Roberts: The Opposition Is In A State of Great Confusion

bradley_roberts_t670STATEMENT
BY
BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
PLP NATIONAL CHAIR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3RD March 2017

McCartney’s Senate resignation further underscores opposition’s “ball of confusion”

Bahamian voters in the valley of decision about who should lead this country after the 2017 general election are not and should not be surprised by the sudden resignation of Opposition Leader in the Senate, DNA Leader Branville McCartney.

McCARTNEY’S SENATE RESIGNATION FURTHER UNDERSCORES THE FACT THAT THE OPPOSITION IS A “BALL OF CONFUSION.”

This decision calls into question Mr. McCartney’s judgment. Was Branville McCartney in a Ripvanwinklesque cryogenic slumber when Loretta Butler-Turner sowed the seeds that created one big “BALL OF CONFUSION” in the FNM? Butler-Turner turned her party’s convention into a circus and later led the gang of seven to emasculate and undermine her duly elected leader who she danced with and pledged her undying support for. Did Branville not see that coming? Is he that slow as a leader?

McCartney was in the media blaming his resignation and his uninspiring and failed leadership in the Senate on Butler-Turner. He said that Butler Turner failed to demonstrate leadership, a clear vision and “sowed seeds of confusion.” It is unfortunate that Bran missed an entire public spectacle where Loretta managed to break up and split the FNM, throwing the party into total chaos.

But where is McCartney? Was Branville in a coalition with Butler-Turner or not? He says no but she says yes. Was he the leader of the DNA or Butler Turner? That was unclear. Was he or is he returning to the FNM or not? He say no but Dr. Minnis says there is a chance for a united opposition.

More broadly, where is the opposition? Dr. Andre Rollins wants to go back to the FNM but they are not sure if they want him. Hubert Chipman is contemplating running as an independent in St. Annes and Loretta Butler-Turner is pursuing an independent FNM bid in Long Island. There is even talk of the rebel seven returning to the FNM, effectively firing Loretta Butler-Turner as opposition leader and returning that post to Dr. Minnis.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE OPPOSITION IS IN A STATE OF GREAT CONFUSION THAT GOT MORE CONFUSING WITH THE SENATE RESIGNATION OF BRANVILE McCARTNEY.

In stark contrast the Progressive Liberal is a stable and united organization committed to moving this country forward together. We met this country in a total mess in 2012 and over the last five years worked hard to build a solid foundation on which to build. We cannot turn back the clock by handing this country to a group of people who do not even like each other, who are unable to agree with each other, who lie to and undermine each other and who place their self-interest above the public interest.

The PLP asks the Bahamian people to weigh the leadership teams in the balance and decide whether they want an organized and unified party with a strong track record of change to lead them or a disparate and divided grouping driven by self-interests. The choice is clear. The PLP asks you the Bahamian people to place your support behind us as the best choice to secure your future and that of your families as together we move this country forward.

PM Christie: Changes Are Happening, The Path is Clear

IMG_0780_editedRt. Hon. Perry G. Christie
Prime Minister and PLP Party Leader
Carmichael, Southern Shores, Golden Isles
Joint Branch Meeting
Thursday, March 2, 2017

PLPs: HELLO!

Are you with me tonight?!

Carmichael, Southern Shores, Golden Isles –

It is good to see all of you!

When I see you, I can see for myself you are getting battle-ready!

I see you suiting up – ready to fight, ready to WIN because this battle matters – it matters to all of us, to our children, to our communities, our future.

This battle is about deciding whether we are going to go forward or turn the clock back – and Carmichael…Southern Shores…Golden Isles…we cannot turn that clock back!

Tonight I get to do something I love to do – and that is show off the strength of the PLP team – a team with energy and expertise and smarts – a team that works together to move the country forward.

And it’s a real team, not like the other guys. You know our opponents over there, they’re trying to get together and smile for those cameras now, but after all they have said about each other, and done to each other, all the scandals and the resignations and the back-stabbing – a new calamity every day — that over there, that ain’t a team, that’s a straight-up dysfunctional disaster.

That makes me prouder than ever of my team – of hard-working, talented leaders like Ken Dorsett, Michael Halkitis and Keith Bell.

Because PLPs, it has been together, as a team, and as a people, that we have faced down so many obstacles.

When we came in 2012:
– the economy was in shambles
– the debts were piled high
– there were no new investments in our economy
– education and training were terribly underfunded
– there was no plan on the horizon to improve health care or health insurance
– and our borders were not protected.

And friends – today — in so many ways — our country is better, stronger, and standing tall.

I want you to know something – and this is important — I see all the people who still need help. I see all the places where change hasn’t come fast enough. I know too many of our families are still hurting.

But I also know that many of the changes we put in place ARE starting to make a big difference.

For the students who are receiving scholarships – did you know we doubled our nation’s investment in scholarships? – things are changing.

For the thousands of Bahamians who have received training at the National Training Institute, things are changing.

For the fishermen who say that for the first time this country is doing a good job against foreign poachers, things are changing.

For the children with special needs who finally have a school dedicated to their education, things are changing.

And when the lives of our young people and our workers and our entrepreneurs change, our country starts to change.

If you know your history, you know that it is under the PLP that big things happen. Everything we do builds on the values and the achievements of the PLPs who came before us.

One PLP generation created National Insurance, now we are beginning National Health Insurance.

Pindling’s generation founded The College of The Bahamas, and now we have moved forward, with the University of The Bahamas.

Pindling’s generation made it a priority to support Bahamian athletes and students, and now, under this government, we have new athletic stadiums that were designed by Bahamian architects, built by Bahamian engineers and Bahamian workers, owned by Bahamians, with beautiful new facilities that will support a new generation of Bahamian students and athletes.

So that’s what this is all about – that’s why we’re all here tonight – because politics isn’t about the name-calling and the back-and-forth and the noise – it’s about all of us, together, and the kind of country we want to build.

And if you’re going to build a better country and a brighter future, you better have incredible leaders by your side.

Southern Shores, you know who I’m talking about!

Ken Dorsett – he’s been by your side, fighting for you, and at the same time, doing the Lord’s work protecting our country’s beautiful land and water resources.

Did you know, that working together, we expanded the marine protected areas in our country from 2 million acres to 13 million acres?

We all know how important that is – not just to us now, but to our children and grandchildren and their grandchildren.

And Ken Dorsett oversaw a new National Energy Policy, which means more and more of our energy will come from renewable resources, and established a Youth Environmental Corps, and
amended the Electricity Act to provide for solar electricity.

When problems arise, and they always do, in this complicated business called life, Dorsett is in there – with his sleeves rolled up, working hard to move things forward and get the best results for Bahamians.

He knows that national development and growth and prosperity must go hand in hand with protecting our natural resources.

Let’s talk about the economy, Golden Isles! Because Michael Halkitis, your Member of Parliament, is my trusted Minister of State. He oversaw a seamless transition to VAT, which is fairer than the old system, and has allowed us to lower customs duties on more than 100 items.

You know, the FNM knew that putting the country on stable fiscal footing required VAT – they admitted as much — but they didn’t have the courage or the expertise to get it done. But if you have someone like Michael Halkitis on your team, you CAN do big things, and in our country and in the region, Bahamians and neighbors alike have praised how smoothly and efficiently our country has made this change.

When you stabilize your finances, you can do the things that matter to people – you can put in place something big like the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute, which is now reviving Bahamian agriculture, creating new opportunities for Bahamian scientists, farmers and entrepreneurs, and replacing foreign imports with produce grown by Bahamians.

Buy Bahamian, PLPs! Show your pride!

Carmichael, I’m looking at you now – because you have a new candidate – and we are all lucky that it’s a man like Keith Bell. You know, his reputation on the force is that he’s the first through the door – not afraid of anyone or anything.

That’s just the kind of hard-charging approach we need to tackle our country’s biggest problems.

In the battle against crime, we cannot let up, and we have to fight on every front. We have:
– recruited and trained hundreds of new police officers
– built four new criminal courts
– doubled the conviction rate against criminals
– reduced the number of violent criminals who are granted bail
– and provided new protections for witnesses and jurors.

We are better protecting our borders from drugs and gangs with hundreds of new Defence Force officers, a new fleet, new bases and new technology for the Defence Force.

When you are talking about something like crime, you never rest, you never let up, and you keep bringing new tools to the fight. The data clearly shows that despite the terrible problems we have with gang shootings, overall crime IS down. The new investments and programs ARE starting to work. And we have to keep working, too, until every home and every street and every community is truly safe.

That’s why while we expand programmes we know make a difference, like Urban Renewal, we also bring new innovations to the table, like a new anti-gang unit, and a new Save Our Boys initiative.

Fighting crime and violence demands more from all of us –

We can build new courts, but we need you to serve as jurors and witnesses.

We can improve our schools, but we need parents to offer stable and loving homes.

We can add police officers to the streets, but nothing beats neighbors who look out for each other.

We have to be partners in building this country!

Changes are happening, the path is clear, and that’s why I don’t want you to only think about HOW the PLP can win – but WHY –

The PLP must win because it’s our party that invests in people, that moves the country forward, that creates new industries and new opportunities.

The PLP needs to win because we can’t afford to go back to an FNM that doesn’t care about you:
– an FNM that underfunds education and training;
– an FNM that ran up massive debts while creating no new investments;
– an FNM that gives its own Cabinet ministers big government contracts;
– an FNM that went $100 million overbudget on the roads and put Bahamians out of business while they did so.

And we sure can’t go back to an FNM that stops and cancels programs and policies that are working just out of political spite!

The PLP needs to win because we have come so far, but there are many bridges left to cross!

The PLP needs to win because the alternative is a party that is so divided and so weak that they will wreck the county, just run it aground.

The PLP needs to win because the courage and the dreams of our forefathers still calls out to us – they began this work, and we must continue it!

So I need you now – our faithful supporters, our troops on the ground, our trusted friends – to ready yourselves for an epic battle. If we win – this country will continue to move forward.

So I ask again – Are you with me tonight?

Can we count on Carmichael staying with the PLP?

How about Southern Shores?

Will Golden Isles stay Gold?

I need you battle ready and committed!

Can we do it together? Can we move this country forward together?

Well let me hear the battle cry then! … PLP! PLP! PLP!

Dorsett: We Must Move Forward Together

IMG_0743
Remarks by Kenred Dorsett
Joint Branch Meeting
2nd March, 2017
Garvin Tynes Primary
Nassau, Bahamas

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Southern Shores…..Southern Shores!!!
Are you ready?

Party Leader
Deputy Leader
Cabinet Colleagues
National Chairman & Party Officers
Stalwart Councillors
PLPs
and the to greatest constituents in the world…..Southern Shores!!!

Good Evening & Welcome

There are those who would have you believe that this Government has not done ONE THING for the Bahamian people. That statement cannot be further from the truth.

