Candidates back on the campaign trail

| 19/04/2009

(CNS): In the wake of the Easter break, the candidates for the 20 May General Elections returned to the hustings last week competing for attention with the Chamber debates. Both the political parties were backon the campaign trail hurling insults, while the independents also began working hard at setting themselves apart. In George Town Burns Conolly turned the heat up on government and the party system, while in Bodden Town Vincent Frederick presented some unusual propositions and Theresa Lewis-Pitcairn noted that, despite three cabinet ministers living in the district, Bodden Town had been neglected.

Speaking to the people of Windsor Park on Thursday night, Burns Connolly doubted that they were better off with the two-party system and said the solution was voting for him and other independents to make a difference. Heavily criticising the current government, he accused it of neglecting the needs of the people.  “They have forgotten that you must come first. That you need jobs first, and that you need dignity, hope and a future for your children, that you need a good roof over your head and some solid walls around you first,” he said, adding that on 20 May voters should show them that they have forgotten about them too.

Criticising government spending and education policy, Connolly said if elected he would introduce Kindergarten years into the public school system and add an after-school programme. He said there was no need for expensive schools as the church halls were empty. Saying a vocational training school was a priority, he did not say whether that meant he supported the existing plans for the George Hicks campus to become a vocational college. He said the need to give non-academic kids a chance was important as it was time to stop losing good kids to bad situations.”I will ensure they all have a fighting chance. We cannot afford to lose even one child in Cayman. We are a small country, we need all hands on deck,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Bodden Town, Theresa Lewis-Pitcairn focused on the neglect of the district and false promises made by the incumbents, and said that Bodden Town needed investment and development. She also urged unity and asked voters not to let frustrations with leadership past and present encouraging cultural divide to limit the community.

Addressing unemployment, Lewis-Pitcairn said retraining was crucial to help Caymanians back into the workforce and promised to introduced specific programmes that would fit the needs of employers and give young men hope. She noted that they also had a part to play. “I want to see our young men ready and able to upgrade their skills. I want them putting some money aside to take care of their kids. I want to see them spending quality time with their kids; lifting them and hugging them and letting them know that they are safe and loved,” she said.

On crime, she said, Cayman was spending too much money, time, energy and resources on responding to crime instead of addressing what causes It. Lamenting poor levels of training in the police service, the divisions because of a failure to introduce cultural sensitivity training, and poor levels of transparency communication, she also said their was a lack of trust between the public and the police. “People say to me that the disconnect between the public and the police only helps to fuel criminals,” she said, adding that under her leadership there would be a review of law enforcement. She reminded people, however, that crime was not just a policing issue but there were socio-economic considerations.

Earlier in the week Vincent Frederick told the people of Bodden Town that the country is in a state of despair due to the political and social injustice being thrust upon us.” He also flew the flag for independents when he told voters that they had been better off with them in the past and would be again.  Why skip from party to party and getting nothing but hardship,” he said.

Talking policy, Fredericks put forward his solutions to problems of unemployment and said he would reduce the foreign workers in the civil service and limit them to three year contracts with no exceptions. He was not afraid to limit the number of foreigners employed in Cayman, he said, and as a revenue raising measure he intended to introduce an infrastructure fee (income tax) on their earnings. “The foreigners enjoy our beaches, our hospital services, our roads, our houses, and depend on our law enforcement to protect them…… putting extra burden and strain on the society,” he said adding that he proposed a fee based on a percentage of the foreign workers income and any other form of incentives that they make.

Fredericks explained his proposition would  start at 1% for workers making under CI$2,500.00 per month, 2.5% for workers making CI$2,500.01 and so on up to 5% for workers making over CI$5,000.00 per month. Another revenue raising measure he proposed was an annual infrastructure fee on all commercial buildings over 500 square feet.

Every day we see a new building going up in the air and when it’s completed there are no other fees except for the one time planning and building permit fees,’ he said. To enforce the collection of these and other fees he proposes, Frederick said he would form the ‘National Infrastructure Bureau’.

He also noted he would re-write the proposed national conservation bill which, he said, protected iguanas more than people. He described it as a law written by foreigners robbing Caymanians of their heritage. “Why do we need someone from Russia to come here to tell us how to fish and how to eat?” he asked rhetorically, adding that he would change the law to allow the importation of spear guns and parts for Caymanians.

