FNM reveals manifesto promises on marijuana, BPL

THE Free National Movement has pledged to “review an increase to the minimum wage,” pass legislation to replace the emergency orders and introduce a medical marijuana industry if the party secures another term.

The party also pledged to invest $50m to $70m in upgrades to Bahamas Power and Light’s transmission and distribution infrastructure to further reduce electricity outages.

The pledges, among others, were outlined in the FNM’s 2021 Manifesto, which was released yesterday.

Regarding marijuana, the FNM says: “In recent years attitudes toward cannabis have changed around the world. The old view that use of the plant was dangerous has given way to widespread acceptance of its various medicinal and industrial uses.

“Our cannabis laws are antiquated. They have unfairly punished too many Bahamians who used the plant for various personal, medical and religious reasons.”

Draft marijuana reform legislation was circulated by the Minnis administration for consultation this term, however, it was never brought to Parliament. The FNM now says it will introduce marijuana reform in its next term if it is successful at the polls later this month.

“In the next term we intend to decriminalise possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use; legalise medicinal marijuana; expunge the records of Bahamians who have convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana; establish a Cannabis Licensing Authority to oversee the new cannabis industry in The Bahamas.

“This will include regulation of issuance of licenses and other matters related to the sector,” the manifesto says.

All companies in the new cannabis industry would be at least 51 percent Bahamian and the FNM says it would make Crown land available for Bahamians to grow legal cannabis.

Regarding its plans for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnis administration says it will ensure there is enough vaccine supply for all residents; ensure there are booster shots as needed on the advice of health professionals; and acquire equipment to conduct in-country analysis to determine the presence of coronavirus variants.

Other promises relating to the pandemic include providing the National Reference Laboratory with the resources needed to continue expanding its testing and analysis capacity; ensure there are adequate supplies of proven medical therapies to treat those with COVID-19; provide the resources to ensure robust contact tracing continues; and pass and bring into effect legislation to replace the emergency orders.

The Minnis administration tabled draft legislation in the House of Assembly to replace the emergency orders shortly before the House of Assembly was dissolved and a general election was called.

Regarding the electoral process, the FNM says it will establish a new and independent Parliamentary Registration Department to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of election administration; continue the digitisation of the electoral process; and create opportunities for greater participation, accountability and transparency regarding the electoral process.

The Minnis administration also says it will create a National Sovereign Wealth Fund and a National Infrastructure Fund.

The wealth fund will be a “vehicle for public-private partnerships in order for Bahamians to economically benefit from our natural resources and to invest in infrastructure development and to provide a source for the generation of future wealth,” the FNM says.

“The fund will be vested with Bahamian assets, which are the basis of the country’s wealth, and it will accumulate and convert those assets as necessary in order to spur developments in the country; and income generated through the fund’s activities as well as returns on investments will accumulate in the fund for the benefit of the Bahamian people,” the party’s plan says.

The FNM said it will also create a new Ministry of Investments, Financial Services and Commerce if it secures a second term.

Regarding its plans to ensure access to land and homeownership, the Minnis administration says it will launch the Bahamas Homes Initiative, through which there will be the creation of at least one major serviced lot development on all major Family islands. The FNM said it will also make materials for home construction in government subdivisions VAT-free and continue with the duty free and real property tax concessions it previously implemented.

The party said it will also continue creating communities for young professionals throughout The Bahamas; repair all government-owned rental properties in inner-city communities and sell units for a nominal fee; and continue to work with the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation to make home ownership available for more Bahamians.

The Minnis administration’s previously announced plans to upgrade hospital infrastructure at Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama and Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence are also noted in the manifesto.

Regarding social development, the FNM said it would work with NGOs to establish four transitional shelters in New Providence, one in Grand Bahama and one in Abaco to accommodate the homeless population using existing grants and provide grants to non-profit organisations to establish safe homes for women and families experiencing domestic violence, among other promises.

The FNM also pledged to implement a universal school meal programme if re-elected, that will provide nutritionally balanced, free breakfast, lunch and snacks to all school children in the government-operated education system regardless of income.

Although promised, but not delivered in this term, the FNM has committed to introducing local government in New Providence if re-elected.

The full manifesto can be viewed at ourfnm.org.


Topdude 2 years, 1 month ago

This is an outstanding Manifesto and demonstrates a comprehensive overview of the Strategic Plan to continue to move our nation forward. We are in good hands. Thanks to the FNM. Thank you Prime Minister Minnis. You are a God send.


trueBahamian 2 years, 1 month ago

Interesting! That all sounds nice. It just so amazing that

  1. None of that got done during this term.

  2. If they have an idea to.improve the Covid pandemic item, why not do that now while you are in the middle of a crisis?

  3. Where are we going to get the money from for these ideas?

More importantly, going back to my first point, if they had so many great ideas to implement to benefit the nation, some of these should have already been implemented. That's not to give a point to the current opposition. I am sure their manifesto promises a lot as always. Everybody promising things and in their history they've shown they don't deliver.

