St. Anne’s Constituency Office Opening
Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham
13 March 2012
I’ve come to St. Anne’s tonight to ask you to vote for the FMN, two Huberts, one name Chipman and one name Papa.
Before I go on I just want to say what a good time we had at the Torchbearers Ignite Your Future event at the Kendall Isaacs Gym on the weekend. Scores of young people gathered for the event as the Torchbearers launched their new look and their new outreach programme.
Don’t mind all them other people’s posters. They have yet to elect anyone from their Young Liberals as an MP.
We have elected six Torchbearers: Tommy Turnquest, Theresa Moxey-Ingraham, Dion Foulkes, Carl Bethel, David Thompson and Kwasi Thompson. Theresa and Carl served in Cabinet; Tommy and Dion are still in Cabinet! We even got a former Young Liberal elected to the House on our Ticket – David Wallace who is now a very good FNM!
They only believe in young on their posters — not in real life.
Young Bahamians: We will deliver for you an Opportunity Society to help you make your dreams come true.
Now, I hear about this thing call ‘Gold Rush’. They really need to stop copy-catting Colour Red. Nothing gold ‘bout them. They yellow; yellow mellow. I hear they sang for us last evening – the City of Gold. That’s the hymn that includes lines like “There is a city of light; Where there cometh no night…All my treasures are there, And its beauty I’ll share…”
I think it would have been more appropriate however, if they had sung “It is Finished”. You know that one? The lines say “There’s a line that’s been drawn through the ages…On the cross a battle is raging…On one side march the forces of evil, All the demons and devils of hell…There were battle-fields of “their” own making… Didn’t know that the war had been won… It is finished, the battle is over…!
The only gold they rushing for is the gold in that cookie jar.
You get Gold doing something not for sitting on the sidelines ‘pouting ‘bout the stadium you didn’t build.
I’ve come to ask you to keep the faith, to help lead the way for Colour Red.
For me the privilege of office is the privilege of serving the Bahamian people. It is a privilege for which I remain grateful. It is a privilege I never take for granted.
But it is a privilege which others took for granted. They think that governing The Bahamas is their entitlement.
They are more concerned about the power of their privileges than in delivering for you.
They are very desperate to get back to that cookie jar. I heard the Leader of the Opposition say early on that he already ‘gat his cabinet chosen’. I also hear that Leslie Miller ‘going round telling people that he gonna be the next Minister of Works’. And what a day that would be!
They are desperate to get back in.
They’re so desperate they’re willing to close down the country. They’re sowing seeds of unrest amongst some union leaders. One of their Members even tried to stop Kwasi Thompson from speaking in the House. Perry Christie accepts and tolerates that kind of bad behaviour
Over there, nobody’s in charge and everybody in charge in yellow mellow.
We know them. These are the same people who during the debate over BTC had known criminals demonstrating with them. Remember how they wanted to shut down the House of Assembly? Remember how they criticized the police for doing their job?
They are not a group given to respecting law and order.
Everything we do the PLP criticize. Well, I rather get criticized for doing something not for doing nothing or little as they did in office.
They know that the Bahamian people watch television and read the newspapers. They know you know what’s going on in the world. So they can’t come right out and blame the FNM for the global crisis. So the best Perry Christie can come up with is that FNM policies made “the recession worse”. What utter rubbish!
If we had listened to them, it would have been worse, because we would have done little or nothing, just like they did little or nothing when they were in office.
They complain that we increased the national debt. Yet, in the House of Assembly they voted and supported every loan and every borrowing we undertook except for one – the $40 million airport gateway project. That’s the one bringing water to you in eastern New Providence! That one, they said no to; if you live in the east according to the PLP, you do not deserve good water quality and good water pressure.
We borrowed because decided it was better to take advantage of our borrowing headroom to get projects done to transform our capital city, to improve and upgrade infrastructure in our Family Islands and to cushion the severity of the global recession.
And we created thousands of jobs for Bahamians in these difficult times; we did it so the country would be in a better position to move ahead when the bad times ended.
If we had listened to them we would have done nothing –which is exactly what they would have done if they had been in charge at this time: Nothing!
Take a look at Nassau Harbour. Chock-a-block with cruise ships! The biggest cruise ships in the world, turning around in the basin right in front of the British Colonial Hotel and tying up at Prince George Dock.
You remember how they carried on about that? We should not dredge the harbour, they said. It will cause Saunders Beach to disappear, they said. You remember how they held media events with the cameras rolling at Saunders Beach, showing just how bad it would be? You remember that?
Well, the cruise ships are coming. Saunders Beach didn’t disappear. In fact, Saunders Beach is now a beauty spot being enjoyed by thousands of Bahamians along with other improved open spaces, parks and beaches by your FNM Government. And, there’s more to come – we’re expanding Saunders Beach.
They are promising Urban Renewal 2.0.
We are delivering Urban Renewal 5.0. We are renewing and transforming the City of Nassau and the whole Island of New Providence right before their very eyes. They’re embarrassed because they claim to love the poor but it is us, the FNM that are delivering better roads, sidewalks and clean piped water with good water pressure to Bain’s Town and Grant’s Town and Englerston. It is us, the FNM who are installing sidewalks along busy thoroughfares so that Bahamian students can walk more safely to and from school all over this island.
