If we are happy about the direction of the regulations in the Bahamas, you can bet that our our pal, PS, is not… and he really, really is not. Below, I quote his open letter to Minister Grey. If you read it, and it is not a fun thing to do, just keep in mind he doesn’t seem to call out any one provision to argue against (except the price of the license, which he compares to Colorado, but gets the details wrong). His arguments are nebulous, difficult to get a grasp on, which is pretty much how he’s carried out his opposition to the counter proposals to his own the entire time.
Um… isn’t that they guy saying we are all doing it wrong?
The way you should argue is to call out a provision and let us know what impact you think it would have and then suggest an alternative and state why you think it is superior. But old PS doesn’t do that. Maybe he can’t do that. Maybe his mind doesn’t work like that. I don’t know, but that sort of analytical response is something he’s never been able to do without disappearing down a rabbit hole of xenophobia, paranoia and hostility. He can’t stay focused on policy or outcome. His whole argument, for more than a year now, has just been sound and fury and raw emotion and nearly incomprehensible. I say nearly, but really, it is more like totally incomprehensible. How can one person say so much while saying so little?
One can only hope he stand by his threat to resign from the BFFIA. It would be in the best interest of Bahamians, of the guides who work to find us fish so hard in the Bahamas and for us, the clients and customers of those guides, who, together, make up the industry.
Dear Prime Minister, Minister Gray and other Cabinet Ministers,
The only thing I have left to give this country is MY LIFE. As I sit here in Colorado, returning home sometime this evening, I have been bombarded from Fly Fishing Guides all around The Bahamas who are screaming about a press Conference held in Orlando at the world’s largest Sportfishing show. THIRTEEN YEARS AGO, I came to The Cabinet of the same PLP Government to get basic legislation done to protect the LARGEST FLATS ON EARTH in the interest of BAHAMIANS and to legitimize the Guiding profession.
Minister Gray, it is a total insult for your PS to be doing a press Conference side by side with The Out Island Promotion Board. The same Minister of Tourism, who has shown ZERO Support 13 years ago for Legislation in the interest of Bahamians, is the same Minister of Tourism who has fought us today every step of the way.
As President of The Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association, I will not be a part of any such Legislation that SELLS out Bahamian interest and GIVES control of our resources to foreign interest and special interest. ALL present promotion Boards of Tourism have fought us every step of the way trying to block this Legislation. They are totally Controlled by special interest and foreign interest who see Bahamians as playing a token role in our number ONE INDUSTRY. BFFIA is the first and only Association in the Country where the Board is controlled and made up of Bahamians who look like the majority of the citizens of The Bahamas. Ironically, it is the only such association that gets zero SUPPORT from our PLP Minister of Tourism and our Ministry of Tourism in general, which claims to put Bahamians first.
Further, this is not a threat, although you may see it as one. In light of these developments, I am prepared to Resign publicly and let The Bahamian people know that after 23 years and going through 7 Ministers of Tourism, we are still struggling in OUR COUNTRY to get through the many GLASS CEILINGS that exist for OUR PEOPLE with respect to real economic empowering opportunities. We pander too much to the special and foreign interests, as if we are like little children who are afraid to cut our own path in life.
My Return home today will be met by hundreds of Guides from Inagua to Grand Bahama who are questioning whether the Government, which was the same with successive Administrations, truly has their best interests at heart.
As you can see, I have attached a fishing license from Colorado, which cost me 14 dollars for a one day license and raises a serious question. Why is our Government telling the world that we will charge 20 dollars a week to fish the best flats in the world? Again the special interests, who totally control our Ministry of Tourism, is advising The Bahamas Government, because we lack the much needed confidence in our own.
[Bjorn – a comment – I see a CO week license at $21, according to their website. A day is $9. So, even the stuff it would be easy to get right, he gets wrong.]
Minister Wilchombe, I have been in Andros now for 23 years, which as you know is the largest island in The Bahamas. It follows, therefore, that I have NEVER seen The Ministry of Tourism hold a single meeting collectively with regards to addressing Tourism on Andros. Even though we have the most Guides in The Country, we have one Family that came from Canada dictating to your Ministry what should happen in Tourism on Andros. They have now been joined by a token black Member of that Board who is prepared to sell her Country and her Soul to the special and foreign interests for pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits no doubt. Is it any wonder that we are no longer number one in the Caribbean the way we run Tourism in our Country? You have not even shown the common courtesy of acknowledging a single communication from The Board of The Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association, while publicly claiming to put Bahamians FIRST.
Also Cabinet Ministers, you need to know that such persons, like Perk Perkins from Orvis, Ian Davis from Yellowdog Fly fishing, Oliver White the front for Abaco Lodge and Bairs Lodge, are some of the many special interests behind the scenes advising our Ministry of Tourism. Jim Klug, who is part owner of Yellowdog, is also on the Board of The American Fly Fishing Trade Association. It was, therefore, no surprise that they all sat in the room in Orlando yesterday.
Finally Mr. Prime Minister, you had the courage to put this vital piece of Legislation on the agenda to move it forward and, Minister Gray, you have had the courage to lead this important Legislation when our Minister of Tourism fought us every step of the way. So that you are aware, I got instructions from The Father of our nation, as he sat in a van in Staniard Creek and shared with me his vision for Bahamians and The Bahamas. All his books I have read and are in my possession! While he began the journey that led initially to our political independence, he acknowledged that the next step in our journey was and remains economic independence. A Country and People cannot be empowered when its resources are controlled for the benefit of the special and foreign interests, as is sadly the present economic model in our beloved country. Needless to say, this is for ALL of you in Cabinet who like to call Sir Lynden’s name but refuse to live up to what he was really all about. From the College of The Bahamas to the Defence force to the many other institutions he established, this Historic Legislation is a part of the journey to reach true economic independence .
Bahamas Fly Fishing Industry Association
P O Box CB-13498