Criticism of Cadet Corps move
The Bermuda Cadet Corps and the Junior Leaders will be amalgamated and will continue to operate as a company under the Royal Bermuda Regiment.
A Bill was passed in the House of Assembly to repeal and re-enact the Bermuda Cadet Corps Act 1944, with amendments to reflect the organisation known as the Junior Leaders.
Junior Leaders provides elementary training, discipline and youth development for students.
David Burt, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, criticised the One Bermuda Alliance for not investing in youth while dedicating money to the America's Cup.
“A programme, which predates the Bermuda Regiment, which as we have heard is a wonderful thing for our young people and, knowing the challenges which we have with antisocial behaviour in this country, one would think that we would want to promote programmes that actually show the goodness of our young people. So why would they pass this Bill? I hope all the parents will remember that the same Government said we are going to pass legislation but we are not going to give you any money to operate. That demonstrates the priorities of this Government.”
Marc Bean, the Leader of the Opposition, then re-entered the House and said in barely hushed tones: “Taking money from youth.”
Bob Richards, the Minister of Finance, came back with a thunderous response to Mr Burt's assertions, saying: “The reason we don't have money for these things is because they [the Progressive Labour Party] spent it all when they were the government.
“We are spending $150 to $160 to $170 million on debt service. That is where the money for this thing went. And you talk about the America's Cup?
“America's Cup are doing things for our young people ... I am not going to stand up here and let that honourable member grandstand on the back of children — that is sheer nonsense.”