Four MLAs vote ‘no’ to land conservation

| 15/06/2016 | 71 Comments
Cayman News Service

Ghost orchid in the Ironwood Forest in George Town

(CNS): Four members of the opposition benches have voted against plans by Environment Minister Wayne Panton to purchase land for conservation purposes over the next 18 months. Just before Tuesday’s Finance Committee hearing on the budget adjourned at around 10:30 last night, Ezzard Miller, Arden McLean, Alva Suckoo and Winston Connolly attempted to block the appropriation of $6 million from the environmental protection fund to buy significant and important land in order to preserve some of the country’s dwindling and threatened natural resources.

Answering questions from the opposition benches ahead of the vote, Panton explained that the $6 million would fund the purchase of land around the islands that the National Conservation Council had identified as environmentally sensitive and significant. With no deals made yet or talks completed with landowners, the minister did not specify the particular properties that are considered important but said that once the money was appropriated, the discussions could begin.

However, independent MLAs Arden McLean (East End) and Ezzard Miller (North Side) both asked the minister why he needed to appropriate the money before any deals were struck and why government had to buy the land when it could, under the law, enter into land management agreements instead of buying it. Miller said that this was what he had “feared” about the conservation law: that government would be buying people’s land.

But Panton told the members that where landowners don’t want to sell, the government might enter into management agreements instead. He explained that over the next 18 months the NCC would begin the process of trying to preserve some of Cayman’s indigenous species by buying land and placing it under legal protection.

He said he was not certain of the number of pieces of land that the NCC had identified or which districts but he said it was not necessarily going to be just in North Side, as Miller feared because of the lack of land left in other areas for conservation. Panton explained it could be smaller plots in other districts that are of high value.

Despite his best efforts to point out the need for Cayman to significantly increase the tiny amount of land that is protected, he did not appear to persuade either McLean or Miller, who raised fears about government taking people’s land against their will, which the minister stated was not the case.

Panton said that many governments purchase land for conservation purposes, especially to protect significant species, and the general standard was around 15% of any country’s land mass being reserved for protection for the future of its people.

However, Cayman has less than 5% of its land protected, all of which is in the hands of the National Trust, and no Cayman Islands government has ever bought land on behalf of the people to legally preserve if for future generations.

Panton pointed out that the Environmental Protection Fund was created for this purpose and the funds needed to be appropriated to begin the process. He said that the NCC did not have to spend it all and if government was not able to acquire the land, the money would not be taken from the fund.

Noting that Finance Committee could be called at any time, McLean said he was concerned that the minister was taking money from the public purse without legislators being told exactly what it was for and he should wait until the deals were done before the money was appropriated.

Making it clear that government would be using the land specifically to buy critical habitat in need of protection, Panton explained that the budget process required him to set out the proposed amount at the start of the forthcoming 18-month fiscal period. He stressed that any land bought was for conservation and nothing else, and that the deals would be negotiated by government’s land value experts in the planning ministry, not the NCC.

Following the exchange, Finance Committee Chair Marco Archer pressed for the vote, which came down in favour of the appropriation.

Nevertheless, the decision by four members to try and vote it down illustrated the fragility of the political support for the historic National Conservation Law, which was steered through the LA by Panton in 2013. At the time, the minister achieved through compromise the unanimous support of the legislators, after successive ministers had failed to address Cayman’s inadequate legal protection for its natural resources.

A long-standing reason why politicians did not pass the law was the belief that it could encroach on landowner’s rights and development. However, Panton made it clear that no land will be acquired through compulsory purchase.

The goal of the NCC is to buy significant and sensitive habitat, by agreement, to help preserve at least some of Cayman’s unique flora and fauna and stave off the possible extinction of some endangered species, including the Cayman Islands national flower, the national tree and the national bird — the banana orchid, the silver thatch and the Cayman parrot — as well as the critically endangered ghost orchid, because the habitat where they are found is fast disappearing.

McLean and Miller have for many years voiced their suspicions of the conservation law. While in government, Alva Suckoo’s first rebellion against the party line was over the environment, when he and Joey Hew joined forces with the opposition benches to force changes to the National Conservation Law to accommodate spearguns.

