Ministries to be reshaped and named next week

| 01/06/2017 | 79 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell at the Swearing-in Ceremony

(CNS): With a new line-up on his front bench after a week of wrangling to form a coalition government, Premier Alden McLaughlin has said that all the details of the new Cabinet positions will be revealed next week. It is certain, however, that Roy McTaggart will take over the reins of Marco Archer’s finance and economics ministry, while McLaughlin himself will be dropping the health portfolio, retaining home affairs and adding financial services to his workload. Moses Kirkconnell will be retaining tourism and Tara Rivers is expected to keep education and employment. But there could be more changes ahead.

While Joey Hew is tipped to pick up health and environmental health from the premier, including the massive national waste-management project, it is not clear how the rest of the major ministries will be divided between Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Dwayne Seymour. It is understood that there will be some realignment and shuffling around of some of the departments to reshape ministries.

All five of the government backbenchers — Bernie Bush and Capt. Eugene Ebanks from the CDP, Barbara Connolly and David Wight from the PPM and Independent MLA Austin Harris — are expected to take up councillor positions to support the ministers.

There is no indication, however, what will happen to the environment portfolio, which has been been handled over the last four years by Wayne Panton, widely thought of as the first environment minister with both a passion for the subject matter and an understanding of the science behind the issues. In the past, the environment has often just been randomly tagged on to ministries and there is a danger of that happening again. 

Following the elections, Panton was one of three PPM ministers who lost to Independents. He was beaten in Newlands by just 15 votes by Alva Suckoo, who has become a vocal critic of the National Conservation Law, which was steered through the Legislative Assembly by Panton in an historic unanimous vote in 2013.

Suckoo and his colleagues on the opposition benches no longer support the law and spoke about repealing it on the campaign trail. Some members of the current government have also indicated that they do not support further environmental protections. 

Whoever takes the environment portfolio will have two major fights on their hands as soon as they take up their Cabinet seat.

The first and most important, because of its widespread impact and desperate need, is the decision to enhance the marine parks, but with a coalition government that includes new members opposed to the expansion and some reticence on the part of PPM members already, it will require a minister with a real commitment to environmental issues to secure Cabinet backing.

The second fight will be saving Seven Mile Beach from the bulldozer. The Dart Group has indicated that their application for a coastal works licence to dig up beachrock on its land north of the Kimpton hotel is a deal breaker for a new hotel. But the National Conservation Council has given the idea an emphatic thumbs down for a catalogue of reasons and has advised Cabinet not to issue the licence until an EIA has been conducted. 

Whoever takes the up the charge for the environment will need to persuade Cabinet to support that recommendation before the developer is allowed to dig up over 8,000 cubic yards of beach setting what many believe would be a disastrous precedent.

Another challenging area for a new minister will be the community affairs portfolio, including the management of social welfare and the Needs Assessment Unit. A shortage of resources, criticisms of management and increasing demand will put whoever has that ministry in the spotlight of expectations.

Osbourne Bodden, who previously had this portfolio, lost his Bodden Town East seat to Dwayne Seymour, possibly in part as a result of his failure to get to grips with the problems in that ministry. If Seymour takes over from him, he will be faced with the daunting task of reforming social welfare, which was started but barely got off the ground under Bodden.

Meanwhile, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly is likely to take over some of the ministerial responsibilities once held by Kurt Tibbetts, as she has held the planning and infrastructure portfolios in a previous administration. If the former speaker takes up that ministerial bundle, one of her immediate challenges will be to address the significant conflicts of interest around the planning board, which continue to cause enormous public disquiet, and to get the much-needed review of the national development plan started.

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  1. Anon says:

    REPOST

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Mr. Premier. The country is BEGGING you to NOT give Tara education and/or Labour. We have suffered enough and need someone with new ideas, ideals and knowledge.

    59 17

  2. Anon says:

    REPOST: I will add, that you assign Austin as a Councillor to Education. He cares about the islands and its youths.

    I agree Tara needs to be assigned another portfolio other than education she was not very effective and we certainly don’t need her to build more buildings at the schools. Assign her with community affairs and possibly add health I think she would do a much better job there. Barbara would be a good choice to work with her.
    Please give Joey education & labor and have David work with him.
    Assign Suckoo to Environment with Austin as councilor.
    Since Joke-Joke has to get something give him sports and have Bernie work with him., that’s really all the two of them could handle or make a contribution to.
    Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

  3. REPOST says:

    REPOST
    Alden please don’t give Tara back education and labor. She had 4 years and all she did with
    both was make a big mess. Don’t play with our children lives just to make Tara try to get it right. Not to mention labor, Caymanian will die with another four years under her. It you want this government to succeed don’t give her these 2 ministries, the people will continue to suffer and more bad exam results swept under the carpet

  4. Clueless says:

    Mr. Premier. Please do not put Tara in charge of EDUCATION or Labour. Tara is useless and clueless on these two topics. She will bring shame to you and your government. These Ministries are too big for her. Please give her something that she can handles and make it very easy for her.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s not so much Tara as those she has working under her

  6. Anonymous says:

    I can’t see Alden sticking to his campaign promise of making Caymanian un- and under-employment a priority if he has the same useless minister in charge.

