Politics

Veteran Scott makes way for Attorney-General

  • Passing the torch: Michael Scott and Kathy Lynn Simmons (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Lindsay Simmons, the PLP candidate for Devonshire South Central (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Kathy Lynn Simmons, left, the PLP candidate for Sandys North, David Burt, the Premier, and Lindsay Simmons, candidate for Devonshire South Central (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Attorney-General will stand in the Sandys North seat for the Progressive Labour Party after veteran politician Michael Scott announced his retirement from politics.

Kathy Lynn Simmons, also the Minister of Legal Affairs and a senator in the last administration, will fight in Constituency 36 — seen as a PLP stronghold.

Lindsay Simmons, president of the Foster Parents Association, will stand in the One Bermuda Alliance safe seat of Devonshire South Central.

David Burt, the Premier, said: “We will have more women on our election slate than at any time in our history.”

The Attorney-General said thank-you to Mr Scott, 70, for his support of her candidacy.

She said that she had raised her three sons in Sandys North and would devote the same care to the constituency that she did to her ministry.

She highlighted finding a solution for the threatened historic buildings at Albert Row outside Dockyard.

The Attorney-General added that she would also explore options for the economic development of Dockyard, Somerset Village, and other areas with the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation and the West End Development Corporation.

She said that a plaque at the Attorney-General’s Chambers that listed the names of the mostly white and male attorneys-general of the past had kept her “grounded”.

The Attorney-General added: “That plaque provides a stark reminder that much work remains to be done to dismantle the economic, legal, political and social constructs that have served to disadvantage Bermudians of African descent in this country.”

But she added that a picture of Dame Lois Browne-Evans, Bermuda’s first woman attorney-general and a former leader of the PLP, had inspired her.

She said: “The picture reminds me that our ancestors sacrificed and fought against injustice, paving the way to make it possible for me to come before you today to offer my continued service.

“Remembering and acknowledging our collective and personal histories is a continued source of strength and guidance ... lest we forget from whence we have come.”

The Attorney-General added that the controversy over same- sex marriage, now scheduled to go to the Privy Council in London, had to favour the majority view.

She said: “When a majority of our population is not in favour of same-sex marriage, our role is to reflect that in our legislative framework.

“If that view changes over time as society matures or changes its social values then the legislative framework will follow suit.”

The Attorney-General added that her involvement in a string of lawsuits was irrelevant to her candidacy.

She said: “They are not any type of suits that impact on my candidacy today and I think that what would be of concern to the people of Constituency 36.”

Lindsay Simmons is a mother of one and has lived in Devonshire South Central since she was 11.

She said: “I wouldn’t want to run in any other constituency.”

The seat was held in the last Parliament by Craig Cannonier, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance.

He took 743 votes — 83.02 per cent — to 152 or 16.98 per for the PLP’s George Scott in 2017.

Ms Simmons said that the welfare of children and education were priorities for her.

She is the president of the Bermuda Foster Parents Association and has fostered 20 children.

Ms Simmons added that she was not deterred at the prospect of a fight in an OBA stronghold.

She said: “I didn’t mind because as long as I can remember the last person I saw in my neighbourhood was John Barritt.”

Mr Barritt resigned as MP in September 2011 to allow Mr Cannonier to stand.

Ms Simmons said: “It’s time we have someone that represents us and not just comes out during the election time. I would love to be the face for my constituency and, if elected, I can guarantee that I will work hard for my community after the election.”

She added: “Looking at the statistics from the last election, I know that I am in for a fight but I stand firm that the PLP is doing what is needed to move our country forward.”

Mr Burt added that discussions were continuing on the problems that would be faced by voters under Covid-19 quarantine restrictions on election day.

He has discussed the problem with John Rankin, the Governor, who is going to talk to the Parliamentary Registrar.

Mr Burt said: “We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.”