‘Disappointed That OBA Refused Olive Branch’

March 8, 2016

We are “disappointed” that the OBA refused to establish a Joint Select Committee on immigration, and “we urge the public to take every opportunity to show the OBA Government that you reject this proposed legislation,” Shadow Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban said.

Mr Roban’s comments follow after a Motion to form a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on immigration failed to pass in the House of Assembly last night, with the Motion being defeated by an 18-14 margin, with OBA MPs voting against it, while PLP MPs voted in favour.

Walter Roban 160308

The Motion — which was brought by MP Walton Brown — said, “Whereas the public welfare is now challenged by proposed amendments to immigration law and the likelihood for growing and sustained unrest increases daily; and whereas there is a need for an inclusive approach for the betterment of Bermuda on such law; accompanied by the movement away from brinkmanship dispositions; be it resolved that, pursuant to Part IV of the Parliament Act 1957, a Parliamentary Joint Select Committee be appointed to examine the wide range of issues involved in comprehensive immigration reform; to propose for the consideration of Parliament a set of comprehensive immigration reform measures; and to submit its report within six months.

“Be it further resolved that this report be consulted by Members of the Legislature prior to any Bill being tabled dealing with the subject matter.”

Speaker announcing the final vote tally last night:

Mr Roban said, “We are disappointed that the One Bermuda Alliance refused an olive branch extended by the Progressive Labour Party to establish a Joint Select Committee on Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

“In taking this course of action, Premier Michael Dunkley and his fellow OBA Members of Parliament have collectively thumbed their noses to and ignored the wishes of a significant portion of our community.  This current Government does not represent anything that it was elected under and clearly has lost its way.

“To the public, we, the Progressive Labour Party, continue to stand strong with you, and we urge the public to take every opportunity to show the OBA Government that you reject this proposed legislation.

“Bermudians must continue to contact their MPs and to make your views known, demanding that they reject the immigration legislation that was tabled,” added Mr Roban.

The immigration proposal would see changes including any person who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency, and any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years becoming eligible to apply for Bermudian status.

Since the announcement was made on February 5th, the topic has remained in the headlines, with five protests held in relation to it over the past month.

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Comments (77)

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  1. Ed Case says:

    It is not a “significant portion” it is rather a few hundred of the normal PLP rent a crowd. AND YOU KNOW IT!

    You also know that PLP’s version of reform would be to give status to nobody.

    Why can’t you be honest for once – you are beyond pathetic.

    • Hey says:

      Bermuda wins, PLP looses. It’s plain and simple. PLP have to win on the battlefield, to stop progress.

  2. Jolly says:

    That was no olive branch.

    • Bermudian says:

      More like a branch full of thorns and threats.

      • hmmm says:

        What the PLP offered was no olive branch…QUIT the lies and misinformation to the Bermuda public PLP It is disgusting, deceitful and WRONG.

        It was the OBA who held out an olive branch to the PLP upon election… THE PLP refused.

    • Yeah right says:

      ” the likelihood for growing and sustained unrest increases daily”

      That’s not a branch. That’s a stick, and a threat to use it.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Exactly, it was a threat to create further disturbance unless the OBA capitulates to their demand to stall and drag this process out for as long as possible, so that if they win the election they can then decide what will happen, which will basically be to kick the can down the road.
      When is the PLP going to publish their counter proposals for reform… never, as they don’t really have any. Despite having had over a year to develop their own genuine ideas, since the ‘loophole’ ruling they have known there needed to be reform, and up until now it Mr. Brown has been the lone PLP voice for collaboration… an empty voice without the blessing of his leader, who up until yesterday, vowed there would be no collaboration.
      The PLP are being completely disingenuous with their desire for collaboration on this as they are threatened by the notion that there will now be a new bloc of voters that they have little to no emotional influence over, which means they will have to actually demonstrate they deserve their vote. A new bloc of voters, many of whom had earned and should have had that right to vote, during if not before the PLP’s administration, who up until now the PLP have effectively disenfranchised by their actual desire to keep them second class citizens in the county they have come to call home.

