Alden: Special interest won’t stop port

| 27/11/2015 | 123 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ships in George Town Harbour

(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier has made it clear that he will be pressing ahead with the cruise berthing project in George Town, regardless of the continued controversy and specific concerns of many about the damage this proposal will cause to the marine environment. During his presentation on the government’s Strategic Policy Statement, Alden McLaughlin said that the Cabinet would “not be intimidated by special interest groups or individuals at the expense of the greater national good”. 

However, opposition to the port has come from a wide-cross section of the community. During the public consultation the public came down three to one against in the survey and the Chamber of Commerce, the dive industry and the wider private sector tourism association, the National Trust of the Cayman Islands and the National Conservation Council have all raised significant concerns about the project.

Many people also believe that it is special interest groups and individual merchants who are supporting and driving the project at the expense of the greater good and not the other way round, as the premier suggested.

In his speech, however, he hammered home his commitment to the project, though he admitted that a final decision had not been made. Government must still jump through the financial hoops and has also committed to another review of the design to push the piers further out and at least limit direct damage to the reefs and possibly reduce the indirect damage from silt and turbidity.

But he used language that could leave little room for doubt about his support for the costly and uncertain project. “It is said that the finest steel must go through the hottest fire and we pledge to make a responsible decision that takes into account all of the factors,” he said.

McLaughlin said his government had a mandate from voters because the cruise port project was one of the PPM’s campaign pledges, and he pointed to what he claimed were hundreds of local jobs that cater to and depend upon cruise tourism.

“It is our duty to ensure those jobs are kept intact, maintained and expanded on into the future,” he said. “These jobs include Caymanian tour and taxi operators, employees of George Town merchants and restaurants, and employees of businesses of all sizes across Grand Cayman that cater to and benefit directly and indirectly from cruise tourism.”

He said that the Outline Business Case (OBC) estimates around 500 jobs will be created during construction. “This will mean real, tangible opportunities for Caymanian businesses, professionals and trades people to be involved in this historic and economically important project. The large nature of the project is such that local businesses will also benefit through an increase in sales and revenues,” the premier stated in his speech.

Admitting that there would be a need for more overseas labour, he said they would contribute to the economy for the time they are in Cayman. “They will need places to rent and they will buy goods and services from local businesses,” he said.

McLaughlin maintained that once the dock was up and running, the increased economic impact would continue, based on the figures given in the OBC, which has raised numerous question marks in the community. He claimed that some $245 million would be added to the GDP plus employment for about 1,000 people over the next 20 years.

“Net benefits increase to a potential $1.2 billion if cruise visitors grow by at least 3 per cent per annum. At the end of construction, the port would have been built mainly by Caymanians for Caymanians and will be owned by the people of the Cayman Islands,” he suggested.

Ironically, earlier in his address he had spoken about the fantastic success of overnight tourism, which is broadly known to be directly connected to the local marine environment.

“Our goal is to grow the visitor air arrival numbers past the 400,000 volume level over the next two years. We anticipate 387,566 air arrivals by the end of this calendar year and 411,192 by the end of 2016. This is achievable given the number of new hotels coming on line,” he said.

However, tourism, dive and environmental experts have all raised the alarm that this figures will fall as result of an increase in cruise visitor numbers and the damage that the piers will cause to a significant part of the country’s marine attractions. And although less than one week ago the the National Conservation Council issued two statements that raised raising significant questions about the process and the conflicts of interest involved, the premier bragged about the transparency of his government’s process on this project.

NCC concerned over cruise port process

Ignoring these concerns, McLaughlin made it very clear that he is intent on the project. “We are doing things differently than previous administrations, which cost the country millions of dollars for breach of contract because of an unwillingness by the then government to follow the rules. I believe, in all sincerity, that the country has never before had a government such as ours that is this open with its projects and willing to accept challenges and consider options where practical. But that is expected of us as a progressive government. Openness and transparency — coupled with accountability — has always been our modus operandi,” he said.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    One thing about it, the Premier sure likes to spend that money!
    The boys know what is right for all us dummies so just let em keep it going.

    • Sharkey says:

      All this talk is because Mr Eden left , and so many more might leave , and the election is on the horizon .

