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All eyes on Cannonier for Throne Speech reply

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Throne Speech reply: Craig Cannonier (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Opposition leader Craig Cannonier will give his Reply to the Throne Speech in the House of Assembly today.

MPs will hear from the One Bermuda Alliance after the Government outlined its plans for the year last week.

Mr Cannonier was expected to deliver his response after parliamentary business, including a series of ministerial statements.

The Minister of Finance, Curtis Dickinson, is to outline a report from the Tax Reform Commission and Lovitta Foggo, the labour, community affairs and sport minister is to provide an update on workforce development programmes.

Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, is expected to give statements on vacation rentals and amendments to the Bermuda Tourism Authority Act 2013.

Wayne Caines, the national security minister, is to speak to roadside sobriety checkpoints and Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, is to talk about affordable housing.

Annual reports for the Bermuda College and the Bermuda Sport Anti-Doping Authority were also expected to be laid before the House. Legislation about merchant shipping and the role of the Chief Medical Officer were set to be tabled.

Mr Cannonier previously said the Throne Speech contained “no real mention” of job creation or economic development.

He claimed the Government appeared to have “all its eggs in the fintech basket” and that there was nothing to offer small and medium-sized enterprises.

Yet he praised plans to ban single-use plastics, a promise to consider increasing paid maternity leave from eight weeks to 13 and the creation of an arbitration centre. Members of the public can hear more about Throne Speech initiatives at a meeting with David Burt, the Premier, on Tuesday at 6.30pm in the Berkeley Institute cafetorium.

The Progressive Labour Party leader said: “This year’s legislative agenda focuses on the cost of living and economic inequality. The town hall meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss many of the planned initiatives in detail and answer questions from the public.”

David Burt (File photograph by Akil Simmons)