Push for port referendum continues

Organizers of a petition calling for a referendum on the cruise project continue to collect signatures in an effort to trigger a national vote.

Campaigners have been collecting signatures since late August. They aim to present a petition to Cabinet signed by more than 25 percent of the electorate – 5,288 registered voters – calling for a referendum on the planned cruise and cargo port.

“The collection of signatures is going very well. We are getting close to the threshold required. However, we will be continuing to collect signatures in excess of the requirement,” said Katrina Jurn, one of the volunteers involved in the referendum campaign.

“We will then have to validate all signatures to ensure that all who have signed are registered voters, and pick up any potential duplicates. We are confident of surpassing our target and will disclose the numbers once we have gone through the verification process.”

Organizers have made the petition available at various stores and businesses throughout Grand Cayman, and note that civil servants are allowed to sign the petition unless they are directly involved with the project.

Ms. Jurn added, “In addition to petition tables at locations across the island, our volunteers have been taking the petition door to door, to make the petition more accessible. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community for the petition, with many people expressing their appreciation for the opportunity to have a say in this issue of significant concern and to exercise their democratic rights as enshrined in the constitution.”

Government opposes the idea of a referendum on the port project, and believes it has a mandate from the general election to go ahead with cruise piers in George Town harbor.

Officials in the Ministry of Tourism have claimed that organizing a referendum would delay the project to such an extent that it would effectively kill it.

For more information on the petition, call 327-5411.

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