Rivers appears as reluctant boycotter

| 14/04/2016 | 44 Comments
Cayman News Service

Education Minister Tara Rivers in the LA, Wednesday 13 April 2016

(CNS): The education minister has refused to comment about her involvement in the failed meeting in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday and why she attended. Following two attempts by the speaker to hold a special meeting requested by the opposition to debate motions relating to the police, Tara Rivers declined to answer questions from CNS Thursday about comments she made in the LA Chamber that morning, her position on the government’s boycott of the meeting and her view of the motions.

When the meeting began Wednesday morning, Rivers was the only member of government present in the Chamber. It had been expected that the premier was going to be the government member who would attend to object to the proceedings on the basis that there was no quorum and have the meeting adjourned until 25 April. But instead, when the meeting opened it was Rivers who stood on the government benches, along with the non-voting members, the attorney general and the deputy governor.

Following the reading of the title of the first motion for the proposed debate, which was filed by Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush requesting an independent public enquiry into the handling of a recent search and rescue operation in which five lives were lost, Rivers expressed what appeared to be regret that she was the only government member present.

“I was hoping this would not have to happen,” Rivers said, as she asked the speaker for more time to allow members of government to attend to make the quorum, despite the widely publicised intention of the PPM government members to boycott the meeting. The comment implied that Rivers had expected at least one other government member to join her to make up the quorum.

However, when the speaker made a formal call summoning members into the Chamber, no government MLA arrived to join the education minister. The meeting was then adjourned until the afternoon to give members a second chance to attend.

East End MLA Arden McLean said at the time of the call that Premier Alden McLaughlin was in the building. However, the premier told CNS Thursday that this was not so. He said he went to the LA and talked to the attorney general in the car park but had left before the speaker’s summons.

However, he made an appearance that afternoon when the House reconvened, though Rivers did not return. McLaughlin succeeded in adjourning the meeting until 9am on 25 April, when he is expected to have a full complement of government members. This will allow him to move the private members’ motions to another date and close off the special 13 April meeting, paving the way for the meeting called by government for 25 April to open at 10am and deal with government business.

The opposition members have expressed concerns that they have already reached their full quota of private members’ motions for that meeting. However, McLaughlin has indicated that he plans to set the debate on the motions, one regarding the independent review and the other a no confidence motion in the RCIPS and its management, to Thursday 28 April, the day normally reserved in the legislative calendar when parliament is meeting to deal with private members’ motions.

The premier has stated that the government members boycotted Wednesday’s meeting because they were too busy with budget preparations and the need for more work on the 14 pieces of legislation they hope to debate in the LA when it opens on 25 April, as well as the added pressure on government in the fall-out from the Panama Papers leak.

Another underlying cause, which the premier has been less keen to talk about, was the problem government now has with numbers. With Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton away on government business and backbench MLA Joey Hew also off island for undisclosed reasons, government did not have the numbers to control any meeting in the LA this week.

Anthony Eden quit the government benches in November over the premier’s plans to allow same-sex partners to be listed as dependents on work permits. Two more backbench members, Alva Suckoo and Winston Connolly, then also crossed the floor to the opposition benches, slashing government’s once significant majority.

On Wednesday they sat for the first time on the now crowded opposition benches, painting a vivid picture of the PPM government’s current dilemma.

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Category: Politics

Comments (44)

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  1. Revolving door politics Nothing more Nothing less.The beat goes on and nothing EVER changes.Promises Promises and don’t stop the Carnival as Cayman is fast becoming the laughing stock of politics in this hemisphere.Do away with party politics as they have done nothing good for this country.

  2. Stalling the Voters says:

    Voters all know why Tara did not show up at 2 PM as promised. If she had shown up with Alden, that would have meant that the L.A. would have 10 members present and the business of the day would have to be heard. By Tara and Alden switching places, it is evident that they stalled the business of the day and stalled us the VOTERS!! It is as clear as 1. 2. 3.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Poor Tara was in a bind. She had to make an appearance because the three other WB politicians were there. She didn’t want to. But she had to. Or so she thought.

    Such is the power of Mac……..

  4. Soldier Crab says:

    Very kind of CNS to put up video of the House but PLEASE turn up the sound so that it can be heard. Watching talking-heads without being able to hear them is pointless.
    I’m not saying there is no sound at all, it is there but so faint it might as well not be.

    CNS: The first video is faint at the beginning while prayers are being said – not into the microphone. There’s nothing wrong with the sound on the actual meetings. If you can’t hear it, check the volume on the video and on your computer. For the record, the videos are recorded and uploaded onto YouTube by GovTV.

    • Anonymous says:

      Their’s nothing wrong with the recording, they all just mumble in their boots because they haven’t got a clue what they’re taking about.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Too busy playing politics and not addressing the needs of the people. Let those who failed to attend suffer the consequences. #UnfitToLead

    • Anonymous says:

      well we have exhibit A the PPM committing political suicide and so on election Day we will put in exhibit B return of the same old thing. no change we are caught in a never ending circle of bad politics.

