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D'Aguilar Apologises To Couples For Inconvenience

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Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

By Leandra Rolle

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday apologised for the inconvenience caused to all couples who were scheduled to get married last weekend, saying the government should have informed people in advance about the option to request for a wedding exemption.

His comments to the press came after it was revealed Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis exempted two couples from the wedding restrictions, despite ordering a weekend lockdown last week and limiting the number of wedding attendees to five.

Acknowledging that he too “was a part of the request”, Mr D’Aguilar admitted the government failed to inform people that requests could be made for an exemption.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting yesterday, the tourism minister said: “I can’t deny that I was a part of the request but obviously it was a decision that was considered (by the competent authority). I think there was another wedding that was approved as well.

“So... I guess maybe we failed and I apologize for that. We failed to allow people or to inform people that there is the option to always appeal to the competent authority for an exemption if you feel that the case is compelling and he (the prime minister) can consider it.”

He added: “And I think that in many instances because it was so sudden and such an immediate Friday at 3 (pm) to lockdown at 7 (pm) and you get an event planned at Saturday was very, very troubling.”

“And then you had a lot of foreign visitors and Bahamians trying to move within the islands and then, of course, to get lockdown by that, it caused a lot of consternation.”

Photos and videos of the couple’s wedding at the Coral Sands resort in Harbour Island went viral last weekend, showing more than five attendees at the event. Guests were also seen not adhering to the social distancing protocols.

In a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister on Sunday, officials said two pre-planned weddings were given permission by the competent authority to be held with more than five people in attendance during the weekend lockdown. However, the statement sparked public criticism, with some observers accusing the government about preferential treatment.

Yesterday, Mr D’Aguilar referenced the ordeal as “a learning experience” and noted that the government will ensure that similar issues do not arise moving forward.

He said: “That was a learning experience for us and we’re trying to prevent that moving forward and on behalf of the government I deeply apologize… I can’t even imagine being a bride and having this thrown on you at the last minute.”

Comments

TalRussell 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Sorry, Comrade Dioniso Theodore James but there are no receptors your limp apology. Nod Once for Yeah what Theodore really means is his imperialists' central authority, 'ems gone got's accidentally exposed down to the nude, balls and all, for all The Colony's POAL,to see on social media, Twice for No?

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The_Oracle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

So, did he tender his resignation? Precedent was set with Sands......... Of course, being we have a singular "competent" authority perhaps the buck aught to stop there? Or maybe it will be three strikes and he is out?

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The_Oracle 1 month, 3 weeks ago

And BTW, the problem is you don't learn from your mistakes, or the mistakes of others. you keep bungling the same things over and over! It get VERY OLD!! I understand the challenge Covid presents but flip flopping and surprise lockdowns with poorly written legislation written AFTER the FACT!

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mandela 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Instead of fake apologies help these people recoup their losses.

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tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Many of us have have had to endure and continue to endure one too many hardships as a direct result of the gross incompetence of Minnis and D'Aguilar. The time for mea culpas long ago came and went. It's high time for these two disgraceful imbeciles to do the only decent thing they can now do for our country and all Bahamians, and that's fall on their swords.

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tribanon 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Amazing that D'Aguilar considers a young couple's loss of thousands of dollars to be a mere "inconvenience" to them and a "learning experience" for himself. We've all had enough of D'Aguilar's and Minnis's teachable moments and unfathomable lack of plain common sense.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

It's too much apologizing going on. All because they don't know how to handle public administration. And there's an easy solution, move out the way, get the politics out of it, admit you dont know, let the people who know, who are experienced whether they FNM, PLP, DNA or if Dr Minnis have a grudge against them, assist. Wells should never have taken the portfolio, not when Dr Sands sitting right there. Cabinet should have spoken up. Again that's not to say Dr Sands did or will do everything right but he's a better pick, available and willing. This isnt the petty shop. People could die. Don't be here in the next 2 weeks apologizing for letting people die because you made another mistake

Dr Dahl Reghis got out right in time.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago

"there is the option to always appeal to the competent authority for an exemption if you feel that the case is compelling and he (the prime minister) can consider it."

Working Bahamians as a group need to write a letter of appeal for an exemption to the 7PM curfew on the grounds of protecting mental health. Thats a part of immune systems strength as well, probably the most important part.Either lock everything down or push this unreasonable curfew to 9PM.

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1648 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Minnis is a sad excuse for a 'Competent Authority'.

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