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Dna Says Christie Is 'Oblivious'

FREEPORT - The Democratic National Alliance says PLP Leader Perry Christie is oblivious to the real challenges facing Grand Bahama.

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DNA Leader Branville McCartney

A statement released by the party said: "Perry Christie spent significant time outlining his plans for Grand Bahama this weekend.

"It was clear to the Democratic National Alliance that Mr Christie is oblivious to the real challenges facing the nation's second city, accepts no responsibility for the plight they are in and is introducing the same antiquated policies to address the most urgent issues."

The party said Mr Christie's recognition of the pain Grand Bahamians are feeling after experiencing what he called "four years of near unthinkable neglect" is only partially accurate".

DNA Leader Branville McCartney said Grand Bahamians' memory is not as short as Mr Christie hopes it will be.

"They remember the neglect that began under the PLP. In 2007, they fired the PLP handsomely for bad performance. We expect them to do the same to the FNM in 2012," he said.

Mr McCartney said the PLP's recommendations - to cut taxes for hoteliers, support bed-and-breakfast inns and invest in small resorts - reflect the outdated vision of Perry Christie.

"His attempt to use the policies of yesterday to solve the challenges of tomorrow will not deliver Grand Bahamians the progress they so desperately require," the DNA leader said.

Mr McCartney said the DNA has been presenting its vision for the island since last summer.

He said that since then, DNA candidate for Pineridge, Osman Johnson, has brought more light to the plight of Grand Bahamians.

Mr Johnson said: "We desperately need solutions to the most pressing issues facing the people today - issues like the exorbitant rates charged for food, for gasoline, for energy, which are crippling the island economically and for which there can be no respite without an entirely new approach from a new, vibrant political force, the Democratic National Alliance."

Mr McCartney said Mr Johnson joins four other qualified and experienced DNA candidates for Grand Bahama - Howard Grant Jr, Central Grand Bahama; Tolonus Sands, Marco City; Roger Rolle, West Grand Bahama; and Ferline Bridgewater-Thomas, East Grand Bahama.

He said the party, through town meetings and other public forums, has formed a vision for Grand Bahama, which includes the First 180 Days initiative:

  • To initiate dialogue with the Hutchinson group to reduce landing fees so more commercial airlines can operate flights to and from the island

  • To amend the Port Authority Act, make it current and work with the GBPA so Grand Bahamians are the beneficiaries of the relationship

  • To agitate for a state-owned dock and cruise port in the Hepburn Town area of Eight Mile Rock to allow businesses easy access to trade and commerce

  • To begin constructing hurricane shelters throughout the island

  • To lower commercial energy costs for Grand Bahamian businesses.

"The DNA is committed to delivering real change, real solutions and real innovation to Grand Bahamians. We look forward to hosting a meeting with Grand Bahamians in the coming weeks to further outline our plans. And, we will not allow Perry Christie or anyone else, by that matter; distract them with bells, whistles and antiquated policies," McCartney said.

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