Cruise petition has just 200 names to confirm

| 16/05/2019 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise Port Referendum volunteers Billy Adam and Laura Egglishaw collect signatures for the petition

(CNS): The campaign to trigger a people-initiated referendum on whether or not the people of Cayman support government’s plans for a cruise berthing facility in the George Town Harbour has confirmed that more than 5,000 registered voters have now signed the petition. With just 200 names to be verified, the activists challenged government to answer the questions about the deals it has struck with four cruise lines and explain to the public the details of the financing model for this controversial development.

“The petition for the people-initiated referendum on the proposed cruise berthing facility has now surpassed 96% of the constitutional requirement,” the campaigners noted in a statement before they raised concerns about the latest deal.

“The announcement of another cruise line’s commitment does not answer outstanding fundamental questions about the proposed cruise berthing facility,” the Cruise Port Referendum campaigners said following the premier’s announcement Wednesday that government had signed a deal with MSC Cruises.

Cayman News Service

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“From the very limited information the government has disclosed, it appears that the commitment from the cruise lines is only to bring passengers, which is essentially no different from the current status quo,” they added.

The campaigners questioned if money will be paid upfront and what the terms of the agreements are, as no details have been disclosed. They also asked what government’s anticipated annual target for the passengers the cruise lines will bring each year is, as this issue goes to the heart of the impact on Cayman’s infrastructure.

There are concerns that the cruise companies will need to bring between 2.5 million and 3.3 million people each year to make the costly project viable.

“As the age old adage goes, the devil is in the details, however the government continues to be unwilling to discuss the details and terms of the contract and financing model with the public,” the activists stated. “Without this critical information, we are still in the dark about how much this will actually cost the Cayman Islands and what risks we are exposing ourselves to.”

With the petition almost complete, campaigners are planning a final push over the coming weeks to ensure that the petition will meet the constitutional requirement and that every name is a qualified registered voter.

This weekend opposition Bodden Town MLAs Chris Saunders and Alva Suckoo will be going door to door in the district.

On Friday from 4pm to 7pm campaigners will hold an open petition signing in West Bay at the Hell Service Station, and on Saturday afternoon they will take the petition door to door in North Side.

MLA Kenneth Bryan (George Town Central) will also be working with volunteers to take the petition to his constituents this evening (Thursday) from 5pm to 7pm in the Crewe Road and Palm Dale area.

On Thursday, 30 May, the campaign is planning to host a public meeting at George Town Town Hall from 6pm to 8pm to discuss the project and referendum.

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We have a truck on di road

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go! Go! Go!

    Watching from Canada and cheering you guys along to the finish line!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Save Cayman saying they have verified the voters is like Bernie Madoff certifying his own audit.

    CNS: All the names will have to be double checked by the Elections Office as the officials in charge of the process. All the campaigners are doing is making sure that the names are verified before it is submitted so that it does not subsequently fail the threshold.

    • Anonymous says:

      Half of them dead by now it’s taken so long.

      • Anonymous says:

        To speed up the final push to get the last few hundred qualifying signatures can you help us with a few hours of your your time?

        Contact us on Facebook.

    • Anonymous says:

      They said they had the amounts from last year, pity people who really believe in the scope of the objection are being used.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is no way that this marketing campaign against the port for special interests is actually in the national best interest to stop a development project for an entire industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the result of many governments allowing a monopoly by the tender owners. They have become too powerful.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Petitioners saying they self confirmed that these are valid and the elections office confirming are two completely different things. If they don’t have 7000 signatures before handing in there is no way this is actually going to hit the mark

  6. Anonymous says:

    Common sense is not too common. CNS clearly stated that the Caninet will be setting the question, but somehow you found that to difficult to understand!

  7. Anonymous says:

    If anyone truly believes that the recent actions of certain opposition Mlas has anything to do with caring about the environment, they have a surprise coming. This is all about one thing ‘ next election soon come and we want the power’.

