Remarks Golden Gates Constituency Headquarters Opening
Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham
8 March 2012
Colour Red is here in Golden Gates. Papa has come to ask you to vote for Winsome Miller and to vote for me. I’m proud to be here with Winsome on International Women’s Day.
I had a luncheon today for all 9 of our female candidates. We discussed many issues important to women and commented on the fact that so many more women are supporting the FNM than are supporting the others. The FNM is the Party for women in The Bahamas. Like with everything else, the PLP tell our women that they care about them. But when it comes to delivering for women, it is the FNM that delivers!
It is time once and for all for Golden Gates to retire Shane Gibson from politics — the same Shane Gibson, Perry Christie went on TV with to hold his hands and cry with while he was exiting the Christie cabinet.
At Housing he has left a legacy of building substandard housing for people who can’t afford to waste a single dollar of their hard earned money.
At Immigration, his record will be forever tied to his providing personal, one-on-one service to speed up an immigration matter for a celebrity.
I want you in Golden Gates to be like my constituents in North Abaco whom I have represented in the House of Assembly for 35 years come this June. They can go anywhere in The Bahamas or indeed anywhere in the world and when asked, “Who is your MP?”, they can stand up straight and with pride say “Hubert Ingraham”. Love him or hate him, you gatta respect him. Respect is what he has earned. His life’s work earned him that. Golden Gates put yourselves in that same position. Be proud of your MP; don’t let there be any snickering or sneering at the mention of your MP’s name. Let your MP be an honourable, trustworthy, hardworking MP, loyal to you.
The bell ‘ain’t ring yet and the PLP already in meltdown. In Government they were an abysmal failure. In Opposition they are reckless, deceptive and desperate. Did you see their behaviour in the House of Assembly this morning? They are terrified to let the truth come out. They constructed a web of exaggerations and mistruths and they want that to be the only record on the road programme. Well we are dedicated to the truth.
They don’t want you to know that the New Providence Road Improvement Programme could have been continued in 2002 and completed for $56 million. At that time the price of oil, cement and plastic was lower; the price of oil was about $20 a barrel. Today it’s over $100 a barrel.
They don’t want you to know that because of their wheeling and dealing habits they could not attract a single reputable international company to bid on the road programme. Can you imagine that in a meeting with the Minister of Works at the time discussing the bid for the road programme’s Funky Demeritte was present? Listed as a Political Assistant! Political Operative would be more accurate!
They don’t want you to know that when the Company carrying out the road works in 2002 went into receivership, $34 million was left in the $52 million contract and $16 million in cash advance and Performance Bond was available to complete the project.
They don’t want you to know that with an additional $6 million the road project could have been completed – 6 or 7 years ago.
They don’t want you to know that the Government had a Performance Bonds which should have been called in. They don’t want you to know that because of their tardiness when they finally decided to call in the Performance Bonds valued at $7.8 million they discovered that they had missed the deadline – the time had passed! Oops, there goes $7.8 million of your money because of the incompetence of Perry Christie and his government.
They don’t want you to know that they lacked leadership.
And then Perry Christie has the nerve to call the New Providence Road Improvement Programme an “unmitigated disaster”. The only disaster we had was him and his disaster of an incompetent government.
Perry Christie is too risky to place the future of our country in his hands. That is a risk I caution you very seriously not to take; for your own sake and that of your children.
They are desperate because their numbers are telling them that they are fast losing ground. Don’t let them distract you from your mission. They are a “provokeful” people. We beat Christie before. ‘He’n learn he lesson yet. Well he ‘gonna learn this time.
They will do anything to win, because they care for themselves above everyone and all else.
They break the rules. They sow disorder in the land because their own selfish needs are more important than your interests.
Instead of upholding law and order and caring about the economy they encouraged a handful of Customs and Immigration officers to break their contract of employment and seek to hold the entire country hostage.
They didn’t care about how these actions could hurt the economy or give the country a bad name. They didn’t care about the Bahamians or tourists who had to stand on line for hours at LPIA. Christie was encouraging immigration officers to abandon their posts and hurt the country’s interests during a peak arrivals period
They didn’t care about all this happening as reporters from around the world were coming here to report on an important visit to the country. They are prepared to sink the country and hurt Bahamians in their greedy quest for power.
This morning in Parliament they kept disrupting the order of the House. No worry, many of them are in their last days in that House of Assembly.
Christie says that the PLP didn’t boycott the opening of the National Stadium. Of course his Parliamentary colleagues say otherwise. I suppose he forgot to consult with Fred Mitchell before he made that statement; ‘cause Fred finish telling everybody that the PLP boycotted the opening!
