Minister Simmons: ‘We Will Lay Out Our Plans’

October 23, 2019 | 45 Comments

[Updated] “While it has been a longstanding colonial tradition, the Throne Speech is not the only manner in which to inform or communicate to the people our government’s policies and plans,” Minister Jamahl Simmons said, adding that they “will announce new initiatives that the PLP government implement to deliver on its mandate” at the PLP’s Annual Delegates Conference.

Background

The Throne Speech is traditionally delivered late in the year, and is read by the Governor at a ceremony on the Cabinet lawn, which the members of the Legislature and others attend; and features ceremonial aspects such as the Governor arriving via horse and carriage.

Premier David Burt advised that the Legislature will continue to meet until the Christmas recess is taken in December, saying that the “Government’s legislative agenda can and should continue without the interruption of the traditional Convening of the Legislature.”

Following that, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier said, “The Throne Speech is a mechanism through which Government tells the people and businesses in Bermuda what its agenda is for the coming 12 months. Not doing so shows a lack of good leadership and the ability to provide the necessary direction to solve the social and business issues affecting this Island.

“A leader clearly lays out their plans and communicates them effectively with everyone involved. Not doing so risks losing the trust of the people and can cause unnecessary confusion. Premier David Burt has to face the people of Bermuda. He has to explain why he is not laying out a clear plan to help Bermudians and businesses.

“Right now people are struggling under new and increased taxes, they are losing jobs or being forced to leave the Island. They need help and they need to see a plan. By not delivering a Throne Speech David Burt is not providing that help. He is not reassuring the people and that is very poor leadership.

“The Premier has failed for more than two years to come up with an economic stimulus plan to stop his people hurting. If there was ever a time to deliver a Throne Speech it is now and the people of Bermuda need to ask why David Burt has failed to deliver.”

Minister Jamahl Simmons’ Statement

Minister Simmons said, “The claims emanating from Mr. Cannonier regarding the Government’s decision to forego this year’s Throne Speech are rooted in hysteria and based entirely on falsehoods. The implication that no Throne Speech in 2019 means no plan is a false correlation and shows that the OBA are more tied to the trappings of the past, than a party that is capable of adapting to the future.

“The PLP government has a 5-year plan that was laid out in our election platform in 2017. We are steadily working through our platform and prior Throne Speech commitments ensuring that our promises are kept and we are delivering a better and fairer Bermuda.

“Our Economic plan was delivered by our Minister of Finance in last year’s budget statement; and though it doesn’t match the OBA’s singular answer to all of what ails Bermuda, opening the immigration floodgates; it is a long term plan that has delivered increased investment in Bermuda, 300 new jobs, new local and international companies, and Bermuda’s first balanced budget in 17 years.

“On Monday, October 28, the opening night of the PLP’s Annual Delegates Conference, our Party Leader will announce new initiatives that the PLP government implement to deliver on its mandate. As always, the public is invited to attend, and all local media organizations will be invited to attend.

“While it has been a longstanding colonial tradition, the Throne Speech is not the only manner in which to inform or communicate to the people our government’s policies and plans.

“In 2019 we have chosen to save the over ten-thousand dollars spent on the pomp and ceremony, while continuing sit in the legislature and deliver for the people of Bermuda. As a member of the public, Mr. Cannonier is welcome to attend the opening night of our conference and listen as our Party Leader reviews our progress, shares our vision, and outlines new initiatives.

“For those unable to attend Monday night, our leader’s speech will be shared with the media so that all can be informed of the progress of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party Government, and what the future holds in store.”

Note: The Minister’s statement was amended at 3.15pm to reflect a new version that was sent.

Update: OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said, “So our Minister without Portfolio – aka our Minister of Propaganda – tells us that one reason for cancelling this year’s Throne Speech is to save $10,000 on the ‘pomp and ceremony’.

“I find it extremely concerning that in October Government already appears to be that broke. That is something the public should be very worried about indeed.

“Why can’t it afford $10,000? Is because of the $1.2m given to former Premier Ewart Brown? Is it due to the $300,000 extra in Ministerial payroll – which is benefiting the same Minister who tries to persuade us that cancelling the Speech is saving money?

“The Minister of Tourism’s $4,500 so-called mystery shopper cruise could have paid almost half of the costs. The $800,000 loan that Government is now suing over would have covered the cost, wouldn’t it.

“It is just a weak excuse – and we can all see through that.