  2. Anonymous says:

    When it comes to light that a government wont listen to the majority of its people, it becomes VERY clear the government is not working in the best interest of the people who put them in power.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The difference here being that the environment is to be destroyed. An environment the people have a right to protect. The elected government are duty bound to serve the people. The only way we can know if this is what the people want is by referendum. You have made an incorrect assumption that I am against the port. This begs the question, how many other assumptions have you made? For the record, I am against dictatorship.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The possible upside of the dock is very limited, certainly unless you own a chain of jewellry shops in GT or your beloved near family do. The downside could be catastrophic, with CIG being left to service $300m of debt, being unable to improve facilities to encourage overnight tourism and the joys of watching all those cruise ships stop at Cuba instead dock or no dock.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What does the “troll” mean?

  6. Anonymous says:

    let dart do it…. i have no faith in cig in completing such a project….

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would punch alden but its illegal

  8. Anonymous says:

    “We are doing things differently than previous administrations, which cost the country millions of dollars for breach of contract because of an unwillingness by the then government to follow the rules. . . .” What a pile of hogwash. Alden were you not the spare header of what we now know as the schools’ circus? Were you not a part of the same government that you are so speaking against? Were you not a part of that same government that has put the Cayman Islands in its dare straits? You either have the onset of early Alzheimer or you just so full of yourself that you even think that you are above the Law or worse yet God.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t this port be built closer to the eastern districts? Government started this go east initiative and I can’t see a bigger incentive for businesses to move than with the port there. GT infrastructure cannot even accommodate those living here so imagine 12k extra bodies moving about. The eastern end is much less developed hence government have the opportunity to sit down (with their favorite million dollar consultants) and implement a proper infrastructure from the ground up that will cater to the tourists and businesses alike. Meanwhile bus drivers will make more shuttling people who want to visit west. Does this not make sense to anyone else?

    • Anonymous says:

      East End is an on-shore coastline with no lee protection for the ships. But you could dredge inside the reef for the channel , dock & carnival atmosphere of 10,000+ people disembarking.

  10. Anonymous says:

    How is this man any different from Mac or any other dictator? Those ‘special interest’ groups could also vote him out so I would suggest he listen to the electorate and have a referendum. Something as important as this should be put to the vote and not be dictatated by a ‘special interest’ government.

    • Anonymous says:

      10: 16
      What a load of balony, no country or government resort to referendums for enhancing the infrastructures of their country, it is called progress. It’s their duty bound to do so.
      Why would a government go to the length to built a port just because of some special interest group, as you and many proclaimed, what is your special interest for not wanting this port, ports are built in countries to facilitate the needs of the community in a whole, what benifits will you gain for not building this port. Please tell the country.

      • Anonymous says:

        5.47, worse counter arguement I ever heard. The special interest of the no porters is clear. 1. Don’t spend money on something that has no guaranteed gain for Cayman, but many downsides including potential huge debt. 2. Care for the environment which no expert anywhere has said there will be little or no harm to the reefs, quite the contrary.
        On the other hand, the pro porters need to employ kirkbots to try and prove and “win” their case which tells you a lot to start with, namely that there are only a few interested in building and they mean to do so by any means, regardless of the will of Caymanians, all to grow their little pots of Judas silver and with no regard to Caymanian will.

      • Anonymous says:

        The difference here being that the environment is to be destroyed. An environment the people have a right to protect. The elected government are duty bound to serve the people. The only way we can know if this is what the people want is by referendum. You have made an incorrect assumption that I am against the port. This begs the question, how many other assumptions have you made? For the record, I am against dictatorship.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Special interest won’t stop port”

    The headline could easily read:

    “Special interest will build port”

    The port outcome depends on who is more “special” to the powers that be.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Something PPM needs to think about is that if they don’t get this built because they listen to special interest tender lobbyist there is no way they continue in politics. Especially anyone from west bay or george town. So i think they are right to keep pressing on even with pressure from environmentalists (most of which aren’t even in Cayman) because this cruise dock is being done for us Caymanians.

