Students march on Ottawa to press education demands

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe sound of drums echoed throughout downtown Ottawa Thursday.First Nation students were marching to demand the government come up with more money for education.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis has the story.last_img

A Montreal Friendship Centre serving aboriginal youth to close doors

first_imgAPTN National NewsMontreal’s only centre serving aboriginal youth will be closing their doors.The Inter-Tribal Youth Centre has seen many aboriginal youth through their ups and downs but due to a funding dispute, those days may be over.APTN‘s Ossie Michelin files this report.last_img

Ontario government needs to resolve health crisis at Aamjiwnaang First Nation Environment

first_imgThe Canadian PressThe Ontario government must do more to resolve a health crisis at the Aamjiwnaang First Nation near Sarnia, which is hit with millions of kilograms of air pollution from the nearby petro-chemical complex known as “chemical valley” says the province’s environment watchdog.“These people live with shelter-in-place advisories, where something happens and they’re supposed to grab their children, run into the house, lock up and stay there until they’re told,” said Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller as he released his annual report Tuesday. “That wouldn’t be acceptable anywhere else in Ontario.”Miller said it was “truly shameful” that a promised review of the cumulative effects of air pollution on Aamjiwnaang still wasn’t done after five years, something Murray promised to look into immediately.“I was not aware, quite frankly, of the details of this, and one of the first things on my desk this afternoon will be looking at what’s happening and getting my head around it,” Murray told reporters. “I was quite concerned, and if that was my family that’s not something I would find acceptable. We need to address it.”Miller also used his report to call for a ban on logging in Algonquin Park, the only one of the 339 provincial parks where timber harvesting is allowed, and said it could take up to a decade to make sure there are no job losses.“It’s important, I think, to state and make the commitment that we will move Algonquin Park to a true protected area status,” he said.Forestry Minister Bill Mauro issued a statement saying the province recently protected another 96,000 hectares of Algonquin from logging, and suggested he won’t ban commercial tree harvesting in the park, which employees about 2,800 people.“I am confident that the management plan amendment balances protection of Algonquin Provincial Park’s ecological and economic values,” said Mauro.The widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides by Ontario farmers, which has been linked to the deaths of bees, could have a “massive impact” on our ecological system said Miller.“All the science is not done, but everything that I have before me … suggests to me that this is the biggest threat to the structure and ecological integrity of the ecosystem that I have ever encountered in my life, bigger than DDT, ” he said.Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane was banned in Canada in 1972 because of environmental and safety concerns, and even Environment Minister Glen Murray admitted the neonicotinoid class of pesticides is “much more toxic” than DDT.“It is persistent in the environment and stays there for years. About 94 per cent of it doesn’t go into the plants, it goes into the soil,” said Murray.“It is impacting not just colonizing bees, but wild bees, birds, soil health as well as frogs and other invertebrate aquatic life.”Miller called bees the “canary in the coal mine” on neonicotinoids, and said the impact of the pesticides is “clearly more wide scale” in the ecosystem.“They’re affecting the food supply to our insect-eating birds, but we just don’t know the full magnitude of that, and one of the recommendations of this report is that the Ontario government do some effective monitoring of the soil, the water and the wild plants to see how big that impact is,” he said. “I’m very concerned.”It’s too late to stop farmers from planting seeds coated in neonicotinoids next spring, said Murray, but the government is looking at ways to mitigate the impact of the pesticides by 2016.“We have to have a corn crop next year and we have to have soy crops next year,” he said.The Ontario Beekeepers Association said the province lost 58 per cent of its hives last winter, and complained the government did not act on many previous warnings about neonicotinoids and should immediately outlaw the pesticides.“We need Ontarians to stand up and push the government to ban neonicotinoids, which are destroying the whole ecosystem,” said David Schuit of Saugeen Country Honey near Hanover. “We can’t sustain this. It’s going to put us out of business.”An emotional Schuit warned “we’re going to go hungry” if the government doesn’t take steps now to protect the environment, and the food chain, from neonicotinoids.Ontario Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said Premier Kathleen Wynne spent a lot of time talking about neonicotinoids, especially when she also served as agriculture minister, but the Liberal government has done nothing to address the problem.“The Green Party called for a ban on ‘neonics’ last spring so we could preplan for next spring’s planting season, but now they’re saying it’s too late again,” said Schreiner.last_img read more

