BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
EASTERN REGION SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING
30TH JUNE 2017
A pleasant good evening to all.
It is always a pleasure to be in the historic community of Fox Hill – a community that embodies the Bahamian spirit and ethos.
Ladies and gentlemen, it has been barely two days since the passing of our beloved brother, friend and colleague the Hon. Dr. Bernard J. Nottage.
As our leader said in his tribute Wednesday evening, BJ was a giant in local sports development, the medical profession and politics, Dr. Nottage’s footprints will forever be etched on the Bahamian developmental landscape, having served as President of the BAAA’s; president of the Bahamas Medical Association and Doctor’s Union; a Member of Parliament for the constituencies of Kennedy and Bain and Grants Town; a Senator and a Cabinet Minister in several Ministries including Consumer Affairs, Education, Health and National Security.
Dr. Nottage was the ultimate political warrior and patriot par excellence, offering of his talents in public service, within service groups, and in nation building right up to the time of his passing.
He fundamentally believed in the ideals of the Progressive Liberal Party, the party in which he served for the greater part of his political life. Through leadership struggles, a temporary parting of ways and through reconciliation, the principles of social justice, economic justice and a sense of fair play and a level playing field always dominated Dr. Nottage’s political philosophy; the Progressive Liberal Party and the nation by extension are better for his unselfish contribution to national development.
Let us continue to lift up the Nottage family in prayer during their time of bereavement.
I want to begin by thanking the organizers of this service of thanksgiving, especially Bishop Arnold Josey of Commonwealth Baptist Church and his team for recognizing the work of the members of parliament in the eastern district of New Providence. Politicians bear the brunt of the blame for society’s ills and our national misfortunes, but it is a breath of fresh air when we can pause, see politicians as extensions of us and say thank you for your advocacy; thank you for your interventions inside and outside the halls of parliament; thank you for your community outreach and thank you for being competent officers of the great Progressive Liberal Party.
Senator Fred Mitchell, Melanie Griffin, Hope Strachan, Jerome Fitzgerald and Ryan Pinder worked tireless for the people in their respective constituencies and communities and I wish to publicly thank them for their unselfish public service. Alex Storr and Dr. Charles Clarke are to be commended for their desire and courage to serve in the unrepentant business of frontline politics and public service.
Ladies and gentlemen, it has been 40 days since the FNM assumed office and for a group who was so critical of the PLP’s governance, it is inexcusable that the Minnis crew could not table one single bill in parliament in 40 days and took a 10-week vacation break.
No new crime fighting strategies; no new immigration policies; no energy reform policies; no strategy for growing the economy and creating jobs. As a matter of fact, the FNM has distinguished themselves for lining the pockets of their fat cat friends and donors while conducting mass firing on contract workers in the civil service for purely political reasons.
While many more jobs must be created in this economy, the Minnis government is busy raising the unemployment rate; engaging in witch hunts to satisfy their rabid political base; and back tracking, walking back and back peddling on every lie they told during their ignoble and libelous political campaign driven by fake news.
No VAT money was stolen;
No 500 citizenships were offered in exchange for Baha Mar investment;
No 10,000 acres of land in Andros were given to the Chinese;
The Baha Mar Heads of Agreement was not corrupt as Minnis claimed;
No Dr. Minnis will not nationalize Baha Mar and give to Sarkis after all because he finally realizes that the government did not own it in the first place. As a matter of fact, it appears that Minnis has doubled crossed Sarkis and refuses to discuss Baha Mar with the press;
Carl Bethel, Dr. Minnis, D’Aguilar and the entire FNM government now publicly, though grudgingly admit that the commercial agreement between CTFE and the China EXIM Bank must remain sealed due to “MARKET SENSITIVITY” issues, a fact former Prime Minister Christie told the FNM and the nation over and repeatedly.
Carl Bethel, Dr. Hubert Minnis and Dionisio D’Aguilar now publicly, though grudgingly, admit that it was the Bahamas Supreme Court that sealed the Baha Mar deal and not Perry G. Christie.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT IS WRITTEN THAT THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE. The FNM could not lie about Baha Mar forever.
Forty days has passed and the police has found no wrongdoing on the television, 2 speakers and hard drive the FNM told the police were stolen from BAIC by PLP’s.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are down but not out, but as the good book says, be thankful in all things. We are thankful individually and collectively as a party for the opportunity to serve meaningfully in this country. It is widely accepted that the PLP created the modern Bahamas. Every major transformational legislative and policy initiative could find its genesis in the PLP. From Majority Rule to Independence and from NIB to NHI, the legislative and policy footprints of the PLP are indelibly marked on the developmental landscape of this Bahamaland. Our work on behalf of the Bahamian people is not done ladies and gentlemen and the march to victory in 2022 begins today.
The results of May 10th is not unfamiliar territory for the PLP. The period 1997 to 2002 is a testimony to this. We must continue to organize; we must continue to engage in community outreach and every branch of the party – every organ must become fully functional. We must not back away from our ideals and philosophy of social justice, a level playing field and a sense of fair play for all citizens. We must continue to plead the cause of the poor, the weak and the voiceless. We must continue to agitate for the rights of workers and we must continue to stand up for the sovereignty and independence of The Bahamas. We will need all hands on deck to achieve this. There can be no hidden or personal agendas as there is only one agenda and that is to reclaim the government from the deceitful, petty and spiteful FNM.
I thank you for your kind invitation, God bless the PLP and God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.