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Okay, I've had a couple of questions via Facebook and will try to answer them the best that I can.
To replay what happened, four of the PLP senators all spoke in favour of the SDO, although Senator Shakir did make a statement about how he was going to vote his way and if that means he's not in the Senate, so be it. His actual words were:“If it means getting put out of the House thats how serious this thing is.”

A bit confusing in that he very passionately spoke in favour of the SDO as a way to create jobs.

Naturally, all three UBP Senators spoke against it and two of the three independent senators spoke against it.

Senator Atherden was speaking when Mr. Burt spoke with Senator Wilson and then made a motion to "rise and report progress". That effectively killed the debate until some point in the future.

There was a hubbub in the gallery with spectators looking at each other wondering what happened as the Senate quickly ended after that.

From what I've been told, when the Senate picks up the debate, Senator Atherdon will get to conclude her remarks and then Senators Wilson and Senator Carol Anne Bassett can have their say.

There was probably about an hour's worth of speaking left before a vote would have been taken. The best guess - and this is just a guess - is that the PLP may have thought they weren't sure if they were going to win the vote. 

That could be beacuse they weren't sure of Senator's Shakir vote after his statement or wanted to work on Senator Bassett to ensure her vote.

In either event, it's not a good sign for Tucker's Point as they are in limbo. It's a minor victory for the SDO protestors as any building is now delayed.

(9:45pm) Apparently the PLP can bring up the matter for vote at some time in the future. Carol Ann Bassett said she wasn't going to declare how she would have voted. She's the deciding vote on this, whenever it comes back up. 

Senator Burt issued a Rise and report progress which kills debate for tonight. There will be no vote. What a shocker. 

(9:35pm) David Burt had his hand in a circular motion to Jeanne as in "please wrap it up, we know how you are going to vote". 

(9:32pm) Jeanne Atherden "I can't vote for it". Okay - you don't really need to speak any more. 

(9:28pm) Senator Atherden took a swipe at WestJet (specifically) and other new airlinessaying it's "not a five-star airline". I think she's trying to make the case that we have a  five-star property in Tucker's point, but the airlift is anything but five star.

She also has questions about the hotel's management ability.

Senator Burt got up out of his chair to confer with Senator Wilson, the PLP's last voice on this debate.

(9:23pm) A bit of a kerfluffle as Senator Atherden declares her interests and mentions the KeyTech pension plan has shares; and how she's a member of Mid Ocean Club and her brother was the director of planning on the first two Tucker's Point SDOs. Senator Kim Wilson asked for a clarification as if Jeanne had shares personally in Tucker's Point she would have to recuse herself from the vote. 

She's only eight minutes in but it feels like she's going to be speaking for a while. UBP MP John Barritt is in the chamber now. He's sitting where Kim Swan used to be in the middle of the back row.

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(9:15pm) He's done he will vote on this despite on his personal misgivings because its of national interest. Senator Jeanne Atherdon is speaking. Col Burch spoke for only 16 minutes. Thank you! 

(9:13pm) Whoa! Col Burch calls on management changes at Tucker's point because of the financial mistakes that have been made.

(9:09pm) Col Burch said the same people who complain about the PLP play the race card too much are now the same ones using it to try and prevent the SDO. Like him, or hate him, You'll always know where you stand with him - a straight talker. He gets to the point. More politicians should be like him (on both sides of the aisle).

(9:03pm) Col Burch: "Democracy is a messy business". Says the PLP has been a lot more open than the UBP; and then takes a swipe at the Gazette's Right To Know campaign. He's clear from the start he's for the SDO. "We have to make difficult decisions to save tourism." 

Yet to speak: Atherden, Carol Ann Bassett, Kim Wilson.

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(8:59pm) Senator Shakir is still wrapping up. He's saying he's not dealing with "real estate, but the real state Bermuda is in. Senator Col Burch is speaking. He spoke for 51 minutes.

(8:52pm) Senator Shakir said he is focusing on "jobs, jobs, jobs" and not the environment. He's been getting to wrap up for five minutes now. "We are talking about development" Senator Hughes from the chair repeats the phrase (I thought that was a bit rude).

(8:47pm) He's back on the Tucker's Point versus Tucker's Town issue that Senator Furbert brought up. Senator Shakir said we need to help these people deal with their hurt and that they are being used to help sway opinion against the SDO.