    • Sharkey says:

      I think that the Premier is most suitable man in the Government to lead the Islands.
      But he has a lot of things to do in taking the Islands forward for the next 4 years.

      (1) look at his own behaviour in the last Election why he lost the Islands best men Archer and Panton in his party.

      (2) what and who caused (1) to happen.

      (3) read all the comments on his lamenting article and he would get a better understanding of how to address and fix 1 and 2 .

      (4) reform the Election rules and regulations Laws.

      If those four things can be accomplished in his first 100 days of his new leadership, then we would have a good 4 years and have my support for another term.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I hear Dart just bought royal palms so they might not even have to dig up that beach rock after all

  8. Barry says:

    When in doubt, always change the names of your Ministries. It’s easy to do and doesn’t take much brain power, so ideal for the politicians in La La Land. Next they will start taking all those cushy “fact-finding” missions to pleasant foreign climes….

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow!!! listening to the revelations of the recent events regarding forming of the government spoken live by Minister Mclean. All I can say is Waw!!!Certainly sounds like Joke Joke was a loose cannon throughout.

  10. Anonymous says:

    ‘Snouts in the trough’ people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If the Independents had taken enough votes to form the Government and arrived at the LA days after swearing with no idea who would have what portifolioes it would have been condemned as a disaster and a failyre to organize.

    PPM/CDP/FIM(fake ind members) are no better.
    This wont last long before Mac notices there are some steps from that speaker seat that conveniently lead right to the Premiers chair.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Every election everyone says ”politicians use education as a political football”. You know whose fault that is? You the voters and parents. All these parents claiming – don’t give Tara education, she has ruined it, she hasn’t done anything, blah, blah, blah. What exactly were they looking for as a deliverable from Tara? How do they measure the performance of an education minister? What is the problem that you are complaining about and why do you think it is Tara’s fault?

    If not Tara, who? At least she has the 4 years experience and can make tweaks based on your feedback faster. If you change her now, you are going to replace her with a minister that takes a year and a half or two to get up to speed with the basics of the ministry. Leave her in education!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Ganja permanently damaged the frontal lobe of the smoker’s brain! Think again! What kind of society are we building for the future?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dear independents,

    I wish to inform you of some possible solutions for key issues in this country. In the intrest of a better future our youth programs and education must be put first. Caymanian children first! The education system could benefit from a serious reform. I suggest better programs for special educational needs and a separate privatised boarding school to send students who are causing distractions to learning.
    The landfill is an eye sore and an environmental hazard. Please research Sweden’s Waste to Energy Facilities and provide incentives for solar paneling.
    The slow processing and incarceration of Cuban migrants is the biggest disservice to this country since open concept classrooms. May I suggest hiring a dedicated unit to quickly process and deport them.
    Our borders? What happened to them? Is it acceptable now to have criminals traveling here to commit crimes and leave? I suggest purchasing drones to identify suspicious activity and vessels within our 12 mile territorial waters. Police boats could then be sent to interdict them.
    Law Enforcement agencies need to be introduced to this country. The crimmals are laughing at us and robbing us blind. This country is no longer how it was when a cop could defuse a situation with just confidence in their athority to set the example and uphold the law. We have criminals that respect no one and we have to let them know that as a country we will not accept crime as the norm in society. We are blessed to live in a safe place compared to really dangerous places but the criminals are accepting the invitation from our poorly equipped law enforcement.
    Health care is a major concern for the citizens of this country. We are not a 3rd world nation, our public high schools cost 110 million each. Their are countries with less than us with public access to health insurance and coverage as a right. Look at what countries like Australia have done and consider a course of action.
    Regulate Cannabis as is currently done for alcohol and tobaco. Add it as a function of the Liquor License Board. Sell only to persons age 21 and above and stop ruining lives over it. Countries like Portugal have went liberal on drugs and are reaping positive results.

    Please consider,

    Possible 2020 Independent Voter

    • Anonymous says:

      Please share why you think it was important to address the independents and sign off as an independent voter? It would be helpful to understand the limitations.

      • Anonymous says:

        X6.11am I think this guy has been sleeping since 11 o’clock on Friday night 26th May and just woke up . He believes that the deal between CDP and the Independents still stands. Somebody bring him up to date please.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow 10.53. That is absolutely bound to catch their attention. Possibly in January 2021, but not before. If you had posted your real name you could have had a dozen turkeys.

