GTC voters tell MLA ‘no’ to cruise port

| 05/02/2019 | 58 Comments
Cayman News Service

MLA Kenneth Bryan (GTC)

(CNS): Voters in George Town Central have been indicating to their MLA, Kenneth Bryan, that they do not support the government’s proposed cruise berthing facility in their constituency. Over 400 people with, in many respects, the most to gain or lose regarding this controversial issue have told their representative in a straw poll that they are not in favour. Bryan told CNS Tuesday afternoon that he had collected 407 submissions in a phone-in poll in his constituency but only 20% backed the project, while over 40% were against and the rest said they needed more information before they decide.

Bryan said he has been urging anyone who lives in George Town Central, especially those who support the project, to get in touch but there has been no change in the overall trend since the poll began. He said he wanted to make sure that the position he takes is in line with the wishes of the majority of the people he was elected to represent, and if his voters are in support they need to make their position clear.

“I have been making appeals to as many people as possible and urging the community to contact my office directly with their position so that we can get an accurate a picture as possible regarding this issue, which is of very specific concern to the people I represent,” Bryan told CNS.

He explained that he was trying to stay as neutral and objective as possible about the government’s proposed plan, despite his own growing inclination against it. But despite his calls for supporters to get in touch and his own outreach to those he thinks may support the project to record their opinion, those that want this project have simply failed to respond to him.

“There is no indication that there is going to be any difference in this trend, which has hovered around the same level of support since I first began the poll,” Bryan said.

Accepting that the survey is not scientific, he nevertheless maintained that it is an accurate record of what more than 400 (almost a third of GTC registered voters) have told him and is a significant indicator of what they want him to do. However, he is hoping to get an opinion from at least half of his constituents before taking a set position on the political stage, he said.

But even though he questions the wisdom of this project and has backed the referendum as a sure way of finding out exactly how people across Cayman feel about it, he remains open to being persuaded by his voters.

“This is an issue that I believe the public really wants to have a say in, hence my approach,” he said.

Bryan said he is not going to take a straw poll of his constituents on every move government makes but he pointed to the unique nature of this proposed project and its impact on the people of George Town Central.

“I would hate to take the position that is different from what the majority of my people want on this,” he said as he continued to urge people to contact him and let them know what they feel. “I want to be able go to the Legislative Assembly with confidence in what my people’s position is.”

Although over 40% of those polled are against the project, over a third are undecided. Bryan said this showed that people still need more information, adding to his disappointment that his efforts to get Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell to come to his constituency and talk to his voters about the project have not been successful.

Bryan cancelled a public meeting he had arranged last month after Kirkconnell, who failed to turn up at a meeting late last year, cancelled for the second time. And so, at that point, he turned his attention to polling the registered voters in his district about their feelings on the port.

Bryan’s survey in George Town Central echoes the sentiment of most of the local straw polls that have been conducted on the subject. In the original public consultation conducted in 2015, which was part of the environmental impact assessment, out of just under 500 participants the results were three to one against the proposed project.

See documentation on the cruise port project in the CNS Library

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (58)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hate to burst the bubble of this freshman MLA but the government doesn’t care what the people on George Town Central think or any other district for that matter. If government did care then they wouldn’t fight against the referendum.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth definitely only cares about a certain type with hands out rather than those with real opinions. They will say what he wants them to say.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Truthfully, I’m kinda envious of GT district having the ability to take an intra-term democratic sounding on this topic. I can’t recall hearing from our various district MLAs in the the last 30 years, except in conjunction with freebie demands for comp’ed “protocol” tickets for $100+/plate charity events and VIP-access to special functions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, I agree, say what you want about Kenneth as a politician but at least he is actively engaging his district and in a non gimmie money type of way on a very important topic.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cruise Ports are not a new invention. There are loads of them globally, and as pertains to us, many of them regionally. The single largest arguments in favor of building the Port tend to be the generation of mega-bucks and down town revitilization. We don’t need any report to show this, all we need is to visit Nassau, Bahamas (downtown is dead, a couple of families do well) or Falmouth (laughable) or anywhere really…they do NOT work for the masses, they DO work for the very small few who get to approve the permits, the owners of the construction companies, and a very few wholesale/retail operators…oh, and the cruise ship operators…NOT the tours, they give well over 50% and much higher often to the cruise ships just to advertise their tours…..further, unless part of the plan is to relocate Cayman closer to Jamaica or Mexico, the ships are going to leave at the same time they do now regardless of docks or not, because their economic model is fuel cost driven and it costs a lot less for them to trawl slowly to Cancun than it does to speed there after spending 2 more hours in Cayman……guys, the port is not only an economic fallacy, a unicorn waiting to sh*t all over us, but its’ also unwanted and unnecessary….the ships are still coming regardless…improve what we have, but dont waste money on a short term build out that will medium and long term cripple us economically and environmentally and sit empty, gated off for most of the year (really, the piers will be empty more often than full…the ships are not going to stay over)

    • Anonymous says:

      People don’t go to the Nassau anymore because it’s a shithole as a result of their idiotic political policies. Not because they built a dock.

