Cannonier calls out Burt over pricey fundraiser
The One Bermuda Alliance leader asked yesterday if the Premier wanted to hide a fundraising event from his supporters.
Craig Cannonier questioned whether David Burt, the Progressive Labour Party leader, was “embarrassed”.
TNN reported this week that it was understood “a high-priced gala dinner was held Saturday evening at Tucker's Point resort”.
The news website added that it was thought the event was to raise money for the PLP's General Election battle.
Mr Cannonier said yesterday: “The Premier held a fundraiser event at Tucker's Point which cost $20,000 — or maybe more — a table.
“In the news report, the Premier has his hand almost out to say, you know, ‘hold off, hold off' and is clearly trying to stop the publication.
“Why did he do that? Was he embarrassed? Did he want to hide it from his supporters, that he's holding this high gala at Tucker's Point?”
Mr Burt said at a press conference on Tuesday that the event was attended by 40 people and “raised funds for the continued work of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party”, which included back-to-school, grocery voucher and food giveaways, as well as Christmas hampers and political education.
He added: “We welcome the support of anyone who seeks to support our effort to build a more progressive Bermuda that puts Bermudians first.”
Mr Cannonier also highlighted a statement made by Mr Burt at the same press conference, which provided updates about the coronavirus.
He said: “The Premier used a press conference, that was meant to be all about Covid, only to announce concessions for taxi drivers.
“It was an inappropriate platform to announce this concession, but it has also allowed me to really think about this here, is the Premier ... now trying to buy votes?”
Mr Cannonier added: “Bermuda, we must do better, the OBA will do better.”
Mr Burt explained on Tuesday that the island's shelter-in-place period, as well as a lack of visitors “severely reduced earnings” in the taxi industry.
He said: “Recognising the challenges faced by taxi operators, the Government will provide a 50 per cent payroll tax break to assist the sector.
“Accordingly, the annual charge of $1,000 that must be paid at registration will be reduced to $500.”
The PLP was contacted yesterday for comment, but there was no response.