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Premier takes multi-depts in surprising reshuffle

| 06/06/2017 | 108 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin (left) and Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin will be taking on the reform of immigration and human resources among multiple other ministerial roles and departments in a Cabinet reshuffle that has thrown up some surprise assignments. Moses Kirkconnell has retained the same ministry he had in the previous administration — tourism, transport and district administration — while every other portfolio has changed. Tara Rivers has lost education, which has gone to Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who has also been handed a hefty ministry, as has newcomer Dwayne Seymour, who has health and environment, among other responsibilities.

Speaking at a press conference Tuesday to announce the new Cabinet line-up, McLaughlin announced the portfolios and his own mega-ministry. The premier bemoaned the workload he now has but said the work really requires eight, not seven, ministers and he was picking up the slack. The balance, however, appears skewed, with some ministers having much lighter workloads than others in a reshuffle that sees departments being meshed together in new ministries that don’t at first glance seem very coordinated.  

While Roy McTaggart has, as expected, been given public finance and economic development, many of the other ministries have a less obvious explanation, despite McLaughlin stating that the allocation of portfolios and responsibilities was based on the passions, talents and interests of his new Cabinet team.

Although the premier had stated last week that he had planned to take financial services, that responsibility along with home affairs, minus immigration, has gone to Rivers because of her legal offshore experience, he said, while O’Connor-Connolly, a former teacher, has taken education, youth, sports, lands and agriculture.

Joey Hew, sitting on the government front bench for the first time, has been given planning, commerce and infrastructure, while Dwayne Seymour, who held a ministry in 2013 for about four months after the fall of the UDP administration at the end of 2012,  has also been given a large portfolio of responsibilities. He will be tackling the landfills and healthcare reform and the many environmental challenges ahead, as well as culture and housing.

The premier said that one of the challenges for any premier shaping a Cabinet was “to utilise the aptitude and interests of the people named as ministers” in the best way possible, but he said that the process had not been as challenging as he expected. 

“But it is not just a case of the premier saying you and you do this that,” McLaughlin said, telling the press that was “not the way to get the best work out of a minister”. Speaking about the dialogue involved and the discussions and cooperation in the team, he said there was “a certain amount of charm, persuasion”.

See the new ‘Organizational structure of government’ in the CNS Library

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Category: Politics

Comments (108)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Government needs to set a better example with it’s own HR policies and practices, before it can seek compliance by the private sector.

    Where is their returning graduate programmes and what is being done to replace the many expatriates in Government.

    Charity begins within government.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Alden, Congratulations on the having the IMmigration Department.

    I am putting a challenge out to you immediately.

    I want to know why a certain air handling company at the airport, CDS, has only Phillipino and Indian staff hired for check in and ramp staff positions for American Airlines, British Airways and as of last Sunday, Southwest airlines.

    Are you aware of the photo showing the Southwest staff in Cayman that is circulating on Facebook..To me it looks Like “South East” Airlines rather than Southwest. Is this the face we want to portray to our Visitors? I am so annoyed that every time I return on American that I have some Philipino welcoming me back in broken English, mispronouncing the word Cayman, when hundreds of my genuine, warm and friendly Caymanians are out of work.

    How is it conceivable that Cayman AIrways and Air Agencies, the other two air handling providers, can source and hire Caymanians in these entry level positions but this one contractor, CDS can’t??

    How is he allowed to import cheap labor to man the very positions where our valued guests arrive and depart..Do you know that some of them have a tough time understanding English much less speaking it? Whatever happened to the English test required to work in Cayman? Has this contractor given valid reason why he can’t find Caymanians or than these Expats will work for little and nothing without any benefits? Are you aware of the many persons who have made employee complaints about this company?

    I challenge you Mr. Premier to tell this contractor that he needs to hire Caymanians and that you will revoke these permits after he finds them.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Government doesn’t need to comply with immigration laws….they go through the motions but are worse then the private sector at using obscure skills, increasing experience, ignoring applications…not sure if quasi government are allowed to ignore laws but they definitely do.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I have noticed this too. If you check in at any of the other airlines they are mostly Caymanian but at American, British and Southwest they are all Phillipinos or Indians. Caymanians are doing the same jobs just a few feet away so what excuse could this company be using to get this many work permits from the Immigration Board?

