Governor George Fergusson outside the Cabinet Building this morning. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Governor George Fergusson outside the Cabinet Building this morning. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
For immediate Release

* Hit refresh for updates (Usually every three to five minutes once the speech starts) The Bermuda Sun will also post the full speech and have other stories throughout the day.

12:13pm: Thanks for following the Live blog today, but please check out other stories on the Bermuda Sun website as we will have comments from Premier Craig Cannonier later and a highlights wrap up plus some analysis. 

12:11pm: The Throne Speech has concluded, and what a long one it was compared to previous years. Some highlights: MarketPlace and Lindo's will offer 10% off on Wednesdays for the next year; Conscription will end; Hurricane shelters will be set up at Sandys Middle School and Clearwater Middle School; Mandatory ID checks on places serving and selling alcohol; Alcohol will be allowed to be sold on Sunday; A programme will be expanded to help people get off Financial Assistance. 

12:07pm: Governor's own words: Modernize the civil service and get the debt under control will cause some pain, but Bermuda will emerge stronger and fairer. 

12:06pm: All of us together can right Bermuda's ship and leaving no one behind. 

12:05pm: A host of Acts will be looked at - Charities Act, Fire Safety Act, USA-Bermuda Tax Convention Act among others. "Government remains deeply concerned about the life of everyday Bermudians." The Government must rebuild the dreams of all Bermudians. Government has to revitalize the economy. Steps to ween young Bermudians away from gangs, is step to a safer Bermuda.  

12:02pm: Hurricane shelters will be set up at both the east and west ends at Clearwater and Sandys Middle schools. Both of the schools' roofs will be strengthened. A pilot scheme of LED street lighting will begin to see if that can reduce energy costs. 

Noon: Forts in St George's will get a sprucing up. The St George's Golf Course will also get assistance. The Land Title registration will go online so the public can access it. The ocean EEZ is being examined as 'it's a significant opportunity". It could strengthen our fishing industry and bring in direct foreign investment.

11:57am: Food security will be looked at. Arable land protection will be strengthened. Invasive species pose the greatest threat to Bermuda's food crops. Bermuda has 23 of the top 100 invasive species. Lionfish will be the prime target. 

11:55am: The expansion of the Student-Career Pathways programme. S3 students will be required to sit the City and Guilds programme.  A facilities plan will be done on Bermuda's schools. 

11:54am: Recognizing young sporting talent and aiding them will be supported. A policy on gender equality will begin a consultation process.

11:52am: Both parents need to be involved in children's lives. Sentences other than prison need to be looked at for non-child support. 

11:50am: A programme to help women and men get off of Financial Assistance by giving them new job skills will expand. 

11:49am: Government will control the importation of new high tech medical equipment to help health insurance costs not rise as rapidly. 

11:46am: Alcohol will allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Government will change the law so that judges can set a minimum sentence before they are eligible for parole. 

11:43am: Government will introduce amendments to end conscription. It will look at decriminalising marijuana. 

11:41am: Police benefits will be looked at so they can be strengthened. Cash back for communities will see funding go to a Street Safe programme and help people get out of the gang lifestyle.  Mandatory ID checks will be enacted for bars and other places serving alcohol. A review of the Firearms Act will take place so gun sportsmen can compete on a level playing field. 

11:37am: There will be job opportunities created for air traffic controllers through new legislation. A gambling committee has been formed - a referendum will be held in the first quarter of 2014 to decide on gaming.

11:34am: Labour law review will begin, which will affect seven laws. The ILO will be consulted. There will be created more pathways to citizenship for those born here or who have been adopted by Bermudian laws. A Good Samaritan Act will be created. The election laws will be changed to allow absentee voting for those overseas on vacation or who are in university. 

11:30am: The regulation of energy will come under the Regulatory Authority, which is reshaping the Telecom industry, with the aim of lowering electricity costs. A focus will be made on interconnection costs and more renewable energy sources. Up to 20 per cent of Government contracts will go to small companies through the BEDC.

11:27am: The largest number of registered companies are on the books, some of these will not just be paper companies. They will be hiring people and taking up office staff. 26 companies have been assisted to set up in Bermuda by a concierge service.

11:24am: The SAGE Commission's complete report will be tabled in November for debate. Debt collection will be stepped up as Government is owed $70m. Government will help work to restore confidence in Bermuda. There will be a $750m bond issue, which islanders will have first crack in investing. An office of Contractor General will be established. 

11:21am: There are signs Bermuda is starting to move in the right direction. Saying that Bermuda has had two consecutive quarters of job growth. Added that

11:18am: Bermudians can recognize the importance of international business - we can not survive without the help of the outside world. That has happened in the past through the building of the hotels, the building of the bases, of international basis. But Government must make sure that Bermudians' rights are protected while welcoming international workers. 

11:14am: He called unemployment a 'scourge' Progress will begin when people understand that we are all in this together. It requires patience from the people. Improvements will not happen as fast as they need to happen. All stakeholder groups need to take part in a shared sacrifice. MarketPlace and Lindo's will offer 10 per cent discounts on Wednesdays for one year. 

11:11am: "Bermuda know not only how to survive but to prosper and survive.... building towards a better tomorrow."

11:09am: The prayer is done and the Governor is at the podium. 

11:06am: Bishop Dr Vernon Lambe will lead the morning prayer.

11:05am: PLP MPs Glenn Blakeney and Walter Roban wearing green ties. 

11:01am: Premier Craig Cannonier and Opposition Leader Marc Bean have been introduced. Marc Pettingill is dressed spiffy in a red vest and white hat. Leah Scott is dressed in OBA colours with a red dress and black hat. Other than that not a lot of MPs dressed in OBA colours.

10:59am: They MPs are walking down the steps from the Hill and crossing Reid Street.

10:56am: The PLP are wondering if the OBA will back their play to end conscription, which was tabled earlier today. 

10:52am: The Senators are coming in and the Black Rod has been dispatched.

10:50am: There is some milling about, but most people are seated. A bit of humidity after the rainfall that happened just past 9am, but otherwise it's a nice sunny day. 

10:46am: Governor George Fergusson has arrived is being greeted by the Queen's Royal Salute by the Regiment Band. 

10:42am: Earlier this morning PLP Leader Marc Bean tabled the Abolition of Conscription Act 2013.  

10:38am: Bermuda Sun online reporter Mikaela Pearman is reporting the tent is already full but there are hardly any spectators. The Regiment Band is coming in now.

10:25am: The 2013 Throne Speech is expected to focus heavy on jobs and getting the economy back on track. Governor George Fergusson will deliver it at 11am from the grounds of the Cabinet Building.

Premier Craig Cannonier will host a post-Throne Speech press briefing this afternoon where he will highlight the Government’s legislative agenda initiatives.

Government Ministers will host a series of press conferences next week relating to their specific Throne Speech initiatives. You will be advised of the dates and times of those press briefings.