MP Dunkley: ‘Was The Best Deal For Bermuda’

October 24, 2017

We “believe the deal negotiated was the best deal for Bermuda to build a new airport terminal based on the circumstances we found ourselves facing; an economy sputtering, crippling government debt,” former Premier Michael Dunkley said, adding that, “in this matter the PLP opposed the project from the beginning and often spread misinformation and employed Trump like tactics.”

Minister: Airport Deal Being Reviewed, All Options Being Considered

Mr Dunkley’s comments follow after Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs Walter Roban said the review of the airport agreement is underway and “all options are being considered.”

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Minister Roban said, “You may be aware as part of our election platform – particularly our 100 day pledge – the Government committed to, and I quote, ‘review the privatization contract between Aecon and the Bermuda Government for the L.F. Wade International Airport to see if Bermuda can get a better deal.”

“The review is being conducted by the Bermuda Airport Authority. The Authority, on behalf of the Government and people of Bermuda, oversees the performance of Skyport, regulates fees, provides retained government services and procures energy for the facility. The Authority has already engaged P3 experts LeighFisher to assist in the analysis of the Project Agreement.”

The Minister said, “The agreement is requiring Bermuda to give up to more than $2 billion of revenue for the next 30 years. We believe the country cannot afford the agreement that the former Government signed us up to. As this transaction is under review, all options are being considered.”

Michael Dunkley’s Comments

Former Premier Michael Dunkley said, “The PLP in their 100-day pledge did commit to review the privatization contract between Aecon and the Bermuda Government for the LF Wade International Airport to see if Bermuda can get a better deal.”

“However with over 90 days of the 100 elapsed, and the Government scrambling to check as many of the 21 promises in the pledge as possible, this falls short, the announcement is not a review but the hiring of a consultant to do a review.

“I will not answer the numerous political misinformation comments in the release other than to say that the illegal blocking of the ‘People’s House’ by then Opposition MP’s and supporters speaks volumes to how desperate they were to derail this critical project and to divide people.

“While LeighFisher are a reputable global management consulting firm, in making this announcement, and in the interest of transparency, the Deputy Premier should have disclosed the terms of the contract such as was it a sole source contract, what is the fee involved and the length of time for the consultancy work to take place.

“For the record we believe the deal negotiated was the best deal for Bermuda to build a new airport terminal based on the circumstances we found ourselves facing; an economy sputtering, crippling government debt and yearly government deficits.

“Due diligence was done on this project from the beginning; by our engagement with the UK Government, through to the end, with the review by the ‘Blue Ribbon Panel.’ It should also be noted a value for money assessment was done and major financiers have supported this project.

“In regards to the BRP their report found ‘the transaction to be commercially sound and reasonable, likely to meet the Government’s stated objectives of long term sustainability, increased traffic volume and revenue, while effectively providing for the structural needs of the airport. We also found that the terms are within the parameters for similar P3 Airport projects and in some cases this project exceeds those norms positively.”

“The BRP also said ‘the risks and costs associated with a public tender process in this instance were significant and supported the alternative of a negotiated process.’ They went on to say ‘It is the overall view of the Panel that it is a good deal, it’s not perfect, but it is a good deal.’

“The deal was endorsed by many including the BTA, BHA, Chamber of Commerce and ABIR.

“Any Government has the right and ability to review a contract or policy. However in this matter the PLP opposed the project from the beginning and often spread misinformation and employed Trump like tactics to divide people and confuse the issue. It was not about what is best for Bermuda but about how to get elected.

“Sadly this is often the world of politics today. We must do better than this and now as the Government they must lead for the good of all of Bermuda. We look forward to the results of the review.”

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Comments (63)

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  1. BS says:

    As an ex OBA supporter I believe we will never know because it was never put out to tender ! Something that seems to me to stink of hypocrisy when I think back to the OBA “s time before being elected and how they used to complain about untendered contracts !

    • Zevon says:

      Talking of “stinks of hypocrisy”, was LeighFisher put out to tender?

