Archive for February, 2010

Mac backs turtle meat hike

| 26/02/2010 | 94 Comments

(CNS): An opposition motion to review the price of turtle meat was rejected by the government yesterday afternoon when the premier offered his backing to the recent decision by the farm management to triple the price. The premier said the increase was about reducing demand for the meat to sustainable levels until the farm could tackle the problems of supply it faced as aresult of difficulties with the breeding programme. McKeeva Bush explained to the Legislative Assembly that while it may be the country’s national dish and a cultural tradition enjoyed by Caymanians, no one was addicted to turtle meat and no one would die if they couldn’t afford to eat it for a while.

Bush was responding to the opposition’s suggestion that government review the prices again as their constituents had made considerable representations to them. Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts, who submitted the private member’s motion, said he had concerns people would turn to poaching if they could no longer afford to buy it from the farm.

 “It may seem like a frivolous motion but there has been tremendous representation to us, especially from constituents in the Sister Islands,” he said, noting that Moses Kirkconnell had seconded the motion. Tibbetts asked government to apply some of the $9 million subsidy that Boatswain’s Beach receives from the public purse to cover any losses incurred in producing meat to enable local people to still have access to the meat sometimes, even if the supply was restricted.

While the price hike would certainly reduce the demand, Tibbetts said that it was unlikely to reduce the desire, which could have a detrimental impact on the wild population if people took to taking turtles from the ocean illegally as he suspect some people might do. “There is poaching already and no one can say it won’t occur," the leader of the opposition added. “The marine officers are already limited and they can’t cover all the areas 24/ 7; it’s going to be very difficult to apprehend those who have a real intention to take the turtles,” he said. “My biggest fear is what is going to happen to those in the wild.”

However, Bush told the opposition leader that this was a make or break situation for the turtle farm and that it needed these increases to balance the demand to realistic levels and give the breading programme a chance to restore the stocks. If not, he said the farm would simply run out in less than 18 months time. He also stated that the farm was moving towards a policy that what was sold had to cover its costs and the new price reflected the true cost of production as well as the whole issue of sustainability.

“If it sells for anything less it won’t sustain production,” the premier emphasized. He also noted that, at present, by selling the meat at less than its true cost the turtle farm was subsidising commercial restaurants. But, he said, despite the increase the price still compared favourably to other foods such as Maine lobster, rack of lamb and filet mignon, and that people had to understand that while it was a Caymanian traditional dish it was a luxury food.  “How can we charge so very little for something so precious?” the premier asked.

Contributing to the debate, Kirkconnell said there was not a single member in the House who did not want the turtle farm to succeed but he believed his constituents on the sister Islands were considerably less close to the other benefits offered by the turtle farm than those on Grand Cayman. With the price hike he said they could no longer afford to buy the meat and they would likely poach it. He said he hoped the management at Boatswain’s Beach could find a way to make it affordable so Caymanians could buy it.

Refusing to support the opposition motion, the premier said, “We know they cherish it but they won’t die if they don’t get a pot of stew.”

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ISAF trains Cayman sailing coaches

| 26/02/2010 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman sports news, Cayman sailing(CNS): The first ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Instructor training programme (Level 1 Technical Course for Coaches) was run in the Cayman Islands during the week of 10th February 2010, with eight local candidates taking part and successfully completing the five day course.The participants were all Cayman residents: four of them were Cayman nationals, one Jamaican and three British expats. ISAF Trainer Tom Wilson hopes this will be the start of developing Cayman’s trainers and coaches.

The successful candidates were Alex Walton, Chris Delaney, Marina Maffessanti, Rory McDonough, Elena McDonough, Thomas Hanson, Ronan Jennings and Daniel Ward. The aim behind the course was to enable the club to employ and use local people rather than using staff from overseas.

Mike Weber, the manager of the sail training programme, is the man who is actively involved in the day-to-day running of the centre. He was instrumental in helping make this course a reality, in close liaison with the Cayman National Olympic Committee who applied for the Olympic Solidarity funding that made it happen. Currently the Cayman Islands Sailing Club provides racing and training for the members and also delivers sessions for the local primary schools. Weber is really keen to develop both this and the instructor training further. In addition he is aiming to inspire a new age of instructor development for the Caribbean ISAF Member nations as a group.

