Temporary government ministers to step up

For the first time under Cayman’s new Constitution, the government will swear in backbenchers as temporary Cabinet ministers.

Winston Connolly will act as temporary minister while Tara Rivers, the minister for education, employment and gender affairs, goes on leave from 27 August until 8 September, while Roy McTaggart will temporarily take over for Marco Archer, the minister responsible for finance and economic development, who has been off-island since 16 August and is due to return on 26 August.

Both Mr. Connolly and Mr. McTaggart are government councillors who assist in the respective ministries that they now will temporarily oversee.

They will be sworn in during the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 20 August.

This is the first time that temporary ministers will be appointed in accordance with section 53(2) of the Constitution. Previously, because there was no similar provision in the 1972 Constitution, another government minister was assigned the responsibility of performing his/her Cabinet colleague’s functions while they were on leave or ill.

“Since November of 2009, our modernised constitution has allowed for the appointment of temporary ministers, although the provision has never been utilised before,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin. “Ministers are extremely busy with the responsibilities of their respective ministries and it is difficult for them to take on additional responsibilities when their colleagues are on leave or ill. It is only logical that councillors are appointed as temporary ministers on these occasions.”

He added, “I am privileged to lead an extraordinarily capable team and in keeping with my determination to have an inclusive government, to utilise the abilities of all members of the team in the best interest of the country.”