Winston Connolly has previously appeared to be an advocate for the environment. But in a text exchange with CNS Wednesday morning after the vote, he said it was the “unbridled power of the National Conservation Council to encroach on landowners’ properties” that had led to him voting against the appropriation for the significant and sensitive land.

“I support conservation but everything has to be done in balance, including the wielding of power,” he said. “My constituents and others in other districts are very wary of the NCC’s abilities and my only way to highlight this was a ‘no’ vote.”

Despite the wavering commitment of the four independent members to conservation, there were enough members in the chamber to support the appropriation. Ten members voted ‘yes’ and the cash was safely earmarked to kickstart Cayman’s preservation efforts and begin protecting the habitats where the islands’ unique and endemic species can still be found.

Finance Committee continues in the LA this week.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    While I am all preservation and conservation (which includes Government buying land to be deemed a protected area/national park etc), there needs to be much more than just setting tracks of land aside.

    Where are the proper implemented and enforced recycling programs, the education on littering and the controls thereof? Why are there no mandatory exhaust level tests done with license renewals etc. and when will our “dump” be converted to a proper “landfill”?

    Just setting land aside but letting everything else around it go to hell isn’t gonna work I am afraid.

    • Jah Dread is back says:

      Watch out people, watch carefully for whose land is purchased between now and Election Day. Me sa Fe me say Fe play de music jump like Lego beast. A h. So.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am in agreement with those who think that the Government should firstly identify, cost and then allocate funding for any land(s) to be purchased for conservation purpose. However,outright voting against it, I believe will do more harm than good. Imagine what will happen if land(s) available for purchase (that do meet the criteria for future conservation) are not bought up by the government and would therefore end up in the hands of Dart’s conglomerate? Good people of this country, Theodore Roosevelt best said it when he utter these words “The Nation behaves well when it treats the natural resources as assets, which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    The money is already in the conservation fund so why is it so urgent to take it out of the fund put it in the general account if no land has been identified to purchase. It seems to be cut and dried already and Minister Panton should have informed the LA of the details. They are definitely hiding something here. The four who voted against did not vote against the buying the land they were looking for the details. The caption on this story is quite misleading.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please do not “bash” the Dart Corporation. They are not anti anything except bad behaviour. Everything they do is well done to preserve our culture and environment etc. and can be used by anyone. They are a non discriminatory corporation. A good days work for a good days pay is all they ask of their employees with lots of benefits to boot.

  5. Cyclops says:

    So many Kool Aid drinkers. All that the Four said was that they wanted to know, Where? Who? How Much? I find that the dislike for the two independent members of the LA is based on the following: (a)The relutance to sell out to the idea that everyone who comes here must be allowed to stay, It is a small Island and left to the Carpet Baggers it will only last another thirty years, Dart included. (b) The greed of some to make money with no regard for the Caymanian. © Not hugging up the Compass and the rags to riches supposed owner. (d) Demanding that the Caymanian gets Jobs. (e) Finally for exposing much of the $#@& that goes on. I suggest that the haters listen to Nigel Farage speaking on the UK and immigration.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tobka8juAA

    • Anonymous says:

      Typical retort from a one eyed idiot living in a mythical world.

      Who the hell do you think sold the land to the wicked ‘fureigners’ in the first place? Yes that’s right, money grabbing Caymanians who then went on to either piss it all against a wall or use the money to further exploit the islands resources.

      Why are they so anti immigration, after all, both their and your descendants were immigrants and probably not that long ago. So it was good enough for you, but now you’re here and exploited your position, you don’t want to allow others?

      If you want to make more money from those who you claim come here to exploit the ‘Caymanian’, then join the real world and introduce a system of fair taxation. Stop allowing those who aviod paying full taxation in their own countries, buying property which they either never or rarely live in personally. It’s still tainted money that’s effectively being laundered, just over a longer period.

