you think ‘tha clay-town clown’ is a joke, you should listen to MAGIC 102 with Sherry J……halarious how desparate they all sound with their conspirecy theories and subtle hints of impropriety. Hey Stormin Norman don’t waste your time tryna convince her that the sky is blue, she’ll never believe you in a million years ;-)

  46. Sooooooo says:

    All I can say is we should ask Mr Wayne… How many free and discounted dinners did receive at various establishments around the island when he was Tourism Minister?

    As far as I can see three3 Government Ministers went to a meeting in the US and the potential investor footed the bill for transport. Is this really any different than the meeting being held in Bermuda and the investor paying for the meeting room?

  47. Bobmarlin says:

    Was the meeting at The Playboy Mansion,and did they take their sons?

  48. True or False says:

    Wow Wayne you hit a nerve with all the OBA types. These same people voted for the UBP in 1998. Same people that use you, John Swan, Pamela Gordon, Kim Swan. Craig will be added to the list soon, they have a spot picked out for him. The Premier hasn’t got the memo yet. Like I told you many times before, refer to comments made by the Hon. C. V. (Jim) Woolridge a former Cabinet Minister who work for the same fools in charge today – “those little white boys don’t mind black people being in charge as long as they can tell them what to do.”

  49. Bermuda Boy says:

    Flip Flop investigate your own party. I still want to know where the money went. I also want to know who told you that you could sing!!!

  50. pilot011 says:

    Two wrongs don’t make it right, You OBA supporters have so much hatred towards anyone who don’t follow the OBA. You will be the ones who will cause them to lose the next election. STOP Being haters toward people

  51. Suspicious says:

    Okay former government their friends family and supporters take a seat relax and take notes on how to conduct business and how to tackle diplomatic matters ,so if they ever become government again they will know what to do.

  52. Victor says:

    Furbert and the rest of you PLP Ewart Brown crony gang – STOP DAMAGING OUR FUTURE – Why would any sane person invest here if they thought there was a chance a bunch of resentful, petty losers like you might run things again one day? Bean or perhaps Kim Wilson, you need to purge your party of this entire clique.

    • Bermewjan says:

      Do you understand what the concept of “Opposition” means?

      • Victor says:

        Yes, and in particular the meaning of HM Loyal Opposition – all very different than treason.

  53. plain talking says:

    plp..like satan trying to correct ‘sin’ no comparison what the Oba did and the epic disaster plp done to the island..They can considered the worst govt in modern times..They should be disband and never allow to be given another chance to destroy BDA.The damage and deluge they left behind it will take generations to fix and the rest of us to be nickel and dime for the rest of our lives..Down with the plp for their dishonesty and gloom to bermuda!!!!!

  54. plain talking says:

    in comparison to, say, paying “The Man With The Golden Paint Brush” hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for painting shutters and fences at govt housing!!! What do u call that? I call it croneyism and all of the CODES WERE BROKEN!!! No one in the plp gang publicly opposed that! … Now they screaming for this govt to continue dishing out free money!How many codes were broken to run up this $2.5 billion debt. Obscene!

  55. plain talking says:

    the only reason the plp is doing all this ‘pettiness and allege codes breaking’ they fear that the Oba will do better by leaps and bounds thn they did by bringing hotels and other deals for us..THEY JUST WANT TO SOBOTAGE any positive of the Oba..and that shows they should be consider enemies of this ISLAND!

  56. plain talking says:

    where does it say in the govt rules that the govt of the day has to report,recite and relate to all nick and crany on ‘potential investors interests’? The OBA is the govt and can conduct business without the approval of the prying public..hav u head of jeapordising business deals? Btw the Premier use his guidance to move the day!! Thank Premier Cannonier for thinking of saving us money and making potential deals..Continue calming and ignore the ‘noise makers’and let them deal with it.

  57. plain talking says:

    when the plp was told not to build grand altantic they went ahead anyway costing us MILLIONS AND NOT ONE CENT TO THE TAXPAYERS in return..now we should ignor that since they are not in office..BUT IT IS STILL AFFECTING each one of us of TODAY,TOMORROR and ys to come!!
    When eb and the two face colonel went and bring in Uighurs without anyone knowing about this..we now suppose to forget this as they are not in power..but we still have to pay for thse ppl plus their wives and children!!
    pls plp go away far ..you still reminding us of the horrendous nightmares you brought upon us for 14yrs.

  58. plain talking says:

    plp means HYPROCRISY..in the full sense..they have done more harm than hitler done to germany!!..at least germany had ‘marshal plan’ to amend itself..WE AINT GOT NO PLAN to dig ourselves out of plp epic and shameful mess!!

  59. plain talking says:

    what about all the MASSIVE AMOUNT OF MATERIALS,BUILDING HARDWARE etc. ordered to build Berkeley but which was NOT USED TO BUILD THE SCHOOL … Wonder where it all ended up. Go figure. That is why the building had so much OVERRUNS …

  60. plain talking says:

    when will the plp answer what happened to all of the UNACCOUNTED for funds. AND WHY WAS THE AUDITOR GENERAL PLACED IN JAIL FOR DOING HIS JOB?

  61. plain talking says:

    THERE ARE ZILLIONS OF UNANWERED question from the plp’s time in govt.
    berkelygate,
    Tcdgate,
    Uighergate,
    “Man With The Golden Paint Brush”-gate
    grandatlanticgate,
    jazzfestivalgate
    globalhuegate
    etc., etc.,
    These are just a few of the scandalous “gates” the plp left behind them. WE NEED ANSWER NOW!

  62. Tank Rain says:

    So people are upset they did NOT use taxpayers dollars?

    BERMUDA, is this REALLY one of your biggest problems? God help her.

  63. Observant says:

    OK…so if I understand this correctly…they were INVITED to fly on a private jet, yes? At NO cost to Bermuda taxpayers…as opposed to flying first class on our dime?

    I still remember the evening I was driving along the Causeway when GP1 went FLYING past me, breaking all speed limits (trust me)to get to the airport to drop off the (then)Premier to get on the same flight as me…in first class, because I had to walk past her and bite my tongue as to the appalling driving of her ‘chauffeur’. (I was in Economy, BTW…on my OWN dime)