  13. Jg says:

    That moment you realise mckeeva wasnt too bad afterall

  14. Anonymous says:

    A few points for a cruise ship facility:
    You debate a subject that you have no proof.
    It has been proven all over the Caribbean ( concrete )
    Environment can be replaced or grown
    Pilings will grow corals, sponges, fish, crabs etc. increase in sea life.
    More people will come off ships
    Larger ships will come to Grand Cayman
    More jobs will be created
    More revenue for projects
    More customers newer attractions can be created
    More customers will be able to see Eastern Districts because of volume

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Kirkbot PR monkey:
      The ships are likely to divert to Cuba.
      Cayman will be saddled with massive debt.
      The focus should be on overnight tourism who spend much more and do not require massive public capital projects.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh dear 7.58, do you have trouble reading or just don’t read that which you don’t like to see? Many links have been posted showing how little has been achieved by building these ports, and how promises were broken. Inconvenient for you I know, but real.

    • Anonymous says:

      You present a pi$$ poor case. Don’t ever train to be a lawyer unless you expect to lose all your cases.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tourism in the Cayman Islands makes up 70% of the GDP. While cruisers make up 80% of visitors, they only spend 23% of all money spent by tourists. If air arrivals (20%) outspend the 80% of cruise arrivals why is there not a bigger push to get more air arrivals? If all %’s stay the same as far as spending even if you double the number of cruise arrivals the 20% would still outspend the cruisers. With most of tourist visiting Cayman from North America there is little to no advertising here regarding anything Cayman. Nothing on Seven Mile beach, pirate week nothing on the food festival, Batabano, kitesurfing competition….nothing. Putting someone in a Sir Turtle costume outside an ice-cream truck is not cutting it as advertisement; at least not affective advertisement. What will happen when 4 of the Oasis class ships are in port with their 7600 passengers and crew each? How many people can George Town, Seven Mile beach or Sting Ray City actually accommodate?

    • Anonymous says:

      4.05 am agree!!! I am in the US, after having lived in the Cayman Islands for 4 years. One night an ad popped up on my screen, not sure from where, it was about AI resort in Dominican Republic. The ad was irresistibly attractive and a week later, on a spur of the moment I was enjoying my vacation in DR. Loved every minute of it.
      The Cayman islands dept. of tourism, despite millions being spent CAN’T sell its product properly or develop a specific brand. “Cayman kind” have become a joke, nobody is happy to see you on plane, at the airport, etc. You don’t feel welcomed coming to the Cayman Islands, no greetings, no smiley faces, no Caribbean music, nothing!

      • Anonymous says:

        Back in 2005/6 DoT had the opportunity to work with a major UK/European tour operator who only offer AI holidays. Apparently the reaction the company got included opinions that AI had no future, was ‘downmarket’ and was not ‘what we do here’. They were also confronted with the standard ‘what’s in it for me?’ as soon as negotiations started.

        As a result the flights that might have come here are going to places like the DR, Jamaica, Cuba or Costa Rica. With Sharm el Sheikh currently pretty much shut down these destinations are also now picking up a lot of business from the Egyptian market.

        DoT need to get their heads around the fact that trying to charge $250 a night for what is effectively a glorified motel room on SMB is dumb when tourists from the UK and Europe can get AI (that’s flights, transfers, all meals and unlimited booze from 10am to 11pm!) packages at quality accommodation in places like Cuba for $1200 a week. A couple of years ago we did two weeks in the Blau Varadero – great beach, great hotel and way better than anything Grand Cayman can offer.

        Consider this – many of the hotels on SMB were offering deals on several of the online booking sites over Pirate’s Week to try and fill rooms – there’s a very clear message there.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:05 I’ve been hearing this bull shit for ages about overnight tourist, if these people don’t come here in troves like the cruisers do what the f..k you want government to do..kidnap them and drag them to cayman? Nobody is stopping them from coming. Let’s stop this bull shit garbage, cruisers will always come because it’s more affordable in a world with less money. Let’s invite them even if they only spend 50.00 it’s more in our economy than most of us can afford. Get informed please.

      • Anonymous says:

        Direct flights from Europe. Massive influx of over nighters. Europeans don’t do connecting flights after long haul.

