Canada town votes against having a Muslim cemetery


The referendum was held on Sunday in Saint-Apollinaire, a town of about 5,000 located just outside Quebec City.

Provincial rules meant only 49 people were eligible to vote; the nays won 19-16 and one ballot was rejected.

The cemetery was proposed by the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre, which was the site of a shooting that killed six people and injured 19 in January.

“We never thought people could oppose the installation of a cemetery,” the centre’s president Mohamed Labidi told Radio-Canada. “What are they afraid of?”

The Islamic cultural centre had purchased a plot of land in a wooded area next to an existing cemetery after the shooting. The only Muslim cemetery in Quebec is in Laval, hours from Quebec City.

The town’s decision to oppose the cemetery has led to an outcry amongst Muslims and civil-rights advocates across the country and may lead to a human rights complaint, Mr Labidi said.

The mayor of the town supported the cemetery and has said he fears his town’s reputation has been hurt.

“They do not know these people so they base their decisions on hearsay,” Mayor Bernard Ouellet told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Opponents went door to door to gather signatures to call for the referendum, since building the cemetery would require a minor zoning change. A provincial law allows referendums to be held on zoning matters, with only people who live in the affected area eligible to vote.

  • Quebec uproar over proposed Muslim community

That meant only 49 people in a town of 5,000 were eligible to vote, and only 36 people cast ballots.

“We need cemeteries that welcome everybody, no matter their religion, where they are from, their skin colour, their culture. You have to think about that because in 20 years it is going to be a problem,” opponent Sunny Létourneau told the CBC.

She says she only supports non-denominational cemeteries.


Canada: Workers find live British cannonball in Quebec

A worker poses beside the cannonball in Quebec

Builders in the old part of the Canadian city of Quebec have unearthed a live cannonball fired by the British during a siege in 1759.

They posed for photos with the large, 90kg (200lb) projectile, unaware that it was still potentially explosive.

Army bomb disposal experts later collected the device, saying there was still a danger, CBC reports.

The British besieged Quebec while fighting the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

The cannonball in QuebecImage copyrightLAFONTAINE INC

Quebec City archaeologist Serge Rouleau, who examined the munition before the army and noticed that it still contained a charge, said it was more an incendiary bomb than a cannonball, Le Soleil news site (in French) reports.

He had taken it home after the builders’ firm, Lafontaine Inc, contacted the municipal authorities.

“The ball would break and the powder would ignite, setting fire to the building,” Master Warrant Officer Sylvain Trudel, a senior munitions technician, was quoted by CBC as saying.

Workers pose beside the cannonball in QuebecImage copyrightLAFONTAINE INC

“With time, humidity got into its interior and reduced its potential for exploding, but there’s still a danger,” he added.

“Old munitions like this are hard to predict. You never know to what point the chemicals inside have degraded.”

BBC map

The cannonball is now at a safe site and will either be disarmed or destroyed if necessary, CBC says.

It is believed it was fired at Quebec City from Levis, across the St Lawrence River, the broadcaster adds.

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, part of the Seven Years’ War, ended in victory for the British, and was a major milestone towards the end of French rule in what is now Canada.


Ceta talks: EU vows to unblock Canada trade deal

Canada's Chrystia Freeland and Martin Schulz and speaking at the European parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 22 October 2016

The European Parliament president says he is optimistic that a free-trade deal between the EU and Canada can be signed soon despite last-minute obstacles.

Objections by a Belgian region, which opposes the deal, “are for us Europeans to solve”, Martin Schulz said.

He was speaking after meetings in Brussels with Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and the head of Belgium’s Wallonia region.

Ms Freeland said: “It’s time for Europe to finish doing its job.”

After seven years of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta), talks broke down on Friday.

Ceta dispute bedevils EU summit

This followed a rejection of the deal by Wallonia. Exercising its right under the Belgian federal constitution, it called for clarity on safeguards to protect labour, environmental and consumer standards.

The deadlock has called into question the EU’s ability to make trade deals. All 28 EU member states support the agreement, which was to be signed next week.

On Saturday Mr Schultz held meetings with Paul Magnette, the head of the Walloon government, and Mrs Freeland.

Afterwards he told reporters that the emergency talks have given him “much reason for optimism about the positive conclusion of Ceta as soon as possible.”

He added: “I am convinced that, by fully addressing the last remaining concerns, we can turn the apparent European division on Ceta (…) into a victory for every participant.”

