*File photo
*File photo

 

 

With the commencement of the 2014 Recruit Camp for The Bermuda Regiment, the PLP today renewed its pledge to end conscription in Bermuda.

Shadow Minister for Community, Cultural Development and Sport Michael Weeks said, “While the OBA refused to collaborate with the PLP on a Bill we brought forward to abolish conscription, we remain committed to seeing an end to the practice of drafting young men into the Regiment in 2014.  It is unacceptable for there to be another year of OBA inaction on this issue. The people want progress, not more promises and we intend to move Bermuda forward by ending this outdated practice."

Shadow Minister for Public Safety Michael Scott said,” The role of the Bermuda Regiment in regards to internal security and disaster relief is critical and its transformation into a volunteer organization must be handled in a manner that not only maintains, but improves the effectiveness of the Bermuda Regiment.  As Shadow Minister with responsibility for the Bermuda Regiment, I understand that there is nothing more profound than the Heart of the Volunteer.  I believe that this view is widely understood and that a volunteer Regiment has huge benefits for Bermuda. The PLP envisions a leaner volunteer driven Regiment that creates opportunities and careers for young Bermudians. Let's end the practice of conscription and get on with moving Bermuda forward."

Shadow Minister Scott added,” For this Recruit Camp, I would be very interested to know how many volunteers have responded to the Regiment's recent and widely disseminated advertisement campaign and offer of a cash incentive.  Colonel Foster-Brown is to be commended for spearheading this strategy and we look forward to seeing more ideas to increase volunteerism."

In 2013, the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party tabled the Abolition of Conscription Bill fulfilling the Party's 2012 Throne Speech pledge to end the draft.  The OBA government refused to allow the bill to move forward, delaying the abolition of conscription.