OBA tells Premier – ‘it’s time to get your act together’
The Opposition leader called on the Premier to “get focused” after a string of incidents that he said left residents feeling hopeless.
Cole Simons insisted that his One Bermuda Alliance would help to provide the island with first-rate leadership.
Among his concerns, the Opposition leader listed the absence of ministers at a time when coronavirus cases spiked and testing problems that meant many pupils were unable to return to classrooms as scheduled.
Mr Simons said: “It's not surprising then that Bermudians feel frustrated and exasperated.
“They are literally throwing their hands in the air because of a sense of hopelessness as all these incidents have taken place within the last several weeks.
“As we are only midway through January, what can we expect for the next 11-and-a-half months?”
He added: “Premier Burt, it’s time to get your act together, and that of your team – you must raise your game.
“The current level of leadership is just not cutting it.
“It’s time to get serious, get focused and put your best foot forward on behalf of Bermuda.
“Bermuda and her people deserve and need blue-ribbon leadership now and we in the Opposition will do our part to make it happen.”
Mr Simons said: “To say that the Progressive Labour Party government started the new year off on the wrong foot is a gross understatement.
“What they have been demonstrating in dramatic fashion is that their decision making and judgment calls on critical matters during this state of emergency are lacking in a major way.”
The OBA leader said that David Burt, the Premier, “extended emergency powers and then left the island, during an emergency period along with his senior ministers“.
Government House provided information earlier that showed acting ministerial appointments were approved for 11 intervals that spanned seven weeks from the end of November.
Mr Simons said: “By definition, the Deputy Premier is the substitute when the Premier is unavailable, but he too was on vacation off the island.
“Whoever approved his leave request and the majority of other senior Cabinet ministers to be gone while the country was undergoing a spike in the Omicron virus is irresponsible and must be held accountable.”
Bermuda’s public schools were all expected to open on January 5, but the night before, the Government announced that a staggered approach would be taken because not enough teachers had been cleared to return to the classroom.
Mr Simons said: “The debacle of our children trying to get back to school after the Christmas break has yet to be sorted out.
“The poor management of the testing regime left parents at their wits’ end."
He added: “Having to work from home or make other arrangements with little or no notice from the Minister of Education has left the children in week three of January with still no firm date as to when their in-class studies will resume.”
* To read the statement from Mr Simons in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.