Premier: Stability can’t be taken for granted

| 05/03/2019 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier at the 2019 CEO conference

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has said the Cayman Islands may be a stable and peaceful place when compared to many other countries around the world at present but we cannot take that stability for granted. He said government needed to “work tirelessly” to maintain the stability and be vigilant against instability, as he outlined Cayman’s ongoing success at the CEO conference last week. Speaking about how important development is to the economic success, he said Caymanians must be included in this ongoing development boom.

“We must not only appreciate the jewel that we have created here but we must jealously guard and protect it,” the premier said during his ‘state of the nation’ speech, where he said local people must benefit from the success.

McLaughlin said that with a growing economy and falling unemployment, Cayman had closed out the old year and started the new with continuing strong economic performance. He added that political stability has assisted in creating the strong economic performance that is sustaining confidence among businesses and investors.

Although McLaughlin’s speech was dominated by news that the government is in discussions with the Dart Group about the possibility of building a skyscraper somewhere in or around Camana Bay, he also spoke more generally about how his government sees development as the key to maintaining the peace, stability and economic growth that Cayman enjoys.

“Perhaps the most tangible and visible expression of confidence in the long-term prospects of our economy is the growth that is going on in our development and construction sector,” he said. The growth in development was also behind the more than CI$1 billion worth of goods imported here last year, the premier told the audience.

But he also pointed out that development must bring “real and tangible benefits to the Caymanian people”, and while there is a history here of supporting investment, it had “always been done on the basis that there is a meaningful return for our people. You don’t grow an economy for the sake of business – you do it to provide opportunities for your people,” the premier stated.

“If we are to maintain, and indeed improve, our place in the world far into the future, then we will need to be bold and to think big,” he said. “In my view, it only makes sense to think about bigger and bolder steps if we are confident in the foundations that are needed to support them. If the economic fundamentals are sound then risk is more manageable and the confidence will be there to fund the investments that will be required.”

The premier spoke about the government’s plans for the revitalisation of George Town, which has been talked about for a long time but has yet to see any significant manifestation other than the extensive investment government has made in roads. But during the address he urged people “to think creatively about how we might best use the space” in the capital.

McLaughlin said he favoured mixed-use development, but through the public consultation now being conducted, government was “willing to listen positively to the ideas people will bring forward”.

“The government has already removed many of the constraints that have prevented innovative planning approaches in George Town in the past. We would be willing to look further and remove other obstacles such as restrictions on building heights in order to see the kind of positive redevelopment we want in our Capital,” he said, as he signalled the Dart skyscraper idea.

But he said changes to the planning laws to promote more development would depend upon the benefits that any such development brings for Caymanians.

“If development is seen to be just about luxury hotels and accommodation for rich foreigners then our community will rightly reject it. If, on the other hand, it is not just seen to be but actually is about the delivery of improvements in infrastructure and in the economic and employment opportunities and the social conditions of Caymanians, then I believe this is a debate we should be willing to engage in,” he said.

Urging people to take part on the consultation process for PlanCayman, the premier said that he would welcome others coming forward with other proposals.

For more on PlanCayman visit the website here

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (69)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “he also spoke more generally about how his government sees development as the key to maintaining the peace, stability and economic growth that Cayman enjoys.”

    Let’s look at his 3 main focuses.

    Peace. He want’s to maintain peace in the cayman islands why clearly ignoring the public’s opinion on the dock proposal.

    Stability. He want’s to maintain the island’s stability while clearly allowing the Dart Group to mander about the entire island going so far as to promote a skyscraper which can tarnish the key qualities of island life.

    Economic growth. He ignores the public opinion to dedicate money towards long term tourists which have shown a 5.5% increase in this year alone or even dedicate money to a better education standard for the island. Or a proposal of a standardised bus system, better yet, anything that can actually help caymanians grow financially on an island that takes almost every dollar they earn. He rather spend multitudes more on short term benefits.

    Nothing about our premier shows that he has the people’s nor the island’s interest at heart. Little more than a front to stay in the pockets to whoever is making him their puppet, shameful.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Our Premier, using his sulfuric pulpit once again to espouse the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy/jealousy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth? Amazing.