We have launched new social intervention initiatives like Volunteer Bahamas, helping to restore the good neighbourliness of yesteryear. In our next term we will launched the Summer Institute to help mentor and develop young boys going from primary school to junior high.
And the straw vendors, hair braiders, taxi cab drivers and all those Bahamians who benefit from business coming out of these developments would have been seriously short-changed had it not been for the FNM.
How can Perry Christie look at that beautiful Straw Market they couldn’t get built in five years and fix his mouth to say how much the PLP put Bahamians first. Well, they didn’t put our Bahamian straw vendors first. They should thank us for getting the job done. He should also thank us for saving his party from what was shaping up to be another grand PLP scandal.
In fact, their Straw Market deal was looking so bad that even Leslie Miller say how bad it was. And you know if Leslie Miller say how over-the-top a deal is, then it must be “very grievous.”
Now they know how beautiful it is going to be, how convenient when the new road corridors are finished and opened up. They know that some of their own supporters are already talking about the rusty, orange water that gone.
Everybody knows how much better it’s going to be. In fact, people are already talking about how they can glide from Carmichael Road to West Bay Street in a matter of minutes on that new corridor.
That’s why they are getting desperate. The full picture is shaping up and it is going to look good for the country — but bad for them.
Say it with me: What’s good for the Bahamian people is bad for who?– the PLP.
Just yesterday I was pleased to sign an Order expanding and adding conditions covered by the NIB National Drug Plan to include those related to blockage of blood arteries and those related to clinical depression or psychiatric diseases; Benign Prostate Hypertrophy, Epilepsy, Sickle Cell Anaemia, and Thyroid Disease.
These six join Arthritis, Asthma, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Glaucoma, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Prostate Cancer and Psychosis.
As of today some 18,000 Bahamians affected by these diseases receive free medication from nearly every pharmacy on this island and on the Family Islands. On Family Islands without private pharmacies the free medication is dispensed from the Health clinics’ pharmacies.
That’s 18,000 Bahamians who do not have to make a choice between buying life-saving medications and paying their light bill or buying groceries to feed themselves and their children.
If the FNM Government did not have the decisive leadership, the will, the determination, the courage to do these things, then the Great Recession would have been worse for this country.
We have not had to lay off civil servants like some developed countries have had to do.
Anybody who believes that Perry Christie and the PLP would have done better is simply living in a dream world of unreality. And as has been said before, such persons would have been bamboozled! Hoodwinked! And, lied to! It is a dream world in which the PLP lives. Thank God they weren’t in office when the Great Recession came. If they were we would be living through a nightmare. Five years of them was a disaster. Ten years would have been a nightmare.
I know she’ll deny it now; they are good at that. But when I visited an ailing Sir Clement Maynard, I vividly recall his daughter Allyson saying to me: “Prime Minister, I am glad you’re in charge in these tough times”. But that was in the days when she used to call me to complain about Obie Wilchcombe and Pleasant Bridgewater!
In our next term we will continue to focus on our two priorities.
We will continue with our National Security Strategy of combating crime and drug trafficking and increasing border and immigration control, and getting these poachers out of our waters.
We did not arrive at this state of crime in our country overnight. That took years. And it will take years to correct the situation. We understand that. We have begun the important ground work. Our strategy and planned response is in place. Implementation is already underway. Let’s ensure that there is no break in the programme. And to do that you know you got to keep them out!
We all know the connection between the drugs and guns that come from the high seas and flow into our streets fueling crime and violence.
We have strengthened surveillance of our borders through an expanded Defence Force presence around our country – in Grand Bahama, Abaco and Inagua, and now with a new Base constructed in Ragged Island.
The new Defence Force Base in Ragged Island will serve as a forward-positioning centre to better strike at illegal activities on our waters in the southern Bahamas.
We have improved and increased equipment available to the Defence Force increasing their fleet by 10 sea craft, adding two new aircraft to their air wing and engaging an additional 208 marine seamen.
The Defence Force was badly let-down by that other Party when they were last in office. See, some members of the Defence Force had bought into all their promises and stories about fresh winds. Then, during five years in office not a single new craft – except for an aircraft unsuited for patrol – was purchased for the Defence Force; Nothing else! Every craft in the fleet was bought by Pindling or Ingraham – nothing by Christie. The Defence Force understands now; they understand that the other Party is a party of flamers; they promise big and deliver little or nothing.
Soon, we will announce our new five year plan to equip the Defence Force so that they are better able to carry out their duty to protect our borders from poachers, illegal immigrants and the illicit drug traffic.
Our programme of strengthening our Police Force has been comprehensive involving the enactment of a new Police Act, appointing a new High Command, the acquiring two mobile police centres in addition to regular transportation and crime-fighting equipment, and the engagement of 434 new constables to “walk the beat” in neighbourhoods.
In our next term we will increase the number of constables to walk the beat by another 400. And we will continue our efforts to reinstate a structured police organization while keeping the police “on the beat” in your neighbourhoods.