Quebec Metis claim true origins come from la Belle Province

first_imgTom Fennario APTN National NewsFor most people the term Metis refers to a distinct Indigenous people who originate from the plains of Canada.But some groups in Quebec say the true origins of Metis culture come from their province.It’s a controversial opinion to say the least.last_img

No apology from prime minister over condescending and sexist remark

first_imgChief Judy Wilson took part in a news conference Thursday morning in Ottawa. (APTN/Justin Brake photo)Justin BrakeAPTN NewsJustin Trudeau has not apologized – and doesn’t sound like he will – to Neskonlith Chief Kukpi7 Judy Wilson.The prime minister was roasted on social media for the way he answered a question Tuesday from Wilson at an Assembly of First Nations’ gathering of chiefs in Ottawa.Wednesday, UBCIC demanded an apology for the treatment of the Secwepemc leader, who is also secretary-treasurer for the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).On Thursday, Wilson agreed the prime minister’s tone and use of her first name was “condescending and sexist.”The prime minister’s office, in an email to APTN News, said “no relationship is more important to our government than the one with Indigenous peoples” but did not address Wilson or UBCIC’s concerns.Wilson had challenged Trudeau on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.She told him the pipeline extension will run through more than 500 kilometres of Secwepemc territory and “there was no consent” on the project.Chief Judy Wilson = The epitome of our Seven Sacred Teachings. Why our other Chiefs didn’t speak up when PM JT dissed her by not respectfully addressing her as Chief and essentially speak down to her, patronizing. https://t.co/Tw0DCBwWvN— Hilda Rose Fitzner (@Tornado_Rose) December 6, 2018“You can’t count a few IBA’s [Impact Benefit Agreements] with some of the communities as consent because it’s the proper title holders of those nations that hold the title,” Wilson said.The few Secwepemc Indian Act bands that signed agreements with previous pipeline owner Kinder Morgan “might have been under duress – but it’s not a proper process,” Wilson added, referring to the communities desperate need for jobs and development but also what she says is Canada’s refusal to regard the 10,000 Secwepemc people as the proper rights and title-holders whose consent is required.Trudeau addressed the chief by her first name, which some say is outside proper protocol, and criticized Wilson’s comment about distress instead of addressing the question around consent.Former Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North told APTN she “was taken aback when he came out [with what] almost sounded like a warning to say what he said, and also calling her by her first name.”North, one of the candidates for AFN National Chief earlier this year, said she could understand the prime minister addressing all chiefs by first name in an effort to build a friendlier image, but “to me that wasn’t respecting her position as a representative of her people, and she deserves a lot more respect than that.”Wilson said if Trudeau “respects women” – amid an ongoing national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women – he “should do the respectful thing and apologize.”National Chief Perry Bellegarde said he would “follow up to make sure that no one is disrespected in this assembly, from anybody.“You’re Chief Judy Wilson, and everybody must say that every time here in this assembly — I don’t care who you are.”Wilson said the prime minister made it sound as if she was an outlier in her nation.“It’s not me speaking solely on my own — I’m talking from Elders, from the proper title-holders, from the resolutions that the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs mandated us to. So when he’s putting me down it’s really all of our people he’s putting down,” she told reporters at a news conference Thursday.The prime minister apologized to Coldwater Chief Lee Spahan and addressed him as ‘Chief.’ (APTN/Justin Brake photo)Kanesatake’s Mohawk Council Grand Chief Serge Simon also spoke in support of First Nations resisting Trans Mountain.A member of the Treaty Alliance of 150 First Nations that have united in opposition the expansion of the Alberta tar sands, Simon said “it seems like our right to say No, our consent is not required, simply because you’ve put together a quasi-judicial board, the NEB, as a buffer between me and the Crown.“There’s environmental concerns. The planet is in trouble. Everyone recognizes it except for the governments, those who are supporting this industry,” he said.“The transition must be done and it must be done soon if we’re going to save our grandchildrens’ future. What the hell do you not understand about that?”The press conference included leaders from the Mohawk, Nlaka’pamux, Squamish and Secwepemc Nations, and called attention to what they say is a failed second attempt by Canada to adequately consult with First Nations that stand to be impacted by the pipeline expansion if the project is built.They say Canada requires the consent of their people, not just consultations with a few representatives.They also take issue with what they say is an inadequate timeline for meaningful dialogue.“We’re here to call out the arbitrary deadlines and timelines and the process that the Trudeau government continues to use as it reviews this project and response of the federal court ruling,” said Khelsilem, a councillor with Squamish Nation, commenting on last summer’s federal court decision that prompted Canada to carry out a second consultation process with First Nations in the region.“The federal government has said on one hand there is no timeline in the engagement and consultation with Indigenous communities, but on the other hand there is a 90-day requirement under the National Energy Board Act that Canada has to make a decision on this pipeline project once the NEB report is tabled in January.”Wilson said Trudeau “is basically telling us that they purchased [the pipeline] and they’re putting it through. And we’re here to say, ‘Prime minister: No you’re not.’” jbrake@aptn.ca@JustinBrakeNewslast_img read more

