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We will do better – a speech by Craig Cannonier

By September 9, 2020No Comments

Good morning Bermuda,

Good morning members of the media,

You will see, sitting either side of me are Robin Tucker and Marcus Jones.

I am delighted to say that Robin will be the One Bermuda Alliance candidate in constituency 7 and Marcus in constituency 19.

They are two fine candidates and represent the future of the Party.

I know they will serve their country with passion, but also humility.

Last month I introduced Vic Ball to you who is replacing Trevor Moniz.

Robin will replace Sylvan Richards and Marcus is replacing Jeanne Atherden.

Sylvan was the first and only candidate to have stood for the Bermuda Democratic Alliance and won his seat under the banner of the OBA.

He has been a cabinet minister and shadow minister. I thank Sylvan for his service and for standing with me through this political journey.

Jean Atherden has served Spanish Point very well during her time in politics and has been an Opposition leader, minister and shadow minister. I thank Jeanne for her service.

I am enthused by the calibre of the people stepping forward as candidates who want to take up the mantle from my senior colleagues. It is truly a new dawn for the OBA.

Soon the OBA will be announcing some exciting policies, but I feel it is important to introduce the Bermudians who will be responsible for implementing those plans.

In that regard, and I am looking forward to rolling out some new faces who have accepted our invitation to run in this election.

When the One Bermuda Alliance became Government in 2012, we were faced with a crisis.

We inherited out of control Government spending and an economy that was in bad shape.

In four short years we turned it around. We got one billion dollars in investment in Bermuda.

Yes, one billion dollars.

New hotels provided hundreds of jobs for Bermudians.

The America’s Cup – one of the world’s most iconic sporting events – injected $320 million into the economy.

It provided jobs and new business for hundreds of Bermudians in a range of areas.

The airport has employed hundreds of Bermudians jobs throughout its construction.

It will continue to provide jobs for Bermudians when it opens.

We reduced payroll tax for the less well-off and increased them for the rich.

We got on top of Government spending.

We are the right choice.

Bermuda. We are a few weeks away from making a crucial decision about which team is best suited to steer this country away from economic disaster.

The Premier has promised to re-engineer the economy. He has talked of taking an ‘unorthodox’ approach.

These are just soundbites with no substance.

Before Covid we asked where the economic plan was and today, we are still asking what the plan is to stimulate the economy, to provide jobs for Bermudians and hope for the future.

BERMUDA We are the right choice.

Over the last three years, we have seen promises made and promises broken.

The Premier promised investment in training and Bermudian-based blockchain companies worth twenty-five million dollars.

He promised fintech would create 120 jobs. In more than two years, that has not happened.

The Premier promised to lower the cost of living and introduce a living wage which was agreed in a bi-partisan joint select committee – in other words by the Burt Administration and the OBA.

But PREMIER Burt has been unable – or unwilling – to deliver.

BERMUDA we will do better.

There were also promises to balance the budget and to achieve a budget surplus.

Those never transpired and, in fact, Premier BURT’s Government has borrowed $1bn in the last 12 months.

That’s an extra $15,500 for every man, woman and child.

We will do better.

The Premier claims have reduced taxes for working Bermudians to ‘their lowest ever levels’.
But what Premier Burt gave on one hand he took from the other. There is nothing brilliant about that – other than a cheap magician’s trick. All Bermudians have felt the effects of the sugar tax, the new dividend tax for small Bermudian businesses, the increased land tax and the increased foreign currency purchase tax that put the price of imported goods up – all of us have been detrimentally effected by this administration’s failed economic policies.

He has forgotten the increase in Government fees which affect Bermudians and Bermudian businesses

Can you honestly say that you are better off because of Premier Burt’s ’s policies over the last three years?

Premier Burt wants you to vote for him based on the country’s handling of Covid for which he followed World Health Organisation Guidelines– but are you willing to give the Burt administration a further five-year mandate after 3 years of economic failure?

Bermuda we are the right choice.

I now hand over to Robin and Marcus.