McKeeva Bush explains “agreement” as special envoy for agriculture Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

When MP McKeeva Bush accompanied Minister of Agriculture Jay Ebanks on a fact-finding mission to Honduras months ago, some members of the public questioned why Mr Bush was involved and under what terms. Mr Bush has now sat down with Loop News to answer these questions.

“Agreement” in place

According to Mr Bush, when the new government was being formed after the 2021 elections, it was agreed that he would be permitted to be a special envoy to the minister of agriculture on matters to do with agriculture.

While it was agreed that Mr Bush would be a special envoy, Mr Bush emphasised that he “didn’t attend caucus,” was not a Parliamentary Secretary and did not attend meetings of the Cabinet.

Further, Mr Bush was not part of any decision-making in relation to the Ministry of Agriculture and did not have any power to instruct the minister or the government on agricultural matters.

Commenting further on what was agreed, Mr Bush said:

Throughout the time I was Speaker, I did that as long as it did not interfere with my responsibilities as presiding officer of the house.

Sharing his thoughts on the overall work being done by the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Bush said that the minister for agriculture “is doing an excellent work” and that he is always willing to “support the minister in his work anyway and anywhere” he can.

Mr Bush added:

In the case of the special envoy activities, my support was manifested mainly via introductions by me to important contacts by that I had in various jurisdictions where the Minister of Agriculture might have wished to explore new prospects for agricultural trade on behalf of the government.

As to the benefit of these introductions, Mr Bush explained:

Through these introductions, I believe that the Minister for Agriculture gained valuable insight which he then utilized to create proposals to the government that would ultimately benefit all of the people of the Cayman Islands.

Some of the possible, future benefits include lower prices in supermarkets and longer shelf lives for some products. These and other things could be accomplished through enhanced agricultural trade.

Speaking of other practical outcomes, including food sustainability, Mr Bush concluded:

If the agricultural trade opportunities are explored, I believe they will also further the Minister’s objective to create long-term sustainable food supply options.

I also think he has a capable chief officer to help make all of this happen.

Final word

Notwithstanding that Mr Bush made it clear he was not involved in any decision-making of the government, he noted that the role of the Speaker was quite a challenging one “because there is no protection in place for the Speaker as an elected person.”

The point made by Mr Bush is interesting because, realistically speaking, voters still view the person carrying out the role of Speaker as a representative for the relevant district.

One of the ongoing expectations of voters of such a representative, as Mr Bush described it, is to continue to “recognise the needs and demands of the people,” notwithstanding that the Speaker has no decision-making powers with respect to any department or ministry.

As a result of the foregoing challenges, when it was agreed that Mr Bush would be a special envoy, Mr Bush accepted, allowing him to make the necessary introductions to the minister for agriculture that would ultimately cater to the demands of the people.