THE RT HON PHILIP DAVIS, QC, PRIME MINISTER
ON THE OCCASION OF
THE SWEARING-IN OF NINE MEMBERS OF
Your Excellency, the Governor-General and Mrs. Smith,
First Lady, my wife Ann-Marie,
Deputy Prime Minister I Chester Cooper & Mrs. Cooper,
Honourable and Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
First of all, I wish to thank the Governor-General and members of his staff for their continuing support, in effecting this smooth transition to our new administration. We are grateful for their ongoing counsel and look forward to continuing our partnership, as we work on behalf of the Bahamian people.
The health and economic crises in which we currently find ourselves, are expressed in every single facet of the lives of the Bahamian people.
Because government is organised, by ministerial portfolio, it is easy to forget the jobs that we do are inter-twined.
The many arms of government must work together.
And I am keen that we make every effort to be as efficient and as effective as possible in doing so.
We must cut across the silos of the structure, and keep our shared goals and priorities clearly in sight.
Our team of experienced and new parliamentarians have already begun to demonstrate the kind of teamwork that is required.
While each title and role carries specific responsibilities, we understand fully that it is by working together that we can achieve the best results.
And the partnership in government must also be strong and secure, mindful and compassionate.
And by working with the Bahamian people, together we will build a lasting legacy for our children, and all those who come behind.
This was and is the founding ideal of Independence.
This is our promise of a New Day for all Bahamians.
THE HON. OBEDIAH WILCHCOMBE’S political career began in 1994, serving as a Member of Parliament, a Senator and twice Cabinet Minister. It is his because of his deep knowledge and lengthy experience of government, that I have appointed him as Minister of Social Services and Urban Development. In recent years, our national suffering has caused more Bahamian people than ever before, to have to rely on the support of the state. I am keen that our administration does so with care and compassion, and that the bureaucracy is minimised so that effective help and support is given to those who need it most. Mr. Wilchcombe’s vast governmental experience and knowledge of the mechanisms of government , will enable him to ensure that people don’t fall through the cracks. We must do everything possible to look out for the vulnerable, and those most in need.
During the past 4 1/2 years, the Bahamian people have said again and again, that the number one issue for them has been jobs.
Far too many have, through no fault of their own, been out of work.
And far too many of those who are in work, have not been treated with the respect that they rightly deserve.
Labour relations are at an all time low.
In all things related to jobs, employment and labour relations, we will put Bahamians first.
And MR. KEITH BELL will apply the same standards of excellence that he brought to policing and the law to this portfolio, which can improve the working lives of so many people.
Our country remains one of the top ten countries most vulnerable to climate change. We need to continue to build our resiliency, while at the same time making sure that all Bahamians benefit from our natural resources on land and sea. As Minister for the Environment, MR. VAUGHN MILLER will bring the strong sense of purpose for which he has become so noted in recent years.
Living in an archipelago, our ability to remain connected is vital. To be able to travel between and around our islands is fundamental to our way of life. And yet, one of the most visible signs of neglect in the past few years, has been the degradation in our transport network. This comes even as more Bahamians have been displaced during the past 4 1/2 years than at any other time in our history.
Reports of entire families being forced to sleep in their cars have been heart-breaking. And yet remarkably little has been done to address this. And so I have appointed MRS. JOBETH COLEBY-DAVIS to serve as Minister of Transport and Housing. During her tenure as a Senator since 2017, she displayed the kind of fearlessness and forensic legal approach which I look forward to her bringing to these national challenges.
Two years after the passage of Hurricane Dorian, the people of Grand Bahama have yet to return to anything like a state of normality. This, coupled with several major strategic mis-steps in recent years, means that our second largest island and economy is in desperate need of wisdom, experience, innovation, compassion and a high degree of competence. As Minister for Grand Bahama, MS. GINGER MOXEY is ideally-suited for the job. She will bring to bear her unique combination of executive experience at the Grand Bahama Port Authority, her track record of entrepreneurial success, and deep ties to the Grand Bahama community.
As a legendary sports coach, MR. MARIO MOXEY has decades-long experience of working with young people, and at every level of sport. As Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, he will play a key role as we develop and expand the creative economy of The Bahamas, so that the talent and creative potential of our people can be translated into economic success.
The many pressing challenges that our country faces right now, means that we need to put all hands on deck. I am proud that some of the best of those hands are part of our parliamentary team, who can bring expertise, experience and industry to the task at hand. I have therefore appointed the following Ministers of State to support the urgent and important work which my administration must deliver for the benefit of the Bahamian people.
MR. BASIL McINTOSH is a highly acclaimed Professional Engineer, who is accredited to work in the United States, Canada as well as The Bahamas. He has received numerous awards and honours over the years for his work in the design and supervision of commercial, residential, industrial and marine structures. As Minister of State for the Environment, he will provide invaluable support to the substantive work of that ministry.
As my government pursues a number of initiatives that reach across various industries and sectors, it is vital that the Office of The Prime Minister has the reach, flexibility and agility to ensure that we are able to get the many jobs done. As Minister of State in the Office of The Prime Minister, MR. MYLES LARODA will bring his experience of the law and the public service to bear, as well as the adaptability of the private sector.
As Minister of State for the Public Service, MRS. PIA GLOVER-ROLLE will bring her experience of labour relations and private sector achievements to help to ensure that the public service is fit for purpose to deliver on the priorities of the government, and to serve the needs of the Bahamian people. Her 20-year history in hospitality, tourism, government and the entertainment industry means that she has the breadth of knowledge to span across some of the major sectors of our economy.
I am delighted that MS. LISA RAHMING will serve as Minister of State in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development. As a former Assistant Superintendent of Police, lawyer, and highly-decorated recipient for her work in urban development, including as part of the Urban Renewal programme, her first-hand knowledge and experience of our urban communities will help to transform the lives and prospects of the Bahamian people.
A lifelong educator and union leader on the national and international stage, MR. ZANE LIGHTBOURNE has deep knowledge and experience, not only of the educational needs of our young people, but also the structures and practices of teaching and administration. His support will be invaluable as we seek to improve the educational outcomes for Bahamians, and help to prepare them to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities in our promise of A New Day for The Bahamas.
I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to bring about better times in our Bahamas.
I pray God’s blessings on all of us, and may God Bless The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.