“With what I knew of that part of the world I was expecting the course to take a casual approach!” joked ISAF Trainer Tom Wilson. “The week turned out to be very laid back, as that is the Cayman way of life, but the level of engagement from the students was impressive. On arriving I had a plan, but as is always the way with these types of courses, I did not know the real experience of the candidates. The plan was designed to be dynamic and fluid throughout the week, to make sure that we catered for the student’s, club’s and nation’s needs, in addition to meeting the ISAF criteria.”

The course started with an assessment of the candidate’s sailing abilities, an introduction to teaching and how it links to sailing. On the second day concepts such as managing groups on the water and how to deliver feedback were introduced. By the third day the candidates had the opportunity to teach some ‘real’ students. The ‘real’ students were local primary school children who were being taught to sail as part of the government’s learn to sail initiative. This allowed the students to put all of their newly acquired skills into practise; both the children and the candidates had a great time.

Some more real students from the Talent Identification Programme joined in on day four and spent some time coaching one another. Performance profiling was the aim; identification, correction and development of personal sailing. To finish the day the candidates looked at designing some ‘games with aims’, to bring an element of fun to the teaching. After brain storming some ideas they went afloat, played them and then looked at the teaching aims that could be developed through playing the games. Day five started with a formal assessment to check each candidate’s understanding of background knowledge and theory of teaching sailing. A selection of the students ran some race sessions for the rest of the group. On the final afternoon the instructors ran a ‘Laser Pico regatta’ with a series of normal races and finished with a ‘fun’ race.

“The course was really successful, the journey that we took was really positive,” said Wilson. “We came across many hurdles, but we dealt with them, took the positives and moved on. The eight candidates all now have a solid understanding of teaching and teaching sailing to be able to go and practise. Hopefully this will be the start of a fantastic journey of developing Cayman’s trainers and coaches.”

For more information about learning how to sail or about learning how to instruct please contact Mike Weber at sailing@sailing.ky 

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The root of Cayman crime

| 26/02/2010 | 64 Comments

While one is reluctant to kick a country when it’s down, sometimes it needs to be done. The Cayman Islands—specifically Grand Cayman—feels like a society on the brink these days and we are long overdue for some frank talk. We are too down the road now to worry if feelings may be hurt.

Violent crime has become commonplace and there can be no hope of reversing the trend without an honest assessment of what went wrong in the first place.

Yes, better police work, improved intelligence gathering, more tips from the public, and public security cameras are relevant to the discussion. But all of these only address the symptoms. They do not get at the roots of Cayman crime.

First of all, it is unlikely that the sort of crimes making headlines these days—rapes, machete attacks, armed robberies, and murders—are a result of economic desperation as many people claim. Many of these crimes are related to greed, perhaps, but certainly not literal hunger and deprivation. We must keep in mind that any healthy young Caymanian male who knows how to set an alarm clock and dress himself in the morning can easily get and maintain a job. If nothing else, he can get a job on a dive boat or in a fastfood restaurant. No matter what the whiners say on our radio talk shows, employment is not a crisis here. Advancement may be a problem in some cases, yes, but basic unemployment is not the driving force behind murders and bank robberies. There are many thousands of foreigners here on work permits. Labor demand is monstrous compared to the population of work-age Caymanians. Therefore, it is ridiculous to suggest that vast numbers of Caymanians cannot find employment and have become desperate predators as a result. The job they prefer may not be available but surely some job is. And for straight-thinking people any job, even a low-paying one, is preferable to robbing and killing people. No Caymanian male is driven to violent crime in this country out of rock-bottom economic desperation. Most likely they pick up a machete or gun because they are pathologically greedy, wounded by bad parenting, or simply because they joined up with the wrong pack of peers.

