7 Questions With the Hon. Walter Roban

Walter Roban, Deputy Premier for Bermuda, discusses the country's plan to support submarine cable initiatives in the Atlantic.By SubTel Forum
March 16, 2020

The Hon. Walter H. Roban JP MP is the Deputy Premier of Bermuda and the Minister of Home Affairs since November 2018. He was previously the Minister of Transport and Regulatory Affairs from July 2017. Minister Roban is part of a leadership team that successfully returned the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) to Government for the fourth time on Tuesday 18 July 2017. This achievement follows a career in politics spanning nearly 30 years. A man with a passion for politics and the community, he joined the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party Youth Wing, “Progressive Youth”, in the late 1980s. Roban served as its Chairman and representative to the party’s Central Committee from 1991 to 1993. In 1995, he was elected to the position of Secretary General of the PLP, which he held until August 1999.

As a member, he worked on a variety of internal projects shaping the party and its policies. In 1995, Mr. Roban worked on the team that revised the PLP independence policy. Roban served as an aide to former Opposition Leader the late L. Frederick Wade doing research projects and writing in different areas of policy to assist the party to be an effective Opposition.

In 1996 at the request of then Opposition Leader and Party Leader Jennifer Smith, Mr. Roban served as deputy chairman of the PLP Campaign Committee for the 1998 election. He played a key role in all aspects of the historic national election campaign when the PLP won its first historic victory. In 2002 Roban worked with the Party committee responsible with implementing key reforms required to restructure the party branch system. In 2003, he was appointed to the PLP’s Executive where he held the positions of Acting Secretary General Membership and Acting Public Relations Officer. In addition, he was spokesman for the Party during the 2003 General election campaign as well as a Campaign Committee member with responsibility for major aspects of the campaign. Mr. Roban is a former government Senator and held the Junior Ministerial portfolios of Health & Family Services, Tourism & Transport and Education and Development, serving in the Senate from 2003 to 2006.

He was first elected to office December 18, 2007. Roban served as Junior Minister of Labour, Home Affairs and Housing from February 2008 and was appointed to Cabinet June 23, 2009 as Minister Without Portfolio responsible specifically for Municipal Reform. Roban later held the portfolios of Environment Planning and Infrastructure Strategy and served as the Minister of Health. He also served as Minister of Transport from June 2009 to December 2012.

  1. What is Bermuda’s mission?

Bermuda has demonstrated its ability to build a world-leading international financial centre. It is now looking to do the same in telecommunications and technology. Specifically, Bermuda is looking to establish itself as a landing hub for transatlantic submarine cables.

To this end, new and innovative legislation – the Submarine Communications Cables Act 2020 – was passed by the Government on 26th February 2020 and will become operational in the first half of this year.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 111 of the SubTel Forum Magazine on page 14 or on our archive site here.