Bernie Bush joins official Opposition

Independent legislator Bernie Bush has joined the formal Opposition.

Bush’s addition to the team headed by Opposition Leader Arden McLean comes a week after he resigned from the government backbench. His inclusion takes McLean’s team to six members. North Side MLA Ezzard Miller remains an Independent opposition legislator.

The West Bay North MLA crossed the aisle during debate on the Referendum Bill which paved the way for the vote on government’s proposed $200 million port project in December.

Bush told the Cayman Compass Tuesday he opted to join the Opposition after he met with them in caucus.

“The Opposition has told me I can be myself. Anything I believe in strongly I will let them know. They have no problem with me standing up for my people, which it seems most of them are as well,” Bush said.

He said he will continue to operate as he has in the past, supporting the government when he feels what they are doing is best for the country and opposing when he feels otherwise.

“I voted with them sometimes, and sometimes I abstained, but throughout the whole time I would talk to Anthony Eden and he has been a very calming source and I would talk to Chris (Saunders) sometimes,” Bush said.

He added that the Constitution clearly states that the backbenchers are supposed to keep Cabinet in check and that is what he did.

The Legislative Assembly is set to resume Friday and Bush said he is hoping his constituency will be included in government’s plans.

Bush said that while he recognises he is not on the government bench anymore, he does not believe his former colleagues will thwart his efforts to improve his constituency.

“If the government wants to be vindictive and don’t work with me, I will let the people know,” Bush said. “But I will get things done because I am working on a very big project right now and the people are working with me. And it will be done. I do not see if they [government] are for the people, if they are for the country then as long as I am within reason, they will work with me.”

As a government backbencher, Bush was appointed to sit on the Public Accounts Committee and he said he hoped that will not change even though he has switched sides.

“The premier has treated me fairly, with respect, and I was trying to do a good job to make sure I did not let him down on the PAC. It was a fast learning curve and good leadership [with] Mr. Saunders and Mr. Miller. I did reasonably well. I enjoyed it; you learn a lot,” he said.

PAC chairman Ezzard Miller said Wednesday he has not received any communication from the government indicating any changes to its membership on the committee.