“The ball is in Europe’s court,” Ms Freeland said. “We hope that it is possible to find a solution.”

What is Ceta?

Canada and the EU would eliminate 98% of tariffs under Ceta, which was negotiated over five years between 2009 and 2014.

Supporters say this would increase trade between them by 20%.

Critics argue that the deal lowers product standards and protects big business, allowing corporations to sue governments.

European Parliament briefing on Ceta

The Ceta trade deal in numbers


The number of tariffs between the EU and Canada that would be eliminated

€500 million

The estimated amount that EU exporters would save in duties annually

  • 3.6m The population of Wallonia
  • 36.3m The population of Canada
  • 508m The population of the EU

Why does success hinge on one small region?

Wallonia is a region of just 3.6 million people. The EU as a whole has a population of 508 million while there are 36.3 million Canadians.

Walloon Minister President Paul Magnette (C) leaving the Walloon parliament in Namur, Belgium, 21 October 2016Image copyrightEPA
Image captionPaul Magnette (C) leads Wallonia’s opposition to the deal

Belgium’s constitution stipulates that each of its regional governments must back the deal before the federal government can sign it.

Wallonia has remained opposed to Ceta, seeing it as a threat to farmers and welfare standards.

The French-speaking region has a strong socialist tradition. Its fears echo those of anti-globalisation activists, who say Ceta and deals like it give too much power to multinationals.

There have also been big demonstrations in several EU countries against Ceta and the TTIP trade talks between the EU and the US.

How big a deal is this for Canada?

The deal was completed under the former Conservative government but is a major priority for the Liberals, who are under pressure to boost the country’s economy, the BBC’s Canada editor Jessica Murphy writes.

They dispatched special envoy Pierre Pettigrew, a former cabinet minister with a wealth of experience in international trade, to help save the flagging agreement.

Federal Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has repeatedly met European leaders in recent months to shepherd it through.

On Friday, she said agreement now seemed “impossible”.

How does the EU look now?

The failure to clinch the EU-Canada Ceta deal is an embarrassment, writes Laurence Peter, the BBC website’s EU analyst.

The European Commission insists Ceta is not over but it also refuses to unpick the massive text.

Chances of any EU free trade deals with the US, China or India now look remote. Anti-globalisation groups, anxious to protect Europe’s welfare and environmental standards, may feel they are winning the argument.

For now, any Ceta boost for small businesses and jobs has been postponed.

Are there lessons for Brexit?

A very obvious one is that it is going to be difficult for the EU to implement trade and investment deals, perhaps with anyone, writes Andrew Walker, the BBC’s economics correspondent.

For the UK post-Brexit, it suggests two contrasting implications:

  • Negotiating a trade agreement that gives British exporters barrier free access to the EU’s single market could be a huge challenge. For sure, there will be some important differences. For the EU, Britain is a more important export market than Canada, so some EU states will have a good deal to lose from failing to agree. But securing the agreement of all of them is unlikely to be straightforward
  • On the other hand, negotiating an agreement with other countries outside the EU should become easier. To put it bluntly, the British government will not need to care what the Walloon parliament, for example, thinks


Bing Ads bolsters Keyword Planner targeting and rolls out access to the UK, Canada & Australia


Many paid search marketers will be pleasantly surprised the next time they go to perform keyword research in Bing Ads. First, those in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia will now have access to Keyword Planner. Second, Keyword Planner will have an additional targeting feature to help users find keyword suggestions based on product categories.

Keyword Planner was launched last year and was only available for folks within the United States. Now those in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia will find Keyword Planner under the “Tools” element in their accounts. Users will also have the ability to show targeting options such as cities, states/provinces and will pull historical search statistics across all of these locations. Stats include average monthly searches, competition, suggested bids, ad impression share and traffic estimates.


With this new change, the Campaign Planner tool will be removed from the Tools tab, as it is being replaced by Keyword Planner.

The enhancement to suggesting keywords within Keyword Planner lets users source keywords based on their products, a landing page or a product category. Any (or all) of these fields can be used to help dig up pertinent terms that are directly relevant to your business. The product category field features high-level categories, along with more granular categories, to help find the best terms.


These changes are now live within the Tools tab in Bing Ads, so give it a whirl today. For more information, see the official blog post from Bing.


[source :-searchengineland]