Opposition Leader On Covid, Planning & More

April 12, 2021 | 11 Comments

“Most people in Bermuda expected these more restrictive measures,” Opposition Leader Cole Simons said, adding that “what is aggravating to the people of our country, is how ill-prepared the Government’s back office is for the latest lock down, and their lack of operational support details given on how things will operate.”

Mr. Simons said, “Last night the Premier of Bermuda indicated his intention to place additional Covid restrictions on the people of Bermuda, which will hopefully arrest the spread of this deadly virus. The people of Bermuda understand the reasoning behind this decision as they see, and feel the effects of the exponential growth in the number of positive Covid 19 cases in Bermuda: the increasing number of hospitalized cases, the number of critical care patients and deaths. They also acknowledge the additional stress being placed on our hospital and our healthcare system.

“As a country that has been through Covid 19 spikes before, most people in Bermuda expected these more restrictive measures, and as a consequence, the seven day “stay at home” policy which will take effect at 5 am tomorrow, was no surprise. Having said that though, what is aggravating to the people of our country, is how ill-prepared the Government’s back office is for the latest lock down, and their lack of operational support details given on how things will operate given during the stay-at-home policies and regulations.

“As hundreds will technically find themselves out of work tomorrow, the OBA has been inundated with questions from people from all walks of life who are already very stressed and concerned about the time that it will take to receive their unemployment payment benefits to take care of their families, Likewise, business owners are stressed and some are depressed because this could actually be their last straw, and they can ill afford to wait weeks or months to receive economic support from, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, to help sustain their businesses.

“These people and businesses take the view that operational measures should have been presented on Sunday evening when the stay-at-home order was presented. They were expecting to see that all of the mandated measures were properly thought out and presented in an appropriate and systematic manner.

“Other impacts involve care givers. Today, they are running around looking for Certificates of Exemptions, which will allow them to obey the law and be ready to be at work to support our seniors, and vulnerable loved ones tomorrow. The same applies to grocery store workers, pharmacists, longshoremen and other essential front-line workers. It’s not just them – last night I was advised that the Government employees who issue these certificates are still waiting for direction.

“On the Covid mitigation side., taking 48 hours to deliver a positive result is unacceptable because an asymptomatic positive case can infect at least 8 people over a four-day period. We must have these results delivered with 24 hours.

“When it comes to enforcement of the Emergency Powers Covid Regulations, there is a real sense within the community that it is just not working, and that the Government continues to be soft on crime. Time and time again this issue has been raised at many of the Government’s weekly press conferences and the Premier continuously reiterates the fact that this is a matter for the Governor to address, as it is under her purview. Given where we are today, this refrain does nothing to improve the enforcement of these regulations, In light of this, I recommend a coordinated approach, I take the view that the Governor, the Premier, Opposition Leader, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Bermuda Police Commissioner, to meet on a regular basis to specifically address and resolve the deficiencies which plague the enforcement of Covid-19 regulations.

“Another thorny Covid-19 matter is the issue of SailGP, which is scheduled for April 24 and 25. Like many Bermudians, I have seen a few teams practising in the Great Sound, and what a spectacular sight it is, However, the question is: “Will this event continue as planned with our stay in place restrictions?” If it does, let me state that it will be a lightning rod for most of Bermuda’s sporting bodies who have been unable to host sporting events and competitions for the past year.

“On Sunday evening when asked about this event, the Premier indicated, that he would work with the organizers of the event to ensure that the event and its participants adhere to our Covid 19 protocols and regulations, He did not state whether or not this prestigious eventwill proceed. What is most irritating to our national sporting bodies is the fact that this year is an Olympic Year in Tokyo, and our elite athletes who have qualified, or are trying to qualify for this event or other qualifying events, cannot train locally to the extent that they would like to due to the Covid19 restrictions.

“Lastly, what is incredulous to the One Bermuda Alliance is that this Government defamed the OBA Government when we hosted the 2017 America’s Cup, by calling it a rich white man’s sport, and yet this government now supports SailGP which is an offspring of the same very successful white rich man’s event, while at the same time, they inhibit training opportunities for Bermuda’s local athletes and her elite athletes. Where is the equity?”

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Comments (11)

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  1. What? says:

    Is this the best he can do what a childish and silly response in the midst of a pandemic. Staying silent would have been in his best interest.

