Governor has faith in CIG’s cruise plans

| 04/11/2015 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service

Governor Helen Kilpatrick meets Cabinet members as she arrives to take up the post

(CNS): The significant environmental threat to local coral reefs posed by the government’s plans for cruise berthing facilities in the George Town Harbour do not appear to be of concern to the governor, who has expressed her confidence in the process. When she arrived in the Cayman Islands in September 2013, in her first public address Helen Kilpatrick stressed her commitment to environmental protection.

Even though the cruise port project will see the destruction of some 30 acres of reef through direct dredging and indirect silt and turbulence, the governor has raised no objections to the progress of the project.

“During his visit in August Minister Grant Shapps spoke about the cruise ship berth,” the governor told CNS in an email response to enquiries regarding her position on the proposed facility. “I reiterate his comments and confirm that the issue is one for the government and people of Cayman.”

When Shapps visited Cayman earlier this year in his role as temporary overseas territories minister, he appeared to support the project, stating that unless the government moved forward, it would l stand still in the competitive cruise tourism sector.

UK minister has no issue with $200m cruise port

Shapps did, however, point to the process and the UK is likely to have more to say on the project when it comes to the financing arrangements of a project, which according to a range of sources could cost government more than $300 million, which it hopes will come from passenger tax revenue.

The governor said her role was “to ensure that the process is carried out properly and that environmental considerations and concerns are taken into account. From my regular discussions with the premier, I am confident that this happening.”

However, in her acceptance speech to the Legislative Assembly when she landed in Cayman, she said that while the elected government was responsible for the protection and conservation of the islands’ natural assets, she expressed her interest in safeguarding the country’s natural resources as well as its public finances.

“I am committed to working with the government and civil society to ensure that these assets are managed and protected in a manner that befits their incredible value,” she said in the speech just two years ago.

Governor Helen Kilpatrick’s Acceptance Speech, Legislative Assembly – 6 September 2013

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Category: Government oversight, Marine Environment, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Considering how much political influence Carnival has in the UK this should come as no surprise. As long as the UK isn’t being asked to put any money up the FCO isn’t going to interfere with this project.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not surprising the Governors acceptance of the project. It should by now be apparent that the cruise piers mantra is one which has to be supported by the ppm boys , the FCO and Lady Guv. With the advent of the Beneficial Owner registry there will be a serious challenge to keep the economy afloat.

      We go back to from whence we came, go de boy zzz your names are entrenched in the history of Cayman went.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here is a photo of one of the new ships that get to come to Cayman; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223714/Oasis-Seas-Inside-worlds-largest-expensive-cruise-ship.html
    Not sure why anyone would want to get off of it! Carries over 6,300 passengers so if we get 2 in on one day, along with others ships we’ll have a potential 12,000 more people vombying around town. Yay.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Of course the UK government is behind this project look at the UK’s track record on preserving their natural environment, the problem for us is that we rely on ours to attract visitors, should the CBF go ahead we will throw away what very few places have. Expand the port but let the massive ships destroy other islands not Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      12.24, what is your problem? Clearly the UK as a destination choice, with its rain, fog, 7 days of summer, traffic, noise, overcrowding, commuting and wonderful sandy beaches (that are too cold to sit on), fish and chips and not a turtle in sight is going to win hands down over Cayman as a cruise destination. That’s what we are really after. Can’t live with the competition?

  4. Allar says:

    Please understand that the Governor was sent here with a mandate and it was not for the best interest of our Islands. What the UK wants to see is for us to be broke and have to institute taxes and run our investors.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have become the main employer for Jamaicans and then have the money sent back there. We are building Jamaica and Jamaicans not Caymanians or the British… facts speak for themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Treason!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor? What about the mandate the MLAs are following and have been following for past 20 years? There is our problem not the Governor.

    • Anonymous says:

      If her mandate was to broke us by instituting tax she would have done that long time ago. Bermuda has indroduced A salary tax, cayman had a mandatory tax of 20% every living person who lives in the Cayman Islands by law must have health insurance which is taxed by way of your salary,…equievelent to10% of your salary in some cases 18%. a mandatory 10% pension tax is paid for every person working in the Caymans. We are already paying taxes to private institutions.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What escapes me is the confidence this government has in their decision making process after the high school disasters.
    Open classroom design, please?
    Now with significant environmental down side the government looks at a massive expense which will make Cayman just another cookie cutter destination in the Caribbean instead of focusing on the dump.
    Part of leadership be being to focus on priorities for the betterment of the country and to say the pier is more important than the dump is misguided.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I am not in favour of the cruise berthing facility as contemplated something tells me that if the Government was focused on the Dump and dealing with that exclusively you 8:07 would be off to the left shout “Oy! How could you leave the Port out of this!”

