My fellow Caymanians, residents, and visitors, on behalf of the Official Opposition, I would like to wish you all a healthy and happy 2021.
As we turn the page on 2020 and reflect on the global pandemic, which has shaken the foundations of public life as we know it, let us use the experience and knowledge gained to welcome the opportunities of the New Year.
Our beloved islands are relatively free from COVID-19, thanks to our collective courage and determination to accept short-term curtailment of our freedoms, for the long-term health of each other and the stability of our islands. We must also pay tribute to the dedication and tireless work of all our public servants. They continue to educate our children; defend our safety; care for the sick; help the less fortunate and ensure that products and services continue to be made available.
Nevertheless, we are not entirely out of the woods yet and I therefore encourage you to continue to protect yourself and others in the coming year. The vaccines that are now being administered to the global community will soon reach our shores. The choice of whether to accept the vaccine should remain yours. There is much information (and disinformation) on the various vaccines. So, please educate yourself on the options and discuss the choices with your trusted loved ones.
Simultaneously, we must start working to restore our country as a great place to live and work whilst equally providing opportunities to those individuals and businesses affected by the loss of our tourism sector.
We foresaw the need to prepare for the very eventuality that is upon us now, hence why my New Year's message last year called upon the government
to prioritize the development and implementation of a National Strategic Plan- a plan to prepare the Cayman Islands for substantial changes and ensure that we are creators of opportunities. A plan that is still very much needed.
We know that major obstacles are still on the horizon: climate change, rapid population increases and technological changes all of which require progressive policies. At the same time, we must continue to tackle health care costs; mortgage and pension reforms; enhance our education system; and reduce poverty and inequality, as too many among us are still struggling to make ends meet, much less to get ahead.
In 146 days, we will have the opportunity to vote to elect leaders who will lead with our values, work together across all our differences and challenges to tackle the inequalities in education, housing, job opportunities and transportation so as to uplift every Caymanian.
More than ever before, you must be discerning in your choices. Reject those who want power just to have it and those who will only use that power, for the benefit of a select few.
We know the majority of our people care about the future of our country and will show up at the polls on 26th May 2021. They know this is our Cayman. They want to ensure that its future remains securely in our peoples' hands; that our people will benefit. That prosperity will be for all our people. Please, therefore, cast your ballot wisely.
We have seen Caymanians and residents of all walks of life willing to work as ONE PEOPLE for ONE CAYMAN, and mount fierce opposition to matters that affect our country. That spirit will be needed to continue to drive the development of our islands.
We in the Official Opposition, along with other members of the community, will be contesting the upcoming Elections. We look forward to your support. There is much to be done, and we are confident that we have the courage, determination and experience to rise and meet them on your behalf.
As we enter this New Year, let us begin anew with shared optimism and a reaffirmed commitment to continue working as one to realize that full potential for all Caymanians.
May God bless you all and continue to bless and protect our beloved Cayman Islands.