Rivers meets staff at workforce agency

| 25/06/2013

(CNS): Despite the distraction of the challenge to her eligibility to be elected to office, the new education and employment minister has begun visiting the departments under her remit earlier this month.  The first stop for Tara Rivers was the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) and the Department of Labour and Pensions (DLP), where she met the staff and discussed the day-to-day challenges that they face. “Prioritising the NWDA and DLP on my schedule reflects the importance that I place on dealing with labour related issues,” the minister said.  

She said her term would feature regular meetings between the ministry and departments to identify needs, as well as to inform policy directives and discussions with Cabinet. “I want to ensure open communications as we work together to address any challenges that may emerge,” she explained. 

On the campaign trail getting Caymanians into jobs with liveable wages was a promise made by Rivers and her Coalition for Cayman colleagues. In the national plan published by the group, which denied it was a manifesto, the C4C promised to create a transparent work permit application system by improving the existing National Workforce Development Agency(NWDA) database to include all job vacancies, job seekers and social welfare recipients who are able to work. The C4C also committed to increasing the resources of the NWDA to address the needs of the job-seeking population.


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  1. Kurt says:

    When Mark and Dwayne were challened, Alden criticized McKeeva – now Alden is having to stand by someone being challenged.

    What goes around, comes around.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't recall Alden criticising McKeeva for that.  Chapter and verse, please. 

  2. Caymanian Voter says:

    The NWDA simply needs to log all daily job advertisements and have meetings with the Business Staffing Board to stop the rubber stamp approvals and Tara & Winston need to investigate the 250% increase in waiver approvals?
    They also have to look at CS permits- this fast track to status and permanent jobs for life needs to be re-examined.
    We do not have an unemployment problem, we have a 20,000 work permit problem.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i am now assuming that alden is100% confident that Tara complies with the constitution and the Law and will be successful in Court.  It is important to me that this is indeed the case as i would hate to think that this is not being treated as the serious matter that it is.  McKeeva at least started off being eligible to run.  If it turns out that Tara breached either of those provisions, it would be clear to me that in her mind the laws/constitution apparently dont apply to her.  And please save me the nonesense about this being is a bad law or constitution.  Heck Alden helped push through that crappy constitution so he can sort that out.  If the idea is that she will allow this to drag on whilst she continues in her questionable position, she continues to do us all a great disservice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tara is entitled to continue to carry out her duties as an MLA and Minister unless and until she has been proved to be disqualified as an MLA. No one can ever be 100% confident of the results of court proceedings. Obviously people can disagree on the interpretation of the constitution so even if she does not prevail in the courts it would not necessarily mean that "in her mind the laws/constitution…don't apply to her". It sounds like you were hoping that this application would disrupt the government and are now feeling peeved that it hasn't.

      Why don't you find something constructive to do?  

      • Anonymous says:

        What rubbish! if Tara loses in court notwithstanding that her other colleagues such as Sharon etc properly addressed the same issues she is now in court to defend, then it does mean that in her mind the laws/constitution did not apply to her.  It means she thought she could get away with it.  As i said, i am prepared to wait on the outcome in Court but it better be that she has a real and valid explanation and no foolishness about outdated law!  I certainly know that Amercans would be outraged if Obama travelled as president of the US on a Kenyan passport! there is presumably a reason for the law and the constitution.  If not then as i said, take up the issue of the poor constitution with Alden.  Perhaps you can actually find  something constructive to say!

        • Anonymous says:

          You are obviously far out of your depth on this.

          Sharon Roulstone renounced her U.S. citizenship expressly on the basis that she had acquired it as the child of a U.S. citizen parent and NOT "by virtue of her birth outside of the Cayman Islands". In fact, she went further and suggested that had her sister (who was born in the U.S. and had therefore acquired U.S. citizenship by virtue of her birth in the U.S.) been running for office would NOT have had to renounce her U.S. citizenship: http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2013/03/05/Candidate-drops-US-citizenship/. So it appears that both she and Ms.Rivers, both attorneys, had the same interpretation of the constitution as regards foreign citizenship. 

          The constitutional language in question was originally contained in the 1972 Constitution, as amended, and so is not attributable to Mr. McLaughlin.  Had the new constitution not been adopted the old constitution would have continued in effect and we would have had precisely the same problem.  

