Rain dampens demo but petition exceeds 14,000

| 14/10/2015 | 39 Comments
Cayman News Service

Gas price protest march, 14 October 2015

(CNS): The crowd marching on the Legislative Assembly Wednesday to show support for effective legislation on gas price transparency was considerably smaller than organisers had expected, as the weather dampened the occasion. Around 50 people waited outside the Legislative Assembly to hand over to lawmakers a petition with more than 14,000 signatures, which is believed to be the most for any petition in local history.

George Ebanks, the chair of the organizing committee, noted that the rain delayed the march by over an hour and impacted the number of people who were able to turn out, but he said the important fact was the number of people who had put their names to the cause.

He was also encouraged by a commitment from Premier Alden McLaughlin to make a further amendments to the legislative changes the government plans to make to the bulk fuel law this week that could see the impact of price reductions at the gas pumps within weeks rather than months.

Ebanks began organizing the petition and the subsequent march on the LA to hand it to government to show the current PPM-led administration that it had the full support of the community to press on with the legislation that will enable the government and the public to see the price the two bulk importers, Rubis and Sol, are actually paying for the fuel that they bring into Cayman.

With gas pump prices more than double those in the United States, where the fuel is being purchased, Ebanks said the journey of several hundred nautical miles simply cannot be the cause of what many believe is price gouging.

“The people have demonstrated they need immediate relief at the pump and they are anxious to see prices fall,” he told CNS. “When this bill is being debated in the coming days, we want the petition placed where all the MLAs can see it, so they know that some 14,000 people are standing with them against this evil of gas prices placed extraordinarily high.”

Government committed to bringing legislative changes that will force the importers to reveal their pricing structures to explain why people in Cayman are paying such high prices for gas and why the fall in prices on the world market seems to take a significant period to be reflected at the pumps. At present, government says that because duty is calculated on the quantity and not the price paid, they are not privy to the information.

A battle that many governments have tried to fight in the face of resistance from the importers, Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts has said that the new commission to monitor pricing is the first step in what could become price controls if the fuel suppliers are found to be acting unfairly or being uncompetitive.

Speaking to the small crowd on the steps of the LA Wednesday morning, Tibbetts explained that government will be addressing the long-term problem of calculating the prices that are being charged and what the current problems are.

“When we know what they charge to the gas stations we will know what the markup should be and we can fix that too,” he said.

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Comments (39)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought about going. Then thought, “This is pointless and I really don’t care about it”. So I cut my toenails instead.

  2. Daddy Yankee says:

    I was coming but I had just spent $200 getting my hair done and couldn’t afford the gas to get there.

  3. Number 1 says:

    50 protesters???! Caymanians we have so much mouth, 14000 signers well hidden from the public – is this the best we could do??? smh

  4. Knot S Smart says:

    For a moment there I thought that George was in a nearby country and had just received a money transfer from Cayman in US dollars and converted it into their own currency…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I commend the efforts of someone who wants to take a stance, in my opinion the whole fuel price debate shows how much Cayman and many of its residents have their priorities screwed up.

    I wish people would be equally enthusiastic when it comes to their children’s education (or lack thereof), the consistent increase of single parenthood and the steady decline of “healthy’ family units, Cayman’s fragile environment and protection thereof, the increase of littering and the list goes on an on. Yet, Cayman residents only seem to be enthusiastic in regards to topics that they feel may save them a dollar or two. Yet, the roads are lined with gasoline guzzlers, and the sea is filled with jet skis and boats. I am sorry to say, I really can’t take this whole debate very serious at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      I Agree. If you really want to make a stand against the fuel providers then hit them where it hurts. By smaller vehicles or at least hybrid vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and you reduce your cost. Why does everyone need to drive a huge SUV

      • Anonymous says:

        Much too sensible a comment for the average Caymanian to agree with.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are Orrett Connor and Kearney Gomez still driving Humvees now that they are retired from Government and no longer feel they will have to come to rescue us all after a hurricane? Which they never did anyway but the Humvee gives them a massive ego boost for about 8 miles a gallon.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:23 That’s a really good point but even the small/economy cars imported here don’t deliver the gas mileage they should.

        I bought a three-year-old 1 liter sub-compact on Grand Cayman and have run it for two years but the damn thing struggles to return 30mpg. In the USA I ran a Pontiac V6 that could easily beat that in US gallons.