      • Anonymous says:

        Pure fact not bullshit. Alongside Financial Services and Work Permit fees, stay-over tourism is the main contributor to Cayman’s economy. The contribution from cruise ship tourism pails in comparison. So it is the pro-ports idiots’ theories and speculation that is bullshit, not the proven FACTS quoted about stay-over tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stupdity abounds. Lies that cannot be backed up with facts:

      The biggest contributor to the Cayman economy always was and currently still is Financial Services with a whopping 55% of the national GDP ((used to be 60% but of course CIG have been screwing over the hand that feeds them over the last few years, hence many such companies are leaving). Financial Services is also the biggest employer of Caymanians.

      Tourism actually contributes 24% – that cruise ship and stay-over combined. The Cayman Islands market ranks 13th in the list of the top tourism markets in the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) in terms of the number of stay-over arrivals. This market was second in the Caribbean in terms of growth in arrivals, with 10.84% growth over the prior period (Source: IRR 2015 annual report). Whilst cruise ship passengers may represent 80% of that 24% in terms of physical numbers, I’d like to see a financial comparison in terms of money spent on-island. I suspect the major contributor will still be stay-over just as it always has been as cruise ship passenger spends are made before they set off on their ALL-INCLUSIVE cruise. That money goes to the cruise ship companies and only a tiny tiny bit dribbles into Cayman.

  16. BearBaiter says:

    I am so saddened by our premier, who i used to respect highly. Only a fool will refuse to change his/her position (mind). I just can’t understand how anyone can ignore the long-term benefit of our stay-over tourism for the short-term greed of the George Town merchants. Shame on you all. What a legacy the PPM and especially the premier are leaving for themselves. Despite all the other good the PPM has thus far done I fear this will be its unding come 2017! I certainly will noonger be able to support such short sightedness!

  17. Anonymous says:

    The Hunger games they play.

  18. Anonymous says:

    not be intimidated by special interest groups or individuals at the expense of the greater national good”. Unfortunately, this is not for “greater national good”….greater national good will seek balance and heed solid advice. A terminal is needed, but not in this manner. Not sure what about that he does not understand! This is a disaster and will start the process of whittling away our tourism product and manage to force those high end tourists who spend the money to choose those jurisdictions who remain unique and environmental friendly. Very sad indeed.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Alden is making sure we all understand he hasn’t had the wool pulled over his eyes like so many who actually believe those leading the campaign against the dock actually are doing so because there is an environmental threat. The only threat is to that of the monopoly shuttling cruise passengers on outdated run down tandem boats.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are two sets of special interests. Alden is catering to the other set comprising greedy, wealthy and influential Caymanians who want to line their pockets and who say to hell with environmental concerns.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean to say Alden wants to make sure he pulls the wool over the country’s eyes. The only special interests involved here are those involved in the port proposal itself, and those who will benefit from it. From what I hear they are very closely connected – or would the correct term be ‘conflicted’?

  20. Rob N. Hood says:

    Some excerpts from this article:

    “It is said that the finest steel must go through the hottest fire and we pledge to make a responsible decision that takes into account all of the factors”, the premier said.

    “Outline Business Case (OBC) estimates around 500 jobs will be created during construction, real tangible opportunities for Caymanian businesses, professionals and trades people, then admits a need for more overseas labour, but at the end of construction, he claims the port would have been built mainly by Caymanians for Caymanians and will be owned by the people of the Cayman Islands,” I suggest he is stretching the truth a bit.

    He also said, “I believe, in all sincerity, that the country has never before had a government such as ours.” Thank God for that!!!

    Be careful of that hottest fire, Honourable Premier. Your political house is made of straw.

  21. Anonymous says:

    When Cuba opens up and sucks all of our stayover tourism away everyone on this island will be happy and rejoicing we have a cruise dock since Cuba will draw a ton of traffic to the western Caribbean. Kill the dock and you kill Cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      Trust me it won’t just be the stayover tourists they take. By the time the cruise resorts have built 3, 4 or more cruise resorts on Cuba’s 3000+ mile coastline the market will be saturated. It’s way too late to tackle that problem now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman dead already – no point flogging a dead horse

  22. People For A Dump Free G.T. says:

    PPM also campaigned on having a solution for the dump. Show it too us Allahden, we are still waiting!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Keep on moving PPM!
    Don’t let those tree hugger expats that can’t even vote try to stall what our country so desperately needs.