  3. little girl says:

    What olive branch? That was a “do it our way”or we will throw our toys out of the pram!

  4. Double S says:

    Calling people diseased-carrying cockroaches is an olive branch in the PLP world?

    Strange logic.

    • Bill says:

      They called the Government “disease carrying cockroaches?”

      I strongly suggest that all of the opposition get up, go to the bathroom, and look in the mirror.

      They will then see what disease carrying cockroaches actually look like.

      If they stick around in the bathroom, they will see how cockroaches behave!

  5. aceboy says:

    Olive branch??? LOL. Come on Woban, that was a demand not an olive branch. The PLP seem to have a problem with comprehending what English words mean.

    Aside from the demand that the PLP have a veto right (which is ridiculous)you seem to think that governing by Committee is a good idea. Committees under your lot did a whole lot of talking and not much else.

  6. There are many of us that don't AGREE says:

    Dear Mr. Roban,

    There are many of us that simply don’t agree with the position that the Oppoosition are taking on this topic. The continued ratcheting up of threats is just not helping us feel any sympathy toward this cause.

    Bermudians from every walk of life are trying to rebuild from the economic disaster of the last decade and the rhetoric of disruptions to everyday life and business is just being percievd as a threat to our future that makes it very personal.

    This is a human not a political issue. Think of the impact this negativity is having on those that are directly impacted. These folks that had a glimmer of hope in relation to their position in Bermuda must feel like social pariahs, second class citizens, discriminated against. This approach is definately not fair to our friends, colleagues and neigbors who have worked hard alongside us all to build Bermuda.

    Please let’s remember the people not the politics. Where has the concept of fellowship gone in this debate/country?

    Surely we are all better than this?

    The silent majority (including swing voters) are watching and are not impressed).

    • So Tired says:

      “The silent majority (including the swing voters)[emphasis added] are watching and are not impressed”. That statement is so true…And the majority of that majority are not impressed by either party!!!

  7. just wondering says:

    In what way was this possibly an olive branch?? – PLP members called the Government “cockroaches” and threatened – this is one weird way to suggest “bi partisan collaboration”!!

  8. Trisha says:

    Wrong decision again from OBA

    • aceboy says:

      What wrong decsion? Do you think the PLP would have passed any OBA motion giving the OBA full veto power? If so I have a lovely bridge to sell you.

      You are being used by the opposition, who know full well that motion would never pass.

      • hmmm says:

        she can’t see that she is being manipulated by the PLP media….This “olive branch release” compared with the evidence should be enough for her to wake up and start questioning other PLP misinformation.

  9. Lois Frederick says:

    Bob Richards had it right. This was not a sincere attempt at bipartisan collaboration. This Motion was presented in the House in an ambush style. If the plp had been sincere they could have informed the Govt at any time up to one second before announcing it on the House. They didn’t.

    • Casey says:

      Not only that, but they “ambushed” knowing full well that the motion would not pass. They didn’t have the numbers in the House from the outset.

  10. serengeti says:

    I wonder whether Bean now regrets refusing and ridiculing the offer of a seat in the OBA cabinet?

  11. Tank Rain says:

    Did they suggest where you could go and park your “Olive Branch”?

  12. Allan says:

    We can see through the “branches” don’t worry, the general population can see when a person(s) acting like a child is stamping their feet because they just can’t get another lollypop. This Country would not bear another torture by the PLP, or at least with their present agenda. It is not saying they do not have good people, they do and all know that, and it is a big loss for the Country to not be able to benefit from those few good ones! No offense meant with the wording of all that.

  13. The Critic says:

    Wish all this was a show on Netflix and not our actual reality.

  14. Ben says:

    How much is the OBA paying you people to do this?

    • Zip says:

      Hi Ben,

      No payment at all being made.

      If I agreed with the position of the Opposition I would be writing in support–which I have done in the past on other issues.

      This is simply the right thing to do and there are many Bermudians out there that feel the same way about this issue. Just expressing our views–as simple as that.

      Not politics in my eyes–dignity and support for a group that doesn’t feel comfortable raising their voice given the hate, protest and general contempt they have been reciving from a small portion of the community.

