Premier denies Landow deal
Premier Craig Cannonier has again dismissed suggestions that he struck a deal with a US developer in exchange for a financial contribution ahead of the 2012 general election.
Mr Cannonier spoke out following calls yesterday by Opposition Progressive Labour Party leader Marc Bean for the Premier to “just tell the truth” about his relationship with tycoon Nathan Landow.
According to unnamed sources quoted in an article on the Think Media news website last week, Mr Landow donated $300,000 to the One Bermuda Alliance after being approached by the Premier.
One Bermuda Alliance officials have since declined to comment on the claim, saying that party funding was a private matter.
Yesterday, Mr Bean supported that view, telling the Bermuda Sun: “Whether the OBA received the $300,000 from Landow is their own affair and will be for the party to deal with internally.
“What concerns me, and I think the people of Bermuda, is whether those funds were part of some quid pro quo related to gaming or a casino license. Only the Premier can answer that question.”
Mr Bean added that the incident had “clouded” Bermuda's reputation at a time when investment in the Island was essential.
In response to Mr Bean's question, Mr Cannonier last night told The Royal Gazette: “There was never any quid pro quo agreement with Mr. Landow. On all other points, please refer to my statement on this matter which was released last week and which I stand by.”
Last week Mr Cannonier pointed out that, although Mr Landow did submit a proposal to develop a hotel here, it was rejected. He also described the controversy as a “distraction” orchestrated by the PLP.
“The reporter of the article ... has confirmed in his own story that nothing has been sold,” Mr Cannonier said, later telling Parliamentarians in the House of Assembly that allegations made in the article were “a lie”.
Last night Mr Cannonier added: “I agree with the Opposition that “investment in Bermuda right now is critical” for the Island's success.
“As I've stated many times, that goal is integral to the work Government is conducting with potential investors — both local and overseas — to strengthen all sectors of our economy. That work continues and is bearing fruit, in rising company incorporations and new building projects — all of which will lead to our ultimate goal — jobs for Bermudians.”