Can we get people who actually care about the country?


Topdude 2 years, 1 month ago

Like you are totally indifferent to the impact of Dorian and Covid-19 on the plans during the last four years. Which island are you living on? Please give Jack his Jacket. Every major project was on track until these two significant and substantial disasters negatively affected our country.


ThisIsOurs 2 years, 1 month ago

Nothing was on track. In fact there was a massive cry for a plan on "something", so much so that DAguilar got so frustrated one day and said he don't know why everybody asking for a plan, they dont do any planning at his company they just do stuff.


bcitizen 2 years, 1 month ago

Well Abaco and Grand Bahama are still a wreck from Dorian and Covid-19 is still here so by your logic they wont be able to enact any of the plans listed above due to these things still being major ongoing issues.


ThisIsOurs 2 years, 1 month ago

There was this popular song in the 80's

"I hate to say it but my faith in you is shaking Don't say you love me when it's my heart you're breaking with your lies (Don't say it) Wish I could have seen it in your eyes But I never did Baby, lies, it took so long for me to realise Oh, but I was too blind to see, oh"

not sure why I thought of that...

"you had me believin' but you were deceivin' me with lies"


ConchFretter 2 years, 1 month ago

These plans sound great. If only the FNM had the ability to enact these initiatives now... (sip sip sip) What's that? (SIP sip sip sip) They ARE the current government and have been since 2017?!?! (nods head) Sigh... (sigh)


mandela 2 years, 1 month ago

It is hard to understand why certain legislation takes so long to be enacted when most of the time it only takes a stroke of the pen. Decriminalizing the procession of small amounts of marijuana into law only needs a stroke of the pen. Creating communities for young professionals, what about other persons who aren't professionals don't they also deserve housing as well?


Honestman 2 years, 1 month ago

Both the PLP and the FNM have clearly demonstrated that their election manifestos are not worth reading. Neither party has lived up to its promises although the FNM did have two major challenges in Dorian and Covid. The FNM has been a major disappointment however in the areas of transparency and accountability. This was the party that was going to govern with honesty, and rid the country of cronyism in the awarding of government contracts. The FNM has shown itself to be little better than the totally corrupt PLP administration. What a horrible choice lies ahead for the electorate.


DWW 2 years, 1 month ago

Actions speak louder than words every time, volumes more. Minnis had a chance, IMHO he handled the medical issues well, everything else not so much...


Chucky 2 years, 1 month ago

The promises are one thing, usually not done anyways.

But what’s dangerous, is all the things these criminals do when in power that they never told us they would do.

You cannot trust any of them.

Democracy is nothing more than a rubber stamp that “legitimizes “ their actions once elected. Authoritarian rule is happening, though by a different name, and different system. Label as democracy.

Sadly, what were told and what we think of as democracy is not how our system works. The representative we elect to represent us, simply does not.

We vote them in, And then they do whatever they want. The representatives are legitimized by our votes, and nothing more.

We’d be better off if nobody voted. There are no good choices. The system is a club, the parties are two factions of the same team of criminals. They serve their cronies at the expense of the population.

The outcome is no different than if we had Putin running the country.


John 2 years, 1 month ago

Are the FNM's admitting that they failed in their first term? To complete the promises made to the Bahamian people? Is there a foreign entity preventing the government from tabling the marijuana legislation? Why are the penalties for persons found with small (Over 2 ounces) amounts of marijuana so draconian? up to 50 years in jail time and fines that go into the millions. And guess who chirren they will be putting them on? rewriting the marijuana legislation to benefit the elite and put more burden on the poor Bahamians dem


John 2 years, 1 month ago

The party also pledged to invest $50m to $70m in upgrades to Bahamas Power and Light’s transmission and distribution infrastructure to further reduce electricity outages.

. . Tesla had plans over 100 years ago to transmit electricity wirelessly. Maybe that time has come. Back them they thought the plan was so dangerous, government of the time ordered all of Teslas notes on the plan be destroyed. But we use wireless electricity and currents everyday. remotes, cordless phones etc.


TalRussell 2 years, 1 month ago

Sounds promising, but, Comrade John, exceptin' both of we's Colonial Colony is goin' require some form current generation, — if today's tech-savvy generation — will has decent shot at figurin' out — exactly how hell are they supposed to activate the damn buttons of them old popoulaces —TV Channel Changes Boxes with that annoying long wire runnin'' from them — Yes?


themessenger 2 years, 1 month ago

@tribanon, have you died and gone to heaven? Come back dude we miss you. Just kidding!


Cobalt 2 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Prime Minister, please stop making promises we know you can’t nor intend to keep! It’s very aggravating.


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