Brad Sperling hosting Area C roundtable in Charlie Lake on Wednesday evening

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Peace River Regional District Chair and Area ‘C’ Director Brad Sperling will be hosting a roundtable discussion for Regional District residents on Wednesday evening.Anyone in attendance will have the opportunity to ask questions on any topic that is the concerns of the Regional District. Wednesday’s round table will be taking place from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Charlie Lake Community Hall. All residents of Area C are invited to attend.last_img

Ma Murray School hopes to hold opening ceremony by early September

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. –  The Peace River North School Board discussed a plan for the opening ceremonies of the new Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray School at a meeting on Monday.The Board pitched the idea of holding the opening ceremony on August 27th, but that could be pushed back until September if Board Trustees were not able to attend. The School Board will also take suggestions from the City of Fort St. John, the Ministry of Education, and BC Hydro on when they think the ceremony should take place, as all three organizations made sizable contributions to the new school.Peace River North MLA Dan Davies and Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier have agreed to tour the school on June 12th, after which they will take part in a meeting with School Board members. The Board also briefly discussed community facilities such as a daycare that would be incorporated in another new Elementary school that is proposed for the City’s Northeast side. Board Chair Erin Davies said that the Ministry of Education has been pushing to have a daycare included in the new school, but has not volunteered to fund it, which has raised questions from the Board. Funding for the daycare will be brought up during the June 12th meeting with the two MLA’s.last_img read more

NEB approves modified Burnaby Terminal plans for Trans Mountain project

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – The National Energy Board says it has approved modified plans for the Burnaby Terminal of the Trans Mountain pipeline project, clearing a final regulatory hurdle for construction to start.The regulator says the approved variance application will significantly improve safety at the terminal, which is the end point for the controversial pipeline the federal government has agreed to buy as part of a $4.5-billion acquisition of Kinder Morgan Canada’s core assets.The new plans reduce the diameter of five of the 14 tanks and the overall capacity of the facilities by about 320,000 barrels, increase the space between the tanks, and reconfigure the secondary containment system at the tank farm to reduce fire risk. The NEB says its approval of the variance and Kinder Morgan Canada’s fulfillment of certain conditions allows it to begin construction at the Burnaby Terminal, subject to any other permits or authorizations which may be required.Burnaby, in a submission to the NEB, said the company failed to consult with the city, and that the modified plans don’t address its significant concerns on boil-over, vapour cloud explosion, and other risks.The Burnaby site has been a focal point of opposition to the project as protesters raise concerns about potential spill damage and emissions increases the pipeline will allow.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

