Video Women Protest Sexual Assault of Moroccan Farmers in Spain

Rabat- Moroccan and Spanish women rallied on Sunday, June 17, in Spain’s Huelva province in a march of solidarity with Moroccan seasonal workers who have been sexually assaulted.The Andalusian Workers’ Syndicate (SAT) organized Sunday’s march in Huelva to denounce the sexual abuse of Moroccan agricultural workers.The syndicate called on the Spanish government to intervene and restore the rights of these seasonal workers. A video of the demonstration captured women as they held banners saying “Work Without Sexual Slavery” and chanted in protest. Some women also ululated in Moroccan style.After a meeting between 18 representatives of agricultural firms and officials from the General Directorate for Migration in January, Spain agreed to hire 10,400 Moroccan agricultural workers to pick strawberries and other berries for the April to June harvest season.In May, the US-based online media company Buzzfeed recounted the stories of several Moroccan women farmers who complained of sexual assault by their employers.Later, four farmers working in Huelva filed complaints against the same supervisor for alleged sexual assault. Shortly after Spanish authorities arrested and questioned the suspect, he was released on bail. Morocco’s Ministry of Employment carried out an investigation to inquire about the conditions of women farmers on Spanish farms.After a Moroccan-Spanish delegation visited the Spanish farms, the ministry maintained that “no specific case of abuse or violation against Moroccan workers was found.” Several news outlets, including Buzzfeed News, Spain’s El Mundo, and El Pais have reported on the conditions of the Moroccan farmers in Heluva.The news outlets recently reported that a mother, seven months pregnant, who traveled to Spain to earn money for her sick son was sexually assaulted by her supervisor.“I will only return to Morocco when the truth breaks out, I want to go home with my head up,” she told El Pais.The workers were scheduled to return to their home country once the agricultural season ends. With the current controversy, it might take longer for them to go back to their families as they wait for justice to take its course. read more

Atlantic provinces to enjoy rising growth think tank predicts in rosy outlook

An Ottawa-based think tank is predicting rising growth for all four Atlantic provinces — especially tiny P.E.I., which is expected to lead the country with 3.2 per cent growth this year.The Conference Board of Canada attributes the rosy outlook to service-sector stability and rising exports in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, while Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to record an uptick in oil production.P.E.I.’s red-hot growth is credited to a boom in residential construction following an “influx of international migrants” and higher demand for Island products. CN makes an offer for largest shipping terminal in Eastern Canada How newcomer entrepreneurs are making a difference in Atlantic Canada Halifax becoming a big fish in the ocean startup ecosystem, and it doesn’t stop there Nova Scotia food-growing startups benefit from their seaside locale “Over the next two years, the Island should outpace nearly every other province in the country when it comes to its rate of population growth. Consequently, the construction industry is set to surge this year, thanks to new housing developments on the Island,” the Conference Board said in its latest provincial outlook released Wednesday.“Add to that the impressive tourism prospects and the elevated demand for P.E.I. products boosting exports and manufacturing, and economic growth in the province should continue to outpace the Canadian average — a feat that P.E.I. has achieved every year since 2015.”The report noted the growth meant a recent surplus in the P.E.I. provincial budget, after a decade of deficits.Newfoundland is predicted to grow by 2.7 per cent this year, but the Conference Board says oil industry volatility will mean growth of only one per cent in the province in 2020.“The labour market will continue to struggle as baby boomers retire, projects come to the end of their life cycles, and workers in the service sector migrate to other provinces where their skills are in high demand,” the report says of Canada’s easternmost province.It said Nova Scotia is on the road to a stronger economy, with strong seafood exports and improved demographics after an influx of people from across Canada and internationally.The Conference Board predicts 1.6 per cent growth this year and another 2.1 per cent in 2020, up from 0.9 per cent last year.Over the next two years, (Nova Scotia) is expected to enjoy its highest economic growth in almost a decadeConference Board report “Over the next two years, the province is expected to enjoy its highest economic growth in almost a decade,” the report predicted of Nova Scotia.New Brunswick, which reported anemic growth of 0.2 per cent last year, is predicted to see growth of 1.4 per cent this year and 1.3 per cent next year.“The biggest challenge to economic growth is the province’s weak demographic profile,” the report says of New Brunswick.“Although immigration levels to the province have reached record levels, the large flow of residents to other provinces and a negative natural increase (i.e., births outnumber deaths) erase any potential gains in population.”Nationally, the Conference Board predicts 1.9 per cent growth this year, and 2.1 per cent in 2020.It predicts weaker growth in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba, but robust growth in Saskatchewan and B.C. read more