There was a meeting last week with Minister Alfred Gray and the guides to talk over the proposed regulations.
Emerging from that meeting, the people I talked to sounded pleased, optimistic and hopeful. I shared their sentiments based on what I had heard. Seemed like things were going well. A license would be easily obtainable, second home owners could use their own boats, foreign owned lodges were not going to be targeted and the most egregious Yank insult, the unguided mothership, would become a thing of the past.
I can get in line to support any and all of that.
There will be another meeting (July 13 in Nassau) and from there new proposed regs will be crafted and debated in the Cabinet before going for a vote.
Something odd has happened since Monday though. Nothing. Minister Gray has not used the days from Monday to Saturday to reassure anyone of anything. It would be easy enough to clear up the “misconceptions.”
It would be an easy thing to do, really. Put out some new proposals. Put out a statement. Get the folks behind this to float alternative suggestions (like the Abaco Fly Fishing Guide’s Association did). These easy things have not happened and I’m left wondering if Minister Gray might honestly be interested in changing course or not.
Maybe they just sought to placate us a bit without actually intending to modify those poisonous proposed regs. Maybe they figure we only have so much outrage and so long an attention span (ok, that last one might be true). Maybe they have seen the errors of their ways and are just spending their time in quiet meditation contemplating how close they came to destroying so many jobs, businesses and lives with their short-sighted money-grab?
Until we see something in writing, something actually addressing our concerns we are only left with a “Just trust us” from the very people who brought us those original proposals, which were, I believe, intentionally full of loopholes and levers to be used in an attempt to enrich a few at the expense of the many. I don’t trust them and haven’t seen any reason to. I have the opposite of trust, driven by both the content of the original proposal and the comments I’ve seen put forward by the two guys I believe to be most responsible for the mess we find ourselves in right now (oh, you know who you are).
So, Minister Gray, how about seeing some of this in writing? Easy to do… so please do the easy thing.
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