      I know Bermuda is better than what we are witnessing….

      • Ben says:

        “Just expressing our views–as simple as that.”

        In the most hateful and malignant way possible? Certainly. Why else is any other dissenting opinion against the OBA in the Bernews comment sections shouted down and humiliated like hecklers during a public speech?

        You’re sneering court jesters at the beck and call of tyrants. Please stop. Look at what you’re doing, for just one moment. Grow a conscience for just one moment. That’s all I’m asking. You are helping bad people accomplish wicked ends.

        • Sorry Ben says:

          Hi Ben,

          Sorry I simply don’t see it that way.

          I have an opinion, like you do and I have a right as a Bermudian to expres it.

          Some choose to shout down at people–other choose to express in writing.

          Please do not call me any names or things other than someone who wants the best for this country and for my kids and grandkids. I bet we can agree on that.

          But please–don’t label me and PLEASE do not comment on my concious, you don’t know me and if you did you would apologize fo having said that.

          That said, I appreciate and acknowldge your perspective.

          Have a blessed day.

        • Tired of it all says:

          And you support a party that labels its opposition as demonic and disease carrying cockroaches and whose leader spews threatening sexual innuendo at females.

          Get off you moral high horse.

    • Cow Polly says:

      I give my time freely Ben, I’m not for one party or the other but for common sense and the good of the Country.

      Perhaps, my fellow bloggers and I are the real voice of the people and not the 250 people who follow the PLP blindly?

    • aceboy says:

      Who are you assuming is getting paid? And for what?

    • hmmm says:

      I’m not paid, I’m not a member of the OBA or PLP …I am a Bermudian.

    • Bud says:

      ^lol. Good one Ben!

    • Bermudian says:


  15. Osiris says:

    you dumb chicken, you think the OBA is paying people??????????????

    Good Lord you are even dumber than I thought!!!!!! Jesus Lord have mercy! You people truly are so stupid its not funny, no wonder…….

    Too dumb to think or vote.

  16. steve says:

    Mr Roban

    You are confusing an olive branch with a grenade.
    Anyway I thought you resigned after personally approving PLP MPs building permits that were turned down prior by the planning board?
    Wait, “that was a misunderstanding and I simply stepped down for the good of the party” I never believe this excuse spoken by you,Cannonier or Nixon or anyone else. At least the other two remained ashamed,embarrassed and quiet for a while.
    You are a poster boy for your party and your past/present behavior a microcosm of PLP activity during years spent governing Bermuda as well as a few years in opposition.

  17. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    Olive Branch? Olive Branch from the PLP?? This was a ambush with Poison Ivy – pure and simple…..not an olive branch in sight.

    Keep moving folks. Nothing to see here. Business as usual.

  18. David Stevens says:

    Childisly calling people names is not an “Olive Branch” ,it is a tantrum. The OBA does not want or need help in this matter.They were democratically voted in by the people of Bermuda to govern the country and it would be nice if they could just get on with doing so.

  19. AS YOU ARE says:

    Where was that OLIVE branch during the PLP reign in power. You guys have short memories..

    • hmmm says:

      No we don’t. THE PLP were pretending all was fine in Bermuda. It is you that has a short memory.

      • AS YOU ARE says:

        Do explain.

        • hmmm says:

          Explain why you have a short memory??….I’m not a medical practicioner…go see a your GP to start that ball rolling.

      • smh says:

        Did the PLP seek consultation when they put in term limits or when they ignored all the legal advise they got saying it was bad for the economy? Now we have a disgraced MP, who had to resign for unethical behavior who yesterday called Government diseased cockroaches, saying that THEY are ignoring an olive branch. Bwhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  20. Triangle Drifter says:

    You had 14 years to deal with it. All you did was talk, talk, talk & kick the can down the road. You were not interested in a word that the UBP, later OBA, had to say.

    “We don’t care what you think.” Who said that? Care to remember?

    So now the OBA is dealing with it, has made some decisions, & you say you want to talk some more.

  21. Curious says:

    Walter, where is your “majority” now? Out looking for the olive branch?

