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The Resh Hour with Deputy Premier Chris Saunders

Deputy Premier Chris Saunders joins Compass journalist Reshma Ragoonath to discuss Cayman's COVID-19 response.

Financial secretary clears up ‘row’ over government deficit

Financial secretary Kenneth Jefferson explained the $50 million gap between the 2020 budget deficit estimates of the former and the new government in Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday.

Saunders lauds ministry after auditor general’s report

Finance Minister Christopher Saunders commended the public service for steadily improving financial management and reporting, following the latest report by the Office of the Auditor General.

The first 100 days: How PACT could look to make a quick impact

As the Cayman Islands looks ahead to a new era under the leadership of Premier Wayne Panton, a blueprint for the possible direction of the country is beginning to emerge.
Chris Saunders

Saunders names possible coalition partners

Bodden Town legislator Chris Saunders named a string of candidates he is supporting on election night and expressed confidence that a strong coalition of independents will form the next government.

Panton, Saunders among contenders in leadership race

Wayne Panton and Chris Saunders have emerged as two of the most likely leaders of a coalition of independent candidates if government is defeated at the polls next week.

Proposed UK Overseas Territories MP bill a no-go

Governor Martyn Roper has said the UK government has no intention of taking forward a proposed draft legislation that would give Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies representation in the British Parliament.

Gov’t shoots down motions on pensions and vacations

Government members, on Thursday, voted down Opposition motions aimed at reviewing the impact Cayman's pension changes and increasing vacation leave for employees.
Leonardo Raznovich speaking at a 2016 conference on LGBT issues in the Caribbean.

Raznovich: Same-sex rights not open for political points

LGBTQ advocate and barrister Leonardo Raznovich wants Cayman’s MLAs to stop what he calls a “political contest” with the rights of same-sex individuals.

Premier ‘disillusioned’ as bill ends in defeat

The Domestic Partnership Bill’s defeat in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday may have shown a divided legislature, but Finance Minister Roy McTaggart said that is where the division ends.

Gap in maternity leave flagged

Maternity leave in the private sector is 20 days shorter than that of mothers who work in the public sector. For moms like Kate Theron,...

OfReg executives grilled on fuel prices, broadband quality

OfReg’s ICT executive Alee Fa’amoe has said, based the regulator's current operational trajectory, it will be not be able to meet its mandate of getting better prices at the gas pump nor fasater internet speeds and prices within the next year or two.

OfReg energy boss: Electricity bills are dropping

Consumers using 1,000 kilowatts monthly have been paying less on their electricity bills since March, OfReg’s executive director of energy and utilities, Gregg Anderson, has said.

OfReg chairman takes aim at audit report

OfReg chairman Linford Pierson went on the offensive Wednesday, taking aim at the auditor general’s performance audit into the local regulator and questioning the report’s validity and its objectivity.

Changes coming in law regarding foreclosures

Amendments to the Registered Lands Law to address concerns over foreclosures in Cayman will be making its way to the Legislative Assembly near year’s end, Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said Thursday.

East End retirement home project on hold

The eastern districts will have to wait a while longer for a new retirement home as Premier Alden McLaughlin said on Thursday that government will not be embarking on any new capital projects.

Government clarifies scope of Private Funds Law

In an effort to take the Cayman Islands off the EU tax blacklist, government introduced last-minute, ungazetted changes to the Private Funds Law, on Wednesday.
Pensions

Premier says ‘radical rethink’ needed for pensions

Premier Alden McLaughlin has called for a “radical rethink” when it comes to how Cayman’s current private pensions system operates.

Opposition calls on government to convene House sitting

North Side MLA Ezzard Miller is calling on the Opposition to join him in convening a special sitting of the Legislative Assembly to debate a motion of no confidence in House Speaker McKeeva Bush.

Opposition: Cayman needs to fight blacklist

Opposition lawmakers expressed concern over reports that European Union ambassadors have recommended the Cayman Islands be blacklisted as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction.

More Caymanians opt for private schools

Enrolment in private schools is increasing as more local parents opt out of placing their children in Cayman’s government-run public schools, the Public Accounts Committee heard last week.

Constitutional changes expected to be confirmed by Privy Council in February

Cayman's constitutional changes order are expected to be confirmed by the Privy Council in February 2020, according to a statement from the Premier's Office.

Final cost pending for John Gray High School project

The final projected cost for the John Gray High School project is still pending as negotiations are still in progress, Education officials have said.

MLAs concerned for port workers’ safety

Legislators express concerns for safety of port workers.

Saunders objects to single national count for referendum

Bodden Town West MLA Chris Saunders has raised the red flag on government’s proposal to have one national counting of ballots on Referendum Day. However, the Premier's Office said Government has carefully considered the matter and has determined that it is in the national interest to provide a national count for a referendum on a matter of national importance.

