Op-Ed The OBA's Amnesia
The OBA's latest ill-conceived strategy is that we forget what they have done, and forget the damage they have caused to our country while seeking to block progress and change. History can not be rewritten.
They want you to forget that they are the same party that promised not to drop term limits and a month later broke that promise.
They want you to forget that they are the same party that oversaw the decline in Bermudian jobs in tourism while employment of non-Bermudians grew.
They want you to forget that they are the same party that tried to open the immigration floodgates and further marginalize Bermudians in our own country.
They want you to forget that this is the same party whose Airport and Morgan's Point deals continue to cost Bermudians millions of dollars and severely handicap our economic recovery.
They want you to forget how they spent over $100 million of taxpayer's money on America's Cup. According to their own Economic Impact Report, only 16% of the people that economically benefited were Black Bermudians.
I would want you to forget these things if I were them.
We in the PLP know that we have not always gotten everything right, but we are continuing to make steady progress towards a better, fairer Bermuda.
There is cause for optimism as Global Rating Agencies celebrate Bermuda's fiscal prudence and good governance, tourists return to our shores, and Bermudians begin to return to work. Our Economic Recovery Plan is positively impacting our economy. The tax relief given to Bermuda's lowest-paid workers is putting more money into the pockets of so many Bermudians.
We have expanded maternity leave, introduced paternity leave, and expanded protection for Bermudian workers. While we have a lot to be proud of, especially as we recover from a once in a hundred-year global pandemic, we recognize that there is much more work that we are committed to do.
In the months ahead, we will be championing:
✔ A Living Wage to put more money in the pockets of underpaid hard-working Bermudians
✔ Healthcare Reform to drive down the cost of healthcare and ensure that all Bermudians have access to high quality affordable health care.
✔ Education Reform to give our children the world-class education and facilities they deserve and need to prepare them for success in 21st century Bermuda
Yet as we champion these things and develop many more policy initiatives to improve the lives of Bermudians, the OBA shows no interest whatsoever to see these positive initiatives become a reality for our people.
As they seek to get you to forget who they are and what they have done, we know that the OBA will continue to stand up for big businesses and employers who significantly profit from the status quo, which results in so many Bermudians continuing to suffer.
Today, I issue a series of challenges to the OBA. First, I challenge you as the Opposition to continue to hold the Government accountable. Secondly, I challenge you to do a better job of fairly and honestly highlighting areas where we could do better. I challenge you to bring forward new and innovative ideas instead of pessimism, negativity, and obstructionist thinking. Finally, I challenge you to work positively on behalf of the people of Bermuda as we move out of the pandemic.
Senator Owen Darrell