Premier David Burt has put the country’s electorate on notice that the new Progressive Labour Party government will not “pay lip service” when it comes down to addressing deep rooted social problems in Bermuda.
Speaking at the first news conference held by National Security Minister Wayne Caines yesterday, the Premier said: “We have serious challenges that must be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
“During the election period, we spoke of the need to address poor educational outcomes, the lack of opportunities for many on our island and the structural racism that exists within our society. We did not speak of these items merely to pay lip service, but because they are the root causes of violence and anti-social behaviour and do not exist in isolation. Sadly, the many incidences of violence in the last few weeks have reminded us of these problems.
“We must work together to provide a safe community for all who live in Bermuda,” he said.
“While the need for strong law enforcement is evident, it cannot be the only angle by which we confront our issues. Long-term solutions are needed and this government will focus on the root causes of the violence and ongoing gang activity that we are facing.
“Without the provision of a quality education, fair and equal opportunities and the possibilities of earning a decent living we will continue to experience the issues we have today. Confronting these items will form the foundation of our long-term and sustainable approach,” said Mr Burt.
“The solutions to these problems demand a cohesive approach in education, in our homes and families, in the business community, by our churches and in every institution playing a part in Bermudian life.”
Admittedly, he said there’s no quick fix. “While there is no overnight solution, please be assured that this government will work tirelessly to provide protection of all residents. It is through assisting our most vulnerable that we can ensure the health of our society.”
The Premier also issued assurances that the new government administration is “united” in their “desire to ensure that our communities are safe and our young men and women are given the opportunity to make better choices for a more positive future.”
And as a top priority, he said: “The Minister of National Security, Wayne Caines is leading the efforts on the issue of violence and anti-social behaviour.”
- Photos: Courtesy of DCI