Video: Cannonier Sworn In As Opposition Leader

September 24, 2018

[Updated] A ceremony is set to take place later this morning [Sept 24] at Government House, where Craig Cannonier is expected to be sworn in as the new Opposition Leader.

On Wednesday, eight OBA MPs expressed no confidence in Jeanne Atherden, who resigned as OBA Leader the following day. We then received notice that a new Opposition Leader would be sworn in today, and while that notice did not state who would be sworn in,  a subsequent email to members from the OBA Chairperson states “8 MPs sent a message to the Governor to appoint Craig Cannonier as the Opposition Leader.”

Mr Cannonier must still face a leadership election process within the OBA, and until that process takes place, Leah Scott, the Deputy Leader, will serve as Acting OBA Leader.

Barring any change of plans, we will have live video of the ceremony — which is set to take place at around 10.30am this morning — on Bernews Facebook page, and we will also update this article with the video.

This will mark a return to leadership for Mr Cannonier, who previously served as the Opposition Leader, and then the Premier, stepping down amidst the ‘JetGate’ matter in 2014, and we take a look at the timeline of his political career below.

A Timeline of Craig Cannonier as of sept 24 2018

February 2010 | Elected BDA Leader:

  • He was elected leader of the now-defunct Bermuda Democratic Alliance, winning 157-38 over Myron Piper. The party later dissolved and merged with the UBP to become the OBA.

May 2011 | Appointed OBA Senator: 

  • Following the formation of the OBA in May 2011, Mr Cannonier was appointed to the Senate, a position he held for six months.

September 2011 | Elected OBA Leader: 

  • Mr Cannonier was elected by party members as the OBA Leader, receiving 344 votes [50.44%], while Bob Richards received 330 votes [48.52%].

November 2011 | Elected As OBA MP:

  • After John Barritt stepped down in C#12 Devonshire South Central — which is considered a safe seat — Mr Cannonier won the by-election, marking his entry into the House of Assembly.

December 2012 | Becomes Premier:

  • Mr Cannonier becomes Premier after the OBA won the election, with the party earning a 19-17 victory at the polls.

May 2014 | Resigns as Premier:

  • After seventeen months in the position, he steps down as Premier following the JetGate controversy, and remained an OBA backbencher.

January 2015 | Appointed To Cabinet:

  • Mr Cannonier was appointed as Minister of Public Works, a position he held until the OBA lost the election two and half years later.

July 2017 | Retains Seat in General Election:

  • Mr Cannonier retained his seat in the General Election, however moved from being a Cabinet Minister to an Opposition MP as the PLP won the election 24 – 12.

November 2017 | Places 3rd In OBA Leadership Election

  • In the OBA’s internal Party Leader election, he earns 28.6% of the vote, as compared to Patricia Gordon-Pamplin’s 34%, and Jeanne Atherden’s winning percentage of 37.3%.

September 2018 | Gains Support of Majority of OBA MPs

  • Following internal party discussions, Mr Cannonier gains the support of 8 of the 11 elected MPs, who ask the Governor to appoint him as Opposition Leader, replacing Jeanne Atherden.

Update 10.50am: Live video replay of the ceremony

Update 11.15am: We are working on transcribing Mr Cannonier’s comments now, but as a simplified summary he thanked his family for their support and thanked his colleagues. He acknowledged his “colourful” political career, and apologized for his “error in judgment” over the Jetgate matter.

Update 11.23am: To start his speech today, Mr Cannonier said, “I would like to thank my family for their unending support, and to my colleagues, for having the confidence in me and asking me to assume the role of Opposition Leader

“Thus far, all of you know that my political career has been very colorful, hasn’t it. I’ve experienced the good, the bad, and even the ugly part of politics, the thrill of victory, and, of course, the pain and agony of defeat, the realities of public service.

“The greatest low was after having been given advice, I took a flight on a private jet plane,” he said. “In my naivety, I made the error, an error of judgment. And for this, Bermuda, I humbly apologize. To you, my family, for the difficult time that I provided you, something you didn’t ask for. To my colleagues, I apologize.

