Bush to broaden government

| 28/05/2009

(CNS): The new Leader of Government Business, McKeeva Bush, says he intends to broaden the governance of the Cayman Islands and will be introducing an Island Council, which he said would sit in the Legislative Assembly (LA) and would embody members from every district and include expats. He said he intended to use the skills and talents of everyone on the island to find the solutions, and the council would examine every sector of the local economy.

He did not say how the council would be able to sit in the LA, but in his first speech as the new government leader, following the official swearing in ceremony at the LA, Bush said the country could not move forward unless all of the expertise and talent was harnessed to work for the betterment of the islands. He said government could not do it alone and that everyone had to work together.

He also told the House that he would be utilising his backbenchers in supporting roles within the ministries. He said he had discussed the issue with the governor and he intended to give responsibility for certain specific areas to non-ministers. “We have taken the bold step to include all of the back benchers to work on specific projects within the various ministries,” he said.

He explained that the third elected member for West Bay, Cline Gidden, who did not receive an actual cabinet position would, however, be given a considerable amount of responsibility, from dealing with the ICTA to the George Town dump. Bush said Glidden would also take responsibility for the Electricity Regulation Authority and would be addressing the current arrangement between government and CUC. Bush said the recent contract with CUC does not benefit the consumer of Cayman Islands and the UDP had a mandate to change it. He said Glidden would be working on plans to introduce competition to electricity generation long before the current timeframe established in the recent deal

Bush said one of the major issues his new government faced was the economy, and while things were in dire circumstances he intended to meet the challenges. “The government will establish a mechanism to provide assistance to businesses and to those who are at risk of losing their homes as a result of the crisis.” He said in two weeks he would announced the full details of how that assistance would be offered but he said bureaucracy would not stop it. Bush added that he would be meeting urgently with various stakeholders to formulate a short term economic recovery plan which would be in place by 30 June.

He further said he wanted to address the problem of immigration and human resources. “We must put in place a strong long term plan for our development of the country’s human capital. This will be tied to the needs of our economy,” he said. “Our first task… is to commission a study on the creation of a Human Resource Authority. It will be the body that brings together all the key areas that impact the development of human resources, such as education, immigration and training,” he told the LA.

Bush said that economic recovery would not be easy but not only would it recover but it would grow and that would only happen by attracting investment and through development.

“It is not that there is not money in the world,” he said. “Money is in the world, but money is afraid, of course, and these islands must create the right approach and the right atmosphere to bring that money here.”

He said none of the problems the country faced could be addressed until the country attracted money again and he would do what he could to encourage development. “We must find the areas that can draw investment here.”

He said the governor had given him the responsibility for financial services and he would improve the lobbying situation in Washington and in other places and implement the necessary regulation that the sector needed. Bush confirmed he would be meeting industry stakeholders this morning, Thursday 28 May. He said when it came to tourism there was a pressing need to review the tourism plan and move quickly on the way forward, and as a result he would also be meeting those stakeholder in the afternoon.

He said he hoped people would work with him to move country forward and that while people believed it might be too difficult to move forward, he said the country can and would meet the challenges.

“With strong determination and decisive leadership and with the support of everyone, we can and we will do it. Starting today we must pick ourselves up and make the decision that we will work together in a united fashion to address the country’s challenges. Together we can and will make a difference,” said Bush. “Whether your family has been here for five generations or whether you have been here for five years as an expatriate worker, we must all roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (42)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think that an “Island Council” in principle could be a good idea, not sure if it can and should sit in the LA.  The concept sounds more that a “Think Tank” or “Brain Trust”, see Wikipedia for more information on both.

    A “think tank” is a consultative committee: a committee of experts that undertakes research or gives advice, especially to a government.  It usually brings together the best minds on a variety of ideological perspectives affecting the country at the time.  Most country’s world wide have a number of think tanks that work on and debate a variety of issues and reforms. “Think tanks may feel more free to propose and debate controversial ideas than people within government.”  They are either government sponsored or independent; many are based at the country’s national university and have various specific missions and objectives to improve the socio-economic well-being of the society.  Such a think tank made up of Caymanians and expats from all districts on Grand Cayman and also from the Sister Islands could bring about real collaboration between all for the betterment of this country.  Some questions that need to be asked: What would be the chief mission and objectives of this “Island Council/Think Tank”?  Will it just provide advice/expertise/research/ideas regarding said policy issues OR will it play a role in shaping/forming said policy?  Will it be a political and/or socio-economic Council/Committee?

