♦ The following statement was released by One Bermuda Alliance Leader Craig Cannonier following the Premier’s Cabinet Reshuffle Announced on Thursday, November 1, 2018
This a fundamental shake-up of Cabinet with some very notable changes just 16 months into this Government’s tenure. Questions still remain however, not least: how will this new-look Cabinet address the issue of a declining economy, a lack of new jobs and increased burdens placed on Mr and Mrs Bermuda. Unless they do, this exercise is just a game of musical chairs.
The Premier said it was a cut back in the number of Ministries, but he took out Michael Weeks and added Curtis Dickinson and Zane DeSilva, which means he is actually paying more in Ministerial salaries. And why has Mr DeSilva – who resigned from Cabinet in a row over his friend Ewart Brown who has since been compensated to the tune of $1.2m – been brought back? I take note that he will be in charge of gaming. The Premier has 24 other MPs to choose from but he picks someone who quit Cabinet just ten months ago.
I am pleased that the Premier has relinquished the Finance Ministry. Combining the two is too big a job for one person and can lead to opportunities being lost, mistakes and delays. Hopefully Mr Dickinson will be able to concentrate on balancing the budget, which the PLP has promised, but failed to do.
In addition, I hope the Minister who now has responsibility for immigration will finally publish a report on immigration reform, which is taking too long to happen. It is a critical issue that has been highlighted by businesses recently. There is a general consensus that our population needs to grow and that the immigration process is too slow.
It appears that there are also some very significant demotions.