Gov’t supporters accuse campaign of bullying

| 17/05/2019 | 92 Comments
Cayman News Service

Campaigners collect signatures for the referendum

(CNS): As it tries to stop the democratic process, the Cayman Islands Government and its supporters are increasing the social media opposition campaign to the cruise berthing port referendum and taking aim at the press. As the petition calling for a people-initiated referendum on whether or not the Cayman people support a cruise berthing facility in George Town Harbour reaches the number required to trigger that national ballot, the petitioners have been accused  of bullying and the media of fake news.

“Our country is being fed false information and fake news by some local media outlets,” one of the the government related PR campaigns posted on its Facebook page. “Please ensure you know the facts. Don’t be bullied into signing a petition that will irrevocably damage the future of our cruise based economy.”

The government is also campaigning hard against the petition and using public cash to deride the efforts of volunteers. What started as a grassroots environmental movement has grown to include a diverse group of campaigners that oppose the cruise project for many different reasons.

Cayman News Service

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Given the immensity of this proposed controversial and costly project, which will have a significantly detrimental impact on the environment, the country’s infrastructure, beaches, attractions and the wider tourism product, the campaign has sought from the beginning to have the decision be made by the more than 21,000 registered voters in Cayman and not the seven members of Cabinet.

The government has used the power of the state to attack and deride the campaign and some of those involved in organising it because the government leadership believes some of the volunteers are their political opponents.

While campaigners and some local media houses have tried very hard to seek and reveal as much accurate information about the progress of this project as possible, the CIG has been consistently less than transparent.

Government has failed to address conflict concerns regarding the process and has released only limited and contradictory information about the process. It has used misleading information and statistics to justify it, leaving many questions unanswered, such as what plans are in place to maintain cruise tourism while the construction is underway and the type of jobs that will be created by the development.

Government has also said that design images recently circulated after they were leaked from closed-door meetings were merely talking points.

However, CNS understands that the designs were submitted to bidders by government as a model for what it wants, which contrasts with claims made by the Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell that these are merely “concept drawings which are necessary at various junctures throughout the evolution of the project for illustrative and discussion purposes”.

The government is also insisting that it has kept the public informed, despite the myriad questions that have not been answered and concerns about the tendering process that have not been addressed. It has published a timeline document on a website government created to promote the port, which lists the communications it says it has made about the project to inform the public.

See the timeline and relevant documents in the CNS Library

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (92)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just build the port already.

  2. John Antonio Jensen says:

    Is this why someone wants to expand the port for more of these cruise vessels? I for one (living in another part of the world) would try to get fever if possible or at least maintain a limited level of vessels.

    https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2019/04/articles/pollution/federal-judge-threatens-to-imprison-carnival-executives-for-continued-environmental-crimes/

  3. BTC is King says:

    Yes, because I’m going to trust what government tells me. When it comes to governments, there are 3 rules to live by:

    1. All governments are completely corrupt and useless. Do not trust them.

    2. Read rule 1 real slowly, 100 times over.

    3. Reread rules 1 & 2.

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    • BTC is King says:

      Lol. Government Trolls hard at work. This comment had 10 upvotes (with zero downvotes) last time I checked, and all of a sudden 17 downvotes appeared out of the blue. No wonder government can’t get anything done… too busy downvoting CNS news articles that they don’t like.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I heard first hand from someone who signed ed the petition. These petitioners people are misleading to get signatures, saying they’re NOT opposing the dock, just CHEC!

    When if fact that are trying to push this to a referendum in hopes to generate enough disinformation to stop the project and/or to make such a political headwind that people will drop the project. This dock was on the ballot for the last 3 general election and has been on every manifesto produced by either side. if there was organic opposition to this project it would have been an issue at each of the elections.

