Premier blanks CPR meeting request

| 04/07/2019 | 82 Comments
Cayman News Service
Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell is flanked by his deputies, Sheena Glasgow (right) and Suzanne Bothwell, and campaigner Katrina Jurn (far left) with the petition documents (click to enlarge)

(CNS): Activists behind the campaign for a people-initiated referendum on the cruise port project have said that a request to meet with Premier Alden McLaughlin about the petition and the potential vote has been ignored. While the premier has been busy hosting international meetings and is currently in St Lucia for the CARICOM meeting, the activists have not heard from him or even from any of his support staff for more than two months.

The group first wrote to McLaughlin on 1 May and then again on 29 May but no one has responded. The activists then sent a third letter on 26 June, which was also ignored. But now that the petition has been handed into the Elections Office, which has begun verifying the signatures, the campaigners are keen to meet with the premier to discuss how the petition signatories are to be fairly represented.

“This path to our first people-initiated referendum has been a challenging one, but as indicated by the position of Cabinet and Governor Roper, we agree that it is important to the people of the Cayman Islands that the process be open and robust,” the group said in their latest letter, as they urged the premier to meet with them.

“Throughout the campaign we have aired the widespread concerns held by many members of our diverse community in relation to the proposed cruise port, and why we all feel strongly that a referendum needs to be taken on this important decision for our country,” they wrote.

They added that with so much already invested in the project, the premier should be willing to talk to them about their concerns and to agree an outline process for the referendum which is fair to all.

“We are very conscious that this is a historic event and a positive sign of our democratic evolution. We are sincerely committed to ensuring that it serves our people justly and that the outcome is the best for all of us,” the activists said.

There have been real concerns that the verification process is effectively a complete re-do of the petition as the Elections Office, instead of verifying using a random sampling method, intends to verify every single signature, which took the grassroots campaign on a shoestring budget around eight months to collect.

The petition is now at around 5,500 signatures, meeting the required 25% of voters on the electoral register to trigger the constitutional provision of a people’s vote. As of the 1 July, the register stood at 21,166 voters, meaning that the campaigners need a minimum of 5,292 names to trigger the referendum.

While the Elections Office is understood to have verified more than 12% or around 700 names in the first week of its process, there is still a long way to go. Campaigners are concerned that the entire effort could be derailed over a matter of a few hundred people who cannot be tracked down, which is fuelling their desire to meet with the premier.

This has been compounded by social media posts by the pro-cruise lobby, which is urging those who have signed to change their minds and withdraw their names when Election Officials come to verify them.

Elections Office staff began the door-to-door verification method in the districts of North Side and East End last week and are continuing the process in both areas as well as in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman this week.

Door-to-door verification in Bodden Town West, Bodden Town East, Newlands and Savannah starts this weekend, along with West Bay North, West Bay Central, West Bay West and West Bay South.

People who signed the referendum petition who are overseas can email and they will be sent a verification form and asked to send copies of official identification documents, the Elections Office has said. The office has said it will enlist the help of registering officers to contact individuals by phone to help confirm their identity.

Cayman News Service
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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (82)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    December 2,2016, Bermuda. Protest agains the airport deal turns violent.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When the next election comes, the o ny people brave enough to stand will be those that have a healthy respect for their Creator.
    The current arrogance and politics of the iron fist will be met with fist stronger than anything these thugs have ever experienced.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well that’s 25% of the voting public who won’t be voting PPM again. Plus the other 25% in the civil service who were told not to sign the petition or lose their jobs. Plus everyone else ( the large majority) who can see no real use for the port, except for one or two already wealthy families.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get it. A few weeks ago you were concerned about government being involved in the process. Now you want the government involved. Make up your mind.

  5. Anonymous says:

    God help us if E E man was Premier, better be glad who is Premier.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The premier is far to busy to listen to the people for goodness sake. What do you think this is? A democracy?

  7. Anonymous says:

    He only meets around dark corners

  8. Anonymous says:

    Supermarket verification booths? When many of the signatures were signed at Hurleys? They had better be placing a booth there when they come through GTE. If this re-petition re-verification re-democracy-theft business gets a foot one, court time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The people can, at any time, petition the governor to dissolve the LA and call general elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dissolve the LA? Sounds good to me!

      • Anonymous says:

        How does one start the process to do a referendum. I think it’s time for a good spring clean in the house.

      • Anonymous says:

        2:18 pm, same like they dissolved the Immigration Dept.,for now lts only CBC, Customs Border Control, should be I C B C, Immigration, Custom Border Control or like the U S A, I C E, here could be Cayman Immigration Custom Control, C I C C or even C I C Custom Immigration control

        • Wtf says:

          I suggested ICE too when we were asked our input
          Immigration customs enforcement 👮 and we end up with???

