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“Christie Adds to Confusion over Baha Mar’s Opening,” Says Butler-Turner

Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner said the Christie administration has added to the confusion over the opening of the multi-billion dollar Baha Mar Resort.

Butler-Turner explained that Prime Minister Perry Christie adds to the confusion by making baffling statements which suggests that he is out of touch with reality.

“At times the prime minister engages in a deafening silence on Baha Mar,” Butler-Turner said in a statement yesterday.

“When he does speak about Baha Mar he often raises serious questions about his grasp of events related to the opening of the megaresort.”

Butler-Turner pointed out that in the prime minister’s mid-year budget review in February, he stated that Bahamians can expect to see a surge in new hires starting very soon as Baha Mar prepares to roll out its new resort in phases.

However, “March has come and gone as have April and May. We are near the end of June and July is on the horizon,” she added.

The opening of Baha Mar is critical to the country’s economy and for Bahamian workers. There are thousands of current and future jobs at stake.

“With many jobs at risk at Baha Mar and with the economy needing the resort to open as soon as possible, it is past time for the prime minister and his government to demonstrate better leadership on the economy and in the protection of jobs,” Butler-Turner said.

According to the Long Island MP, the government was legally required to reimburse Baha Mar for funds related to infrastructural road work.

“The PLP has been late again and again in this matter. Three years after its election, the Christie administration has not paid in a timely manner the full amount of money owed Baha Mar,” Butler-Turner explained.

“The payment of these funds were owed Baha Mar and should not be tied to any new quid pro quo by the Government of the Bahamas, as was suggested in a story today in one of the daily papers.”

It was reported earlier this week that the government intends to inject tens of millions of dollars in the Baha Mar project to assist the developer with the resort’s completion.

It was also reported that the government intends to inject $21 million into the Baha Mar project, which will be made in two instalments – the first on July 1 and the balance later that month.
However, Butler-Turner raised several questions during her contribution to the 2015/2016 budget debate concerning the Baha Mar project and its opening date.

She is also concerned that the government made no appointment of an ambassador to China to assist in getting the resort open as soon as possible.

“Yet three years after coming to office and with China a major ally and investor, the prime minister has failed to cause the appointment of an ambassador to the People’s Republic of China,” Butler-Turner expressed.

“This is bad for both foreign and economic policy. It is an undiplomatic slap in the face to the Chinese government. It is also a sign of an incompetent and poorly-run government with weak and distracted leadership unable to make decisions in a timely manner.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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