Generation Now ‘rolls’ up sparky panel

| 27/10/2011

(CNS): The opposing views on the seven year immigration term limit for work permit holders, more popularly known as the rollover policy, are likely to get a thorough airing next month when independent MLA Ezzard Miller, a staunch supporter of the policy, goes head to head with the former chair of Cayman Finance and current chair of the Stock Exchange, Anthony Travers, a staunch opposer, at a Generation Now forum. Thrown into the mix will be Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin, who recently announced that he no longer supported the policy as it had failed in its intended goals, and Sherri Bodden-Cowan, the chair of the Immigration Review Team, which recently recommended its suspension but still believes it can be saved in a different form. (Photo Jasmine Jackson)

James O’Neill, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, which has voiced its collective opposition, will also be joining the four high profile guests for a Round Table Discussion on the topic, which will be open to the public.

The controversial but crucial subject of immigration has always stirred up passions and the organisers’ panel choice is likely to create lively verbal sparks on the night. The full gambit on the views about immigration are reflected among the five panelists, which should make for a heated and lively evening.

The panellists will be taking questions from the audience at the venue but the discussion which will also be aired live on Radio Cayman and listeners are invited to forward questions before the night of the event.

Generation Now is developing a reputation for creating discussion forums tackling thorny subjects. So far they have taken on the issue of direct taxation and the legalisation of gambling, and both events created heated debate on the topics. Once again, the group has picked a subject bound to strike a chord at the heart of Caymanian people.

The forum will be moderated by Rooster’s talk show host, Austin Harris, and will take place at the Harquail Theatre on Thursday, 3 November from 7:00pm to 9:30pm.

For those who will be listening on radio questions can be sent before the event via email to

Generation NOW was formed to promote and enhance youth development in the Cayman Islands through academic, technical and vocational training. The organization aims to assist young people to become productive members of society, while enabling them to openly embrace the challenges of today and tomorrow. The now in Generation NOW is an acronym. It means No Opportunity Wasted. The directors include Marco Archer, Eziethamae Bodden, Andre Ebanks, Donald Spence, Olivaire Watler, Stanford Williams and the patron is Naul Bodden.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh Boy  I just hope that the 2 minutes rule does not apply and that people are given an opportunity to speak when and if they connected.  I also hope that the moderator will not refuse to let people explain their thoughts how they want to instead of him being the coach as to what to say and when people have said what they wish to  I just hope that the moderator will not then take 15 minutes to explain what the person said in his own long winded way as if the public are all 4 year olds that need his explanation.   

  2. Empirical Measurement says:

    Ezzard's quest to protect Caymunians risks their jobs more than his naieve supporters will ever know.  Remember he only got 250-odd votes – about enough to come second in a parish council election.

    • dartanian says:

      mr. Empirical measurement maybe you need to look up the definition of democracy and majority and can you name all the others who were elected in the last election who got greater than 50% of all the votes cast and more than the sum total of their opponents.

      • Dick Shaugneary says:

        It must be odd to live a life untouched by grammar or punctuation.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks, Dick. We can always count on you to make a solid contribution to the discussion.  

  3. Annoyed and Disconnected says:

    I agree make Caymanians a work force to be reckoned with and hire Filipinos to teach us how they do it.  

    They are the ones taking most of the jobs, so make them train us how to keep take the jobs back from them.

    They are claimed to be excellent workers, and loyal, therefore let them educate some of us that need to know what's it's like to be responsible on the job, loyal and hard working.

    • Anonymous says:

      You're joking right?  Work ethic is ingrained through good parenting and educating, you shoudn't need to be trained by anyone to have this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stop masquerading as a Caymanian trying to make us look bad.

  4. Anon says:

    Well all I can say is this should be amusing.  On a sensible note, despite being completely non-PPM, the only realistic, simplistic, workable and low-cost solution to this rollover issue that I've heard so far has come from Alden McLoughlin. 

    I can't understand why we should continue to degrade the Caymanian people with policies and laws that encourage positive discrimination, and spend more money on constantly changing immigration laws, reviews and committees when the money would be better spent on educational facilities, both vocational and through the regular schooling system to help Caymanians obtain work through credit and achievement rather than birthright.  That would be the only way to reduce the number of expats coming here (if that's what you want), make Caymanians a workforce to be reckoned with as other Caribbean nations do, thereby reducing the need for imported labour.

    • notagain:::8 says:

      10.37: A force to be reckoned with, To those of you that can remember the Southwell years of our Caymanian seafarers. Thats exactly what were said about them in the 50s, they were a working class to be reckoned with. I sometimes wonder what has happened to their off spring. They worked hard at sea and when they returned home they still worked in the farm, on the roads wherever there was work to be done.  Thats the type of people that I remember, they never expected a hand out. One had to admire their tenacity.

      Todays generation haven't a clue when it comes to work ethics, we need to stop looking for a hand out and the attitude that I'm Caymanian so I should have this and not work for it.  Cayman schools and  employers if you will just train your people so that when they enter the work force they  will be  capable of holding a job and moving up the ladder. All employers will then be able to hire all locals and forget about the expat.

      Another problem here is the children graduating at 16 and not capable of holding a job and forcing the workers to retire at 60, here is my point with this, the teenager cannot fill  a full time post  at this young age. The older worker is forced to retire, why not allow them to work until 65 or older if they so desire, giving the younger generation time to get a higher education to be able to move into the work force and therefore utilising the Caymanian people. Then its very little to be said about the roll over policy. I dont want to be retired at 60, I'm too young for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a delightfully simplistic view of the world you have. If only the issue were as simple as having well-educated Caymanians in the workforce. The trouble with that view is that well-educated Caymanians are confronted with discrimination against them in workplace. Rather like Affirmative Action in the U.S. this is the only means we have to counter negative discrimination. No, many employers are not colour blind and do not approach these decisions only the relative cost of recuitment. They look out for their own in terms of employment, training, advancement and promotion even where they are less able than their Caymanian counterparts.

