By Christopher Famous
As promised, here is part two of a look at an interview
that former Bermuda premier Craig Cannonier had with Global Insurance Intelligence (GR) in London. A stark contrast emerged between the false global image of the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) and our local reality.
Christopher Famous is a Caribbean real estate developer and business owner. Raised in various Caribbean islands such as; Bermuda, Jamaica, St Eustatius and St Kitts and Tortola. He has a weekly social and political column in The Bermuda Sun. Feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cannonier: “There is a ratio that has been in place for some time now. For every expat that comes to the country, at least two Bermudians are attached to that, in that industry.”
MP Bob Richards: “…. opportunities to Bermudians will increase the more expats - particularly senior expats - we have in Bermuda. That is the relationship, that is hard sometimes even for Bermudians to understand.”
Reality: This delicate balance was the direct result of legislation and polices that were previously put in place by the PLP and included such things as term limits, the Job Makers Incentive Act and funding for further education.
With term limits abolished, Job Makers Incentive Act amended nearly unrecognizable by recent amendments and scholarship funding slashed, does the OBA truly believe that this ratio will remain intact?
If the focus it to “attract senior expats”, why do we have such a disproportionate number of non-Bermudians holding jobs in non-senior posts? OBA needs to protect all other jobs for Bermudians.
Cannonier: “Although we’ve been talking about diversifying, we certainly do not want to do away with what we know to be a secure business and something in the future that will continue to grow so we’re not looking to move away from that sector at all; we will always look out for the reinsurance industry.”
Reality: Wonder what the reaction the Global Reinsurance interviewer would have had to this declaration:
“We have been trying to diversify and spread out the financial services offerings as a way to diversify away from the big dog on the block, which is reinsurance."– Bermuda Sun, MP Bob Richards February 26, 2013
While the rating agencies have all pointed to our lack of a diversified economy as one of their key concerns, OBA has yet to explore a list of opportunities that PLP has highlighted including the fish industry, sea-bed mining, aquaculture and online gaming.
Cannonier: “We had specific policies to combat gang-related crime. I think that is one of the successes of this government. Equipping the police with the best possible technologies, giving them the resources that they need, has gone a long way.”
Reality: On April 2, it was revealed that the Island was without CCTV monitoring due to technical difficulties. The BAS Serco’s $6.2m CCTV contract was supposed to be a smooth transition from the previous contractor ensuring no gaps in coverage.
Then National Security Minister Dunkley failed to explain why OBA opted not to extend the previous contract while BAS Serco addressed their technical issues. This is in contrast to his highly public support when this contract was first announced.
Perhaps the OBA forgets that there is a thing called the internet. They attempt to paint a certain picture to the world, when in fact the realities are completely different.
Perhaps after their retreat this past weekend they will realize that their biggest downfalls have been:
• Lack of accountability to Bermudians
• Deflection of the truth
• Pathetic media communications
How hard is it just to tell the “Full Monty”?