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Butler-Turner points finger of blame at Christie administration

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Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribune Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

IN the wake of widespread layoffs at the Baha Mar resort, Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner accused the Christie-led administration of aggravating the Baha Mar “crisis” through incompetence and repeated missteps.

Free National Movement Deputy Leader K Peter Turnquest also weighed in on the shocking development, declaring the redundancies of 2,000 Baha Mar workers a “major blow” for the country.

Mr Turnquest said the move raised significant concerns given the resort’s looming court date for liquidation, the recent economic forecasts from international rating agencies, and costly hurricane restoration.

His concerns were echoed by Mrs Butler-Turner, who said the “heartbreaking and deeply worrying” decision was a direct consequence of the government’s request for the appointment of joint provisional liquidators.

In a press statement yesterday, Mrs Butler-Turner said it was clear that the government was not guided by the best interests of the Bahamian people.

“This is a sad and distressing day for these employees and their families,” she said.

“The thoughts and prayers of the nation, as well as my own thoughts and prayers, are with the families affected.”

“The matters at Baha Mar did not have to come to this point. The government’s insistence on the current liquidation process, rather than leaving the matter to the private sector, seems to have made matters much worse.”

She added: “The terminations announced today have further damaged the country’s reputation and may help to trigger a further downgrade by international credit-rating agencies.”

“From the beginning, the PLP government should have acted as facilitator of this process. Instead, the government has been the biggest problem in this whole affair, recklessly obstructing what is obviously in the best interest of the workers at Baha Mar and the Bahamian people. From the very inception, the PLP made an absolute mess at Baha Mar and continues to do so.”

Justice Ian Winder granted approval in the Supreme Court on Thursday morning to the Baha Mar joint provisional liquidators’ request to make layoffs.

The joint provisional liquidators, Bahamas-based KRyS Global and UK-based AlixPartners, said the layoffs were due to the financial insolvency of the $3.5 billion resort project that has been stalled since June 29. The redundancies are effective from October 23.

The layoffs affect approximately 1,440 non-active employees and approximately 580 active employees, including members of management and line staff.

Meanwhile, Mr Turnquest said: “I’m very disappointed and concerned for the 2,000 who now find themselves on the unemployment line, many of whom left jobs to take on new opportunity.

“I think it says a lot about the stage of the negotiations, this coming so close to the liquidation or ‘drop dead’ date according to the prime minister. It says a lot about the status of those negotiations (over the project) and the outlook for Baha Mar and the country’s economic recovery. It is certainly something that we have to be concerned about.”

He added: “For the developer who had a grand and ambitious vision, he stands to lose everything. For those of us Bahamians who would have bought into that vision and those of us who placed a great deal of reliance on the development to help pull us out of the economic slump we’ve been in, and help to realize economic growth that the International Monetary Fund says we need to maintain and sustain employment levels, it’s a major blow.

“We have to be concerned as to what effect this will have on Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s ratings, and what they have already raised concerns about. As well as the economic recovery cost as a result of the hurricane.”

Comments

Economist 7 years, 3 months ago

Junk Bond status here we come! What legacy? Ruined an entire country.

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TigerB 7 years, 3 months ago

This is a shame, but they can't blame Hubert Ingraham for this one, they blame him for the roads, the over spending in building programs which effected a change in government. But Bahamar was suppose to be the savior for us all... that was then

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Economist 7 years, 3 months ago

Come on birdiestrachan we are waiting for you to give us one of your "birdie" explanations.

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realfreethinker 7 years, 3 months ago

I have been waiting for birdie now for a few days.

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Wideawake 7 years, 3 months ago

Bagman Baltron let the Baha Mar cat out of the bag......perhaps the cat ate the birdie, or at least rendered him/her speechless!

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pat242 7 years, 3 months ago

More pointing fingers. This needs to stop. We need to fix this problem and put Bahamians to work. Name calling and pointing fingers ain't gonna fix it.

