At the Red Bay and Prospect ‘public information session’ Tuesday night, the Cayman Islands government and Verdant Isle Port Partners consortium representatives said that Verdant Isle has the right to be here “informing” (some might say “misleading”) the public about the port proposal because they are part of “a consortium” charged with the project to build our port.
However, our very own Department of Environment, which is charged with protecting the environment and has spoken out against the proposed port project because it would destroy our reefs and damage our environment, has not been “invited” to attend any of the public “information sessions”. Some might go so far as saying that DoE has actually been banned from attending the sessions.
When asked about that, Verdant Isle and CIG said that it would have been “inappropriate” for DoE to be there at the public information sessions. How can it be “inappropriate” for our own DoE to be part of this public discussion before the referendum, the outcome of which will fundamentally affect the environment that they are charged to protect for us?
Doesn’t the public deserve to be given the full picture about the proposed port project?
Pursuant to our Constitution, CIG have THE DUTY to protect our environment:
“Protection of the environment
18.- (1) Government shall, in all its decisions, have due regard to the need to foster and protect an environment that is not harmful to the health or well-being of present and future generations, while promoting justifiable economic and social development.
(2) To this end government should adopt reasonable legislative and other measures to protect the heritage and wildlife and the land and sea biodiversity of the Cayman Islands that:
(a) limit pollution and ecological degradation;
(b) promote conservation and biodiversity; and
(c) secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources.”
Verdant Isle and Dr. David Vaughan made a number of misleading statements about the state of our reefs Tuesday night, but the DoE was not allowed to put the public right on what they were being misled about.
Is only getting one side of the story before going to the polls on 19 Dec. acceptable?