Statement from PLP Leader, Mr. David Burt, JP, MP
The Progressive Labour Party’s Leadership, Caucus, Executive Officers, and General Membership all convey our deepest condolences and thoughts to the Burchall family; the family of our great and fallen Comrade Larry Burchall.
Not enough will be spoken or written about one of Bermuda’s most highly regarded sons in the coming hours and days, and for our Party, now is not the time to make that valiant attempt to eulogise our lion. Now is the time for respectful remembrance of a soldier whose Battlefield was the hearts and minds of his countrymen; and who saw victory as a united, prosperous, and empathetic Bermuda.
Bro. Burchall was a stalwart soldier; a disciplined and thoughtful man; and a deeply sensitive Bermudian, he will be deeply bereaved by the Party, and the loss of his perspective and guidance will be a colossal loss that we will endure.
‘Rest in Peace’ Bermuda’s Fearless Fallen Soldier.
On behalf of the Progressive Labour Party, I extend our members' condolences on the passing of Mr. Larry Burchall. Larry was a champion and a fighter for Bermuda and a servant of the people. Whether it was his service in the Bermuda Regiment, in politics, or in the media, Larry excelled in all that he did.
To his wife Paddy, his children Laurion & Patricia, and to his Brother & our former Chairman Roderick, we express our deepest condolences and pray that you will be comforted by the memories of your husband, father, and brother.
The Progressive Labour Party is pleased to invite young Bermudians between the ages of 18-35 to participate in our public youth forum on Sunday, June 25th, 2017 at 7:30pm at PLP HQ.
It is of utmost importance to the PLP government in waiting that our young people are frequently afforded opportunities to engage in productive dialogue with their public representatives.
The PLP realizes that young Bermudians have become increasingly frustrated with the OBA government’s broken promises and a track record that many young Bermudians feel does not represent their interests. It is imperative that our young Bermudians not only feel a part of the process in the decision-making of the government but that they also contribute to that process. We are keen to listen to the concerns and ideas of our young Bermudians so that their brilliant plans for change can be supported by concrete legislative proposals and government investment.
The PLP government will be a government of the people, not above, but equal; a government for the many, not the few. We understand that listening to, investing in, and encouraging our young Bermudians is an invaluable component to creating strong positive leadership for the future and we look forward to hearing the invaluable input of all young Bermudians at our public youth forum on Sunday June 25th 2017 at 7:30pm at PLP HQ
PLP representatives Wayne Caines, Diallo Rabain, Renee Ming, Tinee Furbert and Dennis Lister III amongst others will be present.
Please find attached the June edition of The Progressive Times.
Inside this edition of our newsletter, you will find an overview of the activities of your Party including:
- Leader MP Burt:
- On the No Confidence Motion
- MP Diallo Rabain:
- A Spotlight on Education
- MP Rolfe Commissiong:
- Labour & Workforce Development
- MP Lovitta Foggo:
- Committed to Good Governance
- MP Michael Weeks:
- Congratulates our Athletes
- In Solidarity:
- International Workers Day
- Our Proud History:
- Remembering Dame Lois Browne-Evans
- To ensure that our newsletter grows from strength to strength, I encourage members to provide input and very much welcome your suggestions & feedback.
Today, the Progressive Labour Party announces that our Party Leader, David Burt, will accept the invitation from Generation Next for a debate on Monday, 3 July 2017 at the Bermuda Industrial Union.
Burt comments: "I am looking forward to debating Premier Dunkley and discussing the failed record of the OBA and the PLP's vision for the future. Under the OBA, the divide between the two Bermudas has gotten worse. We've lost 2,000 jobs despite the OBA promising to create 2,000 jobs. Our public schools are being neglected and scholarships have been cut. The cost of health insurance has skyrocketed. And, the OBA has looked out for their rich and powerful friends while working and middle class Bermudians have fallen further and further behind.
"The PLP has a vision to build a better Bermuda and put Bermudians first. We pledge to pass comprehensive immigration reform that ensures that Bermudians will have access to jobs and promotions and scrap Pathways to Status. We will reform public education to provide specialized training, especially in the STEM fields. We will increase competition to bring down the cost of health insurance. And, we will work to reduce duties and restructure our tax code to put more money in your pocket, reduce the cost of living and making it easier for working families to live and thrive in Bermuda.
"I am looking forward to the Generation Next Debate with Premier Dunkley, where the audience will see the differences in the OBA and PLP plans for our country."
