Pearman attacks Burt administration over failure to back equality legislation
The PLP’s decision not to back proposed OBA legislation aimed at encouraging equality shows “how partisan our island has become”, according to the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Legal Affairs.
Scott Pearman said the OBA tabled the Equality Act on December 10 last year – International Human Rights Day – in order to enhance Bermuda’s human rights laws and combat inequality.
Last Friday, MPs debated the Bill but voted 21-6 against taking it to committee, the next stage in the process when a detailed examination of the clauses takes place.
During the debate, Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, said the PLP would not support the Bill because it “lacked substance”.
In a statement today, Mr Pearman said: “For the past seven months, the Burt administration has had every opportunity to raise issues with the Bill, to propose amendments, or even to take over and make it a Government Bill.
“Instead, the Premier chose to be political, voting to stop an OBA Bill that would combat inequality and enhance penalties for those who discriminate against workers.
“When proposed legislation is criticised both for doing too little, and for going too far, the ideas are likely right on target.”
Mr Pearman added: “The Government said they were voting the Bill down because they had technical issues with the drafting. Yet this Government had seven months to work together with us if they wanted to improve the OBA’s proposals.
“We are grateful to the Government MPs who did not join their PLP colleagues in voting down the Equality Act. We must work together to solve Bermuda’s problems.
“Despite this setback, the One Bermuda Alliance will continue to fight for a better Bermuda. Next time we hope more MPs will have the courage to put progress ahead of party.”