Opposition Leader Hon. Arden McLean pens a formal letter to the Premier asking him to hold off on the port project.
In a statement issued Friday (7 June), Mr. McLean said he urged Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin not to undertake any further contractual obligations in the cruise berthing facility project.
The Premier is on record saying he will press on with the proposed cruise berthing facility.
He based that on legal advice he said he received.
In response to Cayman 27 queries on Mr. McLean’s statement, the Premier’s Office reiterated this position.
“Expecting (the Cayman Islands Government) CIG to drop everything prematurely, before a referendum is properly triggered, is untenable and no country can be effectively run in this way. The Hon. Leader of the Opposition certainly understands this,” the statement read.
Mr. McLean has also raised concerns about the non-commencement Procurement Law and the Standards in Public Life Law.
We reached out to the Premier’s Office for comment on the Opposition Leader’s comments, in a statement, it said, “Leader of the Opposition is also not correct when he states that the Procurement Law has not been commenced. It has been commenced for some time.”
See both statements below.
Read the Premier’s Office statement:
The Premier and the Progressives party led the charge and fought to have Peoples’ Initiated Referendum (PIR) included in the Constitution, along with term limits for Premier and other constitutional advancements found in the 2009 Constitution. So if there is anyone who understands what was anticipated with a PIR it is the Premier. However, Cruise Berthing has been on the national agenda for over a decade, certainly over at least three administrations, and millions of dollars in time and expert advice and reports has been spent getting to the point that the project is at. There are also thousands of Caymanians who support the cruise port and who rely on the industry to make a living.
So whilst CIG certainly respects the constitutional right to a PIR, a referendum is not triggered until signatures are received, the verification process is completed and certified to have met the necessary number of qualified individuals, and Cabinet has been advised. At that point, Cabinet determines if all the requirements of the Constitution have been met to trigger a referendum. Till such time it is appropriate for CIG to continue the work on the port, as the Premier mentioned in the LA on Wednesday (5 June).
To do otherwise would mean that anyone wanting to stop or stymie (for however long) a Government initiative could do so by stating that they have started a PIR, and to later state (whether factual or not) that the required number of signatures has been received and to demand that CIG stop the process. Then proceed to take their time, however long that is, before delivering signatures.
Expecting CIG to drop everything prematurely, before a referendum is properly triggered, is untenable and no country can be effectively run in this way. The Hon. Leader of the Opposition certainly understands this.
So as mentioned previously, the Premier is already on the record with his comments on Wednesday.
The Leader of the Opposition is also not correct when he states that the Procurement Law has not been commenced. It has been commenced for some time.
Read Mr. McLean’s statement: