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Third time’s the charm as Wayne Furbert returns to transport

New role: Wayne Furbert, the new Minister for Transport (File photograph)

Veteran MP Wayne Furbert takes on the transport portfolio for the third time in his near-30-year career in politics after yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Furbert told The Royal Gazette: “I am quite familiar with the department, so I will talk to the permanent secretary and the staff about things I want to work on and we will go from there.”

He said it was too early to say what he hoped to tackle as minister, but said he intended to use his background as a CPA to look at improving efficiencies.

Mr Furbert was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1993 as the United Bermuda Party candidate for Hamilton West. He headed several ministries over the next five years, including transport, health and housing, and community and cultural affairs.

He lost his seat in the historic 1998 election, which produced a Progressive Labour Party victory for the first time.

He won it back for the UBP in 2003, becoming Leader of the Opposition three years later.

But he was unable to bring the various factions of the party together and was ousted as leader just 14 months later after a no-confidence motion.

He left the party in 2009 to sit as an independent, before crossing the floor to join the PLP in 2010.

He served in several ministries — including transport for a second time — in the Ewart Brown and Paula Cox administrations before the PLP was narrowly beaten by the One Bermuda Alliance in 2012.

After another stint in opposition, Mr Furbert was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office in David Burt’s first Cabinet following the 2017 election — a post he held until yesterday’s reshuffle.

A popular constituency MP, Mr Furbert won nearly 80 per cent of the vote in Hamilton East in the 2020 election.

Despite his years of experience, critics would argue that he has had his share of stumbles.

The veteran politician often appears uncomfortable under the media spotlight and frequently ducks questions at press conferences.

Mr Furbert made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2021. Defending a Government decision to set up an online shopping and shipping service for overseas purchases, he blasted local retailers for providing limited choice at high prices.

The remarks sparked a backlash from the Chamber of Commerce.

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Published October 28, 2022 at 7:50 am (Updated October 28, 2022 at 7:50 am)

Third time’s the charm as Wayne Furbert returns to transport

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