    This is a pure manufactured opposition and even this petition of disingenuously manufactured.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    You have those who build, and those that protest those that do.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, let’s see…
    – Anti-port campaigners would have us believe that we are against democracy if we don’t sign the petition. I have personally observed this behavior by ring leaders of the campaign. It’s our democratic right to make a free choice including whether to sign or not to sign;

    – On Two different occasions it was reported that Government had already signed the Port construction contract. Regardless that the reports were not factual, it inflamed the anti-port campaign and gave them a boost even the 2nd time;

    – Anti-port campaigners do not acknowledge that the reports they claim not available are accessible at https://www.supportourtourism.com/report/

    – Anti-port campaigners constantly demand information that their more experienced members full well know will not be finalized until the preferred bidder is selected.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    big bad petitioners won’t wet me get paid :'(

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  8. Jonathan says:

    This accusation comes from the same Government whom has now spent over CI$70,000 of the People’s Money on Radio and Television commercials even airing those commercial in Hollywood theater at Camana Bay for the maximum effect of depriving the Citizens of this County of their Democratic Right to Petition for a Referendum on an issue of National Importance!!!.. #Whoisbullyingwho….

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Build the port.

    I DARE YOU…..

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  10. Anonymous says:

    communism …yet you fellow caymanians gonna vote the same politicians in office during 2021! wake up caymanians…😧😦

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  11. Anonymous says:

    LOL!! That headline… ROTFL!! The proverbial pot calling the kettle black…

    Hear me now, I said in another post to get ready for the impending propaganda campaign from the government. Skewing the facts and throwing shade at the ‘opposition’.
    The funniest was “… the mandate of my platform…” Like, really???? Besides the fact that it was NOT your ‘mandate’ (“I WILL build the port”), you think THAT is why people woted for you??

    For something like this, the people should have a vote. This IS meant to be a democratic society.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The coral relocation is never going to work. Better to spend the $30 million on buying and protecting coastal mangroves instead of wasting it on bogus coral relocation so gov can pretend they are mitigating the effects.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yea, better try finish that high school ,and get the trade school going ,,,really ? How can these same people that started that school so long ago feel so good about themselves ,,and bragging bout piggy bank running over ..God help us .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or fixing our trash problem poisoning everything for miles.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    CNS – Even if CIG gave those exact pictures to bidders that doesn’t mean that they are not ‘illustrative concept drawings’. Like when I go to an architect and say ‘I want a house like this one I’ve sketched out, please’. My ‘illustrative concept drawing’ and the final plan may be different. – Of course, if CIG would just publish this stuff themselves we wouldn’t be having this semantic debate. Bad government.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ooh my word.

      All upset again at the end of the same week that unna started being upset in.

      Give it a break, breathe and enjoy the best life unna ever had!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    That is just too funny. The government making accusations of bullying, when it is their primary style of mis-management

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not the government making accusations about bullying. It’s CNS!!! The facebook page CNS are talking about isn’t the government’s page.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same CIG that is currently boasting financial “best times ever” – while the average Caymanian has never been worse-off post local industrialisation?

    They are NOT working in the best interest of Caymanians.

    However, special interest groups and silent puppet-masters are quite pleased with the status quo.

    Especially considering their overheads have never been lower, thanks to a mass influx of what is essentially slave-labour.

    Imported slave labourers which rob young and inexperienced Caymanians from getting a foot in the door to explore their talents, interests, and dreams…but I digress.

    Our leadership is so woefully basic and tacky it is an embarassment.

    Section 70 of the Cayman Islands Constitution 2009 is a God-send and it is a shame to see our democratically elected government work and SPEND so hard to suppress the rights of every Caymanian citizen.

    Referendum please.

    FOR or AGAINST, let the PEOPLE finally have a say on (one of) the most crucial decisions of their ECONOMY and COUNTRY…for once.

    – Whodatis

    * For those who havent signed the petition as yet, CPR volunteers will be out and about this weekend.

    Click over to their social media platforms to find out where and when to locate a member.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Lol, really Kirkbots?!

      Last night, after a full day visible and before bed, the thumbs were somewhere around 60/50…now this afternoon the negatives have rocketed downward to almost 300, Lol!!

      You guys are awesome!!

      (Couldn’t let it slide as online content has an odd way of resurfacing. Needed to set the record straight for future reference.)

