Premier: Nothing irresolute about ruling government

Dear Editor,

Your editorial of 9 August 2011 was critical of the renaming of public institutions that I announced in the House.

This is not the first time that a Government institution has been renamed in the Cayman Islands or in other jurisdictions. Just recently the Cayman Islands National Archive Building was renamed the Dr. Philip E. Pedley National Archive Building. There was no objection heard about that.

It has always been my policy, whether I was serving as a Minister, Leader of Government Business or Premier that our people who have made significant contributions to the country should be recognised for the good that they have done for the Cayman Islands. I stated in the Legislative Assembly when announcing the name changes that I believe in giving such recognition to people while they are still alive so that they know that their good works are appreciated by the country.

Both Benson Ebanks and Truman Bodden worked hard to establish certain institutions and in some instance had to struggle to achieve their goals. I have worked with both gentlemen and know what they have done for the good of the Cayman Islands. To name a road after these gentlemen as you suggested would be an injustice in view of the contribution that they have made to the country.

As for having more than one facility named after a person, it is not unprecedented for people who have played a very prominent role in a country to be honoured with having more than one public facility named after them.

Commissioners Andrew Gerrard and Ivor Smith did their good for the country and were recognised for it. However, the airport at Cayman Brac that we know today was built under the auspices the late Capt. Charles Kirkconnell. Why should Capt. Charles not be recognised for the good that he did for his country? This has nothing to do with saying that Mr. Gerrard and Mr. Smith were not worthy of recognition or that the government that named the airport Gerrard-Smith had erred as your editorial suggested. It is all about honouring our own people who have made significant contributions to their country and people. It is the prerogative of the government of the day to change the name of public facilities if they see that it is appropriate to do so.

Why is this a bad idea? Honouring our people for the good they do for their country is the right thing to do!!!

In your editorial of 10 August 2011 it was stated that one reason that none of the proposed economy-stimulating projects had actually started was because of “an irresolute government that can’t seem to decide what it wants.”

I would like to remind you that the projects that are proposed are the result of this Government going out and getting businesses to come to the Cayman Islands. However, it takes time for these large projects to come to fruition and just as the Shetty hospital project took 18 months before announcing the site of the hospital other projects will also begin when the necessary preparations are in place.

These developments do not happen overnight. It takes time to put all the elements in place. There is also the bureaucracy that businesses and government must navigate through to bring a project to fruition. There is nothing irresolute about this government. This government knows what it wants to achieve and that is jobs for the people of the Cayman Islands and business for our local businesses through the most cost effective manner.

If the government had taken the first developer for the airport that came along there would have been criticism of that. But we took time to make sure that we got the best deal for the country. The same holds true for our approach to the port. The objective must be to get the best possible deal in the interest of the country and people.

To tell the truth, which is a newspaper’s business as well as a government’s, both sides of the story must be told. Tell both sides of the story.

Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush

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