      • Anonymous says:

        10:35 you misjudge me, I believe that the mega cruise ships are unnecessary to Cayman and the money saved could be better spent.
        Cayman needs to define itself from the other destinations and be special. The marine environment around Cayman is special, keeping smaller cruise ships visiting the country is the way to go.
        Dealing with the national embarrassment of the dump both visually, nasally and from a heath prospective will reaffirm Cayman as a premiere destination.
        The people have been sold a bill of goods that they will cash in on a pier, I seriously doubt that fact.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it refreshing to see an actual relationship between the Governor and the elected government?
    Been a long time since we had a mad man screaming at the UK and the Auditor general every week.

  7. Anonymous says:

    George Town greatly needs to secure its cruise tourism. With Dart trying to suck every business on island into their new town that is the only hope for George Town to survive. A whole new office building was just designed. Soon there will be nothing left for locals.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m hoping this is s precursor to FCO saying: :all looks great, financing in place, you have our blessing to secure the growth and economy of your island”

  9. No-one, certainly not our Governor and the UK Government, knows what the effect of building the dock will be on Seven Mile Beach. Nor does anyone else. We do know that SMB was formed by successive hurricanes, as anyone who has watched the digging of foundations for buildings there can tell. As you dig down, there are a number of distinct layers of sand, up to a foot deep, which are separated by some inches of pine needles. This indicates that over the centuries there were a number of massive hurricanes which came from the west to create that formation. Until Benson Greenall and Harold Ashwell started buying beach land around 1947 (at one GB pound a running yard from sea on the west to North Sound) it had little value because Caymanians would not build on it, mostly for fear of hurricanes, and the land to the east was swamp. They knew what had formed SMB and they also knew that it is a dynamic beach – and what the sea has given, it can take away. Many of us oldies will recall the magnificent beach at Rum Point which existed until the seventies. Then Government decided to make a gap in the reef so that fishermen from North Side could exit the reef there safely, rather that having to go all the way to Main Channel. This was a laudable idea in theory, but oh dear, Rum Point beach has now been nearly washed away by the currents the new gap in the reef created.
    I agree that the dock will be a good thing for Cayman’s prosperity provided the numbers really can be made to work and we find ways to cope with huge numbers of cruise passengers crowding our street. Anyone who has visited St Thomas where you can’t move for cruise passengers will understand what this means. I believe that today’s Government is to be congratulated on proceeding cautiously. But to revert to my main theme there is a risk with changing what nature ordained and it would be a dreadful legacy of this Government and a disaster for our beloved Isle Cayman if one day the currents take back our beautiful Seven Mile Beach and with it Government House, even if by then we no longer have a Governor.

  10. Just Watchin says:

    “my regular discussions with the premier” – is she referring to when they get together to discuss their pictures on the walls of public offices?
    The two of them seeing hanging those pictures as something to spend public money on in a tiny island with 55,000 people is an excellent indicator of what is important to both of these misfits – their image.
    Spare me their views CNS please.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone else find it strange how the thumbs down on post that are against this dock mess, come in bunches? I hope the kirkbots aren’t fooling anyone with this. One post got 42 dislikes in about half an hour and then none since.

    Seems like the kirkbots hide their manipulation as well as they sell watches…
    Spread it out next time bobo.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The governor’s position has a lot to do with the ability of this government to pull things around from the Mac-daddy era. Relationships make a big difference but performance makes and even bigger one. PPM setting the Island up for prosperity again and the UK will agree.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is the first government in a long time that any Governor could say the words “Have faith in” to describe any government business or decision making. Can you imagine the relief of not having a Mac style group running de place and having to be governor?
    Everything they are doing is out in the open and makes sense for Cayman (except the tiny minority of tree huggers and tenderers).

    • Anonymous says:

      Well 1.43 as we are such a minority, then you can prove your point by getting CIG to hold a referendum on such an important decision, as you have nothing to fear, right? But you wont will you? And the “minority” are fully aware why. And will vote for the new “majority” government next time, which is unlikely to feature anyone currently involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      ^kirkbot

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s becoming clearer and clearer every day that this is the right move for Cayman. Government just needs to keep moving, lock in the financing, get the cruise line commitments, get this baby out to bid and secure Cayman’s cruise tourism future.

  15. Anonymous says:

    That $300m figure that keeps getting regurgitated is very false. That was the cost of the Decco and Chec plans that included 100,000 sqft of retail space plus and casino/hotel. This design with just docks isn’t going anywhere near that mark.

    • Anonymous says:

      Informative post from KirkBot #1 who along with other family members maintain obvious vested interests in the outcome of CBF development to save multi-generational business interests. If this CBF does not happen by 2017 there’s no shame in calling Uncle Dart.

    • Anonymous says:

      KirkBot #1 frequently blogs about cost of the project not being 300m but we know it’s going to costs more than 150m stated in the original OBC. Ironic how government cannot confirm or choses not to share this information publicly claiming that they are now entering the next phase. How do the KirkBots have this information?

      I wonder if the KirkNots and pro port lobby considered that building in deeper waters makes the CBF more expensive or is that just a conspiracy theory?

