Acting Minister: ‘One Set Of Rules For Everyone’

December 30, 2016

The decision on Rev. Tweed’s work permit “is the right one for Bermuda” as it is “anchored to a principle that all Bermudians can support and uphold, and that is one set of rules for everyone,” Acting Minister of Immigration Cole Simons said.

Minister Simons said, “Immigration Minister Pat Gordon-Pamplin’s decision in the Rev. Tweed work permit matter is the right one for Bermuda.

“It would have been easy to roll over and sweep the lack of compliance with Immigration rules and regulations under the rug.

“But as the Minister rightly said in her statement, the decision was anchored to a principle that all Bermudians can support and uphold, and that is one set of rules for everyone.

“To do otherwise would open the gates to the inequities and injustices that so many Bermudians across decades fought to end once and for all.

“The Minister’s decision protects Bermudians in the work place and the integrity of an Immigration system that is designed to uphold principles of fairness, equal treatment and transparency. In effect, she is saying no to one set of rules for some and another set of rules for the rest.

“Bermuda’s future must be about building and maintaining a level playing field for everyone. Anything less will fail every Bermudian who needs the system to protect and support their employment and career opportunities.

“This is an issue that did not need to happen. It is my understanding the applicant did not advertise the position as required and that the application itself was incomplete and contained inaccuracies – despite Immigration Department efforts to sort things out.

“I would humbly suggest that if this were another another application, BIU President Furbert would be supporting the Government’s handling of the matter. But on this one he wants the Government to bend the rules. There’s no future in it. It’s a position that opens the door to favoritism, friends and family. Don’t we want to get away from that?

“Bermuda must be about fair play and building that level playing field wherever and whenever the opportunity arises,” concluded Minister Simons.

click here Bermuda Rev Tweed’s work permit

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Comments (57)

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  1. JohnBoy says:

    Well said!

    • Rightok says:

      I thought the OBA was a pro foreigner party? It’s only because Rev Tweed was active with the People’s Campaign that they decided not to approve the work permit.

      This is sad for the OBA. They are going against their own ideals.

      • Rhonnda Oliver says:

        Maybe you simply thought wrong?

        • Ringmaster says:

          The decision not to renew Rev Tweed’s work permit was taken by the impartial Immigration Board. Not the OBA Minister. If the AME Church, as Rev Tweed’s employer has an issue why don’t they take it to the Supreme Court? Perhaps they have been given legal advice they will fail? If so why will they fail? Why has the AME Church been unable to comply with the Immigration Laws regarding the renewal, and have had since July to do so? The OBA Minister did not deny the renewal. It had been denied by the Board. Transparency is needed here.

      • Sickofantz says:

        The OBA is a pro-Bermudian party. ALL Bermudians that’s why it gets it’s vote from a diverse range of voters.

    • Unbelievable says:

      @ Onion juice, But you know he’s right.

      • There has always been and will be different rules for those who support the interest of de PEOPLE and those of de privileged.

        • Onion says:

          Indeed. The OBA are for the people and the PLP are for the new privileged.

          Two wrong don’t make a right.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          And what people do the PLP support, their administration has left their supporter further behind than when they got in. Their policies put more of their supporters out of work than any of the UBP’s or the OBA’s. Their handling of education left the children of their supporters with a worse education than under the UBP, their handling of government finances have ensured that it will be years before we can adequately finance the infrastructure for the education of our children to come. So who privileged under the PLP, their oligarchy and those they imported to support it.

        • Zevon says:

          Why don’t you give us a list of the priveliged people who the PLP think should be exempt from normal work permit procsses. Is it just a list of the PLP and Furbert’s foreign contributors, or are there more than that?

        • In your world perhaps OJ says:

          Not in mine. We share the same world, country island home and the rules that govern it.

          Grow up my brethren.

          Have a blessed day.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      The PLP celebrated the laws requiring all employers to advertise, they whole heartedly supported them in the house… now they want them thrown out, ignored, tossed aside for their imported political agent… see hypocrisy in the dictionary. Back to the PLP administration values, one rule for others, one rule for them.

    • Juice Box says:

      Thats immature of you onion juice. If someone else had said the same about any PLP minister you would be calling their comments racist or supping some self serving spin on it. But when its you or others in your group, its okay. But we know how you yhink and work. One set of rules for everyone but you. Or do as i say not as i do. Ya we get it.

  2. Jahstice says:

    Keep informing the public of the situation.
    OBA, you must uphold the Immigration Act to help and protect the futures of Bermudians. Do not give in to mob rule or you will pay the price at the polls.

    • They’ve already paid de price at de polls, 3 landslide bye elections mean anything.

      • Cranberry says:

        Oh please!! You won a safe seat 3 times… bye elections don’t mean diddley squat… wait until the real one sunshine…

      • Anbu says:

        In 3 plp strongholds? Nope dont mean a thing.

      • Rhonnda Oliver says:

        And why were there by-elections in the first place?

