90 Min Video: PLP Town Hall On Airport Project

December 3, 2014

The Progressive Labour Party held a Town Hall meeting last night [Dec 2] to discuss the circumstances surrounding the airport redevelopment.

Earlier this month, the Government announced they had reached an agreement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation [CCC] to build a new airport terminal building, with Finance Minister Bob Richards saying it is expected to cost in the “range of $200 million”, and the “financing will rely entirely on the future revenue streams from the new airport itself.”

PLP Town Hall meeting airport 2014

In a statement announcing the Town Hall, Shadow Finance Minister David Burt said, ”With $1 billion dollars of future Bermuda revenue at stake, a no-bid contract to a Canadian Company, and the loss of control of our airport for 30 years through privatisation, this is an issue of national importance.

Shadow Transport Minister Lawrence Scott said, “L.F. Wade International is employed nearly 100% by Bermudians, provides a major source of revenue to the government and is our primary access point to Bermuda.

Slides shown at the meeting, click arrow to move to next slide [PDF here]:

“We simply cannot permit it to be privatised for 30 years in what appears to be a backroom deal that could jeopardize Bermudian jobs,” added Mr. Scott.

Jost over 100 were present last night, and those in attendance included Opposition Leader Marc Bean, MP Derrick Burgess, MP Lovitta Foggo, MP Wayne Furbert, Senator Diallo Rabain, Senator Marc Daniels, Senator Renee Ming and former Premier Paula Cox.

90 minute video of the Town Hall*

*As readers are aware we normally post full videos of events, however due to legal reasons we have edited out approximately 90 seconds [at the 40 min mark of the video] which contains remarks from an audience member. The full remarks from all the PLP MPs are included in the video.

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Comments (44)

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  1. enough says:

    they would certainlky know about back room deals, they did enough.

    • RU Kidding says:

      Are you really saying that if there is something not on the up and up it is OK because “the PLP did it”?

      Really.. I don’t get you people. What’s right is right and wrong is wrong. There is NO WAY this thing should go without a tender.

      • animallover says:

        Well then you should have kicked up when the PLP didn’t tender a lot of projects around the island when they were in power, where was your voice then RU? Smells fishy to me

        • Kunta says:

          Fishy like anything under a $50,000 contract don’t have to be listed publicly?

    • Bermudian. says:

      C’mon man, a bad deal is a bad deal. Who cares a damn if it’s the OBA or the PLP .

  2. Politricks says:

    Seriously PLP?

    Are you guys being completely honest when you state that a new airport and causeway can be constructed via the very small airport net income of $4mn per year?

    And why do you keep on going about $25mn in annual revenue as if there is no expenses attached to these monies?

    Or do you plan on issuing more debt to fund this project? Or would you simply raise airport related taxes to procure additional funds?
    I agree with the put out to tender argument, but don’t think you can fool anyone with your financing pipe dreams.

    • RU Kidding says:

      Please state where this was said, as I don’t see it.

      I think if you watch the presentation Burt makes it clear that 4 million isn’t enough to build an airport.

      The debate is much helped if you stick to the facts and don’t make things up.

      • Politricks says:

        “We believe we can build a new airport and maintain control of an airport — and we can’t afford to forget about the Causeway,” he said, calling airport revenues the only asset available to finance an upgrade of the bridge.”

        That is what the PLP stated last night. So as you can see they believe in fantasies in which they actually believe a miniscule $4m year profit (which is based on one year and as such isn’t a definitive number) has the ability to pay off a development that will cost hundreds of millions as well as pay to construct a new causeway.

        It is this sort of fantasy thinking that led us to the precarious financial position the Government and by extension the taxpayer are in as of now.

        So where will the extra funds come from then? Will the PLP issue more debt to foreign investors? Will they raise a whole slew of taxes?

        What will they do to finance the airport redevelopment that they have acknowledged is necessary?

        • Trulytruly says:

          Fortunately the PLP will not be implementing their plan. It seems they have forgotten they are not the ones making the decisions these days. They have a bad track record and everyone knows it. Burt and Scott aren’t helping either. Once we get a little further along past the NON BINDING MOU we will all find out the answers to questions about the airport project.

        • sebring says:

          I think the green party is planning in returning the 800 million or so missing to finance the new air port ! talking about back room deals did they consult with us the voters on the name change to the airport i do not think so! so please first change the name back to Bermuda International airport a name representive of all of us!

