Panton announces new Cabinet

Premier Wayne Panton has announced the members of his Cabinet under the PACT government.

Panton, as well as holding the mantle of premier, will head a new portfolio called the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency. In a previous administration, he was the minister for environment.

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly continues as minister of education. Her portfolio also includes district administration, lands and survey. An elected representative from the Sister Islands traditionally holds the position of minister of district administration, which deals with matters relating to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

With Moses Kirkconnell now on the opposition benches, she is the only MP in government representing the Sister Islands.

Sabrina Turner will be the new minister for health.

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Premier Wayne Panton – Photo: Taneos Ramsay

André Ebanks will be heading up two ministries – Financial Services and Commerce, and  Investment, Innovation and Social Development.

Chris Saunders, the deputy premier, is taking on the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Labour; while Kenneth Bryan is the new head of the Ministry of Tourism and Transport.

Bernie Bush is now in charge of the Ministry for Home Affairs, Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage; and Jay Ebanks heads up the Ministry for Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure.

Panton, in a press release announcing the new positions on Monday evening, said, “We have aligned Ministerial responsibilities around the key priorities of this administration. As an example, the Ministry of Education will have policy continuity and a streamlined focus in a more strategic portfolio. This is the first time in over 20 years and 6 administrations that the same Minister has continued as Minister for Education.”

Prior to taking on the role of education minister four years ago in the Progressives-led government, O’Connor-Connolly was Speaker of the House between 2013 and 2017. In a last-minute move, the Cayman Brac East representative, who had run with the Progressives in this year’s election, opted to join Panton’s government a few hours before last week’s swearing-in ceremony.

In his statement on Monday, Panton noted, “As Premier I have also chosen to retain a smaller portfolio which will allow me to coordinate the work of my administration.  However, I have created a Ministry to address the existential threats posed by climate change.”

He added, “Improving the lives of our people will be at the centre of everything we do.  That is why we have aligned responsibilities around Labour and Employment (to tie in with the Ministry of Finance) as well as Social Development to benefit from innovation and inward investment opportunities.”

He also announced the assignments of three parliamentary secretaries – Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, Heather Bodden and Isaac Rankine.

Manderson, in the statement Monday, said the civil service had been working “behind the scenes for some time to facilitate the smooth handover of power to any incoming Government”.

“Now we are very much looking forward to helping them settle in and move the country forward in a way that benefits the lives of all Caymanians and residents,” he added.

Cabinet line-up

  • Premier and Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency: Wayne Panton
  • Deputy Premier and Minister for Finance, Economic Development and Labour: Christopher Saunders
  • Minister of Education, District Administration, Lands and Survey: Juliana O’Connor-Connolly
  • Minister for Home Affairs, Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage: Bernie Bush
  • Minister for Tourism and Transport: Kenneth Bryan
  • Minister for Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure: Johany ‘Jay’ Ebanks
  • Minister for Health: Sabrina Turner
  • Minister for Financial Services and Commerce and Minister for Investment, Innovation and Social Development: André Ebanks

Parliamentary Secretaries

  • Parliamentary Secretary to Minister André Ebanks (Financial Services) and Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly (Education): Katherine Ebanks-Wilks
  • Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Johany Ebanks and Minister Bernie Bush (Home Affairs): Isaac Rankine
  • Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Kenneth Bryan and Minister André Ebanks (Social Development): Heather Bodden
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