Mario to battle McKeeva for WBW

| 26/02/2021
Cayman News Service
Mario Ebanks

(Press release): Today, after spending 16 years in private life since his last general elections bid in 2005, Mario Ebanks is declaring as a candidate for West Bay West in the upcoming General Elections to now be held early on 14 April. “In presenting myself for service and as a future member of Parliament (MP), I am aware that I am subjecting myself to continued intense public scrutiny, to which I am confident and comfortable,” he stated.

“I am happy to put myself forward to provide a credible and ethical choice for the voters of West Bay West.”

Ebanks has always been a keen advocate for nation-building and all things Caymanian, and for over 30 years he has endeavoured to be a ‘servant leader’, working effectively behind the scenes in various community and public policy advocacy initiatives.

However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opportunity for the Cayman Islands to reset its strategic vision and future goals and priorities has given him a renewed zeal to contribute as a political candidate in this election.

“My second and compelling reason for becoming a candidate in 2021 is the conduct and publicly-known behaviours of the long-serving incumbent MP for West Bay West,” Ebanks said. “This gave me and hundreds of other people grave cause for concern. However, to my surprise this same sense of concern and desire for a positive change was shared by many others.”

Several months ago Ebanks began receiving calls, requests, and representations from outstanding citizens and voters across all demographics of West Bay West and West Bay in general, who asked him to put his name forward for the 2021 Elections.

“After praying, listening, contemplation, and getting the support of my wife Lovenia, I decided to harken the ‘call’ and I was encouraged by the words from Isaiah 6:8: ‘Here I am…Send me’.

“It was not, however, until the morning of 1st January 2021, when I was reading my new Daily Devotional book that my wife bought me for Christmas, that I received a clear confirmation of my decision. In that Devotional (‘Radical Wisdom’), a quote from the philosopher Thoreau jumped out at me. It stated: ‘Men lead quiet lives of desperation… and go to the grave with their song still in them’. Right there and then I decided that I would not be a part of that statistic… I would throw my ‘hat into the ring’.”

The candidate’s deep desire to make people’s lives better was also rekindled every year when he presented the annual Mario Ebanks Award for overall Outstanding Performance at the Sir John A Cumber Primary School Leaving Ceremony.

“Every year as I present my Award I look into the eyes of these children, and I see their dreams and aspirations deep within their eyes and faces. On those occasions I remember empathizing with them and their families and asking myself: Who will stand in the gap for them? Who will protect their futures? Who will fight for their dreams? Now, I am that person.

“Therefore I am making a bold and courageous step in faith, to benefit all of our citizens, children, and future generations. My heart is in this cause, my personal interest and career have been put on hold for this cause, and I ask the voters of West Bay West for your vote on 14 April.”

Explaining his choice to run in West Bay West, Ebanks said that he has lived in all West Bay electoral constituencies since 1968, and has friends, family, and supporters in all of them. But for the past 28 years, he and his wife, Lovenia, have lived in Coral Gables in North West Point, which is in West Bay West.

During those 28 years, he served for 25 years as Chairman of the Homeowners Association (until he retired at the Annual General Meeting last year). “I have always preferred to live within the community and neighbourhood that I represent as their MP – to remain close to them whether sharing their happiness or celebrations, consoling them in their grief, or helping them through moments of conflicts or emergency.”

Major Manifesto/Agenda for Action initiatives

In consultation with our volunteers and constituents in West Bay West, Ebanks is presently receiving feedback and fine-tuning the Manifesto or Agenda for Action of his campaign, and will continue this approach with the voters of West Bay West and the community in general. The main points are:

  • If elected he will immediately advocate for some minor amendments to the Constitution, and the main area of improvement would be to establish term limits for members of Parliament, of no more than 20 years in total. “No longer can we have our House of Parliament be a ‘convalescent home’ for career politicians who are tired and offer no solutions,” he said. Additionally, he will seek to enable a recall provision for the voters to remove MPs in cases of improper conduct or behaviour. This will be augmented by a proper Code of Conduct and an Ethics Committee of the House;
  • A variety of programmes and policies will be pursued to promote and empower the youth, families, parents, and communities;
  • He will commission a comprehensive review and overhaul of all employment related legislation, including Immigration, Labour, and Pensions, as well as immediately mobilize the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee. Within an early time horizon, he will ensure that a proper plan for the succession of willing and able Caymanians to key positions in both the public and private sectors, while at the same time providing security of tenure for non-Caymanians without creating a stranglehold on the necks of future generations;
  • He will ensure that Caymanians are given fair access to meaningful employment in the Cayman Islands, and ensure that Caymanians are not marginalized in the workplace;
  • He will pursue a host of community and district initiatives, in areas such as emergency preparedness, cottage industries, beach access, coastal protection, adult education, and access to affordable decent housing;
  • He will commission a long-term development plan for these Islands, which will be all-inclusive and include: the economy, culture, societal expectations and norms, the marine and land-based environment, carrying capacity, and acceptable heritage and aesthetics;
  • He will pursue various transportation strategies, focusing not only on large expenditures on new roads, etc, but also aggressively embracing a number of proven and effective non-monetary policies and initiatives;
  • He will protect small businesses, will promote green technology and other initiatives to combat climate change and global warming, and will also review the cost of doing business as well as the cost of living for ALL residents;
  • He will implement the district councils within the constituencies in West Bay, working together and taking advantage of all synergies.

