MLA Lyndon Martin emphasised the economic contribution of his constituency, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, in his debate on the Extraordinary Expenditure Bill on Wednesday night.
He highlighted the twin state economy of Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands after Hurricane Ivan. ‘When Grand Cayman could not receive tourists, we could truthfully state that two of the three Cayman Islands were open for business,’ he said.
He expressed pride in the way people worked to rebook and re-route visitors so they could enjoy their vacation.
Not only did the Sister Islands assist with economic recovery by offering regular income, but the community also aided relief efforts, he noted.
He paid tribute to his colleague, Minister Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, for her leadership during the critical days of Ivan, especially when communication was lost with Grand Cayman. Brackers compiled a data bank of available resources and were reassured when the Texaco representative said they had enough fuel for 122 days.
Mr. Martin thanked Speaker Linford Pierson (a Member of Executive Council at the time) for his efforts in making that storage facility available.
Mr. Martin endorsed the plea for unity made by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush.
He recalled the tears of pride he experienced when legislators met for the first time after hurricane Ivan. Members from both sides shared one bottle of water, he said. There were hugs and handshakes and good wishes.
As Election Day grows closer, those feelings are lessening. But, he urged, ‘Election success is not worth breaking down the unity that is necessary to rebuild this country.’
It is unfortunate that Cayman is facing an election, Mr. Martin commented. The country should not be subjected to it, it’s unproductive and the people will be the ultimate sufferers.
Nevertheless, ‘We are Caymanians…We do not have to have politics divide us.’ He urged legislators not to spend time criticising, but to offer constructive proposals and use a little diplomacy when pursuing solutions to their district’s problems.
Members should make their points loud and clear, but not leave bruises on each other’s character, he suggested.
‘We are here as a result of the people electing us and they do not want to see us slinging mud and…cliff rock.’
Mr. Martin listed the various sums in the budget that assist Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, especially street lighting. One of the areas of the Brac hit hardest by Ivan was Aunt Sha’s Kitchen, he reported. He asked for help in rebuilding the premises, which he said was loved by locals and tourists alike.