Premier pushes port project in NY message

| 01/01/2019 | 70 Comments
Cayman News Service

George Town dock damaged during the Christmas storm (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS): In his 2019 New Year’s message Premier Alden McLaughlin said the cruise berthing facility and expanded cargo project in George Town remains an important element in the Cayman Islands’ economic future, still citing figures that have been called into question during the course of 2018. Despite the continued opposition to the project as well as the damage to George Town’s existing cargo dock from a recent storm, which raised new concerns about the threats the piers could pose, McLaughlin said that his government would be moving forward on delivering the project in 2019. 

Undeterred by the divisions the project is causing and the campaign for a people-initiated referendum on the issue, McLaughlin used the external pressures on offshore finance and future economic uncertainties to justify the costly project.

“At a time when significant economic threats are looming, we cannot and must not turn our backs on $245 million of net economic benefit, hundreds of construction jobs, and then decades of increasing employment and business opportunities for Caymanians that the cruise berths will bring,” he said, even though the figure of $245 million remains in question and government has failed to detail those new jobs and benefits.

“Neither can we turn our backs on the opportunity to modernise and enlarge our now out-dated cargo port. It is essential that we deliver this critically important project and continue moving Cayman forward, preparing us for the future,” the premier added.

Cayman News Service

George Town dock damaged during the Christmas storm (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

However, the Nor’wester that brought relatively high seas over the Christmas weekend which damaged the existing dock at the cargo port has raised further concerns about the dredging of George Town harbour. Opponents of the project are questioning what would happen if there was a spate of similar weather, or worse, once the project has been completed.

Representatives for the Cruise Port Referendum campaign have pointed out that without the reefs in the harbour, the waves on 21 and 22 December would have been much more destructive.

“What would the damage and maintenance to George Town and the proposed dock be had we experienced more extreme conditions and even a hurricane?” campaigners asked in the wake of the Christmas storm, noting that with rising sea level, the cruise port would pose an even greater threat to the capital.

Throughout his New Year address, the premier also reviewed what he said were the achievements of his administration over the past five and a half years and set out other plans for the New Year.

McLaughlin pointed to the creation of a new Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation, and Maritime Affairs and the opening of a Cayman office in Hong Kong. He said the development of the Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC) to oversee the labour market, work permit and residency regimes would ensure that all Caymanians had a fair opportunity for gainful employment in the growing economy.

The premier said the new Cayman Islands Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Control Agency would make Cayman more secure. While noting challenges such as Brexit, the pressure on the offshore sector and the constitutional talks with the UK, the premier was nevertheless confident that Cayman was on track for further growth.

He also pointed to the celebrations next year to mark the 60th anniversary of Cayman’s first Constitution in 1959. “We have certainly come far over the past 60 years,” he said. “From humble beginnings we have created a modern and diverse Cayman Islands that is the envy of the region.”

See his full address on CNS Local Life

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Category: Politics

Comments (70)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    its not the paper Caymanians that we are having the problems with….its the Alden’s and the McKeeva’s that we have to try and restrain.

    • Tell it like it is says:

      I rise to declare a day of of solemn reflection for the future of these Beloved Islands. It pains me to see how our own people are being coerced with and by money to destroy the essence indeed the fabric of these Islands. Bigger buildings and the Taller the better and piers, increased importation of labor.

      Are all of these being done without showing the people of these Islands, the impact they will have on the infrastructure, ( water, sewerage roads health facilities etc) on the way of life of young persons who are non skilled and unemployed, on the aging unskilled and skilled unemployed population( all of which have a vote at election) on the environment.

      Are all these plans meant for just the affluent to enjoy while the locals standby and wither away or are further marginalized and placed on welfare while the Government feeds them with Chicken ( not much Turkeys this year ) and Ham and an envelope of $50 dollars to go towards their light bill; perhaps with all of the bombastic revenue the projects will create the envelopes will get another $25 in them.

      Where is it all going are we using the threats of blacklisting by the EU to frighten the people and thus justify all of this expansionary mode to further the country or is it just that we want to make our neighbors even more “envious”. Or is the Shadow Government whose invisible status has been carefully maintained through the years now wanting to rise up and come Out of the darkness with demands for payback for all the largesse expended on their underlings to assume power.

