Video: PLP Announce Simmons & Simmons

September 2, 2020

[Updated] The PLP is holding a press conference this morning [Sept 2] where they are expected to announce additional candidate[s] for the upcoming 2020 General Election, which will be held on October 1st, 2020. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

PLP Announce Simmons & Simmons Bermuda Sept 2 2020

Update 11.16am: The first candidate announced is Kathy Lynn Simmons, who will be running in Constituency #36 Sandys North, which is currently held by the PLP’s Michael Scott. Mr Scott is present at today’s rollout and received a warm round of applause for his service over the years, with the Premier standing to applaud him. Ms Simmons currently serves in the Senate and as the Attorney-General.

Update 11.25am: The Premier has announced the other candidate, with Lindsay Simmons set to run in Constituency #12 Devonshire South Central, a seat which is currently held by the OBA Leader Craig Cannonier.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 36-minute replay is below

Update 1.30pm: Premier & Party Leader David Burt’s remarks:

Good morning,

I am incredibly excited to announce two new candidates for Constituencies #12 and #36.

Yesterday, Senator Crystal Caesar and MP Tinee Furbert spoke passionately about this government’s record on women and families. Today, we have two more qualified women to roll out. And, with this rollout and the rest to come, I can confirm that the Progressive Labour Party – the party that gave us such incredible leaders like Dame Jennifer Smith, Paula Cox, Dame Lois Browne-Evans and dozens of Ministers of governments and MPs – will be running more women for election this year than ever before. We still have more work to do, but I’m proud of our long history of empowering and uplifting women.

Senator Caesar and MP Furbert gave some great information, and, yet, because there wasn’t political intrigue and because it was good news, and not bad news, there was little coverage given it. On the doorstep, we often hear, what’s your plan? What’s your plan? Yesterday, we outlined part of our plan focused on women and families. But, I’m concerned that not enough people heard it. I believe that it is quite important for Bermudians to know our accomplishments and our vision and plans for the future, so, please allow me to reiterate these important points.

Senator Caesar noted that we have a number of plans in the works – including the implementation of a living wage, the creation of a Victim’s Compensation Fund, reform of financial assistance to move people back to work and using the BEDC to empower women owned businesses, especially in the growth industry known as the caring industry. This constitutes part of our vision for what we’ll do if we earn the trust of the people again.

MP Furbert spoke of some of the government’s many accomplishments including the expansion of paid maternity leave to thirteen weeks and the introduction of 5 days of paid paternity leave. She spoke to the introduction of the the Sex Offenders registry along with increased penalties for child sex offenders and mandatory rehabilitative and therapeutic programs. Finally, she spoke of the child care standards for daycare centres which are making these facilities safer and more responsible. And, of course, it was the PLP government that years ago introduced the DayCare support programme in the first place. When voters are judging what a party will do in the future, it is critical that they look at our record, and, when it comes to women and families, it is clear that we’ve made steady progress.

With that said, we have two incredible team members to announce today, but, before I introduce them, I’d like to say a few words about an incredible representative for the people – Michael Scott. MP Scott served in the Senate from 1998 and during his time in the Senate he served as Government Leader. He was then elected to the House of Assembly in 2004, MP Scott ably served the constituents of Sandys North. During his tenure, his constituency was transformed. Dockyard was expanded to accommodate the massive cruise ships that dominate the industry today. This expansion assisted entrepreneurs to expand as a result of increased visitors and tourists. The Anchor boys club was awarded their very first Drum Major Award for their contribution to the community. MP Scott also served in the Cabinet on a number of occasions, holding several portfolios including that of Attorney General, Minister of Health, Minister of Legislative Affairs, Minister of Telecommunications and eCommerce and Minister of Government Estates and Information Services.

MP Scott is never afraid to stand up for working people and for justice, fairness and equality for all Bermudians. Thank you, MP Scott, for your service and we look forward to hearing about your future endeavors.

Kathy Lynn Simmons has ably served as our Attorney General since the inception of our government. She increased penalties for sexual offences committed against children and implemented sex offender disclosures and a registry. She modernized jury selection by providing equality between the Crown and Defendant’s challenge to jurors. And, she expunged criminal convictions of those who were convicted of simple possession of under 7 grams of cannabis. In addition to her good work in legal reform, she is also connected to the community in Sandys North. Kathy married into the Simmons clan of Somerset and lived in Sandys North most of her married life. Attorney General Simmons…

Thank You Attorney General.