  22. Jus' Askin' says:

    How can You expect a party to care about people they know will not vote for them? ;-)

    • scoob says:

      How can you expect people to vote for a party they know doesn’t care about them…

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        There is the difference of perception, what the PLP puts forward as ‘Bermudians first’ has in fact already left Bermudians last, while what the OBA has been doing has been building a Bermuda that Bermudians can eventually benefit from. Do you vote for, popular looking perception or unpopular choices that will help.

  23. Liz Titterton says:

    Unlike the PLP, people who do the RIGHT thing do not have to be paid to do it!

  24. Terry says:

    More like a dead branch of Poison Ivy.

  25. Runner says:

    Walter, perhaps if the PLP used less of the “we don’t care what you think” and “we had to deceive you” and “this too shall pass” jargon during the 14 years of non-collaborative governance and record-making DEBT, the OBA and the public might give a little credence to your party’s call. You think folks have short memories? Come on Walter.

  26. DeShaun says:

    The plp need to learn about progression , peace intolerence , and equality as their track record to date does not sit well

  27. Balanced Facts says:

    OLIVE BRANCH???? Your leader basically threatened insurrection if the OBA did not capitulate. Listen to his ranting, vitriolic speech ! PLP needs to get rid of Bean otherwise the “Olive Branch” has a smell of poison ivy!

  28. Mr Sparkle says:

    Nothing “Progressive” about the PLP – they should consider changing their name as they continue their march into irrelevancy.
    The longer they continue to take marching orders from Dr Evil they will continue to suffer being on the wrong side of history – no matter how loud and miserable they get.
    There was no olive branch – children behave better… Bermuda deserves better.

  29. Lawgap says:

    ‘Olive branch’ = “give in to a couple of hundred of our most rabid pitchfork-wielding supporters or we’ll try to whip the public up to a frenzy of dissent and mob lawlessness”.

    Yeah, right, ‘Bud’.

  30. Baygrapes says:

    This was no “olive branch”. I am almost tempted to say it was more like a hold up !

    Can we just focus please on getting Bermuda stable and ALL people back to work. Stop PLP with the threats. Have a little class please.

  31. O'Brien says:

    It is more than galling to be lectured to about the virtues of collaborative government by a party that had so precious little use for it when they actually held power.

    “Do as we say, not as we did.”

  32. M.C. Beauchamp says:

    Ah yes, the famous Bermuda “Olive Branch”. We all know what that means. It isn’t an olive branch though the biblical overtones have a nice, appealing ring to it.

  33. Cow Polly says:

    Perhaps the PLP should attend one of the “How to Win Friends and Influence People” courses and then they’d understand why their ‘olive branch’ was rejected.

  34. Pete says:

    Again When will the PLP, CURB and like groups, who harp on as to who they want in Bermuda, sit down and read the History of this Island ???
    This campaign to destabilize the Country thru blatant dogma as though Bermuda was stolen from them.
    They need to take a long sober look as to from whence their fore parents immigrated here, and as Long term residence.
    this bigoted discrimination against long term well being residents, And Family members who have contributed to the well being of this Island, is a shocking disgrace.
    Yet under the PLP government the largest influx of Foreign workers took place , not a peep about that.
    They holler about Human Rights, This is a Human Rights Issue of Racist
    denial, and they don`t mince words that they don`t want certain people here. How Bigoted is that ?? the sad thing is, in their view that’s not racist.

  35. SANDGROWNAN says:

    Exactly, what “Olive Branch”?

  36. Unbelievable says:

    Didn’t the PLP say that the only way they would discuss immigration reform was if Bermuda went independent? Of which, that’s is not going to happen anytime soon.

    Stop playing politics, bie!

  37. Silence Do Good says:

    Seeing how the OBA has no problems with referendums on Human Rights issues, lets put out to referendum the number of years someone has to invest in Bermuda before they can obtain status?

    If both parties are so confident that the majority of Bermudians would vote a certain way than tyranny by the majority (referendum) should solve this issues as well.

