FNM LEADER MICHAEL PINTARD STATEMENT ON  Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P. Leader of the Free National Movement Member of Parliament for Marco City BIMINI FIRE

FNM LEADER MICHAEL PINTARD STATEMENT ON Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P. Leader of the Free National Movement Member of Parliament for Marco City BIMINI FIRE

The news about the devastating fire in Bimini on Sunday has left us all deeply saddened. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their homes and belongings. Although we are thankful that there were no injuries or loss of life, it is still a challenging time for the affected families.

I would like to thank the brave men and women who responded to the fire and worked tirelessly to bring it under control. Your selflessness and bravery are deeply appreciated.

We must now come together as a community to support those impacted by this tragedy. We must do all we can to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Once again, we sympathize with the families affected and will explore how we may assist in practical ways.




Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P.
Leader of the Free National Movement Member of Parliament for Marco City

March 27, 2023

FNM LEADER MICHAEL PINTARD STATEMENT ON  Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P. Leader of the Free National Movement Member of Parliament for Marco City BIMINI FIRE


RCL Paradise Project Exposes PM Flip Flop and Minister of Education Choice of Job Over Conscience

Minister Glenys Hanna-Martin public comments regarding her personal position on the Royal Caribbean Paradise Island project matter once again exposes the dysfunction of Davis’s Cabinet.

It is a well-known and universally acceptable principle of Westminster governance that Cabinet shares collective responsibility for all decisions of the Cabinet. Regardless of the personal position of a Minister, he or she must publicly support the decisions of Cabinet

or leave the Cabinet.

This principle is codified in the country’s Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure that Minister Hanna-Martin is quite aware of. Two key clauses speak to this point:

3. A fundamental principle of “Cabinet Government” is unity. It is important
to present a united front to the public; if any Minister feels conscientiously unable to support a decision taken by Cabinet, he has one course open to him and that is to resign his office.

6. So long as a Minister remains a Minister he may not speak in public or in private against

a decision of Cabinet or against an individual decision of another Minister. As he is a member of the Government Bench in the House of Assembly or in the Senate, he must not speak or vote on any measure debated in either House otherwise. than on the lines agreed by Cabinet.

Clearly Minister Hanna-Martin is not prepared to live up to the terms of her employment

and believes that the Prime Minister based on his handling of the Alfred Sears and Jobeth Coleby-Davis matters does not have the courage to fire her.

The Prime Minister is governed by expedience and says what suits him at the moment. This was clearly his position when he criticized the FNM’s recent decision to approve in principle the RCL paradise project and the Toby Smith Lighthouse project. Davis now in government reversed his decision. RCL is a go but the Bahamian entrepreneur is back to square one! Hanna-Martin who love to chide the Opposition on collective responsibility wants to keep her job by staying in Cabinet while violating the terms of her employment.

The track record of Prime Minister Davis gives us absolutely no confidence that he has the courage and leadership resolve to make the only appropriate decision.

The public is seeing over and again that the Prime Minister is quick to demand that others follow the laws and the rules, but that his colleagues and cronies are exempt.

The Hon Michael C Pintard
Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Leader of the Free National Movement



The Opposition is disappointed that Minister Halkitis and the Davis Administration are still

not leveling with the Bahamian people on their policy and rationale for this new “back door” policy on vacation home registration and regulation.

Minister Halkitis has not explained what legal basis there is for the Department of Inland Revenue to require mandatory registration of all vacation home rental properties. He is misleading the public by suggesting that the former administration passed any law with the intention for registration of individual Bahamian vacation home rental homes.

In fact, he would find that it states – as we informed the public at the time – that the government would be able to obtain the taxes due from international aggregators like AirBnB and VRBO directly, with no mention or intention to require individual Bahamian hosts to register. The FNM Administration did what we said and now VAT is collected from these websites.

In addition,the Minister has still to explain why the public notices of the DIR are foreshadowing business license and registration fees for Bahamian-owned vacation rental units beginning in 2024. Again, we demand that the government level with the Bahamian people.

