Solomon Webster disabilities bill passes unanimously

| 14/10/2016 | 18 Comments
Cayman News Service

Solomon Webster

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin steered an important bill through the Legislative Assembly this week with the support of all of the members of the parliament. The disabilities bill, which has been named for the late Solomon (Solly) Webster, a Special Olympian who was tragically murdered in what was believed to be West Bay gang crossfire, sets out a framework to prevent discrimination against those with disabilities, protect their rights and promote their interests.

The bill had its foundation with the previous PPM administration and the premier said it had been a long-time coming.

The law will underpin the government’s disability policy, and the premier said Cayman would be the first overseas territory to have bespoke legislation dealing directly with disability issues. It is hoped that the bill will fill any gaps in the Bill of Rights to ensure that disability matters are championed. It also provides a voluntary register, so that officials can monitor the data and needs of the disabled, and a disabilities council.

Winning support from both sides of the LA, including Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, who described the bill as a “milestone for our islands”. Following the debate, the premier thanked his parliamentary colleagues for their “passionate and heartfelt support for the bill”, adding that he knew everyone in the House was concerned about making the lives of people with disabilities that much better, full and comfortable.

It was noted, too, that attitudes in society had changed enormously from times when people were afraid to admit that they had a person in the family with any kind of disability to this legislation, designed to promote and enhance their lives.

The premier said it was largely a framework bill to ensure the rights of the disabled go further than those provided in the Constitution, and ensure that no one was denied their rights because of a disability and could access the same rights as the able-bodied.

“It is a watershed in legislation in these island and a quantum leap of promoting and protecting people with disabilities,” the premier stated, adding that he was honoured to pilot the bill through the LA and the entire country owed a debt of gratitude to those who had worked on the legislation.

See the debate on CIGTV below starting at 2:45mins.

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Category: Health, Laws, Politics

Comments (18)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Disabilities Bill
    Legal practioners Bill
    Spent convictions bill
    Procurement bill
    Elections Bill one man one vote
    Education bill

    This is an incredible achievement.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why do we keep changing our heritage for these different people? it is Cayman tradition that we are afraid to admit that we have a person in the family has kind of disability and hide them from nosy neighbors, who point and mutter nasty comments about what sins the father must have done, when they see them.

    And now we have another law change to make Cayman just like every other place. We are proud of all our traditions!

    If the disabled don’t like Cayman laws and culture they can just move to a country that will accept them, and don’t let the plane door close on you on your way out.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know what the devil you are trying to say exactly. I assume you are joking, right? The disabled should go elsewhere when the law is designed for disabled Caymanians. Sadly, there are still those that do point and fear the disabled when they are just like you (although you might hate to admit it) and me, wonderful special individuals that are in need of love and understanding and patience. Clearly something you are lacking. I hope someday you will find a disabled person who will help you to change your attitude.

    • Thor says:

      Nice 9:32. Lol at sins of the father. Double standard hypocrisy.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are an idiot…….. and obviously a TROLL. Caymanians do not think like this about our disabled population.
      Never have, never will.

      • Anonymous says:

        Never have, never will.

        Really so all those Caymanian stories and records of mentally disabled being tied up outside are false.

    • Michel Lemay says:

      Are you for real ?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I suppose we shouldn’t hold our breath on the “Frederic Bise LGBT civil equality Bill”.

  4. Lebbie says:

    This is so praiseworthy! Thank you PPM for getting this important legislation passed during your tenure. Give it whatever regulations necessary so that it can have the “teeth” it needs.

  5. Michel Lemay says:

    Great news ! I appreciate the teamwork on this. Thank you everyone, long overdue.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Naming legislator.after someone is a stunt and a terrible Americanism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its actually not that big of a deal if you can get past a cultural bias. I am sure you will recover, quickly. There are far more reasons to applaud than to complain.

    • Smithy says:

      What on old fashioned view. What it does is make the legislation real, which is what legislation should be since it is aimed at real people. In addition, it memorializes a young man who did his country proud. Not everything about America is bad. You old fogey!

  7. Anonymous says:

    FINALLY. we’ve been pushing this for YEARS. Great work to everyone who contributed and got it across the finish line!

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