      • smh says:

        It didn’t have to be because it was selected by the BAA… The Quango that Government GAVE full control the airport to.

    • Swing Voter says:

      Dunky needs to go and sit in one of the 12 seats he left his party with. At this point he is the worst Premier in Bermudas history. The OBA will never win another election under this name change with people like him and trevor moniz in there.

    • Onion Juice says:

      It was de best deal for those who will benefit financially like de America’s Cup deal, Friends and Family.

      • jt says:

        Examples of individuals benefiting and not “de people”.
        Docks. Port Royal. Berkeley. Court House. Emissions. Global Hue.
        Note – no hospital on this list. No doubt the reason escapes you.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        Your limited vision is what keeps this country back. Just about every facet of our economy benefitted from then America’s Cup in a way no other event has ever effected this country. Having had teams and their families living here for years meant they were contributing rent, utilities, groceries, trades, services, retail, hospitality… millions of dollars poured into the economy even before the event began. Then there was the millions that poured in during the event. The fact that you choose to blind yourself to how wide spread the America’s Cup truly was is your failing and not that of the event and its organizers. In the end it is your selfish short sightedness that will fail Bermuda.

        • Onion Juice says:

          And de Millions of dollars we spent to host a sailboat race for Billionaires, and lost a S!@# load of money for not charging duty.

          • DTG says:

            And the millions the PLP spent to build the Grand Atlantic Condo’s that are still sitting empty…… that was money well spent wasn’t it…hmmmm

            America’s cup put BERMUDA on the tv’s of millions… but your complaining that money was spent on a rich mans sport… Those are the people who spend money on the Island… not like the survey of Cruise ship visitors who on an average 3 day visit to Bermuda spend 120.00

            Stop blaming each other and work together.. both parties have done many things that has cost the government millions… Its the PLP that put Bermuda in the red over the 14 years they were in party, and like many other countries……….. its a DEBT you will never get out of… but must get a control on the debt.. and not let it keep going up….

            BERMUDA as 1…

          • Onion Juice says:

            So did we break even, take a loss or make a profit?
            TIC TOC

            • Toodle-oo says:

              Why are you the only one who keeps acting like you don’t know there’s an analytical report coming out soon where all your questions will be answered ?

              Anyone would think that you believe information is being deliberately with held from you .

    • Done more in 100 Days than 5yrs of OBA says:


    • Done more in 100 Days than 5yrs of OBA says:

      PLP, can Neva harm Bermy, PLP for life!

      • Bully Beef says:

        Lets see what you have to write when we are 2 Billion in debt. PLP is a spend today worry about it later party.

    • ST says:

      What baffles me is that you and others haven’t taken the time to listen or read the many reports that explain why the part of the contract in question wasn’t put out to tender. When you deal with governments (as in this case the Canadian Gov’t) you are not able to force the Gov’t to put the contract out to tender. They get to choose the contractor. It’s pretty simple and basic to understand yet the misinformation is astounding!!!!

      • Kathy says:

        Why were we dealing with the Canadian Government to begin with? Is Bermuda all of a sudden part of Canada?

        • Double S says:

          Because CCC is a Canadian Crown (read Government) entity….keep up

    • Onion Juice says:

      So much for being the poster child for being on de right side of History.

    • Kathy says:

      I have to agree. I am also a former OBA supporter. I, like the rest of Bermuda, want to know fully what was in that contract. I still don’t have the full picture. I am glad the BAA is involved. They should have been involved from the very beginning!

  2. ProudBermudian says:

    I think the single most important thing to clarify is the $2 billion revenue comment, which is designed to shock people. Please note that the airport operations when ALL associated costs that are being taken on are considered, actually is a loss making operation. If you do the numbers and consider revenues and ALL expenses, you’ll get there. So basically, someone is willing to build a new airport for us, make it efficient enough that it will actually generate revenue for them to compensate them over the 30 years for the extraordinary build costs, and then they’ll hand it over to us once it’s functoning profitably. The option would be for us to take on the debt, risk of cost overruns, teething problems…

    • ProudBermudian says:

      For the record, the OBA did a really lousy job of communicating the terms of the agreement and helping people to understand the actually financial implications, so I’m not surprised it’s come to this. I would encourage people to find out the facts for themselves though.