“I know that this will be a tough battle, but West Bay West… IT’S TIME. It is time for a new, prepared and experienced member of Parliament to represent you. It is time for you to elect someone who you can be proud of, and who will always be an exemplary role model,” Ebanks said.

“Our campaign will not engage in mudslinging and character assassination. We will discuss important issues and solutions. We will engage the aspirations of future generations, and I PROMISE that I will not embarrass you but instead will be a dependable role model who embodies character, honesty, integrity and compassion. Additionally, I will serve the people of West Bay West and represent YOU fully and fight for the causes and improvements that are important to you.”

He continued, “For a long time, too long, West Bay politics and campaigning has been about personalities and ‘treating’. Our campaign will not engage in gutter politics but instead will be forward-looking, embracing the future challenges and solutions, and preparing our lovely West Bay West and our beloved Cayman Islands for the dawning of a better future.”

Ebanks concluded, “Everyone who knows me can attest to my work ethic and passion, and much of this comes from my father. Every night before he went to bed and as I stayed up late studying or doing my high school work, he would often encourage me with the words of another author: ‘Heights by men attained and kept, were not achieved by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards through the night’.

“Therefore in this fine tradition, in this endeavour, we will not tire, we will not slumber, we will not falter… until the battle is won!”

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Comments (39)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mario, or any other candidate, or voter, can sign and file the official complaint to McKeeva’s Dec 26th alleged “treating event”, attaching the flier, news reports, and McKeeva’s own testimony. Treating is a criminal act at any time, for any elected official, including outside the official election period. It’s also really low fruit seeing as he was serving a non-custodial criminal sentence on three violent convictions. If he violated the terms of his non-custodial sentence, this would not only send him immediately to HM Northward, but would also introduce fresh charges for contempt of court which would put him to over a year in possible jail time, and out of political life forever. The Elections Office would have to strip him of candidacy and Mario would win as an uncontested. Can we get one person to do this? How about 20?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Mario, we think we heard you on the talk show, saying u would support giving out of work tourism workers a raise of 500 pm to make it 2000 $ p m, what about us old Seamen that’s too old to work, what about giving us raise two, also the old retired civic services people , lots of them is getting less than 1200 per month and have problems paying their monthly bills

      • Anonymous says:

        I heard Mario on the talk show and very very impressed with his pension and insurance proposals.
        Mac never did anything other than line his own pockets.
        Mac has to go .

  2. Anonymous says:

    This feels like a Trump vs Biden scenario.

    Also, I’m not supporting all decisions with with Mr Bush was involved but he could not ‘destroy’ these islands if others hadn’t been a part of all those deals. Therefore, don’t talk about voting out McKeeva but leave the others there or elect new ones who just want the poser he had, after all he looked out for people in all districts and from all walks of life.

    • Anonymous says:

      It couldn’t be more true that there is a deep bench of “corruption enablers”, from yardie fall-guys to senior public officials, that will remain in their subsurface positions until there is sufficient public Will to unroot them. They have all been advanced via faulty wiring and tenured careers involving their reliable subterfuge. It will be difficult to unwind these cabals in one term, but let’s vote for those that want to try.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mario promises to “implement district councils…”?? Haven’t they all promised the same? In fact, haven’t District Councils called CODACS been estabished by previous reps.? Albeit that their existence, purpose and functions seem to vanish into ether soon after their establishment. Can anyone please confirm?

    But seems like Mario is “re-cycling” rather than innovating! Perhaps he should endeavour to maintain the existence and functions of these District Councils.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, I don’t hear anything new in these ideas or he’s just not bold enough to tackle the elephant in the room. That is, Caymanians not being able to find or afford land and housing in their own country. It is one of Maslow’s basic needs if he wants to quote American philosophers.
      Secondly, look forward to creating a Caymanian digital currency that could fund new ventures and lead us to a path of growth and lower inflation instead of runaway prices.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poor Mario, Poor Mario.

  4. Anonymous says:

    With the greatest respect to Mario, I don’t think he’s a VIABLE choice for WBW. Yes, he’s displayed far more integrity publicly than McKeeva and I believe he will run a “cleaner” campaign than Mac. But Mario is all about Mario and has ever been. He likes putting himself in the spotlight and promoting his “skills” beyond their true value. That tells me a lot about him.