Many have found jobs, as a matter of fact approximately 32,000 jobs have been created. But while we celebrate those of you who have been able to find employment and get a job, there are many out there and in here who have not. TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS, WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD, TOGETHER.

We have also doubled the investment in scholarships for Bahamians, and created the National Training Agency for Bahamians, where more that 3000 Bahamians have now been trained. We have hired more Police officers, hired more Defense Force and Immigration Officers to create safer communities for Bahamians.

These few things that I have listed will positively affect the lives of the ordinary Bahamian. Our children and grandchildren will still be benefiting from the work of the PLP in the decades to come.

Yesterday, I released the draft legislation for the establishment of the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection and the Ministry of Environment.This means that when these bills are enacted there will always be a Ministry of the Environment with a technical arm.

Under this Administration Marine Protected areas have increased from 2 million acres to 13 million acres. This is important to the average person because these protected areas preserve our fisheries such as the grouper and conch that we enjoy consuming. These initiatives will lead to new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the blue economy.

Over the past four and a half years this administration has also given much attention to our country’s vulnerability to climate change. Even if you do not know much about climate change we all understand that the storms that are coming our way are much bigger and much stronger than they were before. Hurricane Joaquin was a massive storm that hit our southern islands in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew was another huge storm that hit us hard here in New Providence, Andros and Grand Bahama.

We have advanced the Bahamas National Energy Policy calling for a minimum of 30% renewables by the year 2033 and have changed the laws of the country to promote alternative energy deployment. We have eliminated the duties on solar and wind energy generating systems. Through international grant funding, we will take Anatol Rodgers High School off the grid. In our next term, this government will take more public schools off the grid and install solar at utility scale to enable some of our family islands to be powered 100% through renewable energy. But to achieve this we must move FORWARD, TOGETHER.

Now on Housing, must allow the Mortgage Relief program to continue, we must allow the Government to raise funds in its next term to finally advance an aggressive housing program, which will include a Rent-To-Own program which will benefit so many Bahamians like some of you, who don’t have the deposit required to get a loan. To achieve these things, we must continue to move forward, together!

Ladies and gentlemen you and I live in the real world. We know that with the best intentions and all the will you can muster, when you do BIG things, you face obstacles. When you are fighting for change you face setbacks. When you want to make life better for the common man, you face critics and sometimes an unfriendly media. When you do BIG things, sometimes change take longer or is messier than you want it to be. Would you agree?

We have to tell our neighbors, and everyone we know that the facts prove that the PLP is moving this country in the right direction!

PLP’s I cannot leave this stage without speaking to my PEOPLE.

SOUTHERN SHORES!!
MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!

I must admit and I really hope that my colleagues do not get too jealous when I say, I HAVE THE BEST TEAM IN THE BAHAMAS.

In the past four years we have done much here in Southern Shores and the best is yet to come. We have been able to transform the Percy Munnings Park by installing solar lights, installing a playground, completing the gazebos and barbecue pit and constructing a tennis court. This was only one of the parks that has been improved. We established the Southern Shores Leadership Institute where we have been able to provide lectures on topics such as breast cancer awareness and job readiness and provide entrepreneurial advice to residents. In 2016, we we provided the Mighty Timberwolves of Anatol Rodgers High School with a brand new school bus, which was badly needed by the school and PTA.

We have provided scholarships to young residents to assist with their tuition at the University of The Bahamas.

We heard the cries of the people of Misty Gardens, Marshall Road, Pastel Gardens and Faith Avenue as well as the students of Anatol Rodgers, begged and pleaded for over 30 years to have the derelict vehicle site on Marshall Road removed. 30 years they toiled. We moved it in less than 3 years!

But there is much, much more to be done!

Ladies & Gentlemen, Hubert Minnis is not a leader! He is no Hubert Ingraham. He is no Perry Christie.

When our leader talks about protecting our borders and fisheries he invests $232 million dollars in a fleet and resources to protect our waters. Hubert Minnis believes protecting our fisheries is getting a Bobo and Toogie fish special delivered to his home.

His own people say that he is a liar! I don’t say that, FNMs say that. So why should we believe him. He has wrecked the FNM. So if he will wreck his own party do you want to risk him wrecking our country?

The FNM is broken! They are not ready to lead this country. The PLP is united and strong!

The PLP has a team, a united team, that is on the job tackling the big issues facing our country. This PLP team is laying the foundation and making the big changes necessary to put this country on the right track.

PLPs, our our sleeves have to continue to be rolled up, to fight and work for you. But we can’t do it alone. Any politician who tells you they can, is selling you dreams. Real change will only come, when we all embrace change. In ourselves, in our families, in our lives and in our communities.

Southern Shores, I cant do this alone! PLPs, we cant do it alone. We need you. We need you to join this team. A team that is led by a man who has given his entire life to public service. This PLP team has a leader who is known for his love of the Bahamian people and his knowledge of our country and its needs. This PLP team has a leader who has a vision for this country. We have a leader who has proven that he can take an idea and bring it to fruition, look at Urban Renewal which is touching people’s lives. Look at National Health Insurance which will change the lives of every Bahamian. Look at the University of The Bahamas that will educate Bahamians for generations to come. Look at the Bahamas Public Park and Public Beaches which has placed lifeguards on beaches for the first time. Look at BAMSI which is training our young people in agriculture and marine sciences in order for us to be able to feed ourselves.