Any consideration for any mandatory registration should come to Parliament and be ventilated in the full view of the people’s representatives. The government must fully explain its policy with respect to registration and business license, especially for those persons under the VAT threshold of $100,000. The law as it stands today is sufficient to allow the government to do what it needs to do with the international websites without any further burdensome

regulatory requirements on the backs of entrepreneurial Bahamians trying to earn a living.

J. Kwasi Thompson

Member of Parliament East Grand Bahama/Shadow Minister for Finance March 13, 2023

FNM Leader Michael Pintard expresses condolences on the passing of MCM Joanna Russell-Newton

FNM Leader Michael Pintard expresses condolences on the passing of MCM Joanna Russell-Newton

It is with profound sadness that we extend our deepest sympathies to the family of MCM and former Grand Bahama FNM Women’s Association President Joanna Russell-Newton on her passing. She was a remarkable individual who dedicated her life to the betterment of her community and the people of Freeport.

As a freedom fighter, community builder, family woman, entrepreneur, and faithful servant to the development of Freeport, Joanna’s contributions to Grand Bahama and The Bahamas at large will be remembered for years to come. Her tireless efforts to promote social development, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for all while she served as Deputy Chief Councilor will be sorely missed.

Joanna’s commitment to the advancement of her community was a source of inspiration for many, and her legacy will continue to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. She was a true leader who touched the lives of countless individuals, and her passing is a great loss not only to her family but to the entire Bahamas. I remember her as insightful independent women who understood the political culture of our Party and country. She was plain speaking and fearless. She was stern and uncompromising when it came to her core beliefs and the issue of fairness.

On behalf of my wife Berlice, the Marco City family and the Free National Movement family, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Caline and the remainder of Joanna’s family during this difficult time. We hope that the memories of Joanna’s remarkable life and achievements will bring you comfort and solace in the days and months ahead.

Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and that God’s grace and mercy will provide peace and healing.

March 12th, 2023

FNM LEADER MICHAEL PINTARD STATEMENT ON  Hon. Michael C. Pintard, M.P. Leader of the Free National Movement Member of Parliament for Marco City BIMINI FIRE


Prime Minister Davis’ National Address tonight was deeply disappointing and failed to rise to

the moment that our country faces. He failed to address the gravity of our situation with practical steps. Beyond the usual government interventions, his administration intends to take short, medium, and long term. He spoke tonight, no doubt, seeking to head off the Opposition’s call for the Establishment of a Select Committee on Illegal Immigration and Migration and the protests and cries from various quarters for urgent government action on the Immigration matter.

The crisis The Bahamas faces relative to illegal migration has stretched the limited resources of The Bahamas severely. The Prime Minister seemed bashful to acknowledge the gravity of this. This decades old problem has been made substantially worse due to the contraction of our economy due to the devastation of Hurricane Dorian and the debilitating impact of COVID-19 and now the collapse of the Haitian Government.

His remarks failed to explain why his administration failed to stop new construction of unregulated homes on public and private land. This action was not hindered by the court injunction recently lifted. His claim of only one boat making it to shore was surely a result of bad information. However, even if it were true PM Davis must be aware that many migrants are flying into The Bahamas with visas and melting into the population because we have not done a stellar job in monitoring, tracking and interdicting such persons. This is precisely why he should have talked about strengthening such surveillance units, auditing all forms of visa issuance and work permits.

As usual, the PM loves to talk about government initiatives without referencing how he intends

to pay for them. More should have been said about The Bahamas’ international engagement with the following stakeholder-The Republic of Haiti, CARICOM (Are we committing to peace keeping forces and if so under what conditions, The OAS, The United Nations-UNDP, IOM, ILO, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNFRA, OHCHR and The European Community.

There is a need to raise resources to address the gaps in our system and to build capacity to address the additional burden that illegal/irregular migrants put on our system.

We will not go it alone. We are on the frontline! Assistance with repatriation inclusive of resettlement assistance is crucial. The Bahamas may partner with specific agencies that help particular demographics in our country.

