Governor believes port process above board

| 18/12/2018 | 48 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship in George Town Harbour

(CNS): The governor has said the government plans for a cruise berthing and cargo facility in George Town is a matter for the elected officials and he will not interfere with the current process. Martyn Roper told CNS last week that this is an economic policy issue devolved to the local government, and while he has responsibility for good governance, at this point the project was going through the process ,which would be overseen by the Office of the Auditor General. The governor said he was “comfortable” that the proper process was being followed and he had faith in the auditor.

Roper stated that where possible, the UK believes in the autonomy of the territories regarding economic and domestic policy and he did not wish to comment on the project at this stage.

He added that environmental issues were very important to the UK but he had been assured that the necessary environmental impact assessments have been and will be conducted and it was important for the governments of the territories to think strategically and long term about their economies.

Aware now that the subject has become a polarizing issue, he said that there was a “lively and open debate in the community” and it was important that people were allowed to express their point of view openly and freely.

The day after sitting down with CNS, Roper also met with a delegation representing the Cruise Port Referendum campaign, who pressed upon him their concerns that there were, in fact, several issues regarding the process and good governance that he should be concerned about, especially what they said was the lack of transparency, the significant environmental impacts to the marine environment, and the financial implications of what will be Cayman’s most expensive and complex capital works project.

Speaking to CNS, one of the members of the delegation said that they had stressed the UK’s liability not just for the environment but also Cayman’s debt, and that despite claims that the cruise lines and developers will finance the project, because it will come largely from passenger fees, in the end it will be the public purse that picks up the long term tab.

The group also sought assurances that the Governor’s Office would ensure that the constitutional rights of the Caymanian people would be upheld when the petition collects names from a confirmed 25% of the current electorate.

As the petition nears that target of 5,288 signatures of registered voters, the petition is still available to the public at locations island-wide. Organisers continue to encourage people not yet registered to vote but eligible to do so and interested in participating to register at the Elections Office.

The petition can be signed at the following locations:

  • Foster’s Food Fair Countryside, Airport, Strand and West Bay (with customer service)
  • Rubis Savannah
  • Four Winds Esso & Hell Gas Station in West Bay
  • Pure Art in George Town
  • Cathy Church Photo Centre in George Town.

Registered voters who wish to have the petition brought to them, at home or at work, can call 327-5411. 

More information can be found at the campaign Facebook page or cprcayman@gmail.com

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Am wondering is the Governor saying there’s nothing wrong with the process so far or does he approved with what the government is doing.
    Not willing to comment turning the blind eye too, show how corrupted the UK really is micro managing cayman.

  2. ANONYMOUS says:

    It’s funny when the termites are actually eating their own house.
    This comment by Roper is the epitome of what the Cayman Islands is all about.

    Sit down, shut up, and don’t say a word. Ever.

    It doesn’t matter if someone was murdered.
    It doesn’t matter if the most grave injustice on the planet happened and you were witness.
    It doesn’t matter if the most asinine action ever is about to happen to the Cayman Islands and you disagree.

    Do not say a word, ever.

    It’s not apathy in the Cayman Islands.
    It’s running scared.

    Every
    single
    day.

    It’s worrying about you and yours being their next target if they find out you spoke up.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Well…when the cruise port fails and ultimately bankrupts our once booming and independent economy we will lose ALL our LEVERAGE and the UK will be more than happy to step up, finally able to pimp-slap us around like the worthless whore she’s been waiting for us to become.

    Therefore, the opinion of our FCO / UK-appointed “Governor” is the last one in which we should find comfort and solace.

    (foh)

    – Who

    #section70 #signthepetition #babylonsystem #dontbelievethehype

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Someone give Roper the last 10 years of “best guess” accounting from the CIG and ask again if he thinks there is appropriate governance in place.

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  5. Just my thoughts says:

    I do t care if it above board, the question is do we need it?
    Reading CNS’s other headline from the Premier about the increase in our population which is said to grown to 100,000, why would we need to build a port with extra visitors when we expect such a large increase in population when our roads can’t handle what we have today.
    Surely we should be looking at our infrastructure rather than port?
    You tell me..