    In terms of a “Brain Trust” I’m sure that most of our political candidates, incumbents and members of our Cabinet have had and still have a group of close advisors.  The term was first used in 1899 and then also appeared in a ‘Time’  magazine article in 1928 about a meeting a of the American Council on Learned Societies, titled “Brain Trust”, during USA President T Roosevelt’s administration.

  2. Nicole says:

    Two canidates that has done alot of this country is the hon Mckeeva Bush and Mr. Ezzard Miller, I admire and respect what they both have done and achieved!  I also agree with Twyla that it’s the right decision to make!  It’s also true that you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try in this world.   McKeeva knows what he’s doing and we as Caymanians should stand by his decisions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    anonymous Fri, 05/29/2009 – 14:18, I agree 100%! The UDP seems to forget that there were thousands of people in these islands that did not vote for Mac and will not just accept every cockamamie idea that he brings forward.  Sorry Mr. Bush the people decide who goes into their house, not you (and BTW "honourable" is a title that has to be earned in 2009, it’s not just given and you have proven more often than not to deserve no such title).  If you need to hire consultants, aka, an island counsel, then do so but you will have to meet with them when the house is not in session.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yes, you make sense Joseph Yates, but let’s see if our new government will think like some of us.

  5. Anonymous says:

    UDP Govt proposing development.. more businesses, more jobs but not  for Caymanians!!!

  6. anonymous says:

    In response to "It is really disappointing to…" – you sound very angry considering your party is now in Government! WOW! Calm down! Wha happen to you? After four years of consistent bashing and criticising of the PPM Government from the likes of yourself you now can’t handle the same thing coming at your ‘all wonderful’ UDP? Did you not think that there are many people out there who cringe at the thought of a UDP Government running this Country? Not everybody lives in that dreamland of yours….for the next 4 years your ‘all wonderful’ UDP will be bashed and criticised for all the mismanagement, corruption and blatant disregard for laws that they will impose on this Country….so YOU get over it and get a life!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone realise that to not challenge the UDP candidates in BT is to allow the constitution to be violated and we will basically be living in a society where rules can be broken at will? Does anyone see the potential damage here ?


  8. Joseph Yates says:

    Solutions Going Forward

    Now that the reinstated UDP LoGB has announced some directives that is said to include all the people of Cayman Islands, lets be careful here that some don’t take that suggestion in much different light, as some are already doing, as i have already heard persons bragging they got blah blah because of the UDP government being. 

    Lets be reminded, that we have hundreds of students graduating from high schools annually, and they MUST have a place in our workforce, this means training them and replacing, I REPEAT training and replacing.

    All the imported skilled labour that are paid well here and reaping the benefits here, should be training our very willing and very capable locals to reap the benefits, then eventually WE, you-and-me, Caymanee, can and will, run the core essentials of our country from our very own intelligent and prudent young and old alike, (which includes you.) 

    We need to try and balance the present population, development and resources and waste management, before we try to grow and move forward, it is much easier to balance what we have, than trying to move forward with a more more, criteria, do I make sense anyone?  


  9. Bt voter says:

    Yes lets give Gordon Barlow the chief immigration post so he can get Caymanians back to work as indenture servants free of charge in the community. Gordo for El Primo de capo Island councils get real Boss and get on with Government business please. You want programs and ideas to get debate to death give to a council. i you recall PPM had a commitee how long did they last. Two turlte meat dinners later.

  10. Anonymous says:

    While I approve of this step towards better governance, I find it somewhat intriguing that there was never any mention of this "Island Council" during any of the UDP’s campaigning. In fact…as I recall…this was EXACTLY what "The Lion" called for time and again…every time he took to the platform or airwaves I specifically recall him declare that he and the government could not do a proper job WITHOUT the aide of the people of the Cayman Islands. I think his words were something like taking his people to the L.A. with him.

    I trust that Mr Bush will do right by Mr Paul Rivers and publicly thank him wholeheartedly for such a suggestion and not take full credit for the ideas of such a promising statesman! It is a shame that Mr Rivers was not elected as I feel that he would have provided the TRUE BETTER BALANCE to the governance of Cayman as he has proved that he is no "yes man".

    I, for one, will be watching this government with a very skeptical eye and am more so interested in seeing how Paul Rivers adds into the equation. I believe that he truly has the country at heart and exhibits true leadership and would have made a faithful and loyal servant of the people.

    • While I approve of this step says:

      I am sorry to inform you but this has been UDP’s idea long before the the campaign trail began. While Mr. Rivers might have spoken about it at his meetings this has been Mr. Bush’s idea, and remember Mr. Rivers was once a part of the UDP executive committee, where ideas are shared.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If it is a Senate by another name that he is hoping to create we have only to look to Canada to see what happens in their Senate on a daily basis.  It is a group of cronies who have been loyal to the governing party who go there to retire and receive a nice cheque from the people of Canada for their patronage and contribute little.   It has little to do, at least in that country, with assisting the government or the people of the country.  I certainly hope and pray that the same will not occur here but he has the majority so who knows what he will do.