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      Possible 2021 voter, surely? Or do you know something the rest of us don’t?

    • Alice says:

      10:53. You actually make sense. This is real progress.

  15. Anonymous says:

    The education system and schools here in Cayman is a disgrace, it is no better than a third world country. If you Alden want Caymanians as top financiers, lawyers etc put the top man in the job or get an expert.
    The last four years under Tara was a joke she didn’t have a clue and looking at your latest set I cannot see anyone capable! Please for the sake of our children and Cayman education must be
    PRIORTY #1

    • Anonymous says:

      You are sounding a bit dramatic. Unsubstantiated rants are often ignored because people have no clue where to start with them. Add some real color to your comment and try again so we can actually start identifying the problems and fixing them.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Alden please don’t give Tara back education and labor. She had 4 years and all she did with
    both was make a big mess. Don’t play with our childrens’ lives just to make Tara try to get it right. Not to mention labor, Caymanians willdie wigh another four years under her. It you want this government to succeed don’t give her these 2 ministries, the people will continue to suffer and more bad exam results swept under the carpet

    • Anonymous says:

      Hasn’t been confirmed yet. But you know what they say, “Always give bad news on a Friday!”

    • Alice says:

      Keep Bernie away from the gov building. He seems to hate everyone that not Jamaican.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you think he will listen?
      Fingers crossed.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree Tara needs to be assigned another portfolio other than education she was not very effective and we certainly don’t need her to build more buildings at the schools. Assign her with community affairs and possibly add health I think she would do a much better job there. Barbara would be a good choice to work with her.
      Please give Joey education & labor and have David work with him.
      Assign Suckoo to Environment with Austin as councilor.
      Since Joke-Joke has to get something give him sports and have Bernie work with him., that’s really all the two of them could handle or make a contribution to.
      Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think Alden is “willdie wigh” AND “covfefe” for giving Tara back education and expecting a different result. Ditto with giving Julie back the keys to the parking lot paving machine and giving back the dump to Joke Joke.
      Just saying

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ozzie, honestly Sir you need to do better. No one is perfect and you just come across as very abrasive and rude. I am not going to explain your past missteps but truly hope for you a peaceful retirement from political life. Have some honest discussions with your family and close friends and you will discover some truths about yourself. God bless you Man!

  18. Anonymous says:

    “Can you imagine an Independent Cayman Islands with these types of Stooges!

    The poor confused voters in BTW and other districts were duped.

    How the hell can you ask for your neighbors votes with no National Manifesto and a possible Leader of your group?

    THIS IS A PROMISE; Anyone who come within the boundaries of my house and claim to be an “Independent”; Will be severely whipped with the Cow Cod now patiently waiting. You deceivers and liars…”

  19. Anonymous says:

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Mr. Premier. The country is BEGGING you to NOT give Tara education and/or Labour. We have suffered enough and need someone with new ideas, ideals and knowledge.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100% with this and the writer has hit the nail on the head. The Labour ministry should be separated as this is very demanding. Tara has done nothing for Labour and the department is in dire need of a proper management team. So yes Mr Premier, we implore you to not give Tara these very demanding ministries again.

    • Anonymous says:

      And don’t make the same civil servants that were under Tara anywhere near education or Labour again. The CO and all his deputies and advisers have FAILED miserably.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thankfully, Ozzie Bodden is not in Government anymore! That is on self centered individual, for lack of better words. He was collecting a big salary for doing NOTHING! All he was good at was bragging.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and, understandly, vex at the people of BTE for not voting him back into office. He’s a joke.

      • Anonymous says:

        He shows his true colors every time he gets elected. I guess the BT people don’t remember how he went on when he lost the election in 2008. real loser. We don’t need his kind in government.

        As he said back then, he should be just fine with his gas station. In other words, the government salary was just some spending money. I can’t believe than some of my hard earned money went to pay this embarrassment of a Caymanian MLA.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m worried about Dwayne in Community Affairs, I think it will be a free for all and a lot of political interference

    • ShaSha says:

      Am worried about Mr.Seymour for any position!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        5:48pm, pray to God that he isn’t given a ministry, because, that poor soul would be completely out of his depths. Imagine he wanting to be Premier. We will be in one hell if a mess.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please explain?

        • Anonymous says:

          He severely weakened what should have been a position of strength for the independents by immediately working behind their backs with both the CDP and the PPM by offering them his vote for any position on Cabinet they would give him.
          He even wanted to be Premier at one stage.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes from the revelations heard this morning on radio Cayman Joke Joke was the weak link and loose cannon throughout the entire negotiations. He was also one of the two that was adamant about joining forces with PPM. Alden please get rid of him, don’t give him any portfolio of any real substance!!! Please!!!! He cannot be trusted.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’d better ask the sacred vessel about that.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What about the Billion-dollar plus unfunded healthcare and pensions liabilities? Where are those on the priority list?

