Premier Dunkley: This Is About Opportunity, Jobs

December 2, 2016

The “people of Bermuda will still own our airport,” Premier Michael Dunkley said, urging people to “not listen to the divisive language coming from some who simply want to stop progress and block hundreds of jobs for Bermudians.”

The Premier’s statement comes as debate on legislation regarding the redevelopment of the L.F. Wade International Airport is set to take place in the House of Assembly this morning, after being delayed from Wednesday in order to give MPs time to review newly released documents relating to the proposed airport agreement.

Michael Dunkley Bermuda December 2 2016

Premier Dunkley said, “I feel it is necessary to address some of the misinformation that has been spread about the airport redevelopment plan. What is this all about? This is about a badly needed airport terminal. This is about opportunity, and hundreds of jobs for Bermudians.

“The Opposition’s airport plan goes back to the same old risky approach that has cost the Bermudian tax payer hundreds of millions in cost overruns and delays in projects such as the Dame Lois Browne-Evans building, Heritage Wharf and the Berkeley Institute, to name just a few.

“It is time for us to be responsible, and to provide more for our community. You deserve better, and for the tax payer, there is a better plan.

“The airport redevelopment plan is supported by the Bermuda Hotel Association and the Independent Airport Council and has been called creative, resourceful and solid. These are facts.

“Any comment or talks about privatizing our airport are simply not true, and they are very unfortunate and a desperate scare tactic. Our airport development plan is a public-private partnership with the Canadian Government.

“Rest assured, we, the people of Bermuda, will still own our airport. Investing in hundreds of jobs and investing in the new airport terminal will allow the Government to provide more resources for our children, our seniors and our families.

“I urge fellow Bermudians, do not listen to the divisive language coming from some who simply want to stop progress and block hundreds of jobs for Bermudians. Let’s believe in our future, and let’s move forward, because we can only rise together.”

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Comments (20)

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  1. OBA Politrix says:

    Dunkley, you and everyone knows it’s privatisation. Millions going to Canada and our schools have mold.

    OBA care about themselves

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It will only be slightly more privatized than the current airport. The fact is that the current airport is almost entirely privatized, the cleaners are subcontracted, the security is subcontracted, the maintainence is subcontracted, the baggage handling is subcontracted… the only thing that isn’t subcontracted out is the management. What changes is that that management will now be split between a private company, government overseeing its operations and a Government Authority overseeing their operations and other airspace responsibilities.

      Is this the best deal for Bermuda, no, because we are not getting some ideal where we can build this without it costing us anything at all… but then we would never get any sort of deal like that. Would it be great if we could just pay for this ourselves, yes, but we won’t be in that position again for another decade +… longer if the PLP returns to power and follows through with their pledge to return to the unsustainable level of government spending.

      So what are we left with, the best deal we are going to get in the reality we live in. Democracy only works if its citizens work for democracy, and that doesn’t mean simply following what your leaders are telling you to believe, no matter who they are… but actually reading what this deal is, all of it documents, all of the emails, in their entirety.

      We have to build a new airport somehow, we have to pay for it somehow, and this deal is the best way forward at this time.

    • O.M.G says:

      The schools have had mold for years. What did the PLP do with them in there day nothing why would you not think Mr Dunkley doesn’t want opportunity for the people of this country what the hell did the plp do for the people of this country they just made sure there pockets were full of money. Now tweed and Furbert must be teaching Burt the ropes god help us.

  2. Steve Thomson says:

    I support Bermuda having a new airport. Its well past time.
    Our airport is a disgrace for both our visitors as well as employees that have to work in it.
    Please proceed and lets get moving.
    Thank you for finding a creative way to get this done now.

    • smith says:

      This airport project is nothing but jobs opportunities for overseas workers just like the Buzz company and thousands of others that gives jobs to foreigners and not to Bermudians go to this place and look for yourself they bring them so they can pack thei. Pockets with more money. Look around all those jobs any bermudians can do it why to give work permit to them and on top of that they bring their sisters brothers and families to work here. I will never vote OBA again

  3. He's full of it says:

    Hahah, yeah right dunkley!

    160 Jobs for Candadians, material from Canada, Labour from Canada.

    Bermudians get shafted with the OBA.

    Send it to the Auditor General – what are you afraid of?