      On the other side of the coin it has been said that without the shadow Government we would not have reached this far , this of course is absolutely horse crap.

      A word of warning to the Shadow G and it’s Parliamentary Reprentativesv while you think that there is merit to the expansionary mode being envisioned, we the people demand that we be shown the facts and figures that represent or will l represent a better way of life for all the cayman population. The details of the plans, the numbers, the pros and cons all must be made available en Toto for public scrutiny.

      The people who elected the Parliament deserve no less.
      After all Government of Unity Members you are not our Masters rather, you are our elected Servants and we expect you to act in accordance with what is good for us not just Wha you think is good for us. We must be satisfied that your stewardship of our money is being used for the people and by the people. You serve us you have to be accountable to the people not the Shadow G, or we will depose you!

      • Anonymous says:

        I hope you are a young Caymanian and if you are, I salute you and invite you to stand for your people.
        The old ones are dead.
        Your heart is good, young and vibrant. May the Good Lord give you wisdom, support and strength.
        To your Caymanian brothers and sisters, for God’s sake, rise up!

        “He hath founded it upon the seas.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Well written and well said my friend.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell it like it is: Why don’t you sober up and then write a sensible comment?

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Mr Premier that a good try to push your pier project, by showing the damage to the cargo dock . All you have shown me is how poorly , cheap and stupidly the dock is built . I would then assume the pier would be built the same way .

      I might be wrong and willing to be corrected . But I think that when that dock was built some years ago the cost was about 5 million dollars , and that was a easyer project than building this pier .he is talking about..

      Has there been any Blue Print shown publicly of how and what kind of materials would be used in building this pier ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    know what? I can forgive one of these jokers but not the other because Alden has an education.(which the Government most likely paid for!!)

  3. Ppm Distress Signal says:

    So says the the great pretender and his sidekick Butterball bababuska How low can Cayman Sink seems to be the new norm whilst some dine on caviar others eat from garbage dumpsters by fast food restaurants.whilst the Uk play constitutional mind games with our idiotic political minders selling us absolutely nothing whilst extracting our very life essence and dignity from us. Yet we have our leadership doing magic tricks to garner support for our very own demise not even the environment is off limits now.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be a lot of fun at parties. Best in the New Year.

      Oh, by the way, I gave you a thumbs up.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is no way that the $200M is the true price tag on a new port.
    Let’s all hide and watch this train wreck…
    ‘Hide and watch’ because that’s what Caymanians do best. Just keep yo lil head buried in the sand and let the barely edumacated ignoramuses in government do whatever they want.

  5. Anonymous says:

    And we signing up petitions like fools. They mean nothing! I got on the bypass yesterday going west bay and saw the dump on the horizon. What a sight. No petitions for this eyesore? Hey Alden where you at??
    You and kee kee busy planning that 50 story hotel???

  6. Anonymous says:

    The chinese will not be doing any dock, next question,” the cruise lines will put up the money”, try to keep up with Gov’t update, Alden and the elected Gov’t is in charge. 2:22 is correct.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct. It should be obvious that the Communist Party of China aren’t a non-profit selfless philanthropic organization. Just ask Ecuador, Sri Lanka, or any of the dozens of other regretful national economic calamities unfolding in real time, that foolishly accepted unachievable terms on predatory infrastructure loans. In almost every case you will find foreign negotiating politicians either up on corruption charges, or that have long-flown the coop and are now promenading far from extradition in Dubai. The Chinese officials tasked with stringing commercial port “pearls” are not morally or professionally restrained by anti-corruption legislation like those in the “west”. They are banking on defeating Capitalism by specifically targeting weak short-sighted human greed. That is how Xi Jinpeng and CPC plan to win the expansionist long-game China’s been playing for 3000 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s hopeChinese don’t do Dock. They have brought corruptioneverywhere and screwed every investor in every project…Bahamas, Jamaica, Kenya and the list goes on. Here they are getting local help from those who will gain at public cost.

      • Anonymous says:


        Our corrupt politicians and business leaders will mske s quick profit from the corrupt Chineese.

        It is all a corrupt big boys club.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about the long term mental health? Any update on when the building will get started? Just have heard crickets.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Our elected officials are completely out of touch with reality. We don’t need petitions to stop the port, we need new leadership… NOW!

