As at 8pm 12th August, the petition calling on Government to give the voting population a peoples’-initiated referendum on whether they want the cruise berthing project to go ahead reached more than 85 per cent of verified signatures. This means it is most likely that the Elections Office will have verified the remaining 14.9 per cent by the end of this month.
Government has said once it has received the requisite number of verified signatures (at least 25 per cent of the overall voting public) they will consider whether to go ahead with a referendum, as permitted under the Constitution when there is a matter of national importance to consider. We believe that a project of this magnitude and cost, estimated by the Government at just under $200 million, constitutes a matter of national importance and that the Government must listen to the voice of the people on this crucial issue.
We hope our readers have taken the time to read up as much as possible on the implications of either the project going ahead or Cayman remaining with its existing berthing and port facilities. We hope readers have considered the economic impact such a project is touted to bring into the economy, the environmental impact such a huge development will undoubtedly make to our George Town waterfront, and whether, at the end of the day, Cayman actually wants to encourage more cruise tourists to our shores.
It should be for the people to decide who the real winners will be in this project and whether or not those winners are the local populace.
If and when a referendum is announced, we hope the question that the voting public will be asked to answer as set by Government will be a clear one that speaks directly to the populace and allows everyone to make a clear decision – does Cayman want a new cruise berthing and port facility or not. And once the vote has taken place, we hope the will of the people will be heard and Government will act according to the wishes of the people.