  3. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Elected government, please carry on. Enough’s enough, inna?

    • Like Trump is elected, watch what you ask for it will come back and bite you in de @$$.

      • Paradise Reclaimed says:

        The parallels belong between Furby and Trump, but Furby, obviously is not in the same league. False claims, hyping the discontented, luckily Furby lacks the power of Trump. The OBA was in long before the discontent of the Brexit and Trump votes, and the PLP can’t swing the same bat with their recent history. The PLP has lost its way, they are a non-productive Opposition as they continue to reuse the plays called to date.

        If the PLP expect to regain power, they need to get back to business on their own and be a constructive opposition, not just keep bitching ad nauseum at every turn.

        Peace OJ, Happy New Year

        • Cranberry says:

          PLP are the spitting image of the Republicans and Burton is Trump to a T…

          • Ringmaster says:

            OJ, pay attention to what Trump is proposing regarding corporate taxes. It is out of Bermuda’s hands but if he does do what he wants to do, IB will be a fraction of what it is now. The question is, has the OBA or PLP realised this, and if so what are they doing to prevent a mass exodus? As the petty squabbling in Bermuda continues, the outside world has changed dramatically, and it has the capacity to greatly affect places like Bermuda. This is regardless of what happens in 2017 in the General Election.

  4. BdaReally says:

    The OBA has done many things which have disappointed and frustrated me as a Bermudian but with this decision I support them 100%. We cannot bend the rules just because the BIU president likes Rev Tweed. Mr. Furbert is no longer looking out for his fellow Bermudians but his own interest. I think it is time for him to step down and replace with someone who will do their job. Your job is to protect the Bermudian Unionized workers and Rev Tweed is neither!

    • legalgal says:

      Surely it’s to protect the unionized worker, not only Bermudians? The anti-non-Bermudian sentiment is worrying.

      • BdaReally says:

        I should have stated the Bermudian and Unionized worker. I am definitely not anti-non Bermudian. I believe that we do need non Bermudians in the work force but when they meddle in their host countries political affairs that should not be tolerated and when their time is up they need to leave. By coming on a work permit everyone understand that is not a PRC which means at some point you are aware you must leave and Tweeds time has come. What’s right is right.

  5. wow says:

    not a fan of the OBA but they are right on this one.

  6. John says:

    True dat

  7. Dunn juice says:

    I wish Mr tweed would’ve got his permit in on time. And got another 3 years that way when he left after 3years he would’ve exited through the the NEW AIRPORT

  8. CPM says:

    So the union will bring the island to it’s knees every time a foreigners work permit is not renewed
    It’s going to be a long haul but the get out clause for Furbert is “the membership decided’

    • Punch says:

      The union should not be involved in this issue at all. It is not a union issue.

  9. #DunkleyOut movement says:

    Keep on moving Just another distraction

  10. Baygrapes says:

    PLP/BIU. You simply can’t have it both ways. Remember the protest about immigration rights in March??? Now you are protesting against the very same thing that you wanted to stop in March. Make up your mind!!!

    Clearly this is political on your behalf and you and David Burch need to come clean.

    Remember, rules need to be exercised without fear or favour. You cannot pick and choose the bits you want. Rules, to be fair, should apply to EVERYONE.

    • Cranberry says:

      At the moment the PLPBIU would argue words out of a dictionary. .. they crave power cos without it they have no future… so anything goes…

  11. Real Deal says:

    funny stuff coming from oba aka ubp that wanted to sell Bermudian status to rich foke

    • hmmmmmm says:

      Get your fact right. It was the laws that th plp put in place that was selling status to the rich folk. Implemented may premier Brown.

      The oba just leveled the playing field.

  12. Cris m says:

    Time for Chris Furbert to go.As a past member of the union for over thirty years i did not want any more to do with him..He rambles on about every thing ..As for the ferry deal, it is a private company that hired Mr Evans to run there ferry boats not payed by Bermudian taxes..If the union was more reliable perhaps the cruise company would not have build there own ferries..and used government boats..But this union is hell bent on bringing this country to its knees..Like there beloved God E B said” by any means we must bring this government down”but i will not be hoodwinked by any politcian or wanna be..Go ahead and close down the island.,but remember what goes around comes around..Twenty years at the helm?time for you to go..

  13. Jahstice says:

    I will never vote PLP again. The Union sticking up for a foreigner taking a Bermudian”s job,what next?

  14. mixitup says:

    All for it!! I am fully supportive of this process being tightened up, but when I see the sister, the girlfriend, the cousin of guests working arriving in the country lined up for work, when I see thousands of Expats secured in employment while thousands of Bermudians are out of work, I question this statement..

  15. Sorel says:

    Brother Furbert… it’s time for you to go. After 10yrs your thinking is messed right up. DOI is protecting Bermy workers- you no longer are by trying to get your foreigner mate through by demanding the rules be broken. Shame brother.