This team has ONE LEADER………stand with me and welcome our Leader and the Leader of this great nation, the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie.

Good night and God Bless

Bell: Together We Can Achieve Great Things

IMG_0665_edited_editedSen. The Hon. Keith Bell
Candidate for the Carmichael Constituency
Progressive Liberal Party
Outdoor Branch Meeting
Garvin Tynes Primary
March 2nd, 2017

PLP! PLP!PLP!

Southern Shores are you out there?
Golden Isles are you out there?
Carmichael……..OH CARMICHAEL are you out there?

Mr. Party Leader,
Mr. Deputy Leader,
Our Chairman,
Stalwarts Councillors
Officers and Members of the great Progressive Liberal Party
And My Carmichael Family
Fellow PLPs everywhere
Good Evening!

I want to begin by thanking our leader, Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie, Chairman Bradley Roberts and the candidates committee for the confidence that they have reposed in me to be the standard bearer for this great Progressive Liberal Party. I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve the people of Carmichael in this profound way. I also would like to thank the current Member of Parliament for Carmichael, Hon. Danny Johnson for his support of my candidacy and assure him that I will do all within my power to keep Carmichael…….P-L-P.

I have met the residents of Carmichael and can tell that they are wonderful, hardworking people. I am looking forward to representing their interests in the House of Assembly.

It is my intention as the Member of Parliament for Carmichael to bring our residents together with with Police and other law enforcement agencies to establish Crime Watch associations in the various neighborhoods and to enhance participation in the crime stoppers and other Police initiated programs to ensure that Carmichael does its part in the country’s fight against crime.

I will also focus my efforts on restoring a sense of community, and building neighbourhood pride and relationships through the establishment of a community development association. This association will not only facilitate educational lectures and organize community events but will also reach out to those that are sick and shut in and in need of assistance. We must once again become a village.

We will either rise together or we will fall together. I want us to rise.

Tonight, I commit myself to the people of Carmichael and the ntroduction of new and fresh community programs that are geared directly to the advancement of our younger generation. We are losing too many young lives on our streets, and with those lives we are also losing the potential they held to become great, productive citizens of our nation. Through education, sports and vocational endeavors the young people of Carmichael will in short order become shining examples for the rest of the country.

As the next Member of Parliament for the great constituency of Carmichael, I have a plan to address the needs of the elderly and vulnerable. The work has commenced in the community identifying the needs of such persons so that myself and my team can hit the road running once elected in collaboration with the Church and Civic organizations to bring relief to the elderly.

We will engage the Department of Social Services and Urban Renewal where needed to improve the quality of life for individuals in the constituency.

I am excited about what we are about to do and the journey that is ahead of us. Together we can achieve great things to uplift our community, ourselves and our neighbors. I am committed to making it happen in and for Carmichael.

I TELL YOU PLPs LOOK AT ME GOOD BECAUSE IN TWO MONTHS OR SO YOU WILL BE LOOKING AT THE NEW MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR CARMICHAEL.

You know what, I don’t care what anyone says, the Progressive Liberal Party is a great Party. We are a party that has history, we have strength, we have guts and we have stability.

The PLP was the first party to demonstrate a commitment to the uplifting of the majority of the Bahamian people.

The PLP was the Party that understood that the people of the country needed to be educated, needed a social safety net, affordable housing and healthcare.

The PLP is the Party that is offering our young people free internationally accredited training. We are the ones that understand that food security is important to our national security and created BAMSI.

This PLP is the Party that doubled the investment in our students through scholarships.

Carmichael, this administration has done much of what it set out to do in the Charter for Governance but we all know and understand that the journey does not end here. There is more for us to do and there are more lives that we need to touch.

We cannot keep our accomplishments to ourselves. As we leave these meetings and go to our various jobs and homes we must talk about the good that is happening in this country. We cannot continue to only promote the negative when people are being helped every day and progress is being made with every step forward that we take.

We cannot afford for those in opposition who cannot run their own Parties or stick with a senate position for only three months to run our nation into the ground again. We are moving forward Bahamians and we are moving with the PLP.

And so Carmichael,
I say to you, lets stand together. Lets work together.
And when the election is called place your vote next to the hand and KEITH BELL.

PLP! PLP! PLP!

Roberts Declares Support For Bell, Halkitis and Dorsett

IMG_0645_editedREMARKS
BY
BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN
PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
JOINT PUBLIC BRANCH MEETING
CARMICHAEL, SOUTHERN SHORES AND GOLDEN ISLES CONSTITUENCIES
GARVIN TYNES PRIMARY SCHOOL
THURSDAY 2ND MARCH 2017

Party Leader;
Deputy Leader;
Cabinet Ministers;
Parliamentarians;
Party Officers;
Branch Chairmen;
Branch Officers;

Good Evening!

Now I was trying to be a lil nicer this go ‘round but news reports indicate that Brent “Small Things” Symonette is seeking to come back. The question is, what more does Brent want? He was an abject failure as Tourism Minister; and he was fired for conflict of interest at the LPIA airport and violated the constitution with his contractual involvement in the New Providence road improvement works fiasco. So what does Brent really want? We know it is not public service because the only interests he has ever served were self-interests, and the financial interests of his family and friends.

Symonette has Minnis over a barrel, using his pocketbook to buy a seat in the Parliament and possibly another deputy leadership. Brent was the master mind behind the revolt by the gang of seven to over throw Minnis.