      This is one place where the law is blatantly being abused. I am surprised as well at Moses that he hasn’t said anything about this being in charge of Tourism….What does Rosa Harris the Director of Tourism have to say?..Is this how we portray Caymankind…without Caymanians?

      I am not against any nationality but Caymanians need to come first in their own Country..Which Caymanian could go to the Phillipines and work the counter for Phillipines airlines..We know that won’t happen.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree whole heartedly with your comments however avoid the Pililpino broken English and fly CAYMAN AIRWAYS instead of American. When disaster strikes Cayman again is it did in 2004, American will do what they did then and RUN but good ole Sir Turtle will be here to save us. I again state that I concur with your posting as it is spot on.




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    • Anonymous says:

      People are thumbs-upping this brazen racism.




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      • Anonymous says:

        It not about racism. It’s about Caymanians being given a real opportunity to do those jobs.




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      • Anonymous says:

        How can this be racism? Nobody is blaming the Phillipino’s. They are being exploited for their low wages and slave labor by this Caymanian who has been allowed to circumvent the law by our own immigration department..

        We are PRO CAYMANIAN and all we are saying is that Caymanians can do these jobs…The proof of this is standing right next to them at one of the other airlines counters where Caymanians have and continue to dominate these positions.

        The law doesn’t say you can hire an expat if you reduce your wages to where a Caymanian cannot survive, it says you must hire a Caymanian where Caymanians are able to fill those positions..Paying slave labor without benefits to get around this law needs to stop..

        Mr. Premier, please look into this as a matter of urgency!




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        • Anonymous says:

          Amen! couldn’t have said it better..

          We need to stop this “racism” crap. They could have been all Jamaicans, Americans, or Canadians there, it doesn’t matter about race. It matters that Caymanians are not being allowed to take their lawful position in the work force of their own country due to unscrupulous “Caymanian” employers like this one.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This practice has gone on for years with that particular company, and its a shame and disgrace that there aren’t any Caymanians employed after so much are out of work. There is no way that anyone can say that its necessary to bring people from across the world to check in people, clean aircrafts, load and unload bags . This is unacceptable and needs to be REVERSED




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      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder how Moses feels about building a new larger airport so that we can employ more Philipinos and Indiansinstead of Caymanians?

        Who are we building it for Moses?????




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  3. Haters says:

    HATE. HATE. Why you people cannot exercise some love and understanding? You hate each other so much, that it have us expats wondering what you will have to say about us. And please do not come back with, LEAVE. Just show some love and respect for your own people.




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  4. Too much 4 play for u says:

    Its time Tar tar deal with da prison and put those camera & Obeah specialist out and deal with HR being run from Mango Tree under the influence of the Sauce Well it appears poor old Elvis the painter has run out gas money again? OOOOOOh Yeah can u digg it what a mess we is in again. Maybe now Mr Lavis will get some real work done and not be interrupted by these demons of chaos. Amen!




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is in trouble. Caymanians always blame Jamaicans for causing problems in Cayman. Not true. Jamaica has better education than Cayman. The young Caymanians are the ones that are shooting up everything and think they are entitled for some reason. There are a lot of expats here who will be leaving because they are tired of dealing with the B.S. yes more will come but the sad thing is that Cayman will be losing the good ones. I will be leaving in October after 15 years as I am tired of getting my back stabbed in the back too many times and dealing with a bunch of stupid B.S.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman’s biggest disease is that it and its people blame everyone else for their problems, whether they are Jamaican, Expats, Hondurans, or whatever. I even heard Martians being blamed. Most difficult thing in the world is to stand up and say “I screwed up” or “we got it wrong” but it is the only way you can hope to start putting it right.




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    • Anonymous says:

      As far as I can see, the “good” expats stopped coming here over 25 years ago!

      So, WTF ever.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t blanket grant PR’s. This would be 4% of our adult citizenship (ignoring immediate and eventual rights of family members of applicants)…no country gives out that amount. There are no specific Cayman laws which require grant either in consideration to tenure on island or delay in processing. These people could have abandoned their applications if they couldn’t wait. This is a incredible opportunity this small country is trying to give to some deserving people…not an entitlement as seems to be the perception. How about some gratitude instead of litigation and threats of litigation?




