SPS to set out PACT direction

| 23/06/2021 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton, Minister Andre Ebanks and PS Katherine Ebanks-Wilks

(CNS): A government notice published in an extraordinary gazette on 11 June reveals that the government will be delivering its first Strategic Policy Statement to Parliament on 14 July. The address will be a critical moment for the new PACT administration as it will finally outline for the country exactly what this new government, formed largely of independent candidates, has been able to agree on when it comes to a policy platform. While some members ran in loose alliances sharing similar policy goals on the campaign trail, there are still major political differences among the final line-up, and the SPS will give voters the first clue as to PACT’s policy direction.

The policy statement is an opportunity for the government to outline is aims and ambitions for the next two years and beyond and lay the ground work for the 2022/23 budget that will follow in November .

While Premier Wayne Panton has hinted at a more progressive and green agenda than any past government, he is dealing with individuals in PACT who are pro-development, pro-trickle-down economics and anti-human rights, as well as others who want to find a way to enforce the long-failed Caymanian first policies that cause the business community some disquiet but which voters see as a major priority.

There are also differences in his team regarding the management of the offshore sector and the potential challenges ahead, as well as potential changes to the Legal Practitioners Act. In addition, the new premier will need to manage public expectation regarding the protection of the environment and climate change in light of his commitment to those issues.

Panton will have to navigate his own pro-human rights position, his support for the LGBT community and more gender diversity in government, while his Cabinet includes Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who has been second only to the former MLA for Savannah, Anthony Eden, in her condemnation of LGBT rights and especially marriage equality. He is also dealing with the continued fallout regarding his decision to form a government with McKeeva Bush in light of his conviction for a violent assault against the manager at the Coral Beach Bar, which hit the headlines again last weekend.

Since his address as premier at the opening of Parliament some two months ago, Panton’s public appearances have largely been focused on the immediate situation regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting the country vaccinated and working out a phased opening plan for tourism.

The SPS, however, requires more details on the wider goals and ambitions and how he plans to achieve the campaign promises made on the issues of climate change, controlling runaway coastal development and the accompanying loss of beach access, dealing with traffic, the lack of affordable homes for locals, the Caymanian glass ceiling, inflation, the ban on some plastics, the threats to the financial sector, the future of cruise tourism and what, if any, policies already set in motion by the previous government and still being pursued by the administrative arm of government, such as the rollout of the national identity programme and plans for the East-West Arterial and other road projects.

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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (69)

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  1. aanonymous says:

    With the 2 Covid raffles going this would be a good time to slide in a Lottery! People getting attacked on corners over numbers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Put up a website, anyone can put up some ideas or changes they’d like to see.

    Everyone gets a vote, popular ones are put forward

    MPs don’t have a clue what the Cayman Islands wants

    • Anonymous says:

      Only if registered voters have the choice to avoid skewed results due to possible group voting with no interest in future of Cayman

  3. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous says:
    24/06/2021 at 3:58 pm
    We shall see. Alden led Cayman through the Great Recession into a great economy and through the pandemic. He will go down in history as one if our most consequential leaders. Wayne.. we will see.

    Would just like to inform the individual, and the Islands, that it was not Alden…but it was the hard work of Mr. Panton and Mr. Archer that steered the country through the recession. It was because of their management skills that pulled the islands from the “Fiscal Responsibility” that was imposed on us from the mother country (2008 to 2016)….what we are spending right now (to assist the people) stems from their hard work. Get over this PPM bull @#*&….and give the government a chance please.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Appearances suggest that ‘PACT’ is in fact ‘NACT’ Not Accountable, Competent and Transparent. I anticipate being underwhelmed by the lack of anything tangible or measurable in the SPS.

    BTW – strange that all mention of the ‘Code of Conduct’ that was supposed to be a priority in order to limit the outrageous behaviour of some of the eternally Honourable has disappeared.

  5. Anonymous says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    The new PACT government will have diverse opinions as they are all independents. Party systems may be more transparent but they have to agree on the same agenda whether they like it or not to seem cohesive as a party. It is not a weakness to have a group of independents as it sparks debate to find solutions. The biggest detriment to the PACT is that the Premier has a green agenda and Jay Ebanks is pro development so how do you balance the two. Cayman is already behind in addressing climate change and it has to be addressed. We cannot sustain this runaway development without proper planning. This PACT government has an opportunity to get it right so the first time and inexperienced politicians need to bury their egos and work side by side with the Premier. If term limits were instituted we would have a chance but without them it will continue to produce career politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      With those salaries and benefits, you can bet that they will all become career politicians.
      Their campaign promise ideals will give way to self preservation.
      As Mike Tyson said…”Everyone has a plan until they’re punched in the face”….the punch in this case being the need for pragmatic compromise.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are exceptions to every rule. #sheissupported unless she accuses McKeeva. #savethemagroves if Jay says which ones.

