Premier Cannonier: “Collaboration Is The Way”

September 20, 2013

[Written by by Premier Craig Cannonier] On Labour Day, I said Bermuda must make our time together an era of collaboration.

I said that because I believe our progress rests on us working together better. Bermuda needs the best efforts from all our people to dig the Island out of a hole that threatens our way of life.

We can still argue and disagree with each other. Our system of government, after all, includes opposition to make sure ideas and plans are scrutinized and criticized to make them better for the good of all.

But today, too many of us are locked in a mindset that looks first to tear down others. You can see it on the blogs, where people, often behind fake names, rip at others and where partisan battle lines form at the drop of a hat.

I get the mindset, and I understand how easy it is to go there, but it is absolutely the wrong place for us to be; it is the wrong outlook for a better Bermuda.

This negativity may be due to political wars of the past that never seem to leave us, or it may be due to the pressures created by our economic decline in recent years. Whatever the case, we have to adopt a more constructive, collaborative approach to our community’s life.


If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it is that it’s better to work together than it is to work apart. More can be accomplished, more can be done with many hands at the table.

I’ve been Premier for nine months now, and it is clear that the challenges we face are so complex and deep that it will take all we have – intelligence, discipline, understanding, courage, participation and sacrifice – to get us moving in the right direction. We will not see better days if we remain fixed on divisions that say more about the past than the future.

We need to approach the challenges before us – a damaged economy, social dysfunction, job losses, and dwindling opportunities – with a view to fixing the whole; to making the Island work better for people at all levels.

OBA Senator Jeff Baron and PLP Senator Marc Daniels speaking on collaboration earlier this week:

We need to set aside historic alignments and step toward new relationships and perspectives that can build on our common destiny as Bermudians, giving us fresh opportunities to succeed as a country for all our people.

This is the unity of purpose I hope to get Bermuda moving toward. It’s about recovery and renewal, for an Island that works for all of us, with no one is left behind.

In my time in office, I have worked to bring people together, encouraging them to step beyond well-trodden paths toward new relationships that can help us see the bigger picture.

It started with the Christian churches, bringing them together for a National Day of Prayer, leading by example to raise the spiritual element and collective awareness across the Island.

We moved forward with the idea of business, unions and government sitting down together as a tripartite committee to provide government with advice and input on the economic challenges we share as Bermudians. I am hopeful its counsel will help move Bermuda forward.

This is what collaboration is all about, getting people to see beyond their traditional turf to the surrounding landscape and understanding the importance of its well-being. The ‘me-first’ mentality has to make room for others because we are truly all in this together.

I know this shift will take time, but I am encouraged by what I’ve seen so far. Members of Parliament got the ball rolling with a pay cut. In July, unions came together to work with government on a historic cost-cutting pay deal. And last month, government ministers started meeting with businesses to discuss steps that can be taken to lower Bermuda’s cost of living.

It’s early days I know, but I am confident we can build toward a Bermuda that works better for everyone. That work begins by recognizing we are Bermudians first, with a responsibility to do what we can for the well-being of our neighbours, colleagues and fellow citizens.

That’s my mission.

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Comments (37)

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  1. Serious Though says:


    • B. Trump says:

      REALLY, well the attitudes and behaviours of the OBAubp Ministers on the floor of the House of Assembly does not resemble a government whom are willing to collaboration., Far from it. The same game is being played up there, each time they walk into the house. Further more, a Premier whom is not willing to communicate from his heart, unless his speech writer writes it down and he acts it out. Why not come and speak to the people on the Sherri J show…… AFRAID Of COLLABORATION….I think so….please get real OBAubp and stop lying to yourselves….first of all the OBAubp are lacking COLLABORATION with in their own party…they are covering up the in house fighting…..REALLY.

      • CommonSensenBda says:

        Interesting that you don’t recall any of the PLPbiu’s infighting…..sure you don’t remembers President Brown tabling a bill giving the cruise ships gambling rights and PAULA COX and her cadre getting in parliament and deep sixing that bill….no mention of Ewart and Friends meeting at a local hotel the night of an election to plan the MOST SUCCESSFUL bloodless coup of then Premier Jennifer Smith (“We had to lie to you!”). How many of the public were privy to those “problems” in the PLPbiu? REALLY!!!

      • Mazumbo says:

        What’s with all these new words ,collaboration, transparency, accountability , its a big joke when it’s valid for one sector and not for the other. The biggest joke is mentioning (intelligence, discipline, understanding, courage, participation and sacrifice, or we will not see better days if we remain fixed on divisions that say more about the past than the future). Now who or what segment of society is he referring too, because the society that I’m connected too has gone over and beyond to accept the (divisions that say more about the past than the future). The reason why it’s like it is it’s because we’ve buried our heads for so long and greet each other with a fake smile or a nod of the head and never really dealt with the ROOT of the problem, and living on a little Island we cant run from the problem forever so now we have to just deal with it the best way we can, but trying to use fancy words to deal with a deep rooted , historical problem without engaging in dialogue and admitting to biased economic and social practices is like putting a Band-Aid on a cancerous sore. So I think he needs to preach this to his segment of supporters.

      • kno det says:

        why would he go on the sherri j show lmfao!!!! worthless show…for what so ppl can call in n mock him or belittle him, i think not. stop bein a hypocrite i could say de same thing about plp ministers in de house and i DON’T take sides betty. you’re a moron. and der is no infighting, stop talking trash.

      • Lay down! says:

        calling people “red necks”! Stop ya noise! OBA has never used name calling go find your identity Betty!

  2. watching says:

    You give no impromptu interviews, and hardly say anything in the House of Assembly.
    You really think people are interested in this?