This election is about leadership. Perry Christie can’t lead his own party much less lead this country. That was very clear between 2002 and 2007. Fred Mitchell didn’t listen to him. Bradley Roberts ignored him. Leslie Miller, Shane Gibson, Alfred Gray showed no respect for him as Leader. And, we know Lil Brave plotting and scheming to take over – hovering at his coat tale. Nothing has changed. They are all behaving in exactly the same way now. Perry might as well be speaking into that wind they used to say was blowing.
Perry Christie can’t maintain law and order in his own party much less in the country. He was an abysmal failure when it came to improving the criminal justice system so that we could get these criminals off the streets.
By the way, I see Leslie Miller having more to say nowadays. They were hiding him and Shane away for so long that I thought they were somewhere in the PLP Witness Protection Programme.
When we came back to office in 2007, there were only two Supreme Court judges dealing with criminal matters in New Providence. Today there are five in New Providence and one in Grand Bahama for a total of six.
We still are dealing with the backlog of cases that have been piling up for years and which increased without ceasing on the PLP’s last watch. The only swift thing about their term dealing with the courts was their swift talk. In the FNM we fight crime with more police, more judges and more resources. In the PLP they try to fight crime through empty promises and talk. In fact, if you could fight crime with talk alone, we should just let Perry walk up and down all day talking.
The Supreme Court has now assigned 2 judges full time to deal with new cases before the courts, that is cases that date between 2010 and today. And they are working wonderfully well. Just last year, five serious cases involving murder, attempted murder, rape and armed robbery, were all disposed of within the calendar year – from the date of the crime, the investigation, the arrest and charge of the accused, to the hearing of the case, and the conviction and sentencing of the accused – all completed within the year. Now that is swift justice.
The Supreme Court has also assigned one judge to deal with retrials – cases sent back for retrial by the Court of Appeal. When that judge is not fully occupied he is assigned cases from the back log.
And two other justices are assigned to hear only backlog cases – that is, cases occurring before January, 2010 which are still to be heard.
Every time we come to office, we have to improve less than adequate conditions left behind by them. What they failed to do on crime on their watching, we are now doing to fight the criminals and keep you safe. The fight ‘gonna take some time. This is a fight that only the FNM will wage and win.
They are very good at talking about how much they feel for you. They’re just not so good actually doing anything for you.
You know how many households that had their electricity supply cut have been restored because of our initiative – 4,148. You heard me? 4,148. That’s what Governments that care do. We look after your interests; your needs!
The Leader of the Opposition came here to Golden Gates. He tell everyone — in only the way he can — “We want an election about big things.” If he ‘wanna see big things, come see this big crowd of people. Come see this big surge of Colour Red in Golden Gates.
Your FNM gets big crowds because we do big things for the Bahamian people. The PLP keep ‘talking bout the people. But, they fast losing the crowd.
Golden Gates, you were created a constituency in 1992. You have voted for the FNM twice and you have voted for the PLP twice. We’ve each had two terms. I dare say it is our turn again this time!
There are 166,000 registered voters in The Bahamas today. That’s 16,000 more than in 2007. Now our population has not grown by that number. The increase comes as a result of the organized, orderly and timely fashion in which voters are being registered. No surprise announcements, no shocks announcements, no rushing to try to get in at the last minute.
And, with all of our preparations there still remains some cleaning up to do with the Register. Some people’s names appear twice; some are registered in the wrong constituency – sometimes by mistake and sometimes not. I want to encourage anyone who was persuaded to register in a constituency in which they do not live to go and change their registration now. There is time. It is not too late.
I also want to remind you that if you have moved out of one constituency for 3 months or more but less than 6 months, you may choose whether you vote in your old or in your new constituency. However, if you have been living outside of the constituency in which you registered to vote for 6 months or more you must change your registration to your new address.
We don’t want any carpet baggers or planted voters voting in this election regardless to your political affiliation. We want a clean election. We are inviting the world to come and observe our elections. We want the world to see that we run free, clean, fair elections.
When yellow mellow went to Yamacraw couple of weeks ago, they saw the numbers. They panicked. Dion Foulkes and Colour Red ‘gat Yamacraw.
After Colour Red went to North Andros with Desmond Bannister, yellow mellow get scareder and scareder so they had to fly in everybody. and they ‘brudha.
