Statement by PLP Chairman Maynard Dill
The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party encourages all Bermudians to stand up and be counted in the wake of the declaration of Minister Fahy that he (OBA) have decided to grant status to Permanent Resident Certificate Holders through a loophole.
What should be abhorrent to every Bermudian is this pronouncement is made after the House of Assembly has recessed for the summer.
This is yet again another example of the back door, non-transparent, anti-Bermudian practices of the OBA Government.
This, on the heels of my counterpart Thad Hollis’s resignation, citing numerous issues outside of the Jetgate affair as to reasons why.
The Progressive Labour Party believes that immigration policy should have as it's guide that it should not produce, or if already existent, be designed to decrease social disparity and promote social agility.
Further, the majority of Permanent Resident Certificate holders were granted this status, by previous Progressive Labour Party administrations, as previous administrations prior to 1998 (UBP) failed to provide any security to long term non-Bermudian workers and residents.
In the midst of furor over the Governor’s refusal to honor a democratic motion from the House Assembly, and in the midst of allegations of corruption regarding the supposedly independent Bermuda Tourism Authority, for the OBA Government to take this action shows that they are working on their own political agenda. This is not about human rights at all but more a perceived entitlement to power at any cost.
We see this as an affront to All Bermudians and something that is shrouded in a political agenda rather than the protection of Bermudian’s birthright, with the stroke of a pen. Similar to the issue on land acquired along the same vein.
To be clear, the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party is not in principal against the granting of status but it can only be done through comprehensive immigration reform. We believe that the loophole should be closed now and serious discussion by a non-partisan group take place to provide recommendations for the better way forward on this serious issue. The PLP brought an amendment to the House of Assembly to close the loophole, and the OBA chose to vote against it. This clearly shows the OBA had no intention of ever closing the loophole.
The One Bermuda Alliance has lost the confidence of the Bermudian public. The 2,500 people gathered at Government House were proof positive of that fact. Premier Michael Dunkley has not been able to stem the tide of JetGate allegations, and friends and family connections that are plaguing the OBA Administration.
In closing, we ask for all Bermudians, inclusive of Parliamentarians, to do all that is required to ensure your birthright is respected and not for sale.