Blueprint: OBA MPs heard the Governor lay out plans for 2013/14. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Blueprint: OBA MPs heard the Governor lay out plans for 2013/14. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

Highlights from the 2013 Speech from the Throne:

• MarketPlace, Supermart and Lindo’s will have 10% discounts for shopping on Wednesdays.

• A referendum on gaming will take place in the first quarter of 2014.

• Mandatory ID checks for bars and nightclubs to require proof of age before serving alcohol.

• Wine and spirits will be allowed to be sold on Sundays from retail outlets that are permitted to be open on that day.

• The Criminal Code will be amended to ensure that in the cases of murder and other serious offences, a judge will be able to set the minimum amount of time that must be served before the offender is eligible for parole.

• There will no longer be conscription for the Bermuda Regiment.

• A public consultation paper on the decriminalization of marijuana and its wider uses will be published.

• The Community Driven Development programme will be expanded to help both men and women who are on Financial Assistance to get job training.

• S3 students will be required to sit the Employability Certification Programme offered through City and Guilds.

•  SAGE Commission recommendations will be put into place.

• Both the Civil Aviation and Maritime Administration offices will be examined to see if they are properly staffed to meet international standards.

• Legislation will be amended to strengthen debt collection and enforcement measures. Government is currently owed $70m in unpaid taxes. Monies collected will go to support social programmes.

• $50 million bond issue will take place in Bermuda in November.

• An office the Contractor General will be formed to oversee Government projects.

• The Public Holidays Act will be amended to allow businesses more flexibility for their opening hours.

• The regulation of energy will move to the Regulatory Authority, which will aim to lower the cost of energy for consumers.

• Up to 20% of Government spending on goods and services will be awarded to small business, but they have to be on the BEDC register.

• Pathways to Bermuda status for persons born in Bermuda or for persons who have been adopted by Bermudian parents will be made to ensure the island conforms to the European Convention on Human Rights.

• Absentee balloting will happen for college students and travellers

• Good Samaritan Act will be introduced to provide legal protection to those who donate food to people in need.

• A Vulnerable Persons Act will be put forward for those who have disabilities or cognitive disorders between the ages of 19 and 64.

• The Senior Abuse Register Act will be strengthened.

• All boat moorings will have GPS.

• Bermuda will look to become a certified Air Navigation Service Provider, which could results in the potential for Bermudian job opportunities in air traffic control.

• Confiscated funds from the Proceeds of Crime Act will be distributed to support Team Street Safe, an anti-gang mediation programme. Funds will also go to help support short-term job inititaives for out-of-work Bermudians

• A review of the Firearms Act which would allow competitive sport shooting in Bermuda.

• Parole responsibilities will be shifted from Court Services to Corrections.

• Amendments will be made to introduce controls on the entry of new, high-cost health technology.

• Shield protection legislation will be brought forward for physicians and Bermuda Hospital Board officers involved in quality improvement and peer review.

• Failure to pay child support will see a move away from prison sentences to ‘more creative solutions’.

• A National Sports Policy will be developed.

• A national Gender Policy will establish a framework for including gender perspectives in all activities of Government and society.

• A White Paper will be tabled on Inclusive and Special Education which will set out a plan to meet the needs of all students, including gifted and those needing extra support.

• A National strategy will be developed to revitalize Bermuda’s agriculture industry and strengthen the island’s food security.

• The Lionfish Management Plan will be implemented.

• Alexandra Battery, Gates Fort and the Ferry Reach Martello Tower will be renovated.

• A temporary jobs programme will be created to bring the St George’s Golf Course back up to a playable level.

• Land Title Registration will be introduced and be electronic with the public having access to it.

• Work will conclude on the Exclusive Economic Zone around Bermuda.

• Hurricane shelters will be provided at Clearwater Middle School and Sandys Secondary Middle School with roofs being replaced on the gym and library respectively.

• A LED street lighting pilot project between the two Trimingham Hill roundabouts will commence.