      And don’t try the ‘Farage’ card to strengthen your already duplicitous viewpoint. He is campaigning for the UK, (amongst other reasons) to pull out of a federalist Union which allows millions of undocumented immigrants, (mostly male) to enter and have free movement without regard to individual sovereignty. You are not a soveriegn nation, you are a territory.
      That is a world away from an economy based on a financial services industry, (established as an extension of the City of London) which relies on foreign expertise and business to function. And a growing tourism and services sector which needs a almost endless supply of labour, most of which you can’t get a Caymanian to get their self entitled ass out of bed for.
      A better example would be Trump and his hatred of immigrants, women and anyone else who he can blame for the USA’s current lack of vision.

      Those MLA’s are the same as you Cyclops, irrelevant in the modern world. You just want to live in a place that time forgot, but have all the benefits of modern living. Well news flash idiot, you can’t survive like that, you don’t have the manpower, skills, experience or the ingenuity to go it alone. Caymanians sold their island to whomever came up with the dollars first, no questions asked. They sold out their heritage and their birthright, it’s too late to start whinging now, it can never be reversed by a few self serving MLA’s whose only interest is hating those who really make the money that keeps this island afloat.

      Of course you could always have one of your famous ‘public consultations’ and press the case for independence. Believe me, no one will stand in your way.

  6. Wise Voter says:

    EPF= Election Party Fund

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think the technical name for the fund is the “Slush Fund Labelled Environmental Protection That Is Not Really Used That Much Because Heaven Forbid Protecting The Environment On Tiny Islands Might Stop Someone Who Votes Making Profits Fund”.

  8. Jotnar says:

    Ezzard is the man who wanted to offer a bounty on the Cayman parrot, and Arden is the guy who produced a length of ironwood in the LA he had cut down to demonstrate how ironwood was being endangered by developers who cut it down… cant make this stuff up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yet you just did.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell that to one of Ezzards ‘fishermen’, (or junkie, as we like to say) who keeps illegally snared parrots in his yard, caged up and flight feathers trimmed so that he can sell them for, (yep you got it) more drugs!
        If he’s so concerned with environmental matters, why doesn’t he tell the same useless piece of crap to clear out the dismantled and wrecked suv’s from his open fronted yard to ‘beautify’ NS and prevent the spread of mosquito borne disease, to say nothing of the pollutants dripping into the ground from rusting vehicles.
        And whilst he’s doing his civic and constitutional duty, (for once) tell him to ask about the piles of conch shell he has in his possession for sale to unsuspecting tourists.

        Oh yes, Ezzard is on the environmental case ok. But not this year folks, there’s no votes in upsetting these fine, upstanding constituents and telling them that they live in s### of their own making.
        Because it’s all the fault of the ‘furiegner’ with their painted houses, clean yards, safe cars, charitable work, work ethic and revenue that pours into the CIG coffers. How dare they want to save our environment for us, we f##### it up and we can continue doing so, because it’s ‘our’ island.

        However, hope is on the horizon folks, not long now and we can vote these clowns into obscurity where they belong.

      • Jotnar says:

        Yet I did not – remember Ezzard saying just that on radio – claiming the parrots were eating his constituents mangos – and Arden tabling the ironwood log in the LA was covered by the press. Truth can be unfortunate some times – denial of inconvenient truths always more comforting.

        • Anonymous says:

          Confession is good for the soul. What you are saying now is quite different from what you said before.
          Parrots eating mangoes is different from bounty on their heads and tabling a piece of ironwood is different from cutting it down himself.

          Just saying.

  9. Bookkeepers Blind says:

    Here is the problem with the EPF. It is the same problem as with the taxes levied on car tires and batteries and other such imported goods. Namely that the Government collects taxes for specific purposes and then does not use the funds they collect as intended.

    The dump is full of tires, batteries and vehicles that should have been recycled or remediated using the taxes collected. However, the Government simply shunts these monies into general revenues and spends it on other things.

    The millions upon millions collected under the guise of the EPF have, since inception, been used as Government’s reserve cash fund.

    Basically the EPF and other such taxes (and they are taxes) constitute, at worst, a fraud on the tax paying public and, at best, a means by which to massage Government’s books to make them appear more healthy.