  8. Common sense says:

    Dont you think that if the general voting population had major issues with the government proposal it would not have taken these people over nine months to get close to the number required. Also many months ago I was asked to sign the petition in a bar and declined but I witnessed them getting several drunk people to sign and at least one of those persons told the woman collecting the signatures that he supported the port redevelopment. So i would question the integrity of the petition process. However at the end of the day the voters of Cayman will make the right decision for the future of our economy and our people and support the port redevelopment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, if 1/3 of the voting roll wasn’t civil servants working under the most powerful internal government we’ve ever had, scared of declaring themselves to be against a project that is being pushed from the very top with public funds. The refusal to allow the organisers to accept signatures at CIG headquarters sent a very clear message to them, if they weren’t clear on what was expected of them before. “No one is against the port in this building, it’s national policy”

    • Anonymous says:

      So you were the guy shaking your kirk bot in the pole dancing competition? I thought the family didn’t approve of you going to bars?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so full of s*** it’s ridiculous
      First of all if the civil servants they were being held to the fire weren’t so afraid of signing it it would have been completed a long time ago also if you had nothing to fear you would have signed it for your chance to say yes to it idiot

  9. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations CPR Group.

    Another small step towards participatory democracy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Even the cargo port should be removed from its present location. The noise and traffic of the container trucks prevents Georgetown from being profitable in the evening hours.

  11. Abys says:

    Congrats on nearing 25% after a year plus of trying to achieve a waste of time referendum.. everyone knows if you support it you don’t need a referendum. Signing referendum = NO.

    If this is a result of corruption then we’re doomed regardless.

    The much needed port / cargo expansion will be built.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now please explain how signing = No. The people that support it still get to say yes in the referendum if they’d like. It’s not like you’re forbidden from voting yes if the referendum does go through. With logic like this within CIG we are truly doomed.

      • Anonymous says:

        No but the government will do what all governments do with referenda they don’t want to have happening or don’t want to have pass: they’ll tell their supporters not to vote at all to delegitimise the result so that the total number of voters who voted fails to cross a necessary threshold for the result or it just looks like not enough people voted for the referendum result to have the power it should.

      • Anonymous says:

        “hey we’re gonna make these people build us a port”

        OK do it

        “ok you sure?”

        Yes go on

        “hold on let’s waste a ton of time and money to petition it so you can say yes again on paper”

        How about we don’t.. Anyway, here’s my official yes

        “ok since you’re willing to waste money you must be sure”

        Just build the cargo expansion

        “ok… You sure?”

        • Anonymous says:

          I tried responding to your comment but your pronouns are all over the place and I can’t tell who is saying what.

    • J[) says:

      Until we as a people stop relying on importing food and other necessary consumables, i’ll continue to support a cargo expansion project.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I checked the statistics at https://www.caymanport.com/statistics/ to get the numbers for 2018. It showed 1.9 Million arrivals which was the highest number for any of the years shown. The question remains whether these numbers will fall back to the average 1.7 Million in the years before the hurricanes pummeled the Eastern Caribbean.

    If we need 2.5 Million to 3.3 Million to make the port viable how are we going to reach it? The island is congested enough with the current passenger load. If it goes up another 50% or more how will we deal with the masses of people?

    I’ve been on cruises and would never get off a ship when there are 5+ ships in port. This place is too small to handle the load. It’s not enjoyable for anyone

    I believe we need to enhance the port for cargo purposes but not for cruise tendering

    • Anonymous says:

      A cargo port should not be the focal point of GT Harbour; it shouldn’t even be there. It just developed as the port because it was safest for loading and unloading the small ships that used to supply us in decades past (I am talking a long time ago when you had a few men in a wooden boat and a few on shore waiting for it, and needed the calmest water they could find).

      We can never revitalise GT with rusty cranes, rusty, ugly ships, and slabs of concrete. All industrial or intensive operations of any sort need to be moved so that we can finally have a truly attractive harbour with leisure boats closer to shore, much less noise, less congestion, and an overall better quality of experience working and living in and around GT.

      You don’t hear anything about revitalising GT because 1) government knows these projects will make all of that pointless, no one wants to work and live next to a dock that is not even interesting to look at, and 2) paymaster DART has invested billions in another part of the island and therefore has a vested interest in GT continuing to die OR becoming so clogged with infrastructure, cruisers and adverse effects that it becomes suitable only for cruise tourists, businesses leave, he can buy up buildings and parcels for fractions of their worth and then put in even more cruise attractions. To me it looks like it could be the latter; looks like DART has decided where it wants the rich people and where it wants the poor people and has a master plan longer than the remaining lifespans of our current politicians to control, if not own, the entire tourism industry here. Anyway, I digress slightly.

      So, just to be clear: all ports somewhere else so we can have an attractive capital that tourists will happily take a bus in to experience. If that means the Turtle Farm can’t add its precious second tour group without the expected additional hour of shore time to slightly reduce its massive losses so be it, why do we all have to suffer for that. One tour group it is and we ALL get a beautiful harbour.

