Why rush the cruise port?

| 13/10/2019 | 57 Comments

Eden Hurlston writes:  On December 19th, vote on this question: “Should we allow our elected officials to handle decisions of great magnitude in the manner this port proposal has been handled?” Yes or No. No matter your position on the port, we need to share the same position on common sense. We do not have enough information to go forward to with a project this expensive and impactful. It is not an issue of No Port or Pro Port, this is an issue of “what is the rush?”

Maybe a port is a great idea but we need to do more research and not do it right now.

Maybe we should revisit how activities are booked through the cruise lines and how the revenue will best benefit independent Caymanian businesses.

Maybe Disney would make a better partner than Carnival.

Maybe we need to be satisfied with the infrastructural needs and capacity management of our beaches and attractions before we expand.

Maybe we need to spend some time and resources on our own people — our families, children, elders. We have children going to school hungry, elders who can’t get a meal or new glasses when they need it, families having to decide between medications and paying CUC every month. Where are their concessions, where is their $450 million development plan?

Maybe we should revisit the revenue from cruises to devote some resources directly to addressing these important day to day issues.

Maybe it’s a huge benefit to improve the cargo facility, or maybe we need to improve how cargo is handled once it reaches the customs warehouse first, then assess our needs as a nation. Many shipments spend more time in the warehouse than at sea or at the port. Maybe we should look into improving this before taking on such a huge project.

Maybe we’re being too hasty and rushing ahead without enough information. That is not the Caymanian way. We take our time and think carefully about important decisions; we value the council of our elders; we think of the long-term health of our family and our small island home. One thing is for sure, we cannot undo it once it’s done.

Legalise gambling and ganja all you want; you can always go back on it and make it illegal again. If we build this port under these terms, regardless of the environmental risks, our children and grandchildren will be paying any costs associated with it and it cannot be undone.

We know that cruise business in Cayman is growing. We know that it is many years until mega class ships become the standard in cruising the Caribbean, and that Carnival, Disney and other cruise lines consider Cayman a highly favored destination and have no plans to leave here, even with no new port now.

We know that there has never been a proposal so expensive, expansive, impactful on our future and DIVISIVE in our history. We know that we have time to consider this important project, to shape how and when it happens and what it means to us and our future Caymanians.

But our elected officials, our employees, whom we hire with our votes, seem to think we must rush ahead, that we must get this done now, that all is lost if we do not sign on the dotted line. Our premier (the foreman of our employees) has said that we will get no more information and that if the referendum vote is ‘yes’, they will push ahead as planned.

Even with your people so divided on the issue? Even with many questions of our protection and the terms of the agreement still unanswered? Really? Who said you could rush ahead? Why? Why the rush? And who said you could spend millions of our dollars on this campaign anyways?

On the referendum day vote on these questions:

“Do we have to rush into such a huge decision with inadequate information? Is this wise?”

“Should we allow our elected officials handle such important decisions in this manner?”

“Is our country desperate and this port is our only choice to avoid certain demise?”

“Considering the high salaries of our elected officials, have they done enough for education, the elderly, healthcare, lowering the cost of living and enhancing the overall well-being of Caymanian families to warrant their pay and position?”

“Did my mama and daddy raise a fool who says yes to anything without carefully thinking it through?”

I hope that for you, my Caymanian people, the answer is all the same:
My mama didn’t raise a fool, did yours?

Peace, love, health, happiness and prosperity to each and everyone.


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Category: development, Local News, Viewpoint

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    A few alternative ‘Maybes’ for you:

    Maybe we need to not get trapped by wannabe politicians who are only opposing the port because they believe it will help them politically in 2021.

    Maybe we need to realise that with almost 300 dive sites we can compromise slightly to enable us to have an improved port facility for our children’s future.

    Maybe we need to recall that the tenders who are set to lose out here financially (after making many millions over the past few decades) only care about their loss of earnings.

    Maybe our cruise visitors don’t want to continue to jump on another small boat to get to their final destination and would like to get to land right away like most major cruise destinations.

    Maybe the professionals and wealthy business owners financing the opposition of this port from the comfort of their lavish homes don’t care too much about the thousands of lower earning Caymanians making an honest living from cruise tourism.

    Maybe this 2 to 3 mile stretch waterfront area is mean to be our port area as part of a plan to properly pedestrianised this part of GT, where cargo comes in and cruise ships can more efficiently arrive with passengers. Maybe the country needs that essential infrastructure?

    Maybe, just maybe, we can focus on the positive benefits of the enhanced port for our economy and job creation while still caring about our natural environment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe you said quite a few intelligent things here.

