Karen Magnum: "There is hope for our country now and if we all pull together instead of tearing each other down we can rebuild this country. We can get our people working again." *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Karen Magnum: "There is hope for our country now and if we all pull together instead of tearing each other down we can rebuild this country. We can get our people working again." *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

After reading David Burt’s and Walter Roban’s comments on the job loss report of August 2013, I had to smile… and write a reply.

They both obviously feel that if they can take a swing at something the One Bermuda Alliance has done, they should, no matter what they know to be the true facts.  

The report did not refer to the year 2013  — it was a snapshot of what was going on in one week at the end of August of last year, just months after the OBA won government in December’s election. Was it reasonable for these two men to expect we would have finished the job of repairing the damage their government did to the economy by August?  

Was it reasonable to expect that by August we would have found a way of putting everybody who was out of work back to work?  Of course not.  

Job losses didn’t stop on the day the OBA took office. The leaks in the Government coffers didn’t stop the day the OBA took office.  

In August of 2013, the OBA was still trying desperately to jam on the brakes and stop the downward slide that the PLP Government had set off years before.  

If there is a magic wand you can wave to undo economic damage when governments change, nobody told us about it.  Nobody told the US  about it, either, or the UK, or the countries in the EU.  

But Mr Burt and Mr Roban want Bermudians to believe we have had that magic wand since the election and can produce miracles overnight.  

Both of these men have some background in economics — Mr Roban worked in a bank. Mr Burt studied finance when he was working towards his Bachelor’s degree in business administration.

You know they know better. As Bob Marley says in one of my favourite songs: “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time”.

It is the simplest and most obvious fact that full employment will only come with new capital projects and private business building projects. I think the overwhelming majority of Bermudians get that.  

Maybe there are some who are prepared to deny it to prove their loyalty to the “economists” of the PLP, but there can’t be many who really believe their story.

In the pipleline

What the OBA has done during its first months in office is to work to restore the confidence in Bermuda that the PLP Government lost for us. As a result of that, the pipeline is beginning to fill with projects that, if they are successful, will create the jobs Bermuda needs.

The Hamilton Princess renovation has created jobs for Bermudians already with their marina and restaurant expansion. 

• Pink Beach and Ariel Sands are both starting major renovations.

• The Grand Atlantic is to be turned into a hotel resort. 

• The Morgan’s Point project is looking to get its plans finalized after legislation in the House was passed in the last session of the Legislature. 

• Responses have been coming in to our request for proposals for the St George’s Club Med site.

All these projects will need construction and site management workers, which will be a much-needed stimulus for those in the construction field.  

And once these projects are completed, the hotels will need employees to work in them. The country is now “in the process of turning the corner”, as Finance Minister Bob Richards and economist Craig Simmons both said very recently.  

It wasn’t a magic wand that did it; it was hard work and commitment to repairing the torn fabric of the island’s economy and doing our level best to improve Bermuda for the sake of all its people.

There is hope for our country now and if we all pull together instead of tearing each other down we can rebuild this country. We can get our people working again. 

It will take all of us, OBA, PLP, BIU, BPSU, BTU, the Civil Service and you, the reader, to choose to put Bermuda and our people first.