    • fed up says:

      Locals being in control. Is the hospital not being run under a 30 year lease?

  4. Jus' Askin' says:

    By Your own Admission, OBA lacks what it takes to oversee an airport project to prevent cost over runs and delays.

    Sad Day when You make PLP look Better :-(

    PLP was as incompetent ‘Yesterday’ as OBA is ‘TODAY’ :-D

    Vote UBA ~ United Bermuda Alliance
    “Make Bermuda Great Again”

  5. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    We can do anything together.But,take that project off the table until all the facts and truth have been presented to the public at large……

  6. Johnny says:

    If it is such a good deal for Bermudians, why cant you tell us the details before it is completed. Why does the deal have to be a secret. As far as I know not one Bermudian has asked for a surprise.

  7. Will says:

    Oba failed here..the PLP out-propaganded you off the bat. They were able to spread this so called divisive language a lot more effectively than you were able to spread positive facts about it. Just saying you might not win next election unless you do something so grass roots which the only thing on your platform is cannabis..and you BETTER legalise otherwise you are a lost cause.

  8. aceboy says:

    The OBA will be successful in providing the 2,000 jobs they promised. The PLP/BIU cannot let that happen and are lying to their people to get them to protest.

    It is an utter disgrace.

    • Portia says:

      If you think that this airport is going to create anywhere NEAR 2000 jobs for Bermudians, you’re dreaming. I suggest you read Larry Burchall’s article from yesterday.

      • Sojourner says:

        If they made monthly payments on the cost of the airport over 30 yrs the interest alone would be $304000000.00 the same amount of money the government has guaranteed Aecon. What Larry is stating is that the government should not build an airport period. He is also stating that the total current airport profit should be used to repair and upgrade the airport over the next 5 years. He does not go into the state of repair the airport will be in in 5 years and what new investment will be necessary. It is a given that renovations are more expensive than a new build and yield a less satisfactory product, but Larry is stating that Bermuda and Bermudians needs to realize that they are so indebted by previous governments that they have to settle with getting by.
        What Larry is not saying here, but has in the past, is that government cannot afford the services currently supported and still pay its bills. In essence the government needs to cut back on services and payroll, in other words a period of austerity until the debt has been pared down.
        Is this what the PLP and union supporters want?

    • Rhonda says:

      If the deal is so good for the people. …release all the information… let it be independently audited…

      For people on the fence…the desire for the oba to push this through. giving me gooshbumps. .what is the OBA hiding and WHY…

  9. watching says:

    If the deal is so good, step back, let the auditor general review it, put all the facts in the public domain, and let it stand on its own.

  10. Onion says:

    Did the Premier really fix his mouth to say such an ignorant statement? He needs to go, this airport thing needs to go and things really need to change for the better of our island!

    Without all the facts and the details of the operation of the airport deal, it needs to come off the table and other avenues need to be sought. We can use our own people and resources for this, the entire thing does not have to be handed down to a foreign company for us to lose out on our own airport in the future. Who things of these idiotic things that we have seen transpire? I know common sense isn’t so common and many have their own hidden agendas but come on man….

  11. Gina says:

    2000 job for how long?? lol: those jobs were suppose to be generated over 18 months ago, haven’t seen them, nor have the governemnt publicly announced them, so you think the trade off for temporary work while this big project is being done equates to the monetary value LEAVING this country for a further 30 years, do the math, its not worth it.

  12. Rhonda says:

    Michael Dunkley stop it to the people….leasing our land and operations out of the authority of parliament and the people is privatization….

    That is why the people don’t trust anything else you or your administration says…

    The OBA can’t be trusted…

  13. Reality Check says:

    “This is about opportunity and hundreds of jobs for Bermudians.”

    In March 2015, Bob’s promise was 600 jobs with 75% for Bermudians and 25% for Canadians. That was 450 jobs for Betmudians and 150 jobs for Canadians.

    In November Bob’s new promise was 400 jobs with 60% for Bermudians and 40% for Canadians. That was 240 jobs for Bermudians and 160 jobs for Canadians.

    Bermudian job loss? 210, and that’s before the project begins. Canadian job gains? 10, and that’s before the project begins.

    A cynical move? Is there really an intention to supply “hundreds of jobs for Bermudians?”

    Someone must explain.