      Maybe the campaigners/complainers will not like it.

      Maybe you will get many thumbs-down votes.

      Maybe others will see the light and vote YES.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I defy anyone to prove government corruption or payoffs at any level on this the largest government project in the history of the country.

    Given the incredible success of previous large government projects and the careful spending of the people’s money any concern is certainly not warranted.

    • Now THAT is funny!! says:

      @7:40 AM Wow! I laughed out loud and almost choked on my coffee reading your comment!! “Given the incredible success of previous large government projects and the careful spending of the people’s money any concern is certainly not warranted.”!! Are you serious?? Have you been to our “new” airport? It went WAY over budget (hmmm, I wonder where THAT money went?) and it was not even completed to modern standards. The quality and finish of the materials used on the airport look as if they were purchased 50 years ago! Go to any airport in the world built in the last 30 years and tell me if ours looks “new” by comparison!

      Clifton Hunter high school is another white elephant. Grossly over budget, and riddled with electrical problems, plumbing problems, flooring and ceiling problems and is costing millions to maintain! Shall I go on?

      It is obvious to anyone with a brain in their head that this current government is in the business of approving major capital works projects and then paying millions to local companies that kick it back to them. So please, cut the bull.

      Oh, and clearly you are a paid commenter, probably not even living in Cayman. At the very least, it appears that they are now paying commenters that possess a better grasp of the English language.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Corruption everywhere in CIG…look at companies providing same services year in year out with no tenders.

    • Anonymous says:

      The new airport renovations cannot be described as a success. We now need more additions and renovations as the airport is obsolete on weekends. Crowds everywhere. They did not want the Canadians to build the new airport because too many locals wanted a cut. Bermuda went the correct way and in one years time their new airport will put ours to shame. We are all paying a price now so don’t give me BS about incredible success though suspect the projects were an incredible success for your pocketbook.

  3. Anonymous says:

    MONEY. The clock’s ticking on this one and everyone who stands to make a quick financial killing out of it are starting to panic.

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  4. WHERE ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?? says:

    Ok, so we need a new cruise berthing facility and cargo terminal. Ok, agreed. We should also agree that, based on all indications, the public education system in this country has FAILED to educate Caymanians to a level that they are either 1. ready to enter the job market, ready to work, or 2. sufficiently educated so that they can immediately begin university studies. There have been numerous studies and reports on this, so you can look it up yourself. Or you can just read this;

    https://www.caymanparent.com/caymans-public-education-system/

    So I ask my fellow Caymanians this; what is bigger priority here? A new cruise berthing facility, or educating our children? Should we not be telling our elected leaders to prioritize improving public education over anything else? Do we really need to take on the biggest and most expensive capital works project that this country has ever seen, at a time that our children are not being sufficiently educated to prepare them for the future? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on YOUR CHILDS EDUCATION than on a brick and mortar cruise port??

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree education is seriously lacking on this Island but I don’t believe it’s due to lack of funding. I think it comes down to how the money is spent. Cayman International School charges less per student then what government pays per child and they are expanding.

      How about instead of the dock we take care of the dump and invest in proper public transit? Maybe some affordable housing?

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    • Anonymous says:

      In 20 years our children will be in a position where they desparately need a new port facility and it will cost them a lot more than its costing now. That burden imposed on them will be our fault if we don’t take this opportunity to partner with someone to get it done. Forget about the bidders and the politics for a second, we cannot continue to accommodate growing tourists and cargo with the same facility. we must plan for the future. We have over 200 amazing dive sites. and we are talking about mitigating the impact on 3..isn’t that a reasonable approach?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, 30 YEARS to build a stupid dock is “rushing”….

    How backwards can you get.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The referendum is being rushed, to use a date when many will not be here. How dumb can you be, not to see that? Dirty tricks, as always.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think the referendum shows that many don’t trust our elected members to make such decisions. Considering the lack of transparency around financial necessity, environmental impact and contract procurement it really seems that only ones that do agree have a self and not public interest. Aldart has lost all credibility and seems to be just selling the futures of young caymanians to his largest benefactors.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, it happened already? Where are the results published?

      • Anonymous says:

        The support for a referendum shows many don’t feel the government should make this decision….you don’t really know what’s going on do you?

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  7. Campaigners = Complainers says:

    This editorial starts with an absurd question: “Should we allow our elected officials to handle decisions of great magnitude…” The correct answer is YES. It doesn’t matter what you fill in the blank with. The elected officials are in place precisely to handle decisions of great magnitude!