    I certainly won’t be voting for McKeeva but I don’t think I can justifiably give Mario a vote because I believe that if he were to become an MP, that would inflate his already large ego and, particularly, re-direct his “promises” to the people to serve his own benefits. We shall see!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’d vote for a lump of dogshit before I vote for McKeeva. WBW, please do the right thing by giving Mario a chance and voting this man out.
    McKeeva has had his time. Terrible personality, mediocre politician at best.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My prediction. Mac 65% of the vote. Mario 45%

    To beat Mac you need an 8 year head start.

    Folks you just don’t understand the connection Mac has with his people.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Legally McKeeva should not be eligible to run again with all his multiple charges over the years. Do better Cayman the youth are watching.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a once in a lifetime chance to rid Cayman of this self serving criminal.
      Let’s do it West Bay, let’s return our district to one of respect and move forward with the next generation.
      Mac has brought nothing but shame and made West bay a laughing stock.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mario, I wish you the best of luck, presuming enough non-contracted Bush voters actually exist in WBW? Trouble is, ingrained tactics usually win and the demographic really hasn’t changed.
    I recall when Mario & Bushka (pre-Babushka) were drinking buddies at Caribbean Club bar. I certainly hope Mario has moved on, matured, and separated himself from Cayman’s Muppet Speaker.
    To the Bush voters in WBW I say, the short term gains bestowed on you by your garrison kingpin will lead this island to ruin if left unchecked. Your man has sold out, dubiously handed out, passed out, and recently nearly knocked out a woman. Time to face up to the fact he is a convicted criminal and not fit for political office ever again.

  9. Len Layman says:

    Finally we have a person of integrity who will stand up and challenge the convicted incumbent. It is no longer what you gave me yesterday that is important it is what are you going to do to move our country forward for the Cayman people.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you meant the Caymanian people. After all whom are we really developing for anyway, surely not the whole world. Caymanians must come first.

  10. Political Slut says:

    A mere appetizer for Bababuska who will eat whole and swallow him in one Chew stay home Mario this game is battle harden political Killers!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Credible and ethical? Mario please. You forget those of us you worked with and your deeds. But same old same old hiding behind the scriptures. God help us

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yes finally Mario you have my vote 100% we need a new leader for WBW.

  13. Anonymous says:

    On behalf of WBW and the entire Cayman Islands, thank you Mario for taking this huge leap of faith in going up against McKeeva.

    Be prepared though for the backlash and vicious comments and accusations of McKeeva in his “only” style of politics. Keep your head up and please don’t be detracted by him or others who run their elections based on trying to destroying people’s character in order to win.

    WBW this is your time..No one know who you vote for when you go to the polls. Please make the responsible choice for positive change.

    • Dailia Roberts says:

      I live in west bay west and you’re not speaking for me or my my family as far as I am concerned Mario can stay home for me It’s McKeva Bush hell would freeze before Mario Ebanks get a vote from me I’m a born and bred West Bayer

      • Anonymous says:

        and that right there is our problem folks..McKeeva can do anything criminal or otherwise and still these people vote for him. The whole of Cayman can see how embarrassing his behavior and criminal actions are but the majority of people in WBW are like the Trump supporters in the USA. I’m looking for them to roll out there gold statue to worship him..

        I have no doubt he will get elected again because he does what he needs to to keep enough of these people in his back pocket.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hahaha, here we go again the self-aggrandizer himself in Chief clambering for a seat.

  15. Jtb says:

    Well it’s a tough choice for the voters of West Bay West.

    On the one hand a man with a long track record of charitable works and giving to the community.

    On the other a violent drunken thug who can’t be trusted with a government credit card.

    Decisions, decisions …

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment says it all. Common West Bay, stand up against corruption, stand up against violence against women and vote in Mario. For the love of God!

    • Gray Matter says:

      Mac is still on the Winning Trail.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Was hoping for a viable candidate. Mac it is then.

    • Anonymous says:

      I cringe every time a comment comes up saying all of us in WBW are McKeeva supporters! Our entire family would rather vote for the gum underneath someone’s shoe than vote for that public embarrassment! WE NEED CHANGE PEOPLE! WE NEED SOMEONE IN OFFICE WHO DOESN’T THINK IT’S ACCEPTABLE TO BEAT UP WOMEN IN PUBLIC (OR PRIVATE)!
      PLEASE VOTE MARIO AND embrace the change that is necessary! WBW and the entire country deserve better!

    • Anonymous says:

      so a woman beater is a viable candidate in your eyes? Shame!

    • Anonymous says:

      The fact that 10 people actually liked this comment is concerning.

  17. Concerned about corruption. says:

    Thank God!

  18. Anonymous says:

    This should be a no brainer. Please vote for him WB, if not for his qualifications then as a anti-Mac”eew”a vote. 🙏