Videos: Premier Announces Cabinet Changes

February 23, 2017

[Updated] The Premier announced changes to Cabinet today, with Wayne Scott stepping down from Cabinet and being replaced by Cole Simons as Education Minister, while Nandi Outerbridge was appointed the new Minister for Social Development & Sport.

In addition, Sylvan Richards is the new Environment & Planning Minister, while Leah Scott will be the Junior Minister of Education, with all other Ministers remaining the same.

Premier Announces Cabinet Shuffle Bermuda Feb 23 2017

Speaking at the swearing in ceremony today, the Premier said, “As Premier, it is my duty to make sure the Government provides the people of Bermuda with the leadership and service they need to live their lives on an even playing field, in safety and with opportunity.

“A critical instrument to achieve these things is through appointments of Cabinet ministers who, through the collective wisdom of the Cabinet, direct the resources of government toward meeting the needs of people.

“The make-up of a Cabinet team is always subject to change, depending on developments and opportunities, and so today, in this light, I would like to announce changes to the Government’s Cabinet team.

“A few days ago, my colleague R. Wayne Scott informed me that he would like to pursue opportunity outside of politics.

“I respect his wishes and so I have accepted his intention to step down from the Cabinet.

“Wayne has served with dedication and enthusiasm in his two years as Education Minister, and before that in Social Development and Sports. I have appreciated his tireless energy, advice and trusted support.

“I wish him the best in his future endeavors and he has assured me of his continued support to OBA, in the House of Assembly where he debates with spirit and conviction, bringing added strength to the backbench and at the next election.

Premier Announces Changes To Cabinet

“Cole Simons will serve as Education Minister.

“I have great confidence in Cole. He is a proud Bermudian who carries that pride wherever he goes and in whatever he does.

“Minister Simons has proved himself a very capable performer in Cabinet, moving issues forward for consultation and decision, and providing a perspective to discussions that brings into play his business knowledge, his compassion for others and his love of country.

“Minister Simons is eager to take the baton from Minister Scott. In our talks on his new appointment, he made it clear that there is no more important work than making sure Bermuda’s youth get the education they need to realize their potential and their dreams.

“That’s the kind of commitment needed to make a difference.

“I look forward to Minister Simons joining with education professionals from the ministry to the classroom to strengthen the classroom experience of students.

“Sylvan Richards will serve as Minister of Environment and Planning.

“Minister Richards remains a strong presence at the Cabinet table, using his experience in international business and his community awareness to progress public concerns and needs.

“The environment is critical to our quality of life and our success as a destination for others. Bermuda’s beauty needs to be preserved and to sparkle and those objectives will be central to the work. In addition as the economy continues to strengthen Planning will be at the forefront to the growth of our people.

“Nandi Outerbridge will serve as Minister for Social Development & Sport,” the Premier continued.

Nandi Outerbridge being sworn an as the new Minister for Social Development & Sport

“One of my aims as Premier is to do what I can to keep the doors open to young Bermudians who want to serve, and to make sure they know that their participation and views are needed to help Bermuda advance in the most inclusive way. In addition those of us with experience are expected to nurture and help grow the younger members of our team.

“I have worked with and supported Nandi for nearly five years now, and can say with conviction that she is smart, organized and strong.

“Nandi has grown from year to year in confidence and knowledge. She has proven herself as an MP, Government House Leader and Party Whip, and she has carried forward her responsibilities as Junior Minister for Social Development and Sport with seriousness and energy.

“Nandi is ready to take the next step, and so I am pleased to announce her appointment as Minister for this important portfolio.

“Nandi got into politics out of concern for the safety and future of her young son and I can think of no greater motivation for public service than a young mother stepping forward as Nandi did.

“She is deeply aware of needs and happenings across the community, and I believe she is well suited for this post.

Leah Scott being sworn in as the Junior Minister for Education.

“And finally I am pleased to announce that Leah Scott will serve as the Junior Minister for Education.

“MP Scott has shown a deep desire to improve education and I am sure her partnership with Minister Simons will provide tangible benefits to our children and our public education system.

“All other Ministers remain in place,” the Premier said.

“As a team, we are committed to moving Bermuda forward, and doing so with continuing urgency. The Cabinet is ably supported by a strong backbench and Senate team, all of them worthy of a Cabinet appointment.

“In closing, as the Government we have made progress. We ended years of decline however there is more work that must be done. Now the focus must be on extending recovery, opportunity and hope into every household. That is the mission of this Government.”

Update: The Premier answers questions about the changes

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Comments (24)

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  1. Jeremy Deacon says:

    The revolving door that is the education ministry. It’s like a pub quiz, insn’t it. For ten points, since 1998 how many Education Ministers have there been?