(8;42pm) By the way, those of you who know me on Facebook, can hit me up there through chat if you have a question or put it on the Bermuda Sun's fan page on Facebook.

Senator Shakir said the historical side was brought in because the environment argument wasn't strong enough and the historical argument was very emotional.

(8:39pm) Former Premier Dame Jennifer Smith just sat down next to Premier Cox, on the Premier's left. Minister Blakeney is to the Premier's right. Senator Shakir quotes Jim Woolridge again. "Sometimes we have to lose to gain".

Much laughter in the chamber from the Col. Burch's comment that "there's nothing better to do" as to why there are so many MPs watching the debate.

(8:34pm) Senator Shakir mentions he spoke with a real estate manager she told him how people who own luxury homes helps tourism. Even though they won't stay there all year, they will have other people in those houses spending money in Bermuda. He's bringing up a different point than some of the previous speakers.

(8:28pm) Only five senators are in the room. Shakir is saying will need to protect tourism because it helps create jobs for Bermudians. UBP leader Kim Swan has entered. Senator Hughes is in the chair again. He's asked Senator Shakir to get back on point - I didn't think he was off point. 

(8:22pm) I'm actually welcoming Senator Shakir having the floor - he's a good speaker. He's speaking with passion and very clearly. Others have spoken well, but they were very measured in their words.

(8:17pm)Senator Shakir said Bermuda has a history of rezoning pieces of land. The Tucker's Town issue was a difficult one for him. Minister Glenn Blakeney walked in. Says he's not going "to lose any sleep over his decision" because he's going to make the best possible decision for Bermuda. He's now quoting from Jim Woolrdige's book. I've put a link in to Amazon to get a used copy or go tot Brown & Company or the Bermuda Book Store to get yours! Third senator to mention his book.

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(8:08pm) Suzann's staying on the environment. Now she's talking about birding and eco-tourism. She's about to finish. She doesn't think this will be the "pancea" for Tucker's Point. Shocker! She announces she's against the SDO. Senaor HUghes back in the chair. Walter Lister is in the house. PLP Senator Cromwell Shakir to speak. Suzanne spoke for 26 minutes.

(8pm) Okay, three hours in and we've had six speakers... if you're planning on catching it all, then, at this rate we'll be here close to midnight.

(7:55pm) Suzann's going over issues already covered by previous speakers with regard to the two previous SDOs, possible destruction of caves. She just said that Bermuda has more caves and more cave animals than any other country in the world. Surely she means on a per capita basis. 

(7:50) No disrespect, but I'll just call her Suzann as its simpler for me to type than her hyphenated last name. It's standing room only in the Senate Chamber now. Still lots of honking from cars. 

(7:42pm) Carol Ann Bassett will be the swing vote as two independent senators said they will vote against it. UBP Senator Suzanne Roberts-Holshouser is now speaking.

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(7:40pm) She's getting ready to wrap it up. Good. No sense in keep flogging it if you know how are going to vote and announced. Premier Paula Cox is in the chamber. I didn't see her sneak in as well as Patrice Minors and Michael Scott. Joan Dillas Wright spoke for 20 minutes.

(7:37pm) AS CEO of the Bermuda's Hospital Board Joan Dillas-Wright says she knows firsthand how the public feels about the environment as the protest to plans at the Arboretum and the Botanical Grounds. She's also asking if Tucker's Point can't sell its existing units, how can it sell more?

(7:32pm) Senator Dillas Wright - "We are already over developed." The independent senator seems to be indicate she will vote against the SDO. She said the cave system is valuable and needs to be protected.

(7:28pm) Joan acknowledges that the downturn in the economy has hurt business at Tucker's Point. I hope Jim Woolridge gives a kickback - both Senator Furbert and Senator Dillas Wright have read from his autobiography. If he gets a spike in sales, we'll know why.

(7:24pm) She said the fractional units aren't selling well. She's a fast talker, I'll need fast fingers.

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(7:20pm) Senator Furbert is done. Slight applause on the Cabinet lawn. Senator Joan Dillas-Wright's now up to bat. Senator Furbert spoke for 41 minutes - if she had stayed on topic that really could have been condensed.

(7:18pm) Senator Furbert saying if the SDO passes it will need Bermudians to help build the new homes at Tucker's Point and that could make many in the construction industry wealthy. Sounds like she's getting ready to wind it up... we need to support this .

