One Bermuda Alliance
Breaking! OBA Fails to Disclose Interests As Required by the Constitution... At Least One OBA Candidate Is Not Qualified to Run!
The Bermuda Constitution requires that candidates disclose their interests within 7 days after nomination day. The OBA failed to meet this requirement and now at least one of their candidates is ineligible to contest Monday's election!
Progressive Labour Party Chairman, Mr. Anthony Santucci, today challenged the OBA for its lack of commitment to transparency by not publishing a declaration of its candidates’ interests in government contracts as required under the Bermuda Constitution.
“We are gravely concerned that the OBA has not acted as the law requires and published its members' interests in a local newspaper. They have spoken often about transparency and openness yet have failed to show this in a fundamental requirement before the election,” says Mr. Santucci. “More importantly, any candidate who has not declared an interest in any government contract is automatically disqualified as a candidate. Section 30 (6) of the Bermuda Constitution is very clear:
"Subject to such exceptions and limitations as may be prescribed by the Legislature, a person shall not be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Assembly if he has an interest in any Government contract and has not, within seven days of his nomination as a candidate for election, disclosed the nature of the contract and his interest therein by means of a notice published in the Gazette or in a newspaper published and circulating in Bermuda."
The PLP chairman went on to point out that the PLP ran its ad declaring its members’ interests in a December 5 placement in the Bermuda Sun and has done so in previous elections. In 2007, the UBP declared interests for 16 of their candidates, many of whom are still candidates for the One Bermuda Alliance. The Progressive Labour Party is aware of at least one OBA candidate who, under this term of the Bermuda Constitution, should now be disqualified as a candidate.
Minister Roban asks an important question: "While we have been up front and open with Bermudians about our plans, the OBA has announced a troubling Cuts & Pain Commission. What will be on this ‘unelected’ Commission's chopping block? Civil service Jobs? Public education? Benefits for those in need? Assistance to families? FutureCare? DayCare? The OBA hasn't told us."
The Minister focused most of his remarks on the PLP's vision to build a fairer Bermuda that creates jobs and opportunities for all. Minister Roban:
As the global economic crisis raged, the PLP stood strong for Bermudians by training hundreds. We started the DryWall programme, the Waiter/Server programme, the Landscaping programme, the Accounting programme, the CISCO Academy for IT training, the Nail Tech programme and much more.
These programmes have upgraded the skills of hundreds of Bermudians and placed them in jobs.
We have more work to do and we have a vision to create more jobs and opportunities for Bermudians. In the next term, we will start Job Corps Bermuda which will be targeted at Bermudians aged 18-24. It will provide training, job placement, career counseling and mentoring to our young people. We will open the One Stop Career Centre - a place where Bermudians can go to access resources and get placed in a job. We will roll out the red carpet for our college graduates and provide returning graduates with mentorships and internships. Broadening the internship opportunities government is already providing from within.
We will start the New Business Initiative to connect young entrepreneurs with business financing and advice. And, we will expand the EEZ, its grants for small businesses and tax concessions to more areas that need the investment the most.
On the international business side, we have outlined a number of ideas to create more economic opportunity and bring jobs to Bermuda. We will expand the innovative Incentives for Job Makers Act that attaches immigration benefits to creating jobs for Bermudians.
We will introduce a new bond market to Bermuda to bring more opportunities in our international business sector. And, we will further establish regulations for Islamic Finance to bring new investors to the island.
While we have ideas, the OBA offers little more than an unelected Cuts & Pain Commission. Minister Roban:
These are just a few of our ideas to create jobs and opportunities for Bermudians. While we have been up front and open with Bermudians about our plans, the OBA has announced a troubling Cuts & Pain Commission. What will be on this ‘unelected’ Commission's chopping block? Civil service Jobs? Public education? Benefits for those in need? Assistance to families? FutureCare? DayCare? The OBA hasn't told us.
The OBA continues to try to sell us a fairy tale. They say that they can dramatically increase spending and cut taxes while simultaneously reducing the debt, but how!?!?!. They can't introduce all that new spending, 500 million and counting and reduce the debt without engaging in rapid and radical cuts to programmes that matter to you. We will ask for the benefit of our people our democracy. It's time for the OBA to come clean. What will their Cuts & Pain commission cut? Bermudians deserve to know.
The choice is clear. It's between rapid and radical cuts from the OBA's unelected Cuts & Pain Commission and a PLP that has a vision to build a fairer society that creates jobs and opportunities for all of our people.
"The both ways OBA continues their disturbing pattern of taking one position one day then reversing their position and saying something completely different once they are criticized.
"After repeatedly denying the significance of race and describing it as "a distraction," now the both ways OBA leader is talking about overcoming racial disadvantage.
"We believe that this latest switch is a desperate attempt to deflect from the serious questions surrounding the OBA and their unwillingness to come clean about who they really are, who they really represent and what they really stand for.
"It is expected that Mr Cannonier would try to deflect attention, especially after he embarrassed himself last week when he spoke out so defiantly against ZBM's report to have a copy of the UBP now OBA post 2007 strategy document calling it a “Fabrication”.
