Fixing land to heal our people
At a time when jobs and employment have been shrinking for a number of years, it's an understatement to say our economy needs to be fixed.
With no clear market forces set to reverse the tide, there is a deep requirement for innovation.
In short, we need creative ways of stimulating our economy.
Bermuda is not alone in its economic struggles and, in some ways, similar solutions sought here are also being sought in other countries.
Given that infrastructural matters are essential to a country and their cost repayment generally anticipated over many years, investment funds are more available.
Notwithstanding, with the availability of funding, the real issue becomes one of choosing the appropriate deal that is beneficial to the country.
When talking about infrastructure in Bermuda, there is a long list — we are in for a complete makeover. It makes no sense looking at it piecemeal.
We have the bridges, Causeway, airport, roads, ports and electric energy. Included in the ports is the redo of the Hamilton waterfronts.
Together we may be talking about $4 billion to $5 billion, which under normal considerations would be written off over a period of 50-plus years.
No matter how or by whom it is funded, these projects need to pay for themselves as part of a normal, and not abnormal, expense to the taxpayer. Here is where it is vitally important to understand who we are, what we are and of what importance we mean to the world.
Once we understand those things, it provides the context for our infrastructure.
For the better part of our 400-year history, it was our maritime relevance that provided for our economy.
We don't need to reinvent the wheel on this issue; we just need to reinvent our purpose. The world of trade between nations and continents is increasing year over year and the trend is expected to continue.
To meet the global trend and maintain our relevance, Bermuda's airport needs to become a hub for cargo; likewise, our ports need to facilitate the international movement of containers.
At the moment, it appears that the infrastructural matters are handled by an incoherent, random design.
The country ultimately cannot afford a kneejerk approach, which acts like a quick fix to perceived problem areas.
We need to think deeply and to ascertain the best approach, even if it means changing our minds on existing proposals and cancelling contracts.
Everything is important. We need to fix our land and heal our people at the same time.