      Cayman will always need expat workers. But no sensible Caymanian should want to lose all political power to expat workers many of whom see Cayman just a place to make money.

      Rollover is not about reducing the number of expat workers. It is about ensuring that only a limited number acquire permanent rights.         

      • Anonymous says:

        No dear, its not simplistic,its realistic.  I come from a highly educated background with qualifications in Business & Economics.  When employers are faced with a pool of homegrown excellent workers with good work ethics and skils, they will hire from the local community rather than hire from abroad.  At the end of the day its about productivity and profit, not nationality.  Well educated Caymanians with good skills and work ethic who are productive in the workplace excel in their careers.  The trouble is we do not have enough yet because the system is failing them.  But those that do succeed, I work with several very successful Caymanians myself and there are no barriers for those with the right attitude and workethic who can get stuck into the job and do it well.  Anyone, regardless of nationality, ualified or not who is not productive or makes mistakes is going to slow down the production line, reducing the quality of the product and the profit margin, and those are the kind of employees who come up against what you call discrimination in the workplace.  

        I don't care what excuses you make, if you got it you can do well, if you don't you won't.

        • Anonymous says:

          In your arrogant condescending manner you are not listening. Instead you prefer to make claims that you cannot substantiate. You are simply not in a position to say that there is no discrimination in the workplace against Caymanians especially when it is witnessed first hand every single day.

          This pot will soon boil over and then you will wish that you had me to deal with.

          • Anon says:

            Um, who's being arrogant and condescending?  Seems to me you need to look in the mirror before you speak dear because that's how you come across to me.

            • Anonymous says:

              It seems you have nothing to respond so you are trying to turn this around. It is arrogant and condescending to claim to know that all claims of discrimination by Caymanians are simply excuses because they have bad attitudes, poor education or are lazy. I have simply refuted that.  

        • Anonymous says:

          Ironically you don't appear to realise that your own comments reflect prejudice. If you were a judge and a Caymanian had an action against his employer before you on the basis of unlawful discrimination you would already have determined that such a claim could not be valid and amounted only to "excuses". 

          God help us in our own country.     

        • Anonymous says:

          I am also come from a highly educated background with good skills and am very hardworking. Obviously you cannot speak for all employers or to the Caymanian experience in the workplace. While there are some excellent employers, discrimination in the workplace against Caymanians does exist. It cannot be dismissed as excuses made by lazy, incompetent Caymanians with bad attitudes as you suggest. Employers are human and do not always make decisions based purely on quality, productivity and profit. Some make quite deliberate decisions first of all to recruit employees from their home country. Do you really think that it is an accident that where the employers in a firm are from say the UK the majority of their professional employees are also from the UK?  Sometimes they give preference and favour on the job to those who are fellow expats and share their race. They are given advantages and special privileges. They may feel more comfortable surrounded by their own. Sometimes it is justified on the basis of the accent that the client expects to hear on the other end of the telephone or the face he expects to see in meetings. Pretending that all employers are super virtuous or always completely rational in their decision making is silly. Facts are stubborn things. No amount of denial will change them particularly when the denier is not in a position to deny that they are true. It is time you learnt that, dear.  

          The funny thing is that had this been a statement that women are discriminated against in the workplace there would be a lot of thumbs up and a male who insisted that no such thing existed because he had not seen it in his organisation would be seen as a cad.          

    • Anonymous says:


      What you’re saying makes so much sense, one can only ask why Cayman schools and Universities don’t put more focus on courses that will prepare Caymanian youths to compete and excel in the Financial, Legal or Tourism Industry whichis so prevalent on the island. Young Caymanians shouldn’t have to go abroad for the degrees and education needed to compete in their own backyard.


      For god’s sake you can’t even go to school on island to become andelectrician, master plumber or even an architect. Vocational training in fields like this would not only prepare youth for careers but also starting their own businesses which may lead to employing more Caymanians.



      I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Following this simple suggestion would solve all of Caymans issues in the long run.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know a few architects that will be pee’d off having their profession downgraded to a vocation.

        After the oldest profession, building is the next oldest and architects were the considered the highest level to aspire to for centuries.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can the public attend? Is there a ticket price? I have a feeling this will be superb entertainment.

  6. Anon says:

    This is the kinda talkshow we should be seeing on TV, and we should be able to call/email in to ask questions too.

  7. Truth says:

    Watch as Caymans bightest show everyone just how dim they are.  If only a competent discussion followed by a working solution would insue.  Poor Caymanians.  You don't know what your missing.

    Very simply:  These people work for THE PEOPLE.

    If it works for THE PEOPLE, keep it.

    If it does not work for THE PEOPLE,  change it so it does.

    And most important of all,  It does not matter what works for Government and those who get paid by the public purse it only matters what will work for THE PEOPLE period.

    Hint: Spending the peoples money to send half a dozen of Caymans "brightest" on a trip whos intent is kept secret from the people who are paying for it is in the catagory of "not working for THE PEOPLE!

    Now lets see how the people who get payed by THE PEOPLE to help THE PEOPLE can accomplish.  And hopefully it won't be the normal "shooting THE PEOPLE in the foot again.

    But I doubt it.