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realfreethinker 7 years, 3 months ago

You all are real jokey now. When Hubert screw up it's his fault, but when Perry screw up we shouldn't point fingers ?

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MonkeeDoo 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't suppose the Speaker would allow a motion of NO CONFIDENCE in the Government to be put, but never has it been more necessary or appropriate. These guys have their pockets lined already so they will not suffer one iota. It is the rank and file of this country, from grass-root to aristocrat that will pay for this folly. No one but the Government members, their families and lovers will be spared from the oncoming onslaught. We will have to call the IMF in to save us and they will start with a devaluation of our dollar to cut the real cost of the bloated civil service payroll, they will recommend an increase in VAT to maybe 20%, and our arses will be on the skids. Well done PLP. The demise of the Bahamas.

The Jamaican dollar is worth less that one cent. One Haitian Gourde is worth less that .02 cents. If you come across a US dollar hold onto it tight.

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TheMadHatter 7 years, 3 months ago

As of right now, it takes $119.51 Jamaican to purchase $1.00 US. Of course, this could never happen here in the Bahamas, eh? LOL

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birdiestrachan 7 years, 3 months ago

I am sorry for those who have lost their jobs. what does it mean Non-active workers?,. MS:Butler and Turnquest both would like to see the Bahamas downgraded. because they believe it will make them look good. What would they have done? she mentions the developer who had a grand and ambitious vision . He has no fault,, it is only the Government fault. besides why is she speaking? I suppose she believes "it in't over until the Fat Lady sings" Poor Dr: Minnis he has hell on his hands with mean spirited Butler Turner.

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Honestman 7 years, 3 months ago

Birdiestrachan, is that really the extent of your contribution to this discussion? Heaven help us! No Bahamian wants to see the country downgraded, don't be so ridiculous.

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truetruebahamian 7 years, 3 months ago

My God Birdiestrachan, you are a fool, but hardly a provider of silly entertainment any longer. You have become less than that.

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birdiestrachan 7 years, 3 months ago

Ridiculous but true. Now answer what does non-active workers mean?

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HarryWyckoff 7 years, 3 months ago

You, sir or madam, are a traitor. Period.

Your country is being systematically destroyed by a corrupt, incompetent government, who couldn't give a crap about the people it has sworn to serve, while you, for whatever reason, be it financial gain, or pure ignorance, defend their every blundering move.

Should you ever walk by a mirror, please don't look in it, for staring back at you will be one of the very people responsible for what the entire world can see is coming to our tiny nation.

You disgust me. You should disgust yourself.

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Honestman 7 years, 3 months ago

I would imagine a non-active worker is someone who is on the payroll but not actually working - for example many of the young people who went through the leadership training, were hired for particular positions but have not been able to take up their posts yet. See, wasn't that difficult!

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MonkeeDoo 7 years, 3 months ago

If this behemoth can ever be restarted the recruitment and training cost will be immense. For birdie's sake that is/was the wisdom and justification for keeping these people on-line. That is gone now so whoever undertakes to bring this to fruition will have their work cut out for them. I think the place will sit there and just decay. Who, in their right mind, would even take it if it was for free ? Izmirlian was a one in a million sucker and we had him but squeezed his genitals too tightly and we lost. POORER BAHAMAS.

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Economist 7 years, 3 months ago

Birdie,, you either completely missed the point or just don't want to deal with the facts. A number of us who deal with investors, both foreign and domestic, have been told that they are not going to invest in this climate. The foreign say that after the way this government dealt with BTC over the shares made them concerned but that the when the government, and the way government attacked the bankruptcy , made it clear that The Bahamas is to be avoided. That is way Cayman and others have had several billion poured into them and we have a few million. The only ones who will invest now are not the quality investors that we improve our economy and our standard of living. The Bahamians say that there is too much uncertainty, such as ability to hire qualified staff, new taxes forced on us in periods that are to short for business to adjust to, failure to get government spending under control and a failure to act on audits to stop waste. I could go on, but you should get the idea.