Three days left to submit Referendum Packages to the BC Service Centre

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – There are three days left to return your completed Referendum Packages to the BC Service Centre in person.Your completed package is considered received by Elections BC when delivered to a Service BC Centre or Referendum Service Office even if dropped in a 24 – hour drop box.These packages must be handed in person before 4:30 pm, Friday, December 7th, 2018. With current numbers of Referendum Packages received, 34.1 percent from the Peace River North area, that is 8,660 packages out of 25,398 packages sent. While 31.6 percent from the Peace River South area, returned 5,543 packages out of 17,531 packages sent.The Fort St. John (Service BC Office and 24-hour DropBox) are located at, 10600-100th Street.For more Service BC Offices and 24-hour DropBox, locations CLICK HERElast_img read more

Peter Vandergugten long time City Council Alderman passed away

first_imgThorlakson says their best times spent together were hunting, “Peter loved hunting” he said and they would often hunt together. Thorlakson recalls that Vandergugten helped with “flushing out his son’s first deer, off the Old Fort Road.” “During those times we could turn off all of the thoughts of politics and problems and you could actually laugh about some of the funny stories, laughter is truly the best medicine.”“You never had to wonder where Peter stood on any issue, he was a strong personality and there were times when we fought like cats and dogs but we remained best friends,” says Thorlakson.Vandergugten tried running for Mayor in approx 1982/84 against Brian Palmer shared Thorlakson and then they both became Aldermen in 1986 serving on City Council for 19 years.”We saw a lot of change and led a lot of chance together which was deeply needed at the times as the City was fundamentally insolvent.”Thorlakson would go on to say, “Peter was one of the toughest guys I ever knew, he fought four battles with cancer and his mental toughness, determination and will power is what led him to beat the first three battles. Peter’s determination was the hallmark of his life, he was a stubborn Dutchman that at times you didn’t like but most of the time you loved” MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. – At 82 years of age, Peter Vandergugten passes away after his fourth battle with Cancer.Steve Thorlakson was a good friend and longtime associate to Vandergugten, they were introduced to each other in 1979 by a mutual friend when Thorlakson first moved to the area. Thorlakson remembers Vandergugten from Council, hunting and “Hoisting a cold one at the Legion”Thorlakson shares “We worked on many projects together. First was Chamber of Commerce which was in deep debt, Peter ran and was elected as President and I became Vice President within a year,” Thorlakson says they managed to pull the Chamber out of debt and triple the membership in approx 1984/85, he says things were really tough in those days and times and it was quite an accomplishment. “Pulling the Chamber together was an effective lobbying force on behalf of business in the area.”last_img read more

Ayurveda cell to address patients grievances

first_imgKolkata: A Pharmaco vigilance cell on Ayurveda has been thrown open at the Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Drug Development (CARIDD) in the city to directly receive complaints from the patients in regard to various Ayurveda drugs.To strengthen knowledge and regular practices about the safety and efficacy of the Ayurveda medicines, the Bengal chapter of the National Ayurveda Studends and Youth Association(NASYA) in collaboration with the CARIDD under CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH has come up with the unique initiative A seminar was recently organised on Pharmaco vigilance in the city by the All India Institute for Ayurveda along with NASYA and CARIDD when lot of issues relating to the standard of Ayurvedic drugs were discussed. The programme was inaugurated by Dr V Subhos, assistant director (Ayurveda), CARIDD, Kolkata, Dr Prasanta Kumar Sarkar, director , State Medicinal Plant Board and Dr Tapas Kumar Mondal, principal superintendent, Rajib Gandhi memorial Ayurveda College and hospital. Dr Achintya Mitra, research officer (Ayurveda), CARIDD also graced the occasion. The patients can directly visit the cell if they have any issues regarding quality of Ayurveda drugs. There are also plans to start online platform where the patients can lodge their complaints against the medicines prepared by any particular company. If the patients face any side effects after consuming such medicines they can register the complaint. The competent authorities will conduct the probe and will also examine the quality of the medicine. Dr Prasanta Kumar Sarkar delivered a lecture on “Concept and need of Pharmaco vigilance in AYUSH System” during the seminar. Dr Tripathi, professor and head, Dept of Clinical Pharmacology, Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine also delivered his lecture on the topics —”Pharmaco vigilance of Ayurveda, Sidhha, Unani and Homeopathy medicines — program implementation, procedures and operational issues.” Dr Kesab Lal Pradhan, Vice President of NASYA, West Bengal said: “We welcome the move taken by the Union Ayush Ministry to ensure the quality of Ayurveda drugs.”last_img read more