  2. You never listen OBA says:

    As a former supporter of your team I would rather have the present Government in charge. If the OBA was in charge we all know it would be mass chaos. The OBA have unfortunately revealed many times that they can’t handle the heat or the fire.
    We lost 30 to 6 for a reason. We have a large segment of the population that will never vote for you again. Surrogates dont win elections anymore. Placing the correct people in the right places do. Why you think that Micheal Dunkley ran his own separate campaign from you and your team Opposition Leader? Because he understands now how to win elections!

    • WTF says:

      Dunkley knows how to win elections? That’s the biggest joke in the Internet today! Loser!

    • Question says:

      What do you mean by surrogate?? Surrogate of who exactly?

  3. Question says:

    It’s Monday night, the new “rules” start at 5.00am, and there is still no written detail on the “rules”.

    So what “rules” are we following tomorrow? We don’t know. We can’t read them. Burt can’t or won’t provide detail, just generalities.

    Burt thinks he can rule by decree, making it up as he goes along. Amateur Hour, in the middle of a pandemic.

  4. JAWS says:

    You spoke about everyone working together and now you deliver this to the Bermuda.

    I guess if Premier Burt has half the VID you can be a half a Hypocrite Opposition Leader Cole!!! HAhaha

  5. Nicky says:

    Well said opposition leader!

  6. Do Me A Favor says:

    Blah, blah, blah – here we go again. First Dunkley and now Cole – Worthless Criticism by the OBA.
    I would prefer to see the OBA to get involved by doing something positive to, honestly, help those in need. Reach out to the schools and provide assistance to students that may still need devices and WiFi for remote learning, provide grocery vouchers for families in need, offer a work shadow/ mentoring program for our At-Risk kids. OBA, connect with ALL people, not just those that are thriving in this country. If you all were smart, you would join forces with the government to work together, SINCERELY, for the betterment of ALL people in this country and maybe then you all can truly rebrand and build the trust of all those Bermudians, especially those just trying to survive.
    In closing, as I stated previously on Dunkley’s column, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the young and old Bermudians working to test and vaccinate folks – such professionalism and positive energy.

  7. Let's Keep It Real says:

    Very well spoken Cole. I say this as one who has voted for PLP.

    If the OBA were now in charge, they certainly would have strong opposition from the PLP, Peoples Campaign and BIU. This is why it has reflected in the past that OBA were not doing a good as job as expected. My question now is were is all the opposition, even backbencher that dont agree with their current leadership are they all in bed together. POLITICS!!!!!

    • FAKE says:

      You never voted PLP you sound to stupid and confused. Now run along and help the OBA or UBP lose the next election. The FDM party has a better chance to be the opposition with trolls like you writing.

  8. Do Me A Favor says:

    I just HAD to respond to the article – Sickness, death and economic ruin
    Vic Ball Created: Apr 13, 2021 08:01 AM.
    Okay, it is clear the OBA’s strategy is to inundate the media sites with their columns to be heard and be vocal. I get it, really!! I agree with much that was shared in this article; however, I wish to point out that the PLP won because you, the OBA, LOST! OBA, you need to focus on leadership, connecting with the people genuinely and creating an honest vision for ALL people in this country.

    I pledge no allegiance to any party and simply vote my conscience. I chose to abstain from voting in the last election because I could not in good conscience vote for either party. PLP, nepotism at its finest and OBA watching out for their personal pockets.

    In 1998, when PLP made history in winning the election, I’m happy to say i was able to cast a vote of conscience for the PLP. The disgusting part during that time was that I was brought home from college to vote by one running in my constituency and had to agree to cast my vote for them. I couldn’t believe it, so let’s say I agreed to come home and vote but I chose to vote my conscience and voted PLP.
    All I want is HONEST, GENUINE, TRUTHFUL AND EDUCATED/SKILLFUL LEADERSHIP that will work for ALL of BERMUDA. People that would still be willing to do the work even without a salary. Folks need to take a page out of the page of JOHNNY BARNES – Give tirelessly not for recognition but to make the lives of all Bermudians, Guest Workers and Visitors enjoyable. He should up with positivity daily rain, blow or shine and gave his BEST!!

    Now let me do my part this day to make someone’s life a bit more sweeter.

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