      One big question I have is why these politicians want to govern an ugly place? Not a single one of them seems to place any value on aesthetics and the interesting places an economy can be taken once they are focused on. All we hear these days is how much fun they have playing with all the money they extort from us. I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder and money is most beautiful to them.

      • Anonymous says:

        @11.53am . You said “A cargo port should not be the focal point of GT Harbour; it shouldn’t even be there. It just developed as the port because it was safest for loading and unloading “. Do you realize how contradictory that statement is.Ships do need calm waters for offloading. Why do you think the port does not operate during a nor’wester? As far as somewhere quiet to dine.. try Seven Mile Beach, or any of the other districts especially the Eastern districts.Real quiet.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good for them, regardless of how the vote may turn out in the end, it’s wonderful that the next generation are truly interested in the future of the country and not letting the same old crew continue to go unchecked (or CHEC’d !)
    Hopefully other major issues can be subjected to referendums also, as unfortunately the ultimate referendum that is a General Election cannot be trusted to provide the governance that gets promised during campaign season.

    • Anonymous says:

      True, a referendum is the only way for a government to be accurately informed about the wishes of the governed / the people.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a disaster it would be to govern projects by referendum. A referendum is only meant to decide on policy that changes the Constitution or national laws.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations young people of Cayman! And thank you to the elected Honorable politicians who have come out in support. This is a major step forward in restoring good governance to our country. Well done and heartfelt thanks for your efforts.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is only youth being fooled by Shrewd tender boat owners. Hopefully our elected officials aren’t fooled, and they proceed with their commitment to improve our infrastructure.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you are saying that 25% of the whole electorate (nearly 40% of the electorate not employed by Government) is stupid and naive enough to be fooled by a few boat operators?

        And that’s not insulting to them?

        And you’re so right that we now have to listen to Government adverts created with public funds (misused) just to correct their stupidity?

        And you are still saying it is THEM that is stupid?

  15. Cayman News says:

    CNS: Someone posted the following questions on the previous referendum article, but I thought it would be more useful to answer them here.

    1. Who would be responsible for administering the referendum process?
    Answer = The Elections Office, which conducts the process in the same way as a general election.

    2. Is there is any independent oversight over said “administrator” during the referendum?
    Answer = Not necessarily, but as in previous elections it would be possible to seek international observers.

    3. What time frames would be applicable if a referendum is triggered – i.e. how long does the administrator / CIG have to initiate voting proceedings with respect to the referendum?
    Answer = The Cabinet sets the date of the referendum. The Constitution merely says “within a reasonable time period as prescribed by law”.

    4. Is there is a % threshold of registered voters required to make referendum binding on the CIG?
    Answer = 25% to trigger the referendum and 50% plus one to pass. However, the Cabinet also sets the question, so it is only binding on the results of the poll on that question.

    • Anonymous says:

      thanks for the answers – much appreciated. 🙂

    • Frustrated says:

      When is someone going to explain how one gets one’s name removed from the petition? These people do not have a registered office, are largely undentified and cannot be found. Exactly who is keeping the records and how do you find that person?
      The fact that such an ephemeral body can cause such disruption is sufficient cause to remove the provision for referenda from the Constitution.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Foolish waste of time. They have no referendum question to be asked

    • Anonymous says:

      The referendum question and date of the event is set by the sitting government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Which is precisely why you jackasses are wasting your time.

      • Anonymous says:

        11.44am Are you saying that voters have been signing a paper for a petition Wow without a clue as to what that petition is asking?

        • Anonymous says:

          The. Caninet always set the questions. It has nothing to do with signing a paper without knowing what the petition is asking. Again the petition statement was made by the group who are asking the voters to sign the petition for the referendum, the question on the referendum ballot will be set by CABINET. It is not rocket science!

    • Anonymous says:

      ignorant attitudes like yours is why the younger generation is having to pick up the pieces and save this island…

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a foolish statement but not spoken with full understanding.

      Under the Constitution the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY sets the actual question.

      CPR Petition asks government to conduct a Cruise Port Referendum to determine the wishes of the electorate, after Government has published ALL INFORMATION relevant to the cruise port.

      Then Government should then ask the simple referendum question “Do you support construction of the cruise port?”

      CHECK ONE BOX BELOW:

      Yes ____

      OR

      No ____

      CNS: It’s actually Cabinet that sets the question. See section 70 of the Constitution here.

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