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Honestman 7 years, 3 months ago

Economist - Birdie is a propogandist and as such is not interested in logical reasoning.

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SP 7 years, 3 months ago

........................................... Weapons Of Mass Destruction ...........................................

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by SP

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TheMadHatter 7 years, 3 months ago

Loretta should not waste her time with this - she should concentrate on the destruction in Long Island. Can't she get international news agencies to fly a helicopter there with a camera?

Also - why is she blaming only the PLP - when her own party refused to support her the other day when she was not allowed to speak in the House.

I like her - she is a firebrand, and I believe a loyal Bahamian - but she should have attended this most recent meeting of the House with a large piece of duct tape across her mouth - and when the Speaker asked her to remove it, should have refused to the point of being barred from the House for 30 days and removed by the House Sargeant at Arms (or whatever we call them here).

TheMadHatter

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 3 months ago

Re-post: Just think how much Christie and his family have pocketed from allowing Communist Chinese to build their state owned development known as The Pointe within extremely close proximity to the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. While Red China is constructing The Point, they will build into it the very latest state-of-the-art intelligence gathering technologies in order to snoop in on just about any and every things that goes on at or passes through the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. Fred Mitchell apparently told Perry Christie sometime ago that the Bahamas needs to teach the U.S. a lesson or two, and Christie agreed this was the case. Seems the Christie-led PLP government is fed up with U.S. policies aimed at detroying or hurting both our tourism industry and our financial services sector, e.g. negative travel alerts by the U.S. Dept of State, downgrading of Bahamas credit ratings by U.S. controlled interests like S&P and Moody's, the unfavourable policies proposed by the U.S. controlled IMF, World Bank and IDB that only serve to increase our national debt, the recent blacklisting of our banking sector from Washington D.C., the imposition of FATCA by the IRS/U.S. Dept of State, etc., etc., etc. Christie and Mitchell both still believe they have little choice but to curry great favour with Red China so they no doubt had Allyson Maynard-Gibson and Baltron Bethel seal The Pointe deal with the appropriate government officials of Red China for the purpose of sticking a finger in the eye of the U.S. Government. The Obama administration and their lack luster dim witted Secretary of State, John Kerry, have yet to figure out the severity of what is going on down here in the Bahamas and the extent to which U.S. security interests are being terribly compromised by ongoing espionage attacks of Red China on the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. The U.S. is being subjected to ever increasing Chinese cyber-warfare from within Nassau (just across the street from the U.S. Embassy), just a mere 180 miles away from the coast of South Florida. Can you imagine how this is going to be played out by Republicans in the mainstream news media in the run up to the U.S. presidential election in November 2016. Wow! One really has to wonder who's dumber....Americans, particularly ones of the Democrat persuasion, or Bahamians, especially ones of the PLP persuasion!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 7 years, 3 months ago

Excellent. Agree. Completely. The big picture, the symbolism of the Pointe within eyeshot of the embassy, is the key here.

Thank you for saying it.

The chicoms always seek further intel gathering capabilities. Seems they've found them.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 7 years, 3 months ago

Spot on. Agree. Completely.

I cannot begin to describe the number of Americans who are disgusted with our own regime and the dopes who elected it - twice!

We're also on to their sleazy trick of promoting 'tourism' - if you can call paying for your own toilet paper in a flea bag Cuban hotel 'tourism - in castro's commie island toilet prison by insulting the Bahamas.

That's how communists work, they're the pits and after fifty years of people seeing their tricks blatantly pulled in public, you'd think they'd smarten up?

Nope.

We love visiting the Bahamas and will continue to do so for as long as we can.

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MonkeeDoo 7 years, 3 months ago

Obama and Clinton ignored the pleas from the Ambassador in Benghazi - You think they worried about some Chinkies tapping into their wires and conversations. Steffan done fixed up whatever they need from BTC. ( I mean for a price ) T'aint nutting es be free with dat.

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