      • Anonymous says:

        @6.10pm No need to return to the old thing i.e Mac and the boys .Instead keep PPM and support them for standing up to Mac and not playing his games . The motions will be discussed, starting 28th April,just 2 weeks later than Mac, Ezzard and Arden wanted to dictate.Be sure to watch and you will see that what these three really wanted was a chance to chastise PPM. PPM has given us a stable, and cautious Government (something that we said we wanted 3 years ago), No longer do we have to be ashamed of our leader because of his bullying style of Government.Right now they are building up our reserves so that we will have something set aside for hard times; by the way McKeeva is saying that we should have spent it in spite of the fact that Cayman has a payment of over 3 million dollars that will be due in two or three years.So if you supported PPM in the past , be proud of their achievements and keep on supporting them.

        • Anonymous says:

          The ppm is in disarray and its leader is being deserted. In my view the premier cares not for the man on the street, but only to his rich supporters. My vote for him is hereby revoked!

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t forget exhibit C…PNP may be tired of seeing their Cayman counterparts making all the safe easy money and decide to show their son PPM how to run di place.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I simply do not care any more. Its the roadshow to 2017 so nothing will make sense.

  7. 345 says:

    Would be fun to do a FOI request to see PPM phone calls and text messages that day.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The answer to Mr McLean’s question about the Standing Orders is section 5 of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order, 2009

    Existing laws

    5. (1) Subject to this section, the existing laws shall have effect on and after the appointed day as if they had been made in pursuance of the Constitution and shall be read and construed with such modifications, adaptations, qualifications and exceptions as may be necessary to bring them into conformity with the Constitution.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sideshow Tara does not know what she is doing or where she stands.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Nice theater, but at the end of the day, all the rich MLAs go home to there nice homes while the rest of us suffer there incompetence and continued inability to solve problems for all of us because the sad fact is the establishment is only in control because they are the best at ACTING that they do care.

    • Anonymous says:

      @8:57am The ‘establishment’ is is in control because they were put there by voters at the last election.Please also stop preaching division and discrimination.

      • Anonymous says:

        Make it a law ti show monthly all the businesses or deals done or owned by the MLAs and you will see that the voting has been always rigged,

  11. frangipani says:

    what a bunch of peasants!
    chewing gum, reclining to the point of dozing off, clueless as to standing orders etc.etc. No wonder our country is in such a sad state of affairs.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Poor Tara she look so lost and confused in that picture, how true a picture is worth 1000 words.
    Hey I heard Tara saying she would be back for the 2 pm meeting, what changed her mind.
    Was it the PPM calling her to task and she having to follow orders and go against her better judgement, her conscience and doing the right thing. How sad when title and social standing of being referred to as Honourable can so easily override the needs of the people you were elected to represent.
    .So her and the PPM are ok with the level of crime and the effectiveness of the police.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Seems she has forgotten that being elected means you are answerable to the public as a public figure. We have a right to know, but then again it seems the PPM do not have the peoples interest on their agenda.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government was doing exceedingly well when the members who left did so for their own nakedly political reasons. The problem with politics here is that there is no upward mobility for any MLA unless they manage to kick out the ministers in place and take their seats. Why do you think the government changes hands every.single.election. Because they all want their turn no matter how well things are going. That’s all this is. The rest is just fluff.

  14. Trapped in the Garden of Eden says:

    I’d like to keep prayer out of the L.A., thank you for the consideration, Mr. Eden.

    The only lord that there needs to be in the L.A. is one christened by our dear, old mother, The Queen. Lord So&So. Shallow however be his name.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Girl is clueless and incompetent.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I can only guess that she was present not really knowing what was going on.

  17. Ambassador of Absurdistan says:

    Just Another Day in Absurdistan

  18. Anonymous says:

    Poor “lil’ Tara..when will she realize that Alden would throw under the bus at the drop of a hat?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Tara put the final nail in her coffin roll on 2017

    • Anonymous says:

      No, bobo, you wrong. Tara was the ONLY one who showed up to do her job, represent the people, but got stuck holding the bag for the no show Government members. She is a woman of integrity, so she did what she had to do as a member of the Govt. For that, I give her NUFF RESPECT!! You could see it was not easy for her, but as the only one there she had no choice. I am a West Bay voter and I voted for her then, and hope to God I can vote for her again. She has proved time and time again she is not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right, even in the face of adversity.

      • C'Mon Maaaaaaan says:

        Try again we see thru the charade. Where was the woman of integrity for the 2pm session? Did she lose her courage after lunch or did she change her mind and decide to represent the party by toeing the government line like an obedient puppy before she upset her master the Premier again?

        C’Mon Maaaaaaan

      • Gate Keeper says:

        TR trolls out in full force.
        Look at the manipulation of the likes vs dislikes in comments that are critical of her royal TR.
        LMAO go get a life this will not help TR get reelected in 2017

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you. I think she suffered due to inexperience. She had good intentions but failed to stand up to Alden and the PPM. She has a few months to redeem herself. I hope she realizes her mistake and starts to fight for her country even if it means losing her Ministerial position. She needs to appreciate that if she stands up for the people and the people are honest, she will be voted back in and has the potential to be a Minister under a new government. Read this Hon. Tara. Cayman needs women MLA’s and you’re a lawyer. Use your intelligence and intuition. This is no time to be clueless.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed this article

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