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Butler-Turner: PLP Unable to Control Baha Mar Fiasco

Member of Parliament for Long Island Loretta Butler-Turner is blasting the government again with claims that the Christie administration is lashing out because it cannot control ongoing matters at Baha Mar.

Mrs. Butler-Turner explained that while the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is unable to bring the Baha Mar matter to a timely conclusion in the interest of Baha Mar’s workers as well as in the interest of the economy in general, the government is lashing out at those who are critical of its ineptness, blunders and inability thus far to resolve a matter which threatens an economic meltdown.

“The country faces the prospect of a deep recession and record high unemployment, including layoffs by businesses that have completed certain work at Baha Mar or by Bahamians who have contracts and/or leases for various businesses at the resort,” she said in a statement yesterday.

“In a statement in June I noted that the opening of Baha Mar is critical for our economy in general and for Bahamian workers in particular. There are thousands of current and future jobs at stake. The official opposition has often expressed the need for the government to do all in its power to ensure that the resort opens as soon as possible. Bahamians are rooting for the success of this vital project. Unfortunately, the Christie administration has added to the confusion over the opening of the resort.”

Mrs. Butler-Turner again targeted Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell and this time the prime minister as well.

“To avoid taking responsibility for its gross mismanagement of the Baha Mar crisis the government is creating smokescreens such as the Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell engaging in belligerent rhetoric and breaking into song in Parliament,” she said.

“Because of the principle of collective responsibility, his reckless comments must clearly reflect the thinking of the Cabinet and the prime minister, who has failed to get his foreign minister to choose his words more wisely and to tone down his wild statements. In such a highly-charged atmosphere both the developer of the resort and the government need to tone down the rhetoric and come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the Bahamian people. The prime minister and his colleagues need to be reminded that the developer of Baha Mar was of their choosing. They went to him, asked him to do this project, gave him generous concessions and heaped praise on him. Now they are lashing out at the very one they chose and encouraged to invest hundreds of millions to develop the resort.”

Mrs. Butler-Turner also spoke about Minister of Labour and Immigration Shane Gibson’s comments when he suggested that foreign investors were in need of psychological investigations.

She said, the “off-the-cuff and juvenile suggestion by the minister that foreign investors may need to undergo psychological examinations has raised alarms in many quarters at home and abroad.”

“One can only imagine, for example, how potential and current investors around the world may view his reckless and ridiculous comments, which may harm foreign direct investment, including jobs for Bahamians, whom he supposedly should care about as labour minister. Instead, his comments may cause future jobs,” she said.

“Words have consequences. It is just another glaring example how Mr. Gibson has brought ill-repute to the country’s reputation and good name.”

Mrs. Butler-Turner said rather than attacking those critical of the government’s handling of the Baha Mar matter and using over-the-top rhetoric that may undermine foreign investment in the country, the government should act in a reasoned and responsible manner to get the resort opened as soon as possible and to respond to reports of conflicts of interest, which includes the attorney general, the government’s lead negotiator in current talks on Baha Mar.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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