May 14, 2021

Cayman Islands Post-Election Seminar: Remarks by Minister Hon. Roy McTaggart

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Remarks by the Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Roy McTaggart

Opening Ceremony, CPA Post Election Seminar, Legislative Assembly,

Thursday, 3 August 2017, 9-9.30 am

Protocol being established, it gives me distinct pleasure, on behalf of the Cayman Islands Government, to welcome all to this significant Post-Election Seminar for our MLAs, which includes a number of first-timers.

Our special welcome the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr. Akbar Khan and the other resource persons who will be conducting the seminar sessions including:

Hon. Mary J Lawrence, MBE, JP, LL.D, Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands

Hon. Bridgid Annisette-George, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Rolston Anglin, JP, former Minister of Education, Training & Employment

Hon. K. H. Randolph Horton, JP, Former Speaker of Bermuda House of Assembly and

Mrs. Heather E. Cooke, JP, Clerk to the Houses of Parliament of Jamaica and CPA Regional Secretary for the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region.

This is a momentous occasion indeed! Thanks to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, we have such a distinguished and seasoned group of resource persons who will bring their collective expertise to inform, enlighten and perhaps even open the minds of the participants to the different nuances of a Parliament functioning within a Democracy.

Again, thanks to the CPA, our Members can avail of this golden opportunity to empower themselves and understand all aspects of functioning as people’s representatives in our global Commonwealth family, particularly in the Westminster system of democracy that we all follow.

The seminar over two days of comprehensive presentations will provide a thorough grounding for all newcomers to the House about every topic relevant to the content, the process and behaviour of all MLAs in the House. More importantly, the orientation session will also highlight how we do, and how we should do, business in the Cayman Islands Legislature.

The programme over nine sessions covers such notable topics such as Party Organisation within Parliament, Administration and Financing of Parliament, Practice and Procedure in the House, Parliamentary Committee, and of course, the Role of MLAs, including the Backbencher as well as Parliamentary Privilege and Members’ Interests.

For example, under the topic Party Organisation within Parliament, MLAs will learn about the roles of the Government and Opposition Parties; how parties organise their own members and their roles; and most importantly, cooperation between parties to create an effective and functional parliamentary environment and the Backbench’s influence on the Executive.

For those of us who have been longer in the House, it gives us a chance to refresh ourselves about these important topics and also learn and understand about modernisation, new technologies and ways modern Parliaments within the Commonwealth now function. We have enough expertise here to get good lessons in what are essentially continuing professional education for the more senior MLAs.

But nothing much can be learned if we are not open-minded and attentive and be participatory. And as I have mentioned, there is much to be learned during these two short yet packed seminar days.

I look forward to robust questions and energetic discussions after each session.

I call upon every MLA, but especially our newly elected representatives, to make the most of every opportunity presented to them and to be fully engaged in the proceedings so that they get the complete benefit of this exercise that is taking place on our home ground.

It would be most remiss of me if I do not make a special mention of the CPA Secretary-General, Mr. Khan, who is finding the time to an informative and engaging session especially for our youth after the close of this seminar on Friday afternoon.

The CPA Roadshow is an additional highlight of the Post Election Seminar this year in which the CPA, through its branches in the member countries, seeks to also empower our youth.

I encourage and urge our young persons aged 14 to 25 years to participate enthusiastically and increase their awareness of the role and functioning of parliament within a democracy.

This CPA Roadshow will take place tomorrow, Friday, 4th August at the Town Hall next door from 3.30 to 5 pm and I again invite all to attend. I thank the Secretary-General and the CPA for making this happen.

On behalf of Government, I wish on all productive sessions and look forward to engaging interaction during these two days.

Thank you and welcome once again.

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