          The case here has nothing to do with President Obama, or the U.S. constitution which states that one must be a "natural born citizen" in order to be eligible to become president. That is usually understood to mean that one must be born in the U.S. to be eligible, but now there appears to be an interpretation which extends to cover those born outside the U.S. to a U.S. citizen parent: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Birther-2-0-Can-Ted-Cruz-run-for-president-4555043.php

          What you need to understand is that complex legal issues may arise in these matters which may not be obvious to the layman. As such, it would not necessarily mean that, if the court were to adopt an interpretation adverse to Ms. Rivers, that showed that in Ms. Rivers' mind the laws/constitution did not apply to her.  

          • Anonymous says:

            @19:02, are you serious??? you are now saying it will be possible to establish 'mens rea', intent as to whether or not she reside in the UK?


            Clearly, some people can't get over the lack of transparency by Ms Rivers. The law as it is, is not based on whether you think you resided in the UK or not………….either she did or didn't

            • Anonymous says:

              Obviously I am serious, and, unlike you, I have not simply made bald assertions but have clearly supported my points. All of the discussion on this thread related to the citizenship issue, so I don't how you have concluded that I was saying anything about the issue of residence specifically. But since you've brought it up, it is inappropriate to refer to 'mens rea' (latin for "guilty mind") in a non-criminal context, and you appear to confusing "domicile" with "residence". Clearly, the issue is whether any residence abroad falls within the exception in section 61(3)(b). That will hinge on the evidence presented and the assessment of that evidence by the court. Please don't pretend that you know anything about the law because you clearly don't.      

              • Anonymous says:

                @11:35 since you are the legal expert, then please note the fact that intention (mens rea, yes guilty mind) is not appropirate on these facts, when so many here on this site continue to talk about her intentions. 

                The point about domicile vs residence is not confusing to me, domicile is fixed from birth and only changes under certainc ircumstances, and by choice. Residence is much easier to prove in law and can be determined teh moment someone sets foot on another country with intention to actually reside there, so YOU are clearly not understanding that the court is not going to have to decide intention to reside but whether the residency was for work or study, two different issues.


                But I do agree that you did give lengthy statements to support your argument, quality doesn't mean legitimate, factual arguments though, since clearly you believe our Constitution should now be 'interpreted' to suit her purpose (or rather the C4C etc behind this elected member, Minister). Don't worry I am also not naive to the fact that too many of you already feel your money can keep her there.


                Let's be honest, if mckeeva bush had been in govt with an elected member who had been resident in the uk working and disqualified under the current constitution, we'd al be up in arms.



                • Anonymous says:

                  Oh, do be quiet.You ramble on at great length saying nothing but exposing your own ignorance.

                  McKeeva Bush was indeed in govt. for some 12 years with an elected member who had U.S. citizenship and no one was up in arms about it.  

                  Interestingly, McKeeva Bush himself also did not sign the voluntary declaration… 

                  • Blessed says:

                    Still does not make it right what Ms. Rivers did.  When CG was in others had the option to challenge they chose not to exercise that right.  So that is a dead issue.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      What did Miss Rivers do that was not right?  Are you prejudging the outcome of the Petition?

                • Anonymous says:

                  You've made two mutually contradictory statements:

                  "Residence is much easier to prove in law and can be determined teh moment someone sets foot on another country WITH INTENTION TO ACTUALLY RESIDE THERE"

                  "so YOU are clearly not understanding that the court IS NOT GOING TO HAVE TO DECIDE INTENTION TO RESIDE but whether the residency was for work or study, two different issues".

                  It has not been determined that Tara is disqualified so there is nothing to be up in arms about. 


            • Anonymous says:

              You'd do well to note that the post you replied to was addressing only the first point of the challenge (that of holding second citizenship), not the second point of the challenge which you are referencing. However, with either point, the language of the of the constitution is unclear (a fault in drafting, in my opinion).

              It would seem that in regards to second citizenship, the intention of the constitution would be to allow it for candidates who obtained said second citizenship passively (through being born outside Cayman), and disallow it for candidates who obtain it actively (by applying directly for citizenship through having parents from the second country, or living in the other country, etc.). However, despite it seeming like that is the intention within the constitution, it doesn't make perfectly clear that that is the case, hence the reason the court will have to decide in that regard.

              Further, in regard to the exception granted for education abroad to the requirement for length of residency, the constitution doesn't explicitly stipulate what consitutes "education." It doesn't say, for example, that one must be a full-time student, part-time student while working, or even taking a certification course while working. Again, this would be something the court will need to interpret, as the wording in the constitution is inadequate.

