September 27th, 2011 Candidate Announcement
Remarks by Sen. Craig Cannonier, One Bermuda Alliance Leader, introducing OBA election candidates, September 27, 2011
I am pleased today to introduce you to some proud Bermudians who will stand for the One Bermuda Alliance in the next general election. This is the first in a series of candidate rollouts we will hold over the coming weeks. Before I get to specific introductions, I want to say a few words about the process to this point.
Over the past few months in the lead-up to our leadership convention, and in the weeks since, we have been approached by a lot of people expressing interest in running for office. These are people from all walks of life, young and old; all sharing great love for Bermuda, all believing in a better future, all prepared to bring about change to make Bermuda work better for Bermudians. It has been an inspiring experience: People stepping forward to help their country in its time of need.
As new leader of the One Bermuda Alliance I am excited by the interest, not just for our organization, but for the Island; because Bermuda needs people to step forward to serve the larger community. Now is the time. In the weeks to come, the OBA will put forward a team of candidates who bring to the table optimism and confidence, experience and skills, and dedication to public service.
They are committed to getting this island working again; to making this country work better for the people who call it home. I should also mention that all our candidates are drug-tested, and that on becoming candidates they have agreed to random drug testing going forward. This is party policy because we believe in the importance of leading by example, and this policy is a reflection of that.
With me today are teacher Mrs. Toni Spring, IT specialist Mr. Anthony Francis and a man you’re all familiar with Mr. Trevor Moniz, a lawyer by trade and, as I’ve come to know, an expert in public policy. After some introductory remarks, I will ask each of them to say a few words to you.
Toni Spring will be the One Bermuda Alliance candidate for Sandys South, Constituency 33. She is ‘Somerset girl’, born and bred. She has been a teacher for more than 16 years, primarily at Sandys Secondary School. Since 2007, she has been at the Adult Education School where she teaches adult learners from 16 to 60, GED preparation courses, as well as mathematics as part of the adult literacy programme. Toni has been an active member of the Sandys Middle School PTA. She has also served as a Bermuda Regiment Cadet Officer, leading the Sandys’ cadets for several years.
Toni is passionate about education. She believes in her work. She knows its importance to the lives of her students. Now, she wants to make a difference beyond the classroom. Since she approached the OBA, Toni has worked closely with Dr. Grant Gibbons on his Shadow Education Advisory Board, working on plans to bring real reform to the system as a whole, but most particularly to the classroom. Toni’s love of education has been passed onto her family. She is the proud mother of mother of Amanda, who teaches English as a second language in Seoul, South Korea. Her second daughter Katherine is a college student in Atlanta, Georgia. To the people of Sandys South, Toni is one of you. She is straightforward, dedicated and ready to work hard for you.
Welcome aboard Toni.
Also with us today is Mr. Anthony Francis. Anthony will stand for the One Bermuda Alliance in Devonshire North Central, Constituency 13. Anthony was born in Somerset, but he has lived in Devonshire for the past 37 years. He is a father of three, and educated at Dellwood Primary, Saltus Grammar School and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Anthony is an IT business analyst who specializes in disaster recovery, business continuity and computer security.
He is the IT manager for the Bermuda Post Office, and before that the Director of Information Services at the Berkeley Institute. Anthony’s community involvement is best expressed by his years in sport. He is past president of the Bermuda Referees Association and currently sits as an executive member of the Bermuda Football Association. Anthony has stepped forward because of his concerns about the direction the Island has taken and the need for leadership that remains vigilant to the needs of everyday people and the strategic needs of the Island. Anthony is committed to building a working partnership with the people of Devonshire South that enables their voices to be heard and acknowledged in the halls of government, and that returns a stronger community and family focus to the constituency.
He is approachable, accessible and committed.
Welcome aboard Anthony.
The final candidate today is Mr. Trevor Moniz, one of strongest, most reliable voices in Parliament. Trevor will be running for re-election in Smith’s West, Constituency 9. He was first elected there in 1993 and the people have returned him at every opportunity. Trevor was born and raised in Smith’s. He is an MP who pays close attention to the concerns of his constituents. He knows how to fight for them and he knows how to speak for them. Trevor is also a veteran MP, whose knowledge of government and Parliament is a major asset for the OBA. He has served as House Leader and Deputy Opposition Leader and as Shadow Attorney General. A lawyer by trade, Trevor has also been recognized by Portugal for services to the Portuguese community.
I am delighted to have Trevor with us. He is a strong Bermudian.
Now, I would like to ask each of the candidates to say a few words, and then we’ll take questions.