Its time of stand up with judiciary Jaitley on allegations against CJI

first_imgNew Delhi: Accusing institutional disrupters’ of destabilising the institution of Chief Justice of India (CJI) by lending shoulder to unverified allegations against the head of the apex court, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday suggested that those who peddle falsehood should be dealt in an exemplary manner.”It’s Time to Stand up With the Judiciary”, Jaitley said in his blog, a day after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The Supreme Court even held an extraordinary hearing on Saturday after a former employee of the apex court accused the CJI of sexual harassment and persecution. The former employee has described two incidents of alleged molestation by Gogoi in her affidavit, both of which allegedly took place in October 2018, only days after he was appointed as the CJI. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Jaitley said: “In terms of personal decency, values, ethics and integrity, the present Chief Justice of India is extremely well regarded. Even when critics disagree with his judicial view, his value system has never been questioned. Lending shoulder to completely unverified allegations coming from a disgruntled person with a not-so-glorious track record is aiding the process of destabilisation of the institution of the Chief Justice of India. The minister further said that those who peddle falsehood to destroy the institution are not dealt with in an exemplary manner, this trend will only accelerate. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe incident of a junior ex-lady employee of the Supreme Court making harassment charges against the Chief Justice of India has acquired a disproportionate magnitude , Jaitley said. Such complaints, when they are made in the ordinary course of any administrative functioning, are referred to the appropriate Committee. However, when the complainant distributes copies of her representation to other Judges of the Supreme Court and the media in order to sensationalise her allegations, it ceases to be routine. When four digital media organisations with an unparalleled track record of institutional disruption’ send similar questionnaires to the Chief Justice of India, there is obviously something more than what meets the eye, the minister added. Jaitley regretted that last few years have witnessed the consolidation of institution destabilizers’ in a major way. For the institutional disruptors’ there are no red lines, he wrote. Many of these destabilizers represent Left or ultra-Left views. They have no electoral base or popular support. However, they still have a disproportionate presence in the media and academia. When ousted for mainstream media, they have taken refuge in the digital and social media Even though most of them subscribe to fringe ideologies and ideas, it is regrettable that a section of the Members of the Bar affiliated to the Congress Party tends to join them. Frequent attempts are made to get some Parliamentarians to sign Motion of Impeachment against judges and even the Chief Justice on unsustainable grounds. What has always puzzled me is the Congress lending support to such fringe campaigns , the minister said. Justice Gogoi was sworn in as the 46th Chief Justice of India on October 3, 2018. He retires on November 17, 2019. Jaitley said India has witnessed a series of attacks by the institution disruptors’ against judges who are unwilling to agree with them. It may not be an exaggeration to say that today both in Court and by creating an environment outside, a mass-intimidation of Judges is on, he said. Stating that reputation is an integral part of a person’s fundamental right to live with dignity, Jaitley said an intimidated judge can fear consequences of a possible view that he is taking.last_img read more

