Premier:’nothing untoward’ re-roof repair funds

| 25/02/2021 | 85 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin and Minister Dwayne Seymour

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin came to the support of his beleaguered health minister on Wednesday, claiming there was “nothing untoward” about the funds Dwayne Seymour had signed off on for a constituent’s roof repairs. Although McLaughlin has previously stated that money for home repairs had to be carefully scrutinized and meet the criteria, he blamed the COVID pandemic for upending the usual application processes.

Last week Seymour signed off on a CI$5,000 payment to a contractor, who is also a registered voter in his constituency, to undertake roof repairs to a property owned by another of his Bodden Town East registered voters. It is not clear whether or not the money will be used to repair the woman’s own home or the apartments that she rents out that are on the same property.

While government does fund repairs to homes for all vulnerable people and those in need, there is an application process. Repairs are funded after homeowners have applied to the Needs Assessment Unit within McLaughlin’s Ministry of Community Affairs and met the criteria for what is clearly an important national social assistance programme.

Seymour, however, does not have an allocated budget for such repairs and there is no formal department within his ministry to assess such needs, as his housing designation is purely related to the National Housing Development Programme and not existing private properties.

But despite his previous concerns, at Wednesday’s press briefing where Minister Tara Rivers announced her decision to leave the political arena, McLaughlin, responding the questions from CNS, was quick to defend his remaining coalition minister, who it has been made clear that he will be part of the PPM-led coalition campaign, which begins Monday.

In his defence of Seymour, McLaughlin said he was not the only minister who had signed off on funds to help people and that it was perfectly normal for the government to foot the bill for roof repairs. Regardless of the political time of year or the disruptions to what he said were the committees that deal with this type of thing, “the rain continues to fall” on the homes that are in dire need of repair.

McLaughlin said he was not entirely sure of the details of this particular case but it seemed that the money became available following budget adjustments and he was very confident that everything was above board.

Seymour is likely to be in a tough head to head race for the Bodden Town East constituency with former PPM member, Osbourne Bodden, who is running on a team platform with Wayne Panton, running in Newlands, and Heather Bodden, who is running in Savannah. Having secured just 38% of the vote last time in a four-way race, Seymour is one of McLaughlin’s more vulnerable team members.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (85)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Should change the logo from, “Cayman kind” To. ,”Cayman Corruption”

  2. Anonymous says:

    …and people wonder why we are on grey lists and black lists…

    Tone set from the top. Lights out.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Alden, you might as well just resign. Many people have turned against you but you’re so desperate to cling onto power. What’s the point? You also owe the people of the Cayman Islands an apology for overriding democracy numerous times and defending the very same crook you once spoke out so heavily against. Maybe then, I might actually have a sliver of respect for you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    After a full and proper investigation, Alden sweeps it under the Mac-rug.

  5. JTB says:

    It begs the question, just what would it take for Alden ever to admit that a member of the Government was in the wrong and should resign or be fired?

    On all evidence to date this could simply never happen.

    “Yes, the minister for paperclips walked into a crowded restaurant with a firearm and started shooting indiscriminately, but there was nothing untoward about that and he is doing a first class job. Besides, it was his time of the month…”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well if Premier POS says it’s ok it must be just fine….he is our moral compass and international representative.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Note well Cayman:
    Asked about his meeting with Rankine, McLaughlin stated, “I think most of the country – views the Progressive-led coalition as really being the only organised entity there is contesting these elections and therefore the most likely to form the next administration. It’s just very sensible politics.”

    Voters need to make sure that the CDP/PPM or any other interchangeably corrupt acronym smelling like them doesn’t happen ever again in these islands. That includes the heavily-aligned and financed candidates still pretending to be running as Independent candidates. Good luck.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t matter. None of this matters. You people will still wote in the same trough feeders that you ALWAYS do.
    You people went nutballs crazy when Legge said this island was corrupt. Lol Dah wah ya get!
    Nothing will change in that. So just carry on, get used to it and STFU.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We give it away by the millions to the RICH 🤑 but now it a big deal because we help a needy Caymanian. Thanks Ministers Seymour for helping this needy Caymanian every if these crabs in a bucket don’t think the time is right.

  10. Ex ppm voter says:

    Alden needs to protect Jon Jon because he is going to need a job at APS after this election Please Jon Jon don’t put him at the security gate checking passports i don’t want to be reminded that I actually voted once for him . put him on the ramp taking off luggage so he can actually exercise his arms instead of his big mouth. Thanks Jon Jon

  11. Naya Boy says:

    Cayman if you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right whatsoever to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else including themselves. Vote them out Cayman

  12. Anonymous says:

    Queeny, you betta hold off on that Knighthood for Alden until all the inwestigations are complete.

    We talking about the Cruise Port, Duty Consessions to millionaires, Beach Bay, Airport, Dump to Energy contracts, ongoing NAU Assistance to WP holders, NRA paving Hibiscus Drive for Mr. CIFA aka Mr. CarePay, and now the use of Govt funds for roof repairs for somebody rental apartments.

    Over to you Madam Auditor General

  13. Cheese Face says:

    And that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. Voting for Sammy now. You’re a disgrace Alden.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Premier, please listen to your own words. You are saying it is ok for a minister to give public money to a single person he selects (that just so happens to be a constituent). What then, is the purpose of the NAU? The excuse of the pandemic is not valid. You know that and the electorate knows that. The very reason we have departments such as the NAU is to put the checks and balances in place to prevent corruption and favouritism. When you give absolute power to a single person you have opened the floodgates to absolute corruption.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mahatma Gandhi said that if there is an idiot in power, it means those that elected him are well represented.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Finally! Mario Ebanks running for WBW! I hope others follow suit. People need options there.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s running against Mac.?
      The choice is now limited between the Devil you know and the Devil you know.

  17. PPM longtime voter says:

    That’s it for you Alden both you and Roy have lost me and my family’s vote. Kurt don’t need to come round here talking S#@% bout give you guys a chance!

  18. Red Bay Voters association says:

    Bumbo clot Alden man You dread !, Corruption has never been compulsory unless you live in the Cayman Islands ! Do not blame Jon Jon Cayman blame his political bosses he simply doesn’t know any better . You remove him by simply not voting for them! Use you vote wisely Cayman!

  19. No votes for the environment Cutthroats says:

    Cayman voters please please look for once at exactly what these political menaces are saying and what is actually happening in Cayman and what they are doing to Cayman I implore you to use your Vote carefully and wisely the political corruption is spreading rapidly and extensively do not let your vote be the instrument and symbol of your freedom and power make a fool of yourself and wreck of this island .

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cussin Alden now eh. The other day him an Dr Lee was the best thing ever!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Alden McLaughlin is in denial or a bigger joker than joke joke

  22. Anonymous says:

    By ppm standards there is nothing wrong with this. By aldens moral compass there is nothing wrong with this. That is why we cannot allow these twisted individuals to remain anywhere near Parliament

  23. Anonymous says:

    It will be a happy day in Cayman when the Premier is out of parliament for good.
    Good riddance.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm…. anyone seen Moses?

  25. Anonymous says:

    We need to get off our high horse in Cayman. We are exactly the same as every country in the West Indies when it comes to bribery, miss-use of funds and corruption with our politicians. Disappointing and disgraceful top to bottom.

  26. Anonymous says:

    “McLaughlin said he was not entirely sure of the details of this particular case …” didnt he say the same thing about trainer gate? Creating space so if incontrovertible proof comes up that there were no repairs he can then push Dwayne under the bus and say he wasnt aware of the details.

  27. Exterior Grade says:

    Every four years there is a shortage of roofing materials as a result of campaign signs. John John is a 3 Sheeter. Minimum. Probably even a 4 Sheeter. Meaning it takes that many sheets of plywood just to fit his image on. We Caymanians like our politicians to be at least 2 Sheeters. But a 3 or 4 Sheeter is always best.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Until honest folk run for office, the crooks will always get in. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  29. Anonymous says:

    #worldclass Franz? How many of our incredible civil servants were deployed in giving effect to this arrangement? How many blew the whistle?

    Or do you think there is nothing untoward in this?

    • Anonymous says:

      To 9:03pm: Blow the whistle?! We are told not to even pose questions at our own representatives’ public meetings lest we show bias.
      “Political neutrality” they call it; squashing our civil rights, I say. I don’t know in the UK, but Cayman’s civil servants are gagged.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman’s Civil Servants commit crimes if they are party to corrupt acts. Just sayin.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Corruption is part and parcel to elections in Cayman its the same issue that all of the other OTs have had, local elections on a tiny scale that get essentially no external oversight with huge sums of all but anonymous donations and limited reporting or disclosure is a recipe for disaster

    The only way it would ever be prosecuted here despite treating being illegal is if the cheque literally said “thanks for your vote see you in four years”

  31. Anonymous says:

    So here I am in need of my roof being fixed.. I am a George Town Central voter… Kenneth Bryan I need my roof fixed, I pay all fees required by Government… If voters from Bodden Town can have their roofs fixed, I should also qualify….

  32. Anonymous says:

    Well done Alden. You have succinctly described the antithesis of everything the PPM was formed to represent. You are a disgusting specimen, and betray the very principles that so many toiled for, to put you where you are.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Well like the saying goes you live by sword you go down with during election time.

  34. O. Pinion says:

    Use any words you please and it still seems shady to me.

  35. Anonymous says:

    6 rental properties? If so, she has a Trade and Business license, right Mr. Premier?

    Who do I apply to for repairs to my rental properties?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wut? I’ve never heard that you needed a T&B license to be landlord.
      Genuine question; Is this a thing?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. Any more than two units and you are deemed to be carrying on a trade or business. Such activity requires a trade and business license.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you can have 2 plus where you live and any more T & B needed

        • Anonymous says:

          But there is an exception where you know a minister, and the premier says there is nothing untoward, right?

  36. Anonymous says:

    “Nothing untoward…?? How can it be OK to circumvent the NAU process? Why have that facility at all if Ministers can authorize payments directly? Although Alden admits that they do!!??

    A few years ago, when the Camana Bay/Harquail/Lawrence Blvd. roundabout was being made, I observed a significantly-sized “triangle” of public road and presumably public property being “incorporated” into the property of an adjoining plant nursery – note, that same triangle of public property is now fenced, apparently quite decisively part of the nursery. I raised the issue on this CNS forum and it didn’t get much attention. I called a sitting MLA and was told “this kind of thing happens”. I argued “Yes, when one BUYS property!”. That MLA didn’t seem to think there was a problem.

    Until this day, I wonder if the nursery’s owner BOUGHT that piece of property and, if so, how easy can a private citizen buy Government property without a public process?

    Unless the PUBLIC road in that location was always on PRIVATE property, I can’t see how this is normal and legal!

    What the f**k is going on in the public sector??

  37. Izabella says:

    Caymanians so frigging disgusting and bad minded! Yes I am born Caymanian. Just because its close to elections. Unny na even know the background of this woman. Grudgeful konts🤬🤬🤬😡😡

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand the landlady in question is Jamaican.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont need to know the background of the woman. Don’t need to know her nationality, or even have someone explain why a person who is renting out 6 properties apparently is indigent and needs the tax payer to pay for her roof repairs. Hell, dont even need to know that the cash – because the contractors just getting a round sum cheque – is even spent on roof repairs. All I need to know is how the health minister can on his own discretion spend money from his budget on matters that are meant to be handled by a completely different government unit and after a vetting process, to prevent exactly this sort of thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly!!! All valid points made here!

        • Anonymous says:

          The reason is it all possible is because the police never seem to do their job and fail to respond to even overt lawlessness. This shit should never be tolerated, not even for a moment. I did not think that my disdain for Cayman’s “law enforcers” could increase – but it seems I need to challenge my perceptions. They are overtly enabling our descent into chaos.

  38. Anonymous says:

    BS. Covid does not agree to be blamed for everything!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Premier: Sky isn’t blue.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Alden would never speak of the corruption in his government. He couldn’t even remove McKeeva as Speaker after his conviction for assault. This is typical Alden making excuses in order to keep his wobbling unity team together

  41. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    Process, Schmocess. It’s all between us good ol’ boys. We know what we’re doing and we know what’s best for you, so just keep on consuming and let us worry about the money. Everybody has their jobs; yours is to be a productive noninquisitive worker bee, and ours is to make the big decisions with YOUR money. Thanks for checking.

    Or, at least, that’s what I hear.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Of course not. Just like the personal trainer and Covid positive quarantine breaker. The question “Who’s you father?”, really and truly means something here. Answer correctly and there are no consequences.

  43. Anonymous says:

    OMG it gets even worse! The woman rents out apartments on her property as well, so she has a regular income. Rents aren’t cheap. She needs to budget properly, save her money, and man-up like the rest of us who are responsible and pay our own way in society. But instead she gets a ‘vote for me’ grant, along with the builder too. All from a department that should have no control over these sort of payments. How can this be defended. It absolutely stinks. Cayman corruption is so deep rooted now that even those in power can’t even remember what is right and wrong any more.
    Does Cayman not have any honest and educated people who can run the country?

  44. Anonymous says:

    I can think of at least 1 movie that captures that picture. No prizes for guessing what.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Well he may have bought 2 votes, but should have lost WAY MORE!
    Not a good return on your investment John John.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Seymour is an idiot.

  47. Anonymous says:

    It’s just another “cultural” misunderstanding.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Alden, you SUCK! How many more times are going to talk out of both sides of your mouth???? You have the constitution of a damp sock with the spine of an amoeba! How dare you support such blatant vote-buying behaviour! Just how stupid do you think we, the electorate are? Man, pack up ya bag and haul ya r@ss! Betta yet; go ride off into the light of the Fool Moon on dat donkeh! Cha!

    • Anonymous says:

      Alden knows unnah all stupid as proven by the repeated elction of so many that are currently running for re-election.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Just regular everyday stuff. Business as usual. Except for the “incredible job” we(your representatives) are doing.

  50. Shameful! Both are quite aware of the Public Management Finance Law! Vote smart folks!

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