Leslie Robinson Replaces Dr Peets In Senate

November 17, 2022

[Updated with video] Leslie Robinson was sworn-in as a Senator and the Junior Minister of Economy, Labour & Public Works at a ceremony this afternoon [Nov 17] at Government House, replacing Dr Ernest Peets.

Ms. Robinson has over 33 years of experience in the financial services sector and is currently the Senior Vice President – Head of Underwriting & Claims at Willis Tower Watson.

Dr Peets was appointed as a Senator and Minister back in November 2020, and was replaced in the Cabinet by Senator Owen Darrell last month.

In addition, MP Kim Swan has been appointed as the Junior Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport

The ceremony has just concluded and we will have additional information later on.

Swearing In At Government House Bermuda Nov 2022

Update 4.55pm: Senator Robinson’s remarks:

To her Excellency the Governor Rena Lalgie:

To our Premier, the Hon. E. David Burt, JP, MP:

To the members of the PLP Parliamentary Group and fellow Senate Colleagues:

And to all family and friends present here today:

I greet all of you in the precious name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of my faith and my life. I want to thank Premier Burt for having the confidence in me, to choose me for this appointment, for such a time as this, in the history of Bermuda. I am deeply humbled and stand here with much gratitude as I join other esteemed women in what is now a majority female Senate, and I look forward to working with all Senators and members of the Parliamentary Caucus group.

Many may ask, why choose me?

As I stand here at Government House I can easily think back to my early childhood, living right down the hill on North Shore, for I am the product of the iconic Clarke family of North Shore.

Like so many other families in Bermuda with roots tied to the West Indies, our Grandfather, the late Arthur Randal Clarke, left St. Kitts on a boat, in search of a new life in Bermuda. Our grandfather worked hard as a tailor, acquired property on the North Shore, and created our family dry cleaners, and tuxedo shop.

He worked hard with purpose, as he taught us the value of working together with family, and the wider community, to grow our family businesses, and to give back to others who were in need.

I have much admiration for my aunt, the late Dr. Faith Burgess Clarke – a widow for most of her adult life, but yet worked hard with purpose to ensure all of her 6 children received higher education.

I think of my own parents, the late Lawrence Lancelot Clarke and the late Jean Tucker Clarke who had to navigate through the many pressures of segregation and worked hard with purpose to have successful careers at the old Bank of Bermuda and BTC respectively.

And so that principle of working hard with clarity of purpose has been passed down to me.

Whether it has been working hard as an insurance professional to service the needs of my clients, working as a regulator to help with protecting the reputation of Bermuda as a leading insurance center, working as part of my PLP Constituency 32 branch executive, listening to concerns of our people and helping to find solutions to address their needs, or working in my beloved A.M.E. Church, serving on many boards to assist with the running of my local church at Bethel in Shelly Bay, our Bermuda Conference and the Connectional levels of our church.

I have worked hard with clarity of purpose to ensure that whatever task has been put before me, I will do it with focused intent and to the best of my abilities, with the help of God.

As such, I stand ready to serve as Senator. I want to thank my immediate family members and close friends who have come out today to be with me on this auspicious occasion, and I want to again thank Premier Burt for this opportunity to serve.

Update 6.19pm: Premier David Burt’s remarks:

Your Excellency, Cabinet and parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen; good afternoon.

The Senate provides a valuable oversight role under Bermuda’s Constitution. In an often calmer setting than the Lower House, Senators examine legislation and bring a perspective to debates that can inform the application of legislation to the everyday lives of Bermuda’s people. That care and concern for the people was always exemplified by the service of now-former Senator Dr Ernest Peets. As a trained professional in the caring services, Dr. Peets brought a genuine empathy and humanness to his service, and I wish to thank him for all that he did to advance the critical policies and agenda of the Government.

I am pleased to welcome Senator Leslie Robinson to the Government’s existing team of Junior Ministers and have every confidence that she will diligently fulfill this new role. Senator Robinson will serve as Junior Minister of Economy & Labour and Junior Minister of Public Works – and will speak for those ministries in the upper house.

Senator Robinson is a proud alumnus of West Pembroke Primary, The Berkeley Institute, the Bermuda College and Emory University. Senator Robinson has over 33 years of experience in the financial services sector in Bermuda, with 22 years in captive management and broking and 11 years as a financial services regulator.

She is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Underwriting & Claims at Willis Towers Watson Management [Bermuda] Limited and is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London.

Senator Robinson is a strong advocate for Insurance Education, having been a full-time lecturer of Insurance Studies at the Bermuda College during the late 1990s and also a former part-time lecturer and seminar presenter at the former Bermuda Insurance Institute [BII]. She also served on the Bermuda Insurance Institute’s Education Committee from 2002 to 2010.

I wish Senator Robinson well as she embarks on this new challenge in her public service.

Following the changes to the Cabinet last month, there are now 11 ministers in the House of Assembly – and our constitution allows up to 12 Ministers & Junior Ministers from the House. Today I have invited the Governor to appoint MP Kim Swan as Junior Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport.

This is a natural fit for one of Bermuda’s foremost golf professionals who brings a passion for sport and the development of young people through sport which will serve the community well. Junior Minister Swan will speak to matters related to this Ministry in the House of Assembly.

I am glad that Kim has accepted this new role, and I look forward to him speaking in the House of Assembly on behalf of the Government on the national policies launched by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport, which now must be implemented to positively impact people’s lives.

Tomorrow in the House of Assembly and on Monday in the Senate, we will debate the Government’s Throne Speech and introduce a number of Bills that will continue the solid record of delivery of this Government on behalf of the people of Bermuda. This will be a short but productive term before rising for the Christmas break.

In the last two weeks, Ministers have laid out the plans for this Legislative Session, and we look forward to continuing the work of addressing the cost of living, providing more affordable housing, delivering on education reform, bringing relief to working parents, and delivering continued economic growth by implementing Bermuda’s economic recovery plan.

I would like to say, congratulations to the new appointees.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Burt’s autocratic style clearly at work here. Total obedience and allegiance required, a very dangerous situation for Bermuda. At least the UBP and OBA allowed the backbenchers to stand up to Cabinet for the benefit of Bermuda. Not the PLP though. Party first and always.

    • Wow says:

      Know the facts. He wasn’t a backbencher. He was a Minister.

      • Ringmaster says:

        @ Wow. Know the facts? I didn’t say he was a backbencher. As a Minister, Peets was a member of Cabinet. Read what I said. One of the many problems with the PLP is the blind obedience from all the backbenchers. The best some can do if they don’t agree is to be in the bathroom when a vote is taken. Pathetic.

    • James says:

      Stop being a roach. The oba and UBP are the same party. Instead of worrying about the present government you should worry about/understand, why so many black Bermudians stop believing in your party!

      • sandgrownan says:

        Because they are:

        a) stupid
        b) willing to vote for “their team” only, even if it it’s against their own self interests
        c) hoodwinked by bogeyman political rhetoric (see point a)
        d) willing to reward incompetence, malfeasance and the economic shackling of generations of Bermudians in order to “stick it to the man”

        Just about covers it.

  2. Unknown800k says:

    Getting worsa then his master.
    On the bright side we all getting a bulb. Well done.
    Wait until he gives the land the quarry is on at shark hole to FOF.
    Bermuda be happy then