The reality is that young Caymanians find themselves in one of the world’s most fortunate situations. Being a Caymanian in the Cayman Islands is about as good as it gets for a young person concerned with job opportunities and job security. Just ask a typical teenage boy in Zimbabwe, Yemen, or Mexico if they wouldn’t jump at the chance to have the sort of job prospects taken for granted here. People who continue to claim that our violent crime is about poverty and unemployment are not only wrong, they are distracting us from real problems we need to be focusing on.

It may be a boring explanation, but much of the new crime we are experiencing is probably due to nothing more than our population rise. We have grown very fast, doubling our numbers in less then 50 years. It makes no sense for people to complain that the crime rate is not the same today as it was back when our population was less than 25,000. More people inevitably mean more criminals. Still, we seem to be suffering far too many violent crimes for a “gun free” society with a population well under 100,000.

Clearly something has gone wrong with too many of our young men. Maybe we need to reconsider our approach to raising boys. We Caymanians love to talk about using “the strap” on children and raising them up in the church. But do these things really work as advertised? It’s a safe bet that virtually every thug who is terrorizing Grand Cayman today was beaten frequently and taken to church often as a child. Spanking is very popular here and, according to a government report, an overwhelming majority of the Caymanian inmates at Northward Prison attended church regularly in childhood. Maybe it is time to rethink those two revered pillars of childrearing. Perhaps Caymanian children need more love, guidance, and attentionand fewer beatings. Perhaps in today’s world Caymanian children need a little less prayer and a lot more homework.

The police make an easy target for complaints, but they don’t deserve 99 percent of the blame heaped on them by the public. If criminals are the fire that threatens us, our police should be viewed as firefighters. We must focus our anger on those who set the fires in the first place. So who are these social arsonists? Why, they are our politicians, of course. Who else but them could have engineered such a rapid descent to barbarism?

Cayman’s elected leaders of the last three or four decades seem to have done everything possible to bring about the current crime wave. Despite past economic booms and a small manageable population, they failed to invest in the things that keep societies healthy and safe. They failed to respond to problems that obviously would not correct themselves. There is no great mystery about the things that should have received meaningful attention in recent decades. Just ask a teacher in a government school about childhood illiteracy and behavioral problems here. Ask a couple of veteran nurses at the government hospital to share some of their horror stories with you. Ask a high-ranking civil servant how much money is wasted on egos and paybacks at the ministerial level. Cayman did not fall apart, our politicians tore it apart, thanks to their greed and inaction. Instead of confronting growing social problems our leaders consistently pretended they did not exist.

Cayman’s politicians have not spent all of their time dodging responsibilities, however. They also made sure to nurture a culture of dependence. This is why today one so often hears defeatist comments from Caymanians who should be working hard to seize opportunities and determine the course of their own lives. They scream, “Government isn’t doing anything for me!” when they should be so busy taking night classes and working their way up from entry level jobs that they have no time to think about what government is or is not doing for them. Our politicians have thrived amidst these corrosive feelings of entitlement and dependence. They spent the bulk of the last few decades bickering and blustering over meaningless matters in the Legislative Assembly while the country was steaming toward crisis. Anyone over the age of 10 who has ever listened to a Radio Cayman replay of the day’s Legislative Assembly proceedings is sure to agree.

Sometimes the stupidity and negligence of our politicians is borderline criminal. Does anyone remember back in the 1990s when one of our government ministers declared that there were no criminal gangs in the Cayman Islands? When pressed to admit the obvious, he would only say there may be some “groupings” of young students but definitely no gangs.

CITN hosted a live talk show about crime in the mid 1990s. Several members of the public phoned in pleading for the government to take gang activity seriously and to do everything possible to eradicate it before it became deeply entrenched and lives were lost. The callers pointed to gang crime in other countries and asked why we couldn’t learn from their experiences and avoid their mistakes. As usual, our politicians did nothing and look where we are today.

