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Cannonier critical of PLP’s cabinet choices

Cabinet appointments announced last week showed a lack of direction as well as a failure to cut down on the Ministerial payroll, the Opposition leader has said.

Mr Cannonier said over the weekend: “It is unfortunate that the Premier chose not to show empathy to Bermudians suffering without jobs and facing a bleak future by missing the opportunity to reduce the size of the Cabinet payroll.”

Mr Cannonier was speaking after Renée Ming was announced on Thursday as the national security minister and Neville Tyrrell was sworn in as transport minister.

He said: “The appointment of Mr Tyrrell, in particular, was unnecessary as the transport ministry duties could have been given to an existing Minister, such as Wayne Furbert, whose workload can hardly be strenuous.”

The replacements for Wayne Caines and Zane DeSilva, who were ordered to quit their respective posts of national security and tourism and transport, came after Jason Hayward a backbencher, was made Minister of Labour in June.

Responsibilities were also shuffled as Mr Hayward took on immigration from Mr Caines, workforce development from community minister Lovitta Foggo, and financial assistance from the Ministry of Health.

Mr Cannonier said: “With the appointment of Jason Hayward, Lovitta Foggo's Ministry also lost a lot of its responsibilities.”

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, took on responsibility for two municipalities of Hamilton and St George.

A spokesman for the Government said: “As Premier, Craig Cannonier's first Cabinet consisted of 13 people.

“Our current cabinet has 12 persons. If Craig Cannonier was so concerned about Cabinet size, he would have done something about it when he led this country.”

A Department of Economic Development was set up in January, which Mr Burt added to his responsibilities, along with the tourism part of Mr DeSilva's former tourism and transport ministry.

Mr Cannonier said: “When the PLP won the 2017 election, Jamahl Simmons was made Minister of Tourism and Economic Development.

“When he was made Minister without Portfolio, Zane DeSilva became Minister for Tourism and Transport. Economic development appeared to fade into the background.

“The Premier recently resurrected economic development and, by now adding tourism to his brief, he has effectively gone full circle by recreating a Tourism and Economic Development Ministry.”

Mr Cannonier, who has often criticised the Government over its plans to kick-start the island's struggling economy, said that in its three years back in power, there was now “our second Tourism and Economic Development Ministry”.

He added: “We have also had three people responsible for gaming and three people responsible for immigration. We have also seen two finance ministers.

To me, these are clear signs that there is no direction within Government and no idea about how to get things done and how to fix our economy. As Nero fiddled, so is our Premier.”

Craig Cannonier (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published July 23, 2020 at 6:30 pm (Updated July 23, 2020 at 6:30 pm)

Cannonier critical of PLP’s cabinet choices

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