    And every elected Government over the past twenty years or more has been complicit in this charade, as is Her Majesty’s Foreign Office.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What Minister Panton and his dearly beloved Deputy Premier (ie. Minister of Tourism etc) need to do is to put in place public water front access in place in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The investor on the Southside here is doing whatever she wants to restrict Caymanians (and the general public) from having access to the water on all her properties. Like developers in Grand Cayman she must be forced to have 6ft. beach front access at various intervals on her properties. And the same goes for the proposed development of “Point of Sand” in Little Cayman. For those of you who do not know the Planning Laws do not apply to the Brac and Little Cayman in many regards and it is discretionary to the Board.

    • Slow Country For Old Men says:

      1. Having made the only serious recent investments on CYB, she understandably does not want people perched out on the ironshore fishing and leaving the usual debris trail of old line, hooks, squid boxes and beer bottles.
      2. Point of Sand is accessible via the Govt owned land where the public dock is located. Anyone can walk the shoreline. The big danger to LYB is all the drunken Brackers who come over on boats every weekend to pillage the marine life and sit around boozing it up.
      3. You Brackers did not want a Development Plan. You wanted your own Planning regime. Da wha ya gets.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thankfully she cannot stop people “perching” on her ironshore and fishing or doing whatever they want to do as we at least have the high water mark rule here in the Brac.

      • Anonymous says:

        Her investments here mean nothing to the Brackers as she is anti locals and supports nothing here except local utility companies.

  11. Think people says:

    The last time this Government raided the EPF what was the money spent on? Go and check. These 4 know the money will be spent on non-environment related issues like boat engines and more high powered security guards masquerading as conservation officers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    All unna can’t see the politricking if it bit you on the ass. $6 Million to buy up land, this close to election? C’mon now.

    How about we identify the land first, show proof that it does indeed meet the conservation criteria and also see if there are any conflicts of interest looming.

    Good For the 4 to block the undercover vote buying.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The concept of securing land for conservation purposes is wise and sound but I agree fully with the 4 MLA’s who did not vote for it. The Government should enter into negotiations first then bring a purchase plan to the House.

    Who knows where that $6 million will now end up. Hope the Auditor General is making a note and will do a review of the intended purchases in due course to ensure good value form money and good management of those funds.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard is without a doubt a son of the North Side soil where personal greed far outweighs the national interest and ignorance is the overriding factor in any national debate.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not dinosaurs. Four idiots!!!

  16. Michel Lemay says:

    I am confuse here. Why vote against the preservation for our future children and grand children. Are you just voting No just because of you four
    independants oppositions(?) members for the sake of being no sayers. I am very
    disapointed in you Alva and Winston on this important vision for the future generations. Find something eelse to play polititics with.We are already in a mess. And you don’t want ? You will both have to do better as much as I respect you both. Time to get serious and tell us where
    you really stand and on what. Please stop contradicting unna selves. And no I have endorsed Anyone yet .r

    • Anonymous says:

      Michel, protecting the environment is one thing that everyone agrees with, including these 4 if you listen to the debate.

      There is no land identified to purchase at this time and there is a reason for that. You cannot take months to put together a budget that includes $6million for land purchase and not have thought about where the land is or who Lands & survey says owns it. There is a reason for this lack of transparency and it all has to do with who owns the land that these funds will buy.

      The Environmental Fund is not going anywhere. It can be used at any time to protect the environment as it was set up to do, by identifying specifically what it is going to be used to purchase. There is no good transparent reason to transfer $6million of it to the general budget in order to accomplish that. Having it in the general budget leaves it vulnerable to discretionary spending as the Minister sees fit and especially for buying land from PPM supporters.

      How is this kind of secret spending any different from the Nations Building Fund except that it will be used to buy land at inflated prices ……………… Oh I forgot, the NBF was used for that also.

  17. Anonymous says:

    $6million dollars taken from the Environment Protection Fund and not a penny of it is to fix the dump?

    The biggest threat to the environment in the Cayman Islands is the DUMP, not buying up land that is in the interior if the Island and cannot be accessed by anyone, for protection. The parrot habitat is in no danger of being developed as there is no access to it anyway.