The reason politicians deserve blame for Cayman crime today is not because of one or two failings here and there. It is because collectively they have behaved as if they are either incredibly dumb or simply do not care about the deterioration of our society. How much brainpower could it have required 20 years ago to recognize that Cayman was heading for serious trouble with its young males? If nothing else, the fact that increasing numbers of children and teenagers were slipping through school without an adequate education should have panicked every politician. Anyone would have taken meaningful action to defuse a ticking time bomb of too many aimless and illiterate or semi-literate young men coming out of high school every year. Well, anyone except a Cayman politician, that is. Based on their record, it seems clear our “leaders” are obsessed with votes, ego, power, and money at the expense of all else. The safety and welfare of the people in this country clearly are secondary to those concerns.

Bad as our politicians are, however, it is the voters themselves who are deserve the greatest scorn. That “majority of voters,” whoever they are, keep putting these inferior politicians into the LA to sink us all. They repeatedly give immense power to liars and buffoons who eagerly exploit their own homeland for personal gain. Whether they are tricked by childish speeches about God’s blessings and expat invasions or coldly trade their votes for bottles of beer and washing machines, these voters have doomed their country by placing incompetent and corrupt people at the helm.

Cayman is a society that derailed itself long ago. For too long we have been trapped inside a perfect storm of greed and incompetence. Most disheartening is the fact that there are intelligent and honest Caymanians out there who could have served this country well. But their kind never ends up in the Legislative Assembly. Few if any of them ever even try. Perhaps they are too dignified. Maybe they just can’t bring themselves to swindle simple-minded voters with empty words and kitchen appliances. Therefore, we keep playing the same game with the same players every election year, and we keep ending up with the same dismal results. Given the dysfunctional nature of our government leadership over so many years, is it really surprising that we now have armed predators roaming our streets? One might argue that the only surprise is that things are not worse.
 

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Lobster season ends this month

| 26/02/2010 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Science & Nature news, Cayman lobster(CNS): Come Monday, 1 March, a lobster dinner could cost CI$500,000 plus jail time, as the 9-month closed season for lobsters begins. No one may take lobster from Cayman waters , or purchase, receive or possess lobsters taken from Cayman waters, throughout the closed season, which runs through 30 November. The Department of Environment (DoE) is reminding the public that violation of this and any of the Marine Coservation Laws is an offence carrying a maxiumum penalty of CI$500,000 fine and one year in jail.

Upon conviction, forfeiture of the vessel or other equipment may also be ordered.

To report violations of any marine conservation legislation contact the DoE at 916 4271 (Grand Cayman), 926 0136 (Cayman Brac), or 926 2342 (Little Cayman) or call 911. For more information please visit us on the web at www.doe.ky

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Policy changes coming for Trade & Business

| 26/02/2010 | 21 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman business news(CNS): As part of the government’s policy changes regarding business and investment, the Trade & Business Licensing Office has been moved from the responsibility of the Department of Immigration to the new Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI). The move, officials said, was part of the recent changes in the national policy framework to stimulate inward and local investment in the Cayman Islands. Trade and Business will now be integrated with the DCI. (Left: DCI Executive Director Dax Basdeo)

The change will “further streamline efforts and facilitate greater efficiency” in the licensing process, government promised.

“With direct access to licensing information, DCI will be better able to track the success of inward investment and small business development programmes, and thereby provide the statistical information needed to make sound economic policy decisions,” the department said in a release. The Department of Commerce and Investment is now responsible for stimulating and facilitating appropriate, long-term, inward and local investment in the Cayman Islands, providing technical assistance to local entrepreneurs and small businesses and linking investors with potential customers, suppliers and other business partners.

Premier McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly yesterday (Thursday 25 February) that a number of changes were underway with regards to the policies surrounding Trade and Business when he adopted a motion by independent MLA Ezzard Miller to also set up a fair trade commission, which would include consumer protection as well as protection for Caymanian business owners facing unfair competition for large foreign own companies.

He told the House that the transfer of the T&B office was the first step in a number of changes which would help local business. Bush said there would be a review of the licensing prices, which currently sees the smallest of businesses pay the same as large commercial enterprises, and the board was currently examining a number of issues relating to the local business environment.