(7:15pm) Full house in the chamber now with all but one seat taken. Ms Furbert still attacking CURB. She said CURB should be concentrating on fouc uing on uprooting racism. Madame President is now asking Ms Furbert to get back on topic.

(7:10pm) Walwyn is asking Laverne to get back on point. She obliges by saying that "I know many people don't like Rolfe Commissiong, but he is to be commended" for the documentary he produced with regard to Tucker's Town.

(7:06pm) Ms Furbert back on the historical argument put forth by CURB saying it can't be a 'slap in the face" to t he black people from Tucker's Town because most of those people are gone, but it could be a slap to their descendants. She said that there were white people who were moved from that area too and it if it's a "slap in the face to black people" that lived there, it should also be a slap in the face to the white families that used to live there.

(7:01pm) Senator Furbert saying she spoke to Phil Butterfield at HSBC and he said the Tucker's Point plan is a good one. Col Burch returned to the room but he's sitting in the peanut gallery next to Derrick Burgess.

Back to Laverne, she also is hammering home that most hotel properties in Bermuda have foreign investors. 

(6:56pm) Ms Furbert saying she consulted her son, who is an environmentalist, but people were critical of her because it was a family member . She's reading a letter he wrote - She's a proud mama - Senator Hughes asking "Does he get to a point?" (Senator Hughes is the acting chair at the moment. The two D avids are out of the room again too. MPs Derrick Burgess and Zane DeSilva have walked in.

(6:52pm)
Addressing the issue of the issue of the people who were moved last century, said most of them used to live on the Mid Ocean Club property rather than the Tucker's Point land. "Tucker's Point is not Tucker's Town".

(6:4 8pm) Ms Furbert still complaining about the people complaining about the SDO and not talking on the points for or against granting it. Calling the public "sheep" who are falling CURB or BEST.

(6:45pm) Senator Furbert questioning "what public" is protesting this? She printed out all the e-mails she received and somewhat joked that she didn't save a tree. She sarcastically thank Stuart Hayward from BEST and Lynne Winfield from CURB for the general public being able to know how to contact her. She was also critical of Government employees using their gov.bm e-mails to contact her with their opinions.

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(6:39pm) Huge moment as Senator Hughes says he can't support the SDO on ecologically grounds, Surprisingly there was no cheer from the Cabinet Grounds. He's one of the three swing votes. Laverne Furbert of the PLP is up next. He s poke for 25 minutes.

(6:36pm) I feel like I'm at a World Cup mat ch in South Africa with vuvuzelas blaring with the amount of car horns honking in support of the SDO protestors.


(6:2 9pm) Senator Hughes is covering ground most people have heard before about the nature reserves, coastal reserves etc. Now he's reading the technical definition as to what a nature reserve is - if I was back in my teaching days, I'd knock him down a grade for padding his paper.

(6:26pm) Col Burch is getting upset at Senator's Hughes assert ion if the Senate passes this SDO that something will be built at Tucker's Point or why are they even debating it with the caveat that it still needed planning principle. 

(6:18pm) Senator Hughes starts off by commending Walter Roban for allowing for this debate rather than just dealing with it himself. He also commented on his "good friend" Ed Trippe and how difficult this must be for him in hav ing this open to public scrutiny. 

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(6:14pm) Mr. Dunkley said a 'yes' vote tonight will only lead to more challenges by the public and any deve lopment will not happen any time soon. He's done 46 minutes after starting. Independent Senator Walwyn Hughes turn to speak.

(6:12pm) I keep thinking Mr. Dunkley is winding up his comments and then he starts off on a new tangent. 

(6:08pm) Mr. Dunkley said this SDO is to bailout Tucker's Point and the lender. He said it doesn't argue that they are in a bad position. But if you're going to let Tucker's Point do it, they should let Pink Beach and Belmont-Newstead too. "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." 

Mr. Dunkley is arguing the fractional model isn't working in Bermuda. He added that there have been no known job layoffs at Newstead-Belmont and that company is in receivership so it's a false argument that jobs will be lost at Tucker's Point.

(6:02pm) Three PLP senators have left the chamber, including the two David's - Burt and Burch - as Dunkley continues to talk - he's gone past the amount of time David Burt used. 

(5:58pm) Said it was a bit discriminatory for Bermudians to allow foreigners to buy more property on the island while at the sa me time making it difficult for Bermudians married to non-Bermudians to get a licence if they buy a house together. That gets a big round of applause from the crowd on the Senate ground.