    Better read up:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HUSTS8K/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

  3. Anonymous says:

    If we could vote for status holders from Europe, USA, or Canada we would have had lower prices and costs in this country. However, instead, we voted for people who would take a bribe. That’s why we are suffering now. Voting for any other Caribbean person would be the same we see all over the Caribbean.
    However, let’s talk about how to fix the situation. Trade school is the only school that needs to be added to the public sector. By the way how many high school children graduate and go on to higher education? Anyone have the real numbers. Maybe that will show if we need more schools?
    Trash should solve soon, and it benefits Dart so stop worrying. Low-cost housing means we have to bring in workers from China or the Philippines and build them pre-constructed and close together. Still interested?
    If and when the sea level rises where we have to take action will happen when you and my grandchildren are dead. It’s not coming for a long time. Besides the wealthy own the coastline. They will merely build a higher home and fill in the first or second floor. Then make a wall to keep out the sea. Stop thinking gloom and doom.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Approximately half of public school leaving year “diploma” with D-G level “passes” in 3 subjects and less than 14 days of disciplinary school suspension. It’s a very low bar. We’ve interviewed high school “GED” recipients and the ones that showed up (for the scheduled appointment) left much to be desired. The attitude matched the recent stat that 70% of public high school kids carry a weapon to school. The product of our public schools continue to be ill-equipped to compete on an international footing for local jobs, despite corporate incentive to hire them. How does our trade-based industry view employee weapon-carrying? Does anyone dare ask why it’s even necessary?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he realizes the truly destructive results of his caving to the wants of everyone but the Cayman people will soon be seen. Any takers he secures a nice position with Dart after his loss in next election. If you see him in public all Caymanians should be sure to point him out to their children as the man who have away their futures.

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    • Boris says:

      You will have to point out the two that took away their futures. Remember mckeeva started this ball rolling. Hopefully those that have been blind for so long, sees the light come next election.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is Cayman’s problem. Someone points out what the current government is doing wrong, and some buffoon has to reply with “Makeeva”started it!” Do you not realize that the current government has Makeeva and Alden in it? Do you realize that your children will not be able to compete for jobs? Keep that PPM vs UDP mentality and see how far that gets you.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Using a warning to pat himself on back…pathetic.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    How many MLA’s and others have bought land in the Turks or elsewhere as we prepare to leave? Sea levels, they’re rising…but CIREBA, CIG, DART and a few others are desperate to keep this news from making any impact on valuations of properties in Cayman on SMB, South Sound and a few other areas in the SHORT TERM….medium term, all those making money today will be gone…mark my words….and medium term is 10-15 years…..there is NO planing for medium or long term here, if you don’t believe me, fine..just take a look at the dump…or the recycling policy…or education..or healthcare…or pensions…or infrastructure….and so on and so on….guys, Cayman is toast….toast.
    At the very least, the entire CIG shoud be kicked out…laws should be immediately enacted to prevent any further development within 500 yards of the high water mark….schools should be funded and the dump must be addressed….anyone fancying making money short term by running for CIG should be asked to fly to Turks now.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    It was CAYMANIANS…born and bred… who sold their land to the highest bidder. For the love of God stop blaming Dart for everything.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    What stability? The Cayman pot is steaming with forgotten and neglected residents.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    CNS readers thirst for a version Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as their representative! And that kind of stupidly is hard to quench!

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    • Anonymous says:

      9 27 you must be mad. We read CNS and we do not care for policies of Ocasio Kotex. Her green deal is a raw deal so cool it.
      Forget it. We are not stupid.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Kotex reference is deeply offensively sexist and speaks to the nastiness of the person who posted it. By all means criticize her but try not to demean her and other women…all women, for Christ’s sake… with your childish comments.

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  10. Climate Change is real - science told me says:

    Is it just me, or are our politicians all avoiding the very real prospect of rising sea levels in the future, which will greatly impact all three of the Cayman Islands?! It’s very easy for the uber wealthy to improve their fortunes short term, and you can bet your ass they will abandon ship is soon as life here becomes untenable. What are our “statesmen” doing to consider the next few decades in Cayman’s history for the future generations of Caymanians and expats? – and please don’t tell me they will form a committee to look into it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      In the Florida Keys they are preoccupied with rising sea levels and real estate values impacted by these future rising seas. However, due to the hold that the real estate industry has on our politicians it is not mentioned in Cayman. Why? You can draw your own conclusions.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Interesting to note that now on the Florida Coast and the Florida Keys when real estate evaluations are done, climate change through rising oceans are put into evaluations.

        Does anyone know of a real estate evaluation done in the Seven Mile Beach area and South Sound where someone has done an evaluation related to rising sea levels?

        If no, why not?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Land prices are continuing to rise in the Florida keys. Just FYI

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        • Anonymous says:

          7:18, They are going up because in 2008 the real estate bubble completely burst in the Keys from record lows. My concern is that might happen in Cayman one day.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The Florida Keys prices have been damaged by the realization the these sandbars are at sea level and totally un-protectable in Hurricanes.
        We in Cayman are better prepared with properly engineered buildings.