The move for T&B is effective from Monday, 1 March, and the T&B office will officially become a unit within the Department of Commerce and Investment (DCI). The Trade and Business Office is located at Sussex House, Elgin Avenue, and hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

From now on all applications for T&B licenses must be submitted directly to the Trade and Business Licensing Office at Sussex House, Elgin Avenue and all payments for T&B licenses must be made at the Trade and Business Licensing Office: Trade and Business Licensing Office, PO Box 10493 APO, Grand Cayman, KY1-1005. Trade and Business Licensing information can also be accessed on www.dci.gov.ky; downloadable forms will be available shortly, the office stated. For more information, contact the office on 244-2067 or 244-2086.

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PAC takes issue with Duguay’s reports

| 26/02/2010 | 22 Comments

(CNS): The auditor general was in the firing line again yesterday when the chair of the Public Accounts Committee placed four outstanding committee reports on the Legislative Assembly table regarding their opinions on the Special Reports undertaken by Dan Duguay’s office. Although the PAC agreed with Duguay on most of his findings, its report on the AG’s audit of the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal said Duguay’s comments were unsubstantiated and accused him of causing potential damage to individuals and businesses. Duguay, however, told CNS he stood by his comments and as far as that project was concerned government could have saved several million dollars and the public did not get good value for money.

It was a busy morning for reports being placed before the LA, with six annual reports from the Water Authority being tabled going as far back as 2003. Four outstanding PAC reports were also placed before parliament assessing AG reports that had been completed as far back as 2006.

In the case of the AG’s report on the purchase of the RCIPS helicopter, the PAC fully endorsed Duguay’s findings that there had been considerable miscommunication and misunderstanding between government and police, and the government could have received better value for money to sell the existing machine if it could not be successfully re-fitted. Duguay also observed in the report that whatever happened, the government should do something with the helicopter, which remained in the United Sates — as it still does today despite assurances from the police on numerous occasions that its arrival was imminent.

When it came to the report on the government’s settlement over Hurricane Ivan claims with Cayman General, the PAC also agreed with the auditor general when he found that, while the deal may not have been the best value for money given the circumstances in the wake of Ivan, it was reasonable at the time.

However, PAC avoided commenting on the various findings by the AG on the financing arrangements for Boatswain’s Beach. Although the report agreed that, in the end, the government had received a good deal with the financing arrangements they chose, the committee ignored Duguay’s key findings regarding the money paid to companies before a deal was made, which included as much as $1.6 million of public funds wasted.

In regard to the Royal Watler report, however, PAC were quite specific with their condemnation of the AG and said his claim that there was overcharging to the tune of $.4.2 million was not substantiated and was mitigated by witness evidence that the project was expanded in scope.

“The committee is of the position that such unsubstantiated comments by the Auditor General’s office … are concerning to say the least,” Ezzard Miller, the chair of PAC, read to the LA as he submitted the four reports to the House. “Such unsubstantiated comments may cause damage to the reputation of individuals or business, and that in drafting of such reports the utmost due care and attention must be given.”

Duguay was not present in the LA when the reports were tabled and CNS later discovered that he had not been informed that the PAC chair had intended to present them, nor, he said, was he given any advance notice of the content of the PAC reports. But the AG said he stood by his findings.

“I have just managed to take a look at the PAC comments as I did not have an opportunity to review these beforehand. However I don’t agree with the PAC conclusion regarding the Royal Watler Report,” he said. “I believe my office proved that government could have saved that $4 million as the later changes were not relevant to the findings and did not change the fact that government could have saved money.”

Duguay also noted that the PAC had only addressed part of the conclusions in his reports, in particular with regards the financing of Boatswain’s Beach. “The PAC comments only address the part of the conclusion that favours government and the reader could assume the AG’s office had found that was a good deal, which was far from what our report concluded. The government spent at least $1.6 million unnecessarily and I can’t say that was a good deal,” Duguay added.