      • FU says:

        “For the record, the OBA did a really lousy job of communicating the terms of the agreement and helping people to understand the actually financial implications,”

        No, actually they were very clear and open about it. It’s just sad that the majority of the population isn’t intelligent enough to understand basic economics.

    • Done more in 100 Days than 5yrs of OBA says:

      Can’t be true, we told we losing over 2 billion

  3. aceboy says:

    The PLP want that trough to feed from.

  4. Real Onion says:

    plp want a slice of airport pizza

    • Serious Though says:

      Very few knew we are supposed to lease the Mail facility from Canadian firm , what else is coming extra fees …

      • Bully Beef says:

        Liar – this was known at least two ago but the OBA did not move on it because the election came in the way.

  5. Swing Voter says:

    Why don’t you explained to us why the UBP tried it’s best to change it’s name? Better yet tell us why the same oba/UBP used Craig Cannonier as the fall guy in Jet Gate? Bob spoke about this topic!!!!

    Tell us why so many voters have left the oba/UBP over the years never to return?

    Tell us why this party will never win another election? Trust me when I tell you I was strong OBA/UBP even had the red koolaid drinker shirt with a smile on it!!

    • Onion Juice says:

      A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    • Hey Swing Voter says:

      IN case you didn’t realize–the OBA are no longer the government. They lost the PLP won–now its time to look at the PLP and their record.

      No one cares about what the OBA did or didn’t do now–its all about the promises made by the PLP in their 100 day platform–we want to see how the plp are going to move the country forward for all Bermudians–old timers and new belongers!

      Let’s look at delivery of these promises.

      If the past is so painful then why do so many keep looking back there and living in it?

      Have a blessed day!

      • RBYC member says:

        In case you didn’t realize the OBA is the same UBP. Only a fool would stay in this party. Time for the original BDA members to distance themselves because that’s the only hope for Bermuda’s future after this last election. They only won by 12 seats. I can imagine how worst it would be if the rest of the voters that moved to England came home and voted. The UBP would have lost more seats.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Please tell us about the debt and the unaccounted for $800 mil that no auditor general has since been able to explain.
      And how these have forever affected our cost of living trajectory .

  6. bee says:

    where were all you complainers and naysayers when the Hospital wing was being built? THAT is a far worse ‘deal’ than ANYTHING! but because the PLP did it – and employed Zaney – you all think that’s ok? and for the record, if any of you cared to READ the airport agreement – it is a very good deal for the Bda tax payer, construction jobs, and the 6 young people who are being trained by Aecon in Toronto.

  7. watching says:

    This man presided over the worst government ever, and specifically the worst electoral loss ever. Now he wants to be taken seriously and is posting on social media constantly, chirping from the sidelines. It is ridiculous. This whole column is ridiculous.
    When he was the Premier, we had the most civil unrest in recent decades. There was no consultation, no transparency, no accountability (until July 18 that is). The people are tired of him and his OBA. Wasn’t it made crystal clear on July 18?
    The PLP clearly stated in the platform that they would review the airport terms of contract. This is no shock nor surprise to anyone. And guess what? They were voted in in record numbers.
    So MP Dunkley, time to sit back and stop with the armchair quarterbacking and backseat driving. You had your turn and it didn’t go too well.

    • Kevin says:

      The OBA did what the PLP could never do and that is make the Hard Decisions and that is the only reason why we are closer to a balanced Budget than the previous 12 years , Don’t panic you PLP believers these bunch of clowns will show you how to screw things up …March is fast approaching and the Burt show will tell you how bad things are and that they had unforeseen costs and we need to BORROW AGAIN …..Watch Stay Tuned its coming

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      So where’s the transparency on the PLP trips since they started to govern? Why hasn’t the travel page been updated/working?! I’ll wait…

      • Bully Beef says:

        Don’t hold your breath. No chance of any government telling us the truth.

