PLP insists Friday had productive moments
The Progressive Labour Party issued a statement from its embattled leader Marc Bean this afternoon, saying the Opposition had led debate in the House of Assembly on Friday on “key issues”.
Mr Bean has been accused by the One Bermuda Alliance of making repeated derogatory remarks to, and about, women who are associated with the party, the latest incident allegedly occurring on Friday evening, according to a statement by the governing party.
Mr Bean did not respond to the most recent allegation in this statement.
He was quoted stating: “At the most recent sitting of the House of Assembly sitting on Friday, the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party demonstrated our commitment to putting forward new ideas and solutions to challenges facing Bermudians. The PLP led debate on four pieces of legislation designed to change the laws in Bermuda so that Bermuda works better for all.
“The OBA supported a PLP measure advanced by Shadow Minister for Immigration and External Affairs Walton Brown, called the Commission of Inquiry Amendment Act, which granted the Premier of Bermuda greater powers to protect Bermudian interests. The House passed a Bill that changed the existing law so that the power to call Commissions of Inquiry will no longer be held solely by the Governor.”
He added that the Premier and future premiers will now also have that power and be able to use it in the interest of Bermudians, and commented that “hopefully” it would prevent the “farce that occurred in July from being repeated, where Parliament voted for a Commission of Inquiry, and that action was rejected the United Kingdom's Governor.”
Mr Bean said in introducing the Public Holidays Amendment Act, Shadow Youth, Community and Cultural Affairs Minister Michael Weeks had proposed that Bermuda Day should be tied to the Memorial Day weekend in the United States and be held on the Friday before the American holiday. He said this would allow greater economic and tourism marketing benefits, as well as benefiting Bermudians directly. “Though the OBA indicated they could support the measure, they asked that the PLP take up the Bill again next week once they receive the result of a poll that the OBA are currently running on the issue.”
The PLP look to pass this Bill on December 12, said the Opposition Leader. He added: “Hopefully the OBA will support the PLP again.”
He also pointed to the Statutory Interest Rate Reduction Act. “Although the One Bermuda Alliance refused to support Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt's Statutory Interest Rate Reduction Act, which he said would have reduced the statutory interest rate from 7 per cent to 3 per cent, “ ... the OBA were forced to acknowledge the wisdom of the PLP's vision in reducing this rate. During the debate, the Minister of Finance pledged to have the Bermuda Monetary Authority use its power to reduce the statutory interest rate.
“The PLP will monitor this issue and hold the OBA Government to the pledge made to the people in Parliament.”
Mr Bean added: “On the day I became Leader of the PLP, I pledged that we would not merely criticise the OBA, but that we would also bring forward real ideas and real solutions for Bermudians. These three changes to law, along with our legislation relating to ending the practice of sending Bermudians to jail for civil debts, ending conscription and decriminalising simple cannabis possession, are tangible proof of our commitment to that pledge.
“The PLP will continue to lead and will introduce additional changes to our laws so that Bermuda works better for all.”