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Youth Parliamentarians

Cayman: Youth Parliamentarians Prove their Mettle

1. The Youth Parliamentarians in the House with (from left to right) Minister Hon. Andre Ebanks, Parliamentary Secretary Ms Heather Bodden, Minister Sabrina Turner, Speaker, Hon. McKeeva Bush (seated), Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Roy McTaggart, Ms Barbara Conolly, MP and Clerk of the House, Ms Zena Merren-Chin

Youth Parliamentarians proved their mettle on a momentous day on Monday, 14 March 2022 when the youth took over Parliament. Twenty-four young women and men demonstrated themselves to be contenders for future politicians and leaders of the Cayman Islands.

They were the keen participants in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) 15th Youth Parliament held at the House of Parliament on this year’s Commonwealth Day.

Their abilities earned them praise from current leaders, notably His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, Minister Hon. Andre Ebanks (who represented the Premier, Hon. Wayne Panton at the event), the Speaker, Hon. McKeeva Bush, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Roy McTaggart, Deputy Speaker Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks and Clerk of the Parliament, Ms Zena Merren-Chin.

2. Ms Sienna Jack receives her plaque, certificate and commemorative photograph from the Speaker, Hon. McKeeva Bush. Ms Jack was also named the Best Debater on the Government Bench.

The youth participated in a gruelling day of debates on a government bill titled The Sexual Harassment Bill, 2022, which passed, and a Private Member’s Motion seeking restrictions on high cost housing and implementation of a land and housing purchase licence for non-Caymanians, which did not pass.

After the proceedings, they were regaled to a reception hosted by the Governor at Government House where they received certificates, plaques and a commemorative photograph to mark their participation. In addition, the top debaters on the two benches – Ms Sienna Jack for Government and Ms Hannah Bodden for the Opposition – received recognition.

Heartily thanked for their services were the parents, who ensured the youth could participate from October 2021 in the programme, including on Saturdays during prep sessions; the teachers who helped and their educational institutions as well as the sponsors: Harneys, the principal funder of the programme, Government Information Services (GIS) and Radio Cayman.

3. Ms Hannah Bodden receives recognition as the Best Debater among the Opposition members from the Speaker, Hon. McKeeva Bush, with Clerk of Parliament, Ms Zena Merren-Chin (left) and His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper.

The 24 participants were:
Speaker – Ms Sherika McPherson;
Government bench: Cabinet Ministers: Mr. Shankar Paulraj (Premier); Ms Elizabeth Thomas (Deputy Premier); Ms Keira Bodden (Minister of Tourism and Transport); Ms Shanell Martinez (Minister of Health and Wellness); Ms Dashante McLaughlin-Richards (Minister of Planning, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure); Mr. Michael Glidden (Minister of Financial Services and Commerce; Investment, Innovation and Social Development); Mr. Charles Player (Minister of Home Affairs, Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage); Ms Sienna Jack (Minister of Education, District Administration and Lands);
Ex-Officio Cabinet Members: Ms Brittania Rowe (Deputy Governor), Ms Amani Ebanks (Attorney General);
Government backbenchers: Mr. Juan Leon Castro, Ms Jenae Whittaker and Mr. Wyatt McLaughlin;
Opposition bench: Mr. George Green (Leader of Opposition); Mr Chad Powell Jr. (Deputy Leader); Mr. Reon Porter (Deputy Speaker); Ms Hannah Bodden; Ms Thalia Clarke; Ms Jhanelle Colquhoon, Ms Annura Moiten, Mr. Jacob Kelly-Johnson;
Officers of the House: Ms Ezrie Tibbetts (Clerk) and Mr. Zachary Allen (Serjeant-at-Arms).


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