Brent’s use of money for political gain is an obscene gesture that is a slap in the face of those who truly wish to serve the people; this is an insult and an affront to our democracy and I call on Bahamians in Saint Annes to overwhelmingly reject Brent Symonette, should he secure the FNM’s nomination.
St. Annes needs a Doctor and his name is Dr. Charles Clarke.

Fellow PLP’s,

We have a tough fight ahead of us and we must be focused, united and resolutely committed to victory. We cannot and must not faint, become weak kneed or weary. I charge you to give of your time and talents to these campaigns as you set aside personal differences as our future is at stake and bigger than any single personal issue.

Carmichael, WE need to elect Keith Bell! He is a good and faithful public servant and has yet again answered the clarion call to public service. Mr. Bell is committed to at-risk communities, the development of youth, and the reduction of crime. He has done well as the Minister of State in National Security. I ask Carmichael to reward Keith’s faithfulness and put your full support behind the candidacy of Senator Keith Bell.

Michael Halkitis has distinguished himself as one of the architects of public finance reform. He was instrumental in rescuing The Bahamas from the fiscal cliff in 2012. He is a man of the people and has stayed the course in Golden Isles after his defeat in 2007 – never leaving the good constituents of Golden Isles.

I ask Golden Isles to stand by Michael as he has stood by you through the good times and bad. Michael believes in you and the endless possibilities for Golden Isles as you work together to move this country forward.

The same cannot be said for his opponent as my garbage can is revealing some rough waters ahead for Kenyatta and the FNM, placing the hapless Hubert Minnis in the valley of decision. I say no more for now.

Energy reform and environmental protection – both land and sea – are critical to national development and your man for Southern Shores was given the awesome task and he has delivered.

I am advised that Ken Dorsett remains visible in his constituency, going door to door and holding his man. Southern Shores, this is the time to double down and lock down every street corner and every block. Take nothing for granted, take no prisoners and be ever vigilant.

I throw my full support behind these three young, dynamic, accomplished and energetic candidates as three fine examples of what this great country of ours continues to produce and examples of what the future leadership of The Bahamas looks like.

A VOTE FOR KEITH BELL, MICHAEL HALKITIS AND KEN DORSETT IS A VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE…A SECURE FUTURE!

CARMICHAEL, ARE YOU VOTING FOR KEITH BELL??!!

GOLDEN ISLES, ARE YOU VOTING FOR MICHAEL HALKITIS??!!

SOUTHERN SHORES, ARE YOU VOTING FOR KENRED DORSETT??!!

Well let me hear you … PLP! PLP! PLP

Roberts: FNM Record of Setting the Country Back is Clear

IMG_0286REMARKS
BY
BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
NATIONAL CHAIRMAN
PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
JOINT PUBLIC MEETING
FOX HILL AND MARATHON CONSTITUENCIES
FOX HILL PARADE

MONDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2017

Party Leader;
Deputy Leader;
Cabinet Ministers;
Parliamentarians;
Party Officers;
Branch Chairmen;
Branch Officers;

Residents of the great Constituencies of Fox Hill & Marathon and from all over New Providence;

A hearty welcome to all of you and a pleasant good evening!

I thank the organizers of this meeting for their kind invitation and I promise to brief.

My presence here tonight is tangible evidence of my unreserved support for the candidacies of both Fred Mitchell in Fox Hill and Jerome Fitzgerald in Marathon – two of our hardest working ministers and devoted Members of Parliaments by any measure.

On behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party, I thank all of you here tonight for your continued support of the work of the PLP government in moving our country forward and in particular your support for the work of Ministers Fred Mitchell and Jerome Fitzgerald and for the future works of Dr. Charles Clarke our candidate for St. Anne’s.

It is incumbent upon each one of you to ensure that on election night, that Fox Hill, Marathon and St. Anne’s are counted in the wining column so that the work of this great party, the party of change and transformation, can continue.

LET ME HEAR IT FOR FOX HILL!

LET ME HEAR IT FOR ST ANNE’S!

LET ME HEAR IT FOR MARATHON!

We had hope tonight to present our standard bearer for the Freetown Constituency but look forward to do so very shortly.

An article in this morning Tribune Dionisio: Govt creating ‘Country of Dependents’ caught my eye. Dionisio D’Agular, the FNM candidate for Freetown continues to prove that he does not have the heart to serve the people of the Bahamas, as a Member of Parliament.

He has long been on record as saying that “Bahamians beg too much”. Now he says that Bahamians are from a “country of dependents.”

Shameful.

The shame goes further. He is now calling on the Government to “cut back” on the monies “being allocated to NHI”. Even as Bahamians dies because of a lack of health insurance and before the full NHI plan is implemented Mr. D’Agular makes this heartless call.

Shameful.

Still the shame goes further with an outright lie about how the government is increasing the number of public servants simply for partisan politics.

Shameful.

So shameful that the PLP calls on the leader of the FNM to disassociate the Party from this degree of heartlessness, and outright lying by Dionisio D’Aguilar. I call on Freetown to strongly reject D’Aguilar and let him continue to do what he does best. Wash and Dry clothes.

My brothers and sisters, it has been widely reported that more than 200,000 Bahamians are living without health insurance. Access to affordable healthcare regardless of our financial standing is a human right and your PLP government is fully committed to NHI. The NHI Secretariat has launched the selection of your primary healthcare provider program and the primary healthcare benefits campaign so the roll out of the primary benefits phase is imminent. This phase covers office visits, annual physicals, lab tests and preventative care so potential diseases can be caught and treated early.

