Da GREEN MAN DEM IS COMPLETE!!!
24 January 2012
REMARKS BY: Hon. Branville McCartney, M.P.
My fellow Bahamians and particularly, my fellow Grand Bahamians, today, January 24, 2012 is going to be remembered as one of the greatest days in the history of Bahamian politics. It is more than a very special day. Today, January 24th, 2012 will forever be recorded in the annals of Bahamian history as a day when the face of Bahamian politics was changed forever.
Many of the political “experts” and pundits predicted that this historic milestone in Bahamian politics was an impossibility; they said a day like this one was unachievable based solely on the fact that they had never seen it happen before in their lifetime. Others tried, they reminded us constantly, but all had failed. It simply was not possible! Well my fellow Bahamians, My fellow Grand Bahamians, this was possible!
Never before in a modern day Bahamas has a so-called “third” party political organization presented Bahamian voters with a full slate of viable and highly qualified candidates to contest a general election. Today, I can say that this has all changed. With the introduction of the three candidates that I am about to present to you today Bahamas, The Democratic National Alliance will have defied another set of odds and – in doing so – this one time so called “splinter group” is now “The Alternative Government” on the Bahamian political landscape – a force that, by all standards, is more than prepared to become the next government of the Bahamas. Working together, we have rewritten Bahamian history and have redefined the possible!
Grand Bahama, I know you have been waiting a long time for the DNA; your wait is over; we are here now, and we are here to celebrate this historic milestone with you.
Today, with the addition of the three candidates sitting next to me, the DNA will present the Bahamian people with 38 able bodied and passionate men and women professionals who – joining forces to bring relief to hurting and hard pressed people not looking for hand-outs but a hand-up – are prepared to contest the full 38 named constituencies up for grabs in this upcoming general elections and are prepared to win the government of the Bahamas.
This is certainly not a milestone only for the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), but it is also more notably a milestone for the Bahamian people, who, for sometime have been crying out for real representation who are responsive to their needs, who are prepared to listen and consult, who is prepared to stand up in the best interest of its people, and who is prepared to put Bahamians first, as the most precious resource above all other natural and material resource. For decades they tried to brainwash you into believing that it was only possible to have two – UBP or PLP, PLP or FNM, FNM or PLP. But you showed them that you were ready, willing, and able to redefine the possible. And you did.
This journey began eight months ago, but it was on July 2 that the DNA made a commitment to Grand Bahamians to bring light to the island’s dismantled economy and move to bring an end to the employment crisis that has been weighing heavily on the consciousness of the residents of this island and, in fact, all residents of the Bahamas.
Unlike the two who are now squabbling over who promised the most but did the least for Grand Bahamians, I am not here to talk about past failures, but about future success. In addition to presenting with your future MPs for Marco City, Central Grand Bahama, and East Grand Bahama, I am also here to reiterate the DNA’s strategy for Grand Bahama. A strategy, that is, to simply create jobs and rebuild people.
Between 2011, and as early as last week, we have seen lay-offs at the Hutchinson Container Port, Grand Lucaya, Oh Bahama Bank, BORCO and reduced workweeks at City Market, an establishment that I now understand to have only one location to serve the whole of Grand Bahama.
In the short term, a DNA-government’s strategic plan, among other things, is to create a new government ministry for Grand Bahama with a Cabinet Minister at the helm to deal specifically with matters pertaining to Grand Bahama and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
The Party intends, in the short term, to ensure that the National Insurance Board’s Employment Benefit Fund is accessible to all Bahamians; we will initiate dialogue with the Hutchinson group to reduce airport landing fees to allow more commercial airlines to and from the island and make sure that the tourism product is strengthened to include West and East Grand Bahama.
We will make steps to amend the Port Authority Act, make it current, and work with the GBPA so that Grand Bahamians are the beneficiary of the relationship and that the way of life for Bahamians living and working in Freeport and Grand Bahama is improved significantly – as originally intended with the Act
Additionally, as a part of the short-term plan, a DNA-government will expand the current Jump Start program to Grand Bahama, allowing aspiring entrepreneurs to get allowances to start their businesses, particularly since the DNA recognizes that small businesses feed any sustainable economy.