    • Anonymous says:

      what we so desperately need is employment for Caymanians fool, and don’t say this port will provide it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see that this government is concerned about our country and Caymanians and won’t bow to the tender boaters, their money funded save cayman and a sorry attempt to make a bogus legal challenge

    • Anonymous says:

      The tender owners can make their own case. As it happens most of us against the current port proposal also want rid of the tenders and a better port solution – we just don’t believe this is it. In fact we believe it will leave Cayman doomed. We have no other interests or agenda other than the prosperity of Cayman and all who live here. Whereas the government, the pro-porters and tender owners all have their own respective personal agendas to fulfill – none of which have anything to do with what is good for Cayman – just what is good for their wallets.

  25. Mike Minteer says:

    My family has been to your island three times over five years. The damage wrought to both coral and reputation will make future visits unlikely. Ask all the other islands how they fared… We’ve snorkeled those reefs, and to lose them chasing cruise tourist money is madness.

    • Anonymous says:

      That cruise tourist money is a major pillar of our economy and helps fund our schools and education system as well as keeping approx 3500 people employed.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:05 that’s complete BS and I suspect you know it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mostly foreigners employed

      • Anonymous says:

        WHY is it that people refuse to understand they can snorkel the other 97 percent of Cayman’s reefs?

      • Anonymous says:

        This is written by a propagandist with a commercial agenda. The dock will not have a major effect on the existing tourism market.

      • Anonymous says:

        Foreigners employed, for the benefit of already wealthy caymanians. Government makes currently $17 profit for every $1 it spends on financial services (CIMA figures). It makes just $1 for every $1 it spends on tourism. $300m spend on this will mean cayman losing money for years. But certain merchants make millions, so why not make them pay for it? The idea will vanish quicker than Lewis Hamilton on a bad day.

      • Anonymous says:

        My son came home yesterday day with pictures of mold from three different areas at Clifton hunter high school, alden should use some of that money to fix this urgent problem before the government get sued for health related problems due to exposure to mold.

      • Anonymous says:

        Source of this data “quoted” above?

      • Anonymous says:

        If that is the case where is the money spent, the education provided is appalling and you have half finished school buildings!!!!!

    • Think of all possibilities says:

      The “damage” you fear has been so incredibly overblown, it’s ridiculous. You’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for propaganda. You won’t notice a single difference to the reefs you snorkel.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except for the ones that are no longer there

      • Anonymous says:

        Only propaganda here is the same old boring script Kirkconnell, you and others use. Trouble is we have heard it so many times we now realise you are the ones who have fallen hook line and sinker for the pro-port propaganda, its so telling from the same old script you all keep reading. No original opinions or imagination here just quoting words from the text of others who are only in it for greed and greed alone. And they sucked you all in with promises of jobs and prosperity. Says a lot about intelligence… or lack of.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dam if you do and damed if you don’t. The financial industry is slipping away, we did not develop stayover tourism the way we should have as it was (is) a vital part of our success. We had an excellent market from the 1950s until about 1995. Then we began to lack the interest in what made us great before the financial industry. Now we must return to our first love tourism so for the benefit of our younger and next generation the Premier must do something positive with tourism and if it means building a dock with minimal destruction to our dive sites then we should all support him. The world is going thru a global financial crisis so every dollar counts at the end of the day be it from the financial industry, diving, stayover and cruise tourism. We need to appreciate all efforts to keep this country afloat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Out of any possible snorkeling sites you can find on this beautiful islands the ones by the harbor are far from being the best ones. believe me, I live by the waterfront. i understand is easier and cheaper to come of the ship and snorkel right there but by far is not the best place. If snorkeling that close to the docks is the main reason you come to Cayman… you haven’t enjoyed Cayman yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 1:05
      You are totally uninformed, I don’t believe you understand geology, cayman has 45 linial mil of coral which your family can continue to snorkel those reef. Lease don’t let anyone fool you. This country like yours, need to sacrifice a minut portion of corals to build our port for our citizens future. We are not bulldozing down our 55 miles of reef like some people are preaching and misinforming the world as to try and stop this project. It’s all bull shit propaganda.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else find it a bit too coincidental that Dart has agreed to widen ETH and Alden is suddenly fully supporting the pier? Apparantly the true cost of the pier is 3/4 of a mile of dual carriage highway!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Alden is arrogant and pompous just like Mac. We need a whole new generation of politicians who actually care about people and who care about the good of the country.

