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Statement from Shadow National Security Minister Walter Roban: Proper Preparation Needed to Face Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Premier Dunkley commented that storm information was harder to disseminate and receive because the storm hit in then middle of the night.  He also called scores of Bermudians "armchair quarterbacks" because they have legitimate concerns about how information regarding Tropical Storm Fay may or may not have been delivered to the general public.

The Progressive Labour Party is duly concerned and amazed at the comments made in the media by the Premier and Minister of National Security, Michael Dunkley who also sits as the Chair of the Emergency Measures Organization.
 
Premier Dunkley commented that storm information was harder to disseminate and receive because the storm hit in then middle of the night.  He also called scores of Bermudians "armchair quarterbacks" because they have legitimate concerns about how information regarding Tropical Storm Fay may or may not have been delivered to the general public.  
 
Premier Dunkley, however, did not comment on the following facts -
 
1. The Emergency Broadcast Channel 100.1FM did not go live until the morning after the storm hit
2. The Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) had no pre-meeting in anticipation of the storm
3. The Bermuda Regiment was not embodied until after the storm had passed, delaying the ability for them to be up and running and assisting in the recovery and clean up more quickly
4. No move was made by the Government to close the Causeway despite knowledge that the winds would get over 50 knots, contravening a policy established after Hurricane Fabian to help keep people safe
5. There were no text message capabilities shown by the Government to update the community, despite the OBA last year launching their new text message alert system to much fanfare
 
Premier Dunkley stated that the EMO has met several times since the start of the hurricane season, however that explanation is insufficient.  With a storm approaching Bermuda, it is the responsibility of the EMO, chaired by the Premier, to ensure that all agencies are ready for all scenarios, and that the safety of Bermuda's residents is paramount.  The EMO must meet to identify and analyze the characteristics of the impending storm and therefore make the relevant decisions.  The EMO cannot solely rely on meetings that have happened months ago as a guide. 
 
We are all aware of the projected arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo this coming Friday.   We ask Premier Dunkley to engage any firms that have the ability to assist with cleanup prior to Gonzalo's arrival.  All debris must be cleared to minimize injury and damage.
 
It is a matter of critical importance that Premier Dunkley ensures that his EMO is operating properly and that Bermuda is sufficiently prepared for Gonzalo's arrival and for whatever the aftermath may be..  It could be a matter of life and death.

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Statement from Shadow National Security Minister Walter Roban: Proper Preparation Needed to Face Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Premier Dunkley commented that storm information was harder to disseminate and receive because the storm hit in then middle of the night.  He also called scores of Bermudians "armchair quarterbacks" because they have legitimate concerns about how information regarding Tropical Storm Fay may or may not have been delivered to the general public.

The Progressive Labour Party is duly concerned and amazed at the comments made in the media by the Premier and Minister of National Security, Michael Dunkley who also sits as the Chair of the Emergency Measures Organization.
 
Premier Dunkley commented that storm information was harder to disseminate and receive because the storm hit in then middle of the night.  He also called scores of Bermudians "armchair quarterbacks" because they have legitimate concerns about how information regarding Tropical Storm Fay may or may not have been delivered to the general public.  
 
Premier Dunkley, however, did not comment on the following facts -
 
1. The Emergency Broadcast Channel 100.1FM did not go live until the morning after the storm hit
2. The Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) had no pre-meeting in anticipation of the storm
3. The Bermuda Regiment was not embodied until after the storm had passed, delaying the ability for them to be up and running and assisting in the recovery and clean up more quickly
4. No move was made by the Government to close the Causeway despite knowledge that the winds would get over 50 knots, contravening a policy established after Hurricane Fabian to help keep people safe
5. There were no text message capabilities shown by the Government to update the community, despite the OBA last year launching their new text message alert system to much fanfare
 
Premier Dunkley stated that the EMO has met several times since the start of the hurricane season, however that explanation is insufficient.  With a storm approaching Bermuda, it is the responsibility of the EMO, chaired by the Premier, to ensure that all agencies are ready for all scenarios, and that the safety of Bermuda's residents is paramount.  The EMO must meet to identify and analyze the characteristics of the impending storm and therefore make the relevant decisions.  The EMO cannot solely rely on meetings that have happened months ago as a guide. 
 
We are all aware of the projected arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo this coming Friday.   We ask Premier Dunkley to engage any firms that have the ability to assist with cleanup prior to Gonzalo's arrival.  All debris must be cleared to minimize injury and damage.
 
