Bob Verdun lecture Friday, June 25 “15 ways to improve Barbados tourism without spending a penny!”

“The members of the current management team must resign. They have failed, and the Symphony cannot afford to keep them in power. Begging for money is not a business plan; it is an act of desperation by people more concerned with keeping their jobs than solving the problems.”

… from a 2006 report by Bob Verdun on a support campaign conducted by the Kitchener Waterloo Canada Symphony

Bob Verdun say he’ll be “blunt” criticizing Barbados tourism industry

Tourism consultant Bob Verdun is giving the free lecture tomorrow at the DLP Headquarters, but he promises it won’t be a DLP love-fest because he’ll hold nothing back.

Okay, we’ll listen to what he has to say with an open mind – especially after doing a Google search and finding a report he wrote back in 2006 slamming the management of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. Will Verdun hold back tomorrow about the Barbados Tourism Authority or will he say that which needs to be said? I guess we’ll see.

Amazing what you can find on Google. In 2006 Verdun ran for election for “Chair – Region of Waterloo” in Canada and lost. Then he took some flak for being a racist against Aboriginal Canadians after writing an article in The Nation. A Digital Journal story said of Verdun…

Bob Verdun is now on notice that him and the rest of the haters in Canada will not win in trying to re-write history and lie about how Canada’s First people are dealt with.

(Verdun said) “Canada allows (Aboriginal Canadians) to claim vast tracks of land for their exclusive use, but it’s never enough. Canada allows them to live a totally subsidised life on their reserves, never having to work if they choose not to . . . No amount of land, no amount of money, and no special privileges will ever satisfy people who are not motivated to advance themselves using their own ambition and ability”.

from the Digital Journal story Canadian politician uses international online news service to deliver racist remarks against Aboriginal Canadians

Canada's Kashechewan First Nation - built on a flood plain. Raw sewerage floods every spring, E-coli in the drinking water, suicide, scabies, drugs and hopelessness.

Not so fast, Bob!

I did a little research on Canada’s aboriginal tribes and how they live and I guess that Bob Verdun never heard of Kashechewan First Nationwhere thousands of people live “in squalor” and drug abuse and suicide are rampant. The Canadian government decided to move a bunch of aboriginal people so they built the community on a flood plain and put the water intake downstream from the sewerage outlet.

I don’t know much about it, but from what I find on the net, I don’t think that Canada’s aboriginals have the soft life that Mr. Verdun thinks they do.

*In my opinion Mr. Verdun’s statements about Natives in Canada don’t make him a racist of any kind, but it does mean that he should do more research. I also found historical articles online indicating that the Canadian government and churches in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s right up to 1960’s took native children from their families and put them in boarding schools. The intent, according to some, was to destroy the Native culture and religion by removing a generation and educating them “white”. The disastrous result is still being felt sixty or seventy years later as Canadian natives struggle to regain their culture and identity as well as their lands that they were swindled out of.

From what I read there are hundreds of land disputes throughout Canada where the natives were tricked into giving up lands or had the lands taken from them sometimes at gunpoint and they want that land back. That cities and towns have been built on the lands doesn’t change the fact that the lands were stolen and the Natives sometimes even have the legal documents and signed treaties to prove it.

Again, that history doesn’t make Mr. Verdun a racist, but his statements do make him seem uninformed about native Canadians, their history and their struggle over the centuries.

That issue aside, Mr. Verdun sounds like he’s going to let fly tomorrow and not worry about being politic. We’ll be watching!

Oh…. one more thing. What’s with that “Rogers” Canadian email, Bob? Time you got local!

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Bob Verdun <>

Tourism is our number-one industry, but the competition is strong and becoming stronger.   Barbados has many advantages, but we can’t rest on our laurels!   Our economic freedom very much depends on our ability to attract growing numbers of satisfied visitors.

Please join me this Friday, June 25, at the Errol Barrow Gallery on George Street when I deliver the weekly lunchtime lecture on this topic:

“15 ways to improve our number-one industry without spending a new penny!”

Yes, these lectures take place at DLP headquarters, but this will definitely be a non-partisan presentation.  Indeed, I challenge any member of the BLP Opposition to offer a more comprehensive critique of Tourism in Barbados!   I will be positive and constructive, but also bold and blunt about what I see is wrong and how to fix it.   The people of Barbados deserve no less.

An optional (but outstanding) Bajan buffet lunch is available from 12:30 for only $15, and the lecture is scheduled to start at 1:00.

Bring your concerns and your questions.   This historic room has hosted many important debates that have done more for the future of Barbados than several limousines full of expensive visiting consultants.

Please share this information with your friends!

Bob Verdun

* I added this indented section after reading Ian Bourne’s new article Canadian Investor confirms what Barbados Free Press already knew – Attacks in Boscobel. In that article Mr. Bourne inaccurately (and we feel unfairly) reports that Barbados Free Press made allegations in this article that Mr. Verdun is a racist. As you can read for yourself, BFP made no such allegations, we only reported what we found online about Mr. Verdun. To remove any doubt as to BFP’s position, I inserted the above paragraph in the wee hours of June 28, 2010.



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics

21 responses to “Bob Verdun lecture Friday, June 25 “15 ways to improve Barbados tourism without spending a penny!”

  1. Fed-up listening to this guys rantings

    Who the hell is this jackass and what is his status in Barbados? He stands up at every possible opportunity and criticizes this country. Go back to Canada and criticize your own country

  2. new ideas

    Maybe this activist has something to say and perhaps someone can report the substance of his advice, good, bad or indifferent.