The FNM believes that you must be critically ill with heart disease and late stage cancer before you can access healthcare. This proposal must be rejected along with the FNM who has a rich legacy of taken us backwards by stopping important programs out of political spite.

My brothers and sisters, over the last four years and nine months, your PLP government has worked hard in doing much heavy lifting and laying a firm and solid foundation for the future growth and development of our country. Our foundation was built on the solid rock of empowerment, inclusion and stability through a vision driven by social and economic justice.

But notwithstanding that, too many of us are still hurting and have not been sufficiently touched by our government’s efforts and we openly acknowledge that more must be done. Big ideas and big changes sometime takes time but we are moving this country in the right direction.

REMEMBER, ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY!

Our speakers tonight and at future meetings will remind you from whence we came in less than five years.

It was not that long ago that this country’s economy was in a wheelchair; a country on the brink of social and economic collapse; an economy in shambles with no new investment in sight. You know well the torn up roads that shut down businesses and put many people out of work and the torn up lives that resulted.

You know the FNM story very well – driven by STOP, REVIEW, CANCEL and POLITICAL SPITE. They abandoned important and empowering programs on education, training, poverty reduction, security and national health insurance, setting us back and driving the misery index off the charts. Our police force and public school system were underfunded; our judiciary was dysfunctional and after five years as Health Minister, Dr. Minnis and the FNM failed to deliver National Health Insurance.

Your PLP government did not complain in 2012 but rolled up its sleeves and went to work for you. We have doubled our investment in scholarships, made the largest-ever investment in technology in our public schools, and established the University of The Bahamas.

REMEMBER THE ROAD TRAFFIC AUTOMATION PROJECT. CANCELED!

REMEMBER THE FIRST NHI PROGRAM. CANCELED!

REMEMBER THE RESTORATIVE YOUTH PROGRAM WITH YEAST AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH! CANCELED!

REMEMBER URBAN RENEWAL. GUTTED!

REMEMBER OVER $80 MILLION WORTH OF PUBLIC WORKS. CANCELED.

THE FNM’S RECORD OF SETTING THE COUNTRY BACK IS VERY CLEAR. A VOTE FOR THE FNM IS A VOTE TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK. THIS TIME WE ARE SIMPLY NOT GOING BACK! WE WILL BUILD ON OUR SUCCESS AS WE MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER BAHAMAS!

PLP’s of Fox Hill, Marathon, Anne’s Town and Freetown we expect you to work together and to deliver a quad

Thank you, God bless and good evening.

Communications Bill Adds New Privacy Protection for Bahamians

ALLYSON-MAYNARD-GIBSON1STATEMENT FROM THE HONOURABLE ALLYSON MAYNARD GIBSON
ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER OF LEGAL AFFAIRS

February 21, 2017

Interception of Communications Bill 2017

The Interception of Communications Bill has two main purposes: the first is to ensure that the police have a critical crime-fighting tool in their arsenal, by modernizing the law that allows the police to intercept the planning and execution of serious crimes, including drug and gun trafficking, cybercrimes and other criminal activities; and the second is to add a new privacy protection for Bahamian citizens, so that from now on, independent judicial review would be required before a citizen’s communications could be monitored or intercepted.

In my consultations with various individuals and organizations in civil society, it has been my experience that the more people learn about the legislation, the more they support it. That is because all Bahamians who are concerned about crime and security want to ensure that our police have a legal path to intercepting the communications of criminals. They also understand that the Listening Devices Act, first passed 45 years ago, long before electronic and digital communications became commonplace, did not keep pace with modern technology.

In addition, contrary to many of the concerns that have been raised, the legislation adds, rather than removes, protection for private citizens. It does so by adding new protective steps – a judge in the Supreme Court must grant the police permission to intercept any citizen’s communications, if the judge finds that reasonable suspicion is justified and the Supreme Court sets a time limit for the duration of the interception. Any extension beyond that time limit must be granted by the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court can also give instructions as to how and when those records should be destroyed when the threat is removed. These new protective steps safeguard citizen privacy in a way that meets concerns raised in a recent Privy Council case on the Listening Devices Act, which specifically recommended that consideration be given to providing greater protections to Bahamian citizens.

Unfortunately, in this political season, most of the public discussion about the legislation has become completely partisan. Overheated and irresponsible accusations or alternative facts do nothing to further public education or engagement. In too many instances, the debate has been neither measured nor informed.

Because we are concerned that the public has been misled very substantially about the content of this legislation, we have decided to add a period of public consultation, which will be led by the Office of the Attorney-General. During this period, we will work with civil society to ensure that Bahamians will have an opportunity to learn about and review the legislation, have their questions answered and their concerns addressed.

Supreme Court Denies Legal Challenge to Boundaries Commission Report

Bradley-RobertsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
21 FEBRUARY 2017

RE: Supreme Court denies legal challenge to Boundaries Commission Report

Bradley B. Roberts
National Chairman
Progressive Liberal Party

The Bahamas Supreme Court ruled today that the 2017 Constituency Boundaries Commission Report which passed in the Lower House on Wednesday, 15th February 2017 meets all legal requirements, and in doing so, denied the petitioners’ challenge.

The work of the boundaries commission, a joint and bipartisan political effort, is intense and at times contentious in nature. In recent times, governments led by both major political organizations have been more transparent and responsible in this exercise which is essential to the electoral process.

Despite the inevitable disputes, the effort features close consultation between parliamentarians of opposing parties, taking into careful consideration the constitutional guidelines of voter registration in relation to population size and the fair distribution of voters.