  12. A concerned braca says:

    Big Mac get the Alexander hotel opened plz i know you can do it, Its a SHAME what theyre doing the Owner whos is a BRACA!

  13. Anonymous says:

    As part of the UDP’s good governance and brodening of government, may I humbly suggest that they overhaul, re-organise and re-structure the management of the Immigration and Labour Departments. The first because of all the red tape and the second because of the poor leadership and both because of the favoritism shown to certain employers.

    Good luck UDP. I voted independents BUT when I compare the UDP to the PPM it is evident that the UDP clearly have leaders and the PPM does not!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The man has only been sworn in for a couple of hours and already he has a plan,  The PPM were in for four years and they still don;t have a plan.  That’s the difference between a decisive leader and one who can’t  cough without receiving advice from hired consultants .  One thing for sure,. nobody will ever accuse the Mac about being afraid to take matters into his own hands. 

    He already knows that there are certain persons who will never accept him or his decisions, but still he does what needs to be done.  Kudos to you Mac.   You are doing exactly what we want you to do – steer the good ship Cayman off the reef that the PPM has it precariously sitting on.  No drunken captain here BoBo.   Slim Mac is in the house and the PPM supporters can’t stand it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM Government had a plan and it was called their manifesto and they implemented over 80% of it under very challenging circumstances.  They also got input from a wide cross section as was done in the case of the national education conferences and without going against the constitution.   The  country now has the Government the majority voted for, I accept that, but that does not mean I will sit quiet allow history to be rewritten and neither will I sit quite and allow one group to do as they please with the constitution.

      For those with short memories or are so brain washed so as to gouge out their lying eyes, the PPM Government did the following and we are all benefiting from these accomplishments today and will in the future:

      • Cushioned the country from the full impact of the world wide economic reccession — despite what some self-centred people would have you believe — just watch the international news on TV or travel anywhere else and you will see proof and be very glad indeed to return to the Cayman Islands!
      • Respect for the rule of law and proviided much needed financial support for the Police Service.  Unfortunately the present holder of the office of the Governor later showed us by the his actions and actions of those he command that unknownst to us he had other intentions.
      • Rebuilding the country after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan.
      • Rapid response and rapid rebuilding of the Brac after the devastation of Hurricane Paloma.
      • Reparing and upgrading all sport facilities in every district and world class soccer fields in GT and WB, hiring more coaches and increased financial assistance to national teams to attend internationalcompetitons.
      • Improving the Education System, stemming the tide of teachers leaving the profession, increasing scholarships to Caymanians at all educational levels including PHD’s for the first time so we don’t have to import these people,
      • Starting the school in Frank Sound — something that the previous Government had talked about for years, but would never do.
      •  Assisting Caymanians to build their own homes through GGHAM and BOYOP (build on your own property) which benefited over 160 families.
      • Significant improvements to the road system (oh, you forgot already?).
      • Starting the new government administration building — anyone who has paid rent and then went on to own their own home can tell yoi whether this makes sense or not
      • Keeping Cayman Airways flying proud.
      • The Go East Initiative which was beginning to bear fruit for small Caymanian business — good luck to you now!
      • Freedom of Information (the media outlets will start missing this soon).
      • Reforming the Immigration Law to make it more business friendly — who reduced the break period from 2 years to 1 year and who cleared up the ambiguities in the law?
  15. GT Ninja says:

    "Bush confirmed he would be meeting industry stakeholders this morning, Thursday 28 May. He said when it came to tourism there was a pressing need to review the tourism plan and move quickly on the way forward, and as a result he would also be meeting those stakeholder in the afternoon."

    Here’s hoping McKeeva’s "stakeholders" don’t drive those stakes right through the hearts of us Caymanians?

    He’s already divided the country with teh party politics, now he’s out to finish us off.

    sucks to be a minority don’t it? There are so few Caymanians and such poor support in trade and education for us on this island that poor ol’ Bush has to get more expats in government to further drown out our voices. The best minds on the islands he said. Will Dart get a seat or a Throne?

    Caymanians are going to be just like the American indians…. living on reservations and dealing with substance abuse and crime. Just like all teh good he’s done in West Bay.

    But fear not Cayman! Bush will bring more permanent housing trailers for us just like what he did after ivan… though so don’t worry… he looks out for his own… he keeps us in our proper place… ignorant, needy and greedy.