      – Who

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  16. I ❤️ Kirkbots says:

    Kirkbots must win the CNS 👍🏻👎🏻 polls to get a bonus. Or maybe it’s Chinese or Russia hackers on the payroll

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  17. Anonymous says:

    CNS: governments FB page and website is called is Support Our Tourism.
    The FB page you are referring to is not governments page.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The pr agency used for the FB page and social media campaign is also paid with funds from government and gt retail merchants

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      • Anonymous says:

        Since when did GT retail merchants become part of government?
        They are not and government funds are not paying for anyone else’s FB page.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Of course they do! This lot are utterly shameless. Do not trust a single word they say. They’re all on backhanders and brown envelopes

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Can’t rely on any of them to tell the truth except Ezzard.

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  20. Cheese Face says:

    These assholes in charge be lying so much they naw even know when dae doin it!

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  21. Anonymous says:

    What exactly does the major projects office do?

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  22. Johnny Rotten says:

    The CIG pro port media campaign is false advertising. Everyone close to the marine studies that were done knows they were rigged to paint a pretty picture. Accusing the anti-port activists of bullying is a pathetic last ditch effort to derail the democratic process.

    Don’t worry, CIG are have now clearly indicated they are desperate and very worried their corrupt dealings will not bear fruit.

    And if there are any more dirty tactics from CIG in this, just watch and wait till the FCO weighs-in. I’m quite sure the NCA has all the usual suspects under a microscope.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    UNITY crew cannot be trusted look at its leaders

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Government do not want to be challenged or held accountable by any group elected or regular citizens. They are controlled by special interests group that finance their campaign

    https://www.caymancompass.com/2018/10/11/opposition-questions-claims-over-ports-economic-benefit/

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  25. ppm DISTRESS SIGNAL says:

    How typical…Pot-calling-kettle-black much?

    The uncanny thing about politicians like the current lot is that they always judge others actions by their own standards.

    That’s why thieves are always suspicious and bullies are very sensitive to resistance. This Unity are seeking to intimidate anyone asking any questions about the project and believe in a transparent democratic process.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is a classic misdirection tactic get you talking about some ludacris tag line and continue to do dirt behind the scenes. used well by the donald administration.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    The CIG is not addressing some major issues with this port expansion and its’ affects on the island as a whole. Firstly, what will it do to the coastline along that side of the island?
    How will the new piers affect the aesthetics of the waterfront, a major issue for the restaurants that are there such as Casa Nova, Cabana, Rackums, Fish Shack and Vele. These businesses may enjoy more business during the days but they may suffer for diner service as the pier will block the view of the sunset for most of them. Also the roads are already at capacity with the current volume of cruise passengers arriving. The busiest Month to date seems to have been January 2019 with just over 271,000 arrivals or just over 8,000 on average per day in that month. They are proposing to build this to receive the Oasis class size ship which have a capacity of over 5,000 passengers and 1500 crew.

    If four of these arrived on the same day that is a possible 20,000.00 passengers and 6,000 crew arriving ion one day, how on earth does The CIG plan to handle that capacity of arrivals? The CIG may make more money in the short term but certainly at the cost of our overall tourism market as High-end Tourists will not pay $1000.00+ per night to relax on crowded beaches and sit in bumper to bumper traffic. We need to focus on Stay over tourism and stop lining the pockets of certain connected families at the expense of our future. Also lets keep in mind many of these ships are well over 15 storeys tall and will dwarf the downtown without a doubt. I can see why The CIG is scared as if the facts come out people will vote no. The port needs to be redeveloped for cargo without a doubt but keep the tenders and the tender companies most certainly upgrade the fleet and create an overall better experience. We need to keep in mind the current system controls the arrival to a certain point without overwhelming the waterfront and creating total gridlock. Do we really want to become Panama City, LA or NYC relating to traffic and congestion?

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  27. Anonymous says:

    The whole house is slimey….Aldart has turned out to be your worst and most destructive leader ever.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    What is Government so afraid of? The fact they are trying to destroy the country for a greedy few or that this Referendum might just mean their retirement plan is not going according to plan…

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  29. Anonymous says:

    This government are desperate and afraid that the public see through the lies and spin they are ramping up. The people are rising up and demanding unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency. Their accusations against CPR and their track record speaks volumes. They cannot be trusted they have been bought and paid for the merchant class and dart.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Moses we are still waiting on the list of jobs this project will generate! You promised to release this at your public meeting! You mean even that you can’t deliver ? Or was that just another example of how your Government plays with the people’s expectations ?