In submitting the reports, Miller also included all of the minutes of the various meetings, included those held in camera. In one of the meetings PAC discussed the Standing Orders, which rule when audit reports are made public, and it was revealed that former talk show host and advocate of transparency, Ellio Solomon, had requested that the AG’s reports not be made public until the PAC had made its comments on those audits, potentially holding them up for three months after publication.

The UDP backbencher said he wanted to discuss the current Standing Orders with the government. Opposition PAC member, Moses Kirkconnell, pointed out that the AG was a watchdog for the people’s money and government had come a long way in terms of transparency and Freedom of Information. The committee asked Solomon to review the situation and agreed that the members would wait for government to decide how it would review the Standing Orders that govern how the AG’s reports are handled by the LA.

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Minister confirms troubles with employment relations

| 26/02/2010 | 18 Comments

(CNS): The minister for education and labour has confirmed that the director of Employment Relations has been placed on required leave. Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday morning , Rolston Anglinsaid that as a result of an on-going investigation in the department, the director, Lonny Tibbetts, had been placed on one month’s required leave from Thursday 18 February. The minister said that as it was a personnel issue it was inappropriate for him to comment and that Jennifer Smith would continue as acting director.

CNS reported earlier this month that a long standing dispute in the department appeared to have come to a head and at the time Anglin made no comment, stating that administrative issues were the responsibility of Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues.

Tibbetts has offered no comment on the situation despite requests and the exact nature of the complaint against the director is unclear, but CNS understands the dispute concerns long standing allegations of paralysis between senior management and staff at the Department of Employment Relations which pre-date Tibbetts’ placement in the department’s top slot.

The DER is divided into two units: one which deals with placing Caymanian employees in jobs and one that deals with complaints against employee’s bosses who are reportedly breaking the employment law in regards to pay, annual leave or working conditions, and it is this unit where the complaints against Tibbetts are understood to have originated.

According to annual reports from the OCC, the office has dealt with a considerable number of complaints against that unit and has found maladministration on a number of occasions. Besides the Immigration, the DER is alleged to have generated the most complaints to the ombudsman’s office.

Tibbetts took over at the DER less than two years ago in May 2008, replacing Walling Whittaker who left in 2007 and went on to work for HSBC. At the time of his appointment the ministry described Tibbetts as a “well qualified, highly experienced individual” who was well versed in both policy and procedure and “ideally placed to provide the high level of leadership and guidance required to direct the department through the implementation of various key initiatives.

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Anglin is 2010 YCLA recipient

| 26/02/2010 | 1 Comment

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news(CNS): Collin Anglin was announced as the recipient of the 2010 Young Caymanian Leadership Award at a black-tie celebration at the Ritz Carlton – Cayman on Saturday, 20 February. In an interview on News 27’s Daybreak show following his award, Anglin said he had a lot of love and respect for the other finalists Felix Manzanares, Tammy Ebanks Bishop, Krishan Welcome and Melanie McLaughlin, and that they were united by a common passion for the youth of the community. Anglin said the church had given him moral and spiritual standards and that his involvement in sports had kept him engaged in positive activities.

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Politicians back fair trade

| 26/02/2010 | 40 Comments

(CNS): The government has accepted a private member’s motion moved by Ezzard Miller to address the problems of unfair competition for Caymanian businesses as well as tackling the problem of ‘fronting’ and introducing consumer protection. The independent member’s motion was seconded by opposition party member Arden McLean and passed through the Legislative Assembly with agreement from all sides. The motion from the North Side MLA proposed that government introduce a Fair Trade Commission and supporting legislation that would offer security to Caymanian business owners in the face of large conglomerates, which Miller said were, with their “deep pockets”, undermining the ability of local businesses to compete fairly.

While members on both sides of the House were quick to suggest that they did not support protectionist policies while supporting the private member’s motion, Miller made it clear that the motion was concerned with protecting local business from major companies that were supported by overseas cash. Companies, he said, that drive local Caymanians out of business. The House’s only independent representative said he was seeking to protect local business from unfair competition and the country needed a regulatory authority that could assist that went beyond the current powers of the Trade and Business licensing board and encompass fair trading criteria.