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The governor believes…….!!!!!! Not good enough Mr Governor…. you need to confirm to us Caymanians that this dock Is above board. My God help us ….what a mess we got… high speed train wreck coming.!!!!!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what the Governor and the Cayman Islands Constitutional Commission would have to say about §117 of the CI Constitution (2009) in regards to the, deliberately deferred enactment of the Standards in Public Life Law (2014)? Then tell us again how everything is above board, and Constitutionally complete. Enactment of this Law, which provides the most elementary levels of transparency for good governance purposes, is the lowest priority for this Regime – so low in fact, that it’s not even on the schedule!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Roper has been here 10 minutes. If he hasn’t already, he’ll quickly figure out how this Cabinet and Legislative Assembly have grown to conduct and acquit themselves and what their motivations are. When challenged, they’ll explain that the electorate is apathetic, so they must lead rather than be guided by silence, and we haven’t proven them wrong. The fact is, the Referendum for accountability should have been wrapped up in hours, yet here we are months later…with spineless voters saying they’ll only sign if they know it’ll go ahead, which receives an avalanche of thumbs-up support from similar attitudes. That’s what we are up against. The majority of voters don’t understand their rights/privileges or the mechanisms of democracy, and maybe we then deserve the opacity that we get. If Cayman is heading for direct taxation to pay for a repertoire of monolithic strategic errors and budget shortfalls, from a debatably incompetent LA, then myself and those other Caymanians that can, will be packing up and leaving our home when this economic doomsday presses ahead. I’m not going to willingly shoulder these mistakes out of my wallet or those of my kids and grandchildren.

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  9. Listin yah says:

    If this project goes belly up, it’s no skin off the UK’s back. They don’t give a damn if Alden and McKeeva screw us up.
    Roper’s focus is on securing the $300,000 per year tax free job with all expenses paid. Do you think that he’s going to do or say anything that upsets his chance to reel that in, especially when he knows what just happened to Choudhury?
    You see that picture of him looking up to McKeeva, Alden and Franz and saying “Gentlemen, tell me what I need to do?” That says it all. Caymanians better dont think that he got there back.

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    • alaw says:

      why are you all dragging and blameing the new Governor into this, I thought this was all about a referendum.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This governor is smart and knows that if he makes any waves that he will be the next one to be shipped off to some fake news charges. Better to say nothing and just collect a nice paycheck for just hanging around like one of those bobbing head dolls. The leaders and Master Dart already told him how it is going to go,

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  10. Anonymous says:

    so he can’t see the obvious conflict of interest or the widespread public outcry about the project??????
    just another governor who will sit on their hands and do nothing…..
    bring back choudhury!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the real cayman islands. Long talked about. “When i were coming up I did not see that there”. A deceased West Bayer and a longtime taxi driver always told people that.

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  12. Bloody Caymanian says:

    With Martyn as governor i’d expect more out of him. Cayman has a diversity of marine life because of the surrounding coral that is the safe haven for the multiple species existing in it, the same way this Island and it’s natural resources are a haven to the people who live here. He has been given a position in power to change this horrible decision to have endangered coral destroyed in the restricted marine habitat but, chooses to put his feet up and sit on his hands.

    I lost all respect for this government years ago and after learning Roper will be putting his feet up while in the position to stop the senseless development of the port, I don’t and will not have any for Martin Roper either. I do not acknowledge Martin as governor nor do I support C.I.G.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The Governor will do as Matthew says otherwise he will be sent packing just like Choudhury..