“The OBA is not concerned with pomp and ceremony, if the cost is the reason then let’s get rid of the pomp. As far as we are concerned the Premier could address the House and read it himself.

“As I have stated, a good leader lays out their plans clearly and communicates them effectively with all stakeholders – not just the party faithful.

“The Throne Speech is the mechanism used to tell Bermudians and Bermudian businesses what the Government is planning to do in the next 12 months. It lets them prepare and avoids uncertainty.

“The Throne Speech also shows the Government is being transparent and is prepared to accept scrutiny.

“At a time when Bermudians are struggling to pay bills they need a vision and a leader to deliver that vision. The Premier has let down his people.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. sandgrownan says:

    That’s bulls**t – sorry BERNEWS.

    They have had two years to lay out a plan and all we have seen is more wastage, increased taxes, declining retail sales, declining economic confidence and no plan. Zero. Nada. Nothing.

    • vortex says:

      No plan, you are hiding Burt.

      No plan, none.

      You can’t just say it – show us the plan.

    • Bramen says:

      Yeh, no plan but a huge majority.
      Jog on OBA! ha-ha.

      • Poo Bear says:

        Bramen. so you like a dictatorship?? it will affect all but the elite elected who will prosper fro us

      • aceboy says:

        Hilarious huh? March right along to the edge of the cliff like a good lemming.

    • Say What? says:

      Saving 10K – that is the justification for not doing this? Fair enough. But Mr. Simmions – let me ask how much money have you wasted? You were on a mission to remove the head of the gaming commission because you had a better plan. The OBA passed a law allowing casino gaming in Bermuda. They assembled a team, formed a department, had interst from hotels – basically they did all the grunt work for you. All you had to do was put the plan into action or put your own plan into action.

      However, you were on a hunt and got rid of your man. So two years later you have done what exactly? Every month salaries are paid to staff, rent is paid, legal bills and so on. I trust the gaming commission has cost us a few million since you took over. Have you found anyone qualified to take over that wants to work with you and your government? How many casino licences have you issued?

      YOU and YOU only have cost us millions in wasted money on a department that has accomplished nothing in two years. How many thousands or millions do you think your lack of action has cost us in lost income. How many much needed jobs have you cost. Oh, and how much do you get paid to do a job that you have not done?!

      Ten thousand compared to what you have cost us doesn’t look so bad now. Id like to hear what you “plan: or “vison” is. But it looks like only those persons that are willing to pay to go to your big show and tell – will know.

    • Joe Balboa says:

      Fact is government still needs to communicate its plan to the public at large. Just because you dont like the historical “colonial” way of doing things doesnt mean you exclude a large segment of the public who live here. I know they cant wait for independence in order to kick the Brit’s and their governor out but until such time there’s an established way of doing things which shouldnt change. Sad this is how things work now.

  2. Double S says:

    I know of another way of ‘saving thousands of dollars’ since the PLP all for a sudden are about cost cuts.

    Get rid of Ministers without Portfolios. That will save at least $150k a year.

    • Paul says:

      I agree get rid of failed ministers (Simmons) ..and to think we are still paying him !!!

    • Poo Bear says:

      why stop there get rid of the lot of them useless money sponges

  3. Hello says:

    Interesting that this is still just a vision the PLP are parading. Remember the plan, now it is back to a vision. When will the plan be revealed, and more importantly when you going to start delivering. Nearly half way into your current incumbency and all that has happened is that Bermuda has become more expensive to live in. Now after all the fanfare and stirred up noise on TNTatem, by you politicians, you are going to close it You must think we are stupid, gullible and brain dead.

  4. trufth says:

    This is horse sh-t. If the intention was to “save thousands of dollars,” Burt would have played it up big time and been the hero savior in his announcement about not having the Throne Speech.

    Nice try though Jamal.

  5. somuchlless says:

    Jahmal did you just wake up?

  6. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    YOU AIN’T GOT NO PLANS

  7. cromwell says:

    what part of the dismantling of the status quo will be kept or will any of the ppl status quo be saved or will any thing the Premier decides is status quo will go. When is 400 years of Parliament going to go if it’s to expensive.

    Forgive me for pointing out the PLP is now becoming the status quo.

  8. CHRIS says:

    so no reason why NOT the throne speech except it’s expensive?! that’s rich coming from the spend-a-lot Party! I want my traditions! BOOOOOO to you!

