Recently the ECLS has further expanded the Programme to include more women and some non-Agriculture areas, including warehousing and culinary opportunities in Quebec, Canada. In 2022 over 40 OECS women joined the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and worked on farms in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia.
In that regard, we note the recent press reports about alleged challenges faced by women participating in the programme on a farm in Nova Scotia. This matter is currently being investigated by the Canadian authorities. The outcome of due process would be communicated at the appropriate time.
The impact of the OECS farm worker’s employment in the past few years has been significant, despite the challenges of the pandemic. During that time the ECLS was successful in mobilizing 3 charter flights in 2020 and 4 charter flights in 2021 – to facilitate the airlift of hundreds of farm workers to fulfill their employment contracts, in Canada when commercial flights were disrupted. These efforts resulted in workers completing their contracts and earning over 37 million Eastern Caribbean dollars in wages per annum, most of that returning to local OECS economies in the form of remittances.