Cannonier hits back on term limits

A war of words between Government and the Opposition over term limits rumbled on last night.

On Thursday, the One Bermuda Alliance outlined a raft of emergency measures aimed at turning the economy around, accusing Government of “running out of ideas and energy”.

The plan included following the lead of the Cayman Islands’ Government and suspending work permit term limits for two years while a new policy is worked out.

However, the Progressive Labour Party rejected the OBA plans on Friday, saying: “Their commitment to end term limits for foreign workers would be nothing short of disastrous for the Bermudian worker. If implemented, employers at all skill levels would no longer be incentivised to hire Bermudians.”

The OBA hit back last night saying the PLP “deliberately distorted” their position on term limits.

In an opinion piece on Page 4, OBA leader Craig Cannonier hit back, saying: “They said we would ‘end’ term limits instead of what we actually said, which was to suspend them for a period of two years pending a review that gives us a policy that works better for Bermuda.

“It was a simple, straightforward recommendation our economic team had made among a raft of others to get Bermuda back on track, where we are once again producing jobs, not job losses.”

Senator Cannonier condemned the PLP for what he described as attempting to subvert the OBA’s efforts by “trying to twist it into a political fight based on a lie”.

He also blasted the PLP for saying term limits were designed to help get Bermudians employed.

Sen Cannonier said that in 2008, then-Home Affairs Minister David Burch stated that “the term limit policy was introduced to dispel expectations among long-term non-Bermudian workers “that they could ultimately acquire permanent residence in this country”.

In the 2008 statement, Col Burch said: “Most employers mistakenly believe that the policy was introduced to make more jobs available for Bermudians.”

Sen Cannonier said: “The PLP today are ignoring its own rationale for the term limits policy and distorting our position in order to pick a fight. They are willing to say anything to distract people from thinking about new approaches, new ideas that can get this island back on track.”

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Published Oct 10, 2011 at 12:01 am (Updated Oct 10, 2011 at 8:44 am)

Cannonier hits back on term limits

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