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Letter to Editor: Cruise Port Referendum Cayman

Community Voice 18 Dec, 2019 Follow News

Letter to Editor: Cruise Port Referendum Cayman

With the holidays around the corner and the referendum delayed, CPR Cayman wishes to take this opportunity to ensure that the public understands what has happened and that individuals are aware of what they can do to continue to advocate for transparency and a brighter future for Cayman.

The goal of CPR Cayman is and has always been to ensure that any decisions made by our government in relation to the proposed cruise berthing facility are well-informed, transparent and serve the best interests of the Caymanian people.

Throughout the course of 2019 CPR wrote to the Premier and his Cabinet with legitimate concerns, requesting the disclosure of critical information regarding the proposed port. Not a single letter was acknowledged and it is this failure that led CPR to continue its call for a referendum.

Once CPR submitted the requisite petition signatures, and the Elections Office completed their verification process, the Premier was then forced to call a referendum but it was clear to many that the process was unfair.

Therefore, armed with the facts, an individual citizen and executive member of CPR, Shirley Roulstone, engaged legal counsel to formally ask for a review of whether the referendum was called according to standards that should be championed in a participatory democracy.

Justice Owen granted that a review should be taken on the following four grounds that were presented:

• That Cabinet had pre-determined the question and date before the port referendum legislation had been passed

• That Cabinet failed to consider important matters including having “due regard” to protection of the environment, as required by the Constitution

• That the question Cabinet set for the referendum was neither fair nor neutral, as required by law

• That the failure to provide any campaign-finance limits, frustrated the intent of the Constitution that a free and fair vote should take place

In anticipation of the new referendum date that will be called in 2020, we will continue to act as advocates for the democratic process. You can too by doing the following:

1. Register to vote and/or encourage those you know to register! To be able to vote from April 1st 2020 onwards, you must register before JANUARY 2nd 2020.

2. Demand Accountability. It is extremely important that we keep demanding more of our national representatives. Stay informed and keep asking questions! Ask for the disclosure of the updated business case, contracts with Verdant Isle Port Partners, the updated EIA and other critical information.

3. Share information with your friends and family over the festive season and encourage them to participate in our first people’s referendum in 2020!

4. Follow CPR Cayman on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cprcayman/) and Vote No (www.facebook.com/votenocayman/) to stay up to date with new articles, facts and figures. Share this information via your social media channels, email and WhatsApp.

5. Save the date and join us at the following 2 events:

DECEMBER 18TH: At 6pm, CPR will be hosting a Christmas rally in Savannah, on the eve of the public holiday. We will have a host of presentations together with refreshments and entertainment.

DECEMBER 19TH: At 3pm, Join the community in a solidarity swim at Eden Rock!

Each voter is part of history in the making. Civil Servants and all Caymanians are encouraged to turn out to vote in record numbers when the Referendum happens.

We wish you all a wonderful Christmas season and a prosperous New Year of hope and harmony.

Happy Holidays!

CPR Cayman

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