Darryl Sutter supports Keystone XL pipeline

The LA Kings are heading to the White House today to receive congratulations from President Barack Obama for being the 2012 Stanley Cup champions.

The Globe and Mail writes,

Darryl Sutter – who is also the owner of a 3,000-acre ranch near Viking, Alta. – plans to weigh in on the pipeline debate when Barack Obama plays host to the reigning Stanley Cup champions on Tuesday.
“I’m gonna ask him about it – damn rights I am,” said Mr. Sutter.

Mr. Sutter might just be the first to use the Stanley Cup as a means of voicing his opinion.
For the record, the Alberta-born Mr. Sutter is in favour of the pipeline.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s 20 feet underground. How can we not want to keep North America [energy self-sufficient]? Why does the border have to separate that? It doesn’t make sense. For sure, I’m going to ask him.”

Sutter isn’t the first Stanley Cup champion to weigh in on pipeline politics. Last May, from the Globe and Mail:

His time on the ice yielded four Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, and a reputation as a champion. Now Scott Niedermayer is hoping his winning ways will carry over into a different arena – environmental activism.
Mr. Niedermayer, who retired from the National Hockey League in June, 2010, after 18 seasons, has joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund and Coastal First Nations to oppose Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway project.

For their part, the Prime Minister’s Office is pleased by this morning’s reports of Darryl Sutter raising the issue with Obama. They wasted no time in firing off some talking points to their MPs and to journalists,

Darryl Sutter Shows Thomas Mulcair How to Represent Canada on the World Stage
When Stanley Cup champion Darryl Sutter takes his Los Angeles Kings to meet President Obama today, he has vowed to deliver a message to the President – approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Darryl Sutter said he “absolutely” supports the Keystone XL Pipeline and that opposition to it “doesn’t make sense”.
Darryl Sutter’s decision to stand up for Canada when meeting with President Obama later today stands in sharp contrast to the actions of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair who recently attacked the pro-Canadian Keystone XL Pipeline and Canada’s national interest on a trip to Washington D.C.
Thomas Mulcair’s betrayal of Canada’s national interests on the world stage drew fire from Canadian leaders including Premier Wall, Premier Redford, and media from coast to coast.
Our Conservative Government applauds and thanks Darryl Sutter for his efforts to promote Canada’s national interests and Canadian jobs on the world stage. We can only hope that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is paying attention.
When it comes to the Keystone XL Pipeline, Thomas Mulcair needs to start listening to Darryl Sutter and stop listening to Daryl Hannah.

Reaction to the 2013 federal budget

National Citizens Coalition:

Last year, the government took on entitlement spending reform in addressing Old Age Security,” says Stephen Taylor, Director of the National Citizens Coalition. “This budget misses similar opportunities to restructure entitlement disbursement. For example, the government has largely backed off Employment Insurance reform and has reversed itself on many reform initiatives since last year. The current trend on entitlement spending remains unsustainable

Canadian Taxpayers Federation

[CTF] applauds the government’s plans to overhaul job training and keep a lid on spending … It’s good to see Ottawa getting training money directly in the hands of young workers so they can land a good-paying job.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

“Overall, this is a good budget for small business. Minister Flaherty has done a solid job by remaining on course to eliminate the deficit while announcing some important measures for Canada’s entrepreneurs. We’re particularly pleased the government publicly acknowledged taking some of these measures – such as the expansion of the EI Hiring Credit – at the recommendation of CFIB’s 109,000 members.”

Merit Canada:

“We welcome the government’s emphasis on the promotion of skilled trades, and their commitment to addressing the troubling gap in our economy’s labour force needs” said Terrance Oakey, President of Merit Canada. “As the centrepiece of today’s budget, initiatives like the Canada Job Grant respond to the needs of both employers and employees alike and will help Canada’s economy grow by ensuring Canadians have the appropriate skills to fill a growing number of trade positions,” continued Oakey.

Funeral Service Association of Canada

Today the Funeral Service Association of Canada (FSAC) congratulates the Federal Government on their decision to increase support for the Last Post Fund. The new budget proposes $65 million over two years to enhance the Funeral and Burial Program and by more than doubling the current funeral services compensation rate from $3,600 to $7,376.

The Forest Products Association of Canada

The “Jobs, Growth and Prosperity” budget from the Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, includes an additional $92 million over two years to support innovation and expanding markets. “We applaud the government for its continuing support for the forest products sector even at a time when tough measures are needed to reduce the deficit.” says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. “This is a strategic future-oriented decision that demonstrates ongoing commitment to the transformation of the industry.”

Canadian Home Builders Association

“This is a fiscally prudent, forward-looking budget,” said CHBA President Deep Shergill of Calgary. “We congratulate Minister Flaherty for setting the right priorities.” The federal government’s leadership in providing additional long-term infrastructure financing to municipalities is very welcome. “It’s an opportunity to restore fiscal integrity at the municipal level and fairness for younger generations. At present, many municipalities are financing community infrastructure by transferring the costs into the mortgages of new home buyers, amounting to more than $5 billion a year. “

Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Budget 2013 addresses the tax burden, labour shortages and red tape, which are three key concerns of restaurant operators. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) congratulates the government for appropriately focusing fiscal evasion measures on the “underground” economy instead of the “above-ground” economy. Following Quebec’s lead to implement sales recording modules or “black boxes” on cash registers would have created a significant cost and administrative burden for restaurants and retailers. … However, CRFA is concerned about measures that will make the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program more costly, cumbersome and difficult to access.

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters

“The federal budget sends an important signal. It positions manufacturing and exporting at the heart of Canada’s Economic Action Plan by focusing on practical steps that will enhance competitiveness, productivity, innovation, and business growth … This is very good news for companies creating jobs in Canada, investing in our communities, and developing and selling world-class products and services around the world.”

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“The measures announced in today’s budget are a significant step forward in the federal government’s attack on Canada’s skills challenge.”

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“Today’s budget delivers significant gains for Canada’s cities and communities. We applaud the government for choosing to continue moving our communities forward even as it meets its immediate fiscal challenges. This is … a budget that delivers real gains for Canadians … it will spur growth and job creation while laying the foundation for a more competitive economy.”

Public Service Alliance of Canada

Folding CIDA into DFAIT commercializes international development and threatens further cuts to public service workforce.

Certified General Accountants Association of Canada

“The government delivered a responsible budget for uncertain times … We welcome this skills training initiative. In creating the Job Grant fund, the federal government has shown leadership in addressing the growing skills gap. We encourage provinces to support it. All should benefit – employers, workers and governments.”