(5:57pm) Mr. Dunkley might have a bit of a preacher in him. While reading an e-mail he received that read it's interesting "how good intentions disappear once an all-clea r" has been given. That gets an "Amen" from David Wingate in the chamber.

(5:53) Senator Dunkley is stating the obvious that the Government wants the SDO to go forward. He's now reading from Rosewood's main website about how ecologically friendly they are and how they like to work with environmental groups - and saying that hasn't happened here.

(5:47pm)
Bermuda Hotel Associaton boss John Harvey and Tourism director Billy Gr iffith just came in.

Mr. Dunkley said "it's nice " Tucker's Point is willing to deed 28 acres back to the Government of Bermuda, but 19 of them are water in the form of Mangrove Lake. 

He said we have to protect the natur al untouched beauty of Bermuda.

He zinged the Government for its past ecological planning mistakes - the SDO for Southlands and the original plans for the new hospital to be built on the Botanical Gardens.

(5:42pm) "Black people haven't gotten a fair shake" in Bermuda's history. Mr. Dunkley is now zeroing in on how many SDOs Tucker's Point has had already.


There's still about four seats left in the Senate Chambers, but its more of a party atm osphere down on the Cabinet grounds. Almost non-stop horn honking in support of the protestors.

(5:38) Mr. Dunkley said one of his concerns at the graveyard on the property. "I feel uncomfortable" seeing that graveyard there. "We need to do a better job in protecting and preserving that." 

(5:33pm) Mr. Dunkley said he was dismayed about how the Gazette article today criticized the foreign ownership pf Tucker's Point. He said many of our tourist properties are foreign-owned and he agreed with David Burt.

However, he said the SDO lacked balance. He said the site still holds many historical  scars for some Bermudians.

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(5:29pm) Mr. Burt finishes up (and within 30 minutes!) and the UBP's Michael Dunkley has started his counterpoint by declaring he has a vested interest as president of the Mid Ocean Club. He's giving platitudes to Tucker's Point for the good relationship between the two properties and for them opening up to allow people to view the land two Sundays ago.

(5:28) Mr. Burt said the SDO is going to have the most "stringent conditions" than any previous SDO .


(5:25pm)
Mr. Burt said this Government can't "change the atrocities of the past" with regard to the black Bermudian families that were removed from the Tucker's Town area.

Mr. Burt said that if the SDO passes there "will be plenty of objections".

He's praising Rosewood Hotels and how great they are and give Tucker's Point "a stronger footing" in marketing it to the rest of the world.

Mr. Burt is saying that all endemic plants and trees will be protected. He's rea ding where and how many units could be built. I have to wonder does he really need to read this out to his fellow senators? I mean, shouldn't they have already read it? Seems a bit of a waste of time.

Mr. Burt said the deeding of land like around Mangrove Lake by T ucker's Point to the Government can "only be of the benefit to the people of Bermuda".

Most the Senators are looking at papers in front of them while Mr. Burt speaks.

Mr. Burt said the "wider national need" is for Tucker's Point to succeed, but any environmental impact will be mitigated.

Mr. Burt said the Castle Harbour area is ecologically but - and this is no surprise, - "critical' for tourism and "not seen to fail ". 

"It is a shining example of Bermuda's no hotel product" and has "raised the bar".

Senator David Burt said he is "proud of this Government's actions" with regard to the transparency of the debate.

The debate is being broadcast on the lawn of the Cabinet Building. Stuart Hayward and a group of people just walked in with David Wingate sitting next to me.

There's about six seats left in the chambers.

The Budget debate on Transport has just ended. The Tucker's Point debate has begun (5pm).

Lots of horn honking in support of the SDO protestors.

There are only 19 seats avaiable in the Senate Chamber and seven of them are occupied. If you want a seat, you'd bet ter get here soon - although you may have to sit through the debate on the Budget for quite a while.


At 4:30pm, there were about a dozen protesters lounging on the Cabinet grounds with three people holding signs along Front Stree t.

There'a only tqo pwoplw sitting in the limited seating at the Senate Chambers.


Hi all, just to give an update. The Senate is scheduled to debate the Tucker’s Point Special Development Order after they have finished the Budget debate.

Col. David Burch just started (3:45pm) the discussion on the Transportation Department.

The Senators have been granted 90 minutes for that section of the Budget debate.