Candidates prioritise education, cost of living
Education and the cost of living were among the priorities for two long-serving Progressive Labour Party members unveiled as candidates for the General Election yesterday.
Anthony Richardson, 56, a senator and junior minister, and former accountant-general, will fight for the Hamilton South seat on October 1.
Owen Darrell, 40, Chief of Staff to David Burt, the Premier, and a former party executive member and teacher, will compete in Smith's South.
The One Bermuda Alliance holds both seats after winning with reduced margins at the 2017 election.
Mr Richardson was the first chairman of the Cost of Living Commission, a role in which he worked to reduce the cost of key grocery items.
He told a press conference at Alaska Hall: “We still have more work to do when it comes to reducing prices in Bermuda but we're making progress to increase transparency, combat price-fixing and ultimately reduce the cost of living.”
Mr Richardson noted that he and his PLP branch had made a private investment of $10,000 to sponsor the airfare of students during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He reeled off a number of highlights of his time as Junior Minister for Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, which included the introduction of Mary Prince Day, changes to make the planning process more efficient, the passage of the Special Development Order for Riddell's Bay “that will return significant portions of land for use by everyday Bermudians” and the Dual Enrolment Programme for public education.
Mr Richardson added: “This election is about leadership and it's a choice between who we want to see us through this crisis — David Burt or Craig Cannonier.
“I ask the people of Hamilton South to ask which leaders they want to lead our country through the economic recovery in a way that puts Bermudians first.
“It's time to go big or go home. I choose to go big, think big and deliver big results for the people of Hamilton South.”
Mr Darrell spoke about his lifelong connection to Smith's, which he said represented “the greatest hits of my life”.
He said: “I attended Harrington Sound school, Harrington Hundreds is my corner shop, my father's shop is on Devil's Hole hill, and I still live on Knapton Hill today.
“For me and the other lucky bies, John Smith's Bay is the beach, Devil's Hole dock is the springboard, Cleveland County is the team and Spittal Pond is Mother Nature.
“For us, swimming is not about Horseshoe, diving is not about Admiralty House, and of course Bailey's Bay know nothing about cricket. When you are from Smith's Parish, it's about our area, our neighbourhood. So if you know, you know.”
Mr Darrell, who served as a public-school teacher for 15 years, said: “I want to continue my service to them and all students by helping the PLP build a future Bermuda that their promise and dedication deserve.
“Bermuda used to create a good standard of living for everyone who had a decent education, but the rise of two Bermudas, the recent failure to invest in the public-school system and the renewed focus on racial equality lets us know that there is a lot of work to be done; work that, quite frankly, the OBA is not able to address.”
Mr Darrell said he had seen “first hand” the leadership of David Burt.
He added: “I'm proud to have played a small role. As we look at this election, Bermudians have to make a decision about who we want to continue seeing us through — David Burt or Craig Cannonier. For me, the choice is clear.”
Mr Richardson lost in Hamilton South to the OBA's Sylvan Richards by 486 votes to 465 in 2017.
Five years earlier, Mr Richards defeated Diallo Rabain, of the PLP, by 569 votes to 364.
In Smith's South, Cole Simons of the OBA defeated the PLP's Roseann Tucker by 729 votes to 274 three years ago.
Five years earlier, Mr Simons defeated Wayne Perinchief, of the PLP, by 706 votes to 203.
• For statements from both the candidates and the Premier, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”