Neighbours outline objections to Beach Bay resort

Around 40 neighbouring residents spelled out some of their objections to a 125-room Mandarin Oriental hotel and condo development in Beach Bay during a meeting of the Central Planning Authority Wednesday.

Saunders raises concerns about Constitution changes

MLA Chris Saunders says he’s concerned that some of his fellow members are making it too easy to make changes to the Cayman Islands Constitution.

Saunders continues push for healthcare reform

Cayman’s health insurance system remains in urgent need of reform, despite the revelation that private sector profits are much lower than previously thought.

Opposition members attend Commonwealth conference

Opposition Leader Arden McLean and MLAs Christopher Saunders and Kenneth Bryan will be attending the 44th annual conference of the Caribbean Americas and Atlantic region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, which begins 15 July in Trinidad.

Government will examine free childhood healthcare

The Legislative Assembly has unanimously approved a motion that directs the government to consider how it might provide free healthcare for Cayman’s children.

Miller holds on to Opposition leadership

Ezzard Miller officially remains Leader of the Opposition, despite a letter from all four members of the political group requesting he does not speak on their behalf.

Same-sex marriage: What your representative said on the issue

Cayman Islands legislators unanimously backed a private members’ motion last week supporting government to appeal the decision by the chief justice that legalised same-sex marriage to the “full extent of the appeals process”.

UPDATE: Speaker Bush calls on governor to fire Human Rights chairman

Speaker McKeeva Bush has called for Human Rights Commission Chairman James Austin-Smith to be immediately fired by Governor Martyn Roper, following the commission’s statement Thursday criticising government’s decision to appeal the chief justice’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage.

Opposition plans ‘alliance’ ahead of 2021 election

The coalition of independents led by Leader of the Opposition Ezzard Miller plans to form a political group that will run a candidate in every constituency at the next general election.

Governor meets with Opposition

Cayman’s new governor, Martyn Roper, meets with members of the Opposition on Tuesday, his second day on the job.

Dormant accounts could net government $4 million

Government could collect some $4 million in revenue from dormant bank accounts this year “if all goes well,” Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson said in Thursday’s Public Accounts Committee hearing.

Opposition questions claims over port’s economic benefit

Opposition politicians continued to argue against government’s cruise port plan at the latest in a series of public meetings Wednesday night.

MLA Bernie Bush hospitalized

West Bay North MLA Bernie Bush is expected to undergo heart surgery at Health City Cayman Islands later this week.

EDITORIAL – Health insurance: A product divorced from market reality

Already burdensome health insurance costs are spiraling out of control – as many readers know from personal experience. Last week’s Public Accounts Committee review of recent Cayman Islands Monetary Authority reports quantifies just how out of control it is.

Governor Choudhury explores Grand Cayman

One advantage to being the governor in a tourist destination is getting to play the tourist.

Illegal dumping rife, claim legislators

On-the-spot fines are being considered as a new penalty to deal with illegal dumping, following complaints from legislators.

EDITORIAL – Public health agency needs policy reform, not personal attacks

By now, the troubles of the Health Services Authority are well-documented and well-known. Everyone in the Cayman Islands is aware that years of mismanagement at HSA have resulted in uncollected debts, cash shortfalls and other problematic “symptoms” about which we editorialized just last week.

MLAs question need for government land sales

The Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee last week questioned government’s reasons for selling off Crown-owned properties determined to be “surplus” in a five-year-old review by the Lands and Survey Department.

Lawmakers skeptical of CarePay ‘fixes’

Efforts to prevent a reoccurrence of bureaucratic bungles that led Cayman Islands taxpayers to spend US$1.8 million for nothing during the CarePay contract debacle drew skepticism from lawmakers who noted there had been little accountability in the wake of the disastrous deal’s end.

Opposition firms up roles in shadow government

The members of the Legislative Assembly who are not part of the governing coalition announced Tuesday that they have formally organized in opposition.

Election over, scramble for gov’t begins

The Cayman Islands voters have had their say. Now it’s time for the 19 people they elected to decide who will run the government for the next four years.
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Election candidates split over immigration restructure

Three candidates in Wednesday’s general election took deeply divided positions on immigration reform, with some favoring a work permit moratorium and others seeking to take the granting of work permits away from the Immigration Department entirely.

Education, employment hot topics at Bodden Town West forum

Education and employment were hot topics Friday at the James Manoah Bodden Civic Center for candidates running in Bodden Town West.

Crowded field facing off in Bodden Town

Cars jammed the sides of the main road from the public library to Cox Lumber as passing motorists honked their horns and shouted encouragement in the direction of two separate, competing events – announcing the political candidacies of election hopefuls Dwayne Seymour and Robert Bodden.

Saunders, Chris

Chris Saunders is an independent candidate for Bodden Town West.

Political coalitions forming ahead of May 2017 election

At least four, and potentially five political coalitions or political parties are readying to contest the Cayman Islands general election on May 24. Both major political parties, the Progressives and the Cayman Democratic Party, intend to field a slate of candidates.

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