    I wonder how many of those MLA who voted for this, or their buddies are waiting in the wings to sell inaccessible land that they paid next to nothing for, to the Government at inflated prices? There is a reason why WP will not disclose what land Government is planning to buy and it is not because they do not know where this environmentally sensitive areas are and who owns the land!

    If there is no road access to these habitat areas, what is the pressing need for Government to spend $6 million, except to buy votes?

    What happened to the Auditor Generals report that recommended that Government divest itself of properties that they had no immediate use for? This is nothing but a MLA get rich and vote buying scheme.

    Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      The Dump is only marginally an issue for protection of biodiversity. The Dump is a man-made problem that Environmental Health Ministry should be addressing. Don’t confuse the uses of the word “environmental” in these two issues.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 1.10pm It does not need to be road accessible to be sold.

      • Anonymous says:

        But it needs to be road accessible to be developed or to destroy habitat. It is cheap when sold with no road access, it is worth a lot more when it is designated official parrot habitat and sold to Government.
        I hope you get my point.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The first three jokers are predictable in their backwardness. Winston is either cyncially pandering to the cave-dweller vote or is surprisingly disappointing in his parochial attitude.

  19. Use your heads says:

    So we all support handing $6M to the Govt to go look for some land to buy ? This close to election is clear this money will be used to buy land for political support. Come on now lets use our heads. Why didn’t Panton bring a plan ? with land already identified? This will be a free-for-all ! When certain greedy b@#$%^%$ hear about the $6M slush fund the line will be out the door!

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you that daft??!! You would start your negotiation for the purchase of land by saying hey I have $6 million to spend now how much do you want for your land?

  20. Anonymous says:

    i thought Dart was preserving all the lands by buying everything?

    • Anonymous says:

      True. If the Government so wanted to preserve land, they need to have a serious look into (soon to be DART’s) Dragon Bay. That North Sound Land should be made into a National Park for the Cayman People. It will require little up-keep, just few the few salt-water tolerant plants – many are already there – and a few walking/running trails and some wooden benches. Every expat take, in the early mornings, can be found using this land and enjoying the aesthetics of this breath-taking landscape (at the Links of Safehaven), yet Locals can’t enjoy these comforts anywhere on the Islands. The Links and Yatch Club are unique parts of these islands that the Cayman People should, each day, have uninterrupted access to. I say that, to say this — often when Colored People/Caymanians are walking the Safehaven Area (sometimes with their dogs) their presence is assumed to be suspect, with the evidence nearby of property owners and managers (or their staff), closely observing the area and activities. So, Government needs to seriously think about the types of properties they Lease or Sell, as well as their purpose (as a Government) to care enough about the Cayman People’s needs for these (kinds) of properties and potential uses.

      • Jotnar says:

        What complete and utter tosh. Lots of people run or walk on public roads around the golf course or the yacht club, and I have never heard of anyone being stopped from doing so, even where (in the case of the Yacht club at any event) the roads and undeveloped land are privately owned. The prejudice against “coloured” people is in your own mind. Of course, if you want to engage in activities that interfere with private owners enjoyment of their property or breaking the law, like running across the golf course when its in use, or fishing in the Yacht club canals, then you should not be entirely surprised when the owners take exception, but its got nothing to do with your colour or being Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm, Dart let’s ‘Caymanians’ utilise his land at Starfish Point, have you seen the crap they leave behind?
        Take a walk around the supposed ‘National Park’ at Barkers, it just an open dump for Caymanians to get rid of their unwanted s###.
        Have you been to Rum Point first thing on a Monday morning, it’s beautiful waters are full of beer bottles, cigarette butts, plastic cups and general trash.

        Oh yes, you really know how to look after the environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      That was Macs idea, that’s why he gave Dart the WB road.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I would say 4 dinosaurs but Winston and Alva are pretty new. This isnt about old politicians, it’s just about politicians in general. All four are only playing politricks. Winston goes on and on about green energy and solar and renewable energy on facebook but when he actually gets a chance to do something to protect the environment he blows it and shows what he really is. Just a dirty new face to politics playing the same old games.

    • Sugah Bun says:

      Winston is trying to protect (in a different sense of the word) something specific. Seek and ye shall find.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Oppo: Will there be compulsory purchases?
    WP: No
    Oppo: I vote against the motion.
    WP: Why?
    Oppo: Because of the compulsory purchases.