    If you don’t like their decisions, then vote them out. But to question if they should handle decisions of great magnitude is utterly ridiculous. Where does the line get drawn on when elected officials should stop making decisions and have the electorate do so? So absurd, I can’t believe I actually need to write this.

    This is just more of the same from another “complaining campaigner”.

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    • Jah Dread says:

      Yeah da man we remember I’m wid the tax ting Mckeeva wanted to do. Fella you too maybe and really who you is to talk when ya tried to control the music scene in cayman through ya djing enterprise. Ya know ya cause people to lose income wid ya henterprise.

      Ya have a right to speak so do I n I sene.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Really wish your comment could be understood, as maybe you had something intelligent in your nonsense to share.

        • Jah Dread says:

          1:55 pm ya need to open ya mind and look within . Hear ya me happy with who I and I is. Ya na like it Breda & /or sistren then lump it.

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    • Visitor says:

      I believe that any elected official who is ignorant or dishonest or senile or greedy should have never been put into office! It is evident that this is not the case. My heart aches for the people of the Cayman Islands.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This is not being rushed. It has taken 6 years to get to this point. CPR took a whole year to get signatures. If they had done this quicker and not handed in at the last second right when the contract was to be signed it would be different. How many more years do we really need to figure this out? Absolute nonsense.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    A fool and their money are soon parted. There I made the connection for you since you’re too much of a fool to see it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Eden!! I have a few questions for you- why did God, your mama and daddy create such an intelligent, articulate and down to earth son? Where did this knowledge come from? Will you continue to use your persuasion and gifts like you did in this article? Wil you be brave enough to step forward to represent us in the next election? I agree with your viewpoint, I will not add nor detract from it. It speaks for itself and for all of us who do not agree with the wanton destruction that this project will cause. ” If our people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land”

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Why rush it? Because money has already changed hands. Palms have been greased. Bribes have been paid. This is also why government is spending 300+k of our money on a brainwashing propaganda campaign.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We should be rushing the removal of the friggin DUMP. A ticking time bomb. CIG get your priorities straight.

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    • Anonymous says:

      In reply to Anonymous 7:26 am:
      So since you publicize all of these negative aspersions, have you been responsible, sincere and mature enough to report this criminal activity of “money has already changed hands; palms have been greased; bribes have been paid” that you seem to know so much about, to the Anti-Corruption Commission? Or even anonymously to 800-TIPS (since apparently you prefer anonymity)?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Excellent view!! Something to really read and digest, and think about this seriously. Priorities not greed should be put in place. Yes, we all want to make a fast buck $$ but at what cost. I’m sure the port would be an asset for visitors using cruise ships, it makes disembarking easier. However, when other more important issues aren’t addressed I feel the Port shouldn’t have priority. It’s not life and death to this island. People will still visit Cayman for the pleasure not because there’s a concrete port in place. When I read of that frigging never ending toxic dump with no facilities for waste management in place it does raise questions. Why that a rich Caribbean island like Cayman hasn’t even got this normal structure? Why with all the money being poured into this island that the CIG isn’t using it wisely regarding education, because our children are the future of this island. Why aren’t they pouring money into Social Services to help the elderly that have given their lives and soul to this place and suffered many hard times over their lifetime, and should be reaping the rewards of some comfort in their remaining years. Why haven’t CIG poured money into the MASH team to eradicate child abuse that is so prevalent on this island. CIG need to sit around the table and really take stock of what they need to prioritise with public money.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    You are correct! There are too many unknowns that the government can not answer and should have provided answers to before tendering this project. Voting NO means we the people want truthful answers and not semi-facts and messages from people who also don’t know the facts. Our voters are intelligent enough to read through the smoking mirrors. We need to vote NO and demand more information as we may need a more efficient/larger port but this does not seem to be the most economical nor environmentally friendly way to go. Just say NO and don’t make them bully not manipulate you into voting for a project that they themselves don’t have answers to the impact on our future. If we keep ruining Cayman there will be no cruise passengers nor stay over tourist as we would have destroyed our BEAUTIFUL CAYMAN! SAVE CAYMAN BY VOTING NO!!!!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Finally we are starting to understand the issues and look beyond the political rhetoric of CIG spending public monies to find their constituents.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Eden Hurlston. Cayman does not need cruise berthing to succeed in tourism and cannot afford the lies and debt that comes with it. Government have been lying to the people from the very start for over ten years with the scare tactics that have been disproved by Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines. If Cayman does not have cruise berthing the cruise will still come to Cayman because their clients demand Cayman in the western itinerary.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr Hurlston, We have been waiting for 30 years. We are definitely not in a rush. We have been delayed and delayed. We have been in the Cruise ship business since 1937. Do you still think we are in a rush? Our small island home is just 76 sq. miles. A popular stop on the western Caribbean cruise is Cozumel, Mexico. Population 100,000 not including the tourists. The island is 30 by 9.9 miles long.Large parts of the island are covered with mangrove forest which has many endemic animal species. Cozumel is a flat island based on limestone, resulting in a karst topography. The highest natural point on the island is less than 15 m (49 ft) above sea level.
    Does this sound like Grand Cayman? Well they don’t have a financial center. Their people per capita avg. US$10,743.15 per year. They have three universities. They built five piers, two are ferry boat piers and three are Cruise ship piers. So as you can see they could afford to build the infrastructure. Why are we taking so long?

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    • Anonymous says:

      They built it out of necessity. Like you said they don’t have a financial sector and only make US$10k a year on average but look at the other stats you mentioned. They have 100,000 to our 60+ thousand on an area of land 2 and a half times the size. They have the space to expand their beach access with many miles of pristine beaches undeveloped. We don’t have that luxury, our ‘pristine’ beaches are almost used up and we want to risk the little we have left? How many more tourists can we truly sustain compared to what certain politicians want us to have. We don’t have the space for this influx of cruise tourists, we over crowd the few beaches we have and we ruin the experience for both cruise and stay overs and then we have no tourism.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We have been waiting 30 years to remove the DUMP too. Why has it still not been moved?

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Rush? Rush?

    This project has been in progress for over 12 years. Successive governments have long recognized that our port needs enhancing.

    The original EIA was approved and environmental mitigating measures were proposed. Since then the footprint of he project on our environment has DECREASED so there is less impact.

    If you are arguing there should be zero impact you are not being realistic.

    We need to stop politicizing the opposition to this project and finally get it done.

    The other social issues you raised are still an issue for us. Do you want to know why? Because someone somewhere said ‘what’s the rush’. We need to start taking action when we see a problem and better yet we need to put things in place in preparation for the future like this port project does.

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  18. Sunrise says:

    Well said Mr. Hurlston, I hope we make the right decision on December 19, 2019. I do think that we will prevail and have more time to think about this. Thank you for a great input.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Rush? I’m not a fan of the project either but cut the bullshit. This thing has been on the table for about 5 election cycles now. Either do it, or don’t. Your bunch and their lack of credibility are only hurting your own cause.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Agreed 100%. Not enough information to really even vote yes in the first place. Unfortunately, many voters either dont care enough for their voice to be heard or are happy to see the port built no matter what. Either way they are wrong and Caymanians need to be out voting no to shut this project down until a better plan and better deal can be struck. There is no rush to build the port.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we should rush fixing the dump?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    This sounds similar to Hillary Clinton calling Trump supporters deplorables. I am in support of the cruise berthing facility. My mother did not raise a fool. Those two things are not connected.

    When someone tries to call others fools if their views and opinions differ from theirs obviously thinks their sh** does not stink.

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    • Anonymous says:

      reread the questions he asked! He didn’t say “you’re a fool” if you don’t agree with his opinion! And if you knew Eden at all, you would never ever say he’s the type of person that thinks his sh** don’t stink!!

      He’s subtly saying don’t let our government take advantage of us! Don’t let them just do whatever they want with the public funds without full transparency for all our people to understand the entire scope of the project. Even if you think this project is a good idea, you can’t seriously deny the other issues he mentions should be a priority as well. The dump, education, our elderly (to name a few). And please… keep US politics and Trump out of this equation all together, this stinks enough on it’s own accord, we don’t need any more negatively by bringing Trump into this!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Well at least Hillary did not make up incredible conspiracy theories and lie every day as well as sell out American allies like Trump does.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Trump isn’t lily white, but compared to Hillary he is a saint!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Trump is a lily white racist. Also he is doing an excellent job doing the Russians work in Ukraine and Syria. On top of that Ivanka and her brothers are totally corrupt using father’s position to enrich themselves around the world. And you are still worried about Hillary’s emails.

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        • Anonymous says:

          For all of Hillary’s faults, she certainly was never Putin’s puppet or would have allowed herself to become Putin’s person in Washington. Trump has sold out to Putin in his own personal self interest. To the delight of Putin he has destroyed the FBI, sidelined the Washington intelligence community, destroyed the American Foreign Service and revived ISIS and terrorism by selling the Kurds out. The man is an utter disgrace to American values and ethics.

          You, my friend, would never know a saint if it landed on the top of your head.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Um, sorry, but Trump supporters ARE deplorable. And anyone who supports a massive port and daily visits of vast herds of tourists IS a fool. Sometimes the truth hurts.

      #lame

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