The discussion surrounding the planned development of the cruise and cargo port project is one that shows no signs of dying anytime soon.
Whether on social media, radio, in our homes, offices or coffee shops, the debate runs rampant about the pros and cons of government embarking on such a project.
“Cayman’s Port. Cayman’s Future” declares a group of pro-port advocates on their Facebook page, while the melodious and infectious tune of “support our port, support our future” linger via the radio airwaves, as advertisements and public service announcements explain to the community why government is adamant that the project is desperately what the country needs at this time.
On that side are many touted economic benefits, including sustained cruise visitor arrivals and the jobs that will be required to service the tourist numbers based on those projections.
Meantime, the grassroots driven movement of the anti-port campaigners is pressed hard and made its case for a referendum, largely concerned about the environmental impact of the reefs that sit on the seabed off the main harbour for these Islands, as well as questions related to the vast spending required. The potential impact of those two factors, should they be detrimental, is what the anti-port campaigners want considered.
It is safe to say that most politicians are hanging their political futures on the port. Those in the current Unity Government say this will ensure continues economic development of one of Cayman’s most vibrant sectors outside of financial services. Others are wary that public monies are spent elsewhere and not dumped in the ocean, so to speak.
At the time of writing, it was clear that government is undeterred by those planning to vote to determine whether the project should proceed. Campaigners for the referendum were resolute that they have done what was necessary to trigger a national vote. They will have their say on December 19th.
What the Caymanian Times is pushing for is continued robust debate with facts and transparency so the public can best be armed with the information needed to make the best decision possible and to know the details required to hold those in and seeking elected office accountable.
Life will continue after December 19th, but we believe that both sides will have expended a considerable amount of political capital to reach this point. We can agree to disagree, and all must come together after this vote for the good of the Cayman Islands no matter what the outcome will be.
For now, the campaign continues.