    • Go away says:

      The milk man needs to be quiet and go back to making milk
      His comments are irrelevant and not required as the leader of a previous govt who lost by a landslide

      Save the comments for the party moving the rock forward

      No one cares what you have to say Dunkley

      You are in the papers more now than when you were in power

      • Bully Beef says:

        Rather that focus on the past, write something about the future. One can only hope that the PLP will get us out of the mess they created.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      ~ This man presided over the worst government ever, and specifically the worst electoral loss ever. ~

      You love to try and re-write history no matter how many times you’ve been corrected , so here it is again . Do try to remember it next time ,eh ? Just the facts .

      Bermuda general election 1985

      UBP 31
      PLP 7
      IND 2

  8. Joonya says:

    Cost overruns, missing project deadlines, ‘friends and family’, hiring people strictly on the basis that they need a job… this is what some organisations think is a better deal. They got horseflaps on. I hope we have learned something from Berkeley and the ever so successful Grand Atlantic…

  9. Bermewjan says:

    Why bring this up now? Is Dunkley just in denial or are the PLP now paying him to make life more difficult for the OBA to crawl out of the hole PLP smashed it into at the last election? To bring this up now only harms the OBA even more. This is just foolishness.

    • Done more in 100 Days than 5yrs of OBA says:

      Pure fullish, you tell it!

  10. Twin Cedars says:

    If Mr. Dunkley and crew made the best decision for Bermuda then he has ning to worry about. It sounds to me like he’s trying to soften the effects of the blow that he knows/thinks is coming. I’ve had one question from the beginning and have yet to receive a decent answer, “After the 30 year deal is over aren’t we still stuck with a 30 year building… then what?”. Yes you can try maintain it over the years, but it’s still a 30 year old building, just look at some these old Bermuda houses. I know the PLP v1.0 wasn’t perfect, but the OBA did a piss poor job of being open and transparent and they were a bit heavy on the hypocrisy.

  11. JAWS says:

    Look Bermuda Dunkely trying to do a Paula Cox and make a fast return. Ok where is the free shirts and cups with your new logo?

  12. Wolffe says:

    When any government sneaks into the House in the early hours of the morning and enters the Chamber proper and the administrative area without notifying the Clerk and her staff including the Sergeant At Arms – well that says a whole lot. To begin with security protocols were broken and a contract of disrespect was entered.

    • Double S says:

      When a political Party advocates civil disobedience and law breaking to get their way and then elected into power after the fact, you know Bermuda is an official banana republic.

      But you guys will reap what you have sown and I will be there to smile as you suffer:)

    • Anbu says:

      You lot just hate because they made the effort to start working before actual starting time. Something most plp ministers, supporters and especially gov workers know nothing abt.

  13. Testing D Water says:

    Don’t worry, both PLP and OBA will not be in power come 30 years from now with how things are going.

  14. Proud to be Bermudian says:

    I recognize the Opposition has a role to play.

    Honestly, I believe our new Government has to be held accountable.

    However, people let’s try to encourage rather than condemn.

    Lord know “we need each other to survive”.

    • puzzled says:

      Then sit in your front pew and shout.
      The Ark has left the Rock.

  15. lalaland says:

    every construction project the plp has ever put their hands on went all wrong every single one! so what credability does the plp have on know a”good deal” or “bad” deal”?

  16. Kathy says:

    I get the same feeling. He doesn’t sound too confident anymore.

    He is saying “We believe the deal negotiated was the best deal for Bermuda to build a new airport terminal based on the circumstances we found ourselves facing”….

    “We believe” being the operative words.

    It would have sounded much more confident if he said “The deal negotiated was the best deal for Bermuda to build a new airport terminal based on the circumstances we found ourselves facing.”

    I just don’t like the way the deal was negotiated (somewhat hidden under the table). There was something sneaky in there the whole time and there was such advertising to try to convince the public that it was the best deal. Yet, all we wanted to see was the agreement.

    • Double S says:

      The agreement has been public for quite some time now. Just because you don’t have the inclination to read it is your problem.