  23. REB says:

    O’Connor will fight to get planning and PWD, she is doing a pool on the bluff,and she has to make shore it gets finished.

  24. Fred the Piemaker says:

    So now we are going to restructure ministries and government departments, with the attendant costs and confusion – and now doubt further expansion of the civil service – so Alden has ministerial titles to give to people in exchange for their support. Sigh.

    • Anonymous says:

      the ministries get restructured after every election (at least as long as the 50 years I’ve been alive). the different ministers have different skills and interests and its a matter of aligning things in the most practical way.

      • Anonymous says:

        If it’s a matter of what’s practical then the Ministries shouldn’t get moved around for politicians personal likes. That creates inefficiencies. Set subject areas that are similar together and suck it up and do the work instead of insisting on getting those areas that you ‘like’.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Wait a minute, did I read correctly ? The great Captain Whogene will now become a Councillor ?

    In the past 16 years that he has been an MLA – the North Sound Watersport Operators have got “absolutely no representation” from the great captain, who if anything that he should be capable of doing, is representing the Watersports Sector. So now, he is promoted to be a Councillor to a Minister in Government ?

    I’m very sorry for the Minister who will be depending on him to help out……. but I’m sure rice, coffee, sugar and creme will not stop at Christmas time in West Bay.

    Imagine, if I hand out about $5,000 CI per year for the above and receive about $95,000 CI profit and with a fat pension, (double dipping) how can you go wrong ? What a great deal the the captain has been receiving in the past 16 years and four more years to go.

    • Anonymous says:

      Listen up. No one messes with Eugene. If Eugene needs a double dip, Eugene gets a double dip.
      I don’t see any of our honourable members looking for term limits, do you?
      Stop complaining about your $7.00 loaf of bread and get with the damned program.
      Some of you people are so ungrateful.
      Good, glad we got that cleared up.
      By the way, who is Eugene, exactly?

      Is he like that rabbit with Bungle and Zippy?

  26. Anonymous says:

    What continues to cause enormous public disquiet is the marrying of Tara Rivers name with the misnistry of education!

    • Anonymous says:

      Misnistry, eh! You’re so close! It’s the misery of education! We’ll, it would be under her again!

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be a “misnistry” if Alden gave Tara Education……. but what else can he do, Give it to John John with Eugine as his councilor?
      Things COULD be worse.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Miss you already Wayne Panton; good man.

    Who will really take his place?

  28. Rp says:

    Roy pls hire Marco Archer as an advisor to finance ministry. That is one government salary I am willing to pay with my tax dollars.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean all of that $1 you’ve paid?

    • Anonymous says:

      if i were marco i would go make a ton of money in the private sector. then when GTC wakes up and beg him to come back he can say “unna kiss my rich black ass!”

      he of course has way more class than i do, so that will never happen.

      how about moving ken jefferson out and making marco financial secretary?

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed – I’m sure he can now go anywhere he’d like and just about get the salary he wants unless the private sector has been under a rock for the last four years, his name and face should be the only resume he heeds.

        Best of luck Marco – you’ve done a good job for your country, now go and get paid for you and your family.

      • Anonymous says:

        Marco would make circles around Ken.

      • Anonymous says:

        You’re hoping Marco can make it in private sector. Far easier to shine in the dull mess of civil service than the shiny competitiveness of private sector. Unless of course people pay him as a lobbyist under the guise of fulll time employment.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anonymous says:

          01/06/2017 at 10:54 pm – Do you even know who Marco Archer is and what his professional background is comprised of? He has a Master is Finance and Economics, Accounting and he is a Lawyer. Tell me how hard it will be for him to gain employment in the private sector OR to open his own business…law firm, finance consulting? You are poorly mistaken if you believe he anything to worry about…can you say that?…

          • Anonymous says:

            I worked with him in the civil service. He was mediocre and always complaining about others getting better treatment than him and he did not like expats. Not impressive. But I think he did a good job as Minister of Finance.

          • Fair and Balanced says:

            Wrong. He has a Bachelors in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration (i.e. an MBA), and is a lawyer. No Masters in Finance, no Masters in Economics, no Bachelors or Masters in Accounting. It is amazing how people write so confidently and are so wrong with their facts.

        • Anonymous says:

          What do you think he was doing prior to entering politics? Working in the private sector.
          Did you think he was an unemployed ex-TV reporter sponging off a benefactor for a year???

    • Anonymous says:

      Roy managed a Big 4 I am sure he doesn’t need any advice from Marco. He is quite capable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would Roy need Marco as his advisor? Roy managed one of the Big 4’s.

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