“The One Bermuda Alliance does contradict itself sometimes. We make no apologies for that.”

OBA MP Glen Smith Bermuda Sun, January 22, 2014

In an interesting twist of political irony, it seems the OBA has been caught contradicting itself once again.

During the lead-up to the general election of 2014, several OBA candidates and stalwarts took an immense amount of time to criticize the Grand Atlantic project. They essentially stated that the project would fall into the sea and cause massive amounts of human casualties. Have a look at some of the statements by a few notables:

OBA Candidate Ray Charlton: “I hope that they don’t underestimate the power of the ocean during a CAT 4 or 5 hurricane!” October 4, 2011

OBA Senator Nalton Brangman: “The price of this mess could include loss of life!” March 19, 2012

All of this was in an effort, in my view, to dissuade Bermudians from purchasing these units. Grand Atlantic essentially became a political football.

Tables turned

Upon becoming government, the OBA then faced the reality that they had bad-mouthed the project so much, that they were now forced to do a 180-degree turn and convince Bermudians, and other investors, that Grand Atlantic was no longer going to fall into the sea. 

In March 2013, MP Wayne Scott announced in the House of Assembly that the OBA would invite local, and international parties to submit expressions of interest to purchase or further develop the Grand Atlantic housing complex. The RFI mentioned no concerns that the OBA had about the sea-side cliff that fuelled their pre-election campaign.

In September 2013, MP Scott returned to the House of Assembly, and stated that of the eight proposals submitted to the BHC, four had been shortlisted for consideration.

During the 2014 Budget debates, PLP MP Weeks and PLP MP Lawrence Scott pressed MP Scott for an updated status report to no avail. As a matter of fact, Minister Wayne Scott made himself look rather silly by claiming that he had given a ministerial statement (update) on Grand Atlantic.

PLP MP David Burt quickly and efficiently proved that this was totally untrue as Minister Scott had given no update.

No Transparency

It appears that The Grand Atlantic may indeed have been sold or is close to being sold, as reported by the Bermuda Sun on Wednesday. However, the OBA has refused to give the public any knowledge of this situation. An elevator may even be installed to transport persons from the complex down to the beach below. Yep, an elevator on the cliff face that Ray Charlton and Nalton Brangman and many others claimed was unsafe.

Here is another piece of irony. The main engineering firm for Grand Atlantic was Onsite Engineering.

This is the same firm that now has OBA government subcontracts to build Heritage Wharf and repair the wall on Palmetto Road.

So why would the OBA hire this firm, having raised so many doubts about Grand Atlantic? Family connections, perhaps?

With all that being said, we can conclude one of two things: A — The OBA was lying to the people of Bermuda in 2012 when they claimed the structure was unsafe. B — The OBA is lying to whomever they are selling it to in 2014 by now telling them that the structure is indeed safe. I will let Bermudians be the judge.

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