Rising Canadian Tourism Doesn't Help the Jobless

Rising Candian Tourism Doesn't Help the Jobless
PLP Spokesperson for Tourism & Entrepreneurship Jamahl Simmons, JP, MP.

Following today's statement by Minister Fahy regarding Canadian tourism, it is clear that while one Bermuda is celebrating these numbers another Bermuda is beginning to ask, "Where are the jobs?"

OBA policies and direction led to 48 and 49 year lows in air arrivals in 2014 and 2015 and the tourism sector continues to see Bermudian jobs decline, while jobs held by non-Bermudians increased.

In 2012, the OBA promised 2,000 jobs, however, since that time Bermuda has lost more than 2,000 jobs including 318 hotel jobs.

When your grades move from an "F" to a "D" that is encouraging, but when increased tourism numbers aren’t bringing with them work for unemployed Bermudians, we should all be concerned.

Every Bermudian that lost their job last year in the tourism industry has to wonder why they aren't seeing the results that the OBA is boasting about.

As they try to pay their bills and keep up with the cost of living, they have to wonder why they aren't seeing the results the OBA is boasting about.

The reality is that while one Bermuda, the elite and privileged have many reasons to think things are getting better, the rest of us are being left out and left behind in a Bermuda that is working less and less for Bermudians.

The BTA and the removal of politics from tourism is something we support. A more collaborative process and better input and consultation with stakeholders is something we believe in and as the government we will continue to facilitate. It is unfortunate however, that the OBA doesn’t seem to care that Bermudian jobs are being lost and that non-Bermudian jobs are the only ones experiencing growth. They seem more interested in taking credit for the work of the BTA than in keeping their promise to create 2000 jobs for Bermudians.

Bermuda can do better and it will do better when it has a PLP government that will fight for Bermudian jobs and opportunities.