    We all know who the real Governor is…

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Anwar supprted the Port as well. The poor port objectors have no idea about procurement.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    He REALLY believes that? WOW, he’s got to be the most gullible governor we’ve EVER had – or maybe he just likes the beach!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    It is every individual right to sign, or not to sign a petition and as a registered voter I exercised my right not to sign. I was told that signing the petition was not saying that I am against the port. While that is technically correct, it is also Misleading. It is misleading because:
    1. As I am not against the port, I do not wish to halt the process as long as it continues on the correct path. Having a referendum at this time will halt the process and very likely put us at a disadvantage as explained below;
    2. A proper cruise port and new cargo port are overdue. Let’s not forget that we have depended on Cruise tourism during past down turns in stayover tourism. If we wait for another downturn, we will have less bargaining power and then the financing options available will be a lot less favourable or non-existent. In other words, at that time we could need the cruise companies at lot more than they will need us;
    3. Government has listened to our concerns and acted: the proposed port design has undergone at least two major revisions and other smaller revisions to minimise environmental impact. Firm commitments on the financing were recently secured ahead of selection of the preferred bidder. From the beginning, it was made clear that the project would not proceed at risk to Seven Mile Beach and the country’s economy. Government has reconfirmed that as part of the process the Environmental Impact Assessment will be updated after the preferred bidder is selected and there will be further public consultation before a final decision is made;
    4. Alternative locations to the existing port in George Town will result in dramatically higher costs and greater environment impact;
    5. I agree that there have been communication gaps about the proposed port. While it was wrong not to update the public regularly, sometimes and in this case, a lack of communication is nothing more than that. Now that the Government has re-engaged in the communication process, we see that the correct and proper process was and is being followed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 3:57pm
      Whether for or against the petition is the only democractic choice for citizens so that polarising groups can have a common ground…right now it is very one sided as inter-connected special interest groups and our elected MLAs are obstructing the process.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I am not aware of anyone obstructing the process. Do you have first-hand information? If 25% of registered voters want a referendum then it should happen. As we can see from Brexit, a referendum is no guarantee of finding common ground.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you 3.57 . What a refreshingly sensible post.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Endorsed!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      What about the environment dumbo? Is it worth pandering to your greed to concrete over Hogs Sty Bay?

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      • Anonymous says:

        We have two choices, build the cruise piers and expanded cargo port at minimum possible environmental impact when favourable financing is available or wait and continue to face the existing and possible future consequences including possibly greater environmental impact and financial risk. If you really looked at all of the information with an open mind and still think it is not required within the next 5 – 10 years then by all means try to stop it. It won’t be the first time. The MGTP was stopped resulting in higher costs when we finally had no choice but build the new roads, the disasterous NRA – Dart agreement, and closure of a large section of the West Bay road.

    • Anonymous says:

      “communication gaps” what a convenient choice of words, I would call them deliberate purposeful lies from the government, but spin it however you like

      You will rationalize any contrary evidence to get to your original conclusion
      Because you are arguing backwards from your conclusion

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    • anonymous says:

      Do you work for Fountainhead PR firm who has the contract to make this Port sound like a good idea?

  17. Anonymous says:

    He’s already been told “how it go” by the usual suspects. Plain and simple, he’s gone native against his better judgment.

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  18. MI6 in Paradise says:

    Make no mistake Mr. MI6 Matthew Forbes runs the show. Gov Roper is currently interviewing for a full time appointment and will not step out of line and show any independent thoughts or actions. He’ll toe the line and remain politically correct. He’s learnt from the mistakes made by his predecessor Choudry who was reassigned for forgetting his place.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    He’s seen what happened to Anwar and is enjoying life on the beach.

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  20. Slacker says:

    I would welcome the notification of how many of the required 5,288 signatures are in place. If it, let’s say 1250, there is little motivation for voters to sign (although I believe it is signed, sealed and delivered, and will go through no matter what). On the other hand, if they have 4900 voters who have signed it, that may motivate voters on the fence, to sign the petition.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They don’t have the signatures on the petition. If they do, turn it in, let the process begin of VIR

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    • Anonymous says:

      Speak now, or forever hold your peace! Our household were proud to be among the first to get off our butts and go down and sign. Months later, the shameful incapacity of our countrymen to state their conscience is what holds us back, on this and a laundry list of other collective items. Why should it matter who before you has signed, if you share that same conviction, and your name remains missing from the count? Grow a pair. It’s time to get some transparency on everything.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I understand that they are still struggling to get the required amount of signatures.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Typical Caymanian apathy….

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  21. Anonymous says:

    He’s hardly going to say anything else, is he? Look how long the last bloke lasted once he spoke out of turn!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      11.34am The last Governor made the mistake of taking a more pro-Caymanian stance. Had nothing to do with whether or not he supported projects. I think that stance upset a number of Cayman haters resident here and they made that known to the FCO.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Judging from comments here reminding him to ‘look out for the UK’s interests’ instead of ours, as if there shouldn’t be any attempt to harmonise the two, you might be right.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He is here to collect his pay. When we are down shit street they will be laughing at us. Can’t they understand the UK is constantly pushing for us to get on the one way street that ends at the dead end.

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    • Anonymous says:

      he speaks as the diplomat that he is. He is not going to rock the boat either way.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You got that right. I don’t think his nose is a brown colour because of the sun!

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