    As much as I hate to say these words, Cayman needs a revolution. XXXX

    People to be lined up.

    Aldart and Moses for the dock
    Mcdweeber for his 50 story buildings, gambling, and general XXXX
    Tara Rivers for ineptitude and being absolutely clueless
    And everyone else responsible for supporting and continuing the over spending, the nepotism, the unfinished schools, the lack of education, the CUC monopoly, the allowing of the willful rape of Cayman, unchecked immigration diluting what it means to be “Caymanian” and the imported crime, the hand tying of the courts and the RCIPS to really curb crime in Cayman, removal of the death penalty, and the willful and deliberate destruction of Cayman’s environment and natural resources that made us popular.

    These fools have made us a joke and spent the peoples money enjoying themselves, selling us and Cayman like chattel.

    It needs to end and now before it is too late.

    We can petition, we can demonstrate but we also need to take the next step and forcible remove them if needed or the use of force in general.

    • Anonymous says:

      This could be done by mid-morning if 25% of the voters actually gave a @#$%! All it requires is Petitioning the Governor to dissolve the Legislative Assembly and call early Elections.

      The Unity Cabinet is gambling we will all continue to sit on our crumpets…so far, it has paid off – and probably in the literal sense. How much their policies have benefited them, we can’t inspect or supervise because they refuse to enact the Standards in Public Life mandated with creation of section 117 of our Constitution (2009)!

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree but it will never happen. We Caymanians prefer to complain and do squat but moan and groan as we are taken advantage of.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe less that 25% of the voters know anything about Cayman politics. They don’t even touch the subject in schools.

      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Thank you. Finally a sensible solution without tons of dramatic hyperbole. We are all quite skilled at complaining and pointing out inadequacies and problems. We need direction. A New Vector. Other than Mac, I don’t think the rest of LA is crooked, but I do believe they are adrift, unsure and inadequate.

        I know Mr. Mose loves the Cayman Islands and works hard for the Sister Islands. He already has his money, and that’s not his motivation. He believes emphatically in tourism as our huckleberry, and I believe he is right.

        I believe in upgrading the Port (recent damage reinforce that need), but not the Cruise Berthing Facility. I think our time has passed for the CBF. Mac had it in his hands, and cancelled the winning accepted bid for building it to award it to CHEC. We all know how that went. That was our time, and now it is gone.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It is obvious that every single individual in politics has never scuba dived in their life. Obviously not a free diver and truly can any of them even swim? If they did then this would never be considered. People protect what is dear to their hearts and people don’t care if they don’t see it as valuable because they have never experienced it in their life.

    This is why I believe that every single student that attends public school should have the opportunity to become a certified diver. The next generation of the entire local population would care more about the underwater environment because they have experienced it.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      This is really big ambitions of the Premier and the Speaker to want the same $$$$$ sizes projects for 2019 .

    • Bloody Caymanian says:

      This ^. Your comment should remain at the top. None of these politicians dive. All they know about our marine life is what they see in pictures and what they hear from tourists. They’re too busy wallowing in their own greed to get their feet wet at the beach much less dive our reefs. This is why it’s so easy for them to make decisions to destroy what many Caymanians and Visitors deem as important to our island. To hell with this unity government and don’t let me get started on the dead weight Martyn Roper is.

    • Soldier Crab says:

      Moses was a competitive swimmer in his student days.
      Any public school ‘student’ can become a certified diver free of charge; at option time choose watersports and he or she will be attached to one of the commercial dive operations for lessons as part of the school curriculum.

      Please refrain from commenting when you are not aware of the facts. Obviously there are at least 65 other readers who are equally ignorant.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If the port goes through, then say goodbye to the stay over tourism and the entire dive industry. Now that is why people come to the Cayman Islands. The natural beauty. Why destroy the one reason people visit?

    • Night diving says:

      So people only divw in rhe port? When? Not when the cruise ahips are in and tenders could run you over. I guess at night when the cargo ships couldn’t see you that is when people dive

      • Anonymous says:

        The Balboa is among the best wreck scuba dives in the Caribbean and a special place when no ships are in town. It’s teaming with diverse life at a depth which provides almost the full colour spectrum for photos. If you don’t know…you just don’t know…fortunately, many amateur and professional divers from around the world do.