  3. Impressive says:

    good piece, well done to the writers of the speech and those who brainstormed these concepts, because it sure wasnt our beloved Premier,, but well done nonetheless.. the deception continues, boredom

  4. Winnie Dread says:

    Politicions doing politalk, good luck on all this blah,blah.

  5. Mazumbo says:

    Still cant see why he and anyone from his party wont go on de Sherrie J show. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kareem says:

      Maybe because they have better things to do like running a country, then to sit around and listen to the one sided nonsense that her show is about.

      • watching says:

        Um, Premier Cannonier is not running the country. LOL

        • Mike Hind says:

          Evidence? Or just desperate, partisan smear?

          • watching says:

            Have you heard him say anything major on any issues? and the biggest thing he said, was counter to the viewpoints of his party and then he said he had never heard the word self-determination before. Strange for a Leader to say that on the public stage. And if yesterdays news report is any indication, his Cabinet also knows he has past his useful life span as Premier, as they basically forced him to hand over some power. Very interesting things going on at OBA.

            • Mike Hind says:

              So… no, then. Got it.

              • Impressive says:

                Mike, your very smart. Do you honestly believe that Craig Cannonier is running Bermuda?? Are you one of those people who have to jump overboard before you realize you will get soaking wet??

                I have no issue with the OBA, they won a democratic election, but for god’s sake, stop taking the people of Bermuda as fools and give us a competent Premier who actually knows what he is doing and talking about.. stop being in denial, the guy is in waist deep and the tide is rising.

                • Mike Hind says:

                  Just asking for evidence, as most of the folks making this claim have proved, over and over, that they’ll say anything to push their agenda. If this is true, it’s a serious thing. But I’m not going to get on board without ANY sort of evidence…

  6. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    No one in their right mind would want to go on

    • frank says:

      some people just can’t handle the blunt truth that all

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Only cowards and frauds are afraid to go on Sherri’s show lol!

    • CommonSensenBda says:

      So true.

      Why go on a show where the commentator breaks her own rule EVERY DAY. She states that there is “supposed” to be no personal attacks by her call-in listener about someone who is not there to defend their selves. But what really happens…..she allows those callers to denigrate others who are not there and plays the “but” game to re-iterate their points. No NEVER allowed anyone to put forward speculation about Ewart or Paula, but Craig Cannonier, “I can say if thats what the Premier meant, BUT, you know……”

  7. B. Trump says:

    Well said Mark Daniels, a brilliant young man…loving it.

  8. Red Hind says:

    It’s important that Sherri J’s show stay on the air so that smart, open minded, progressive thinking people can hear and try to understand the skewed views of a conservative, biased, closed minded, opinionated PLP/BIU radio hostess

  9. My Kind says:

    Cannonier going on Sherrie’s show would be a complete waste of time as the entire listening audience would tune out. They wouldn’t be interested in anything Craig said, and would prefer to bask in the memory of Emperor E-Wart, and the Pretty-much Finished Party.

    Its a mathematical fact that 50% of the voting public is below average intelligence. Now you know which station they listen to.

    Ting ting ting ting (sound of mandolin)..

    • Impressive says:

      those are strong comments disguised as some form of factual statistic.. For the record, Sherri J is a relatively objective host and always tries to be as factual as possible. Yes, many of her listeners are anti-oba/ubp, but that doesn’t mean that these people don’t deserve to have their voices heard.

      Because one doesn’t share your political views doesn’t give you the right to assume that this person is not intelligent. You are one of those who probably criticized Ewart for acting like a dictator, yet you wont to discredit people who don’t see the world as you do, thats hypocritical, is it not?

    • Mike Hind says:

      If you’re going to post ridiculous things like this, Trumpety Trump, can you not do it while pretending to be me?

  10. The Ombudsman makes a statement and says:

    senator Barron is full of it he just seems so disingenuous, he is trying to gather support by trying to make light of the fact that he is indeed a poor senator. Also i notice the way his demeanor was while Mark was speaking and i noticed Marks demeanor while Barron was speaking and there is a clear distinction and Barron comes off as a snobbish know it all, who is just looking to attack a comment and not look to work together, more like a ..i know it all attitude …notice how many times he opens his mouth to speak WHILE Mark is talking

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Hey Mike, look at this video referred to above. Evidence to me on the ways of the OBA!

      • Mike Hind says:

        Not what I was asking about…

        But thanks for not actually answering.

    • Freedom says:

      I think Barron seemed much more sincere.

  11. js says:

    Jeff Baron looks like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons

    did Mark Daniels gain weight

  12. Bermewjan says:

    So, this was a speech about playing nicely with each other and cooperating. Perhaps the Premier has a vocation as a Primary School Teacher.

    Any words on your progress or lack of such in let’s say, running the country?

    May be a bit much to ask, but what the hey!

  13. Lay down! says:

    The sherri J show is for the BRAINWASHED point blank period! Who wants to listen to PLP propaganda!

  14. Who that cap fit says:

    I listen to The Shirley Dill Show.The Sherrie J show is propaganda for the PLP,paid for by the former minister!

  15. Alvin Williams says:

    Well Bermuda has it’s media divide just like America; you have your Fox news and I have my Hott. It’s not a thing that I will get upset about; But
    if I were the Sherrie J. show I would cease calling upon the anti-Bermudian one term OBA to appear on my show. Those politicians starting with thier leader will never face the people. Given the one sided so-called shared sacrifice that they will have us believe; Premier Cannonier’s latest call for collaboration is just one more example of media hype design to fool the people that the anti-Bermudian one term OBA
    government is something new on the political scene? But it is nothing more than a carbon copy of former UBP premier Sir John Swan’s ‘Hey Bye’ politics.

    • Mike Hind says:

      So, you’re admitting that Hott is the equivalent of Fox News?

      FINALLY someone is honest about it!