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      Also, Are these full or part time Ministers? Two women in Cabinet? Who is the whip?

    • Bermie says:

      It’s a disgrace how low down the list of priorities education has been placed by ALL governments to date.

    • A Chap called V says:

      Too many!

    • steve says:

      judging by the state of education, there hasnt been enough ministers.

  2. Jrsmith says:

    Pile of tricks.

  3. somuchless says:

    Education always get the short end of the stick but what can you do if the minister wants to move on.

    • wahoo says:

      We could create an education authority….BEA.

    • They don’t want our children educated to the best of their ability, they want the system were we can give them enough to be second class citizen’s and slave to the environment that they are creating.

      • Know the facts says:

        Dwayne, neither the PLP nor the OBA has neglected the Ministry of Education. Yes both could have done better, and I agree the revolving door of minister is not good. But, what is one to do after someone resigns.

        Our public schools have better equipment, better facilities, much more space and are better designed than any of the current private schools. We spend FAR more per child than is spent per child in the private schools. I believe in some cases, public school teachers enjoy better pay, better benefits and “unofficially” a job for life!

        Unfortunatelly, we have SOME teachers in the public system that are ineffective, rude and uncaring – THEY SHOULD NOT BE TEACHERS. We have others that are teaching that do not have a teaching degree! Look it up – it is true. A sad side affect of (Bermudians First) policy is that as long as you are “qualified” you have a job withing the school system. Nobody ever gets fired. It is a great idea and policy in theory,but those teachers that are rude or ineffective just get moved around from school to school. Just because someone gets a degree does not make them great at what they do! Its not true for doctors, lawyers, mechanics, accountants or any other profession. I believe everyone should follow their dreams, every qualified Bermudian should get a chance FIRST, but if you suck at what you do – leave. You should not be allowed to continue at the expense of our kids.

        The children can’t do or say anything. The school heads have their hands tied because of the Unions, and most parents do nothing other than hope their child gets a different teacher next year. Sadly for my children, I was guilty of that once.

        Who cares who the ministers are, they are not the saviors or the problem. I care about the quality, ability and motivation level of those teachers and principals that are influencing and teaching my kids.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        The PLP didn’t want our children educated either I guess Duane!

    • frank says:

      He was fired

  4. Can't be says:

    Smh….politics is killing our little island

  5. sage says:

    Nandi for Premier.

  6. WHERE IS KENNY ? HE SHOULD BE MINISTER OF TOURISM.

  7. WHERE IS KENNY BASCOME ? I WOULD HAD HOPED THAT THE PREMIER WOULD HAD MADE HIM THE MINISTER OF TOURISM.

  8. I am truly sorry but as much as I would like to try and say something positive on all these moves, I simply cant.

    As individuals I am sure each of these people with the exception of Ms. Scott in my view, is credible individuals.

    As to the selection from a political point of view, look’s like Mike has chosen all Kiss up to me folk, to help strengthen his agenda going toward a general election.

    Ms Scott has never been to my door and never seen her in any of the surrounding neighborhoods during my stay in Southampton which has been more then 20 Years and only ended 4 month’s ago, Lousy as a politician in my view.

    This smoke screen of an agenda can be clearly seen by Ray Charles, and he is both blind and deceased. So No I am not buying it.

  9. Observing says:

    Nandi Outerbridge performed poorly in her swearing in / oath. She fumbled 6 or 7 times including stumbling over her own NAME and at the end starting to step away before she remembered to say “So help me God”. I have seen students read better or give speeches at their schools or in public.

  10. Wonderful says:

    Wayne Scott, when appointed, said he would stay till the bitter end no matter what. After an exhilarating bit of exercise with his jacket on at a school, he played hopscotch and Leah ‘Survivor” Scott flip-flopped back in while Cole heads for education and Nandi to a ministry that failed to tackle one social issue since its establishment. Maybe a game of marbles with the homeless for the Bermuda Olympics might develop a programme and find funding for the homeless shelter. Now that would be a great legacy if we ever hear her speak without a script and analyse a problem in depth. Time for scrabble.

  11. I can't believe it. says:

    Their house of cards will definitely fall soon.

    • Know the facts says:

      You better hope not , because your back up plan, got us in this trouble to begin with.

  12. UmJustSaying says:

    Education is not a priority. Why not?
    We do not have any Bermudians who think that there are any qualified Bermudians to do the job.
    Once again it appears the Decision makers have got it wrong. Should we expect another new Minister after
    the next election.? That Ministry is so HOT, and our Teachers an Children are the ones getting Burnt.