    Everything should be put out to a referendum in Bermuda, since every man and women feel their voice and opinion is the right one, then referendums gives everyone that voice. Get rid of these clowns on the hill and we will elect a city type council to implement traffic ordinances and such to keep the island working…

    • Reality Check says:

      While I certainly do not agree that everything should go to a referendum , I agree with you in one respect . I find it confounding that a human rights issue like marriage equality wil be wrongly put to a referendum , while an appropriate issue like status qualification will not .
      To be clear , I support the pathways to status proposal , and I am more than confidant that a majority of Bermudians agree it is the right thing to do .

  38. Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

    just another in a long line of PLP rhetoric and diversion they are in so deep on this issue now they cannot backdown…..who among us with status or looking for status would ever vote for the PLP again….Bean says that when the PLP get reelected the first thing they will do is try and unravel the rule….another reason we must never elect them again

  39. just wondering says:

    and when are we EVER going to get a definitive statement from the PLP as to what they think the reform(s) should be!! ?? They have yet to state what their position is (apart from just objecting to what the OBA are suggesting)!

  40. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    I have looked everywhere and I can’t find the Olive Branch Woban keeps talking about. I did find a highjacking in progress, with Poison Ivy drawn at dawn, and a DEMAND to give the PLP and their “rent a crowd” what they want OR ELSE (shouting).

    Scene 2 Act 54 Que: “fan the flames of civil unrest and look squeeky clean and amazed at the same time”………

  41. My 10 cents says:

    LOL “Olive Branch” ? Is that what you call it? On the same day–comparing the OBA to a bunch of cockroaches…. seriously, what did you expect PLP? Get a Grip!

  42. FFS says:

    GFOH “Olive Branch” hahahahahah…

  43. Allan says:

    I can confirm I did not get paid or coaxed for my comments of support for the “VOTED” in Government. In fact I paid a very small fee to them to help towards their costs. It would be nice to receive a “rebate” on taxes for my support but that is not the way it works, at least not with the present Government.

  44. ANTI Ignorance says:

    Walter et al You never intended to offer an olive branch rather another twisted stupid political play and you and your cronies damn well know it

  45. that’s not an olive branch…

    that’s stingin nettle!

    table the immigration proclamation and push it through…plp are outright wrong to intimate that they don’t want anyone to domicile here is way too secular and eletist….how we forget …all too conveniently when our own design takes president over the good of a country and its economic recovery!

    I say we need people.

    our govt. says we need people.

    pension plan says we need people.

    our economy needs these people to sustain it’s…shall we say…integrity….this makes our guest to domicile the descriptive of integril…they are integrilin….there is an integrilin shortage…and thusely of great importance…plp…I think it is high time you presented yourself…you know what I mean…join it…you are welcome tuit as long as you contribute tuit…wandering about aimlessly causing havoc and harm you reject any and all that is not your specific agenda…you are an innuendo away from being an outright detriment to your people…your country (domicile)…and its’ economic prosperity….I see the red circle…with the line through it!

    as a shadow govt…you should not condone this red circle rubbish…find out who wrote it and explain to this person how bad it actually is to make this miopic senseless statement….

    if you cannot do this…you don’t care about Bermuda….so don’t say you do….the human race loves ALL…and serves ALL!

    or economy is based on more people than not…remember …it was plp who drove people out…lowering our GDP…we need people…to domicile

  46. wondering says:

    ^^born in the UK and naturalized as a BOTC and then granted status so who is the kettle calling the skillet……..?

  47. Grizz says:

    Putting the Olive Branch aside; y’all mad because the PLP called the OBA names. Have you not listened to anything on the radio?! MOST OF THEM ARE GUILTY OF CHILDISH NAME CALLING! So get over it! No, I am not taking sides; stating facts! That political arena is worse than the Spartans in Rome sometimes; it gets real tiresome and childish! I wish they would ALL just be about the “people’s” business!

  48. Bermudian says:

    plp`s fearless leader is once again foaming at the mouth, really not a leader is he? And olive branches don`t come in the way of name calling! Plp is in dissaray and confused so this is what they do,, issue threats and BS. Only the weak will follow!

  49. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    There are many things that control the world !
    Two of them are Money and the Power of the Vote !