Madam President, the Government of Bermuda is committed to ensuring a trained and job-ready workforce to reduce unemployment rates and to provide a service model that will promote sustainable employment.
The groundwork began last year with the release of Part One of the National Training Plan, which provides a vision for strengthening the workforce, and an informed national perspective on industry trends, forecasts, and strategies for ensuring continued growth and development of Bermudians. The strategies are of public and private good; valuable both to individuals and the country as a whole.
Madam President, I would like to take a few minutes this morning to remind all employers, work permit holders and Bermuda at large, that civil penalties are in effect and have been in effect since April 1, 2014.
Madam President, pursuant to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment (No. 2) Act 2013, civil penalties are levied by the Chief Immigration Officer for the following violations against the Amendment Act:
• Employing a person to engage in gainful occupation without a work permit;
• Employing a person to engage in gainful occupation outside the scope of that person's work permit;
• Engaging in gainful occupation without a work permit;
• Engaging in gainful occupation outside the scope of the work permit
Madam President, an employer and an employee can each be levied civil penalties - and multiple penalties can be levied to either the employer or employee in the same case for different offences in accordance with the role each plays. For a first violation, the penalty is $5,000.00 and for a second (or ensuing) violation, the penalty is $10,000.00.
Today, Deputy Premier and the Minister of Finance, the Hon. E.T. Richards JP MP announced the completion of an independent appraisal of the method of procurement for the redevelopment of the L.F. Wade International Airport using the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).
Minister Richards stated, "In order to improve the value of this unique proposal, and recognizing the anxiety in the public domain with regard to the proposal, the Ministry of Finance, in conjunction with Her Majesty's Government in London (represented by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)), engaged the services of Deloitte, following a competitive tendering process, to conduct an independent appraisal of the method of procurement for the redevelopment of Bermuda's airport using the CCC. The purpose of this engagement was to evaluate the business case, value for money and affordability of the existing proposal and to provide a high-level cost effectiveness opinion for the proposal being put forward. The engagement was commissioned in March 2015 and also assessed whether the existing analysis and documentation on the proposed Bermuda Airport Development was sufficient to support an investment decision based upon HM Treasury's Green Book guidance for the evaluation of public sector spending proposals."
The Hon. Shawn Crockwell, J.P., M.P., Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, can confirm that the Norwegian Dawn is currently alongside Kings Wharf to facilitate easy access for local divers, the Classification surveyor and the Norwegian Cruise Line technical team that arrived this morning.
Rudy Cann who, in his capacity as On Scene Commander (which was assigned to him by the Director of Marine and Ports), with the assistance of the Captains and Crews of the Government Tugs Powerful and Edward J. Stowe were able to successfully refloat the vessel late last evening. Harbour Master Mr. David Simmons was also onboard. Warden Cann also took the ship to a safe anchorage and remained onboard overnight to take her alongside at Kings Wharf early this morning.
The Hon. Shawn Crockwell, J.P., M.P., Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, can confirm that following its departure from King's Wharf in Dockyard this afternoon, the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn ran aground while transiting the North Channel.
"There are 2,675 passengers and 1,062 crew members on board. There were no reported injuries, the vessel remained stable, and there was no intake of water or pollution threat, said Minister Crockwell.
"Efforts were made to refloat the ship at high tide around 10:26pm ADT. The Government tug boats were on hand to assist and the ship was successfully refloated shortly after 11 p.m. She will remain anchored overnight and a hull survey will be carried out in the morning."
"I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Marine and Ports team, our pilots and the Chief Maritime Operations Controller for all of their hard work this evening."
The Collector of Customs wishes to inform the importing public that the Customs Department will no longer be operating a Long Room at the L. F. Wade International Airport (LFWIA) from Monday, 1st June, 2015.
As of Monday, 1st June, 2015, the Customs Department will be operating one Long Room only from our main offices, at 40 Front Street, Hamilton. All Bermuda Customs Declarations (BCDs), together with any associated query responses or payments, will be required to be submitted to the Hamilton Long Room effective 1st June, 2015.
The LFWIA Long Room currently operates out of the LFWIA Air Cargo Terminal and provides facilities for the receiving of Bermuda Customs Declarations (BCDs), the data input of BCDs, the review and release of BCDs and delivery of the associated goods, the receiving and processing of funds for BCDs, the receiving and processing of query responses for BCDs, as well as providing general guidance on Customs matters.
The Bermuda Audubon Society (BAS) and University of Laval – Atlantis Labs today donated a vehicle to the Department of Conservation Services. The Minister of Health, Seniors and Environment, the Hon. Jeanne Atherden JP MP, was on hand to receive the donation on behalf of the Department at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo (BAMZ).
The vehicle, a Silverado pickup truck, refurbished by the Ministry of Public Works, is being donated by the BAS in gratitude for the years of support given by the Department of Conservation Services for assisting with the management of the Audubon Reserves and protected species.
It will be used to assist in the refurbishment of Bermuda's Nature Reserves specifically to pull the department's chipper, carry plants and equipment. The vehicle will also be used to assist with the safe transportation of injured wildlife such as turtles to BAMZ for treatment.
The Bermuda National Library would like to inform the public that effective today (18 May) until 12 September, the Youth Library will operate on a summer schedule. The Youth Library located at 74 Church Street in Hamilton will be open Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m.; Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Saturdays.
Director of the Bermuda National Library, Joanne Brangman explained the change in hours, she stated: "This year the Youth Library will once again provide a variety of summer programmes for students and young children. Typically during the summer, the Youth Library has less visitors and members coming in to use our services on Saturday. We anticipate that the week day schedule will continue benefit students and their parents and will not impact on our summer programmes.
For more information regarding the Youth Library summer programme please visit www. bnl.bm or contact the Library at 295-0487.
The Department of Marine and Ports, Boats and Moorings section, is reminding boat owners and mooring licensees that the deadline for licensing renewals is midnight Sunday, May 31st, 2015 (or 4:30pm Friday May 29th 2015 if paying in person).
2016 decals must be in place by June 1st on all moorings and boats. Mooring licenses that are not renewed as of May 31st will incur a late fee.
As per last year renewal notices are no longer being sent out. Owners can now access their information online at www.marineandports.bm. A list of current licensing fees is also available for viewing on the website, although fees have not increased over last year.