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Editorial: Disney Deal Under A Cloud Of Darkness

Let’s play a game.

Who said the following?

“We believe in transparency, accountability, and integrity. We believe in honesty… we cannot live in a cloud of darkness any more.”

While you think about it, let’s talk about the Disney deal for Lighthouse Point.

The proposed deal has long been a bone of contention – with a number of environmentalist groups concerned that Disney’s proposed cruise port and entertainment complex would ruin a beautiful part of the Bahamian landscape.

So given the high profile of the project – and the widespread concerns raised over it – the signing of the deal would of course be a notable event, right?

Seemingly not. The Heads of Agreement was signed in private on Thursday. Was the media notified of the signing? No. The day after? Not so much. In fact, it was only at a town hall meeting in Eleuthera on Saturday that Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced the signing – a location where he had a sympathetic audience and without the media corps in attendance to quiz him on the deal.

Even after that, there’s hardly been a rush of information – a press release from Bahamas Information Services and an unanswered phone belonging to the recently appointed Director of Communications, Erica Wells-Cox.

Opposition leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis is up in arms about the deal – calling for the Heads of Agreement to be tabled in the House of Assembly so his party, and the nation, can examine the details.

He says the FNM has “flubbed the example of open government”, and he’s completely right.

Mr Davis also points out the contrast with the Oban deal, where cameras and reporters were on hand to witness the signing – only for that particular signing to unravel thanks to the absence of due diligence, even down to questions over who signed what on the papers themselves.

“Why the secrecy… what is there to hide?” he asks. Good questions, indeed.

Whether you’re in favour or against the Disney deal, it is without question a substantial one – and one that can bring jobs and investment to the nation.

If the government is confident in this decision, this should be a moment to shout from the rooftops, to hail the prospects it will bring.

Instead, the ham-fisted handling of the announcement is stepping on the government’s own news. The FNM seem to think that all is well with how they have revealed this – a new press release hailing the announcement by the prime minister in a town hall two days later as “transparency and accountability” and jabbing at the PLP in return.

The PLP certainly did have their problems with transparency – and the FNM should bear in mind that’s why people voted them out.

As for that quote? That was then Opposition leader Dr Minnis, in 2013. He has been banging the drum for transparency for a long time. It’s about time he showed some.

... and the silver lining

 If the above is a cloud, then it’s time for a silver lining. We are delighted to hear of the sighting of a seahorse in the North Bimini Bay area.

The sighting comes after dredging of mangroves in the area – another of those bones of contention at the time.

Before the dredging, seahorses were plentiful – and we hope this is the start of a return to the abundance of sea life in the area, and that this one seahorse soon has many friends for company.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 1 week, 3 days ago

"even after that, there’s hardly been a rush of information – a press release from Bahamas Information Services and an unanswered phone belonging to the recently appointed Director of Communications, Erica Wells-Cox."

As expected, no reputation can last the service of an uninformed boss. The question will always be asked why dud you let them do that? And if you try to explain that you gave advice, get ready for the follow up, why did you stay?

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TalRussell 1 week, 3 days ago

Yes, yes and yes, the undisputed father of tourism comrade Sir Stafford Lofthouse had commissioned Cyril Stevenson's printing company to published a guide setting "Must Follow Rules" on what cruise ships could and could not do when in we Colony of Out Islands seas, ports and harbours, yes, no? Now, they've not only assumed control and ownership over growing number we Private Out Island - they're about embark to take over we seas, Ports and Harbours, yes, no.... not long before they move in on buying the Atlantis Hotel, but all of Paradise Island, yes, no? This is not just some far-fetched make up prediction, yes, no?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 3 days ago

Most people posting to this web site know you are a Minnis-connected (paid) troll tasked with injecting as much confusion, mayhem and misinformation as possible in an effort to dampen or drown out the voice of those who have very legitimate concerns for public consumption. Thankfully most commenters and readers now completely ignore whatever is written under your handle, as well as the handles of others like you with your same intent. LMAO

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birdiestrachan 1 week, 3 days ago

Thank you Editorial page for standing up for the Bahamas and posterity. Political parties and individuals come and go but our beloved Country the Bahamas remains.

It is important for our Country to live up to high ideals and principals..

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The_Oracle 1 week, 2 days ago

Our country needs to find high ideals and principals first Birdie, which starts with finding people who know what those are.

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DDK 1 week, 2 days ago

This is certainly NOT Government In The Sunshine. Darkness is spreading at an alarming rate. It would appear that most of those in this Government, like those before, are only concerned with what they can get for themselves while in office and could not give a flying fig about The People or the environment.

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jus2cents 1 week, 2 days ago

Minnis Mouse should never have been the leader of anything.

He can't communicate, even to his own so called, press secretary’s, he can't get his message to them even, he needs to be able to speak coherently and he isn't able, and that is why they too are mute. And if that is not enough, just look at his track record, his lack luster leading ‘abilities’ at PMH and the Millions of $$$ that disappeared.

Every gardener knows, when the tree limb is rotten, it needs pruning, so chop it off!

Please, someone rise up, and put us out of our misery, all of these old cronies and buffoons need to go.

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yeahyasee 1 week, 2 days ago

Opposition leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis is up in arms about the deal – calling for the Heads of Agreement to be tabled in the House of Assembly so his party, and the nation, can examine the details.

Hopefully the right person signed this HOA LOL!

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