50 of Casablanca city dwellers suffer from Pollutionborne Diseases

first_imgSidi Ifni- According to the daily Al Akhbar newspaper, environmentalists are warning against the prevalent pollution in Casablanca. They are now tolling an alarm bell for the government to intervene.In addition to the notorious reputation that Casablanca has for its dirtiness, city dwellers are complaining about several pollution-borne diseases, such as asthma, eye allergies, Tuberculosis, and respiration problems.Casablanca does not only lack a solid infrastructure and good management, but it also threatens the city dwellers’ health. In an interview, Mohamed Benjelloun, an engineer and environment expert, stated that about 50 % of people living in Casablanca are diagnosed with health problems resulting from dirtiness, rubbish, fume emissions, and debris.“There is at least one sick person in every house in Casablanca. The disease is caused by atmosphere pollution and chemical emissions. If untreated, such health problems can cause much harm,” claims Benjelloun, as quoted by Al Akhbar.“Drinking water”, Benjelloun added, “is in jeopardy, particularly in the presence of trash inside rainwater canals.” Mismanagement and lack of inspection, the expert environmental engineer underscored, are behind the colossal polluted areas of this economic capital.“Treating rubbish and disposing [it] needs scientific studies in order to come up with comprehensive solutions to the pollution that grows more rampant every day in this city,” noted health expert Ghouti Al Aghdaf.According to Ghouti, high density has led the city dwellers to develop serious health problems.“Pollution also includes noise, hearing problems, and polluted air,” Ghouti added.Every year, the majority of the 28 thousand reported cases are found in Casablanca, reported the daily Al Akhbar.“Factories are to blame for what is befalling our city, “ Hicham Himdi, Casablanca resident, told MWN. In contrast, some environmental experts attribute the problem of pollution to the absence of strict laws and inspection committees that can limit the spread of this phenomenon. Others state that foreign factories aggravate the situation by evading fines through corruption. It is worth noting that King Mohamed VI has already drawn Moroccans’ attention in one of his speeches regarding the dirtiness and mismanagement of the economic capital of Morocco, Casablanca.last_img read more

ONCF Pledges to Improve Quality After Long Train Delays

Rabat – Morocco’s railways operator ONCF has pledged to improve quality after technical problems caused long delays.ONCF said in a statement that technical problems and construction work caused long delays in the arrival of trains and has vowed to implement an “immediate action plan” to improve the quality of its services.The company said that delays were caused by technical problems at the overhead cable system in the El Mansouria station on Wednesday May 12th, and that it is being renewed (progress rate 70 per cent). Disruptions were also due to the fact that part of the company’s fleet is being maintained and renovated in preparation for the summer period, in addition to construction work on the two existing tracks and overhead cable system on the Kenitra-Casablanca axis (progress rate: 65 per cent).Renovating signaling installation and improving security of the rail network (constructing footbridges and wall fences) also caused delays, the company added.Therefore, ONCF has promised to improve punctuality, comfort, availability of equipment and the flow of travelers. It also said it will not reduce the number of daily trains and will mobilize teams to conduct maintenance work during the night. read more

53magnitude Earthquake Strikes off Moroccos Mediterranean Coast

Rabat – A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck Saturday off the coasts of the northern cities of Al Hoceima and Nador, the National Geophysics Institute (CNRST) said. The quake occurred at 15h04 (GMT), the source added. Another quake of magnitude 5.1 was reported in the same region at 15h17.  MWN with MAP

Video France 24 Represents Footage of Venezuela as Al Hoceima Protests

Rabat – TV channel France 24 used a video of police repression in Venezuela to demonstrate the ongoing crisis in Al Hoceima during a program broadcast on July 11.Lawyer Mohamed Ziane was discussing the situation in the Rif when the clip was aired, showing Venezuelan police using tear gas on protesters.Over 80 people have died since recent clashes began between Nicolás Maduro’s government and protesters in the South American nation. In June, France 24 was criticized for using images of marches related to International Labor Day on May 1 during a program about the Al Hoceima crisis. read more

