Column: “The latest ill-conceived strategy of the OBA”

[Opinion column written by Senator Owen Darrell]

The OBA’s latest ill-conceived strategy is to forget what they have done and forget the damage they have done to our country while seeking to block progress and change. History cannot be rewritten.

They want you to forget that they are the same party that promised not to drop term limits and a month later broke that promise.

They want you to forget that they are the same party that has overseen the decline of Bermuda jobs in tourism while employment for non-Bermudians has increased.

They want you to forget that they are the same party that tried to open the immigration floodgates and further marginalize Bermudians in our own country.

They want you to forget that this is the same party whose deals with Airport and Morgan’s Point continue to cost Bermudians millions of dollars and severely handicap our economic recovery.

They want you to forget how they spent over $100 million of taxpayers’ money on the America’s Cup. According to their own economic impact report, only 16% of those who benefited economically were black Bermudians.

I would like you to forget these things if I were them.

We at the PLP know that we haven’t always done everything right, but we continue to make steady progress towards a better and fairer Bermuda.

There is cause for optimism as global rating agencies celebrate Bermuda’s fiscal prudence and good governance, tourists return to our shores, and Bermudians begin to return to work. Our economic recovery plan is having a positive impact on our economy. The tax break given to Bermuda’s lowest paid workers puts more money in the pockets of so many Bermudians.

We have expanded maternity leave, introduced paternity leave and expanded protection for Bermudan workers. While we have plenty to be proud of, especially as we recover from a global pandemic that only happens once every hundred years, we recognize that there is still much to do.

In the coming months, we will champion:

  • A living wage to put more money in the pockets of hard-working, underpaid Bermudians
  • Health care reform to reduce the cost of health care and ensure that all Bermudians have access to affordable, high quality health care.
  • Education reform to give our children the world-class education and facilities they deserve and need to prepare them for success in 21st century Bermuda

Yet while we champion these things and develop many other policy initiatives to improve the lives of Bermudians, the OBA shows no interest in seeing these positive initiatives become a reality for our people.

As they seek to make you forget who they are and what they have done, we know that the OBA will continue to stand up for big business and employers who profit greatly from the status quo, which is why so many Bermudians continue to suffer.

Today I am issuing a series of challenges to the OBA. First, I challenge you as the opposition to continue to hold the government to account. Second, I challenge you to do a better job of fairly and honestly highlighting areas where we could do better. I challenge you to come up with new and innovative ideas instead of pessimism, negativity and obstructive thinking. Finally, I challenge you to work positively on behalf of the people of Bermuda as we emerge from the pandemic.

– Senator Owen Darrell


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