    A fridge and trailor for all Caymanians!


  16. Anonymous says:

    It is really disappointing to see that some PPM members have still not gotten over the fact that their party LOST and feel they must continue to spew their venom using this means against the new RIGHTFULLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT.  It is likely the same people that were calling the talk shows every day.  Please get a life and let the new government do their job and let the rest of us use this means constructively.  There are no more campaigns going on and nobody wants to hear about the PPM anymore.  They had their chance and look what they did to this country.  As if the world events weren’t enough we now have to deal with their mismanagement.  Once already McKeeva Bush has had to deal with Kurt’s mismanagement (remember 2001 when he said the government was broke?).  Mr. Bush then put us on the right track.  Now Mr. Bush has do to it all again.  Kurt is no leader and has proven it.  Why don’t you call for him to step down?  As for theconstitution thing, if you want to challenge MS and DS’s election in Bodden Town then quit waiting for someone else to do it and DO IT YOURSELF or SHUT UP!  Nobody seems to care about this anymore because they were both duly elected by majority of the BT voters.  Now please put up or shut up!  GET A LIFE!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have heard rumours that there is about to be a large round of permanent residency give away. I hope this is not the case

    • I have heard rumours that says:

      Where were you during the last four years? Haven’t you heard of all the Permanent Residency being dealt with during this time? so much that people who submitted in early 2007 just now got theirs approved, oh yes that was also before this election. Why don’t you get a life and stop shooting venum and let the UDP government get these islands back on the road to success?

      • Anonymous says:

        "Where were you during the last four years? Haven’t you heard of all the Permanent Residency being dealt with during this time? so much that people who submitted in early 2007 just now got theirs approved, oh yes that was also before this election". 

        Don’t be a dunce. This is not about grants of permanent residence the Board in accordance with the Immigration Law which occur on a regular basis at a rate we can cope with. It is about MASS grants by Cabinet like the 3000 status grants only I hear it is 20,000 permanent residency grants that they intend. UDP worshipper you better WAKE UP.     

  18. Watch Dog says:

    Here comes the beginning of the end. Mac making unconstitutional moves again !!! and Gov. Jack sits back and just allows it to happen while at the same time talking out of the other side of his mouth about he is the Champion of Good Governance. What Gov. Jack  did yesterday on the steps of the LA was a very clear endorsement of BAD GOVERNANCE. This is the beginning of the end. Mac’s Senate by another name….how much will this cost the taxpayers ???? Here comes the real CABINET…..the white Jamaican posse !!!!!!!

    CAYMAN is this what you really voted for ???


    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Ezzard Miller, remember you were elected because you promised to look out for Caymanians. I believe you promised to give Cayman back to Caymanians or something along those lines. This will be your first test.  We will be watching. This is nothing more that giving away the last of  the birthright of Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you need to wake up and stop thinking in a fantasy world!!!  or go crawl back under the rock you came from.

      • Anonymous says:

        I note that      

        The new Leader of Government Business, McKeeva Bush, says he intends to broaden the governance of the Cayman Islands and will be introducing an Island Council, which he said would sit in the Legislative Assembly (LA) 


        I am sure that we cam rely on Madam Spealer to take care of that.(ie who sits in LA)

        • Anonymous says:

          I was told by Jonathan that no family members of elected UDP members would sit on Govt Boards, regardless of how intelligent they are or how much they had to offer. So for example, an experienced environmentalist would not be able to assist with a sensible environmental policy if his brother is elected.

          Its quite interesting therefore that Mac now says he will have Island Councils that will include even expats to help in shaping the policy of the country because we can’t afford to leave out anyone that might be able to help.


          • Twyla M Vargas says:

            OH PLEASE!!!

            I think it is the right decision to make.  No family members of UDP OR PPM Should sit on any of the Government Boards.  I see the Governemnt is trying their best to do the right thing in all areas.  However, dont care how much they try to do will not be enough for some.  A half loaf of bread is better than no bread at all.   Caymanians for once, take the splinter from your eye and decide to join hands with each other.  If you do that you will have no space to complain about foreign nationals.  Try it and see what happens, I can tell you.  LESS STRESS!!!!!!

            • Anonymous says:

              "I see the Governemnt is trying their best to do the right thing in all areas.  However, dont care how much they try to do will not be enough for some".

              Sounds just like the dilemma the PPM had.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen! I hope that the split voters are taking note.