The Progressive Liberal Party was disappointed that mischief makers attempted to extend their political activism beyond the legal remit and objectives of the Boundaries Commission in an attempt to frustrate this necessary constitutional requirement.

Nonetheless, the Progressive Liberal Party has always been and will continue to be respectful of the rule of law as it is the great and ultimate equalizer regardless of however frivolous and vexatious the intent in testing our supreme law.

It is our hope that this will be the posture of all concerned.

Griffin: The Answer is to Keep Moving Forward

IMG_0349_editedREMARKS BY THE HON. MELANIE S. GRIFFIN, M.P.
MINISTER OF SOCIAL SERVICES & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR THE YAMACRAW CONSTITUENCY
JOINT OPEN AIR BRANCH MEETING
THELMA GIBSON PRIMARY SCHOOL, COMMONWEALTH BOULEVARD, ELIZABETH ESTATES
NASSAU, BAHAMAS
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13TH, 2017
7:30 P.M.

Party Leader;
Deputy Leader;
Cabinet Colleagues;
Parliamentary Colleagues;
Party Officers;
Branch Chairmen;
Branch Officers;
Residents of the great Constituencies of Yamacraw & Elizabeth and from all over New Providence;
The next Member of Parliament for the Elizabeth Constituency, Mr. Alex Storr & Mrs. Storr;

Good evening!

Jeremiah 29:11 (New King James Version) says:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

We have come together tonight at a crossroads in our national development; at a time when the country is finally moving forward. We have worked so hard, all of us, my Bahamian brothers and sisters, to get to this moment. We have known long days and dark nights. We have had a lot of obstacles in our path. Yet we ARE turning the corner, we are seeing light. More Bahamians are finding the work they need to sustain their families. More of our young people are finding the opportunities they need to be their best selves. But the changes haven’t happened quickly enough – there are too many homes and too many communities where things are still too hard.

But the answer is not to turn back! The answer is to keep moving forward, to work even harder, to bring change to every home!

At this crossroads our choice is very clear – do we continue to build on our successes and move our beloved country forward with a strong, experienced leader and a united team that knows the way? Or do we go backwards, and throw away the advancements of the last five years with a weak, divided FNM?

If the FNM Parliamentary Caucus did not have confidence in its leadership, how can the Bahamian people be expected to trust them? If you cannot lead and get your own house in order, how can you lead an entire country, given the complexity of challenges facing our country? Why would you place your future and that of your children in the hands of that crew?

So, the choice is clear! There is a lot of noise out there – because they can’t present themselves as a united, strong party, they are choosing to muddy the waters with attack after attack, one wild allegation after another. But at the end of the day, they are who they are: unfit to lead, smiling for their photos but fighting as soon as the cameras go away.

Our party is different – we work together, and we focus on you, not on fighting each other.

Let’s look at the facts, because facts do matter:
When we came to office in 2012, your PLP Government met a country on the brink of social and economic collapse; our economy was in shambles with no new investment in sight. The poorly managed road works was not only over budget by $100 million, but shut down scores of businesses, putting many Bahamians out of work. The infamous and harmful STOP, REVIEW AND CANCEL policy stalled the economy and hurt many families and businesses.

The FNM had abandoned important and empowering programs on national training, poverty reduction and national health insurance, setting our country back years. Our police force and public school system were underfunded; our judiciary was overwhelmed with huge caseload backlogs, and in their last five years in government they refused to continue the work left in place to provide national health insurance for everyone.

So first we had to get the house in order. We have built a strong foundation for change and progress by making the tough decisions necessary to stabilize and grow our economy. Doing that has allowed us to take important steps forward to improve national security, reduce poverty and provide better healthcare for all through NHI. Now you know, and I know, the work is not done. We have a lot of work to do. But finally, brothers and sisters, finally finally we are on the right path forward!

I ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO SELECT YOUR PRIMARY HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IN PREPARATION FOR NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE!

Let us continue on this forward path of progress!

Consider education – a priority for us, always. We have doubled our investment in scholarships, made the largest-ever investment in technology in our public schools, and established the University of The Bahamas. These are major changes, major success stories – just ask the children who are going to college, the first in their families. But of course, there is more to do – let’s build on what we’ve started, by expanding scholarships, expanding training opportunities for our teachers, improving our curricula and the resources in our schools.

Nearly 3000 young people have received training at the National Training Agency – we want to reach more, and to continue to assist with job placement. We want to help young people find not just jobs but careers, where they are making the most of their talents and not just feeding their families but giving their best selves.

BAMSI has been extraordinary – where there was nothing, now, thanks to the vision of the Prime Minister, there is now a school, and training, and a network of relationships and entrepreneurial opportunities. BAMSI is not just for farmers and marine scientists – it’s for all of us – it means for the first time in our history, we are tackling food security, and at the same time, strengthening our economy, building our agribusiness sector, and creating Bahamian agribusiness professionals, scientists and entrepreneurs. This is a success story that needs to continue, and we must not allow it to be stopped in its tracks.

The RISE programme is well on its way and the prepaid card is in place throughout the country, with the final island scheduled to receive the card by the end of March. We’ve worked so hard, to bring not just convenience and flexibility but dignity to those who participate. Improving social services needs to continue. Can you imagine social services going back to where it was – the devil is indeed a liar!