I’m incredibly excited to introduce Lindsay Simmons as the Constituency #12, Devonshire South Central representative. And, let me be clear: I believe Ms. Simmons can win this constituency. Because, I believe that when the voters compare Ms. Simmons, who has lived in the constituency since she was 11 and has dedicated herself to the community and service, with her opponent, they will see a clear contrast.

Her opponent has no connection to the area and has taken the community for granted. Ms. Simmons, on the other hand, has an impressive record of service. This saint among us has been a foster parent to 20 children and if that doesn’t show a commitment to Bermuda and Bermudians, I don’t know what does. She is the president of the Bermuda Foster Parent’s Association and has been forceful in her advocacy for Foster Parents. She will be an incredible advocate for the residents of Constituency #12, and I am incredibly proud to introduce her as the Candidate for the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party in Constituency #12.

Attorney General & Minister of Legal Affairs, Kathy Lightbourne-Simmons remarks:

Honourable Premier, PLP family, Executive members and voters of Constituency 36, family and friends.

I am pleased to accept the invitation from our Honourable Premier and the Constituency 36 Branch membership, to stand as the candidate for Constituency 36, Sandys North, in the 2020 General Election.

I would like to acknowledge Michael Scott JP, MP for his support of my candidacy and for his loyal and dedicated service to the C36 community and indeed to Bermuda. I have fond and lasting memories of being a newlywed bride and raising my three sons in the beautiful part of God’s Country that is C36. Memories of our German Shepherd puppies Ike and Tina, reported as frolicking near Dean’s Bakery while we were at work; of the same two puppy culprits chasing Mr. Bascome’s cows into Long Bay resulting in several visits from a very irate farmer; riding out of Charing Cross stables with Aubrey Showers, Hillbilly and Lumpy; the kind and caring Max Maybury who looked after Shadow; family dinners at Loyalty Inn; fishing off Public Wharf…. and Sandys people who knew your every move!

In July 2017, I had the honour of being appointed as Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Government Senate Leader. I was privileged to advance the Government’s legislative agenda through the Senate with the able assistance of an excellent Senate Team who are not only my colleagues, they have become my friends. Former Senator Jason Hayward JP, MP; Senator Vance Campbell JP; Senator Crystal Caesar JP; Senator Anthony Richardson JP; and Senator Ianthia Wade JP. I salute you today and wish you every success on the next phase of your political journey.

With the exception of God and my Family, there are two things that have contributed significantly to keeping me grounded and focused during this journey of service to the people of Bermuda. The first is the huge plaque that confronts visitors to the Attorney-General’s Chambers listing the names of all Attorneys-General from 1698 to the present. From Nicholas Trott in 1698 until 1998, with the exception of Elliott Mottley QC, every Attorney-General was a white male from the ruling oligarchy mirroring, to a large extent, the composition of our Legislature for hundreds of years. That plaque provides a stark reminder that much work remains to be done to dismantle the economic, legal, political and social constructs that have served to disadvantage Bermudians of African descent in this country.

The second is the picture at the entrance of my office of Dame Lois Brown Evans, Bermuda’s first female Attorney-General and former leader of the Progressive Labour Party. The picture reminds me that our ancestors sacrificed and fought against injustice, paving the way to make it possible for me to come before you today to offer my continued service.

Remembering and acknowledging our collective and personal histories is a continued source of strength and guidance….lest we forget from whence we have come.

Constituents, friends and family, these reminders have compelled me, even against a backdrop of political hostility and cynicism, to focus on service. Together with the dedicated and competent team of Civil Servants within the Ministry of Legal Affairs, to whom I extend my sincere gratitude, I am proud of the achievements that have contributed to the transformation of Bermuda’s legal and social framework, some of which are as follows:

  • the implementation of Bermuda’s statutory Law Reform Commission by the appointment of the first Commissioners led by Chair, former Attorney-General Michael Scott JP, MP, charged with the systemic reform and modernization of our laws;
  • continuation of this Government’s commitment to providing apprenticeship and internship opportunities for our young people by reviving and funding the pupillage program within the Ministry to enable law graduates to obtain the training necessary to qualify to be admitted to practice as barristers and attorneys;
  • enactment of Bermuda’s first comprehensive Child Safeguarding regime to enhance provisions and measures for the protection of children and other persons from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse;
  • protecting our communities by disclosing information to the public, for the first time in our history, in relation to sex offenders who are considered to present a risk of significant harm to the health and safety of the public;
  • modernization of the jury selection process, which is perceived to have disadvantaged young black males in the criminal justice system, to achieve a fairer and more equitable process;
  • leading national public policy consultation to advance the establishment of a Regulated Cannabis Scheme for Bermuda aimed at achieving safe, controlled use and sale of cannabis through a regulatory and licensing scheme; and
  • providing for a process to remove or expunge historic criminal convictions for simple possession of less than 7 grams of cannabis to rid our society of the unfairness, especially to our your black men, of harsh drug enforcement and criminal justice practices, long recognized as having a lifetime impact on the education and employment prospects of our youth.

