Cabinet changes announced
Revival of the battered economy was front and centre as the Premier announced his new Cabinet and Senate teams yesterday.
David Burt dropped the community affairs and sport minister and the recently appointed transport minister from the front bench.
Lovitta Foggo, who held community affairs and sport, and Neville Tyrrell, who took over transport after Zane DeSilva left the tourism and transport portfolio, will return to the back benches in the House of Assembly.
Rolfe Commissiong, who stood down as a candidate before the General Election, has been appointed the Government leader in the Senate and will take over the community affairs and sport ministry.
Lawrence Scott will be the new transport minister.
Tinée Furbert has been appointed Minister of Social Development and Seniors.
The news came as the next Cabinet was sworn in at a ceremony at Government House by John Rankin, the Governor.
Owen Darrell, the Chief of Staff to David Burt, the Premier, has also joined the Senate and will become the junior Cabinet Office minister.
Curtis Richardson, a repeat electoral challenger in Paget East, was appointed junior minister for the transport, health and national security portfolios in the Senate.
Arianna Hodgson will handle community affairs and sport in the Upper House and Lindsay Simmons will speak as junior minister for social development and seniors.
Both ran in the General Election on October 1 for the first time.
Wayne Caines, the former national security minister, remained out of Cabinet alongside Mr DeSilva after the two were forced to quit in the wake of social media footage showing them with a group in breach of pandemic health restrictions in July at Blu Bar & Grill.
Mr Commissiong stepped down as an election candidate in August after what he admitted was an inappropriate comment from two years ago resurfaced.
Mr Burt said: “One week ago, Bermudians were presented with the choice of who would bear the heavy responsibility for rebuilding this economy and reviving the livelihoods of our people.”
Mr Burt said the result of the election was “clear and unambiguous”.
He added that “the mandate of trust emphatically expressed by the people is both humbling and inspiring”.
Mr Burt said the 30 members of the previous legislative team had worked “day and night for just over three years”.
He added: “With some new faces, especially in the Senate, that legislative team is now 35.
“My hope is that, as our seniors say, many hands make light work.”
Cabinet has increased by one minister to 13 and Mr Burt said he had appointed the maximum number of people from the House of Assembly.
Mr Burt said it was “appropriate given our large number of seats” and that the slate of junior ministers in the Senate would help with the work ahead.
He added: “This is not unprecedented as, in many jurisdictions, backbenchers are engaged to assist ministers.”
Mr Burt admitted there may be criticism over the increased size of the front bench.
He said: “There may be a call by some. It's an easy call to make.”
Ms Foggo will become chairwoman of the Bermuda Land Development Company and the Bermuda Airport Authority and Mr Tyrrell was appointed as the new chairman of the West End Development Corporation.
Mr Burt said the mandate for 2020 was “a heavy one” and said the first job would be “the rebuilding of the economy”.
He promised a busy session of Parliament after the Throne Speech on November 6.