They afraid of Desmond Bannister. So, they flew in a Dame and a bishop to support a pawn who really don’t have a clue about North Andros. Papa and Desmond done check-mate that move. North Andros gone F-N-M.
Desmond Bannister not only ‘gat the numbers to win, he ‘gat their number. You ‘gonna here more about all that skullduggery they trying to play in North Andros.
In Exuma the people shouting: Moss done lost! Phenton Neymour and Colour Red is marching to victory in the Exumas and Ragged Island. And Loretta ‘gonna keep Long Island cuz Long Island is FNM.
And Alfred Gray ain’t gat nothing locked down in MICAL. We will win Inagua, we will win Mayaguana, we will win Crooked Island and we will win Acklins. We winning MICAL, I tell you that!
So Perry say he want this election to be about big things. He must mean big things like that new National Stadium they couldn’t build? Big things like the Lynden Pindling International Airport they couldn’t build? Big things like the new Straw Market, a whole new road system and upgraded infrastructure in Nassau, the new port at Arawak Cay?
Days ago, they were telling you those were “just things” and that they weren’t important because they didn’t help people. Now that it is clear that all those big things were done by the FNM to make it better for the Bahamian people; they shifting gear. Now they want to talk about big things. Let them talk. They are good at that. They are not good at anything else.
They are dreamers. Notice how Perry likes to tell you about what he’s been dreaming about; but its stays a dream.
It is the FNM that delivers big things for you – big things like a prescription drug benefit; big things like unemployment insurance; big things like a shareholding society.
They can’t even do small things, much less big things. Perry Gomez said in Andros that if elected, the PLP would introduce National Health Insurance in one year. Perry Gomez starting to sound like Perry Christie. He want y’all to believe that the same PLP who couldn’t introduce National Health Insurance in five years, ‘gonna miraculously do it in one year.
If you want National Catastrophic Health Insurance vote FNM, because neither Perry Christie nor Perry Gomez will deliver it for you. There will be another doctor in the House after the next election – that doctors name ‘gonna be Duane Sands and he’ll join the doctor now in the House, Hubert Minnis. Those doctors will work for you and will deliver for you.
I saw the newspaper headlines this morning telling business owners impacted by the road works that the PLP will fix their cash problem. Perhaps those business owners should check with the victims of the Sea Hauler and the employees who lost their jobs when the Royal Oasis closed after the hurricane. They can enlighten them on how the PLP fulfills promises! Always coming but never arriving.
This election is about the kinds of leadership needed to deliver the big things for you as your FNM has done over the past five years. We have even bigger plans for you.
We are completing our agenda in the House now. Today we completed answering all of the questions asked by the Opposition during this term in office – just as we pledged to do in Manifesto ’07.
We are making ready.
We have provided you with 5 years of scandal free, honest government. We have provided you Government with a leader. We have provided you with leadership.
Next year in 2013 we celebrate 40 years of independence. Ten years later in 2023 we celebrate our Golden Jubilee as a sovereign nation.
Ten years is not a very long time. We are already past the first decade of the 21st century.
But losing a decade can be very costly. Even losing half a decade like we did during the Christie years, can be costly. Time and tide wait for no man or woman.
Even as we celebrate our 40th, we must prepare for our 50th as a sovereign people. As I’ve said before, when you first become a parent, you start thinking in decades. But, when you become a Papa, you start thinking in generations.
On return to office, we will launch Bahamas Jubilee. Bahamas Jubilee will be a ten-year national plan for the development of the Bahamas.
We will begin a national consultation process at every level of society to build on the progress we have made as a country as well as meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
There will be a National Commission to plan for Bahamas Jubilee with a unit in the Office of the Prime Minister to facilitate its process. Bahamas Jubilee will consult widely about our national goals and priorities over the next ten years leading to our 50th anniversary of independence.
The planning process will include reviewing some of the many plans that have already been devised in various areas of national life. There will be great effort made to include young people in the visioning and planning process. We will also tap into the talented pool of Bahamians overseas to help us plan our future. Every Bahamian island will be included in the process.
The FNM has always delivered for you. We want to help deliver an even brighter future for you and the next generation. We are the party of vision and action. We must start to plan for our Golden Jubilee now!
Nobody knows the time or the hour when the Rapture might come. But Papa know when the bell ‘gonna ring. Register to vote if you haven’t. Pick up your voters card. Time draweth nigh. The bell ‘gonna soon ‘ring-a-ling-a-ling.
When Election Day come vote for me; vote for Winsome Miller; vote FNM.
We have the better record!
We have the better team!
We have the better vision!