Statement by the Honourable Leader of the Opposition, David Burt
On National Heroes’ Day, the Progressive Labour Party joins with the People of Bermuda and the
Department of Community and Cultural Affairs in honouring Bermuda’s National Heroes.
There can be no coincidence that the majority of Bermuda’s honoured heroes championed the needs of the many, not the few; and shattered many ceilings to do so. The roll of our National Heroes shows that there has always been a struggle against forces that seek to divide us, while also seeking to crush the forces that seek to empower and inspire us.
Whether it was Dame Lois Browne-Evans or Gladys Morrell their political achievements are all the more worthy because of what they had to overcome to succeed in a country that did not want their contribution to society’s political development simply because of their race and/or gender.
On this day, we also honour and remember our National Heroes in whose mighty footsteps the PLP walks. We cannot forget Dr. E.F. Gordon whose vision for fair labour and equitable law founded the Bermuda Industrial Union. Today we particularly revere Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego whose efforts lay the foundation for ‘one man, one vote, each vote of equal value’, which was achieved by the PLP Government in 2003. As Pauulu said in his speech at the Bermuda College Commencement in 2000:
“My parents told me… “Pauulu, whatever you learn doesn’t belong to you. It doesn’t belong to you because if society did not exist you would not have learned anything in the first place!” Therefore, I must give back to society.”
The challenge of the Two Bermudas was established early in our history - one Bermuda that has it all and another Bermuda that is struggling to get by. Over the last few years, the divide has worsened, not improved. However, over the course of our history, there were many leaders who fought to make Bermuda a more fair and equitable society - a society where all our people might have the opportunity to excel.
The fight for justice and for equality is far from over. We have more work to do and Bermuda can do better. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Let us not make the mistakes of the past.
The Progressive Labour Party will be suspending its campaign on Tuesday, June 20th out of respect for the funeral of Hon. Shawn Crockwell. The Party wishes the Crockwell family the 'peace which surpasses all understanding' as they lay their beloved son, father, and brother to rest.
The attack on the PLP today by Craig Cannonier, the only Premier in Bermuda's history forced to resign in disgrace, is yet another attempt by the OBA to distract from their record of failing to create jobs for Bermudians.
Instead of taking us forward together, the OBA has left Bermudians behind. Over 2,000 jobs have been lost under their failed leadership. Instead of addressing the massive job losses by getting Bermudians back to work, the OBA's election machine has continued to attack the PLP and conduct a campaign long on rhetoric and short on substance.
The OBA doesn't care that local hotels are boasting of profits while some workers’ hours and take home pay is being slashed.
The OBA doesn't care that yet another school has seen their studies impacted by untreated mould and government neglect.
The OBA doesn't care about the thousands of Bermudians who have left Bermuda because they simply can't make ends meet.
The OBA simply doesn't care and that is why they are more interested in attacking and maligning the PLP than in dealing with the issues that their Bermuda may not be affected by, but our Bermuda is forced to deal with every day.
Bermuda deserves better and it will do better when we have a government that is more interested in putting Bermudians first and in the issues that impact on everyone and not just the rich and privileged.
It is regrettable that the One Bermuda Alliance kicked off their election campaign first with an underground campaign attacking PLP MPs, followed up with the OBA's Deputy Leader and Finance Minister, Bob Richards, caught on a live microphone asking a member of the media to deliver a "one, two punch" to his political opponents, the Progressive Labour Party, who he referred to as "SOBs”.
The OBA's approach to this election began wrong and Bermuda deserves better.
The OBA has repeatedly demonstrated tolerance for that which most Bermudians find intolerable. First, it was the pepper spraying of innocent people last December. The OBA failed to stand up for
our seniors and have stood silent on the investigation into the unprovoked attack on peaceful demonstrators.
Then, it was Rick Olson who posted an offensive cartoon on social media calling for peaceful protesters to be drawn and quartered. Mr. Olson holds a sizable government concession and the OBA refuses to hold him accountable for his actions. And, now, it's Bob Richards making inappropriate and offensive comments within minutes of Premier Dunkley calling for a clean campaign. He has not been asked to apologise. He has not been dismissed. He has not been held accountable.
When we say there are two Bermudas, we speak of the divide between the rich and powerful who are getting even richer and more powerful under the OBA - and the rest of Bermuda who are struggling to get by. But, there are also two Bermudas when it comes to justice and accountability. Bob Richards is not held to account for inappropriate behavior unbecoming of a representative of the people. When it comes to accountability, there are clearly two Bermudas. When it comes to a clean campaign – the OBA has fired the first salvo against it.