  16. On lookers says:

    It’s amazing to me in 2016/2017 Bermuda still have these glorified rasists hiding behind cyber space.

    1. Church’s have kind of a immigration pardon have for Years mutual respect for the churches as the individual is appointed from overseas.

    2. New government is in power immigration policies change. Now all the people that supports the governments position do we not respect the church’s anymore? Or is it because of who this person is? Or what he supports?

    3. If you really think that this whole situation is not politically motivated it reeks of it. The head of the department use to attend the church! What now she does not respect the very same church she attended for sometime anymore? She had the authority to overturn the decision.

    4. The government sticking to this notion that same rules apply for all is the most clever thing the government can come up with? When in fact foreign labor(cheep labor)is at an all time high with this government for entry level positions, with the most Bermudians of of work ever.

    5. The said part is this decision was bein made never considered(under the previous minister) submitting the application late was a taunt or just genuinely late, either way who took the bait?

    6. The government knew this was going to be another serious topic with serious Side effects. Denying a church pastors work permit complete ignorance, clearly because of what he supports.

    7. Denying a church Pastons work permit, is not going to get you 2000 jobs that we’re promised Bermudians! The governments checking the paper for the church’s ad. How about the check the posts that are posted in the paper and how much Bermudians get the jobs 0 just doing it to say I followed the rules or PO BOXES getting closed a week before the actual closing date avertised for the job then u tell us u will look into it what came out of that minister?

    8. Since the ministry is so concerned about Bermudian jobs start by picking on companies with the most work permits in the hospitality, Landscapping, food, retail industries. You start with a church pastor come on it’s clearly who he represents.

    • Truthhertz says:

      Rules are rules.

      All other denominations must adhere to thesaurus requirements. No one deserve any special treatment.

      And you’re definitely wrong when it comes to record foreign labour on our shores.

      But facts don’t matter anymore in a post truth world now does it.

    • On lookers says:

      The truth must hurt notice the replies and dislikes.

    • Onion says:

      The application was submitted late and incomplete. The church were given time to complete the application but refused.

      Therefore the application was incomplete and was denied.

    • Rhonnda Oliver says:

      1. Just because something is long in practice doesn’t mean it is right or should be continued.

      2. No one, not the church, the PLP, the BIU or the People’s Campaign have denied what the Government has said in regards to the church’s failure to subject the application properly. Maybe it is about Tweed, though unlikely about the church itself, but why did the church give the government the clear opening to refuse the work permit?

      3. Again, even if it is politically tainted and she is against Tweed and the church, there is no grounds for overturning the decision. See answer to 2.

      4. There is a process for getting work permits, apparently if you can follow it, you can get a work permit for low level jobs. Obviously, if anyone knows someone working without a work permit, or has evidence a work permit was based on false information they will contact Immigration.

      5. The application being late is only part of the problem, and was clearly overlooked given Immigration contacted the church for correct details etc. Again, no one’s said what the Minister has stated is incorrect.

      6. Just because the Government knows people are going to fuss doesn’t mean they should go against the law.

      7. Government doesn’t have the check the paper for the ads. They need to be submitted with the application, so far as I know. Also I don’t think they need to be put in the paper anymore, just on the jobs board. As for the 2000 jobs … completely different issue, and remains one of the OBA’s stupidest promises.

      8. They didn’t start with the pastor, he’s just been included. The department of immigration gives out the work permits based on set criteria, they are not going to double check their work after the fact without information from the public that advises there might have been an error made. This is one of the reasons people keep saying ‘if you know something, say something to someone who can do something about it.’

  17. Finally says:

    The OBA have been extremely disappointing so many times I gave up counting. However, on this one they are doing the right thing. The Union must realize that people are getting tired of protest after protest. I am thankful to Rev. Tweed for his assistance on pathways to status, because protecting Bermudians and the future generation was the right thing to do. But now I question how genuine he was because now that it is his Non-Bermudian work permit, he wants to do an about face. OBA stand firm, but when Pathways comes back on the table you must once again protect Bermudians. See the issue is, work permit holders come here, they accept that the job is temporary (not for life) but when the work permit is up, they don’t want to leave and years down the road we are the bad guys when we don’t grant them and their children and their spouses ….. status. The claim that they have ‘ties’ to Bermuda. They make the choice to come here and work on a work permit. When the work permit is up and not renewed it is time to depart. OBA and your supporters remember this down the road please. Protect Bermudians and our future generations!

  18. Baygrapes says:

    Well said ! Now repeat as necessary. The elected government must not continue to cave to the 200 or so mob rule. Laws must followed by all for the benefit of all, without fear or favour.

  19. Cranberry says:

    Tweed was just a tool is all… a PLPBIU tool…


    Get rid of Mr.Furbert and keep tweed…. Obviously one cant operate without the other…

  21. Jadon says:

    All of sudden they want the same rules for everyone…typical UBP/OBA.

  22. The Ghost says:

    This too shall pass…