It is a matter of critical importance that Premier Dunkley ensures that his EMO is operating properly and that Bermuda is sufficiently prepared for Gonzalo's arrival and for whatever the aftermath may be..  It could be a matter of life and death.

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Ms. Lovitta, Foggo, JP MP - Constituency 3 – Shadow Minister of Education

I would like to congratulate the University Of the West Indies, in short, UWI, for its valiant effort to create a new Guinness' World Record in its campaign to enhance non-violence.  To do so, this institution will have students,  faculty and others clasp wrists to form a record breaking chain and the plan is to remain connected this way to ensure the Guinness' title.  The impetus driving this endeavor is UWI's aim to increase worldwide awareness of the United Nation’s 'International Day of Non-Violence', which is today, October 2nd. This day is, likewise, in recognition of the birthday of the great 'peace activist' and leader, Mahatma Ghandi. 

As UWI is an affiliate institution of higher learning with Bermuda,  I believe it fitting to encourage our local schools and the Bermuda College to take one minute out of the school day and have students, while in their respective classes, likewise clasp wrists, in a show of solidarity and support for this momentous effort. In so doing, this will serve as a testament to increased awareness and will have rendered UWI's aim, in this regard, a success.

It is important for people everywhere, especially our young folk, to be aware of the significance of this day, as societies the world over are challenged with combatting violence.

Violence has a severe detrimental impact, doubly so, when its affects young lives.  

As the Shadow Minister of Education and on behalf of the Progressive Labour Party, we applaud the University of the West Indies stance and believe it will successfully raise awareness throughout the world.

We look forward to it achieving a world record.

To you Bermuda, I say 'clasp wrists' and let's make this our gesture and united effort with Jamaica and the world, to diminish violence everywhere and on all levels! And in the words of Ghandi, "Be the change you seek."

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Statement by PLP Leader Marc Bean

On July 9, 2014, the Governor responded, in a letter to the Speaker of the House, that those concerns “are not clear enough or urgent enough to require a Commission of the type proposed.”

For Immediate Release

July 14, 2014

Statement by PLP Leader Marc Bean

On July 4, 2014, we saw a motion tabled and passed in the House of Assembly that stated a Commission of Inquiry should be established to look at “historic losses in Bermuda of citizens’ property through theft of property, dispossession of property, and adverse possession claims.”

Through the democratic process, a Commission of Inquiry was to be set up to investigate and further probe into these concerns of the people of Bermuda.

 On July 9, 2014, the Governor responded, in a letter to the Speaker of the House, that those concerns “are not clear enough or urgent enough to require a Commission of the type proposed.”

That decision is for the lawmakers, the representatives of the people, and the people of this country to determine, not an un-elected Governor. That is the hallmark of Democracy. The stance taken by the Governor is an affront to that very democracy

Martin Luther King once said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Bermuda, we must stand up to protect our democratic right, and we must stand up for it now. This time, in denying the commission, the Governor has violated democracy by refusing to adhere to the will of the people expressed in parliament. What will it be next time?

No matter our differences in political belief, race, faith, or the walks of life we may come from, we must come together and stand up to protect democracy in our island home of Bermuda.

We invite you to stand for Bermudians this Tuesday, July 15,,2014, at 5:30 PM, at the Langton Hill entrance of Government House. Join us, as we stand together to peacefully protect the future of democracy in Bermuda.

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The Progressive Labour Party unequivocally rejects the Governors Action

The Progressive Labour Party will not participate in a Parliament which over the last 18 months has been reduced to a sham and a farce.

Members of the Media,

The actions of the Unelected Governor yesterday – in usurping the will of a democratically elected Parliament, which last week voted unanimously for a Commission of Inquiry, is an insult to every single voter of this country. Parliament has spoken and the Governor has a responsibility to act.

The Progressive Labour Party unequivocally rejects the Governors Action, he has acted outside of his remit, and by undermining the people’s will, he has made a mockery of Parliament and disrespected the Bermudian People. 

In his failure to act - democracy has been robbed from the people of this country. This is the latest of many steps by this Governor, who represents the UK Government, which are questionable and problematic. 

The Progressive Labour Party will not participate in a Parliament which over the last 18 months has been reduced to a sham and a farce. 

We call on the people to peacefully express their grave displeasure with this offensive action by the British Government’s representative, and encourage the people of this country to join us as we march on Government House this Tuesday, where we will call for the following:

The immediate recall of the Governor

The restoration of our limited democracy

Our forefathers have fought for our rights, and in 2014 the Progressive Labour Party will not stand by while our rights are trampled upon. We will not allow our people, who are already second citizens, to be systematically reduced to third class citizens in the country of our birth. Now is the time to have courage and faith in ourselves and avoid the temptation of appeasing those who act in a manner that is contrary to the interests of the Bermudian People.

