Bradley Roberts, Chairman of the PLP

SUNDAY, 18 MAY 2014

“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie;

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Brave Davis;

Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians;

Our Host, Bishop Neil Ellis;

Rev. Ministers of the Gospel;

Officers and Members of Mount Tabor Baptist Church;

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Prime Minister Christie and Mrs. Christie. Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis and Mrs. Davis along with Party officials celebrated the victory of the PLP in Mount Tabor Sunday.

Blessings, peace, joy and grace be unto you and your house from the King of kings and Lord of all lords.

Bishop Ellis, I wish to begin by personally congratulating you on the newly formed union of churches that you currently lead. I am confident that by God’s grace and divine guidance, this new union will grow from strength to strength as its doctrine, spiritual counsel and community outreach become the moral compass in the communities your organization serves.

On behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party, I thank you for your warm reception as the Progressive Liberal Party joins the Mt. Tabor family in worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God on the 2nd Anniversary of its return to governance.

My brothers and sisters, I chose Psalms 127:1 to open my brief welcome remarks to put this celebration into proper context. For all the long hours of hard work by our government Ministers in crafting public policies and for the many pieces of legislation passed by our Parliament, we are wise to recognize that it is not by strength, not by power but by my spirit sayeth the Lord. Indeed it will all come to naught except the Lord build the house and keep the city

And so it is with great humility and a grateful heart that we assemble here this morning to offer thanks and praises to the Most High for bringing this nation a mighty long way.

We thank the Bahamian people for reposing their confidence in the leadership, the policy proposals and core principles of the Progressive Liberal Party. They did so in overwhelming numbers and the government has committed itself to working tirelessly to get this country on course and moving in the right direction.

While the country has enjoyed some success, there remains much work to be done on behalf of the Bahamian people. We have reasons to feel optimistic in the knowledge that the country has turned the corner and is squarely in recovery mode.

Twenty-five years of tourism decline has been reversed in Grand Bahama and its beleaguered and battered economy is on an upward trajectory. Yes, the magic is returning to Freeport and the soul to Grand Bahama. Increased airlifts into Nassau, Eleuthera, Bimini, Exuma, San Salvador and a new airstrip in Mayaguana all signal positive economic news in those Family Islands.

The government is aggressively addressing the training needs of our young people through the National Training Agency and is literally building a new economy in Andros around the academic and commercial activities of BAMSI. With this initiative, the government is committed to diversifying our economy, creating new job and entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians and reducing our outrageously high national import food bill estimated to be in the range of $1 billion annually.

Having lost some 15,000 jobs between 2007 and 2012, the Bahamas economy has added almost 7,000 jobs over the last two years. These types of Key Performance Indicators give us reasons for optimism as we look to the future.

But my brothers and sisters, Rome was not built in a day. The poor state of the economy and the high levels of unemployment that the government inherited are not unchartered waters for the government. We have successfully navigated through similar treacherous waters in past administrations and all indications are that we are doing it again. To God be the glory for great things He has done.

On the issue of crime, I commend the Minister of National Security for his aggressive, innovative and dynamic anti-crime strategies. In the last few months alone his Ministry has rolled out the door-to-door survey, an initiative that I am advised yielded invaluable intelligence for the police to aid them in their fight against crime. Further, the Peace Ambassadors and the Shock Treatment Program all intervene in the lives of at-risk individuals and families before they come into conflict with the law. These preventative measures strike at the heart and root causes of crime and are to be fully supported by the public.

I encourage all assembled here to intensify your community and police support to combat the crime-wave and other issues of social discontent, which continue to fracture our peace and harmony and weaken our social fabric. Most of the perpetrators and victims of crime are young men and again I send out a clarion call to all Bahamian men to fulfill the role to which Christ has called you.

Too many households are headed by single mothers; too many of our young men are incarcerated and too few of them are in institutions of higher learning. You were given the innate capacity to lead and build civilizations, not tear them down through ungodly and unlawful behavior. You cannot continue to betray the promise of Majority Rule and Independence. This is heartbreaking. This carnage is unacceptable and not what your forebears fought and sacrificed so much for.

In the spirit of accountability and transparency, the government of The Bahamas has produced a report card for the Bahamian on its stewardship over the last two years. I have received a copy of this report and it is my pleasure to present Bishop Neil Ellis with a copy of the second anniversary report card.

I encourage all gathered here and Bahamians everywhere to secure your copy, read for yourselves and judge the government based on the facts that could be easily verified.

Thank you for your kind invitation and may God richly bless all of you.