  7. Anonymous says:

    according to some…people voted for pact?…so what did they vote for…what policies?
    the truth is a bunch of independents with no common policies or manifesto formed a government…now we have to live with the consequences.
    welcome to wonderland

    • Anonymous says:

      Perfect for Wayne as they will have to blindly follow him.

      Anyone heard from Heather Bodden since election?

      • Anonymous says:

        Some of my favourite politicians are the ones who don’t say anything. Combine that with don’t do anything and I’m inclined to vote them back in.

      • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know if you’re too foreign or too young to remember, but we’ve had independent-led governments before. And we did just fine.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? We did just fine? What you refer to as independent governments in recent times were mainly teams that ran together then formed Government after the election. This may have been when the world and Cayman was less complex. It did not matter if a team came in with a manifesto/plan and what operates through Cabinet was really 5 or 6 separate agendas for governing. In today’s Cayman that is a recipe for disaster. We are better off with organized politics. Read the story again- they cannot agree on how to manage financial services? Really? That is but one example. This is turning into a donkey rodeo fast. God help us.

    • D. Truth says:

      You are certainly free to bad-mouth politicians, but if you think back, we haven’t had any real “progress” for several terms! Why not do as I did during those self-serving political eras…. Just live with it. Are you of the opinion that the Cayman Islands will cease to exist since your “Hooray for me” bunch didn’t get back in?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not being PPM or CDP was sufficient a point of differentiation for most of us, which speaks to the quality of those perennial underperforming alternatives. Good riddance.

    • Anonymous says:

      What did the PACT folks do to upset you, Little One? You say they are a bunch of independents with no common policies or manifesto. So what? That’s better than having plans to ignore the people of the Cayman Islands and enrich themselves or urinate away millions and millions of dollars on an unnecessary cruise ship dock. I believe we are much better off with people trying to help the people of the Caymans, not companies that want our money to enrich themselves…..

    • D. Truth says:

      Bring on the consequences! I voted for PACT to get rid of the people who are more interested in amassing wealth for themselves and have no consideration for the people of the Cayman Islands. Let’s watch the trough and see whose snouts remain as time goes by.

      You have the reins, Mr. Premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Consequences” could be better than what we’ve had the last few years.

  8. Anonymous says:

    climate change and being green for tomorrow… while people of today starve …

  9. Anonymous says:

    PACT’s SPS = “Soon, People, Soon”!

    What a lame bunch!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wayne is learning what it is like to walk in Alden’s shoes. Except he is no Alden. Leadership in politics, especially a small Parliament like ours, requires the ability to keep your team together and focused and to get agreement where you can. There are few positions that are black and white- there is mostly shades of grey. To have to admit this now is not a good start to his Premiership. He must have known that he was on a slippery slope when he signed up with Jay and Mac as well as Julianna to form the Government. If he did and went ahead anyway then one must question his judgment. But we wait to hear what he will put forward in their policies.

    • Anonymous says:

      After the absurdly predictable post-election double-cross defections, it was that, or be back bench, so give the PACT team a chance. We voted for this.

      • Anonymous says:

        I voted for Suckoo, at least he was honest and said he would work with the Progressives. PACT are nothing but a bunch of Independents with no plan

        • Say it like it is. says:

          12.50pm They all had a plan – to get a Ministerial appointment and the inflated salary and allowances that go with it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d prefer to be back bench and work with a group who could get things done for Cayman and where I could sleep at night. Wayne must be watching his back every day with this disparate group. Why do you think he has been so quiet. Mac will eat him for lunch if he gets the chance. And as quick as you turn around Mac is back as Premier. Watch this space. I hear there are already two sides to PACT. Those loyal to Mac and the minority loyal to Wayne. Read the above story again against that backdrop. Interesting times.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Except he is no Alden” I know, and it’s wonderful!

      • Anonymous says:

        We shall see. Alden led Cayman through the Great Recession into a great economy and through the pandemic. He will go down in history as one if our most consequential leaders. Wayne.. we will see.

        • Anonymous says:

          Alden wasn’t the leader during the Great Recession… but that’s besides the point. The pandemic just so happened to have occurred under his leadership. He followed the advice of the medical health professionals, he did his job. Good for him. It would have been the same if anyone else was in charge.
          But why didn’t his administration ban cruise ships from entering Cayman back in March 2020, knowing the risk of coronavirus? He, and the then-Minister of Tourism failed in that regard.
          Alden clearly has narcissistic personality disorder and he makes me sick. He will only go down as a great leader to idiots and corrupt people.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m not saying that. I’m saying that electing a bunch of disparate individuals under some myth that a coalition of independents is superior to that of an experienced organized political structure Is not only wrongful but harmful to Cayman.

          • Anonymous says:

            Me thinks you are the narcissist. You must have lived in some other Cayman if you thing Alden just followed someone’s advice. You think what you will. I will do the same.