"On that night ZBM news revealed, for all of Bermuda to see, that the UBP's secret strategy document was not fiction, and had been written to three men who now sit as candidates for the OBA.
"The Progressive Labour Party does not need to ‘demonise’ or ‘stereotype’ Mr Cannonier, because he alone is doing sufficient damage to himself and the credibility of the OBA.
"Our one piece of advice to the OBA Leader would be to open his eyes and face the reality, and remember that history has a tendency to repeat itself."
Today, Minister Glenn Blakeney responded to last week's OBA press conference by noting that the OBA's Nandi Davis had her facts wrong and questioned why she was unable to field simple questions from reporters.
"I was shocked to watch that press conference and when the first question was asked, she turned back to Bob Richards for help," noted Minister Blakeney.
"Then, when the second question was asked, she also looked perplexed and Bob said, 'I don't want to take over these press conferences.'"
"Even in her prepared remarks, Ms. Davis got it wrong. We've expanded our prevention strategy at the Middle School level and the Sunshine League noted that while government funds remained steady, they saw a decrease in support from the private sector. Given this reality, it's surprising that Ms. Davis didn't address her concerns to major potential private sector donors.
"Mirrors just graduated another successful class. It's telling that the OBA would criticize the PLP for not expanding Mirrors even further when it was the PLP that introduced the programme!
Moreover, Minister Blakeney took great exception to Ms. Davis’ remarks about the Mirrors Programme and reminds the public that Mirrors is still very strong, citing the recent graduation of yet another cohort. In fact, as a result of Minister Blakeney's prevention strategy, allocated resources have been targeted towards a younger demographic, which has proven extremely successful at the Middle School level as well as having a very positive impact on young male students, upon being introduced as a pilot program at St. David's Primary School.
The OBA also touts another deliberately false and untrue statement, suggesting that the Sunshine League closed as a result of their reduced Government Grant. The truth is that the Sunshine League Board of Trustees had determined they were closing before They even knew that their grant would be reduced. The primary reason cited was the major difficulty they had with securing private sector funding support and that they did not want to continue operating as a 24-hour residential facility.
The OBA wants to have it both ways, and is telling the electorate whatever it wants to hear.
"It is not about principle with the OBA, it's about politics," said Minister Glenn Blakeney, candidate in constituency #13 "This ad is effective not just because it's funny, but, because it speaks to a deep truth about the both ways OBA. They are not driven by principle, they are about saying whatever it takes to win back power.
"Out of the one side of their mouth, they say that deep and radical cuts to jobs, FutureCare and DayCare are necessary in order to reduce debt. Out of the other side of their mouth, they say that they are going to engage in $500 million in new spending and new tax cuts. The OBA cannot have it both ways, and they need to tell the Bermudian people the truth about their real agenda."
Watch the ad:
Today, the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party is asking why the candidate for Constituency #20 Marcus Jones doesn't have an opponent from the OBA as yet.
The electorate in Constituency #20 deserve time to consider their options and make a reasoned choice. Is the OBA too busy fighting over this seat to actually pay attention to the issues that matter to the constituents?
Is the traditional old guard of the UBP pulling the strings? Are they allowing nepotism to rule the day?
Bermudians are beginning to wonder what this OBA is really all about and who they are really fighting for?
Are they fighting for the people? Or, is it all about power?
Today, Senator David Burt responded to an OBA challenge to our estimate that their radical plans will increase the debt by $500 million. He challenged the OBA to release their numbers and tell us what they plan to cut.
Senator David Burt:
A few weeks ago, the OBA issued a mini platform. At that time, the PLP did a cost estimate and determined that the new spending and new tax cuts proposed by the OBA in this platform would cost Bermudians an additional $500 million in new debt.
Yesterday, the OBA called the media and challenged a newspaper ad that we ran highlighting the OBA's radical plans to add $500 million to the debt.
This demonstrates that the OBA is still trying to get Bermudians to believe their fairy tale! They are trying to convince voters into believing that the OBA can have millions in new spending and millions in new tax cuts while at the same time magically reducing the debt. Meanwhile the OBA has yet to commit to any major spending cuts. As I have said before, the OBA's fairy tale plans just don't add up, and voters know that 2 + 2 does not equal zero.
Given that the OBA is challenging the PLP cost estimate for their fairy tale proposals, I would like to place the following open challenges to the OBA:
First, tell us how much the radical new spending proposals outlined in their mini platform would cost?
Second, tell us how much the new tax proposals outlined in their mini platform would cost? Finally, since the OBA says they can do all this while reducing the debt, tell us, what would you cut to make your math work.
What is on the line?
How much will the OBA cut FutureCare? Does the OBA plan to cut DayCare Assistance? Does the OBA plan on cutting pensions? Does the OBA plan on letting the police force shrink with attrition? What do you plan on cutting?
The voters deserve the facts.
Is the OBA the party of Austerity or is the OBA the Party of big spending? The OBA can’t have it both ways. It's time to put down the fairy tale book and come clean with the Bermudian people about your real Agenda for Bermuda.
It's Time for the Both Ways OBA to come clean with Bermudians and tell us what their fairy tale plans will cost and what they really have planned for the island.
In response to an interview on ZBM last night, PLP MP and candidate for constituency #22 Darius Tucker called on the OBA to come clean and release their secret plan.
Last night on ZBM, Kim Swan acknowledged that a consultant was brought in after the last election… and recommended a "secret plan.”
According to Mr. Moreno, it was recommended that the UBP split up, with the younger members forming a new entity. It was then reported that the secret plan recommended that the old UBP members rejoin the new entity and form a new party.
When asked whether this plan exists last night, Kim Swan answered simply “yes.”
The public needs to know exactly what is in this plan and what the OBA is hiding.
For weeks, we've been asking what the OBA is really all about? The answers may be in this secret plan. It's time for the OBA to come clean.
Who do they really stand for and what are they really about?
Is it really about the country or them getting power?
Bermudians deserve to know the truth.
That’s why today, we are calling on the OBA to release that SECRET PLAN.
Watch Kim Swan admit that the secret plan exists:
After saying, "it has to be all about austerity" the OBA now are singing a brand new song - they are telling you what you want to hear saying that they can dramatically increase spending, cut taxes and somehow balance the budget.
The OBA will change their position daily depending on what their consultants and pollsters say. They will say whatever they think voters want to hear even when it doesn't add up. Just this week they told Bermudians that they could reduce taxes, increase spending, and reduce the debt all at the same time! The problem is their plans will create $500 million of additional debt.
We'll leave it to the Bermudian people to decide whether or not they want steady leadership governed by principle or leaders with policies that do not add up and are driven by consultants and polls.
The PLP will continue to Stand Strong for Bermudians. We will continue to protect jobs and incomes for our people; continue to improve education for our young; continue to train our people for the jobs of today and tomorrow; continue to empower our entrepreneurs; and continue to provide pension and health care security for our seniors.
The choice in this election is between the OBA that will contradict themselves and say anything in the hope of being elected, or the PLP that continues to Stand Strong for Bermudians despite the worst global economic crisis of our lifetime.
The OBA is trying to fool you into believe that they can massively increase government spending, provide you with massive tax cuts and end the debt. It's a fairy tale.
The OBA plans just don't add up:
Senator David Burt:
I’d like to take some time to expose the truth about the OBA’s so called plans for this country. And I’d like to focus on one thing, the fact that the numbers in their fairy tale plan just don’t add up!
On the one hand, they tell us that they are going to massively expand government spending by creating new bureaucracies and commissions, and by “extending” some programmes and “expanding” others. Their plans to again radically change education and spend money on a multitude of initiatives would also cost untold hundreds of millions of dollars. On the other hand they offer poorly thought out tax concessions that would further reduce government revenues which means MORE borrowing for Bermuda. Bermudians, the OBA’s fairy tale plan just doesn’t add up! Unless they cut spending somewhere else in the Budget, but once again the OBA is silent about cuts.
They are silent on DayCare and FutureCare. Are these programmes that help many Bermudians on the OBA’s chopping block? Will they cut the job training programmes we’ve started? Will they raise the Bermuda College tuition we lowered? What are they going to cut?
The OBA says that they can increase spending, cut taxes and reduce the debt. But, their fairy tale plans just don’t add up! It’s time for the OBA to come clean with Bermudians.
The fact is, they’re telling you what they think you want to hear. They are telling you exactly what their pollsters and consultants are telling them to say; however they are not being honest about what they will cut or how much they plan on adding to the debt. Bermudians, don’t believe the hype.
The opposition is desperate to win and they will say and do anything in order to seize power.
But, Bermudians know that 2+2 does not Equal Zero.
Over five years, the OBA’s plan would cost an estimated $500 MILLION in new spending and debt!
Their numbers don’t add up and It’s time for the OBA to be honest with Bermudians. A few weeks ago, Craig Cannonier said that, “austerity isn’t such a bad idea.” Now just 3 weeks later, he and his party are proposing $500 million in new spending and debt?!
Austerity means deep and damaging cuts to programmes and benefits like FutureCare, DayCare, and EEZ Grants, In England Austerity has meant rising tuition for colleges, and reduced pensions and benefits for seniors. If as Craig Cannonier said, Austerity isn’t such a bad idea, the he needs to tell the people what he’s going to cut! If the opposition is serious about debt reduction they are going to have to tell the people what they are going to cut. If the opposition is serious about their budget busting and debt exploding $500 million dollar spending plans, then they need to tell the Bermudian people how they are going to pay for it.
The PLP is clear on the challenges our country faces. Our leader has articulated a 10 point plan for growth that we will expand on in the coming election. We will continue to Stand Strong for Bermudians, and we will not insult the intelligence of voters by telling them that 2 + 2 = 0.
Don't believe the hype. Don't believe the fairy tale. The PLP are living in reality and have a plan to sure and steadily see Bermuda through the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.