Opposition Deliver Reply To Throne Speech

November 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

Cole Simons Bermuda December 2018Opposition Leader Cole Simons delivered the formal response to the 2020 Throne Speech in the House of Assembly, addressing a wide range of issues including the economy, education, healthcare, policing and much more.

Mr Simons said, “I note in this year’s Speech from the Throne that the current government is examining constitutional reform which has yet to be defined. In addition, they indicated their renewed call for a Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians. This is especially welcome, given that some our members’ behaviour has been very questionable.”

“We are in a deep recession, and there is no getting away from that. The signs of an economic demise were present before Covid 19 reached our shores.

“Our Gross Domestic Product was falling. Jobs were being lost and as a consequence Bermudians were electing to leave the Island in the hope of a better future in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

“These underlying issues are still present today. Nothing has changed. Covid 19 has exacerbated the further demise of our economy.

“While the One Bermuda Alliance acknowledges that the Government managed the response to the pandemic well, we now ask: does this Government have solutions to give hope to the people that they can revitalize the economy?

“With a majority of 24, the Progressive Labour Party has the opportunity to do good things for Bermuda. But one now questions their ability to develop these opportunities, as these opportunities were clouded when the Government came out of the starting blocks in October.

“Look at the controversy surrounding senate appointments. Look at the alleged financial improprieties that surround one of its members of parliament, and the recent challenges faced between the PTA and the administration of one of our schools.

“With this type of start Mr. Speaker, Bermuda has begun to question the Government’s ability to push through necessary, but unpopular policies, and make the tough decisions that will benefit all of the people of Bermuda.

“In light of this, one questions whether the PLP possess the necessary strength of character to turn our economy around. One might also question whether the PLP Government has the ideas and business sense to fix the economic malaise in which we find ourselves.

“As for our recent elections, we acknowledge that the people have spoken and they have placed their faith in the Progressive Labour Party Government, and we respect that. It was a bitter pill to have to swallow, but the low voter turnout has sent a crystal-clear message: that many people feel that all is not well in Bermuda.

“The people have expressed their concerns to us about the Island’s economic future, job security, the debt burden, increasing unemployment, homelessness, the availability of healthcare, how the Island delivers education and the continued escalation of violence.

“People are also worried about the power vested in a 30 to 6 majority held by the PLP. Even people who voted for the PLP are expressing this concern. People are nervous about a Government where there is such a concentration of power. People want checks and balances. They want accountability, transparency, and integrity.

“This Government must now deliver for the people. It must unite Bermuda behind a common cause – a promise of future prosperity for all. We will assist wherever possible, but we will not relinquish the role of an Opposition party which is to hold the Government to account. We will insist upon transparency, integrity and accountability.

“Over the last three years, we have seen a reliance on One Bermuda Alliance projects to boost GDP and create jobs.

“We have seen no meaningful action from the PLP, promises have been made and promises have been broken. We’ve seen scandals, political interference, and a succession of Ministers responsible for key areas such as immigration with no discernible progress.

Mr Simons also added, “A lot has been said about the One Bermuda Alliance’s future. Please let me make it very clear. The One Bermuda Alliance is alive and well.

“Our roots will be nourished on the principles of Opportunity, Responsibility, Integrity, Transparency, Fairness, Inclusiveness and Service.

“The One Bermuda Alliance stands ready to grow deeper roots that will secure our foundation and future, within our community.”

The Reply to the Throne Speech was not broadcast live on social media like the Throne Speech was so our apologies for the lack of audio, however you can listen to the audio on the Government’s Parliament.bm website and read the full speech below. Please note the extract above represents only a small portion of the 20-page document, so for a comprehensive understanding of the speech, you are advised to read the document in full.

The full 2020 Reply to the Throne Speech is below [PDF here]:

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Leave a Reply