“I was taught from a young man, from my mother, coming along down at St. Davids, that if you fall, the greatest thing that you can do for yourself is to get up. I was taught, coming along by the church, that when you fall, you must get up. Learn from it and chart a new course. And so I stand before you, a humbled man, an experienced politician, yet with a clear conscience.”

Update 11.25am: Some photos from this morning’s ceremony

New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier Bermuda Sept 24 2018 (5)

New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier Bermuda Sept 24 2018 (4)

New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier Bermuda Sept 24 2018 (1)

New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier Bermuda Sept 24 2018 (3)

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Comments (60)

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  1. To all Born Bermudians:
    Even if the oba changes its name, its blatant and vicious history STANDS.
    New members on board, new philosophies applied,it does NOT MATTER.
    Bermuda’s racial history stems from the viciousness, the callousness and the non-meaning of slavery.
    Observe those who came to Bermuda as soon as the oba swung nto powqer.
    The root of their behaviours are entrenched in and coming from slavery.
    A true and honest change MUST occur for all to be on an oba page. The future appears to be quite bleak at this precious time.

    • Yeah yea says:

      I agree with you fully on this. They really think they are going to fool people again with putting up black faces. With cannonair ws their leader, they have ensured the PLP will be in power for a very long time, and I love it…

    • Cow Polly says:

      Oh you mean like Reverend Tweed?

    • Check MATE!!!!!!! says:

      Bermudian says:
      September 24, 2018
      Doesn’t matter what the UBP/OBA won!!!

      They will never win again in your life time and that coming from someone that voted for UBP and later OBA. You will never convince a certain segment of Bermuda to swing votes. Point taken from last election.

      People in the UBP called the PLP racist, but it’s the majority of black Bermudians that swing votes from UBP/OBA to PLP. The only reason why the UBP and OBA won over the years!!

      The only a small group of white Bermudians swing to PLP and the truth be heard… when we do our own race stops speaking to us….and we than call the PLP racist because we lost which is wrong!!!!!!

      • Toodle-oo says:

        How many times must it be pointed out that the block of voters who only have or ever will vote PLP is far larger than than the block who support anyone else ? But it’s whites that get called racist .. lol
        Of course numerically there’s going to be more black swing voters than white but stop trying to make it sound like it’s some sort of miracle .

        • Truthertz says:

          The funny thing about it is, is that the voting dynamics in Bermuda mirror that largely of the US. That being the majority demographic has the ability to vote for both Parties as they both have to pander to them given their overall numbers.

          The minority populations in the US vote overwhelmingly for one Party as the other option isn’t really a viable option given the disdain that the former tends to have towards the latter.

          Hence, one segment of the population tends to be able to be so called ‘swing vote.’ Bermuda is really no different when it comes to this issue, although some will outright deny the hostility shown towards one segment by one political Party and its supporters towards the minority.

          Just look at several of the comments in this thread alone where the posters use the dog whistle term ‘Born Bermudians.’ This term is being used to insinuate only black people can be ‘real Bermudians.’

          As I said the voting patterns locally are due by and large to the same issues with the local political organisations as is the case in the US. And why would the current ruling Party change the tactics when it serves them so well in terms of achieving power. It is what it is and it won’t change anytime soon unfortunately. Power means everything to some.

        • Onion Juice says:

          If your argument is there are more swing voters in the Black community, then that supports my argument I’ve saying all along that through History as a people we have been socially conditioned to believe the falsehood that white is superior and Black is inferior.
          Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

          • Toodle-oo says:

            Oh boo hoo , stop it . I’m having to buy kleenex by the case load.

    • Infidelguy says:

      What a load nothing!

      Hope you didn’t spend too much of your time thinking up that nonsense. Judging from the venom spewing from your thoughts about the OBA, can I assume that you’re a dye in the wool PLP supporter? If so, why would you say “the future is bleak…”? The PLP have at least 4 more years in office and the OBA is house divided.

      The majority of us agree that Slavery was and is immoral.

      They are by no means perfect, but to state that the OBA’s “behaviors are entrenched” in slavery is not only false but ridiculously laughable.