“Competition is good but when the playing field is not level it is not fair,” he said, adding that where foreign investors had deep enough pockets they could take the losses while they drove local businesses away only to come back with vengeance and make their profits many times over once they had gotten rid of the local competition.

He said a fair trade commission would properly regulate the business environment, act as a watchdog, police the emergence of monopolies, as well as price fixing and offer properchannels for consumer complaints. “I believe a fair trade commission would be a step in the right direction to offer support to the people we have been sworn to represent in this legislature,” Miller said. He pointed out that it was incumbent on government to help Caymanian businesses and protect them from powerful outside forces.

The motion was support by opposition member Arden McLean, who said he knew that protectionism was a dirty word but there were many genuine concerns regarding the issues surrounding fairness for local business in general, and he pointed in particular to the problem of fronting, where some Caymanians offered to put their name to a business to be the 60% local partner while having no real interest in what was essentially a foreign business.

Miller offered an example of the kind of business he was concerned with when he said there was one conglomerate on the island that where the owner was setting himself up in such a way as to have a monopoly on retail premise. The North Side representative said he has already bought up a considerable number of stores and was bidding on the port, and said he was an example of the kind of power his motion should curb. “These are the things the commission would address.”

McKeeva Bush said government would consider the content and supported the motion. The premier noted that as a result of the transfer from Immigration to the new Department of Commerce, the Trade and Business Licensing Law was being reviewed and fair trade issues were all part of the new reforms that would be coming. Bush said while one had to be careful of protectionism, it was common to have fair trade legislation to create level playing fields. He said a long list of categories of business were already being allocated as the preserve of Caymanians and the government would consider incorporating the suggestions in Millers motion as the new regulations surrounding local business and assistance to entrepreneurs was developed.

Rolston Anglin also spoke in favour of the motion, as did Ellio Solomon, but in his support Solomon managed to break the protocols of the Legislative Assembly in the way he insulted Miller, the mover of the motion. Although members of the House commonly take digs at each other across the floor during their debates, there are certain boundaries and protocols about how the less than favourable comments are delivered — ones which Solomon breached during his contribution on the motion. Following Solomon’s suggestion that finally someone on the opposite side of the House “had grown a brain”, Miller pointed out to Madame Speaker that the fourth elected member for George Town had overstepped the boundaries. She agreed and later called Solomon to her chambers. According to the rules or standing orders, Solomon could have been suspended from the chamber. However, he remained in the Legislative Assembly for the rest of the sitting.

During his closing contribution to the debate on his motion, Miller pointed out to the House that the members were observing the ultimate exercise in self restraint following the various comments aimed at him made by the fourth elected member for George Town.  “To say I have suddenly grown a brain is rather uncomplimentary,” said Miller, adding that the comments by the government member illustrated what had happened to the political arena in Cayman, which was not always for the best.  

He noted that what he did was for and on behalf of his constituents and it never ceased to amaze him how things done with the greatest intentions could, at the first opportunity, be denigrated, but he suspected that everyone would rise to their own levelsof competence or for that matter incompetence.

“When I bring a motion to this House, it is on behalf of the people of North Side that I serve,” Miller noted.

As he wound up the debate on his motion, the member for North Side and veteran of the LA, warned government that he would not be fobbed off with a feel good ‘yes’ and he would be waiting to see his motion become legislation in good time. Miller said he believed there was provision in the standing orders for him to draw up the legislation based on his motion himself and he would be looking at how to do that should he not see evidence of government taking his motion seriously now it was accepted.

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Violent French husbands ‘may be tagged’

| 26/02/2010 | 0 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman news(BBC): Men seen as likely to be violent towards their wives could be forced to wear an electronic tag under a law being debated by the French parliament. The tag would have to be worn by men who have received a court order to stay away from their partner. The proposal is part of a draft law on conjugal violence. It has cross-party support and is expected to pass easily. According to the government, around 160 women in France are murdered by their husbands or partners every year. Parliament is also considering outlawing psychological violence in the home, because it is seen by many as a precursor to physical violence.

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