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  1. Vincent R. Frederick says:

    Thank you all for the comments posted. I would like to first ease the mind of those whom have placed me in the likes of Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was an extreme racial and mass murderer. It took the entire world to bring down his regime and stop the mass killing of the Jewish people. I certainly would like to set the record straight that I am NOT anti-foreigner and I do not hate foreigners living in the Cayman Islands. I’m simply voicing, advocating and finally speaking in defense of my Caymanian people. Many readers of this forum know the local people are becoming very frustrated with the entire situation. Day to day we hear and listen about Caymanians losing jobs, educated Caymanians being told that they are over-qualified, our youth lost and wondering when society is going to start catering for them, and no representation or action from politicians in the house for Caymanian rights. Now that a voice is coming out for Caymanian rights…. "I’m Hitler!" I am a Caymanian who cares about Caymanians…what is wrong with caring about my own people. People are getting the concept that I intend to impose fees on every foreigner living here. That is not true. My propose fees would only apply to foreign workers on work permits. No Permanent residents, Cayman status holders (whom are Caymanians) or persons married to Caymanians would have to pay and would be exempt from such fees. There is also talk that Caymanians with Cayman status are thinking that I’m referring to them. Again that is not so…Any person with Caymanian status is CAYMANIAN. I speak for all persons whom are considered to be Caymanians. Whether you were born here or you have earned your right to be a Caymanian. You are Caymanian. Someone had to start somewhere and I have stirred up a hornet nest, a can of worms that nobody, not even our own politician were willing to touch. Running for office is not an easy task. You must expect to gain enemies and of course, gain friends. While all of the talk is going back and forth, Caymanians are suffering because of the injustice we receive in our own country. Of course there are people that is not going to like what I have to say and would simply try their best to tear away at anyone that is willing to stand up for Caymanians. We have our own problems to deal with…. our youths are in prison, we have unprofessionalism with our own Caymanian people, greed, crime is on the raise and the world is down on us wanting to eliminate us from out of the financial industry…..Where is it written in any media that a Caymanian has called Prime Minister Brown and President Obama "Hitler" Standup I must and standup I will. Caymanians you now have a voice that is willing to protect your lives, your country, your rights, your heritage. I cannot please all and certainly offend a few, but a choice is now here…a voice that is saying what should have been echoed decades ago. You now have something instead of nothing. Addressing the foreigners who may be have concerns, especially those working and living here. It ismy intention to see a better life for my people. You are, and will always be welcome here to live amongst us in peace and harmony. This is a wonderful and successful country and it could not have happen without your involvement and contributions. Most of my friends are foreigners and I can reassure you that I am not anti-foreign. I have no intentions on fighting over this issue and as a humble person, invite anyone who has concerns to get in touch with me to discuss any viewpoints on any issue facing this country. Opportunities and a voice is what I seek for my people in this general election and if that is going to offend anyone then I offer my sincerely appolgy. All I’m asking of you is to pay a simple fee. Vincent R. Frederick Independent Candidate Bodden Town

  2. Anonymous says:

    Vincent is a joke and should come out of the race!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The time for the two PPM ministries to be removed has come; let’svote for someone who will actually try to get some of the damages that still remain from as far back as Ivan taken care of.  Why should we give them another term to pave thier pockets and we continue to suffer?  Enough is enough Bodden Town, let’s vote them out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Vincent Frederick wants income tax for these nasty foreigners in our midst because they like our beaches etc.

      And we Caymanians wonder why expatriates think some of us are totally useless and off the wall. It’s embarrassing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Expats we love and welcome you.  Don’t worry about Vincent he will not get in, in BT.  

        • A Wally Whittaker Supporter says:

          WB Independents

          The independents in WB need to admit that they lack the formal education and experience to run (or help run) the country.

          Bernie Bush and the rest of them are a wasted vote.

          • Anonymous says:

            "The independents in WB need to admit that they lack the formal education and experience to run (or help run) the country. Bernie Bush and the rest of them are a wasted vote".

            Wally  Whittaker supporter denigrating independents in WB for lack of formal education and experience to run a country. Am I missing something? Why is the supporter of an independent attacking other independents in another district, especially for something that could equally be said about the UDP incumbents for that district? And saying that vote for for WB independents (but only in WB apparently) is a wasted voted. Could it be that Wally Whittaker is another UDP plant? I am now beginning to wonder.      

    • Anonymous says:

      I say yes vote them out BT 1 3 4 shall be no more!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry we will give them another four years to finish what they have started.  We know what we have, but we don’t know what we are getting.  Vote PPM May 20.

    • Bodden Town PPM Supporter says:

      Have you thought about what might happen to Bodden Town if you vote PPM out? Look at how Bodden Town was after Ivan and how beautiful it is now. Look at the many houses the PPM rebuilt, the beaches that were cleaned up, the senior citizen centre that was built, the park for the kids, the new football field and SO MUCH MORE. You need to realize we are suffering as a country as a whole, in fact many other parts of the world are being heavily impacted by this current recession. You cannot blame the politicians for the recession and you should realize that PPM are doing what they can to help out and doing a great job for The Cayman Islands. Vote 1, 3 and 4 (THEY WILL DELIVER MORE) for Bodden Town!

      • noname says:

        "Have you thought about what" Where do you live??? for sure not in Bodden Town!!!.. You ask ‘what will happen if you vote PPM out?…THE PROCESS WILL BEGIN!!!.