  2. David J. Tavares says:

    OBA needs to rebuild from the bottom up, not the top down! Also, UBP old-guard politicians must resign to the fact that their continued presence is NOT a plus, but a liability for the Party. I agree with the comments made by Nick Kemp

    David J. Tavares

  3. Rhonda says:

    Will we now get to see the oba’s internal report on jetgate..that resulted in 3 resignation.

    Now a resurrection.

    • David says:

      N0!! It was swept under the carpet. Their internal investigation report sighted serious concerns. Where did all the donated funds end up?


      • frank says:

        ask Thad Hollis

      • Wahoo says:

        The person to worry about where “donated funds” ended up isn’t allowed to vote in Bermuda.

        Of all our “gates” we should worry about $800M gate, port royal gate, MRI gate, Zane et al in NY gate and a bunch of other “gates”.

        • Paul says:

          When will Bermudians stop this childish confrotation ? we need to think what is best for Bermuda…..not what past so called ministers did or said, it is time to stop the confrontation and do what is right for all BERMUDIANS.

    • Onion Juice says:

      According to de milkman, its Dead Gate.

    • Justin says:

      Can you tell us how Derrick Burgess and Zane Desilva are still sitting MP’s after the Commission Of Inquiry found some pretty bad stuff on them?

      If Cannonier has to go then so does Derrick Burgess and Zane Desilva, and a bunch of other PLP MP’s!!!!!!!

      • hmmm says:

        Justin the people are not voting for your party with Moniz, Pat and DUnkely there. Thats free advice from a former member of the party.

        • Justin says:

          You may be correct but you have side-stepped the question. No matter what your party preference or affiliation is it does not excuse double standards or being a hypocrite. So far nobody has been able to answer my question!!

          • Swing Voter no more says:

            You got the answer last election now go crawl under a rock with the oba/UBP flag and drink that red kool-Aid.

            No more swing votes, we all drinking titty milk for now on buddy (:

            I’ll return when Craig kicks you out.

            • Justin says:

              Hahaha!! Meanwhile, retail sales are down 10% and Markel and Belco have let go of about 15 Bermudians. I hope that titty milk at least tastes good!!

              Anyway, just another deflection from my original question. You PLP supporters are a real piece of work…

  4. Cow Polly says:

    I hope this was thought through with more than just the, “well he got us elected last time” discussion.

    Good luck Mr Cannonier, I hope the swing voters give you a chance and apply the same forgetfulness they so generously apply to the PLP Minister’s past misdeeds.

    • Onion Juice says:

      OBA/ubp are FINISHED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Wahoo says:

        You seem thrilled with prospect of this place becoming a dictatorship.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Doesn’t matter a whit to him . No matter how bad they screw things up as long as his PLP is ‘in powa’ and there’s no other party in sight he’s in heaven .

          • Onion Juice says:

            De Heckle and Jeckle tag team in full effect.

            • aceboy says:

              OJ is clearly part of the F&F beneficiaries of the PLP. Even if it is just a bone thrown to him/her he/she will chew and chew and be content.

            • Toodle-oo says:

              Aye . A tag team that doesn’t incite or re-write history in every post.

    • David J. Tavares says:

      Prior to the last election, the Milkman said “your turn is coming”. And the new leader of the OBA, stated during the last Budget debate on the floor of the House, “What about me!!”. Those swing voters are still waiting for their turn. Politicians, good or dad, take care of the “fat-Cat’s” first, and them-selves second in the process. The OBA paid for their misdeeds, let ‘s see if the swing vote will be as generous and forgetful in the next election.


      • Swing Voter says:



        • Onion Juice says:

          And its from centuries of psychological damage.

        • Truthhertz says:

          That’s because you have the privilege of both parties accepting you as being a Bermudian and landers for your vote. As the commentator noted above the same reason that minorities in the US vote overwhelmingly for one party is the same reason Bermudas does the same. That reason being that the other party hates them and has no qualms about making it known.

  5. Unbelievable says:

    Bet you $20 he’s going to try and clear his name over JetGate.

    • Oracle says:

      It is still under police investigations according to the police.

  6. cromwell says:

    I thought it was a good short speech. He certainly has had his trial by fire and still has some humility!