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    • Anonymous says:

      they will hire Ernest and Young to write a report and leave it on a shelf along with all the other reports.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Have you considered a tinfoil hat?

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    • Void says:

      If the bluff sinks, the entire planet has a problem.

  11. Anonymous says:

    You want Caymanian participation? OK then, when was the last prosecution for fronting? It is rife, and it is illegal. Where is the disconnect?

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    • Anonymous says:

      That critical little legal requirement to seek to ensure that Caymanians owned at least part of their economy, thrown away by greed, corruption and avarice. The lack of enforcement of core laws designed to protect the Caymanian people and maintain stability in society and the economy is both obvious and intentional. YOU are responsible for that Alden. Now your people are hurting, and face the weight of corporate oligarchs providing everything from rental accommodation to gas for your tank. What you going to do now? Mislead the people further by saying “I’ve got your back?”

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  12. Anonymous says:

    A major risk facing Cayman is the environmental time bomb known as Mount Trashmore. This government speaks of increased tourism and population but nary a word on resolving the dump crisis. The dump was considered a crisis 10 years ago.
    No you cannot build the skyscraper on the dump to cover it over.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They, Caymanians, don’t care. It is expats who are screaming about it. But it is too late, the monster is unmanageable. Just pile it up higher is all that could be done.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dear Alden,

    Do you know what else we MUST do? Focus on public Education and create a Trade School! You will no be able to retire peacefully if you do not educate the up and coming generations to run this country! You are failing our children! If this is not done sooner rather than later, then there will be no choice but to let expats vote and run for office.

    Sincerely,

    A local that cares

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  14. Anonymous says:

    God bless you Hon. Premier!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    “we created” …and that is why you will lose it because you created nothing and so do not know how to keep it. Rich investors created this island and are keeping it afloat.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Stability. I am becoming very unstable siting in traffic for hours every day while the other half are eating steaks and drinking scotch in their penthouses. I will not vote for any politician in favor of skyscrapers or the port. The ball is in our court in case you dont know!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry 2:04, Joey Hew says overpasses are coming. Then you will be stable again. Bring on the overpasses and let’s be like South Miami Beach. That’s where we are headed.

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      • Anonymous says:

        He said not in his life time.

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        • Anonymous says:

          10:11, You need to work on your reading skills. Hew said “during my time in government” not during my lifetime. As Hew will probably lose his seat in the next election due to his poor performance, we can expect overpasses sooner rather than later.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Especially with this leadership!!

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  18. Johnny Be Good says:

    Positive redevelopment he says. There’s nothing positive about this especially when the only Caymanians being involved in this boom are the upper 2%, Mr. D. Included of course. We are rapidly pricing ourselves out of the core market we have enjoyed for years before all the new concrete was poured. We are fast heading into uncharted territory that will bring more disparity and social unrest compliments of this unilaterally corrupted so called Unity government.

    Keep pushing for these mega projects that divert much needed resources and finances from decrepit or non existent infrastructure that needs it such as solid waste management, technical schools, elderly and mental needs facilities. Keep digging that big hole for yourself and you’ll soon be buried in it.
    People can see through your double speak Mr. A, and your time and your kind will soon be done in 2021. This is the only positive end fitting for you, your crew and our people.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What resources and finances are you talking about? These projects are where the resources **Money** come from. Or is it the resource tree? Some people long for the days of less development and ever increasing public debt which never managed to solve the problems with infrastructure or education.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A change of government will change nothing. Just another set of politicians who dont give a rats ass about anything but what is in it for them and their families.

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      • Johnny Be Good says:

        Did I mention a positive change in government, which might be a stretch since historically all the straight ones eventually get corrupted.

  19. So tired of nonsense says:

    Since it’s George Town that the Premier is seeking to revitalise, why doesn’t he push for the skyscraper to be built in George Town. Surely that will bring a lot of attention to George Town and help with its revitalisation. Perhaps a revolving fully glass restaurant or observation tower at the top??