    SMH

  23. Squared Circle says:

    Wait for it. Wait for it. Here it comes.

    Compass editorial supporting Arden and Ezzard!

  24. Anonymous says:

    And this is why we need to vote these dinosaurs out of the LA at the next election. They drag Cayman down with their self interest and ignorance of what is desperately needed to save Cayman from over development and exploitation.
    If Ezzard had his way we wouldn’t have any marine life or safe places to dive and snorkel, he appears to put the Neanderthal view of a few ‘constituents’ over the national interest in order to maintain his power base and political future.
    It’s about a few dozen votes, (if that) people, pure and simple.

    For the sake of Cayman’s future and the preservation of its natural resources vote these old relics out and bring in a more environmentally enlightened, youthful future.

    • Anonymous says:

      Winston & Alva aren’t old relics. You’ll need a different collective noun for these naysayers…

      • Anonymous says:

        Baby Dinosaurs?

      • Anonymous says:

        Twats, there said it.

      • Anonymous says:

        ‘environmentally enlightened, youthful future’, I think that covers the environmentally unenlightened, youthful future.
        Needless to say that youth doesn’t necessarily bring a wise head or an enlightened approach, but there are such candidates waiting in the wings. Encourage them to stand and fight for what we know is right for these islands and not just to keep backwards looking rockhoppers in power.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said. Thank you

    • Anonymous says:

      Honestly what is 6 million after all money that is wasted WAIT trees cant vote these idiots in office but the endless people on welfare can!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Those four MLAs who voted against it say they are for Cayman and Caymanians! Actions speak louder than words! Their vote against conservation is a vote against Cayman. Vote their asses out next election.

    • I must say that I am VERY disappointed to see that these 4 have voted against the possibility of buying land that will help to sustain our fragile ENVIRONMENT for future generations.This only goes to show that our environment is not as important as other issues that face this country but as I have said many times before SCREW UP WHAT BRINGS OUR VISITORS HERE and Cayman WILL face a far greater unemployment problem than we face today.This is what this fund was set up for in the first place and is paid for by our thousands of visitors both arriving by Air and SEA.Get your heads out of the sand PEOPLE.

      • Did anyone read the article? says:

        Where is the land? You remember the last time they raided the EPF ? The .oney was used to pay salaries

      • Anonymous says:

        So Peter you do not have a problem with taking funds from the conservation find and don’t know exactly which pieces of land or even the cost of the land. Some of you are so anxious to complain that you are forgetting to look deeply into the precedent foible .

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes some are so quick to complain they ignore that this is the first step in the process. It’s like going to the bank to find out how big a loan you can get before you start checking the for sale adds. But I suppose you prefer the precedent of having the MLAs decide on each purchase? That will be apolitical, right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pandering to another purpose….. Kool Aid drinkers

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is the first thing the PPM has proposed in almost 4 years I can actually support. The environment can live without man but man cannot live without the environment. Whatever it takes to preserve it has to be a good investment. Our children will thank you later so keep up the good work, Mr Panton.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I agree that we should preserve the land, did McKeeva give preservation of the Dart sandwich any thought? He gave the most valuable property away and Alden turned the remainder over.
      It is past time for a law on land that can be owned by investors. Why not lease?

  27. Lawless Caymanas says:

    The EPF could be the biggest source of “patronage” in the history of Cayman. If only the politicians could figure out how to get at it.

  28. Anonymous says:

    4 dinosaurs. 4 very sad dinosaurs. Pathetic.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even the dinosaurs had more sense. Don’t compare them to such magestic creatures even if they are extinct.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t panic. The dinosaurs eventually went extinct!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I think they voted no because they expect more accountability and clarity. How can the Minister ask to spend $6 millions on land that he cannot identify. How does he know it will cost $6 million if he does not know where it is located. I have not heard anything so stupid in a long fime. Truth be told Panton know exactly who owns the land and it is probably a conflict of interest so all the details are being hidden. Remember the saying” where there is smoke there is fire” I do not understand why that would be ok?

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