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Mitchell Calls for Office to Serve former Parliamentarians

PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell

By Keile Campbell
Journal Staff Writer

Member of Parliament (MP) for Fox Hill Fred Mitchell backed the notion that there needs to
be an office in Parliament that deals with the matters and needs of former Parliamentarians.
Before mentioning the concept, Minister Mitchell explained that his reasoning came from
musing on life after office for those who’ve served parliament.
“There should be an office in the Parliament which deals with those who’ve served here
before, and this has come up several times in the last two years that we’ve been in office with
former Members of Parliament who’ve died impecunious, former Members of Parliament
who get seriously ill and cannot afford medical bills, former persons who’ve served with
distinction who just happen not in the circumstances they find themselves after office
denuded of everything which they have,” Minister Mitchell stated.
“That to me is a fundamental indignity to our country that we with all the wealth our country
has, cannot say something to assist and help on a practical, functional, legal basis those
who’ve served here before and I know it’s convenient and fashionable to say how we get all
this glamorous work and we get all these things riding up and down, but, I can tell you every
Member of Parliament here at the end of the month has nothing left in their bank account. I
can assure you.”
Minister Mitchell also provided an update with regards to the planning of the new parliament
building, with the location of the new House of Assembly having been decided.
“The Cabinet made a decision a couple weeks ago that the site on top of Parliament Hill will
now be the new design site for the Parliament,” he explained.
“The architects have been briefed, there’s a design which is ongoing as to what should go on
the site and what it should contain. But it will be much better than the quarters in which we
are for both staff and for Members of Parliament and Senators and the public because that’s
what this is all about. Can we deliver the services which the public demands from a building
which was built in 1815 and has not had one addition to it since. It was designed for three
staff says the clerk.”
With the proroguing of Parliament receiving much criticism, particularly from the Official
Opposition who believes the decision was an attempt to thwart them from holding the
government accountable, Minister Mitchell further explained the reason for the proroguing.
“One of the issues we talked about was bringing in sessions. Sessions had long been
abolished. I think most prime ministers just went for the full five years and the last session I
think was called ‘mid-term’ must’ve been the one in 1976 if you listen to Eddie Minnis’ song
‘Show and Tell.’ It’ll tell you the story of what happened in 1976,” Minister Mitchell said.
“And if you listen to Eddie Minnis’ song he says ‘the PLP told the governor prorogue this
house quick, quick. Bring it back in 10 days, these MPs think they so slick.’ So the house

reconvenes and there was a Speech from the Throne and I think it was very short. It just said
‘I will continue the policies begun by my government in the last session’ and that was that. I
think that was governor general’s opportunity to inspect the guard at that time, but we
decided that we’d go back to sessions because sessions would give you the opportunity to
reset the agenda of the Parliament and that is all this was designed to do.”
With that being said, PLP Chairman Mitchell announced that this session of Parliament will
prioritize amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act which will contribute towards
synergizing the relationship between the resolution of it’s past in the previous session to
create a budget and management committee with the present Parliamentary Service
Commission, which will oversee the management of the House of Assembly.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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