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Moody's Downgrade a Vote of No Confidence

Instead of the words such as “Turning the Corner” used by the OBA when talking about the economy; Moody’s used language that all Bermudians know to be true, “ongoing deterioration

"Today’s downgrade by Moody’s is a vote of no confidence in the OBA’s “Job’s and Economic Turnaround Plan”. Instead of the words such as “Turning the Corner” used by the OBA when talking about the economy; Moody’s used language that all Bermudians know to be true, “ongoing deterioration”. The OBA’s Jobs and Economic plan has turned into an unemployment and economic nightmare for Bermudians. Since the OBA have taken office Bermuda has lost 1,166 jobs and seen 261 companies close their doors.


Employers are cutting staff, hours, and benefits – meanwhile the cost of living continues to rise making life harder for most Bermudians. Our young people are leaving the island as they see no opportunity at home while work permit policies seem to put the rights of employers and non-bermudians over the rights of Bermudians.  Major construction projects are coming to an end with no new projects in the pipeline – meanwhile the OBA is embroiled in division and is paralysed rendering it unable to act.

We cannot build an economy for the future with ideas from the last century; we must look forward and be bold. This is why we have called for immediate action on online gaming; immediate action on alternative energy investments; immediate action on freeing up local industry from unnecessary regulation, which is stifling the creativity of our entrepreneurs; and the establishment of a Bermuda Fund to attract new job creating industries to our shores. These ideas will assist Bermuda and Bermudians by diversifying the economy, creating new jobs, and increasing government revenue. "

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Moody's Downgrade a Vote of No Confidence

Instead of the words such as “Turning the Corner” used by the OBA when talking about the economy; Moody’s used language that all Bermudians know to be true, “ongoing deterioration

"Today’s downgrade by Moody’s is a vote of no confidence in the OBA’s “Job’s and Economic Turnaround Plan”. Instead of the words such as “Turning the Corner” used by the OBA when talking about the economy; Moody’s used language that all Bermudians know to be true, “ongoing deterioration”. The OBA’s Jobs and Economic plan has turned into an unemployment and economic nightmare for Bermudians. Since the OBA have taken office Bermuda has lost 1,166 jobs and seen 261 companies close their doors.


Employers are cutting staff, hours, and benefits – meanwhile the cost of living continues to rise making life harder for most Bermudians. Our young people are leaving the island as they see no opportunity at home while work permit policies seem to put the rights of employers and non-bermudians over the rights of Bermudians.  Major construction projects are coming to an end with no new projects in the pipeline – meanwhile the OBA is embroiled in division and is paralysed rendering it unable to act.

We cannot build an economy for the future with ideas from the last century; we must look forward and be bold. This is why we have called for immediate action on online gaming; immediate action on alternative energy investments; immediate action on freeing up local industry from unnecessary regulation, which is stifling the creativity of our entrepreneurs; and the establishment of a Bermuda Fund to attract new job creating industries to our shores. These ideas will assist Bermuda and Bermudians by diversifying the economy, creating new jobs, and increasing government revenue. "

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Sit-In Scheduled to Protest OBA Further Education Awards Cuts

restore funding for the Further Education Awards to its 2012 levels. In 2012, a total of $760,000 was allocated for students; in 2014 that figure was reduced by 95% to $40,000,

Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown - Sit-In Scheduled to Protest OBA Further Education Awards Cuts

Shadow Minister for Education, Walton Brown, is today calling for a Silent Sit-in in a campaign to persuade the Government to restore funding for the Further Education Awards to its 2012 levels. In 2012, a total of $760,000 was allocated for students; in 2014 that figure was reduced by 95% to $40,000, an insult to prospective college students and their parents.

Mr Brown commented, “Access to higher education is critical to creating genuine equality of opportunity and these funds must be restored.”

The Silent Sit-in will take place Tuesday May 6 at 12 noon at the public park located on the Cabinet grounds. Mr Brown further pointed out, “I have pleaded with the Premier and the Education Minister to restore this funding; and I have approached Permanent Secretary Ross Webber, all to no avail. This morning I have written to the Premier and Minister to inform them of this sit-in and to invite them to address the students and parents who will be present. I encourage students, parents and all who want funds put back into these education awards to join us as we try to persuade the government to do the right thing.”

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Statement by PLP Leader Marc Bean: New Shadow Cabinet Ready to Govern and Stand up for Bermudians

Bermuda is changing....Times change and so must we.