    • RU Kidding says:

      Check the 27 minute mark. He says it will take more than the 4 million profit. Come on man – stick to the facts!

      • Trulytruly says:

        Where would the remainder come from then? Do tell us.

    • Vote for Me says:

      I think we all agree with the need for at least one other bid. The process could be shorter by specifically asking 3 capable firms to respond to an RFP if necessary.

      To his credit, MP Burt has ‘run the numbers correctly’. He states that a $200m airport requires at least $12m in annual net income to be sustained. He then questioned where the extra funds would come from and what government had promised.

      He also correctly states that the amount of government REVENUE in the deal is $25m x 30 years = $750m. If you factor in a 2% inflation, the total number easily gets to $1bn of government REVENUE that is involved in the contract.

      Good to see that without the political rancour, your statement actually agrees with MP Burt.

      • Politricks says:

        Again you speak of revenue as if there are no expenses attached.

        So the Govt will lose the revenue, but they also eliminate the expenses as well.

        So going by your equation above by going this route the taxpayer will eliminate $630mn ($21mn * 30years) in annual expenses and if factoring a 2% inflation rate it will be closer if not exceeding $1bn in taxpayer funded expenditure.

        • Creamy says:

          Yes, And that’s making enourmous assumptions about the expenses inflation. But in P3 deal, all the risks and uncertainties are carried by someone else.

          The PLP presumably understand this, because they did it on the hospital P3 project. For some reason it was a good idea then, but it’s a bad idea now.

          Let’s face it. The PLP want to pick holes in this because the credit for it will not be their’s. They would rather Bermudians remain unemployed, than to see them employed on projects for which the OBA get political credit. That is what this is all about.

      • hmmm says:

        We are looking at todays prices , why would he factor in inflation. It is irrelevant.


        Immedietly bring into question his other thrown up figures.

        Thank the Lord the PLP are not in power.

    • Ian says:

      So let me get this straight. The OBA can go as far as changing laws to cancel a waterfront lease on the UNPROVEN basis the tendoring process was less than “above board”, yet their supporters dont even blink when they make a decision this big WITHOUT EVEN PUTTING IT OUT TO TENDER AGAINST THE APPROVAL OF THE CROWN??? Its amazing how one of the only things that changes as people grow older and “wiser” is their ability to rationalize blatant stupidity!

      • Politricks says:

        Reading isn’t your strong point obviously. You should stick to insults and name calling.

        As you can see in my very last sentence that I stated I agree with the need to tender. But that doesn’t mean I must agree with the PLP’s fanciful dreams of self-financing for such a project.

        And as for the Waterfront I suggest you read the Ombudsman’s report on the ‘malfeasance’ highlighted during the awarding of the contract.

        • Ian says:

          Hah! You hypocrite! The OBA can do no wrong in your eyes. And when they do you people pray it blows over with as little attention drawn as possible. You talk about “alleged” malfeasance of a tender selection as if that even starts to compare to the blatant malfeasance by the OBA in the COMPLETE ABSENCE of a tendering process. You people are nothing short of entertaining.

          • Politricks says:

            Man you are an absolutely nasty person aren’t you?

            Again, I have stated several times that I believe a project of this magnitude should go out to tender. Not too sure how that translates to the OBA doing no wrong in my eyes.

            The Ombudsman’s report is pretty comprehensive and was backed up several of the elected Aldermen and Councillor’s of the CoH.

            But seriously mate why are you so nasty in your comments albeit on here or other sites? Why can’t you act civilly towards others that don’t agree with you and why do you always have to refer to ‘you people?’ Anyways, you and I are done until you can reach the point of maturity that prevents you from acting in such and infantile and hostile manner towards others. You my friend are part of Bermuda’s social problem.

  3. Raymond Ray says:

    Wow sooooo many people showing interest by coming out, (yeah right) Stop it before it starts Mr. Burt and associates :-(

    • A Better Bermuda says:

      Burt’s was Junior Finance Minister during the time we were building up debt of epic, unsustainable proportions. He has 0% credibility now as is evidenced by the turnout. Jamahl should have been called in to give out free food

    • Cleancut says:

      It’s going to be a nightmare for the PLP for the next few years. With the Americas Cup, New Airport, Hotels, New Dockyard, jobs, etc, etc, etc, you can hear the anger in the voices of the PLP chat show callers.

      PLP……. Party first, Country second

      • Creamy says:

        Yep. When Bermudians who have been unemployed since 2008 are getting jobs, it sort of destroys their narrative doesn’t it.
        It’s gonna be rough for them.

