‘Restoring confidence and opportunity’ - Throne Speech Highlights, November 13, 2015

“Economic recovery will continue to be the national priority because of its potential to help more people, more quickly than anything else… with Government also bringing forward progressive measures to improve the quality of life for all.

 “Bermudians can expect social support programmes to continue, expansion of human rights protections, reforms to strengthen government accountability and performance, protection and care for the most vulnerable and steps to expand democratic participation.”

  • Protection for seniors and persons with severe disabilities, through changes to the Senior Abuse Register, nursing home regulations and formation of a statutory body akin to an Office of the Public Guardian.
  • Access to lower cost medicines for chronic lifelong conditions through Pan American Health Organization’s Strategic Fund.
  • Pilot programme for a system-wide solution to meeting the long-term care needs of elderly Bermudians.
  • Expansion of human rights protections
    • For people who suffer from mental disability or impairment and who experience discrimination based on the printed word, and
    • By enlarging the legal definition of a public place to protect against hate language.
    • Greater autonomy for the Human Rights Commission in line with international best practice.
    • Protection for vulnerable witnesses, particularly children, through the use of videoconferencing in judicial proceedings.
    • Creation of an Integrated Family Court to achieve more amicable settlements of family disputes.
    • Establishment of a Mental Health Court for mentally ill offenders.
    • Legal reforms to ensure appropriate penalties for predatory sexual crimes against children, and protection against stigmatization of victims.
    • Review of the system child maintenance payments to strengthen mechanisms for the collection and payment of maintenance arrears.
    • Continuation of School Improvement Plans – strengthening teaching skills, system-wide grading consistency, specialized training for positive student behaviour, development of more school-to-career options, greater parent-community involvement and formation of a school reorganization committee.
    • Expansion of anti-gang GREAT programme in Primary and Middle Schools
    • Extension of CCTV network to Dockyard and Town of St. George’s.
    • New fire safety standards.
    • Review to determine closure of one of the minimum-security facilities in light of historically low recidivism rates.
    • Department of National Drug Control to determine best model for care for drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and working with charities for its delivery.
    • Tabling of Defense Act prescribing path to end conscription and provide for an all-volunteer regiment.
    • Creation of a new central dispatching system for the taxi industry using modern technologies.
    • Legislation to ban dark visor helmets.
    • Electronic gazetting of government notices
    • Legislation authorizing a 2016/17 Census
    • Protection of Personal Information legislation requiring consent for the collection, use and disclosure of a person’s personal information.
    • New enforcement regime at Planning Department to end the ‘build it now, sort it out later’ mindset.
    • Development of a National Water Strategy.
    • Bathroom facilities for Shelley Bay Field in Hamilton Parish and White Hill Field in Sandys. 

“…For more transparent, more open, more accountable government.”

  • Public Service reforms to strengthen performance accountability.
  • Introduction of a Code of Practice to increase transparency in the awarding of government contracts.
  • Expanding public participation on government boards.
  • New government website designed to link visitors to the information they need in no more than 3 clicks.
  • Legislation to permit absentee balloting for all registered voters studying abroad.
  • PATI amendments to strengthen processes for getting information requested in a timely manner.

“Work will continue for a growing economy that makes it possible for people to get a job, pay their bills and put food on the family table.”

  • Tourism Incentive Act to encourage investment in hotel development and redevelopment and other tourism-related products.
  • Implementation of a programme to identify and dispose of surplus government real estate, and using the money raised to pay down government debt.
  • Adoption of a cybersecurity framework for Bermuda to protect and defend against cyber threats.
  • Legislative amendments to strengthen Bermuda’s reputation and capabilities as an offshore business leader.
  • Introduction of an Electricity Act for a new regulatory system that will allow competition and ensure electricity is secure, affordable and reliable.
  • Competitive bidding for a solar photovoltaic electricity generation facility at the ‘Finger’ peninsula adjacent to the airport.
  • Review of the Island’s tax system as part of Government’s multi-year deficit reduction strategy.
  • Formation of a Financial Policy Council and a Fiscal Responsibility Panel to support Government’s economic objectives and increase Bermuda’s international credibility.
  • Legislation to meet international financial stability standards.
  • Regulations for the administration and regulation of gaming.

     

Download Full Speech here 

 





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