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    • Anonymous says:

      8.41 the level of ignorance astounds me…nowhere else is like Cayman with such a tiddly (and dying) 30,000 population- you need the PRs’ to help extend the gene pool and populate the islands, as well as give you a better choice of politicians eventually…




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    • Anonymous says:

      It would be refreshing to have a frank discussion about the existing requirements for our non-functional PR, BOTC Naturalisation, and CI Status hurdles. There are so many Caymanians that seem to think qualifying (and re-qualifying) is an easy process each time – nothing could be further from the truth.




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  7. Anon says:

    So Cayman has finally given up with improving education, has it?
    What a shame, because the children deserve better.




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    • Joe B says:

      Given up? They fill in the blanks and say the right words but has that had any effect on CIG sponsored education? They never have and never will change the way their people look at and try to obtain a decent, and meaningful edumacation. Not even a trade school. Doing their part to make sure only an expat is capable of doing the work here on island. They have never given up on what they think is the best way forward for the island and themselves.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The people in charge of education believe the world was created 5000 years ago in 7 days by a vengeful deity floating in the clouds. What could possibly go wrong?




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Is Alden able to deal with the immigration issue facing Cayman? In the last 4 years the immigration issues have grown just like the dump has grown with no end in sight.
    The secret reports have been written and hidden.
    Perhaps you are more confident in Alden than I am.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The dump reports are on the ministry of healths website.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Sir/Madam:
      Mrs. Conolly is an excellent choice for education.
      Cayman Brac has blazed trails in excellent scores in testing and maybe she can bring some of these incentives and ideas to the table.
      Cayman Brac has involved parents, after school programs and more.
      Cayman Brac can show case to Grand Cayman our ideas.
      If we have the proof of successes then nothing will succeed like success.
      Congrats Mrs. Conolly and we wish you the best in your efforts.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Dear people, many of us have lived long enough on this planet and specifically the Cayman Islands to know that nothing really changes with politicians except that we get more regulation, less freedom and agenda-driven politics that will never benefit the Caymanian people.

    But this is the perfect opportunity for us to knuckle down, get to work, raise up our businesses with excellent ethics and customer service and prove that we will make a difference in spite of our bloated, inefficient government not because of it.

    There are also some of you out there with ideas about how to live, build, farm and learn better and even how to apply technology to improve our lives. I would encourage you to go for your dreams. In a dark room, a little candle is usually enough.

    If you get enough positive, like-minded people in the same room, you never know what ideas will flourish. Good luck to everyone.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    I need to check Marzouca for a migraine injection. This sickening is making my head throb.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    And the minister for LGBT affairs is….




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Who is minister dealinf with the Legal Practitioners Bill?




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  13. Anonymous says:

    I sincerely hope that the Premier is not on an ego trip believing he is the only one capable of doing anything…




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    • Anonymous says:

      That is exactly what I believe it to be.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Read the organisational chart and you’ll see he has the lowest or second lowest level of responsibility in ministerial terms. Being Premier is its own job and only in very small countries is it combined with a ministry. Alden doesn’t think he’s the only one who can do everything. You simply couldn’t conclude that from actually looking at the way ministries and departments have been divided up. Moses and Dwayne are going to be especially busy.




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      • Anonymous says:

        The last three Premiers of the Cayman Islands have had a fairly light workload once they abdicated all responsibility for civil service and Ministerial failings…what is the remainder of job responsibility after that? Zero.




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        • Anonymous says:

          There is no abdication of responsibility for the civil service. The law requires that elected representatives do not interfere with them. The civil service is the responsibility of the Deputy Governor.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Not as big an ego trip as the first Premier, McKeeva Bush




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Alden listened to the people Re: Education Ministry. Let’s hope that things improve – anyone listening about hands on votech training on The Brac?




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  15. Anon says:

    So Kenneth Bryan is the same thing Connor was in Mobile.
    Nobody. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada…
    No importante…
    The voters of Scranton (GTC) and also those in Newlands – made a foolish mistake voting for him and Sukoo…




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  16. Anonymous says:

    I’m terrified! No horrified and petrified. Here comes the steamroller teachers you will be paved under.




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  17. Latoya says:

    Dwayne set up to fail cos if he put the dump in Bodden Town his people will be hurt. If he leaves it where it is the rest of Cayman would cuss. Strategic decision by Alden




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  18. Anonymous says:

    McLaughlin stating that the allocation of portfolios and responsibilities was based on the passions, talents and interests……

    Security, I don’t see nutin!!!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Joke Joke with Health – oh dear!! I don’t know how I will survive seeing his face for the next 4 years.

