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OBA: ‘Ministers Are Not Leading By Example’

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[Updated] It is “very disappointing to see that some Ministers are not leading by example,” OBA Leader Craig Cannonier said in reference to the videos circulating showing two Cabinet Ministers at a social event in close proximity to others without masks, with Mr Cannonier saying “their actions set an extremely bad example to the rest of Bermuda.”

Mr Cannonier said, “The Premier and Health Minister have spent months telling the public to obey social distancing rules and urging them to wear masks. It is therefore very disappointing to see that some Ministers are not leading by example.

“According to the notice in the Official Gazette which allowed this event, ‘The conditions are as follows: all persons attending the event must wear a face mask and maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times.’ The order was signed by the Minister of National Security, Wayne Caines.

“It was Minister Caines who publicly berated the owner of Mr Chicken for its customers not practicing social distancing. Minister Caines was willing to go as far as shutting down that business. His behaviour at this party is, therefore, hypocrisy.

“From the videos that are circulating, it is clear that Zane DeSilva and Minister Caines were not adhering to their own rules. Mr DeSilva in particular is clearly seen dancing on stage next to the saxophonist with no mask or any apparent attempt to exercise social distancing.

“Minister DeSilva has, with the Ministry of Health, set protocols to ensure the safety of Bermudians when tourists enter the country. As Minister of National Security, Mr Caines has been urging us to wear masks and practice social distancing. Their actions set an extremely bad example to the rest of Bermuda.

“We are told that the Department of Health is investigating the restaurant, but this is just an attempt to deflect from the behaviour of these Ministers. It also begs the question why an investigation can be held so quickly into something like this, but not into the Department of Child and Family Services.

“The Premier cannot stay silent on this issue. If this happened to OBA MPs, I am sure he would be leading the calls for resignations. Is he going to demand the resignations of these Ministers for this flagrant abuse?

“If he does not, how can we take these Ministers seriously knowing that when it suits them, they will defy their own Government’s protocols. They have lost the people’s respect.”

Update 11.01pm: Premier David Burt advised that Zane DeSilva and Wayne Caines “have accepted his invitation to resign from the Cabinet.” Read the full statement here.

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