If elected as the Member of Parliament for Constituency 36, the same care and confident leadership I have applied to national issues and that you have also seen from our Premier during the present pandemic, I will give to issues that affect our community. However, there is no such thing as a team of one. Together we will build the relationships necessary to mentor the young people and support single parents inour constituency whose circumstances may demonstrate a need for urgent interventions.

Together we will ensure and advocate for the continued well-being of our seniors and persons with disabilities.

Together we will address longstanding infrastructure issues that affect the quality of life of the residents in Boaz Island Village and find a solution for the historic buildings at Albert Row that can benefit the community.

Together we will explore creative options for economic development for Dockyard, Somerset Village and other community areas in conjunction with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, WedCo and community partners.

Together we will develop our constituency by developing our people and ensure that they understand the power of their collective voice to achieve transformation in the community and to hold their elected officials to account. Remember, we are here to serve you.

In closing, to the residents of Constituency 36, I would be honoured to have the opportunity to bring vision and energy to our constituency as your Member of Parliament. My pledge to you is that we will work as a caring collective to advance the best interests of our community because we are stronger together. I repeat…we are stronger together.

Lindsay Simmons remarks:

Honourable Premier, PLP family, Executive members, family and friends, Good morning.

My name is Lindsay Simmons and I am the mother of one and have been a foster parent to many. I was educated at Gilbert Institute, West Pembroke Primary School, The Berkeley Institute and Keiser University. I was born and raised in Bermuda and have always believed in giving back. My parents instilled in their children that it takes a village to raise you. In 1998, when I watched the PLP win their first general election I was elated. I couldn’t wait until I was able to vote. My father explained to me that years ago women and people of color were not able to vote. He told me not only is it my right but it should be a privilege. Not exercising your right to vote means you can’t complain. Every vote counts! I would encourage everyone to vote.

I have been living in Constituency 12, Devonshire South Central since I was 11 years old. My daughter was born and is being raised in this constituency. Constituency 12 is dear to me because this is where my family and I have put down our roots. I wouldn’t want to run in any other constituency. When asked how I felt about running in an OBA strong hold, I didn’t mind because as long as I can remember the last person I saw in my neighbourhood was John Barritt. It’s time we have someone that represents us and not just comes out during the election time. I would love to be the face for my constituency and if elected I can guarantee that I will work hard for my community after the election. I know that my upper hand is that I live there and want the best for my community. Looking at the statistics from the last election I know that I am in for a fight but I stand firm that the PLP is doing what is needed in order to move our country forward.

I chose to join and run for the Progressive Labour Party to ensure that my daughter and the future generation have a bright and stable future. The COVID19 pandemic has shown me that the PLP was proactive in safeguarding us. The Government went over and beyond to keep Bermuda and her people safe. Tough decisions had to be made and they stood by them. I have never been more proud of the PLP then I am today.

Children are my passion and I would like to fight so that children are in safe hands and education is top on my agenda.

When the late great Chadwick Boseman gave a speech about Denzel Washington I listened to his words and took his words and applied it to the PLP.

An offering from a sage and a king is more than silver and gold. It is a seed of hope and a bud of faith!

There is no future without the PLP!

My whole generation stands on the shoulders of the PLP. The daily battles won. The thousands of votes that were gained. The many sacrifices that the PLP has made since 1963 for our future and the future of children. The things that the PLP refused to compromise along the way, laid the blueprint for us to follow. And so now let he who has watered be watered. And let he who has been given be given too. It is an honor to be a part of the PLP to learn from the great leadership and join in this work with them.

May God continue to Bless Bermuda and her people.

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Comments (4)

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  1. watching says:

    Well done Kathy and Lindsay!

    Well done PLP!

  2. Mark says:

    lol poor people of sandys. I feel sorry for you. that’s a tough pill to swallow but no doubt you will.

  3. Mary Lodge says:

    So proud of you Lindsay. Southcourt has your back.

  4. eyes wide open says:

    what is Craig going to do when he does not get back in?