We expected to hear more about his Plan of Action to Halt and Reverse the establishment of unregulated communities throughout The Bahamas: We clearly need dramatic housing increase to make provision for housing ownership, rental and or leasing. Furthermore, we need urgent land reform, which is an urgent priority where Bahamians who have long waited for crown land and / or leased land for entrepreneurial and residential purposes. This is especially crucial given the fact that migrants are occupying such land illegally, having not followed any legal process. There is a need for careful studies of this issue (how many Haitian nationals are in the Bahamas,

how many have status and if so what type, what is the impact on our health and social safety

net, etc) so that we can make evidenced based decisions.

The Prime Minister must also address the backlog applications for work permits, visas, permanent residence, and citizenship in a careful, responsible, and transparent way. He must also have the courage to design policies and initiatives that address the employment gaps in The Bahamas in the blue and white-collar fields:

He should have signaled his intention to engage the population in a candid discussion and a thorough examination and debate about the pathways to Bahamian citizenship. PM Davis must be upfront about our need to lead a forensic audit of the work of government agencies whose work intersects with migration and immigration.

The Prime Minister’s address should have also made it clear that his plan addressed other migrants coming from other jurisdictions. Sadly, the brazen attempt to seduce the Haitian community before the election caused PM Davis to identify himself as someone other than a proud Cat Islander and now he must explain the laid back approach, while failing to act with a sense of urgency while being humane.

The Hon Michael C Pintard

Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Leader of the Free National Movement

February 19, 2023



The November and December 2022 Monthly Fiscal Reports have revealed that the Davis

Administration is squandering the benefits of increasing revenues. Sadly with the increase in revenue, they are increasing spending even more and Bahamians continue to suffer. While we are pleased to see the rise in revenue year-over-year in both November and December it is most concerning that we also saw a rise in deficits totaling over 90 Million over the same period last year. Clearly, the Government has taken more from the people but we are in a worse fiscal position.

By their reports, through the midpoint of the fiscal year, while total revenue has increased some $121 million when compared to the previous year, total spending has gone up by $128 million. So even while things are improving the government through the mid-year has made the deficit position worse when compared to the same point last year, tacking on some $275.6 million to the national debt.

The deficit has also increased year-over-year from 269 million in 2021 to 275.6 million in 2022. Given that the deficit has gotten worse even in an improving economy with no pandemic related spending, the Opposition is concerned that the government will not meet its planned budget deficit target; by fiscal year end, we are concerned that we will end up with a larger than projected debt and a deteriorating fiscal situation that will require even more borrowing and more taxes on the Bahamian people.

We again call on the government to curtail its lavish and extravagant spending and instead put priority on the programmes which provide benefits directly to Bahamian families and

communities. The Government is calling on everyone to sacrifice and is unprepared to do the

same. The Central Bank detailed in its December report the government’s “drawdown” of the $232.3 million IMF SDRs. Why didn’t the Ministry of Finance’s report note this as an advance specifically from the Central Bank which it patently is?

Why try to obscure its origin by labeling it simply a foreign currency loan? How is it now a loan when in January, the press statement from the Ministry of Finance claimed it was not “borrowing money” from the Central Bank.

What are the loan terms – the interest rate, the duration? Was money sourced from the IMF itself to monetize these drawing rights? Where is the MOU that was signed between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank? Why is an MOU between two public entities a secret? Now that the Ministry in its own report has acknowledged the obvious truth that it is taking the unprecedented step and borrowing money from the Central Bank external reverses – the Minister of Finance must now explain why he pursued what is clearly an illegal advance of funds from the Central Bank contrary to Section 21 of the Central Bank Act. This is breaking the law plain and simple. Claiming that you are going to bring legislation to fix the breaking of the law after the fact is not an acceptable position.

Finally, we are grateful that the Government has finally gotten around to releasing its tardy

Monthly Fiscal Summary Reports for November 2022 and December 2022. It still has not

released the required 2nd Quarter fiscal report covering the period of July to December 2002 which is also late. The Minister of Finance seems to continuously be in violation of the statutory deadlines mandated in Sections 69 and 70 of the Public Finance Management Act. He has taken out a loan from the Central Bank outline of what is allowed in law. The Prime Minister cannot be admonishing others to follow the law when he refuses to do the same.

J. Kwasi Thompson

Member of Parliament East Grand Bahama/Shadow Minister for Finance February 19, 2023

Pin It on Pinterest