We have toughened up our bail laws; stiffened sentences for the serious offenders and made it possible for the worst offenders upon conviction to remain in prison for the remainder of their natural lives.
Cutting crime is all encompassing – it includes legislative reform, legal and judicial enhancement, strengthening the hand of law enforcement agencies and supporting and encouraging community involvement to fight crime; all of which we are doing
Our other priority in our next term is our Recovery and Growth Agenda. That agenda is one of job and wealth creation. It is a strategy that will make more Bahamians shareholders as a part of a broader Shareholding Society. Our economic programme will also be geared to boosting medium and small scale businesses.
One of the country’s most seasoned Certified Public Accountants with over 30 years experience in his field is your candidate for St. Anne’s Hubert Chipman. Chippie has worked with some of the most prestigious accounting firms in the world. He is The Bahamas Country Managing Partner of Ernst & Young.
Chippie knows how to read a balance sheet and how to balance the books. In 2011 Chippie was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants for training and development of young and talented accountants in The Bahamas.
He is committed to mentoring and working with a new generation of Bahamian professionals.
In the FNM that new generation is represented by professionals like Heather Hunt in Marathon, Cassius Stuart in Bamboo Town, Darron Cash in Carmichael, Karen Butler in Tall Pines, Winsome Miller in Golden Gates, Shonel Ferguson in Fox Hill, Monique Gomez in South Beach, Michael Pintard in Cat Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay, Norris Bain in Marco City, Peter Turnquest in East Grand Bahama and Pakesia Parker in West Grand Bahama.
Chippie has a legacy of public service, most recently as Chairman of the Straw Market Authority. I told you then that I had another assignment for him. Chippie is a good business man and a good citizen. He’s also very community-minded. You already know ‘bout him and Junkanoo. He’s also given of his time to the Catholic Archdiocese.
In Hubert Chipman you have a leader. He has served his country with integrity and competence. He’s a hard worker. He’s a doer and a deliverer. His word is his bond.
Chippie will be an important member of our Delivery Team. He will deliver for you in St. Anne’s. He will deliver for you on the national level.
Before I go on, let me give you a few updates on important quality of life projects here in eastern New Providence.
I deeply regret it took us so long to do that which we intended to do at Montagu Beach. The Montagu Foreshore Redevelopment project which began this past September is nearing completion. It will soon be marked: DELIVERED!
The project includes beach replenishment and the redevelopment of the parking lot at the eastern end of the Park. The beach is being expanded and extended along the shoreline from Fort Montagu in the north to the concrete dock in the south.
The upgrades to the foreshore include additional public parking spaces, 14 boat trailer spaces, vending stalls and a boat ramp.
We are making good progress with the significant improvements of the road intersections on the Eastern Road at Fox Hill Road, Johnson Road, New Gate Road (Blair Estates) and Shirley Street.
We are making good progress with significant improvements of road intersections on Eastern Road at Fox Hill, Johnson Road and New Gate Road (Blair Estates) and Shirley St.
The road widening which commenced at Fox Hill coming westward into town will continue westward beyond the entrance to Mt. Vernon.
The intersection improvement at Johnson Rd and Eastern Road is almost completed. We expect that this will improve traffic flow benefitting all the people who live in the east as well as the many parents who travel to drop off and pick up their children to and from school.
The Government recently acquired the land opposite the fish ramp at Montagu. Soon, the construction of two roundabouts – one at the intersection of Shirley Street and Village Road and the other at the intersection of West Bay St. and Village Rd – will bring improved order to the traffic flow adding to the pleasant environment of the Montagu area.
Whether Over-the-Hill, in the City of Nassau, east, west, north or south, your FNM is delivering for you.
Come Easter Monday Colour Red is coming from all over Nassau on all of these good new roads to have a family fun day that we’re calling Red Splash. We’re coming to the new Montagu Beach Park from Killarney to South Beach, to Bain Town and Grants Town to Fox Hill. Let’s splash Nassau Colour Red on Easter Monday.
I want to make a few announcements for those who live in the East.
Just as we’re restoring Saunders Beach and Montagu Foreshore; and just as we delivered greater beach access and signage, we have a long range programme to renew and develop new Beach Parks throughout New Providence. One of them is Yamacraw Beach which we will upgrade in our next term.
And we will also set up a car licensing centre at the Elizabeth Estates Post Office so that those of you who live in the eat won’t have to drive far to licence your vehicles and ensure that you may pay your utility bills at the Elizabeth Town Centre.
The country cannot afford to go backwards to the reckless, do-nothing, scandal-ridden days of the weakest government in Bahamian history.
Papa getting ready to reach for that bell! Register to vote if you haven’t. Pick up your voters card. Time draweth nigh.
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. Don’t be late-again in making things right.
I also want to encourage anyone who was persuaded to register to vote in a constituency in which they do not live to go and change their registration now. There is time. It is not too late. Don’t be late in making things right.
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 Election Day come vote for me; vote for Hubert Chipman; vote FNM.
We have the better record!
We have the better team!
We have the better vision!