      • Anonymous says:

        Any different than here really? And i think the comment suggested going to any port in the region, not just Nassau

        • Anonymous says:

          You have no clue at all. There is an enormous difference between Nassau and George Town, like the difference between the Bahamas and Cayman. Night and day.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nassau has been like that since the late ‘60’s

    • Anonymous says:

      Also Saint Martin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Departure and arrival times are not a function of proximity or fuel costs, but by passenger pre-paid meal and alcohol times and the opening of gambling machines. This is why the liners are offering to fully pay passenger airfare and offer a week-long cruise for $299. They make up thousands on the fine print and backend expenses – including huge markups on shore excursions our local operators run with 100% liability, never see a whiff of.

    • Anonymous says:

      There was a big concern a time ago about the dropping of ship anchors in GT Harbour
      has that gone away or will it go away?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m not in favour of the berthing facilities but that is just stupid.

    • Anonymous says:

      You think a politician ACTUALLY doing his job is stupid? If that is true then YOU are a perfect example of what’s wrong in Cayman.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This guy! Can we get “Dr.” Frank back please?

  7. Anonymous says:

    7:38pm you are right , I am a George Town Central voter who has never seen
    Kenneth Bryan in our neighborhood

    I feel he only represents certain areas of George Town Central.

    • Caylass says:

      Who did he poll? Only the 400+ people that voted for him? I am a GTC voter, against the Port, but have never seen or heard from him unless I count the 2 J’cans, with his shirts on, who came knocking before the Election to ask me point blank who I was voting for. Since this happens to be against the law I sent them packing after pointing this out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caylass honey you did not open the door with a cutlass?
        Stop opening your door to Tom Dick and Heidi that you know are canvassing your neighborhood. Thought on Jehovah Witness missionaries went door to door.

      • Anonymous says:

        11:12 .those 2 ladies were not jacans ,as you call them . I personally know them ,have been here for years , and yes they are caymanians by paper as most would say .they are mannered and polite so I wonder how that came about ? Bodden town voter .

    • Anonymous says:

      We don’t need the anti port comments. The port is going ahead and all of you will be really impressed once the CHEC/Decco partnership gets it going. Praise to our wonderful leaders who have forward vision.

    • Anonymous says:

      We sick of hearing him blabby off on the talk shows

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please consider this wise saying from Abraham Lincoln over 160 years ago: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly how dempcracy is supposed to work. The representative seeks the opinion of the electorate.
    Yes, there will be loud obnoxious voices, but just like in Brexit, your loud obnoxious vote counts for one vote only.
    Long live democracy. Well done Mr Kenneth.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Most of the people said they weren’t sure rather than no. Also With the way Kenneth has campaigned with the save cayman referendum group I’m sure his survey was not unbiased.

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple solution if you don’t want your MLAs to have to collect data themselves and avoid “biased survey”. Back the petition for the referendum in which the Elections office will be responsible as the unbiased overseers of a poll that would put this question to bed once and for all

      The government claims they have a mandate it would be a relatively straightforward process to schedule a referendum to validate their claims

      Any government dealing with a project this controversial who actually believed that they had a mandate would have held the referendum already, so that critics and skeptics would lose one of their main areas of
      If the CIG had even the slightest hint that the result would be in their favour
      They would have held the referendum ages ago, the reason why they shot down the motion in the LA and have been running ads for months is not because they think they will win but because they know they will lose
      Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot, intellectually dishonest or both

      • Anonymous says:

        You were doing fine until the last line; it was impartial (mostly), informative and persuasive. When you insult the opposition, you influence those in the middle. That’s true of any idea in any debate.

      • Anonymous says:

        When will the people know who win? which year?

    • Anonymous says:

      If 20% said yes and “over 40%” said no, how do you get “most of the people” are unsure?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Y’all better just face it. Cayman will get its new cruise port, by hook “and” by crook.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great, now we know what Rock Hole wants. Give the voters 25.00 and re-take the poll.

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