Morocco an Outperformer in the MENA Region BMI Research

Rabat – 2018 might be the comeback year of MENA’s economy, according to BMI Research, which predicts a recovery of the region’s GDP growth. For the firm, Morocco, “a long-term growth outperformer,” is evolving into a manufacturing and exporting hub between Europe and Africa. In its latest economic analysis report, BMI, a research firm that provides macroeconomic, industry and financial market analysis, delivers its economic outlook for the MENA in 2018. According to the firm, the recovery of oil prices, as well as stabilising output in oil-exporting economies will boost real GDP growth in the MENA region, while “the positive impact of structural reforms will boost growth in several major oil importers.” READ ALSO: Morocco to Surpass Egypt as North Africa’s Largest Automotive MarketHowever, BMI is still apprehensive of the political unrest in the region, stating that it “risks weighting on investor sentiment,” limiting the acceleration of growth.“Oil exporters will benefit from robust gains in prices,” reveals BMI, due to the favorable forecasts of Brent oil prices, expected to increase from USD 54.8 per barrel in 2017, to USD 65.0 per barrel in 2018, explains the firm.READ ALSO: Morocco Will Continue to Increase Public Investment and Decrease DeficitAs for oil-importing countries, the firm believes that “progress on structural reforms and overall improving political stability will drive economic activity.” BMI hols a “more favourable outlook” for economies with reform-minded governments, “such as Egypt and Morocco.” While the firm forecast real GDP growth to slow to 3.8 percent in Morocco in 2018, down from 4.3 percent in 2017, “the economy will remain one of our long-term growth outperformers, a view which is underpinned by relative political stability and a favourable business environment, enabling the country’s transformation towards a manufacturing and exporting hub between Europe and Africa.”Despite this optimistic outlook for the region overall, BMI “do not expect a dramatic acceleration in economic activity.” The firm forecasts real GDP growth of 3 percent for the MENA region in 2018, up from an estimated 2.6 percent in 2017. For BMI, lower oil prices will continue to weigh on the pace of growth in oil-exporting economies, especially as diversification plans take time to yield results.READ ALSO: From Oil Crisis to Rampant Inflation: How Poor Management Led Algeria to Near BankruptcyIn this sense, BMI presents Algeria as an example, stating that “gains in oil prices won’t be sufficient to result in accelerating GDP growth.” According to the firm, “the Algerian government was slow to react to the slump in oil prices since 2014, which resulted in surging budget deficits in recent years.”“This has forced the government to ramp up fiscal consolidation measures in the second half of 2017, and we believe that it will continue to take a toll on consumer spending in 2018.”On the oil side, BMI believes that Algeria has limited capacity to increase production given maturing fields and insufficient investment in exploration; therefore reducing incentives to reduce compliance with the OPEC-stipulated cuts. “As such, we forecast growth to slow in 2018,” concludes the report. read more

UN Morocco Renews its Commitment to Palestine

Rabat – Morocco’s foreign affairs minister Nasser Bourita participated in the annual coordination meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday.At the meeting, the minister discussed King Mohammed VI’s “great efforts” to defend Jerusalem and the cause of the Palestinian people.Nasser Bourita told OIC foreign ministers, on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly, that Morocco will spare no efforts to “continue its action with its brothers and sisters in the Islamic world to defend the just cause of the Palestinian people and achieve lasting peace for the peoples of the region.” According to Bourita, the efforts of King Mohammed VI to defend Jerusalem are “part of Morocco’s commitment to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.”He said that the efforts are both “in terms of diplomatic action with the leaders of the major powers and the international community and at the economic level through the activities of the Beit Mal Al Quds Agency and its development programs aimed at supporting the Holy City.”The North African country was among the first countries that condemned the US move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the relocation of the US embassy to the city.In June, King Mohammed VI addressed a message to the participants of the 5th International Conference on Al-Quds.In his message, read by Bourita, the King said Morocco had “immediately rejected [the US move] and considered it to be incompatible with international law and with the relevant Security Council resolutions.”He also recalled the letters he sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US President Donald Trump on the dangers of the embassy move.“In my letters, I emphasized that any modification of the legal, political or historical status of Jerusalem would have serious repercussions on peace in the region,” said the monarch.On Friday, September 28, Bourita reiterated that Morocco remains convinced of the need to “explore the international consensus rejecting the latest critical developments in the Palestinian question through new wise and realistic actions in collaboration with all international partners and influential forces.”He also called on the OIC member states to take their responsibility “seriously to face the new challenges and defend Palestinian law as well as the legal statutes of the Holy City of Jerusalem.” read more