            • Anonymous says:

              Alden is the epitome of a narcissist. You’re either ignorant or in denial. There is loads of evidence including video footage.
              And if you think I’m a narcissist, then that’s just laughable. You don’t even know me. Unlike Alden, I don’t have exaggerated feelings of self-importance, excessive craving for admiration, and low levels of empathy.

            • Anonymous says:

              Me too!……………. But I think Alden listened to the woman-beater.

        • Anonymous says:

          Alden? A leader? Ha-ha-ha- ha-ha-ha!

    • Anonymous says:

      “He is no Alden”…….. DAMN! I’m glad of that!!!!

  11. STX says:

    Let’s see two months work equals:

    “getting the country vaccinated and working out a phased opening plan for tourism.”

    How are we doing with that?

    Might be good to finish what you start before moving on to climate change. But, to be fair, they might find a solution for climate change about the same time as they get a re-opening plan together.

    • anon says:

      7.19am We already have a solution for climate change – I see dozens of dump trucks loaded to the gunnels with fill/aggregate pouring out of the Port Authority gates every day. This is our solution to rising sea levels.

  12. Anonymous says:

    You’ve heard of One Direction, meet No Direction. Coming at you live and direct in the 345

  13. A citizen says:

    It will be an interesting Strategic Policy Statement for sure. . I hope they implement the good PPM proposals, like the Fair Employment Opportunity Commission; I hope they give WORC the teeth it needs and update the health care, real estate and work permit laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      A proper Landlord and Tenant Act would be a good start. It’s clear that Dart and other oppressive landlord forces seek to bamboozle their way out of the preexisting maintenance obligations and encumbrances that are attached to tenant-occupied buildings on land they subsequently acquire. They shouldn’t get to re-negotiate and re-file unilaterally burdensome easements and covenants after they acquire those assets and liabilities, while simultaneously degrading the services and standards on the property (perhaps seeking to compel eviction or fire sales from the oppressed tenants). We can only speculate why PPM and CDP chose not to protect Caymanian renters and property owners in the past. Now the PACT government has an opportunity to administer protections to make sure this can’t happen anymore, and especially not with collaborative aid from Lands and Survey and other internal government departments from which the billionaire likes to poach their future employees.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s a paper that will end up where all of the other reports end up or laws that are supposed to be passed. File 13 in some hidden store room somewhere.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great, let’s get this show on the road!

  16. Anonymous says:

    So we are going to hear a Strategic Policy Statement, but no promise to follow though with those policies? Of course, that is exactly what it means to be an Independent politician, vote every resolution on your own conscience. There is no manifesto anywhere that you can say any of them broke their promises.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you @7:24. Shame!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if they will make a policy statement on some of these runaway boards and how they are going to make changes to get competent individuals managing the 25 companies and authorities. Some of the existing board members are dinosaurs with no clue how boards operate under the Public Authorities Act, their continued presence is doing more harm than good.

    • Carol Dickerson says:

      Don’t worry about it, 7: 24 pm. They can’t be as bad as that sorry-assed PPM!

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean the same “sorry assed” PPM who brought us out of the recession,grew the economy, cut unemployment by half before the pandemic, restored Government finances, reduced debt, built infrastructure, did not increase taxes,and rescued our relationship with the UK. And who managed the most scary days of the pandemic so well that you can move about with no concern? I would take my chances with that PPM over this lot. PACT may be people driven but Accountable, Competent and Transparent they are not.

        • Anonymous says:

          Jesus Christ, why does your comment have so many likes? Since when did CNS become a PPM supporter’s website?

          • Anonymous says:

            CNS is hardly a PPM supporter’s website. Most CNS readers have independent opinions and they are reflected in the likes and dislikes.

            A majority of CNS readers “Liked” what the Independent politicians had to say before the election. Now more than two months after the elections they “Dislike” the lack of follow through on those promises.

            Many hardcore supporters will always like or dislike something based on who said it, or what colour shirt the person was wearing, or some other obscure reason known only to them, but the majority of thumbs up or down are usually representative of perceived truth in the statement.

            • Anonymous says:

              Nah, a lot of these comments with a significant number of likes are blatantly pro-PPM. And THEY are the ones who don’t hold their beloved politicians accountable. They praise the good things they’ve done, but completely ignore the bad (or think that the bad somehow isn’t bad).

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. That sorry-assed excuse of “better than PPM” justifies anything that McKeeva did, and is good enough for anything else that the rest of PACT may do for the next four years.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope the decriminalized use of ganja is part of the SPS

      • Anonymous says:

        Julianna did promise.

      • Anonymous says:

        De-crim small personal possession amounts <2oz, and a fine for obnoxious public use – same as Jamaica. Maybe not $5 though. Make it $50 for indiscreet jackass use. Expunge previous convictions so potheads can enter our workforce, if employers want to hire them. Smoking while driving should be Traffic Court license suspension for 1 year, same as DUI. Cops would retain probable cause to search the stopped vehicle for weapons, and other drugs, as well as verify insurance and ID. Transshipment of hundreds of lbs still illegal. There, fixed it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Plenty of video evidence

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