      “WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE”… Hmmm




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  19. Anonymous says:

    I read some of these blogs and must say that I am absolutely disgusted by the lack of faith or well wishes in/for either of our representatives/government.

    Maybe if we put ourselves in their shoes, posing the question… how well would either of us do if we were in their place? In other words “take a reality check”!Some people same to think they have all the answers and choose to tear down others instead of being human and wishing them well. Say a prayer for our government as they take on the mammoth tasks/issues that will no doubt impact us all. We are notorious for taking the wind out of someone’s sails before the boat even hit the water and chart its course. Let’s not do that!

    I personally believe that this government is going to succeed in helping our beloved islands and I pray that positive changes will be evidently and genuinely seen. The 19 representatives will work together in unity for us the people and put their differences aside. That is my sincere prayer!




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    • Anonymous says:

      2.49…my sympathies…the triumph of experience over optimism is always a tough pill to swallow. However in general, we should give people a chance, but hold them to their promises, as long as they make sense once fully analysed.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Please not immigration…I can’t take another four years of under-employment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      But Please move the backlog of deserving PR applicants to balance the hordes of economic dependants created by Mac’s status grants.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of who gets what, people will come on here and complain as per usual.




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    As education minister I hope Juliana teaches the youth that paving private citizens driveways with public funds is the same as stealing.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Teaching the youth that is not the issue. Someone needs to teach that to the police and attorney general.




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    • Anonymous says:

      And buying land with public money, even if planning to pay it back later, is a lot like gambling with a protocol credit card on a much bigger scale.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s put her in charge of the Standards in Public Life and Ethics Committee!




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  24. Anonymous says:

    I know its a complicated process, with horse-trading and compromises, but I would have thought that Education and Human Resources would go hand in hand.

    Hopefully the new HR Authority will have a direct connection to the Educ dept and Ministry. HR starts with training and educating people in the right fields.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you but I can see the argument for Human Resources with Immigration in the Cayman climate. It makes sense when you think about all the grievances of the workforce (local and permit holders) and employers.




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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s where it was previously. Education and labor were together and apparently it didn’t work. So coupling labor with immigration will attempt to resolve the perceived issue of unemployed Caymanians losing out to work permit holders. But then again, it could also prove that’s not the case and that the persistently unemployed have other issues – be prepared for the truth that may be realized, Cayman.




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  25. Anonymous says:

    Great.. now Tara can work together with her C4C buddies to mess up financial services…still no opportunities for Caymanians. Watch her cave in on the LPB thing soon




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    • Anonymous says:

      Read Cayman Finance Website-if 2500 Caymanians working in financial services is not opportunity I don’t know what the hell is.




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      • Anonymous says:

        How many of those Caymanians are in charge or earning the big bucks? The opportunity to be employed is not what reasonable Caymanians complain about – we know opportunities to be employed are there. What concerns reasonable Caymanians is the absence of senior and leadership opportunities; the very same opportunities that exist in the home countries of permit holders but which for whatever reason, they could not rise to (or did not think they would eventually rise to) so they came here. Why should this small population give all of its best jobs to the mediocre of the rest of the world? There is no answer to this other than ‘well, Caymanians aren’t ready or good enough’. So make them ready, make them good enough, as someone senior to a permit holder no doubt tried to do before the permit holder, depressed and frustrated by lack of advancement and/or confusion about career direction, saw an ad for the Cayman Islands in a magazine and figured they’d come here with their ‘onshore experience’ (known in their home countries as plain old ‘experience’) and make a tax-free fortune. I’ll tell you what opportunity is: Caymanians in executive-level positions. Time to stop thinking the shiniest, most expensive expat with zero local experience is the best option. In many cases it isn’t.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Anyone can make it as high as their ability & education can take them. It will take lots of effort, long hours, & hard work though. We Caymanians need to really understand that it is up to ME.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Then that is what we need to teach – the value of effort, the rewards of long hours and what hard work feels like! And if employers have to pick up the slack for public schools and poor parenting, that’s what they have to do! That’s what happens in most other countries! Businesses hire citizens of those countries and teach them what they need to know about how to do their job and the industry they are in. Yes Caymanians have to look after their own careers, but they shouldn’t have to fight against widespread discrimination to advance and they shouldn’t have the rules of the game hidden from them while they are playing.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe many of us are disgusted by a disregard of ethics and principles demonstrated by many of our so called leaders. They have legal authority, but as for moral authority, forget it.




