Remarks PLP Rally Treasure Cay
October 6th, 2012
North Abaco, beautiful North Abaco!
To everyone in the rest of the country watching tonight – can you see what a special place this is?! Can’t you just see it?
This is one big family out here in North Abaco! We might not always agree on everything, we might have our family squabbles…but this is a great big family!
And I don’t believe in any kind of divisions…any kind of separations…we’re all North Abaco, we’re all The Bahamas, and all of us, from all our different communities – we’re ready to stand together for a new day!
Because North Abaco, this election is about the future.
It’s about a young man I met with recently who didn’t finish high school but is now stuck, without opportunities, in a bad place. He wants a better future. I want to make sure he has access to a GED programme that will help him take the next step forward.
This election is about the three brothers I know who been fishing these waters as long as they can remember, and their daddies before that. They’re angry that more hasn’t been done to stop foreign poaching – this election is about their future, and the need to get more patrols into those waters.
This election is about the young woman I met who has two small children but no preschool to send them to. She knows that early education is the foundation to a good start. This election is about her future, and the future of her children; we’re going to make sure this government builds new preschools in North Abaco so our children have the start they deserve.
This election is about the young athletes in our communities who just might be our next Olympians – they deserve first-class training facilities, don’t you agree? You think one of you could be the next to win Gold for The Bahamas? I believe in you, North Abaco!
Ladies and gentlemen, after experiencing the leadership of one representative for more than 35 years, as the song says “sometimes it’s hard to say good bye to yesterday”…
But while I know you are grateful to the former Prime Minister for his service, I know you are also looking forward to the future, to a new generation of leadership.
I have a 21st century vision for North Abaco – one that includes a vibrant sustainable economy with opportunities for all of us.
Many of you have heard me talk about education and empowerment – and not just now, in this campaign, but for a long time, as a church leader and as an advocate for youth development for many years. I mentioned the GED programme already – we need to make sure we offer a renewed opportunity for people to get their diplomas. You will see me fight to establish vocational schools like BTVI, to make sure our students who are interested in a technical career have access to the training they need. We’re going to push hard for more scholarships, and give every kind of support to hard-working, achievement-oriented students – they are so important to our future.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have to focus on education – from our youngest students all the way through adults who need new skills to stay competitive. I want to help everyone who is willing to work hard move forward – I don’t want any excuse for foreigners to come in and take jobs we can and should be doing.
North Abaco, you know how important tourism is to our economy. Our second-home market, primarily in the Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay area, has played a vital role in sustaining this local economy even in the time of a deepened recession. These areas, along with Spanish Cay and the refurbishment of Walker’s Cay, will continue to drive our tourist sector.
That is why the Prime Minister has committed to increasing and improving the advertisement for these areas.
Treasure Cay, which has one of the ten best beaches in the world; Green Turtle Cay, which is one of the oldest settlements and is rich in Bahamian history; Walker’s Cay, which is ripe for marine research and deep sea fishing, are just a few of our hidden treasures.
North Abaco, I believe that each community has a proud and fascinating history that should be shared with our children and with our visitors. We need to build more museums and historical centers, and involve our senior citizens in sharing and documenting that history.
Let’s clean up our communities, and create a cultural village to give a place to our entrepreneurs to sell their Bahamian arts and crafts.
Let’s attract more visitors with new adventure excursions around our many blue holes.
Let’s open eco-tourism boutique hotels that target that growing segment of the tourism market.
There is so much we can do here, North Abaco!
North Abaco – you may have heard that the Prime Minister has re-introduced the Ministry of Financial Services – which under Ryan Pinder’s strong leadership, is also responsible for the policies that promote light manufacturing companies.
I believe that it’s time to diversify our economy by establishing Bahamian-owned manufacturing businesses right here in North Abaco. And let’s build new incentives and programmes in our agriculture and marine industries, too. All these changes mean jobs – and North Abaco, I know you’re ready for new opportunities and new jobs.
My brothers and sisters – it has been such an honor to visit with so many of you in your homes and communities. I have been listening carefully as you share your hopes and your challenges, and I want to tell you this: when I represent you in Parliament, I will keep listening. You won’t have to look hard to find me – I’ll be knocking on your door to ask you what’s going on.
So, North Abaco, if you grant me a victory on October 15th, it won’t be my victory, it will be a victory for all of us – a victory for our beautiful people and communities.
North Abaco, are you ready?
Ready to give everyone the education and facilities and roads and police stations and opportunities that North Abaco deserves?
Ready to achieve big things together?
Are you ready for a new day, North Abaco?!
May God bless you and may God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
PLP….ALL THE WAY!!!