    • Anonymous says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    I smell…..a Yellow Vests Cayman in the making.

  12. Anonymous says:

    These colluding kleptocrats won’t be brought to heal until there is a signed petition from the electorate to remind them who is in control of our fate. We do it to ourselves.

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      What will the Premier Aden McLaughlin think would happen to the cruise ship pier in the next norwester/hurricane after the pier is built ? The same thin that happeneday few days ago to the cargo dock . I think he needs to better learn and understand mother nature .

  13. Anonymous says:

    …………and Trump won’t get his wall either!

  14. Anonymous says:

    We cannot even collect residential garbage much less you want to now build a 200 million dollar port. Mr. Premier fix the garbage issue, fix the airport security problem, fix the dump, fix the current immigration fiasco, provide equality in the work place, fix the gang problem, fix the illegal gun issue, fix the high cost of living, implement the consumer protection law. Just a reminder, a person was shot dead on Christmas Day and 32 accidents just over the 2 day holiday. These are under your watch!

    • Anonymous says:

      Fix the roads to the east too. No point continuing the EW Arterial unless they also bypass Hurleys.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one in power wants to fix the illegal immigration problem. Most of them rely on the underpaid immigrants to work at their business and cut their lawns. It’s time Cayman woke up and realised there is absolutely no one worth voting for yet. Not a single soul.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d be happy if he could just fix the traffic chaos and non licensed & insured drivers, but I’m setting the bar high with this , even……

  15. Anonymous says:

    The Honorable Premier and the Honorable Speaker know what must be done and they will do it. All you weak cry babies better just go somewhere else and let the real leaders get this done. Once we have CHEC/Dart alliance in place nothing will stop us from being a powerhouse!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Jobs for Caymanian? Really! Don’t insult us please, you really mean Paper Caymanians (PC’s) or imported cheap labor, that will soon become PC’s with more rights than us. Fix the immigration issue first and our true Caymanians, those that truly want to work and need jobs, May stand a chance. The dock can wait. Stop the damn GREED before it’s too late.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve said it many times here, shared my own experiences with not getting jobs because of companies bringing in their own and going through the paces of advertising and interviewing and I was called a racist, xenophobe and told to “better” myself. I have a degree in business AND a degree in accounting and almost 10 years work experience in both… How much “better” am I supposed to make myself before I am worthy of the jobs I apply for. The same jobs I know from sources inside the companies that go to associates from offices in other countries.

      I understand not every job can be done by a Caymanian but I would love to see the numbers for expat professionals that are brought in each year, would love to see the jobs they filled and would love to see how many people were interviewed and their qualifications.


  17. Caveat Emptor says:

    Alden McLaughlin’s arrogance and narcissistic leadership will lead to the downfall of the Cayman Islands and financial stability. His immaturity and stubborn child like qualities coupled with the obvious desperation for power and blind support by the Cabinet and members of the UNITY government will accelerate Cayman’s demise.

    Alden McLaughlin, Moses Kirkconnell and McKeeva Bush are the trifecta of political power pulling all the strings. Sadly, the rest of those in government are lackey’s along for the ride drunk off power and position which will lead to dire consequences for Caymanians, the main pillars of the economy and the future of these islands. Buyer beware!

  18. Anonymous says:

    You aint help create anything Alden. You’re just part of the problem that needs to be fixed. To hell with your dock.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Premier, How is the $200 million of financing for the port going to be financed?

      You owe the people of the Cayman Islands an answer before we all take on a massive new public debt load in 2019.

  19. Anonymous says:

    So I guess a thank you needs to be sent to this government for resolving the dump and recycling issues as they were omitted from the New Year message. Brilliant political strategy to ignore huge problems and they will just go away.

    • Anonymous says:

      The # 1 priority of the CIG in 2019 should be resolving the dump problem once and for all. The port is a very low priority compared to the dump problem. With a new 10 storey Hyatt and Hilton being built for next year just how high can Mount Trashmore be allowed to grow? We are sitting on an environmental time bomb. WAKE UP elected officials.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. Try reading the message rather than just this one sided report focusing on the cruise and cargo port. The dump and waste management was mentioned.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to tell you this 2:22, but the dump and waste management has been mentioned many times by both Alden and McKeeva the past 10 years, and absolutely ZERO gets done on them other than a lot of talk.

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