West Bay legislator Bernie Bush said he would be switching sides of the house and joining the opposition benches after speaking out against the port project Tuesday night.
Bush, the last legislator to speak, during a lengthy debate on the port Referendum Bill, said he had polled his constituents and could not find more than two that supported the project.
He said he was not willing to back the development.
“I must follow my conscience,” he said, adding that he did not want to be involved in a project that he believes risks causing significant environmental damage.
He said he would be switching to the opposition bench as a result.
“When I sit down I will be moving across to sit by the member from Savannah (opposition legislator Anthony Eden)… I guess if I go across there I will probably lose the post on the Public Accounts Committee, but if that is so, that is so,” he said
“I cannot with a clear conscience take a chance that I could be part of the destruction of the environment. The father and grandfather in me does not allow me to compromise my principles. So I will end as I began 19 years ago by saying I am not for sale and I am not for rent.”
Bush ran with McKeeva Bush’s Cayman Democratic Party at the last election. It was not clear Tuesday night if he intended to stay with the party or become an independent.
Premier Alden McLaughlin responded briefly saying he was “unsurprised” by the move.
He told the Cayman Compass later Tuesday evening that the only surprise was that it had taken so long for Bernie Bush to “formalise” his separation from government. He said Bush had never attended government caucus despite being urged to do so.
“On the contrary he has consistently spoken publicly against government policies and voted with the Opposition. His physical departure from the government benches has been expected for some time. I hope he finds his place on the Opposition benches more comfortable and productive and I wish him well.”