CPR has ‘won’, no matter what

| 02/07/2020 | 65 Comments
Cayman News Service
Shirley Roulstone (by Courtney Platt)

(CNS): Shirley Roulstone said the Cayman Islands owes a debt of gratitude to the founding members of the Cruise Port Referendum campaign for the petition that ultimately stopped the controversial project. Despite the appeal court’s decision Thursday to allow government’s appeal over the constitutionality of its referendum law, the people “have won so much more than CPR ever even set out to accomplish”, Roulstone said.

“The biggest one being that Caymanians realise that they do have a voice and they can stand to protect their environment and other things that are near and dear to them,” said Roulstone, a member of the CPR who brought the legal action on behalf of the wider campaign, which was supported by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.

Speaking in the wake of the senior justices’ decision to overturn the findings of Justice Tim Owen in the Grand court, the local activists also said that without the campaign for the referendum, the country could have been staring at a stalled half-finished pier in George Town Harbour today.

“If not for the work of CPR and this process, we would now probably have all of our marine environment in the harbour destroyed and maybe a partially built pier sticking out in the water that may or may never be completed, so we have won no matter what,” Roulstone said in the wake of the disappointing appeal decision.

Kate McClymont, a lawyer from Broadhust LLC who took on the case and assembled a strong legal team, explained that, the appeal court decision fell far short of being a vindication of the government’s position on the port referendum or the associated law.

McClymont explained that in the full judgment, which is expected to be made public later today, the court had been sympathetic to the CPR case and overall the proceeding has been a success.

“We achieved a number of victories along the way that will ensure the referendum on the port project, when it takes place, is conducted in a manner that is likely to be much fairer than might otherwise have been the case,” she said.

“The government has amended the wording of the referendum question to make it clearer and more neutral and has agreed to pass a general referendum law to govern the process by which all future referendums will be conducted, rather than using legislation that is specific to this particular referendum.”

McClymont noted that this had created an uneven playing field in favour of government. She also commended her client for having the “courage and tenacity” to pursue the public interest case in which she, as an individual, had nothing to gain.

“Through these proceedings Shirley Roulstone and CPR Cayman have shown that the government cannot run roughshod over people’s rights and people can stand up against government for what is just fair and equitable,” McClymont added.

Meanwhile, the CPR campaigners said that, taken as a whole, the legal challenge had successfully delayed progress on the port project and saved Cayman from the potential start of a project that would never be finished. The campaign also changed the political landscape regarding the need for government to realise it is elected to carry out the will of the people, not to ignore their voices.

“The future of the proposed cruise berthing port and the cruise industry as a whole is now far from certain,” CPR stated in a release. “The premier has acknowledged that the referendum on the cruise berthing project will not be carried out during the term of this government. However, it is not over. The referendum still needs to take place as it will determine whether future governments are permitted to proceed with the project.”

The campaigners urged government to minimise the cost of a referendum by engaging with stakeholders in respect to the general referendum legislation that they have agreed to pass, then hold the referendum on the day of the general election.

“Given the strain on public funds caused by the pandemic, proceeding in any other way would be fiscally irresponsible,” CPR members stated.

“Provided the new general referendum legislation strives for the highest standards of good governance and to provide equality, fairness, transparency and objectivity, we are cautiously optimistic that the referendum on the port project, when it occurs, will be fair and effective,” the activists added.

CNS has contacted Premier Alden McLaughlin for comment on the government victory and we are awaiting a response. However, as the LA is sitting today, he may choose to deliver a statement in the parliament on the result.

Please check back to CNS shortly for full ruling.

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Category: development, Local News, Politics

Comments (65)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We still going to need to build a larger dock. So whether or not the cruise ships never come back to Cayman, there will need to be some new type of industry. Will your children or grandchildren find it here in the Cayman Islands? Will they have the education to do it? We don’t have a trade school yet.

  2. Rodney Barnett says:

    The full legal process has not been completed until this case goes to the Privy Council.

    After all, if the GOVERNMENT had lost, it would use the full and endless capacity of the public purse to see this case all the way to the PC.

    I urge Ms. Roulstone and her group to do the same as the full course has not been taken until the case is heard there.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the point of throwing more good money at the legal system. The project is dead and gone.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree. Seems like political EGOISM. Thinking about sides, and not the People.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes that is exactly what I thought. Alden said he wouldn’t be taking it on again, maybe in the next administration but not his. This may never happen.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wonder how the vote would go over now? Now that the cruise industry is in a precarious situation.. Even if it was voted to be built, the cruise industry has lost so much money from Covid I can’t imagine they would have the funds to spend on it.

  4. teach them a lesson says:

    Please let it be that Ms. Roulstone and CPR decide to appeal directly to the Privy Council, as is their apparent right, despite denial of permission by the appeals court. The decisions of the appeals court seem to suggest that it is interested only in doing the government’s bidding. Their decisions seem to be totally about politics, not justice. It was the same with the gay-marriage ruling of the appeal court. In both cases, excellent logic seemed to be thrown out the window in favor of sucking up to the government. May Ms. Roulstone and the CPR win big at the Privy council and teach these people a lesson. And ditto for Chantelle Day and Vickie Bodden.

  5. The Political Slut says:

    CPR has lost not failed but our economic woes will now force our very ignorant electorate to make bad voting decisions and a election win for a very corrupt government and it’s secret cabal of middleman and consigliere’s to succeed and who will continue destroying our precious environment and very stupid population expansionist agenda whilst their mansions tower over our impoverished landscape, their entitled and aloof rotten offspring play house and pretend with their foreign acquaintances all is well on Dartville

    • Anonymous says:

      9.15am And if the Privy Council rules against CPR will that mean somehow they are also sucking up to our “lil ole Govement”?9

    • Anonymous says:

      Political Slut . Your comment justifies your name. What you have described is what is expected if you and CPR leaders come to power. It is quite obvious from your insulting and demeaning comments towards Caymanians, that you are not Caymanian. Just one of the new elite who wants a Government of their own kind. As far as you are concerned the real problem is that you are governed by ‘ignorant’ locals. Suck it up. We will be back in power after the next election and your stooges at CPR will be outside looking in.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have an order of sybians coming in soon..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shirley you lost . You lost the appeal pure and simple. Be honest with the people. To say that you won is like a boxer getting knocked out and then jumping up and saying “I won, I was successful”..well I guess he won ‘a blow to the head and a trip to the floor. Won really?

    • Anonymous says:

      We all lost, duffus.

    • Anonymous says:

      And you all need to repay the people of the Cayman Islands for all our legal funds wasted with this lawsuit. If you all want to make the rules then you need to put yourselves out there and run for elections…
      Wait… thats a bad idea. You all will waste more money…

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, don’t be an ass, 6:55 pm. The people have spoken.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shirley won because the cruise piers will not be built. Lost a battle, won the war.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask yourself this genius. Is the pier getting built? Would it have started to get built without the intervention of CPR? There is your answer. The CPR have lost the last round on points, but the pier is TKO.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      The people lost the right to vote Shirley.

      • #FACTS says:

        Fact: Alden and Moses not starting or building the port.

        Fact: Ms. Roulstone’s and CPR legal challenge insured the project is off the table for this term

        Fact: the people will get their right to vote on the project on Referendum day

        Fact: Roulstone and CPR achieved their goals

      • Anonymous says:

        Dthis comment right here has finally convinced me that most of the people commenting on CNS are clueless. This and they guy who actually thinks CUC charges a huge battery and we only pay for the kwh that we actually use daily. SMH.

      • Notta Troll says:

        Everyone has the right to their opinion, but does a troll have that right too? Maybe so. Go ahead, troll!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        And yah think your YES vote was gonna make a difference? Stop drinking the Koolaid man.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Shirley and CPR!

    Without your efforts they would have started constructing that expensive white elephant project that Cayman does not need nor can afford.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians lives will be ruined because of the port project being stopped. Someone has prevented thousands of Caymanians from voting. Who is going to take credit for that. Shame on you!

      • Anonymous says:

        Up yours, Anon 4:55. The difference between the voters is simple….. the people who voted against the dock knew that the politicians were trying to get richer by misleading people about the dock! You can fool some of the people part of the time But you can’t fool all the people with your big fat lies!

        • Anonymous says:

          If the Chinese were building the port, then your ‘Politicians getting rich’ comment would be true…not so much the case now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just a quick observation what Cruise Industry do you see with Covid we don’t know how long the virus will be around or how that will change the cruise industry

        • Anonymous says:

          Covid is affecting stayovers too. CPR wanted to discard cruise in favour of stayovers, putting all our tourism eggs in one basket. Now we have neither. What’s the word CPR. If cruise bounces back before stay over, are we supposed to keep them out and let all the people that depended on passengers stay unemployed?

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL, cruises bouncing back LMAO

          • Anonymous says:

            If you were depending on tourism weren’t you advised to spend this time figuring out what you should do moving forward? It’s been months and if you’re still holding out that you’ll be back with tourism soon you deserve to be unemployed as clearly you’re not very intelligent. Move on, you can get back into tourism when it finally makes a comeback but you better have sorted out something for yourself by now. SMH

          • Anonymous says:

            not a chance in hell that cruises will come back before stay over passengers. The cruise business is essentially dead like the port..I really don’t see that coming back for a very long time..

            Remember these cruise ships were the “petri dishes” for the Corona Virus bringing to our shores the first and only Corona Virus death.

            We will welcome them back when they have sorted out their many issues on how to keep people safe.

      • Yewno Who says:

        Hey, 4:55 pm, are you some kind of nut? “Thousands prevented from voting”? Get real, Troll!

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians getting jobs? Don’t you mean cheap imported labour.

    • Anonymous says:

      The port construction would never have gotten started between January 1 and the Covid shutdown in early March. The Covid Pandemic is what killed the port, nothing else.

  10. CPR Cayman says:

    CIG will still have to deal with the issue of conducting the Referendum before they can commit to any cruise berthing facility project.

    CPR is still alive and will continue our efforts.

    We are focused on having achieved the main objectives of the Judicial Review process, which were to prevent CIG getting an unfair advantage in the referendum by:

    (a) conducting it on a date shortly before Christmas, which would actively reduce voter turnout, something that is particularly grave where failure to vote acts as a vote in favour of the government position, and

    (b) using biased wording in the question to encourage a vote in favour of the government position.

    We hope that, having been faced with a formidable challenge this time round, when the referendum eventually takes place, the Cayman Islands Government will not make the same mistakes it made last time, such as:

    (1) providing the public with inaccurate information, using public funds, which nothing short of propaganda; and

    (2) completely dominating the information people heard about the project by spending millions of dollars of public money on campaigning while the anti-port lobby struggled to get information out to the people at anywhere near the same level due to financial constraints.

    CPR showed that the people do have a voice and will challenge decisions that lack transparency and accountability. The power rests in the people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why didn’t CPR allow me to vote.

    • Ijosh says:

      To CPR one and all. You all would have been looked on more favorably and most likely have garnered more support, if you at least appeared to be more humble and less cocky with the decisions before and after. While it is believed by some coerced people that you have good intentions, this idyllic perception falls short by the arrogance displayed day after day by in particular the M& M cadre you are actively catering to.

      There is no doubt in the mind of many, and I mean many ( it’s a pity their right to vote was taken away) who feel and know that politics and personal agendas of your hierarchy’and financial supporters played a vigorous part in the CPR rationale and.machinery. The people of this country will now see your true colors tinged with the idyllic cry of patriotism displayed in and within the next election won’t we, as you propel your erstwhile leaders to gain the power they so loudly abhor, but would take on if given the opportunity. Woe betide if this were to happen for this country would then see a display of Autocracy it has never seen before , not only fueled by a fiery Napoleonic syndrome , but at best a true picture of corruption which they so vigorously ascribe to the present government by rumors on radio and nary a shred of evidence profited for public view ( perhaps some law suits would further bring to light the nefarious nature of the protagonists earlier referred to).

      Too many stones are being thrown at and in the wrong places CPR, be mindful that before you try to pluck the mote out of anybody’s eyes you should really really pluck and burn the ones in ya own. Only then you might achieve the overall respect that at least some of you truly deserve.

      Oh what a Minnie!

      • Res Ipsa Loquitur says:

        Consider the facts and the goals as cpr set out on the people’s initiated referendum process and the application for judicial review which challenged the actions of the current administration. They effectively reached their goals. Perspective is everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your vote was not taken away, remember the government rigged in in such a way that to vote yes you simply didn’t have to show.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done CPR! Truly a remarkable journey.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This ruling is particularly offensive to the people of the Cayman Islands that understood the larger picture of allowing legislators to draft (and pass) bad laws. Even worse that it is done in secret private caucus without disclosure, debate, or consultation. Looking for a positive spin on accumulated efforts is one thing, but sitting proud on what our senior justices and Cabinet are doing (and are now allowed to continue) is quite another. We’ve got deep-seated problems, Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, deep-seated problems like electing unethical, dishonest politicians to office who only think of their own pockets, the people and the environment be damned!

    • Anonymous says:

      To those who voted for certain members of the LA because they were for honesty and openness, I hope you can see that this debacle was the farthest from that. Transparency my a.. That goes for the Smith Cove deal that was fortunately stopped.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 3.23pm You argue that “legislators are allowed to draft (and pass) bad laws. Even worse that it is done in secret private caucus without disclosure, debate, or consultation”. False. The referendum law was debated and passed in an open session of the LA. Stop with the propaganda.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Pre-prepared PR release from CPR. Suck it up, you lost.

    • Anonymous says:

      Suck it up, you are not getting a cruise ship pier. Unfortunately the tax payer also has to suck up the $9 million plus the Premier spent on this adventure, not including the legal costs.

  14. Anonymous says:

    All a bit academic when most of the old cruise ships that used to come here are headed for scrap yards in places like Pakistan. Whenever this pandemic ends the cruise industry won’t recover for years and when it does it’s going to be nothing like the mass tourism this dock was intended to cater for.

    • Anonymous says:

      As anticlimactic as the last time I slept with my ex-wife.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not in the least academic. Legislators in the Cayman Islands are far too happy to rely on one or two sentence sections in primary legislation when comprehensive subsidiary laws and regulations are clearly intended and required.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:44 That’s a silly comment. I clearly didn’t mean the ruling, I meant building the dock. Right now the major cruise lines, including our ‘partners’ in this, are in financial meltdown. The last thing they want is any more financial commitments. Bottom line – this doesn’t mean the dock will be built and that’s what a lot of the comments here seem to expect.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope the cruise ships never come back! Never! We need stay over visitors!

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