    • Bumbling bear says:

      There’s no jet at the gate without pettingill, Crockwell and Derek green .
      THAT IS A Fact

      • Y-Gurl says:

        Time for yet another name change, not at all a good move for the OBA cements the PLPs position for a long time to come, and why didn’t anyone tell the guy on the left photographs were going to be taken!

        • Onion Juice says:

          If you put lipstick ,perfume and a pretty dress on a pig, it will ALWAYS find its way back to waddle in mud.
          Never seen such an incompetent bunch of political clowns before.
          What a JOKE.

  7. Come Correct says:

    See what you caused Micheal Fahy when you tried to give everyone Bermuda Status. Talking some crazy stuff about growing Bermuda. You destroyed your’re own party with that stupid idea.

    • So Tired says:

      @ComeCorrect I don’t think any ‘born Bermudian’ will EVER forget that! A lingering issue…

      • Question says:

        It never happened. You lot are total morons aren’t you. You will believe any crap fed to you.

    • Unbelievable says:

      That’s nonsense. Fahy did not try and give everyone BDA status.

      • Bermudian says:

        Fahy destroyed the OBA with his stupid idea…..let’s not forget the whole country marched that day BLACK & WHITE BERMUDIANS.

        What a fool and so arrogant to even suggest such a sick idea.

        • Double S says:

          Actually some people were spat and cursed at while being told to go back where they come from (as you know some believe only certain types are ‘real’ Bermudians) during that so called ‘protest.’

          Actually, Mr. Chris Furbert had to apologize to four school children who were chased away from the Hill by the ‘protesters.’ All documented.

        • question says:

          Er no, the ‘whole country’ did not march that day. It was just a certain segment. The racists.

    • SayItAintSo says:

      Fahy was trying to clarify a clear line for granting status. The PLP is still quietly approving status to individuals. I’d love to know how many.

  8. Rhonda says:

    Will the OBA change their name back to BDA?..Nick said the OBA needs to rid of the UBP? who will be the oba base, if they get rid of the UBP?..

  9. Rhonda says:

    Is it a foregone conclusion that the OBA base will vote for Cannonier..

    Has the choice already been make for the UBP turn OBA supporters..

    • Oracle says:

      In my opinion, Cannonier is going to cause a lot of supporters to give up on the OBA. This is not a good move.

      We do not still have all the answers to JETGATE!
      Who advised him and why was his private business manager in GOVERNMENT MEETINGS? Was he given bad advice on that?
      When will we know why Thad Hollis resigned?
      The OBA ran on a campaign of Honesty, Trust and Integrity. Does Craig Cannonier extol these qualities? He admitted himself that he had been “less than transparent”.
      If the answer to the above is no, then SHAME on those 8 MP’s who anointed their leader.
      You may have done us all a great disservice.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        We’ll get answers on Jetgate before we get answers on Uighergate.
        Why ? Certain people are very selective about which squeaky wheel they want to fix.

  10. Time Shall Tell says:

    Well, what’s done is done. I just hope he makes for a better leader this time around so that the OBA can be a proper opposition to keep the PLP in check. Everything needs balance.

  11. Sister Nancy says:

    PLP patt people give me a break please. You all have the nerve to talk about Mr Cannonier look in your backyard. Who has done the utmost. So much to say about them where can I start. Do not get me started on Burgess, Zane, pastor Bean to name a few. Get rid of your own baggage then you can talk. The nerve……….

    • Former OBA Supporter says:

      As Marc Bean said, ” What is the difference between a demon in a red shirt and a demon in a green shirt, a demon is a demon”!

  12. Ringmaster says:

    It’s interesting how the spotlight is on Craig Cannonier when the “Jetgate” saga involved 2 lawyers, one the AG, on the same flight. They couldn’t see the conflict? The same two persons who were in the forefront of the gambling issue, who cancelled the referendum on gambling and forced the vote of no confidence? More than just coincidence. The OBA was dead from the start and from the inside.

  13. Coffee says:

    Forget Jetgate folks !

    What we have in Cannonier is the typical neocon , only he doesn’t know that his advisers have fashioned him so .

    Wait until he finds out ! If ever …

  14. Here we go loop D loop….yet again!!