      There are no free rides and the cruise lines will demand everything if they are expected to finance the project in a PPP. Once the PWD project management team and Ministry of Tourism is involved it’ll only get worst and 300-400 will seem like a drop in the bucket for a government that is broke.

      Thankfully the Anti-Corruption Laws were written for situations like these but since no conflicts exist with this project at all especially for those wearing rose colored glasses; all is well with the PPM and ‘royal’ merchant families of these beloved Cayman Isles

    • Anonymous says:

      ^kirkbot

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct 1.22, with overruns and incompetence they could get it up to nearly 4 times that much, a la John Gray style! Could not have been any corruption or nepotism in there, right?

    • D. Truth says:

      Mister Kirkbot says, “This design with just docks isn’t going anywhere near that mark.” Really? Who are you kidding? Wanna bet?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone seen the video now on Facebook and Youtube talking about how moving the piers deeper can cut out a lot of the dredging?
    From the looks of it there would hardly be any threat left for nearby reefs, the only ones under threat would be the Balboa and that ship itself can be moved so we can use it more diving.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Cant’ see UK approving the finance unless it comes from outside partners. If it does come from outside partners, PPM and Kirk claims on shopping are BS. If that don’t change, dock wont happen. I suspect Governor knows this.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is the support our Island can get from England when the Government has its head screwed on correctly. This is such a vast difference from Mac calling the Governor a donkey etc. Respect and trust is given to those who deserve it, and this government deserves it. They have been forthright and transparent, even when faced with criticism. I am proud to be a Caymanian and to stand with them.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Somehow the UK is going to benefit from this either they will be involved in the constructions or they are allowing us to commit economic suicide so that they can implement taxation.

  20. Anonymous says:

    She came to the aid of the compass editor as well…

    It doesn’t seem that she cares for the cayman people or their best interests. Just foreign people or interests.

    Maybe Mac was right. The UK is trying to cripple us so that they can take complete control of us.

    And our stupid government and greedy wealthy class are playing right into their hands. Good job fools. Run us right into the ground and destroy the environment in the process.

    Well done…

    • Cass says:

      When the people of these islands realize the truth it will be too late. You really think any Governor of these islands ever cared? They are sent here for one 4 year term; it’s called a vacation! HELLO! All any Governor has ever done is shake hands with people, take smiley pics and lay out on their beach! But hey; who’s drinking the Kool-Aid around here?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Have another cocktail Helen. You have been a disaster as governor

  22. Eyes Wide Shut says:

    This woman is useless as governor and the statement is more fluff from the UK. They ultimately decide the fate of the project based on protecting their contingent liabilities and risks where the UK may have to bail out Cayman’s government if the CBF turns out to be another financial albatross.

    However, it is more likely they are giving the PPM enough rope to hang us all which will potentially drive Cayman towards a direct form of taxation which has always been the objective of the FCO and changes the landscape and economic viability of the Cayman’s forever.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not a supporter of the cruise ship berthing facilities but its unfair for us to expect UK ministers, and by extension, the Governor to get involved in this matter. The environment is a devolved area of responsibility and if the Governor were to express her views the UK would then be accused of micro-management. The FCO will likely only block it if the loss of revenue places the sustainability of government finances at risk.

    • Big Gay Al says:

      Strange how the dock decision seemingly coincided with the end of “Nationalist Camp”.
      It looks like they have opened the doors and all the camp has emptied and headed for the nearest keyboard!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Here we are still stuck in a colonial age with no hope of freedom from our overlords and their puppy dogs in our fake, get-rich-quick, “Legislative Assembly”.
    When will sanity prevail?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said! Lets do away with that bothersome UK oversight and put King Bush and his band of bagmen in complete control. We don’t need no stinking FFR getting in between us and the cookie jar.

  24. Anonymous says:

    And your Bias point, CNS, is?? that she supports “The significant environmental threat to local coral reefs”?? those are your words.
    Unless you live like an ascetic taking only what mother earth gives you, some damage will be done. Is up to us to minimize it and find the most favorable balance.
    While you keep fighting a lost battle, some people are getting ready to replace the corals, minimize the dredging and look for alternatives for water sport.
    Do you really want to save the environment? got a few targets for you: CUC, importation of gas guzzler vehicles, the Dump and the destruction of the mangroves… need more??

    • Anonymous. says:

      Perhaps the Governor has realized that sometimes one has to loose a little to get a lot. Perhaps she understands that there is no truth to the comment of 30 acres of coral being destroyed. Maybe she can understand the difference between fiction and facts.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If her confidence is based on ‘my regular conversations with the Premier’ we are all in trouble. His agenda is so misinformed and detrimental to the future of Cayman he is the last person to speak with any authority or accuracy.

  26. Antibot says:

    Gubna dont have to say much as she is well aware that this fairytale cruise pier ain’t happening.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Imagine the burdens of the turtle farm. Now imagine a bigger version of such a fiasco. Much much much bigger. That is what the dock may well turn out like.

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