OBA Press Conference: Cannonier & Pamplin

September 24, 2020 | 2 Comments

In the lead up to the 2020 General Election — which is now only one week away — the OBA held another press conference, with OBA Leader Craig Cannonier and OBA candidate Patricia Gordon Pamplin delivering remarks.

OBA Leader Craig Cannonier’s remarks on PLP platform:

What Bermuda needs more than anything right now is a sound policy to stop the economic bleeding.

It needs a Party that understands that the economy is out of whack, that must be stabilised, and policies and programmes must bear reality to what can be afforded without massive taxes.

Bermuda needs leadership which respects the intelligence of the people and who does not make wild promises knowing that he cannot deliver.

Leadership puts country before politics.

David Burt’s election platform is simply not based on reality.

Bermuda, there is an absence of reality.

The person who was once the magician’s apprentice is now trying his own magic – except it is not working.

His sleight of hand has become tired. We see through him. It is all smoke and mirrors.

Let’s look at his promises on an economic plan.

He lists things like the redevelopment of the Fairmont Southampton Hotel – a project that was in the pipeline last year and which has nothing to do with Government.

A new state of the art medical tourism facility. Talks have been going on about this for decades and nothing has ever happened.

And, Bermuda, who is this for? Who will really benefit from this?

He talks about the new arbitration centre – yet overlooks that this prime piece of real estate in the centre of Hamilton has been gifted to a US company under a deal that we still know nothing about, but which has excluded Bermudian companies.

He talks about moving the container port, of new affordable housing and upgrading water supply.

What he does not talk about is cost and who will pay for all these promises.

Who will pay for it all?

You

These are the questions all Bermudians must ask themselves about David Burt’s fanciful promises.

The Premier promises all these new developments – which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars – in the next breath he talks about balancing the budget in three years.

How?

The deficit is going to be in the region of 200 million dollars by the end of this financial year – probably even more.

How will there be a balanced budget without having to make very significant cuts in Government employment and spending?

It was interesting to read the Burt administration’s plan for single family offices.

He wants immigration incentives tied to investments in Bermuda.

Does this sound very familiar to you? It should – it is almost exactly what the people behind Caroline Bay wanted to do in the first place.

Did David Burt just steal this idea from those behind Caroline Bay? If it is good enough for him, why wasn’t it good enough for Caroline Bay?

The Burt administration also wants to revise long-term residential certificate policy to ‘require all future residents to make economic investments in Bermuda’.

This is selling PRC status with a twist.

Let’s talk about what your pension money is going to fund in the PLP’s platform.

During Covid-19, Premier Burt allowed people to take money from their pension. We warned about the potential impact but supported this because people were desperate.

Now the Burt administration is asking you to invest your future in ‘approved economic development activities in Bermuda’.

What are approved economic development activities? Are these the container port, the low-cost housing and the medical tourism plans?

Is he asking people to invest their pensions in the Bermuda National Digital Bank? Do we trust David Burt’s record in this area?

The Burt administration should not be playing with people’s futures like this.

With almost 700 jobs lost today, almost one million dollars of your money given away and businesses closing in rapid succession last night’s platform provided no comfort.

It was just a series of unbelievable promises.

About the only thing David Burt did not promise last night was to walk on water and to personally cure Covid.

The problem is that over the last three years David Burt has made a succession of promises that he has either broken or not being able to keep.

Patricia Gordon-Pamplin’s remarks

Good afternoon,

Bermuda needs good leaders. We need people who can help rescue Bermudians from this time of real economic uncertainty.

So, it concerns me greatly to read a report today that David Burt, former Minister Jamahl Simmons and their Cabinet colleagues approved an $800,000 loan to an American music promoter who appears to have disappeared along with the money.

It begs so many questions that it’s difficult to know where to start.

What did Bermuda get for this money – anything at all? What background checks were made on the gentleman they allowed to abscond with the public’s money?

What guarantees were there against this money? Will we get any of it back?

What has been spent so far trying to recover this money?

We are told that the Government said it has engaged local and US authorities to investigate – yet the Bermuda Police Service say they know nothing of the matter. Why?

This is the latest in a series of embarrassments.

Arbitrade.

How was David Burt so easily mislead?

Was he so desperate to promote Fintech as a success that he just ignored all the warnings that were so obvious to others?

Who owns Victoria Hall? Did Arbitrade help fund the redemption farm? Where did the gold bullion go?

The Arbitrade escapade has been an embarrassment to Bermuda and has hurt its reputation.

The Burt administration was also deceived by fintech companies who, he said, would come to Bermuda, create 120 jobs and invest $25 million into training.

The Burt administration has tried to convince voters that they are responsible stewards of the public purse.

It seems they are not so savvy after all.

The OBA will do better.

Patricia Gordon-Pamplin’s remarks on airport:

I need to address the airport statement in the Burt administration’s platform released last night.

After telling everyone that the airport is a bad deal, he suddenly wants Bermudians to own it.

That is a considerable about turn.

However, I am sure that David Burt is fully aware of the realities of the airport contract, but simply wants to continue his false narrative for political convenience.

He says he wants to put the ownership back into the hands of Bermudians.

Mr Burt, surely you know that the airport is already owned by the Bermuda Government via the Bermuda Airport Authority.

You can’t buy what you already own.

Secondly, what Aecon owns is a management contract, a so-called concession.

Aecon would probably be quite willing to sell that contract to the Government, but it would cost them at least $60 million, which is the equity that Aecon put in.

If Government bought this, they would have to borrow the money to do so.

The 16 percent return is earned by Aecon because they took most of the risks. Any buyer would have to pay Aecon for that.

And since interest rates have reduced since the deal was signed, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Aecon to demand a premium for their original $60 million investment.

Lastly but importantly, currently the project debt of $235 million is not considered public debt.

If the government acquired the Aecon concession, then the borrower would be a Government entity thereby making that debt a public debt which will show on the Government’s balance sheet.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Observer says:

    The PLP election platform submitted recently by Mr Burt is the most unrealistic, unachievable, laughable, impractical litany of nonsensical verbiage that has ever been uttered from an individual. Come on Bermuda, you must rise above this.

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