Craig Cannonier comments
OBA rolls out Smith, Harvey
A One Bermuda Alliance candidate said yesterday that his roots and family ties meant that he cared about the neighbourhood where he hopes to become an MP.
Tarik Smith will fight to fill the seat in Warwick South East, which was won by the Progressive Labour Party’s Lawrence Scott in 2017.
His candidacy was announced by Craig Cannonier, the OBA leader, who also unveiled Elizabeth Harvey as the party’s contender for Hamilton East yesterday.
Mr Scott defeated Nalton Brangman, of the OBA, by 723 votes to 334 in 2017. Five years earlier, he took 467 votes to 403 for the OBA’s Alexis Swan.
Mr Smith said he must “gain the trust and the confidence” of constituents to be successful in the October 1 General Election.
He added: “Many know me, many know my family. I don’t think I can go ten yards walking in that community without somebody tooting, and, if anyone’s been with me, I toot and everyone waves to me all day, every day, along the streets.
“I think that I have to reach the voters that may be disappointed, that may be on the fence and saying, ‘you know what, this guy’s one of us, if anybody’s going to care about Warwick it has to be this guy’.
“If I don’t care, then who’s going to care? This is where I was born and raised, I spend most of my day, in fact all of my day, here.”
Mr Smith, who runs a family laundromat business, said he believed he can engage young people.
He explained: “In my community, I have a reach, I think, with the young men especially in Ord Road. I am a young man from Ord Road.
“I think that sometimes we have young men that are looking for an answer, sometimes to questions that they may not be getting answers to.
“So I go around oftentimes — because my laundry is in the middle of the neighbourhood — and I have a chat.
“Either we talk about football or we talk about where you’re going to be in a couple of years. It isn’t always just a playful talk.
“I try and motivate them and try to give them avenues to get ahead, avenues to get themselves educated, avenues to get themselves a future that can be brighter for them.”
Mr Smith said that his love for politics began in childhood, but his passion was also “to help people and help create change”.
Mr Smith added: “This community is not only dear to me, but I strongly feel that I can best represent — as I am one of you.
“I’m an everyday presence in our community and I have been for 16 years and this will not change anytime soon.”
He said that canvassing showed concerns in the area included “education, the status of the TN Tatem Middle School building, antisocial behaviour, healthcare, cost of living, land taxes and a livable wage”.
Ms Harvey, who said her father, Eugene Harvey, was a doctor for almost 40 years and delivered many babies on the island, has a background in journalism, public relations and communications.
She added that she returned from Britain to Bermuda, where she was born and grew up, in 2006.
Ms Harvey explained that she wanted her two children “to be part of the community where people knew them ... and for my children to have a strong identity and to really know where they came from”.
She added: “That’s what I, and many of you, love most about Bermuda — our community, because we have a strong community.
“We have a community that looks after each other like nowhere else I’ve ever known. We are proud of who we are and our way of life and we defend it fiercely.
“But today we’re at a crossroads and our country is in trouble.”
Ms Harvey said: “We are drowning in debt with a government that doesn’t seem to know where to go next.
“We are digging ourselves into a financial hole that we might never get out of and the consequences are dire.
“As a mother and the family breadwinner, this keeps me up at night and I know it’s keeping the people of Hamilton East up at night as well.”
Derrick Burgess, of the PLP, defeated Peter Barrett, of the OBA, by 808 votes to 192 in the constituency in the 2017 General Election.
He won 680 votes to 270 for Mr Barrett five years earlier in 2012.
• To read all the remarks from the candidates and Opposition leader Craig Cannonier, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”
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