King Mohammed VI Foreign Investors Must Share Professional Expertise

Rabat- King Mohammed VI has said that foreigners wishing to invest in the Moroccan health sector must share their expertise with Moroccan youth to help them benefit their country.On Friday, during a speech at Parliament for the opening of the new legislative year, King Mohammed VI proposed a win-win solution to create more job opportunities for Moroccan youth.The King addressed the possibility of “opening some sectors and jobs which are currently unlicensed for foreigners in the health sector,” with the condition that they share their professional expertise to benefit the country’s youth and increase employment opportunities in all sectors. The King noted that some international healthcare experts have expressed a growing interest in investing in Morocco.Regarding Morocco’s brain drain, the monarch stated that “there are tempting incentives which induce some students to remain abroad after completing their studies.” The new initiative aims to improve the quality of services and make Morocco  more competitive to highly qualified Moroccan youth who might not return to the country otherwise.This initiative is another example of the government’s efforts to ensure equal job opportunities, increase youth integration and lower the unemployment rate. The King stated that the “employment of youth is at the heart” of the country’s interests. The monarch stressed the importance of “establishing a link between vocational training programs and general education courses within a unified, integrated system,” and providing a balanced ground between theoretical and practical training.“Vocational training is a powerful lever for employment, provided it receives the attention it deserves and so long as it is given a new status as well as a broader scope,” the King said.Morocco’s ailing healthcare system has driven many qualified doctors and physicians to emigrate to foreign countries.Read Also: King Mohammed VI Speech at Fall Legislative Session October 12Many Moroccan doctors point to poor working conditions, inadequate pay, and under-equipped hospitals as reasons that they would rather leave. Instead of facing such prospects, Moroccan medical professionals are increasingly choosing to remain abroad, even though the nation is in dire need of medical services.On October 1, Morocco’s Independent Union of Public Sector Doctors published a statement condemning the “critical” situation of the health sector in the country, including the lack of appropriate infrastructure.The union also denounced health center closures, which deprives the public of services, as well as the minimal amount that the government’s budget allots to the health sector, “which falls within 5 percent.”The statement emphasized that at least 10 percent of the government budget should be spent on health in accordance with the World Health Organization’s recommendations. read more

CAN 2019 Renard Preparing List of Footballers to Play in Qualifiers

Rabat – Herve Renard is expected to soon release a list of 36 Atlas Lions who will take part in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN).According to Moroccan newspaper Al Ahdath Al Maghribia, the head coach of Morocco’s national football team will select most of the football players who participated in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.The newspaper added that Renard might call on some players who are part of the Moroccan league or Botola, including the stars of the Wydad club of Casablanca: Reda Tagnaouti, Mohamed Nahiri, and Ismail EL Haddad. The newspaper noted that some of Raja of Casablanca’s footballers might also be found in Renard’s list, including Badr Banoun.The first qualifier game for the Atlas Lions will be against Malawi on September 7.Morocco will play against Comoros on October 10 and 13. Morocco will then play against Cameroon on November 16 and a second game against Malawi on March 22, 2019.The Atlas Lions will also play a friendly game against Tunisia on November 20.Despite receiving applause for their notable performance in the 2018 World Cup, Morocco dropped five places in FIFA’s latest rankings. Morocco’s national team is now ranked 46th in the world. read more