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Our government is so f*(&)%# up…..

    I will personally ensure that the MLA for my district (BTE) does not return. You see them every second up until election day and then after they get elected, poof disappear. No help for the citizens of this country and I’m not talking about handouts.

    I’m talking about making fundamental changes to improve the lives of the Caymanian people, to protect our children and elderly and ensure a BETTER future for us all.

    We have almost a trillion dollars rolling through our shores every day and I can literally count the Caymanian millionaires on two hands. The poor families from back in the day remain the same today while the rich are just getting richer. People are coming to our shores and capitalizing on our good fortune with the help of our government, they get ridiculous concessions for years, ease at which to carry on business and the ability to whisper in these politicians ears and get laws changed to help them capture more wealth.

    On the other hand our young people are trying to open and succeed at small businesses and move towards self sufficiency with no help, no assistance, no support, nothing.

    I refuse to continue to be sheep. I will speak up and out and suffer the consequences. But NO MORE.

    NO MORE!!

    If these politicians want to continue to line their pockets and invest in these foreign businesses who do not have our best interests at heart and do not want to see the average Caymanian progress, you will be weeded out and replaced.

    I guarantee you this. Be very afraid, cause it is coming. Every single one of you will be replaced. You keep trying to tell us a government with all new people will not be able to accomplish much but I’ll take my chances with that any day over you bunch who continue to do NOTHING but sell us out. And then try to avoid people so you don’t have to explain your actions.

    No transparency. No forward thinking. No looking to preserve anything.

    Be warned. You can can’t say no one told you.

    Sincerely,
    S. Coulburn (nee Bodden).

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Corrupt Leaders we got here. Next Referandum can we remove some or them all from the cabinet? Im sure we can find more competent individuals to take there positions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Should start a referendum to declare lack of confidence in this government

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    • Anonymous says:

      I normally don’t comment on public forums, but I cannot bite my tongue any longer.
      All those saying that a signature on the referendum means a NO vote to the port are misguided and simply wrong. Matter a fact, if everyone signed the referendum and it is the Politian’s say, that most are in favour of a cruise birthing facility, then they will have the opportunity to have their say by voting YES on the ballot. Look what happened in the Brexit referendum. The politicians were so cock sure that it would never pass but look what happened. The same could be said of our people-initiated referendum, those in favour could simply blow the nay-sayers out the water (no pun intended!) by saying yes to the port. At least the people would have spoken. That’s all we’re asking for.

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      • Chris says:

        I chuckled a little inside lol. 😐

      • Anonymous says:

        If the referendum doesn’t happen then it’ll proceed unhindered and without wasting time and money.

        You don’t need a referendum for the project to proceed, so the only purpose a referendum would serve is to allow some to say NO

        Referendum means you want to say NO, not yes. simple.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It is not that black and white. There is an uprising and enough people are against it yet the Government are not listening. THAT is the point that Anonymous @ 10:49 is trying to make. How can so many people be against it and it not raise questions from everyone else? Why should we sit back and let something happen if we are not happy with it? Why does the government feel like we the people should not have a say and that they should not be held accountable?

          The referendum is no a no, it is a chance for everyone to have their say in this DEMOCRACY.

          I’m sorry but i’m not about to play ignorant, there are way too many red flags.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Shouldn’t matter. If gov is right and the majority support, the port will be built. But what you are really saying is just believe gov when they say everybody supports it, despite offering zero proof and with previous polls saying people don’t. Right now, the only conclusion you can draw about the people is that more people have voted against it than for it in previous polls and that 25% of the whole electorate (and those employed by gov aren’t even in that 25% even if they want a referendum) want the people to say yes or no to it sufficiently that they will sign the petition.

        • Jonathan says:

          Idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          100% agree with 1:50 PM. 10:49 AM have a right to their opinion but why should I sign the petition if I intend to vote in favour of the port if there is a referendum. If anti-port’ers are struggling to get 25% of voters to sign and apparently by anti-port’ers own admissions a good number of those are not against the port then do the maths.

    • Anonymous says:

      Next referendum should be to limit terms to 3 total per politician regardless of what position they hold.

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    • Anonymous says:

      10:24 try to name 1!

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See draft amendment to the Constitution in the CNS Library