Michael Weeks has been appointed as the new Minister of Social Development and Sport.
Mr Weeks, Government Whip since the Progressive Labour Party won the General Election in July 2017, assumes the role which was made vacant by the resignation of Zane DeSilva.
David Burt, who made the announcement at Government House, said Mr Weeks is “no stranger to Cabinet and no stranger to the very important ministry of social development and sports”.
The Premier added that Mr Weeks has a “deep passion” for the community and for sport.
Mr Burt said: “As someone who has worked in community service for a very long time, I have every confidence that he will be able to demonstrate the passion for the job, executing the Government’s wishes on the very important matters of financial assistance reform, community club regeneration and the very important matters of making sure our social fabric and our culture continues to be highlighted.”
Mr Weeks pledged to continue Mr DeSilva’s work to help community and sports clubs.
He added: “The time has long been overdue for us to acknowledge and bring our community and sporting clubs into the 21st century.
“I have always said that if we get social development and sports right, that is the glue of our community.
“I firmly believe that if we get social development and sports right, we will address a lot of the issues.”
Mr Weeks said he also aimed to help with financial assistance reform but said he wanted to meet the permanent secretary at the ministry and others before he made any further statements.
He added: “As the Premier said, I come with a list of accomplishments that I have done in that ministry.
“But as we know, it not just on what you’ve done, so I pledge to work hard. I pledge to be the best that I can be.
“I tell the people of Bermuda that my decisions as minister may not always be what you want to hear, but trust that Michael Weeks will always make a decision that is fair and honest.”
Mr Weeks, who became a Cabinet minister without portfolio in 2010 under the former PLP government, was announced as the Minister of Community Development in June 2011.
He became Minister of Public Works later that year, a post he held until the One Bermuda Alliance won the General Election in 2012.
He became the Shadow Minister of Community and Cultural Development in 2012 and later held the position of Shadow Minister of Social Development and Sport.
Mr DeSilva, who became the Minister of Social Development and Sport in July last year, quit his post last month because of a “conflict” over changes to fees for MRI and CT medical scans.
He earlier stood by Ewart Brown, a former PLP premier, at a press conference in which Dr Brown blamed government fee cuts for the closure of the CT scan service at his Brown-Darrell Clinic in Smith’s.
Government reform minister Lovitta Foggo filled in as acting minister until a replacement was identified.
Owen Darrell, the PLP chairman, said yesterday that a new Government Whip would be voted on at a caucus meeting last night.