  28. Reefer says:

    Worth reminding Alden that he is the Third Elected Member for the District of George Town and also polled only the third most votes in his own enclave of Prospect, king of the world he is not. Praise be to Allahden.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Every time Alden speaks in defense of this project and confirms the customary ppm mismanagement he seals the fate of his entire party. SMH

  30. Jotnar says:

    Not many thumbs down yet (at 1056) 2 s and 3 s. Lets time when they arrive.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Just curious… How could the PPM make an uninformed campaign promise, when they had not one fact on how it would effect the environment, George Town, or the carrying capacity of this island? What other promises could one make, without doing any research before hand?

  32. SKEPTICAL says:

    Incredibly the premier now risks leaving a legacy about the same as his predecessor, and he can probably expect that in in the same way he will become redundant as leader of the Government.

  33. Anonymous says:

    The premier is standing strong for us and jobs for our families. Thank you Mr. Premier.

    • SSM345 says:

      The Premier and Govt. won’t get you jobs, if you believe that, then you will be sorely disappointed. Its up to YOU and only YOU to secure employment opportunities. Stop looking at these MLA’s as some saving grace that will solve all your problems; they won’t. The World owes you nothing, its up to you to go out and grab the bull by its horns..

    • Anonymous says:

      While you think your “government” is standing strong for you… Just wait until the Cruise Industry (which no one down here has any control over) shoves it up where the sun don’t shine, and you have put all your eggs in one basket… THEN, what are you going to do???

      • Anonymous says:

        So we should put all our eggs in the stay over basket just in time for Cuba to open to the US market and take the majority of it away? The majority in the tourism industry require both stay over and cruise and our cruise is not sustainable if we continue to tender, ships are getting bigger, 17 ships of min 4000 capacity are being built over the next 6-7 years, majority of them will not tender so we will be left with the cheaper smaller old ships until they are retired.

      • Anonymous says:

        @11:08 – If I could give more than ‘one thumbs up’ I would….!!!!

        Listen up people… are owed NOTHING. Get an education, learn to respect yourselves and one another, get some work ethics, and get over the mentality that everyone except yourselves are to blame for the position you’re in.

        A Caymanian

      • UK Driftwood says:

        The cost that keeps on being thrown about doesn’t include the massive investment needed in George Town a proper public transport service licensed and regulated taxis that don’t rip you off, building of footpaths, getting business into GT because with all these McDonald eating cruise tourists there won’t be anywhere for them to go. Stingray city up to capacity you only have to see all the tour boats jostling for position and see all the tourists in the water like sardines, seven mile beach well as whoever is responsible do not enforce the hotels and condos encroaching more and more onto the beach with there chairs and brollies there is no room there and then there is the dollar draining turtle farm, that really is only going one way and that is down.
        The much lauded ice thingy seems no more as has gone very quite, Ironwood the shops and golf course is a long off distant fantasy so where will they go. Nowhere and when they start complaining of the queues on the piers because of the bottle neck at the other end the gravy train will stop. Maybe the residents could hope on Blue Sky airlines which was going to open up the Caribbean and give them some space oh no that also seems to be no more.
        Building the piers is only one piece of a very large jigsaw proposed by this government with a cost nearing 500-600 million to have it all in place.

        • Anonymous says:

          This whole 300m project will be played out similar to the petrobras fiasco in Brazil, except nobody will be going to jail.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Alden if you have the balls put this to refrendum – we’ll see who wins…. in my book the most important point is not about kirk empire/ the tender empire or the corals… it’s the 300 million debt on top of the 1.5 billion that exists already. PPM knows its not getting re-elected so its giving the country some parting shots just like they saddled us with the unfinished schools. At the time Alden reportedly said even god could not stop him from building and designing the schools …. the rest is history.