  9. hanky panky says:

    so the PLP is going to lay out its plans but only for the party faithful … and invites the public but does not say where or what time this will happen.
    You really cannot make this stuff up

  10. Leadership vacuum says:

    Not.. I think the Premier has an excellent growth plan for our economy and is waiting for the right time to articulate it.

  11. sandgrownan says:

    Empty suit Premier and sycophantic ministers.

  12. Rotten Onion says:

    So I guess Jamahl the other real Bermudians don’t get to hear what your plan is. What a bunch of muppets the PLP are.

    • Double S says:

      Only ‘real Bermudians’ support the PLP anyways. Haven’t you heard?

  13. Seascape says:

    They need to come up with plans to get rid of the taxes they have laid on us. Bermuda is becoming way to expensive to live. I thought I would retire here but I am giving thought to leaving to live somewhere else which is something I never thought I would do.

  14. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    ““While it has been a longstanding colonial tradition, the Throne Speech is not the only manner in which to inform or communicate to the people our government’s policies and plans.”

    Sums it up right there…..jokers lmfao

    • James smith says:

      I’m sure it’s the whole idea of colonialism and the fact that we are a colony of the British Empire!!! Come on let’s start thinking of Bermudians and stop all of the rhetoric!

  15. Pondering says:

    they “will announce new initiatives that the PLP government implement to deliver on its mandate” at the PLP’s Annual Delegates Conference.

    so does that mean their only concern is for the PLP? What happened to the rest of Bermuda?? I guess this quote says it all

  16. potato juice says:

    Wonder how much that bag hot air cost!

  17. wahoo says:

    This isn’t about saving money and even Onion juice knows that.

  18. aceboy says:

    What an absolute joke.

  19. Joe Bloggs says:

    “While it has been a longstanding colonial tradition, the Throne Speech is not the only manner in which to inform or communicate to the people our government’s policies and plans,”

    It is not a “colonial” tradition, it is simply a tradition. Why do you seek to diminish the tradition?

  20. Question says:

    Next they’ll be telling us elections cost money so we can do without them as well.

  21. B4Premier says:

    I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT ELECTION…..or you canceling that as well?????

  22. cpm says:

    All of our history/traditions such as the Throne Speech should be celebrated
    This Government is anti UK but embracing Portugal-any votes involved
    At some point the other Bermuda will come together and make a stand

  23. Me says:

    The planning stage is over we should be in the doing stage

  24. Poo Bear says:

    Hey Jamal while we are at it how’s the casino business??

  25. moonbeam says:

    “Minister Simmons said, “The claims emanating from Mr. Cannonier regarding the Government’s decision to forego this year’s Throne Speech are rooted in hysteria and based entirely on falsehoods. The implication that no Throne Speech in 2019 means no plan is a false correlation and shows that the OBA are more tied to the trappings of the past, than a party that is capable of adapting to the future”.

    My response to that is that Bermuda is asking: ‘WHAT IS THE PLAN MINISTER SIMMONS’ ?

  26. Holy Holly says:

    Tax Payer strike NOW!

  27. Truth is killin’ me... says:

    Forget about the UK having a GENERAL ELECTION…this island needs one NOW!!!

  28. Harold says:

    On the basis of the article I do not understand what appears to be an ‘either/or’ approach.

    Even under better economic circumstances the continuance of the people’s business, concurrent regular performance reporting of same and the plan for the next twelve months needs personal broadcast by the Premier to the entire tax base as that is what funds the people’s initiatives.

    The shift from the Cabinet grounds (public) to a political party venue/event is by default polarizing, exclusive and disrespectful; particularly to those of us who must pay taxes (even though many of us have lost our jobs) but, through good conscience, cannot support a Government that is demonstrably failing to do the people’s business on so many fronts. We should all be compelled to ask ‘where is the return on our investment (our taxes)?’as from education, to immigration, to growing foreign exchange etc., we are getting negative returns.

    The Cabinet grounds seem to be a suitable public venue (great resident and visitor exposure to an important and unique experience) but in my view the Premier should take the lead, as our leader, with the Governor following. That said, the removal of the Governors participation is perhaps a helpful emotional step for those seeking independence.

    Harold

  29. Gustav says:

    THE PLP PLAN IS SO SECRET
    EVEN THEY DONT KNOW IT
    25/11 YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTED FOR

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Actually, every thinking Bermudian knows the plan. It is just not available to foreigners.

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