      • Floyd Pitcher says:

        Indeed The game is up we all know the PLP cannot allow the OBA to succeed in turning around the financial destruction they heaped onto Bermuda and its people. Many of these same people still out of work as a result of their poor fiscal management. How ironic. When the OBA reaps the benefits of the Americas Cup and other projects that are coming online that get the country working again they know that it will be near impossible to remove them and they deserve no less!!!

  4. Tragic says:

    The death rattle of a misguided party

  5. Sky Pilot says:

    Memo to the plp,

    you are not the Government of Bermuda!

  6. No new airport is needed.

    • Edmund Spenser says:

      Correct, we don’t need a new airport. We need a new airport terminal!

    • Creamy says:

      Grand Atlantic wasn’t “needed”.

  7. Dylan says:

    I think it a shame only 100 listened to the presentation / argument ,more needed to hear those that wish to govern . It is so crystal clear how we are here in our current state , i give them kudos for having the guts to stand up there and try ..but that is all that took place guts . When you begin to distort the truth to make your point it proves that you really don’t get it . I too honestly believe there should be a tendering process but stick to that ,you would have a valid point . Its simple obey by the process we/ all of us expect . To the OBA your intentions may be honourable and you may have it right but the PROCESS is the PROCESS, you are not above the rules.

    • Creamy says:

      How many contractors tendered for Grand Atlantic? Anyone know?

      • islandguy says:

        Probably the same amount that bid on Port Royal:)

        • A Better Bermuda says:

          You mean like Zane being the only contractor????

  8. Ace girl says:

    Have you looked at the airport? It is delapidated. Looks like a third world country. I took particular notice when I returned on Sunday. In this technology age why would we not want a state of the art airport? After all it sets the tone for the Bermuda resident tourist experience. Contrary to popular belief the tourist’s experience begins at the airport, not the hotels or restaurants. Why would locals feel the need to hinder progress given that the airport supports their needs as well as visitors. We need to take the politics out of every positive decision.

  9. BermyL says:

    1) To my fellow OBA supporters please stop calling out the past transgressions of the PLP. It is a waste of time. We are all aware of them. On the OBA side there’s no one who isn’t fully aware. On the PLP side perhaps they have forgiven their party but rest assured they are aware. Get over it and move on. An apology is not forthcoming.

    2) Mr. Burt – yes it is a large revenue stream that we’re giving up with this deal. Question for you Mr. Burt, as an aspiring minister of finance, would you give up that revenue stream if someone offered to write you a cheque for $750 million today???? Answer has to be yes and if you answer no may you never reach the post to which you aspire. My point is that at some point giving up that revenue stream is worth it. Now please for the sake of Bermuda start having a conversation about what weighing what we’re gaining in terms of economic benefits against the present values of the NET cash flows that we’re giving up. That is the key economic debate over this issue.

    3) Also, Mr. Burt continue to push the OBA on the transparency point as it is valid but please stop with the insinuation that something nefarious or corrupt is taking place until such time that you have evidence to prove it. Otherwise you undermine your credibility. As much as I think Bermuda is in better hands for now with the OBA in charge, the country would benefit from a strong opposition that challenges the government on the real issues using facts rather than emotive sound bites that appear to be more about political point scoring rather than the pursuit of what is best for the country.

    • Trulytruly says:

      You’re right with point 1. The courts in due time will be dealing quite effectively with that I am sure.

  10. Need Peace says:

    If this deal was so good, the Cayman Islands would’ve beat us to the punch!

    • Lois Frederick says:

      UK wouldn’t let them. UK has oversight of Cayman’s finances. Bermuda has control of Bermuda’s finances. There is the difference.

  11. Workingclass says:

    The PLP just want the power.
    Get over it PLP the workers of Bermuda were hurt by your maladministration and entrusted the present govt to bring Bermuda back from almost certain ruin.
    Americas Cup,hotel development and more jobs,would not have happened under a PLP govt!

  12. America`s Cup says:

    So this is where the Oposition PLP was last night! Why were they not celebrating with the rest of Bermuda?

    • Raymond Ray says:

      That had been held the night of Dec. 2nd.

      • America`s Cup says:

        You are correct so why did we not see the Oposition PLP out there last night celebrating with the rest of us?? Can someone from the Oposition answer why not?

        • Raymond Ray says:

          I agree. Why weren’t the Opposition,(Progressive Labour Party) members more visible ? Inquisitive minds would love to know…