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Influencers key to Robinson’s maiden speech

Dwayne Robinson, left, and Marcus Jones, delivered their maiden speeches as One Bermuda Alliance senators yesterday (File photograph)

A new senator called for better online opportunities for Bermudians in his maiden speech yesterday.

Dwayne Robinson said that more could be done to keep Bermudian talent on the island.

Mr Robinson, 24, added: “We have a lot of social-media influencers, we have a lot of jobs like that being done online that have reaped rewards for younger people in other countries.

“And I do hope that one day we can implement some of these things here in Bermuda that can widen the amount of income sources that people have available to them.

“A lot of times, people are making more of their wealth on the side of their job, doing certain things that are now available to the mass public, like YouTube partnerships.”

But he added that the island had not “updated” in this sector.

Mr Robinson was speaking as he took his seat in the Upper House for the first time after his appointment by Craig Cannonier, leader of the One Bermuda Alliance opposition.

The new senator, one half of It’s That Type of Party, an online political satire show, said there was a need to generate funds other than through the tax base.

He added: “With a shrinking population, that is going to be a very finite way of income because, frankly, we’re looking at an ageing population and a population that we will have to sustain.

“A lot of young people that are supposed to be sustaining it are planning on leaving or have already left.

“We have to change that environment, we have to touch the young people in a way that makes them believe that Bermuda is the place that they can get those opportunities.”

Mr Robinson said there was little emphasis placed on “innovating the economy” with “fresh ideas”.

He added that more should be done to promote and support local artists.

Mr Robinson said: “We have a very vibrant arts community selection here, we have rappers and models and artists ... and they rarely get mentioned in these sort of initiatives.”

Mr Robinson questioned “how serious the Government is” about alternative art forms.

He added: “There are a lot of people getting recognised now on social media that have nowhere to perform, they have no competitions for them, no avenues to showcase their arts, unless you are somebody who paints, but there are so many more artistic opportunities that should be made available in our country that I feel could help with the economy as well.”

Marcus Jones, also appointed to the One Bermuda Alliance benches this month, said the Government’s recent Throne Speech was aspirational and “very ambitious”.

He used his debut speech to talk about the importance of economic expansion.

Mr Jones said the economy had to diversify to the point “that our economy can be stimulated, it can be allowed to widen the tax base”.

He added that expatriate workers should be welcomed to “spend time in our restaurants, to rent our homes”.