||Last Updated: Sep 24, 2021 - 7:50:22 PM
Nassau, The Bahamas – During the Swearing-In Ceremony of seven new Parliamentary Secretaries, on September 23, 2021, newly-elected Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis took the opportunity to “expand a little on the broad reasoning and rationale” behind the Cabinet appointments.
“Our country is in crisis,” Prime Minister Davis said, during the ceremony held in the Andros Room of the Grand Hyatt Convention Centre, at Baha Mar. “These challenges are unprecedented in scale and scope, in breadth and depth. Experience in government has taught me how easy it is to get caught up dealing with what is urgent, because of the need to address the day-to-day priorities.”
“The result is that, if you are competent, you just solve the present problems,” he added. “In our present situation, doing just this will be no easy feat; but in solving the day-to-day problems, the bigger things are left undone.”
Among those present at the ceremony were Governor-General of The Bahamas, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith, and Lady Smith; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation the Hon. I. Chester Cooper and Mrs. Cooper; other Cabinet Ministers; senior government officials; members of the clergy; family members and stakeholders.
The Ministries for the Parliamentary Secretaries sworn in that day were are follows: Tourism, Aviation and Investments, John Pinder II; Works and Utilities, Bacchus O. Rolle; Office of the Prime Minister, Leon E. Lundy; Office of the Prime Minister (stationed in Abaco), Kirk Cornish; Economic Affairs, Wayde Watson; Foreign Affairs, Jamahl Strachan; and Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Leonardo Lightbourne
Prime Minister Davis said that Bahamian people voted for change -- big change, transformational change; and his Government intended to keep its promises.
“This requires work,” he pointed out. “This requires effort; and if you are determined to get things done, first of all you need to make sure you have a team in place that is heavily focused on the things you wish to get done.
“This is why in my remarks yesterday, I alluded to the need to put ‘all hands on deck’.”
Prime Minister Davis then noted that, after that speech, members of the press queried the need for the size of cabinet that he had appointed.
“It made me realize that I needed to spell out in greater detail, exactly what the job of this Cabinet will be -- put briefly: the challenges are multi-faceted and multi-layered; and the opportunities we intend to create are great.”
Prime Minister Davis highlighted the areas of health care, housing, infrastructure and the economy.
“If we are to address these many crises, while at the same time creating the opportunities and implementing the fundamental change that we have been mandated to by the Bahamian people, then I say again: we need all hands on deck,” he added.
Prime Minister Davis noted that, around the Commonwealth, Parliamentary Secretaries undertake important functions, supporting the work of their Ministers, especially in Parliament.
“We have made substantial promises in our intention to be open and transparent, and to be held accountable,” he said. “And so we have to also take seriously how we ensure that parliament functions well, so that our democracy can continue to develop and thrive.”
Prime Minster Davis said that, to support the work of the Minister of Agriculture, he appointed Leonardo Lightbourne, adding that his strong track record as a successful entrepreneur would help to support the Government’s efforts, especially in respect of enhancing food security.
“To support the work in the Office of The Prime Minister, I have appointed Mr. Leon Lundy,” he said. “His experience as an accountant, in the hospitality industry, and in community development, will help to ensure that our initiatives have impact on the ground, helping the very people they are meant to benefit.”
Prime Minister Davis said that, to help address the specific needs of the people of Abaco, which is still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, he appointed Mr. Kirk Cornish. His practical experience of the national infrastructure gained through his work with the Water & Sewerage Corporation, will support our work in helping to rebuild the communities of Abaco, Prime Minister Davis noted.
“I have already referred to the enormous challenges we face in dealing with the economy; and so to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, I have appointed Mr. Wayde Watson,” Prime Minister Davis said. “His wealth of knowledge and experience in technology and in the community will tremendously enhance the operation of the Ministry.”
“As we move to resume our engagement internationally, seek out opportunities to help grow our economy, and benefit from global support around climate change, I have appointed Mr. Jamahl Strachan to support the work of the Minster of Foreign Affairs,” Prime Minister Davis added. “Given his professional experience within that ministry at the consular level, he will be able to provide immediate practical support to this portfolio.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that, as tourism returns, and The Bahamas’ investment climate improves, the country does not intend merely to go back to the way things were done before.
“It is clear that the old ways no longer work for the vast majority of ordinary Bahamians; and so, to support the work of the Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, I have appointed Mr. John Pinder.
“The portfolio of the Ministry of Works and Utilities is broad and expansive, much of it impacting the day-to-day lives of the Bahamian people,” he added. “Because of his first-hand knowledge, expertise and experience of working for BPL, to serve in this Ministry I have appointed Mr. Bacchus Rolle.”
Prime Minister Davis said that he had “every confidence” that each of the appointments will serve the Bahamian people faithfully and well, and help to bring about that New Day that his Government had promised.
“As we go forward, I ask you to continue to pray that we may succeed in all that we do on behalf of and for the benefit of the Bahamian people,” he said. “May God continue to bless us all, and bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
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