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Corbin report on self-governance set to be discussed

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Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney General of Bermuda

Constitutional reform will feature strongly in the House of Assembly as a study on how self-government would work is discussed by MPs.

The document, commissioned by the Government, was revealed in the Throne Speech, but scant detail of its contents has yet emerged.

An update on constitutional reform will be given by Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General.

Asked about what was in the self-government study, David Burt again gave little away, telling a press conference: “I will certainly not upstage the Attorney-General, and I am certain that you can tune into the House of Assembly at 10am to learn all of what she has to say.”

The move comes as the Premier said that London instructing Rena Lalgie, the Governor, to refuse giving Royal Assent to a Bill legalising the production and consumption of cannabis in September - which prevented it becoming law - was an “unfortunate incident”.

He said: “What I will say is that democracy in my view must be respected. It was an unfortunate incident.

“But, I am not going to speak further on that to pre-empt what the Attorney General will say on that in the future.

“Those are matters that are in her particular remit and she will certainly be speaking to those in the House of Assembly at some point in time.”

The report titled Assessment of Self-Governance Sufficiency in Conformity with Internationally-recognised Standards was written by Carlyle Corbin.

Rena Lalgie, the Governor (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The session of Parliament will also see Cole Simons, One Bermuda Alliance leader, give his reply to the Government’s legislative programme for the year which was announced two weeks ago.

MPs will also be presented with the Fuels Amendment Bill 2022 which Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier and Home Affairs Minister, said would impact on prices.

Mr Roban said: “The public will recall the recent passing of the Fuels Act 2022, which laid out the main goals of this groundbreaking legislation.

“Primarily, the Fuels Act defines practices in the fuels sector, perhaps most importantly, the pricing of fuels.

“The passing of the legislation allows the drafting of Fuels Act regulations to commence.

“During the debate of the fuels legislation in the Senate, independent senators highlighted matters related to the definitions in the Bill.

“To advance this important initiative, the ministry committed to examine the matters and revert with amendments if necessary.

“After review by counsel, we agreed that the suggestions were worthwhile in providing clarity to those specific definitions raised.

“This Bill will clarify the definition of fuel to ensure that renewable energy solutions are not confused with the fuels sector or unintentionally fall under any of its regulations.

“It also provides additional clarity to ensure that this Act only regulates those in the actual business of importing or selling fuel. For example, excluding hardware stores or those that sell lubricants.”

Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs (File photograph)

In a raft of ministerial statements, Mr Burt, who is also finance minister, will talk about the new $50 million guarantee scheme for first time home buyers.

Michael Weeks, Minister of National Security, will give a statement on the community violence workshop, while Vance Campbell, Tourism Minister speaks on the performance of the sector and plans regarding cruise ships.

Mr Roban will also speak on the Development and Planning Amendment Act 2022, while Diallo Rabain, Minister of Education, makes a statement on Parish Primary Schools.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, Minister of Public Works, will give an update on road works.

Jason Hayward, Minister of Economy and Labour, is giving a statement on the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2022, and Kim Wilson, the Health Minister, talks about the joint strategic needs assessment for Bermuda.

Other Government Bills being brought-up include the Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 4) Act 2022; Development and Planning Amendment Act 2022; the Bermuda Educators Council Amendment Act 2022; Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2022; and the Employment (Minimum Hourly Wage Entitlement) Act 2022.

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Published November 18, 2022 at 8:02 am (Updated November 18, 2022 at 10:40 am)

Corbin report on self-governance set to be discussed

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