It's time for a government that puts Bermudians first.
PLP Spokesperson for Tourism and Entrepreneurship Jamahl Simmons, JP, MP:
The PLP is disappointed to learn that the America's Cup is unlikely to return to Bermuda. Bermuda has budgeted over $70 million dollars of taxpayer money on this event and guaranteed a further $39 million for the construction at Cross island for the AC Village. Indeed, it's been good for many Bermudians, but we are concerned that this government is focused far more on a short-term boost than a long-term investment.
Just in the last two weeks, we learned about the mould at Dellwood Middle School. This comes after the mould problem at TN Tatem and the vermin at Harrington Bay Primary. Our teachers are forced to march for pay and scholarships for our young people have been cut. We've lost 2,000 jobs in our economy and people are hurting. It's great to see the OBA making investments, but they should be doing more to invest in working and middle class Bermudians, not just on a one-time event that is likely not returning to Bermuda. The OBA have done well for one Bermuda - those who already have it all - but they have left too many in our community behind. It's time for the people to elect a government that puts Bermudians first.
OPPOSITION LEADER E. DAVID BURT, JP, MP
With yesterday’s election call, the people can now make their voices heard on July 18th
The OBA called this election to avoid a no confidence vote in the house, so now they must face a no confidence vote by the whole country
The OBA has stood in front of the people and claimed success, all while failing Bermudians
The OBA has spent the last four and a half years working to divide our country and will spend the next 40 days trying to make us all forget about that.
But the people know better. They know that our families cannot withstand another four years of OBA broken promises and failed policies.
Under the OBA, we have lost more than 2,000 jobs.
Under the OBA, our national debt has doubled.
Under the OBA, the gap between the haves and have nots has increased.
Under the OBA, our schools have fallen into disrepair and our children and teachers are suffering.
What their leadership has taught us is that they will say and do anything to grow the divide between the Two Bermudas, because it suits them and their supporters.
But the PLP knows the Bermudian spirit survives their broken promises and lies.
The PLP has always been the party that has worked for the people and we will continue to work tirelessly for you.
A PLP government will promote Bermudian employment by empowering entrepreneurs with a new tax relief system through bipartisan reform.
The next PLP government will implement a fair immigration policy. We know that policies must recognise that the needs of local business are separate and distinct from the needs of international business and we must do everything we can to ensure the success of both. Pathways to Status is not the answer.
Crippling healthcare costs must be brought down for individuals and employers. The PLP is committed to creating incentives to expand competition in the local insurance sector to drive down costs. We must make it more affordable for employers to employ Bermudians. They want their businesses to grow, and so do we.
The PLP will fix our failing public school system by reversing the OBA’s education cuts. No longer will we allow our schools to be mould-infested and unfit for human occupancy. The asphalt has barely dried for Cabinet building renovations, but our Premier calls teachers “mischievous” when they dare to demand better for our students. This is the Two Bermudas. Under the OBA, West Pembroke School – in my constituency - has two working computers for the entire student body.
Under the PLP, we will ensure there is Wi-Fi throughout all public schools and that our students are equipped with the technology they need to advance in the 21st century.
This is our call to all Bermudians: if you are eligible to vote, then please register to do so. It is your right to vote – a right that was hard won.
Only since 1968 have all people had the right to vote. Only since 2003 under a PLP Government, have we had one man, one vote, each vote of equal value, and every Bermudian, regardless of who you vote for, should be proud to be part of the process.
Over the coming 40 days, The PLP team will continue to lay out why this team is the best team to govern Bermuda. My colleagues know that there is hope for Bermuda and that we as a country can do better than we are doing under the OBA. We can build a Bermuda where a senior doesn’t have to choose between her medication and her dinner. We can build a Bermuda where a student can have the resources at school to focus. We can build a Bermuda where a person working a full-time job on a fair wage can afford to live in the country he belongs to.
Two Bermudas exist, but we know that together, with a government that puts Bermudians first, we can break this division. We can bring our county together, we can make public education a priority, we can upgrade the skills of our young men and women, and we reduce the cost of living, and we can ensure out seniors live in dignity.
I’m proud to represent this great party with its rich history, I’m proud work with these great men and women, and I look forward to the next 40 days where we will share our plan for the country and give Bermudians a government that puts them first.