Opposition Responds To Press Secretary

The Hon. Michael Pintard , Leader of the Official Opposition

From the Office of the Official Opposition

The Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Clint Watson released a statement in relations to the proposed plans that the Davis administration has to commemorate the anniversary of the passage of Hurricane Dorian. In his statement Mr Watson claims that “We highlight the Opposition’s support for these national events for what will be a non-partisan and unifying effort”. The Leadership of the Opposition would like to make it abundantly clear that this statement is inaccurate. The PR team from the Office of the Prime Minister made passing comments of the government’s desire to commemorate the occasion and expressed hope that the Opposition would participate. However, up to the time of OPM’s press release we were not provided with the details of the proposed events which would have assisted us in understanding the nature of what was being proposed and allowing us to make a decision if we were participating or had recommendations.

Mr Watson also stated that “The celebrations will be the first government recognized memorial since the passage of Dorian”. While we were in government on several occasions initiatives were organized (which involved government officials and organs) to pay tribute to those persons who had lost their lives and to honor those persons who played a major role in rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts
throughout the days and months following the passage of Dorian. Again, in the absence of a formal invitation or meeting we are in no position to comment on the details of the events that the government proposes to hold.

Furthermore, the term “celebration” upon initial review seem to be out of place against the backdrop of this devastating and catastrophic Hurricane that made a life changing impact in the country in September 2019. Moreover, any concert being planned should be anchored by world-class Bahamian talent supported by our friends who we may wish to invite to participate from overseas. Grand Bahama and Abaco should be the primary locations for such events unless the Nassau Concert was a benefit event to raise badly needed funds to improve families devastated by Dorian. We do support a bi-partisan commemoration of the passage of Dorian.

However, let us have a respectful discussion about what this involves. Once again we encourage the organizers of such events to use the bulk of the resources available at this time to help our residents who are in need of home repairs in the midst of this hurricane season.