Panton outlines a new direction for country

| 21/04/2021 | 274 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton delivers his speech at the swearing-in ceremony

(CNS): The Cayman Islands’ new premier, Wayne Panton, set the tone for a new direction in government when he gave his debut address in his new job Wednesday, shortly after he and his new Cabinet were sworn into office. Panton spoke about a people-focused, transparent government in which the environment and creating a more sustainable future would be priorities. Following one of “the longest weeks of my life”, Panton said the new MPs represented the “aspirations, hopes and dreams of their constituents”. As he congratulated all the new members, he asked them to pledge with him never to take the people for granted.

In his first speech as premier, Panton thanked Alden McLaughlin for his leadership through the pandemic as well as his contribution over the past two terms. But he saved his main thanks for the people. “The Caymanian people have spoken loudly and clearly and we are charged with being their voice, their advocates and their representatives,” he said, as he emphasized the importance of the voters and his commitment that his government would reflect the will of the people in its policies.

“So today, this moment, this time belongs to all of us who believe their government should be, can be and must be people-driven, accountable, competent and transparent,” he said, as he thanked everyone for their support of the PACT Government. He said the campaign was over and the independents won the largest share of the vote. Despite their policy differences, he said PACT was united in a desire to make a positive difference to the communities they serve.

He spoke about a vision for a fairer Cayman and said there was room to address that as well as support a solid economy. He said the new government leadership would protect its greatest assets: “you, our citizens”.

Panton spoke about a kinder leadership that will be unafraid to address the vested interests that are holding back our country, “a leadership that will be creatively responsive to your daily concerns of rising inequality, stresses on our quality of life, environmental concerns and the rising cost of living”.

Outlining a number of other commitments, from upholding the Constitution to fighting for opportunity for all, he described it as a PACT to the people. Urging the people to play their part, he noted the unique aspect of over 180 different nationalities calling Cayman home, saying that this had made the country the success it is. He urged people not to give a platform to those who seek to divide on grounds of colour or accent or between those who are Caymanian by birth and those by choice.

Panton spoke about the need to address injustices born of ignorance, as well as the need to change the limited regard for the environment and a need to live more sustainably.

“Our need to over-consume and our dependency on imported products must be reviewed. Our carbon footprint is too high and we need to quicken the pace towards clean renewable energy, which is essential, as is our need to ensure that climate change resiliency measures are considered and implement in everything we do,” he said, as he pointed to the existential threat to our way of life from climate change and what will clearly be a central platform of the entire administration..

“The loss of irreplaceable mangroves and possible extinction of marine life is a price too high to pay,” he said to resounding applause. He spoke about the need to now minimise our impact on the environment, in a clear signal that this administration will be taking the country in a very different direction from the track it was on under the Unity government and its promise of more and more development.

Panton also made it clear that the borders will not be opened before it is safe to do so, as he outlined other priorities for PACT, such as access to healthcare, which he described as a human right. The new premier also committed to restoring the people’s faith in the democratic process, as he said there must be openness in the way government does business. People should be part of the process and to know what government is doing in their name, he said.

After Panton came to the end of his speech, with the help of his phone torchlight in the absence of any flood-lights for the event (already cutting his carbon footprint), the new MPs elect went indoors to adjourn the new Parliament and set the next proceedings for Friday morning.

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Category: 2021 General Elections, Elections, Politics

Comments (274)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He should dump Mac! Use Kathy instead. Stand up for what’s right.

  2. t says:

    Caymanians are getting the Government they deserve. Maybe with this one you can see where all the money is going?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had a lot of hope for Wayne, but the ‘ends justify the means’ argument that his fan base is using in relation to the appointment of Mac is not sitting at all well with me. That argument has been used by the unethical for centuries to justify all manner of corrupt activities.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How many years do you think it will be before he addresses the border opening? How about vaccinated residents returning and needing to quarantine for 10 days?

    The goalposts for vaccinated people until the border will reopen will now move farther that the 80% Alden insisted upon..

    • Anonymous says:

      Time to open the borders! The quarantine has got to go for those vaccinated. The rest of the world is moving on.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wayne is a clever lawyer. Wayne’s supposed Code of Conduct ‘leash’ to control the behaviour of any Speaker, let alone the current one, is simply not credible without a fundamental change to our Constitution.

    Our Constitution foolishly assumes our Speaker would be elected on the basis of who was the best available unbiased, ethical and competent candidate, rather than on the basis of a trading of political favours. For that reason a high Constitutional barrier requiring a formal Parliamentary process and a vote of a 2/3 majority of Parliament is necessary to do anything to sanction a Speaker.

    Changing our Constitution is a complicated and long process. So the bottom line is Wayne’s Code of Conduct ‘leash’ is at best something that will not come into existence for many years and at worst a sham to pacify the ignorant masses they knew would be outraged by Macs appointment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Agree totally. Bush just smells up the place.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS – Something seems to have gone with the posting of one of the comments as it appears that replies are posted here without the original comment being visible.

      CNS: To be honest, I have no idea how to fix this. I’m hoping that it is worked out in one of the frequent WordPress updates. It only seems to happen some of the time, whereas any suggested fixes that I have found are for where it happens all the time. Where I see the comment twice (once where it should be and once where is obviously doesn’t belong) I delete the one in the wrong place. However, if the comment only appears once, I sometimes post it, but perhaps I shouldn’t. Any suggestions from frequent commenters would be appreciated.

      • Anonymous says:

        “You are posting too fast” seems to turn replies into general comments.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve noticed it a couple of times, and every time it came after the “slow down, you’re posting too fast” reply.

    • Anonymous says:

      The thing is.. Isn’t this exactly why Panton left the PPM? Because of unwilling to work with MAC, because, at that time he was allegedly accused of a crime! Panton said – “It was time to accept that the we do not appear to share the same principles and values, sense of justice and perspective on what is best for the longer term interest of our country,” Now that he’s proven guilty it should been EVEN MORE THAT CASE! These politicians with their speeches about ‘dont need the money” are just jokers! All for the Money and Power Hunny!

  7. Anonymous says:

    ‘the Anti-Corruption unit would be called’

    all of sudden your post has no merit but yes I get the analogy

  8. Anonymous says:

    March Against McKeeva!

    Happens every ten years or so. So it’s time again. I am ready. Hopefully, the new Premier is too. We marched together last time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits for his mac deal

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it not ironic that this new government relied on the education minister swapping over,,, when cayman spend more per capita on education than any other developed country, but clearly the biggest voter election issues (being caymanians are currently unemployable at the hotels, law firms and financial services firms that drive the economy) is all due to the poor education system?

  11. Anonymous says:

    If a civil servant was caught securing a government job for a convicted criminal in order to secure a personal benefit, the Anti-Corruption unit would be called and that civil servant would quite likely get jail time. A politician does the same thing and he gets what ??? could the answer be a very high salary and a government gold card??

    I cannot speak to criminality but I am quite sure that the non-transparent way our government is currently formed is unethical – although the politicians seem to think that it is a great way to do things.

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