    • Anonymous says:

      The dock will create revenue to help the country bring down its debt, the schools, dump relocation, etc don’t create revenue and they are paid for by the the head tax revenue from cruise tourism! The building of the dock is so we have a sustainable future in cruise tourism, which we need if we are to keep up with Cuba when it opens to the US in a few years. We need both stay over and cruise tourism to benefit many businesses, tour operators, taxis etc can’t survive on stay over volume alone, they need the volume of cruise tourism. With 17 more ships of 4000 minimum capacity (when we struggle to tender 3500 ashore in 4 hours in an 8 hour day) being built over the next 6 years, anyone that believes that we have a sustainable future in cruise tourism without a dock is extremely short sighted! Cuba is going to have a big impact on our stay over tourism when it opens to the US, we need to make sure we are strong in both our major sources of tourism!

      • Anonymous says:

        10:38 When Cuba opens up the tourism and cruise industries will get access to not only over 3000 miles of largely unspoilt coastline but also an indigenous workforce that will comfortably support their most ambitious plans. Building a cruise dock won’t do much to offset that. In fact about all it will do is add to the pending financial collapse of these islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          What impending doom are you talking about ? Is the sky falling chicken little
          Are you in the cruise ship business? Do you work in banking? What is your expertise? It seems you can’t back up anything Mr Anonymous. Talk is cheap ,YOU prove that the dock isn’t going to make money. No dock, where are the Taxis, busses , stores, stingray city, St James, Botanical park, Turtle Farm, Hell, Dolphin Cove , Dolphin discovery ,going to make money from ,YOU?
          If there is no money in Cruise ships why did Dolphin Discovery pay 60 million for all the dolphin coves here and Jamaica? If you don’t know, ask, cause you all sound more uneducated every time you write. You know nothing about the cruise ship tourism and what it brings to Cayman people or its Gov’t . Stop being jealous and envious. Stop being disrespectful and cursing people on blogs and newspaper. It only proves you are losing the argument

      • Anonymous says:

        10.38, short on facts. Long on bullshit. None of which you can prove.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where in the hell you are going to put all these people, it will be like cattle herding. the government are not even trying to create new tourist attractions same old stuff.

      • Anonymous says:

        A dock can do all that? Oh my. I’m sure you’ve got the facts to back all that up because none of the reports released have proven any of that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Them why aré we risking The reef. The only thing we hace over Cuba are our beaches and snorkeling.

        • Anonymous says:

          You don’t even really have great beaches to boast about any more. Go to somewhere like Varadero for a week then try to tell me SMB is great.

          At Varadero all the hotels have the proper setback to protect both the beach and the view. When you go for an early morning walk there it’s breath-taking. When you try to do the same on SMB now it’s like being in a cheap third-world resort, with high-rise buildings built right up to the beach.

          In many ways it’s too late now because the damage has been done. The terminal decline of the Cayman Islands’ stayover tourism industry began when CIG mistook exploitation for development and decided to let people build whatever they liked wherever they liked.

      • Anonymous says:

        You offer no substantiation to your comments. Anyone can string words together to ‘sound’ convincing but how about presenting something more cogent?

      • Anonymous says:

        Say what you like. I still suspect the dock will be as helpful to the public purse as the turtle farm is…n’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ha! And you would have thought that he would have learned from that. And we know what the definition of madness is. The only thing that the PPM has done to help this country is to stand up against beneficial ownership, nothing else. Yup, you will go down in history Alden but it will not be favorable talk. Not sure how you will bow out of this huge calamity that you have created but try so go peacefully.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The end for the PPM is nigh. Ramming this through against the will of the majority will cost the Premier his job. The intimidation is from his side, nowhere else. The no porters just want a referendum. He won’t give it because he knows he will lose, otherwise, why wouldn’t he give it? The kirkbots do their best to distort the truth, but are so obvious it’s stupid.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, because he knows it is a waste of the country’s resources and time, to just confirm what we all need to know must happen – a port being built.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lmao at you, a pro porter using that particular terminology. As this is exactly why we don’t want a port. A referendum is cheap in comparison.

