Full Text & Highlights: 2021 Throne Speech

November 5, 2021 | 4 Comments

A new island-wide CCTV system, a Strategic Plan for the Town of St. George, extending the boundaries of the economic empowerment zone in Hamilton, a national sports policy, and the introduction of a digitised immigration application process were some of the initiatives unveiled as Governor Rena Lalgie delivered the 2021 Throne Speech today, which lays out the Government’s plans for the upcoming year.

Today’s Throne Speech marked the first time in Bermuda history it was read by both a Black and Female Governor, as Governor Rena Lalgie — who arrived in December 2020 — read it for the first time.

Photographer

The full speech is posted below, and you can view our live blog of the Throne Speech here, and all our coverage of the 2021 Throne Speech here.

Healthcare

To further the goal of universal healthcare, the Ministry of Health will accelerate the ongoing stakeholder engagement in the transition to an integrated healthcare model to increase the speed at which affordable essential healthcare is delivered. The change will begin with efforts to realise cost savings and continue the multi-year journey towards universal health coverage. The Ministry of Health will develop a national digital health strategy to leverage technology that will streamline administrative expenses, so more funds can be spent on delivering healthcare services. Additionally, the Government will commence merging the administration of the Government healthcare plans, which will deliver cost savings.

National sports policy

The Legislature will be invited to consider a national sports policy. The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport will weave together the elements of sporting success that will harness the talent of young people. The world stage can no longer be said to elude Bermudian athletes, who will find their desire and effort matched by the Government’s commitment to their success.

Proposed amendments to the Bermuda Constitution Order

The relationship between non-sovereign territories and administering powers must likewise evolve to reflect the realities of modern governance. During this Session, and in keeping with the UK Government’s request for recommendations, the Government will advance proposed amendments to the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968.

Leadership in tourism policy must come from the Government

Whilst the execution of any tourism campaign and marketing strategy is the purview of the BTA, leadership in tourism policy must come from the Government of Bermuda, who commit tens of millions of taxpayer funds to the organisation, a commitment which demands a far greater return than has been realised in the years since the creation of the Authority. That is the challenge laid before us as a destination: to chart a course in tourism that will yield the brand relevance required to meet the post-pandemic demand for travel.

Introduce a CyberSecurity Act

During this legislative Session, the Government will introduce a CyberSecurity Act, which will establish minimum standards for cybersecurity for critical assets such as energy supply, telecommunications, water infrastructure and government data.

New CCTV System

During this Session, the Ministry of National Security will advance a new island-wide CCTV system, which will include newer features to assist the police in tackling road traffic offences and violent crime.

PATI Amendments

During this Session, the Government will introduce amendments to the Public Access to Information Act to centralise the processing of requests for information. This will create greater uniformity in the management of requests and relieve public officers of the task of handling more complex requests for information, so that they can focus on their key job tasks

Consider a Strategic Plan for the Town of St. George.

During this Session, the Legislature will consider a Strategic Plan for the Town of St. George. This plan will be informed by consultation with all relevant stakeholders and will represent the best means by which to raise the fortunes of the Old Town in the wake of the renewal opportunity presented by the new St. Regis Hotel, renovated St. George’s Club and the construction of the new marina

EEZ boundaries in Hamilton will be extended

In line with Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan, the boundaries of the economic empowerment zone in Hamilton will be extended

Introduction of a digitised immigration application process.

Bermuda’s competitive edge will be enhanced this Session with the introduction of a digitised immigration application process. This will improve the customer-facing delivery of services and ensure that the existing manual immigration process does not serve as a hindrance to the specialised talent required to further grow Bermuda’s economy.

Energy

The Government will introduce a Bill to facilitate the developers of renewable energy technology testing their products in Bermuda. This legislation will lay the groundwork for additional investment in Bermuda, whose innovation can reduce the cost of electricity for local consumers. Relatedly, regulations will also be introduced to address the cost of the fuel surcharge for electricity and also to better regulate the storage and distribution of fuel, with the aim of reducing energy costs for Bermuda’s residents and businesses.

Government will introduce a Marine Development Act

During this Session, the Government will introduce a Marine Development Act, which will include a marine spatial plan identifying the 20% protected area of Bermuda’s EEZ. The Act will also create a framework to balance development and sustainability, providing an application process for the investment in fishing, offshore renewable energy and “blue tourism”. The process will guide the management of ocean uses across the EEZ, drawing on local expertise and utilising an environmental impact procedure akin to the Bermuda Plan for land development

The full Throne Speech is below [PDF here]:

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Comments (4)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    The usual load of hot air and promises that won’t be kept. The best laugh is the one that “Leadership in tourism must come from Government”. Is this is acceptance that the BTA is useless, then Bermuda is doomed as there is no experience in the Government.
    Meanwhile it is reported that Jamaica air arrivals at Mo Bay are almost back to normal, and cruise ship visits will be back to normal in December. This while Bermuda loses airlift and cruise ships turn away.

  2. itsnowonder says:

    I won’t hold my breath while we wait for new island wide CCTV. There is no reason why an island only 21 sq. miles can’t have working cameras at every major junction. There are cities larger than us that have cameras on every corner. There’s no way police should not be able to track the movements of degenerates who decide it’s ok to go into a public place and open fire on innocent patrons who happen to be out enjoying themselves.

  3. Guy Carri says:

    What a load!
    So gov wants to take back the BTA…despite them breathing life into our product when it was DEAD.
    They want completely new CCTV when we couldn’t manage what we have (most doesn’t work and can’t catch a simple bike theft yet alone violent crime). Wonder what F&F will get that contract.
    Address the fuel surcharge on electricity? Yeah. MIGHT happen. MIGHT. Only bc they will take it away from Regulatory Authority because they won’t take it away from the tax on the oil!!!!! Gov won’t reduce it’s income for the betterment of it’s citizens. Gov comes first! And do this after they just approved a nonsense renewable tax? Wow.
    Healthcare costs? LMAO! This gov has NO clue. They just increased the cost of HIP AGAIN!

    The PLP has no clue how to move this island forward. They have no clue how to reduce their costs. They have no clue!!!

  4. sandgrownan says:

    The PLP cannot deliver the mail, collect the trash, run the buses. They have presided over the past 20 years of economic decline and an exodus of talent. They have turned everything they have touched to dogsh*t.

    Incompetent and arrogant. It comes as no surprise they want to dissolve the BTA, and get their hands on the Corp of Hamilton wharfage fees.

    Wankers.

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