              So in truth, the law isn't as clear cut as comments on CNS seem to indicate. Probably because most people don't bother to read the actual constitution and rather rely on what others tell them the constitution says and assume it to be correct.

              My final thoughts – the fact that Tara is being represented by one of the individuals who helped write the constitution would indicate to me that she is likely to be found qualified to hold office. If I helped write the constitution, I'm fairly certain I would have a good idea of the intention of the clauses within it as it pertains to qualified candidates and would only represent someone in this case if I felt they met those standards. Given there won't be a jury for Mr. Mcfield to try and emotionally sway with his usual tangential arguments, my guess is that the decision made by the judge will be in favor of Tara.

              Guess we'll see…

          • Garfield says:

            That interpretation you refer to is only Senator Cruz’s interpretation. No court ever has ever made a decision on the matter referred to as quote natural born citizan”. Unquote. But if Cruz’s self serving interpretation proves correct then the right and birthers in the U.S. have a problem as President Obama’s mother was clearly an American born citizen. Cruz is Canadian born with a Cuban father.

            • Anonymous says:

              Ummm…no, Garfield, it's not only his opinion. You should have read the article before commenting. You seem to have missed the part where the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service provides support for this view. It has even weighed in on the issue as follows:

              'The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term "natural born" citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship "by birth" or "at birth" either by being born "in" in the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth"'.

              Of course the "birthers" have a problem.

              However, the relevance here is that these issues are often not as simple and straightforward as they might at first appear.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think it is outrageous that someone would be upset that Tara started doing the job she was elected to do. If she as others above has said, took the month leading up to the court date to do her job, people would be criticizing her for it. It just seems as though she would never be able to win in the court of public opinion either way. It seems to me that either way she will be criticized.                                                                                                                           Regarding your comment about Obama, aren't you aware that from the very beginning of his first four years he was in office, there was a question regarding whether he was born in America or Kenya, which has never been settled. I hope & pray that this is not going to be the case with Tara as there is lots of work to be done in the ministries that she has been assigned. I am sure that once she gets started doing them & is given the privilege to continue, she will do an excellent job.

          • Anonymous says:

            The question of Obama's country of birth has been settled except among extreme right wing kooks who are racially and ideologically opposed to him.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Tara is not “entitled” to do anything in any ministry is she was disqualified to run for election in the first place.

        Why don’t you heed your own advice and chill out with your over support of Tara until the courts decide.

        • Anonymous says:

          You're contradicting yourself. Why don't you take your own advice and wait to see if the court finds her to be disqualified. Until then she must be treated as qualified.    

        • Anonymous says:

          Ummm…the whole point is that she has not been found to have been disqualified to run for election in the first place.  That is left to the court to determine. 

          • Anonymous says:

            8: 13


            She  wasnt found disqualified, because of the  the enept returning officers that let her through. Now they are sayng it was up to her to continue with her nomination…then should anyone challenge her, she would have to fight the case. This is all rubbish. Why was this  application handed out to all candidates  running for a seat.

            • Anonymous says:

              Actually it is not the responsibility of the Elections Office to rule on whether a candidate is disqualified. They overstepped their bounds where they purported to.

    • Anonkymous says:

      Yes and no. 

      There is still SO much work to be done and there is no point in her taking a month long vacation while the courts decide what to do. If she did that, then I assure you the court of public opinon would have her hanged. 

      She has nothing else to do but work and she is the best person for this job. 

      She needs the support of her comrades (Alden et al) in order to continue her work and once the courts make a ruling, then and only then will her role, the position of the ministry and all other related matters be settled. One way or the other.

      Until that time, what will you have her do? She is still very much a minister of 2 very large and very important ministries. Should she sit down and ignore the work and wait for a court to tell her what to do. Or should she roll up her sleeves and dig in. I vote for the last option because she was elected and is still a minister. Until the time comes that she is no longer such – be it by court order, election process or what have you – her duty to this country is to do just as she is and has been doing.

      With regard to the situation being treated as a serious matter, I am sure that everyone respects that. It is simply a waste of time to keep dwelling on it for a month. What point does that serve? Harping on it will not make the month pass quicker. She would not have run for politics if she really thought she was in the wrong. The law is worded a specific way. She's a lawyer. I'd like to think that she can read and interpret law better than most laymen.

      Take a chill pill. The world will not end on July 17th. She's obviously not stressed. You shouldn't be either.

    • Anonymous says:

      McKeeva has an infinitely worse case that 's been dragging on for three years now while he continues to do his utmost to destroy our counry.