To that end, I am determined to field a Shadow Cabinet that reflects Bermuda as it is and with the vision to carry the issues of the people forward.

Since assuming the leadership of The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party, I have committed to standing up for the people and offering new ideas and new solutions to the problems facing Bermudians.

I have been fortunate to serve alongside men and women of strength, intellect and talent, and with a shared commitment to the protection of Bermuda's people, Bermudian interests, and the island that we love.

While we may hold less seats than the OBA, the level of willingness and ability is higher, the command of the issues is stronger, and the connection to the Bermudian people is unbreakable.

There is a renewed spirit in our community...a spirit that says that Bermudians will not be content to be second class citizens in their own country...a spirit that says the old ideas that have failed us, must be cast aside and replaced with new ideas and new approaches to the problems of today.

Bermuda is changing....Times change and so must we.

To that end, I am determined to field a Shadow Cabinet that reflects Bermuda as it is and with the vision to carry the issues of the people forward.

Derrick Burgess has faithfully served the workers of this island and has championed fairness, equality and improved conditions of workers for decades.  It is Derrick Burgess's passion for Bermuda's workers and  society's most vulnerable that makes him the ideal person to fill the post of Shadow Minister with Responsibility for Labour Relations and Seniors. Zane Desilva possesses the work ethic, energy and commitment to Bermudians that is needed to rebuild this critical pillar of our economy.  Zane Desilva is committed to Bermuda and committed to Bermudians. He will hold the Tourism Authority accountable and fight for Bermudian jobs and opportunities in this critical industry as Shadow Tourism Minister

The tenure of the OBA's AG has been fraught with expensive blunders, bad legal advice and offensive statements directed against Bermudians. Michael Scott will stand up for Bermudians, hold the AG accountable and force him to raise his performance for the good of Bermudians as Shadow AG

Kim Wilson provides valiant service, commitment and reliability on matters that impact our community. She will fight for affordable healthcare for ALL Bermudians and hold this OBA government accountable as Shadow Health Minister

The safety of our people and the maintenance of law and good order are essential as we build a Bermuda that puts Bermudians first. Walter Roban brings toughness, integrity and tenacity to the shadow cabinet as Shadow Public Safety Minister

The fact that Lovitta Foggo is joining a PLP Shadow Cabinet for the first time, in addition to her excellent service as parliamentary whip, is a testament to the wealth of talent within our Party. In education there is a need, not just for accountability but for leadership and a vision that sees our young people as a priority, not a problem.  Lovitta Foggo has shown that she will fight for the people of St. David's and now she brings that same fighting spirit to stand up for Bermuda's students and their parents as Shadow Education Minister

The Economic Development of our island must be a priority and must include ALL Bermudians.  With job losses mounting, new ideas, a new vision and a new direction are needed. Wayne Furbert has the experience and the desire to see Bermudians placed first in jobs and opportunities. He will bring forth the ideas and vision to transform our economy, attract new businesses to our shores, diversify our economy, and put Bermudians first as Shadow Economic Development Minister

The environment is not just about the trees, the air and the sea. It is about the quality of life of Bermudians. The fight to protect our natural resources must grow beyond protecting open spaces and animal life, to protecting the quality of life of the people that call this island home. Glenn Blakeney has the experience and drive to move the environmental debate into the 21st century and provide a new approach to the issues that face us all today, and in generations yet to come.

Bermuda today has control of our immigration, yet external affairs remains held firmly in the hands of the Governor.  While this is the status quo today, one day it will change and we must be prepared for that day by beginning to grapple with how we protect our borders and Bermudian interests on the world stage.  This is a necessary step in our political maturation as we begin to prepare ourselves for self-determination.  Walton Brown understands the history, the laws and the issues facing Bermuda and the need to fight against efforts to use immigration to marginalize Bermudians.  As Shadow Minister for Immigration and External Affairs, Walton Brown will play a pivotal role in our political and social maturation process.

Rolfe Commissiong is no stranger to the fight for freedom, justice and equality.  Bermudians, ALL Bermudians deserve the right to enjoy the full bounty of their citizenship; equal pay for equal work, equal treatment in jobs, housing and opportunity and equal treatment under the law.  As Shadow Minister for Human Affairs, Rolfe Commissiong is equipped to provide solutions and move Bermuda forward

Dennis Lister has been a source of wise counsel, sage advice and a source of calm at the center of any storm.  He is the bedrock of our Parliamentary caucus and a continued inspiration to all of us who believe in a Bermuda that works for Bermudians. I am pleased that he has accepted the Shadow Ministry of Public Works and look forward to him taking a more prominent role in holding the OBA accountable to Bermudians

Finally David Burt, Lawrence Scott and Michael Weeks retain their portfolios of Shadow Finance Minister, Shadow Transport Minister and Shadow Community and Cultural Affairs.  As with my other colleagues, they have performed their roles with honor and distinction, and we look forward to working with them in the year ahead.

