New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier, left, and Governor Sir Richard Gozney. *Photo by Raymond Hainey
New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier, left, and Governor Sir Richard Gozney. *Photo by Raymond Hainey

THURSDAY, NOV. 3: New Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier today vowed to hit the ground running when he takes his seat in Parliament tomorrow.

The former Senator said: “I’m feeling very elated – we now have the opportunity to get on with the people’s business.

“This is just the first step in a methodical approach in being about the business of Bermuda.

“Now we need to get down to that business and show Bermuda that we have a plan, we have a way forward and there is hope.”

Mr Cannonier – who won interim OBA leader John Barritt’s Devonshire South Central seat on Monday by a landslide – was speaking just after he was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition by Governor Sir Richard Gozney.

He added the party was geared up to fight an election whenever it was called.

Mr Cannonier said: “We have a team of workers. That’s what we’re about. This about getting our hands dirty and getting the work done.”

Earlier, Mr Cannonier paid tribute to long-serving Mr Barritt, who became interim leader of the new OBA in May and pledged to stand down from his seat if the winner of the party’s leadership election was not already an MP.

He said: “We’ve spent so much time together this last couple of weeks that when we finally separated after the poll, I felt lost.”

He added: “I’m very humbled by this appointment – it’s been not necessarily a long journey, but it’s been a well-run, well-fought journey.

Surrounded by supporters and OBA MPs, he added: “I believe the integrity of everyone in this room has spoken very loudly.

 “I stand in this room with people who are concerned about the urgency of now. Let’s get down to the business of the people, folks. Let’s get to work.”

Mr Cannonier said: “My premise for standing before you is that we must be about the people of this country – there’s a lot of pain and a lot of concern.”

He singled out the economic crisis, crime and education as priorities for action.

Mr Cannonier said: “The One Bermuda Alliance continues to bind together and fight the good fight and believes in Bermudians and that we will come together.

“There is a crisis in the economy, a crisis of crime and a crisis in education… I’m excited that we have an opportunity to give Bermuda what it needs.”