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Premier’s hypocrisy over airport is alarming

By September 24, 2020No Comments

Statement from Douglas De Couto, OBA candidate in Warwick North Central.

The Burt administration is yet again displaying stunning hypocrisy when it attacks the airport deal.

The Premier should be explaining why a PLP Government committed Bermudians to spend $1bn on a hospital wing. Let’s stress this – a wing, not an entire new hospital.

The Premier should also be telling Bermudians how much he is committing to spending on a new arbitration centre, to be built on a prime Hamilton location which he is giving away to a company based in the US.

Bermuda has had only two major construction projects using what is called a Public Private Partnership: the new hospital wing and the airport.

The contrast between the Burt administration’s approach to the hospital deal and the OBA airport deal could not be more stark.

The OBA released hundreds of pages of detailed information to the public and Parliament on the airport deal – more than any other Government project in history.

The details of the hospital deal are still kept under lock and key at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital – even though David Burt twice promised to release an unredacted report regarding the financing of the wing.

More promises he has failed to keep.

Now the Premier has a new deal for a new arbitration centre. Will the details of this deal be kept under lock and key like the hospital?

What is the rationale for freezing out Bermudian firms? Who is putting up the money for the project? How is the revenue from the centre being carved up? Who will own the property?

What is the rate of return to Bermuda? What is the rate of return to the US company? Who is this company and what are their bona fides? Are there any side deals with the US company? If so, what are they?

With the OBA’s airport deal all such questions, and many others, were clearly answered, and publicly.

Mr. Burt’s hypocrisy and lack of transparency are habitual and obvious to all. What is he hiding? Is this, “We had to deceive you,” 2.0?

We will do better.