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Well said Alden. Most people don’t (or won’t) understand that said jewel is only as keep as the shine you keep on it. That means constant and consistent momentum relating to the economy, the people and the encouragement of investment. It’s not an easy pill to digest, especially since infrastructure often lags behind the pace of development and we all have to feel that pain (traffic, crowding, soaring costs). Let’s not forget that in the not so distant future, Cayman will inevitably have to consider that ugly word ‘independence’ and the strength of a larger population, ongoing development and investment (yes, DART too) will collectively be the leverage we use to stay afloat during those uncertain times. There’s no way to agree with everything a particular government or party does but when I look back at the recent past and look towards the foreseeable future; I am thankful for the PPM and the leadership they provided.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    “We must not only appreciate the jewel that we have created here but we must jealously guard and protect it,”

    Then have the balls to say no to Dart’s tower, no to Dart’s runaway development, no to dredging a marine conservation zone, no to beach vendors, no to the waste of money called the dock, no to all the remaining free areas to the beach being developed into hotels, houses and condos. And having bigger balls to say yes to putting Caymanians first, yes to enacting the Standard for Public life, yes to removing aging politicians and bringing in new ones with fresh new ideas, yes to improving public schools so our children and compete in the work place, yes to bringing new industry to Cayman that doesn’t involve the beach or banks, yes to utilities competition to lower electric and cell phone prices, yes to a department to regulate the cost of renting in Cayman, yes to the removal of rental slums like swamp and other areas and yes to stemming the free flow of work permits or yes to giving real power to that dust covered ignored department in CIG that verifies positions can truly be filled by Caymanians.

    Or does Alden really mean jealously protecting and guarding the non-Caymanian made jewel that our island is becoming.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hilarious, rich non-caymanian investors that become cayman made this island possible off the backs of non-cayman cheap labour that also in the process became caymanian. The other 95% of caymanians are just around for the ride. You ain’t faking anybody.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes you are right but it is time to stop or at least slow down. I am quite aware where the money came from, but we are over developed and have allowed a corrupt destructive force into Cayman who has blinded the CIG with his gold. We are moving too far too fast. The fact that the CIG will now willingly consider destroying marine conservation areas and concrete over what made us a jewel in the Caribbean is proof of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      wishful thinking my friend as they will never ever say no to Mr. Dart

  22. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva’s puppet!

    Nuff said.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    You poor deluded little man.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmm da where verbal gymnastics is boy! Yeah, I wish I could believe all of this. I really do.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Translation of Alden’s speech:
    “I am scared. You found our pity party Lodge. You stood up against the cruise port. You scrutinized the former Governor’s resignation. You were given information based on FOI requests seeking a level of transparency I would’ve never wanted you to gain access to. But, I AM working for you. I am sure we can work this out, if you calm down and go back to being the stupid, hungry, poor people we have manipulated for decades in order to benefit ourselves and puppet masters.”

    Why do you really think Alden is so scared of non-Caymanians to stand for office? Could they, by chance, do something that actually benefits ALL people, Caymanian and not? Could they, by chance, fail to be persuaded or lobbied to do or say things from their local families and friends? Could they use their international perspective to lead existing solution based actions?
    We are no longer buying into the ‘I’m pro-Caymanian!’ BS that many politicians love to use in order to buy votes. This has historically been a Trojan horse to bring more lies, deceit, and ongoing efforts to avoid transparency. The corruption is widespread and the disease comes from the very people saying they have the cure.
    Alden must go. McKeeva must go. This government requires a deep Spring Cleaning or things will continue to get Messy.
    WWG1WGA.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I was fine with everything you said until you used the tired old “Q” slogan WWG1WGA. That shot your veracity in the foot.

      Consider this also: If Status Holders could hold office, how do you feel about Dart for Premier? It makes me sick to my stomach.

      I wish I had the sand to sign my name, because I believe our coddling of Dart and his minions are pivotal to our future. However, I am not certain of how extensive his resources are, not that my little words matter to him. I am only confident that the owners of this website would not give up any personal information that is within their purview.

      To me, Dart is not an entity to be enticed; Dart is an entity to be controlled. Never forget that he severely damaged two countries which displeased him.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Status holders can hold office. Having status is a requirement under the Elections Law.

        • Jotnar says:

          You missed the bit about being multi generational and not travelling extensively outside the islands ( unless on government business).

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    • Anonymous says:

      There are no political alternatives.

  26. Anon says:

    What about the public schools? How about Dart putting money towards them, put money towards building homes for low income people, homes for the homeless! Seriously wake up Cayman we are going downhill so fast and thats bad. 🙁

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    • Anonymous says:

      No, the money for the port should instead go to funding public schools. Dart is not the Government yet, so it would be foolish to have Dart funding public schools.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Praise to you Mr. Honorable Premier. You are such a wise leader that formed this wonderful government we have. Do not pay any attention to all the negative people who run down all your plans. Get things done as you know they must be. We need you to run the country for 8 more years!

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Turkey he gave you over Christmas must have had extra fluoride in it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Alden is a puppet for Dart and beholden to McKeeva Bush

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    • Anonymous says:

      yes 11:15am .and I have a good feeling that Alden will try and change things up so he can become premier again .but as sure as God is , Alden will be stopped when God has enough of his crap .

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