Brothers and sisters, did you know that The Bahamas has negotiated to gain control of our airspace? That Bahamian-owned and operated airlines will no longer have to pay to fly in our own airspace! Another big deal – another marker in history, thanks to the Prime Minister and to my colleague Minister Hanna-Martin. This is something the FNM said could never be done. They lacked vision, they lacked courage! But we didn’t.

Brothers and sisters, we are on the right path. We are tackling some of our most difficult and complex challenges: the foundation for a more secure nation has been laid with the recruitment of hundreds of new police, correctional, immigration and defence force officers. Our investment in a new fleet, new bases, and new technology for the Royal Bahamas Defense Force provides better protection of our borders and marine resources.

While we have come a long way in less than five years, there is an enormous amount of work still to do. Too many people are hurting, and while people are hurting, we will never rest.

Fellow Bahamians, hear my voice – our work continues!

We will continue to make our communities stronger, and safer. We need to break the cycle of generational poverty, and provide greater access to healthcare. Every citizen across this family of islands must be touched by real opportunities of empowerment, ensuring that no Bahamian is left behind.

As we forge ahead together Bahamas, now is not the time for uncertainty and in-fighting and weak leadership; now is the time for strength, for an agenda for change, unity and vision.

We must and will move forward with our trusted leader – the change agent – the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie at the helm and his ever ready dynamic team with all hands on deck. Big changes are not easy and they take time. We have had our share of challenges, but one thing is always true: the PLP is on the side of the people – that has never changed. In all our battles, we are fighting for you.

The PLP came out of the belly of the people and their cry for social justice and equality. You know our heart. We are ordinary people, just like you, trying to continue the work started by our founding fathers “to wipe every tear from every eye.”

Yamacraw! Elizabeth! Bahamas! Believe you me, we know the struggle is real; we are affected by it as well. We must continue to move our country forward, together, as Bahamians.

Elizabeth, we bring to you a son of the East. A man with a strong PLP foundation who has walked these streets for many years working with me to address the challenges you faced over the years whether it was in Yamacraw, in the Elizabeth Bye-election or working along with the community association to positively impact the lives of residents in the east. His reach and that of his philanthropic family extends well beyond the east. We give you, in Alex Storr, a man who is not afraid of hard work, whether it is taking on the role of Vice-Chairman of the Party or carrying the Party’s banner in Long Island in the last election, Alex does not shirk from his responsibility and his service to country is well-known. Elizabeth, I can assure you, when you give us Alex in the next election, we will have the most formidable working team the East New Providence has ever known. You can rest assured, you will indeed “Be Sure with Storr!”

“Yamacraw, Oh My Yamacraw!” I have walked your streets, sat with you in your homes, seen your children grow into adults, shared in your good times and comforted you in time of sorrow and natural disasters. We have had some good times and we have had some rough times, but through it all together we have made Yamacraw a community of which we can be proud. Yamacraw we need to stay on course, we have no reason to turn back. So don’t forget, “Stay with Mel, when we ring the Bell!”

It is now my distinct pleasure to present our keynote speaker for tonight’s joint meeting. He is an agent of change, who is progressive in his vision and charismatic and transformational in his leadership, undergirded with compassion so you know he cares deeply for his people. He is a nation builder. I present to you a loving father, a doting grandfather and a devoted husband and above all a man who has exhibited the utmost of integrity in public life.

Ladies and gentlemen stand with me and welcome the next Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie!

Roberts: D’Aguilar Credibility Problems Continue

IMG_0286FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STATEMENT BY BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
CHAIRMAN, PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
IN RESPONSE TO MEDIA COMMENTS ATTRIBUTED TO DIONISIO D’AGUILAR

13TH FEBRUARY 2017

With so many important issues facing this country, I am loathe to respond to media comments attributed to FNM candidate Dionisio D’Aguilar. While I regard his comments as unfortunate and at odds with reality and the facts, I make a few observations at the invitation of the press and for the record.

The record PLP’s record of empowering Bahamians from all walks of life is legendary. Our major beneficiaries of our policy of Bahamianization and our economic policy are our white brothers and sisters who comprise much of the merchant class. That is a fact.

A member of that merchant class is Dionisio D’Aguilar, a local business leader who has benefitted much from that protectionist policy and the overall prudent management of the Bahamian economy by the PLP administration – an administration he seems obsessed with demonizing and slandering – but facts are stubborn.

As he runs to the media and seeks to convince Bahamians that the PLP is evil and bad for The Bahamas, D’Aguilar continues to earn profits hand over fist from his wash houses, this supermarkets and his fast food franchises; his business empire is in full expansion mode. In fact, notwithstanding his empty vitriolic invective, his supreme confidence in the Christie led government to manage this economy is tangible and evident by the expansion of his business empire.

D’AGUILAR CUSSES THE PLP GOVERNMENT ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.

His continued attacks on the PLP government present him with a dilemma and credibility problem because he is challenged to explain his expanded wealth in the face of what he calls an evil and incompetent government. He must also explain how and why he relishes in demonizing these same black Bahamian customers and employees who continue to facilitate the expansion of his wealth, hand over fist.

To poor complaining multimillionaire D’Aguilar – some unsolicited advice. Firstly, Bahamians would not sympathize with a crybaby spoiled brat millionaire with a gold spoon in his mouth. Secondly, instead of complaining, D’Aguilar needs to be about campaigning and winning the hearts and minds of those he seeks to represent. Thirdly, he should apologize to voters for reportedly saying that he will never enter politics because Bahamians beg too much.

D’Aguilar’s credibility problems continue.