The idea behind the upcoming 19 Dec. referendum on government’s proposed $200 million cruise berthing and cargo port facility is to allow the public to make an informed decision on whether government should proceed with the project.
The Cayman Compass editorial board hopes that this is the main reason why Cruise Port Referendum Cayman and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands are considering legal action against government. The two entities are hoping to delay the vote until an updated environmental impact assessment is carried out and made public in light of updated designs for the facility.
They also want government disclosure on how much money from the public purse has been spent on presenting its case in support of the project.
CPR Cayman has confirmed its members have submitted a freedom of information request seeking that dollar amount. As we’re talking about public funds, there should be no problem releasing that data, although we’ve also been through the FOI process enough times to know that government entities can and will drag things out.
Carrying out an updated EIA would push back the referendum date, as well as possibly disrupt ongoing Elections Office procedures already put in place for the vote – and almost certainly cost more money. It could also slow momentum either side has gained in the lead-up to 19 Dec.
But if the idea is to allow the public access to the most accurate and up-to-date information, the Compass editorial board advises voters to reach out to their elected representatives. People need to let their MLAs know how they feel about a potential delay in the vote.
When we’re talking about one of the most significant capital projects the country has ever embarked on, the public deserves every bit of information before being asked to tick a box.