        This is clearly a matter of public interest for several reasons: substantial expense from public purse; conservation and environmental concerns over destruction of reef; the need for a sensible solution; factional (as opposed to the current hugely fictional ) return on investment and local employment prospects; and so many more. Pressing ahead without a referendum suggests ulterior motives and dictatorial methods to achieve them. Cayman truly is no democracy. USA, UK and others have voting populations too large to achieve this but Cayman is perfectly poised to hold referendums on all major infrastructure and matters of public interest. Let the people be involved in the process, true democracy.

        I would like to see a full and frank declaration of interest from each and every government official involved in this.

    • Anonymous says:

      The facts are all on paper buddy. You can distort those facts. Your comments are so pathetic, you spineless punk.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lol please, we have had these same two parties for decades we’ll forget all about this the election after the next……….

      • Anonymous says:

        Buddy you beat me to it. After this election, the goldfish memory will kick it and by then Aden will have 90% of the voters thinking it was Mac that committed them to this project and only PPM (painfully poor management) can save the economy.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So you Alden, voted in by an electorate, do not care about your electorate’s specific concerns or worries, and just like Mac you want to blunderbust ahead regardless. Well I hope those that elected you remember this next time around. This is NOT democracy.

    PROVE to us that this is for the national good because all I can see is national debt for decades to come.

    • ALL SEEING EYE says:

      “There are none so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see.”

    • Anonymous says:

      is this the same electorate that knew he had the cruise port on his parties agenda and that it was also on the UDP’s agenda. It would seem to me from election day the people spoke and supported a group that would deliver a cruise port. and now you say they are not doing what the electorate wants?

      • Anonymous says:

        I can tell you was at the back of the line when common sense was being handed out. They talk about a port but not how it was going to be done. Now the people know how and they don’t like it. I don’t think I can explain it any simpler.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Alden, you have now proven that you are a typical politician. The more you try to spin that allowing the destruction of an irreplaceable part of our natural environment as being for the greater national good the more it becomes glaringly obvious to any objective person that you are simply following the wishes of a handful of well connected business men. This type of ill thought out decision that ignores common sense, the country’s best interests and the majority is why the public loses trust in the political class. The 200 million you plan on spending to make a few men happy can be put to better use, ask your educators, your healthcare workers or your public waste management officials.

  38. Anonymous says:

    The Premier said in a statement “The Minister of Tourism, Mr Kirkconnell, has assured me that it is a great idea and he should know and he has absolutely no conflict of interest on this whatsoever because he told me so.”

    • Revelations 3:45 says:

      The PPM want praise for their attempts at transparency yet the entire process is rife with conflicts and abuses at multiple levels from the Ministry, Steering Committee and Port Authority Board of Directors. One should not expect credit for being transparent and complying with laws like the FFR.

      No lessons have been learnt by Alden and his PPM colleagues who are blinded by arrogance and an aura of delusional invincibility. They are controlled by special interests and decisions made are done to benefit that special group. The irony is Government’s own advisory bodies like the NCC have highlighted the potential abuse of process and raised its concerns so why hasn’t the PPM Caucus, Cabinet, Auditor General’s Office, Governor’s Office and FCO not expressed similar concerns about the entire process thus far?

      What next will the PPM and Ministry officials require credit for turning up to work which they are contractually obligated and paid to do?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is so funny I almost shat myself!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Environmental protection law, govt uses laws when it suits them best. All the possible destruction, and it’s still of no concern to him, wow

  40. Anonymous says:

    The irony of it all is Alden and the PPM has been bought and paid for by special interests. Moses is the real leader of the Progressives and driving this process

  41. Anonymous says:

    By “special interest groups” does he mean sensible people who aren’t ruined by greed?

    • Anonymous says:

      No he means those against progress and looking to the future and instead want Cayman to carry on living in the past and carry on believing that the islands economy is great!

      • SSM345 says:

        11:43, “those against progress and looking to the future and instead want Cayman to carry on living in the past”

        Like Mr. Eden and other dinosaurs running this place?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think he means those that aren’t “related party groups”

  42. Anonymous says:

    Allahden and these ppm mugs are going to ruin this country. More protests are needed.

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