The team I have unveiled today, represents the first of a series of announcements that will provide the public with a clearer picture of the alternative solution we offer to the OBA.  We stand united, we stand committed, and we are READY to govern.

Thank You

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Statement by Senator Marc Daniels

For Immediate Release

April 28, 2014

Statement by Senator Marc Daniels

I am a proud Bermudian. Both European and African blood
runs through my veins.

Notwithstanding my ‘mixed-racial’ lineage, I will not
profess to share the purported expertise that former OBA Senator, Toni Daniels,
has recently expressed. To suggest that being ‘mixed-race’ would offer me
greater insight into our “racial situation” is wholly disrespectful.

The OBA would present themselves as a party that is not
predicated on race, and suggest that the PLP is consumed by it. Miss Daniels’

opinion piece was intended to further advance this
myth.  The OBA would say that the PLP
engage in the politics of race while failing to acknowledge their own part in
the narrative.

It is not necessary for me to offer a line-by-line
rebuttal to my cousin. It is not necessary for me to explain the reason as to
why the PLP was born and how the UBP was created in response. It is not even
necessary for me to acknowledge that both the OBA and PLP are comprised of
blue-collar workers, as well as white-collar workers. We both have tradesmen
and entrepreneurs, civil servants and IB executives within our ranks and
support base. We both can express sentiments of critical thought and we both
can show massive shortcomings.

But what does appear necessary is to clear up the
rhetoric and the script being written about the PLP. Where some parties have
sought to advance the elite’s interests only, the PLP has always sought to
champion the rights of all people, to promote our interests, irrespective of
race, notwithstanding our shameful legacy of having been separated by it.

Real Bermudians are those that want Bermuda and her
people to succeed.

We want to be able to provide for our families and to
feel a sense of pride and belonging within our island home. We want to know
that we have a seat at the political, economic and social table. We celebrate
the achievements of our public and private school students. We support our
athletes who participate in the Carifta Games and the Island Games; Cup Match
and the Rugby Classic. We do not seek to limit ourselves into boxes of white or
black, male or female, gay or straight, religious or secular, or PLP versus
OBA, within which to constitute our identity.

Real Bermudians understand our economy and the role that
our foreign partners, including tourists, play in our society. We welcome
economic opportunity but we shall defend a society that ensures our people are
able to receive more than the water that drips off of our roofs, but that which
flows into our tanks.

Real Bermudians can lay claim to family roots that expand
for centuries as well as those that may only span a couple of decades.

Real Bermudians are not just born here but can be made
here, such as many spouses who hail from far, but call Bermuda their home.

Real Bermudians are those who believe in our own talent,
potential, and greatness; and who would seek to promote us in all aspects of
society, both economically and culturally. Real Bermudians acknowledge our
history as it pertains to race instead of sweeping it under the rug when it
serves our purpose. We recognize the struggles that have divided us while
remaining true to leveling a playing field that resembles nothing of our
shameful past.

Those who profess to love this country but seek to
maintain the divide that holds us back are ‘pretend’ Bermudians. They are not
worthy of our respect regardless if they can trace their ancestry far back in
time. They are not ‘white contradictions’ as Miss Daniels posited, but those
who would seek to promote one class above another, or one race, or foreign
interests above our own and they should hold no honor within our society.

Should real Bermudians be entitled to judge who is and
who is not entitled to call Bermuda home, especially when we factor in our size
and available land for future generations’ benefit? Of course we should! After
all, this is our home. Do other nations not exemplify these beliefs?

Real Bermudians do not need to listen to talk shows to
know how the people feel because we are the people. We will vent and express
our frustration when our leaders disappoint us, regardless of which party we
primarily support.

So in response to my cousin, the only tragedy for us
‘mixed people’ is when we continue to promulgate the myth that we have any more
insight than our kin. We should stop trying to seek acceptance from ‘one side
of us’ while maligning the other and recognize that it’s time for all of us to
be ‘real’.

When we say that the OBA’s polices are not looking out
for the real Bermudians, we are saying that their policies seemingly put
foreign interests first; while selling the notion that trickle down economics
is in our interests while failing to provide avenues to further empower
ourselves. So ask yourself, are you real or do you pretend?

 

 

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