As a part of its long-term plan, the DNA has outlined, step-by-step, how it intends to work with the president of the College of The Bahamas to increase private and public funding for the expansion and transformation of the institution into a university to include flagship schools, including Schools of Science and Technology and Film and Creative Art. The goal is to stimulate the economy by creating new employment opportunities for residents of Grand Bahama as a result of the formation of this new university culture.
Furthermore, governments in this region—Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago—have realized that there is more to their nation than sun, sand and sea. It’s time we realize the same—and position Grand Bahama to become the manufacturing portal for this region. A DNA-government will make provision for high-tech manufacturing and assembly in Grand Bahama, as well as tap into diverse industries, such as fish farming and lime stone mining for exportation throughout and outside our country.
Recognizing that high energy costs are another hindrance to living and doing business on the island of Grand Bahama, the DNA will commit itself to introducing new sources of renewable energy to the island in an effort to drive down the cost of living and doing business, particularly solar energy use for commercial and residential use. We have sunlight 365 days out of the year; there is no reason why we’re not taking advantage of God’s gift to us.
And finally, we will work with all key partners in Grand Bahama’s success to ensure the timely coordination and resourcing of the foreign industrial base that Grand Bahama has come to rely on as a mechanism for employment.
Yes! Grand Bahama, the last eight months is proof positive that we can redefine the possible. We said, when we launched, that we were going to give you a real and dedicated viable option to the two political parties that you seemed to have been stuck with for decades. Again, today is proof that we have redefined the possible; We said that we would have been a participatory party and, by hosting town hall meetings in New Providence and GB on crime, immigration, education, and the economy, we proved that we can redefine the possible; we said that we would be an inclusive party, and with thousands of FNMs, PLPs, NDPs, BDMs, and Independents signing up to be members, we have shown again that we can redefine the possible. We said we are for the people and servants of the people, and we fought side by side with the affected over-the-hill business owners and the oppressed workers on the New Providence Road Improvement Project; We have redefined the possible.
Today, the DNA has resounding support from as far north as Abaco to as far south as Cat Island and Inagua because it, defy all naysayers, and has shown itself to be a modern day example of what the Bahamian is all about; we, like you, have a fighting spirit – a fighting spirit for change. And today, I present to you the final three champion fighters for change on the DNA’s slate heading into this general election; today Grand Bahama I present to you three of your own in Tolonus Sands for Marco City, Howard Grant Jr. for Central Grand Bahama and Ferline Bridgewater-Thomas for East Grand Bahama.
These three remarkable individuals join a slate of accountants, architects, educators, engineers, electricians, taxi drivers, unionists, youth leaders, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, CEOs and general managers, lawyers and, more importantly, every day Bahamians who are more passionate about where our nation is headed.
These three have joined 35 others to form a political organization that is now ready to carry out the organization’s message of bringing about “Real Change for One Bahamas.”
Look at each of these candidates—they are the reflection and product of Grand Bahama. They represent Grand Bahama’s resilience, immunity to broken promises, and a nation’s commitment to young Grand Bahamians, God, and country. In their faces, in their eyes, you’ll see the pride and hope of The Bahamas.
They told us that we could not do it; it was not possible; we would be dead on arrival; but we thank you Grand Bahama, and we thank you Bahamas for not believing; Today is a prime example that all things are possible if you just believe.
Today, you have helped us to make history, and you have redefined the possible; but it does not stop here; we have an election to win and a government to form; in order for us to complete this task, we must remain focused and prepare ourselves for the fight to come.
So far, you have shown that you are prepared to stand with the DNA, so now I say, let us get prepared to write the final chapter in this historic journey. In the upcoming weeks, join me, Mr. Sands, Mr. Grant, Mrs. Bridgewater-Thomas, and the 34 other candidates of the DNA in bringing real change to our country. It is time for us, as a people and a nation, to join the rest of the changing world in showing our present authority that “the power of the people is greater – and will always be greater – than the people in power.” Let us go out and change the world! (Obama)
God bless you and God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas!