BT dump protestors deny political affiliation

| 16/03/2012

dump demo (242x300).jpg(CNS): The leaders of the Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free have refuted allegations made by the premier that their activist group is associated with the PPM or any other political party. The leaders say there are no PPM members on the committee and it has not taken any money from the opposition party. The BT Coalition says it is a single issue activist group with cross party support and no political affiliations. The coalition is committed and determined to stop the relocation of the landfill to Bodden Town and is campaigning for government to address the dump aka Mount Trashmore on its current site in the capital.

“In response to coalition demands for answers and documents supporting the relocation of the dump, government hid behind a smokescreen of false promises, scare tactics and outright lies,” said Alain Beiner, one of the coalition’s leaders following last Thursday’s government public meeting in Bodden Town, where the activists protested the government's plans.

“They knowingly lied about the Coalition being controlled by the PPM. Premier Bush, Minister Scotland and BT MLA Seymour are well aware that we’re non-political and completely independent of the PPM.

“While individual members of the PPM may well support the Coalition’s campaign – as do a number of UDP members – the Coalition has nothing to do with the PPM, nor with any political party. There isn’t a single MLA or PPM official on our Coordinating Committee, and the Coalition has not received a penny from the PPM,” Biener added

Gregg Anderson another leading figure in the group said the coalition has equally condemned past and present governments for neglecting the George Town landfill.  “We accepted an invitation to present our position to a PPM public meeting in January and we’d just as readily accept an invitation to speak at a UDP or any public meeting where we can explain why moving the dump to Bodden Town would be disastrous for all of Grand Cayman,” he added.

The coalition members have also pointed to the irony of the accusations made against the protest group of political affiliations. The public meeting was advertised in the local press as a government projects update but the meeting  “…was nothing but a UDP election rally,…” the coalition said.

Speech after speech had attacked the coalition and the PPM, the coalition stated and it also rejected what they called the scare tactics of the environment minister and first elected member for the district Mark Scotland

During his speech he had claimed that government would have to raise import duty to 30% to operate a waste-to-energy facility, and that it would cost ‘over a $100 million’ in capital costs to fix the George Town dump where it is however, the coalition pointed to government’s earlier plans and the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) recommendation to award the waste-to energy contract to Wheelabrator.

“Wasn’t that deal in fact to be financed by Wheelabrator, with operating costs supported by new revenue the sale of energy to CUC, a tipping fee such? Beiner asked rhetorically as he suggested that Bodden Towners may never know the truth and unless government discloses the terms of that deal, and explains why they inexplicably ditched it along with due process, in favour of the Dart proposal.”

The government’s own technical team had rejected the Dart submission and the CTC expressed “great concern” about the impact of a dump in an “environmentally sensitive” area.

The coalition also asked if the running costs for the new waste-management site would come from as Dart has said it won’t be managing the new site.

“If the money will be there then, why not now, and avoid contaminating a new site. In the name of ‘good governance’ and ‘honesty’, government agrees to award a contract for a waste-to-energy facility to fix the George Town dump, it then comes to Bodden Town to denounce our Coalition’s support for that same option, claiming that we can’t afford it, and then promises to add a similar facility at the Bodden Town site,” Vincent Frederick another coalition leader added, as he suggested whatever credibility the government still had on this issue in Bodden Town they now had none.

The coalition members were also sceptical about the promise made by Bush to an organised tour of waste-management facilities in the USA . During his speech Bush had suggested that he would take hundreds of people to see how they work.

However, given the cost of suchan exercise when government claims it’s a lack of funds that is forcing them to move the landfill miles from the source of most waste, and to transform a pristine residential area into heavy industrial use, the coalition said it was unlikely to materialize.

“They even mocked our placards for the few dollars we spent on them,” Frederick added.

“Where will they find the money to pay the travel expenses of a hundred people – in addition of course to their own coterie of ‘experts, tour guides, coaches and spin-masters’? No one was fooled last Thursday by this smokescreen of contradictions. The people of our district still don’t know which government entity decided that the GT dump had to be relocated, who selected Bodden Town as the best site, and on what these decisions were based. These real questions remain unanswered.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The PPM does not have huge corporate donors giving out money for favours and, unlike the UDP, the members make up their own minds about what to support or oppose.

  2. Chris says:

    Lets get real!

    The reality is that well over 75% of Cayman's electorate are not members of any political party nor were the protestors.

    I attended the meeting to learn more about the proposed waste management facility and about the proposed port development.

    The failure of the speakers to engage these two topics substantively was so disappointing that i wish i had a placard reading


    I did not want to hear about the PPM failures of 3 years ago or that Arden didnt pay his light bill. Thats an issue between Arden and CUC. And foolishness like that wont convince people to vote for Johnny either!

     Please provide us with specifics of these two major proposals which will affect us for generations to come. How can you expect public support when major details of these projects continue to be shrouded in secrecy?

    • Anonymous says:

      And let's get serious and ask why we all paid for the advertisements for this UDP political meeting.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let not be naive and pretend this is not a political issue. The East End and North Side politicians have jumped into this issue with both feet offering their opinions and support for this cause. The Opposition as well have joinedin with their support and predicting the demise of current Boddentown MLAs.

    Those individuals who have political aspirations have also been quick to mark their position with the Boddentown voters.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Trust me this is not a political matter.  I am a registered voter and am either a PPM or a UDP advocate. I am a Coalition supporter and I strongly oppose the dump move or whatever they want to call it to Midland Acres.  Government needs to stand up and have a backbone and say " Hell no Mr. Dart, if you want to fix the Dump because of your precious development that 95% of Caymanians won't  even be able to afford then be my guest and fix it where it is! If Government won't  oppose the dump move then we will continue to do so because we cannot be brought. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    yeah right!! Come on without Arden and Ezzard they would be nowhere..Even Alden jumped up to assist when he saw them getting some attention..


  6. Profound Reality! says:

    Wrong again Mr. Bush!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The premier is still grasping at straws with his accusations of political associations towards the Coalition to stop the Bodden Town dump.He must live a delusional life thinking that those against his/Darts wishes have political aspirations.He needs to take a cold hard look at what the Caymanian people are saying  and realize that they are only looking out for the welfare of the Cayman islands UNLIKE what he is doing by selling out to Dart.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If anything they could be thought of as former UDP supporters as some of the founders were proudly wearing UDP t-shirts after the last election