Having been involved in politics from an early age and first elected to the House of Assembly in 1998, Cole Simons brings experience and vast knowledge of how Government and the economy work to the One Bermuda Alliance.
With three decades’ experience in banking and insurance, Cole also knows that the continued success of international business is vital if Bermuda’s economy is to bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis.
- Husband to Rochelle and father of two daughters
- MP since 1998
- Shadow Minister of Education and Economic Development, 2017-present
- Minister of Education, 2017
- Minister of the Environment, 2016-17
- Vice President, Private Banking – Butterfield Bank
- Founding member, Council Partners
- Former Chairman, the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Business Degree, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology
- Member of STEP and Member of IoD UK
Hands-on Business Experience
Cole has more than 30 years’ experience in financial services and is now a Vice President and Relationship Manager for the Bank of Butterfield, building and maintaining the international ties which keep Bermuda’s economy humming.
He understands that economically Bermuda is not an island but part of the global financial services industry where competition is fierce and Bermuda must stay ahead of other jurisdictions in terms of regulation and efficiency to survive.
The same applies to Bermuda’s management of its own budget and finances, and Cole has been a leading advocate of the need for a sovereign wealth fund which could be invested well and which would cushion Bermuda from shocks like the 2008 financial crisis and the Covid-19 shutdown.
As part of the OBA team that brought $1 billion in tourism investment to Bermuda and began to turn the economy around after years of recession, Cole has the knowledge to rebuild the Bermuda economy – only better.
He has also called for Government and the private sector to work together to provide short term job placements – secure for 12 to 24 months – to ensure young people enter the workforce and do not become part of the long-term unemployed.
Taking Politics out of Education
Having attended Bermuda’s public schools, experienced Canadian education, engaged in distance learning in Bermuda through the University of Maryland and having successfully seen his two daughters attend university, Cole knows that education is the key to success in Bermuda.
As Shadow Minister of Education, Cole has pushed for an autonomous Education Authority which would take the politics out of education and why he has urged that every teacher in Bermuda receive a $1,000 budget to be used for purchasing classroom supplies instead of having to spend their own hard-earned savings.
Cole has also called for the Bermuda College to be protected from budget cuts and for apprenticeship training to be prioritized to put Bermudians back to work.
Protecting the environment
As a well-known local equestrian, Cole knows the value of the environment and of open spaces, not just as a means of mitigating against climate change, but for recreation and stress relief from everyday life.
As Minister of the Environment, Cole pioneered the Ocean Risk Summit which took place in 2018 with a vision of it becoming the leading ocean risk and protection conference in the world. As Environment Minister he courageously extended the ban on Round Up to ensure Bermudians’ health was protected.
Bermuda has been protecting the environment since its settlement, but Cole knows we can do better. He has called for green investments by Government working with the private sector to reduce emissions and dependence on fossil fuels and the development of financial solutions to fund the sustainable development of our marine resources, and other nature-based solutions and services.
We will do better
As a veteran MP, Cole has seen the best and worst of governments in Bermuda. He knows governments work better when they put people before power. We will do better with Cole in the next Bermuda Government.