Hayward pushes social issues before by-election ...
A government senator said last night he hoped to protect the most vulnerable people in Bermuda if he is elected as an MP next week.
Jason Hayward, of the Progressive Labour Party, said he felt “sick” that some people had no healthcare access due to the high cost of insurance.
He will stand in the Pembroke Central by-election next Thursday and said he hoped to carry on the legacy of the late Walton Brown, whose sudden death caused the Constituency 17 contest.
Mr Hayward added: “We need to ensure that we have the proper social policies in place that will protect our most vulnerable, our children, our seniors and our population with disabilities.
“Sustainable economic growth and development is also something that we must actively pursue.
“Our economy must grow in a way that facilitates room for new business development and increased employment opportunities.
“We must increase the economic pie and the distribution of the pie must be more equitable in our society.
Mr Hayward added: “We can achieve this through ensuring our population is adequately prepared for the current and future world of work, embracing technology and innovation, breaking down barriers that hinder business development and entrepreneurship and having sensible immigration policies that balance the needs of Bermuda’s labour force and the best interests of the Bermudian people.”
The senator, who is president of the Bermuda Public Services Union, said a “major issue” that affected people all over the island was the high cost of living.
He added: “Namely the cost of healthcare, housing and food.
“I am committed to work with my colleagues to ensure that we are putting policies in place that combat the high cost of living.
“It makes me sick to know that people don’t have access to healthcare because of affordability and I am deeply concerned when Bermudians feel they need to leave their island home because other jurisdictions provide more social security, opportunity and are more affordable.”
Mr Hayward said he had lived in the parish for most of his life and spent much of his childhood “roaming Pembroke Central” and had gone to West Pembroke Primary School and the Berkeley Institute.
He played junior football and cricket at the Western Stars Sports Club and is a member of the North Village Community Club, as well as the Young Men’s Social Club.
Mr Hayward, who was unable to meet The Royal Gazette in person because he was recovering from surgery, and provided responses by e-mail, said: “I deeply admired Walton,; he had a wonderful mind and huge heart.
“He deeply cared about the people of this country.
“I share his passion for workers’ rights, I stood with him on the hill fighting against the One Bermuda Alliance’s harmful immigration policies and I share his vision of sovereign Bermuda.
“I am committed to carrying on his legacy of public service.”
Mr Hayward said that history had shown that the PLP tended to do well in the constituency.
However, he said: “One must not take the electorate for granted. The people of C17 will go to the polls and vote for who they believe will best represent their interest.
“And at this point I believe that my track record of service has demonstrated that I deeply care for my community and my country, and that I have the ability to add value and make change.
“While I have nothing negative to say about my opponent and support young persons pursuing their ambitions, the reality is the OBA candidate has very little chance to bring about the change required to progress the lives of the Bermudian people in a feeble opposition party.”
Mr Hayward added that the transition from the Senate to the House of Assembly was “seemingly a natural path”.
He said: “I do recognise that the styles of debate differ in the Upper and Lower Houses.
“However, I am clear that my role as an MP is to ensure that I represent the best interest of those who have entrusted me with their confidence.
“I aim to be a strong voice in the House, one that is measured, reasonable and unwavering on items that advance the socio-economic position of the people of this beloved country.”
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