OBA On St. Regis Exemption & Rescinding

April 16, 2021 | 12 Comments

Shadow Minister of Works & Engineering and Tourism Craig Cannonier has released a statement regarding the exemption process for the St. Regis Hotel, which has since been rescinded.

Mr. Cannonier said, “The error was not in issuing an exemption to St. Regis, the error was in rescinding the exemption by the Minister of National Security.

“Bermuda is correct in asking: where is the equity in the approval process? Maybe the Premier and Minister Ming’s decision should have been to change some of the applications they denied approval to, to that of an exemption.

“No Minister should show such reckless decision making towards Investors and Bermudians by offering the exemption, and then recalling it because it was a mistake due to the overload of applications. Really?

“What is clear is that the Premier and his team were very aware of the request for the exemption. As quoted in the media by a spokeswoman from the hotel developer, ‘we received an exemption from the Government after long conversations with the Premier and his team.’ That’s pretty clear Bermuda.

“If Minister Ming is responsible for the approval process and is not a part of the team, who is? For such important decisions, I question whether the Minister was not there or made aware of those ‘long conversations.’ It does not make sense.

“Now let’s be clear: there is a small chance that the Premier left the Minister completely out of the decision making. If this is so, then the Premier is completely out of line, which would not be surprising. The Minister needs to be very clear about what took place. If not, she needs to resign.

“I’m fairly certain that the Minister was aware of what was going on contrary to her denial. There is enough documentation circling to state otherwise. The St. Regis Project has been a major success story for Bermuda, and we cannot afford such blunders. As stated, the Minister needs to clear the air. Otherwise once again this Government has failed us.

“Government cannot treat the people of Bermuda and those who have invested in the financial security of our future, with such indignity. The Minister cannot call this a mistake or an error. Conversations were had clearly. This Government, Premier Burt, and Minister Ming are wrong.

“In my opinion, this debacle falls squarely at the feet of the Premier, who has clearly thrown another one of his Ministers under the bus. Note, former Minister Weeks, former Minister Caines, and others have resigned for less.”

We asked the Government for a response last night and will update if able.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Waste of ink says:

    A waste of time. This statement does not help improve our quality of life. We are in a war. No time needed to talk about a missing comma.

  2. Citizen says:

    Same way YOU yourself should’ve resigned for lying to Bermudians on numerous occasions over the whole “JETGATE”, oh and the missing slate/wall from Government House. He who lives in glass houses should NOT throw stones ijs

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Maybe the Premier and Minister Ming’s decision should have been to change some of the applications they denied approval to, to that of an exemption.”

    Why not just rescind the Shelter-in-Place Regulations and let more people get sick and die? This is politics at its worst.

    • trufth says:

      At this point, the jabs are available to everyone so it wouldn’t be “letting people get sick and die,” it would be Darwinism and I am all for it. If you are in the “vulnerable” category, you had better already gotten your shot. If you choose not to get it, that’s your choice. Everyone needs to decide how best to take care of themselves and we should respect their choices. Let’s open back up and get on with it.

    • Nevermind says:

      First, the government allows a dangerous covid situation to develop.

      Then, one week after saying their previous measures were ‘sure to take care of it’, they put in place a rushed, heavy-handed, and ill-thought-out week-long curfew.

      Then, in response to the exemption requests, the Minister responsible fails to oversee the process, and fails to review any applications, preferring to leave it to civil servants.

      An exemption is granted for an important building project, for a hotel which is expected to become a major employer, and which is expected to open in a few weeks.

      A film is made by a disgruntled ex-employee, criticising the exemption. Rather than defending the decision, the responsible Minister admits she couldn’t be bothered to review any of the the exemption applications (not even the successful ones), and throws the civil servant under the bus.

      At the same time, Burt tells us in a press conference that Sail GP will have to abide by all the regulations just like everyone else. He does this one day before an announcement that Sail GP has an exemption and will not have to abide by the regulations like everyone else.

      What did I miss?

      • Jaybird says:

        Firstly the Government did not organise individual house party where attendees wore bracelets indicating they were under quarantine. Nor do they force others to remain and said parties. Individuals who lack respect for authority and who are caught up in conspiracy theories did that. That went to work and infected others. They went home and spread it to their children thus the snowball effect.

        Let’s address these selfish ignorant behaviours about some people instead of waiting for opportunities to blame a government that has helped restaurant workers, hotel staff, stakeholders and the like while aiming to create ways and means to sustain Bermudians and the debts the country has.
        Too many blind leading the blind has caused this dangerous situation we now face in Bermuda.
        Get a grip and get real, radio host spreading falsehoods and fear, doctors tweeting stupidity and arrogance lead the pack of fools who can be swayed by the slightest of winds. We need to unite as a country and work through this headache the world is facing.
        One thing COVID has taught me is that ignorance doesn’t matter how highly qualified one is!

  4. Vida Smith says:

    Well Mr.Cannonier..The nerve of you to say the Premier was reckless in his decision, what you got memory loss or something,most people will laugh at your statement.

  5. Jaybird says:

    Amazing how unconcerned you (OBA) are about the rise in the number of COVID cases on the island and the lack of respect by the people for the guidelines and vaccinations but something as stupid as allowing a hotel to meet its opening date you want to jump on the no solution but stay in the problem band wagon. Smh

    • sandgrownan says:

      That’s not what he said. Reading is difficult isn’t it.

    • Mark says:

      Do you know how to write a coherent sentence? PeeElPee school graduate??

  6. Honestly says:

    Craig please go where ever you have been all this time. No need for your noise!!

  7. Verdad says:

    So what’s the big deal Cannonier? Please try to grow up politically.

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