  19. anonymous says:

    hahahahahaaaaaaa…..watch wha coming! Going be plenty of entertainment…..blind mice running all over da place ya now following after the ‘leader’!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac takes care of his own so no doubt Mr. Glidden will find himself in the right place at the right time and so will any company he is involved with.  Mac talks a good talk but the political incest is rampant in his administration.  Always has been and always will be.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe the writer must have mistaken the name of the politician and the partie he is referring to!!? What a Joke to make comments like these….go sit down!

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a breath of fresh air! Finally someone taking charge rather than just finding ways of spending money. My hat is off to you McKeeva and the rest of your team.  I am a former PPM member and I know that there are those that will continue to critisise and put you down but none can fault you for making the bold moves that you have. We know this country can be saved, we need to pull together and get it done.

    I am challenging everyone Caymanian, Expat, UDP, PPM or Independent to pull together now for the betterment of our country. Lets set aside the political and personal rhetoric and accusations and come together as one.


    • Anonymous says:

      It strikes me as odd that the UDP are now calling for everyone to pull together to find solutions to the country’s problems many of which are caused by global problems over which we have no control.

      Where was this attitude before the election? On the contrary the UDP worked hard at not co-operating. Double standards?? as usual from the UDP. I can see these Islands of ours heading down the same road as Jamaica, and we know where that leads!

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing how everyone is now an expert of the Constitution, truly amazing!!!!

  23. Expat24,372 says:

    A very forward thinking move.  Perhaps the UDP really are a better way forward.

    Over the last few years I’ve witnessed these beautiful islands decline under the previous government, I hope that the new charges will be able to halt that and turn it around, thought they must be given time.  There is a lot of bad work to be undone, and a lot of good work to be done.

  24. Expat 567 says:

    “It is not that there is not money in the world,” he said. “Money is in the world, but money is afraid of course and these islands must create the right approach and the right atmosphere to bring that money here.”

    Right on target! Walter Wriston wrote: “Capital goes where it is welcome and stays where it’s well treated.”  That’s probably true for talent as well.  Let’s make this a very welcoming place indeed.

    A cheer to McKeeva Bush for seeking to harness the resources of everyone available to help with the problems at hand, expat or Caymanian.  Let’s all do what we can to help these Islands prosper.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The Constitution, either the current or the new, does not provide for an "Island Council" to sit in the LA as envisaged by Mr. Bush. Also, the UDP also has no mandate  to introduce this. Did this appear in the UDP Manifesto? All of this re-introducing politicians back into statutory authorities is regressive but it is the result of dictatorial thinking which cannot admit any operational independence of these authorities. It is also contrary to the ERA Law to have an MLA as chairman of the ERA. Didn’t Mr. Glidden make a declaration that he has an interest in a competitor electricity company? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?    

    • Anonymous says:

      Who will decide the membership of the Island Council? Are these to be appointed? I recall Mr Bush tried to introduce a Senate of appointed and salaried members the last time he was LOGB and this was not supported by his fellow ministers. If the Council members are to be appointed, this will not work, we cannot have representatives, some who are not even Caymanian, sitting in our house of Parliament, deciding our future, who were appointed by an individual. If you want to represent me, you must be elected. This is the same as a Caymanian going to the USA and asking to be allowed to sit in the US Senate and vote.

      Does the draft constitution call for this council? NO!!! so why is it one of the first acts of the new UDP Government?



    • Anonymous says:

       Just, for your information, the proposal is not for Mr. Glidden to be the chairman of the ERA. It is for Mr. Glidden as an elected member of the Legislative Assembly to earn his pay by taking responsibility given by the Minister for Port Development, ERA, ICTA, and Landfill. Because of the constitutional limitations of only five ministers, in the past each ministry was overloaded and a lot of important issues got left undone.

      In this way while not having constitutional responsibility, Mr. Glidden and the other MLa’s will be able to take on and implement the required actions for the benefit of the country, with the responsible minister still having constitutional responsibility. For those of you that may have some knowledge and experience of more modern democracies this takes the form of Parliamentary Secretary, Junior Minister or Minister without Portfolio.

      I was unsure about this arrangement when I heard it announced yesterday but instead of criticising before I knew what was happening and what was being proposed, I took the opportunity at the amazing first ever swearing in that was accessible to all of the Caymanian people, and asked the members of the United Democratic Party about the proposal and I am looking forward to the results.

      People have called on young dynamic and creative thinking and I think this bodes well towards a Better Way Forward

      • Anonymous says:

        To: Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/28/2009 – 19:49.

        The message is very muddled. For example, we could not make out what it meant when it was said Ezzard would have responsibility for the HSA. In any event it does not remove Mr. Glidden’s obvious conflict of interest. 

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well said, now please let us see it happen.