OBA: ‘Govt Is Compromising The Independence’

October 24, 2020 | 17 Comments

“It is concerning that the government continues to demonstrate a consistent pattern of compromising the independence of bodies established specifically to be independent,” the OBA said following the appointment of MP Wayne Caines as the BTA Chairman.

An OBA spokesperson said, “Let it not be said that Mr Burt does not take care of his people. The appointment of Wayne Caines as the Chairman of the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA], is evidence of that. To be clear, we do not begrudge Mr Caines’ appointment. There are matters of greater concern in play.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority, established under the Bermuda Tourism Act, 2013, was always intended to be an independent body. The Bermuda Tourism Authority Amendment Act 2018, passed in November 2018, changed that, and started the compromise of the BTA’s independence.

“You will recall that back in 2018, the then Minister DeSilva stated that he planned to not just look under the hood of the BTA, but ‘tear the car apart’. In February of this year, Mr Burt openly supported the then Tourism Minister, Zane DeSilva, in his call for changes to the BTA, saying switches may include giving the Minister ‘power to remove tourism board members at this point in time.’

“It is concerning that the government continues to demonstrate a consistent pattern of compromising the independence of bodies established specifically to be independent. The Casino Gaming Commission [Commission] essentially remains non-functional and a financial albatross to the taxpayers.

“The draft audited financials for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2019 resulted in the expenditure of around $2.1 million for the Commission. Notwithstanding comments made by David Burt that the Commission had also found a preferred candidate, out of a shortlist of 12 international applicants, to take over as Executive Director, the search to fill that post continues to remain fruitless.

“The recently passed Gaming [Transfer of Functions] Act 2020, which moves supervision of the betting sector from the Betting Licensing Authority to the Commission, is just a move to give the Commission something to do, because it has no casinos to regulate.

“There are no casinos to regulate because the amendment of the Casino Gaming Act, which was amended to allow for ministerial interference, has essentially paralyzed any forward movement for this entity.

“Greater Ministerial control is becoming a PLP government hallmark.

“It is pure hypocrisy that Mr Burt, a man focused on steering this country down the path of independence, refuses bodies established specifically to be independent, with the ability to do so.

“Mr Burt is determined to enrich his own team, whether by choice or by force, we don’t know. However, while the benefits received from the recent Ministerial, board and chair appointments made, benefit those at the top, what is happening to those at the bottom? We have a specifically identified group of people reaching for their next glass of champagne, while our families are lining up at Eliza DoLittle Society and various church feeding programs for a glass of water and a meal.

“The economic support pay cheque that people were relying on from March to July 2020 has long ended. Most households are just about getting by on one pay cheque. MP Caines has the benefit of receiving two. This is a government that says it cares for the people. The reality is that this is a government that cares for certain people. Actions speak louder than words.”

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Comments (17)

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  1. Not independent says:

    The BTA and Gaming commission are NOT independent as they take OUR tax dollars! Get over it OBA! No news here!

    • Eyes wide open says:

      The oba = UBP is the type of party that returns a chocolate donut because it has a hole in it. They never did figure out why so many voters left them.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        And so many voters haven’t yet figured out what they’re in for.
        It’s coming soon , probably around February of 2021 .
        A chocolate doughnut , hole in it or not ,will look very appealing then .

      • bluenose says:

        Please explain why so many follow the PLP, because it cannot be because of their record on the economy, health, education etc.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Can still run Bermuda better financially….don’t want to go there though ;)

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “The Bermuda Tourism Authority, established under the Bermuda Tourism Act, 2013, was always intended to be an independent body.”

    It was intended by the OBA to be independent. The PLP has always said that the old way of the UBP and Dr. Brown, having a politician in charge of the multi-million dollar tourism budget, is the better way.

  3. Unbelievable says:

    That last paragraph says. it. ALL.

  4. swing voter no more!!! says:

    You 6 jokers again? Didn’t you just get a kick with a boot. Go away one broken alliance and come back with a leader that your own supporters will come out and vote for. Jetgate only helps the PLP win by keeping him as a leader is that so hard to see.

    • Here we go says:

      Really? That’s all you have? The PLP is ruining Bermuda. How do you not comprehend what they’re doing?
      You’ve clearly drunk the green kool aid. Good luck with that.

    • Anbu says:

      Oh shut the hole in your face! No matter who they bring out as leader, the quacks (cause thats what they ALL are) in the plp will label them a surrogate. And u stupid muppets lap it up like pigs at a trough.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        It’s funny , inna ?
        One minute they’re all saying that the OBA is ineffective , or Bermuda deserves a good and real opposition party but on the other hand they childishly gloat and repeat 25-11 or 30-6 and as soon as anyone says anything in opposition they go ballistic.
        They’re the height of disingenuous and hypocrisy put together. The fact is they want a one party state , as long as it’s theirs , with NO opposition . As a further example look at how they all blew a gasket when the FDM formed !

    • All Lives Matter says:

      Facts! This so called obaubp will not even matter next election. The crumbs in the party will have to step out their whitewashed zone and vote either for 10 cent lick party (FDM) or Burt Coin (PLP).

  5. Ringmaster says:

    So the Gaming Commission and now Tourism back under the control and likely mismanagement of the PLP. That’s it for Public Education then, as there will be no Independent Education Authority. Sad for all the students and generations to come.

    • Parent says:

      Yep. Sad, isn’t it? The PLP doesn’t want an educated youth because they would see their only future on this island is to pay for their mismanagement for the rest of their lives.
      Anyone with half a brain can see we’re on the road to Zimbabwe and no one seems to care.

      • Hmmm says:

        Racist comments and later you wonder why all the black voters departed from the OBA.

  6. watching says:

    Firstly – The first chair of the BTA was former UBP tourism minister David Dodwell. So it was never “independent”.

    Secondly- as long as the BTA is funded by tax payer money I have no issue with the government exercising a level of control, direction and accountability over it.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Secondly- as long as the BTA is funded by tax payer money I have no issue with the government exercising a level of control, direction and accountability over it.”

      Yes, that is the official PLP Government position

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