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      • Anonymous says:

        How many of those Caymanians became Caymanian recently, and destroyed the careers and livelihoods of existing Caymanians breaking multiple laws in the process?




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  26. Anonymous says:

    Was the Premier afraid to try and fix the mess he helped to create as education minister in 2005-09 by not taking the portfolio?




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  27. children are our future says:

    Amen to that. Tara was very useless and full of herself. Our children comes first and she had no interest with them. Premier, you now need to clean her Ministry. It would be nice to see Ms. Mary Roderiquez back in there as Chief Officer. As a former Teacher both she and Ms. Julie can do an amazing job with our youths. As a parent who is very involved with the our children, I can speak for others, and where we have a world of confidence in Ms. Julie and Ms. Mary who are two former Teachers. A job well done Aldine.




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  28. Anonymous says:

    Omg really! That is great news.




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  29. Anonymous says:

    Sense has prevailed in terms of Education. Teachers on this island will be breathing a sigh of relief that Tara Rivers is gone.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Will Juliana be any better?
      As for Health, I think Environmental Health should be given to Roy McTaggarrt though he has a big task with Finance as he was previously working on improving the dump.




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    • JTB says:

      Yeah but the financial services industry are screaming




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    • Anonymous says:

      Especially those that were balking at the new system of accountability introduced under Minister Rivers. I do hope the important work that has started under her tenure as Minister of Education will continue, and I do wish her and the Govt well in this new term.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Who is going to do Employment and Gender?




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      • Anonymous says:

        No one has responsibility for that! Poisonous chalice as far as most see it. Guys, you are early in a new administration, just do what Bermuda did and recognise it and legalise it and most people will have forgotten in 4 years time. And no one will notice any difference, a bit like the West bay road/ETH..everyone wishes it had been done years ago, despite the protests…




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    • Humble pie maker says:

      Tara Rivers was a failure as Education minister. Alden as Premier has now confirmed it. Can Juliana do any worse?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe that she is gone but look who is replacing her. Lord have mercy.




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    • Lo-Cal says:

      Well, no offense but better to have left her with education than financial services….

      Isn’t there some kind of conflict of interest there anyway considering the managing director would be her family?!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Amen!




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    • Anonymous says:

      What type of sigh will they be breathing that Juliana, one of the least passionate and educated politicians we have, will be taking over Tara’s place?




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      • Anonymous says:

        JOCC will be more concerned about who’s drive way or private road she can pave using government funds. Funny how nothing came of that and they just put her in as speaker of the house. Four years later she is back in a ministerial position. At least the country got back the money Big Mac used, what happened to all the money she wasted? Was it ever paid back?




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      • Anonymous says:

        How do you arrive at that? Here are the facts, she has a BA, was a former Teacher, and went on to gain an LLB and was a lawyer.




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        • Anonymous says:

          She is uneducated in all the ways the products of our public schools are. I did not say she was unqualified.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Once again people.. the facts don’t line up with your statements. The public education system churns out highly successful students year after year after year. Not 100% of them but what percentage is reasonable. It’s like we expect that every child will have 15 o-levels regardless of IQ, upbringing or effort.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Education requires a lot more than exam results! And no child gets o-levels now – at best they get 10 CXC’s (which do not have the international respect of O-Levels).




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              • Anonymous says:

                CXCs are very much on par with O’-level / GCSE and in some cases harder. It is what most of the Caribbean offers in their school system. Yes education is more than exam passes but that is what Universities look for. My suggestion to the powers that is is stick to one curriculum from grade 1
                until high school graduation. That is what the private schools are doing and have seen success. Education cannot be fixed only in the schools. Parents need to be held accountable, the community needs to step up and we should bring back book fees and 6th form to public schools. SPEAK TO THE TEACHERS NOT TO THE PEOPLE IN THE MINISTRY WHO HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND!




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      • Anonymous says:

        You obviously know nothing about Juliana. She graduated from university with top marks. She’s very highly educated. She has a law degree and was a former teacher.




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