        What gives here? Does anyone monitor the quality of what comes out of the pumps or do we just have to take whatever XXXX they sell us? I’ll bet that the gas we have to buy is third-world quality.

        • Anonymous says:

          My suspicion would be that in the US you drove longer distances and on Highways and in Cayman there is short distances and more stop and go, which results in a different gas mileage result.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you think gas and diesel are expensive here try living in the UK and Europe where it’s over CI$7 a litre! It’s not even as though we have to drive any long distances.

    The big motoring rip-offs here are car insurance and car prices. It costs me nearly CI$1000 a year for a car I could insure in the UK for about £200 (roughly CI270). And why are we having to pay way (3-4 times) over the market rate anywhere else for used cars?

  7. Real here says:

    congrats George and bold protestors.People should not run for office unless they demonstrate leadership in the community with concern for building a better Cayman .Too many unqualified selfish candidtes keep getting elected on a coattail or by popularity and. noqualifation as a good statesman.

    Kudos George keep up good works as the govt works for the 13 families who rule the world instead of helping the voters who elected them.This is not a conspiracy theory it is a known fact that this shadow government are the bosses of lawmakers who are their Free mason puppets serving the elite satanists that feel entitled to life liberty and freedom while enslaving everyone else on the face of the earth.
    The illumunati is a disgusting thorn in the side of humanity and citizens are not even aware of these slavemasters ruling with satanic powers as the secret society. groups using many fancy names of disguise.

    • Dan Brown says:

      If you have to preface a remark with ” This is not a conspiracy theory”, chance is that it is a conspiracy theory.

      • London says:


        l take it that you feel some kind of guilt or sympathy towards the parties in question or maybe the shoe fits you very well!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Follow the money George, 200 million $ extra profit per year will buy you a lot of friends in high places.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It should have been a,k 47s and m.16s they were going to hand out, I would have been the 1st in line

  10. Anonymous says:

    Talk about dry weather demonstrators!

    • 5 Sense Here says:

      be careful what govt hand out and give to you they will also take away!there is no free lunch Next they msy want your land just to mow your house down and. say they willuse the property for only a simpleparking lot!its been done! and its a lie yhey are fronting for your oppressors ejo will not ive you or your cildren a job!
      Be careful of that colorful Real Estte company buying land from. you simple minded black people in Georgetown and afterwards they are helping their elite special interest clients sell it (your same property)for millions in profits after that crooked real estate broker or govt officer convinced you to sell it to him for pennies on the dollar;l l mean land zoned commercial and residential thats vsluable land! then the crooked RE broker and or govt officer helps his elite entitled clients sell the same land for multimillions. of dollars in profits lining all their pockets. at a big lossto you Caymanians who should not be selling your property but should be Buying all you can buy ever heard of buying power?lf uou own nothing you HAVE NO POWER!wakeup!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Typical Cayman fizzle. The most apathetic people in the world because they have it so good. Shame they don’t appreciate what they have.

  12. Anonymous says:

    the true caymanian warrior spirit….
    i’ve seen more backbone in a jellyfish……

  13. Anonymous says:

    I admire the effort, but have to make one point. Why do this on a work day? Is it a cayman thing? If I told my boss I was taking a couple hours off to go protest, I would not have a job!

    • Anonymous says:

      But you make an important point : “I’m a Caymanian so you can’t fire me” mentality. Sickening and killing the country and has been for 30 years or more.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “What do we want?”
    “Things to be cheaper”
    “When do want it?”
    “After it has stop raining”

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cheaper gas would be nice. But can we focus on the root of the price of living problem that we have in Cayman. ELECTRICITY COST. This burden placed on the public by the unethical pricing practices of the electricity grid monopoly, has the greatest effect on cost of living. A business that has a high electricity bill has to pass on this cost to their customers.
    So regardless if you go to the supermarket, home centers, restaurants or just stay at home. CUC is in your wallet, extracting more than they deserve for the quality of service they provide.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I think 50 is a bit generous, but I still support cheaper gas!

    • Anonymous says:

      I support cheaper everything, people to lose weight and look good, world peace and nuclear fusion.

  17. Anonymous says:

    George don’t hold your breath on that my friend

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