  10. Anonymous says:

    Forget about this whole dock debate, we need to focus on stopping DART’s Tower.

    • Anonymous says:

      No it’s another distraction. Focus on them all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shame I can’t like and dislike this comment! Both developments are a disgrace and should be stopped.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t give those money grubbers anything! Dump the dock! Dump the tower! Dump Dart! Cayman for Caymanians!!!

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        “Ah yes,” (in his best David Attenborough voice), “the mythical Caymanian species forged in mangrove swamps over the mists of time through the millenia as they would have you believe. In fact, all imported as everyone here is from UK, Spain, Africa, Jamaica, and Latin America.” The only natives here were the Cayman gators and Tortugas, one of which we managed to kill outright and the other one we are having a damn good go at doing so.

        • Anonymous says:

          3.46pm And all those Brits they’re really Africans. That’s right their forefathers came from Africa.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Dump first, blocking the port second, then stopping the 50 storey building third.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The XXXXXX continue. A government that blatantly ignores the people and the law, leaders eye balls deep in their own self importance and corruption, a “neutral” speaker of the house anything far from neutral and guiding the Premier, a bunch of politicians up on a self made pedestal so they can grab all the money falling from the sky dropped by foreigners intent on destroying something pure to turn it into their version of paradise and a people with no balls to do anything about it. #Caymankind.

    It needs to stop, we as a people need to protect the little that is left that is ours and the little that is left that can be sold by the greed of a select few people. The government won’t so they need to be the first to go, by any means and I mean ANY means. We need to restrict work permits IMMEDIATELY to stop the poor from flooding the island. If you see how people live in rented slums like Swamp you’d understand. Stopping the money from leaving the island instead of being circulated in it. We need to stop the PR point system where the more property you buy the more points you get to become Caymanian.

    People wonder why the average Caymanian looking to buy a first home can’t when you have these new developments selling units for CI$400,000 then having them valuated at over a million dollars once built driving up the cost of housing only to have them bought and sold by wealthy foreigners over and over pushing Caymanians out of the market in ALL aspects.

    We as a people need to stop Dart, he has to go. Add Cayman to the list of countries he can no longer go to. Show him that we will no longer continue to allow him to buy and build his private kingdom here in Cayman at the cost of our heritage.

    If we as a people don’t start doing more than arm chair complaining then we need to just shut the hell up and leave and save the foreigners the trouble of forcing us out. XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      I was with you up until the nonsense about CI$400k properties being ‘valuated at CI$1m.

      • Anonymous says:

        I work in a bank, I give loans for them at least twice a week.

        • Anonymous says:

          No you don’t and no you don’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          Then you would know that no one is flipping the condos over and over after they are built. The resale market is more realistic and it can take years to get to breakeven on new built price

          • Anonymous says:

            7 months ago I had given a mortgage for a unit at a South Sound development and a week ago I gave a mortgage for someone to buy the same property. It was originally mortgaged for just under $400,000 for just over $950,000 because all the units at the complex are sold.and each time it was a non-Caymanian who bought it as an “investment” property. So say what you want. I deal with the shit every day.

        • Anonymous says:

          What is the point of your comment about the 400K versus $1m? You saying they are not really worth $1m despite the valuation, that there is a conspiracy between the values and developers or buyers? Or that the housing makeover is so over heated you can buy pre construction and make 250% on your money on completion? Cause that makes no sense at all – why wouldn’t the developer borrow the money instead. Financing a 250% gain would be easy. Or could it be you are getting confused and mixing up the down payment pre construction with the full price?

    • Anonymous says:

      Bonkers. You don’t need to ‘stop’ or throw out Dart – the largest employer on the island besides Government. We do need a squeaky clean group of MLAs with the kahunas to stand up to Dart and take a measured approach.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not exactly, Mr. 8:53 am. No MLA that I am aware of ignores money. Dart has money to burn, and gets anything he wants because MONEY TALKS! People don’t realize how much of the Cayman Islands Dart already owns!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You geniuses elected them. Now live with it and choose more wisely next time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Emmm… was a Caymanian (One McK Bush no less) that gave Dart his citizenship.

    • Anonymous says:

      Real estate prices are doing up everywhere in the world. I’m from overseas and I can’t buy a home there either (nor can I here). It’s a worldwide phenomenon caused by low interest rates and loose fiscal policies. Look up prices in Vancouver or London or Rome or Seattle or Beijing if you want to see evidence of that. Blaming foreigners won’t change what’s happening everywhere in the world.

