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Bean questions OBA’s ‘urgency of now’ to get things done

Parliament will sit for three extra sessions starting this Friday in order for Government “to move aggressively” through its Throne Speech objectives, according to Premier Craig Cannonier.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Cannonier confirmed that Parliament will reconvene on Friday and sit for three sessions on consecutive Fridays until September 27. The House of Assembly will then adjourn and reconvene in November.

“There are a number of reasons for the extra meetings,” Mr Cannonier said in his statement.

“We had a short legislative year to begin with as the election was called in December. There is also an urgency of ‘now' to get things done on behalf of the people of Bermuda.

“We're in critical condition. We were handed the keys to a car that had been driven off the cliff. Over the past eight months we've taken the time to assess the damage and now, with clarity, we are able to chart the way forward. We have a plan. The extra meetings were added to move aggressively through the objectives that we laid out in the Throne Speech, and to finally stop the bleeding and move the country in the right direction.

“Although I can't get into the specifics about any proposed legislation until it is first discussed in the House, in the coming weeks you can expect this Government to make the right changes and sometimes make tough decisions to protect and create jobs for Bermudians first, to propose legislation that will provide social and economic recovery for everyone, and to substantiate the need for more accountability from all MPs and redefine our charitable organisations and tourism product.”

It is understood that legislation creating a Tourism Authority to replace the Department of Tourism will be the first item on Friday's agenda.

Opposition leader Marc Bean issued the following statement this afternoon:

“The Premier's announcement of an extended Parliamentary session citing the ‘urgency of now', is interesting. Since becoming Government, the OBA's tenure has been known more for deception, blunders and inaction than the ‘urgency of now'.

“As we were willing to work with the OBA on this special extended Parliamentary session, the PLP was willing to work through the traditional summer break. The minimal legislative agenda prepared by the OBA however hindered the ability to work through the pressing issues facing our people. This failure of leadership by the current Government shows an inability to manage the legislative process and that should concern all Bermudians.

“Despite the pressing need to get our people back to work, the OBA have failed to take action or produce a plan.”

The OBA has failed to take action “on concrete items” such as the gaming referendum and Jobs Corp, Mr Bean added.

“So we ask again: Where was the ‘urgency of now', for the past nine months?

“We stand willing to work through all future breaks in an effort to listen to the people of Bermuda and to get all relevant parties working for the people of Bermuda.”

Premier Craig Cannonier

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Published September 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 09, 2013 at 4:00 pm)

Bean questions OBA’s ‘urgency of now’ to get things done

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