(CMR) The Cayman Port Referendum group is highlighting the inequalities it is facing going up against the Cayman Islands Government and their unlimited resources.
This concern has been highlighted after an FOI request confirmed that 4,376 ads have run on Radio Cayman since January 2018 in support of the cruise port. The dollar value of those adverts is $87,500 although the government got them at no costs.
CPR shared that:
This latest FOI result highlights the importance of the inclusion of campaign financing provisions in the Referendum Bill, which the Government has chosen to exclude, despite recommendations for its inclusion, global best practices and our own Elections Law which sets campaign finance limits in general elections.
The opportunity for fair and balanced public education on the proposed port facility is imperative, to allow citizens to make an informed decision, free from undue influence, in the face of a Government who has already spent almost a 1/4 of a million dollars before the referendum campaign has even begun.
We are under no illusions that this is a “David versus Goliath” scenario. While rumours have been circulated by our elected leaders and government members that we are funded privately to the tune of 1/2 a million dollars this could not be further from the truth.
As a non-profit organisation, relying on the time and talents of many volunteers, there should be reasonable provisions to ensure fairness. Government should do their part to uphold the people's democratic rights, observe principles of Good Governance and manage responsibly campaign funds for the cruise port referendum.
These figures do not include the other mediums that the government has utilized to advertise it's pro-port message.
In other port-related news this week Verdant Isle Port Partners Ltd. issued the following statement about their incorporation:
VERDANT ISLE PORT PARTNERS LTD. COMPANY REGISTRATION
In response to recent media reports referring to the registration of Verdant Isle Port Partners Ltd. – the consortium that was named preferred bidder for the Cayman Islands cruise berthing and cargo enhancement project, the company confirms it was incorporated in the Cayman Islands as of 27 August 2019 through its service provider, Conyers Corporate Services (Cayman) Limited and whose registered office is located in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
As reported by some Cayman Islands media, there is a similarly named company – Verdant Isle Holdings Limited – which was incorporated on 30 May 2019 with its registered office recorded in Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands by an unnamed party.
There is no connection between the two companies.