      I guess you *could* degrade political stability here and kick foreigners out to drive prices down, like so many great countries have done; Honduras, Bermuda, Belize, Trinidad. No one wants to go live there. Businesses would close down, grocery stores would shut down, people would loose jobs (including Caymanians) and everything would be for the best, right?

  12. Anonymous says:

    He’s blinded by his contempt for any form of accountability. All that follow or accept this type of leadership are a large part of Cayman’s problems because Cayman deserves better.

  13. Tell It Like It is says:

    Yes there may be a valid point that the Activists want to be formally acknowledged by the Premier himself, but, reality what does that do for the process.

    There has been acknowledgment by the Government and the Governor of the petition and there has been a process implemented to verify the signatures, like it or not its happening and there are remedies wish could have assisted the cause by the Activists asking to be part of the process by being observers of the government process. It is fair to say that the process by the election office will be completed under the honest and watchful hands and eyes of Mr. Howell, and at this time trying to or seeking further dialogue does not in any way enhance the cause . Patience is a virtue dear ones, your work has not gone unnoticed although truthfully speaking your efforts could have been better served if there weren’t some seedy characters amongst you. Nevertheless good luck, stay calm and let the process run. If God is with you no one can derail your cause.

    Ps. No I will not be drawn into a further dialogue on this posting!

    • Anonymous says:

      They are attention grabbers, plain and simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree… at no point did I ever hear them ask for a meeting to discuss whatever they feel their gripes are. Instead they launched a referendum while accusing the Premier and Government of being corrupt and continued this rancour throughout the past year. Now they want some staged moment to tell the Premier off before his face and go on radio about it afterwards.

      There is nothing to be gained by a meeting so it strikes me as a useless request and an attempt by them to gain more limelight and potential future political capital. If the Premier had responded he would have likely declined – and the story in this article would have read the same. CNS have never pretended to be an impartial news site but its treatment of this issue has really been more than one sided – it has been a full blown advocate for one side.

      • Anna Hurlstone says:

        10:38 am, I cannot help but wonder why anyone would write a controversial comment and hide behind an alias. What are you afraid of?

      • Anonymous says:

        @10:38 did you not read this part? “The group first wrote to McLaughlin on 1 May and then again on 29 May but no one has responded. The activists then sent a third letter on 26 June, which was also ignored.”

        Hooked on phonics may work for you bro.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The premier is a busy man. Only god can stop him.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why aren’t voters concerned about the failure to enact SIPL law? Is there anything more important than criminalizing the political culture of bribe giving and taking?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Our Premier is way to busy doing very important things for our country and to waste time with all these anti government people would be just a waste of time because all they want to do is start more trouble.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our premier may not be the best, but he is the best we got and thats a fact , and Ezzard comes next, no one else fit the picture for the present.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You think he lame duck premier? You make he can pull his strings so see if he won’t change the constitution that he can become premier again .,put unna marching shoes on ,cause it will be big if they try’s that ,

  18. Anonymous says:

    Way to attack the process while the Premier is absent.

    • Anonymous says:

      3 letters written by the activists to the Premier to date. None have been acknowledged shows how unprofessional, immature and incompetent the Premier and his staff are in their jobs. Their arrogance towards the people is disgusting.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Another nail in the ppm coffin and alden’s legacy as a leader

  20. Anonymous says:

    Typical Alden the grand a$$hole

  21. SMH says:

    The people’s Initiated referendum is a matter of national importance yet the Premier cannot make time for this historic event in Cayman’s history. He and the yes men in government just need to resign they are all disconnected from the issues in this country. SMH

  22. Anonymous says:

    Alden has become the PPM’s version of McKeeva same stink dictator attitude surrounded by yes men.

    The only difference between Alden and McKeeva is 100lbs, a tattoo and one creams his hair.

    • Fair Play says:

      9.39pm Alden does not have a slot machine in his bathroom!.

    • Wtf says:

      Give up the tea lol who creams and who is tattooed I wanna know can’t leave us hanging like that.

    • Anonymous says:

      “The only difference between Alden and McKeeva is 100lbs, a tattoo and one creams his hair.”
      This. This is gold.

      Thank you 9:39pm

  23. Poor People Mistake says:

    Alden McLaughlin’s arrogance is limitless.
    His ego has always preferred foreign trips and the pageantry over dealing with important local matters. Luckily for him narcissism is not life threatening disease yet. Thankfully he is now a lame duck Premier

    • Anonymous says:

      Im looking for a leader with a Trump agenda.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have one already. Developers RULE.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, an agenda where you rule by Executive Order when the Supreme Court or the House Of Congress says no. You take your intelligence from Moscow. A real dictatorship. Give me a friggin break?

        You have totalitarian tendencies with a Trump Agenda.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like McBusha

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