    It never hurts to listen as we aren’t hearing much from our own politicians.

    If we continue to limit our intellectual and common sense gene pool to those who have failed us inside Barbados, Kentucky Hillbillies will start to look like members of MENSA.

  3. littleboy

    What has this guy got to tell Bajans that is new? I thought we had enough expertise here. The industry has been successful for more than 5o years…but I suppose he is “white enough” to get an audience…you know how we are!

  4. Cuthbert Canecutter

    Excellent research, but you left out one thing – he is a PIP: People In Power, but under BLP he’d meet at Churches or schools

  5. Duppy Lizard

    Race and class are so ingrained into our psyche that it does not take much for it to be introduced. Littleboy, how do you know he’s not green or purple?

  6. John Da Silva

    I would love to hear what he has to say. He made some very good points at the town hall meeting to discuss the proposed development at the Chancery Lane swamp. BFP, try and get a transcript of his speech and post online, please.

  7. whistling frog

    Duppy Lizard ,dont mind that nuffernearying,,littleboy,,,,as the name suggests he is little,,,probably mentally ,,physically,,,sexually,,etc so he has no other option than to try to irritate others above his capacity.

  8. ecoanalyst

    Tourism is the largest foreign exchange earner. It is under threat from intense competition from Spanish speaking countries who are learning English, have lower airfare prices and give amazing deals in all-inclusive packages.

    The Internet has made it easier for everyone to market their products and customers to compare value. Britain is Barbados’ major market, but it is a mature market and needs ongoing refurbishing to generate ongoing sales. ICT technology and direct e-mailing campaigns to visitors to ascertain their likes and dislikes is a must to improve the product.

    All this we know Right! But are we doing so.
    NO No No. we looking now at China for visitors, and spreading our scarce dollars on speeches and talk shops and all that stuff that does not create sales and ongoing repeat business.

    People like Barbados, but many are really pissed off at the annoying beach bums that frequent all of the beaches. Is anything done about that? Nope! and people will not come back… they will go ton Cuba and Dominican republic and Mexico instead where that annoyance is strictly forbidden. But if we cannot control ZR’s then how can we control that…. there is no strong leadership in this country in any sphere of activity.

    Then there is the Minister of Tourism saying that an inter-island ferry is “a step backward”. Could not believe my ears… this man must be really ignorant of the role of ferries in tourism all over the world. Now he talks about splitting the BTA in two… more workers, more inefficiency, more talking and typing stuff to each other and no clear vision as to wher the future of tourism is for Barbados. These people are all glorifies clerks with no real business or marketing acumen… lust protecting their cushy jobs… God help Barbados!

    Personally I think it will not improve much and many hotels and expensive restaurants will go under. .. or and become condos. The cruise industry and the less expensive competition offering more value will ensure this over time. I may be wrong… I do hope I am for Barbados’ sake.

  9. littleboy

    Duppy Lizard, I KNOW the man. Have communicated with him for YEARS.

    whistling frog,please note I have spelt your name in “common letters”! Ha ha! I suppose reptiles are important for ecological balance!

  10. A Waterloovian

    Bob Verdun is a spiteful, misogynistic, homophobic, right-wing nutbar. He lost his election bid here because of those personal qualities.

    Oh, and he’s very definitely White, and very definitely racist.

    I wish I could sign off with a cheery “Enjoy your hatemonger,” but I actually rather like Barbados and Bajans. If you’re smart, you’ll send him back. If you like Canadians, you’ll send him back in a very leaky boat.

  11. victor

    Inter-island ferries are great for tourists but not so good for Barbados’ worrying immigration problems… could that be why there aren’t any ferries anymore?

  12. What was sad is there was no reps from BHTA, BTA nor Tourism and only 2 Cabinet members – as the Desiderata says, we all have a right to exist and a tale to tell… Whether deserving of leaky boats or not – but I will have more on that anon…

  13. Johnson

    Tourism depends on western dollars. Simple, the island needs casinos and related businesses, to bring more dollars. That is so simple.

  14. builderman

    Johnson has hit the nail on the head as far as identifying a cash cow possible on this island, as long as it is not allowed to be held by a “select few”. We continue to decry casinos on island and yet allow those who are least able to afford it to spend money hand over fist on lotteries and book making ………what hypocrisy! For years now, casinos have existed in neighboring islands where only foreign passport holders can enter to spend their money and the governments have benefitted from windfall taxes.

    What possible “moral” issue arises from this when we allow our own citizens to be taken for a ride?

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  16. Bill Kowalchuk

    Bob Verdun was an unsuccessful, try to be, politician. He was not elected and should not claim or allow his name to be associated with the term politician, without the term failed to go with it.
    Bob Verdun speaks only for himself and does not speak about others unless he finds a way to put them down and build his own glory.
    If there are people in your country who have paid Bob Verdun for speaking or for anything at all, they should pay you back.
    My opinion is that Bob Verdun is a self promoter who will claim status as an investor on the basis of owning one share, a tourism consultant on the basis of a trip, and a politician on the basis that he once ran for an elective post.
    I am from Kitchener and I for one do not respect his views.

  17. DBM

    Well I for one truely believe that “the truth will set us free” and I am also from the Waterloo Region and what we need is more truth and more freedom and less “wolves in sheeps clothing” I believe Mr. Verdun tells it the way it is!!! More power to the TRUTH

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