Time to send a ‘personal’ email to your MP on the MLSE veto issue (article 4.3 of the NHL Constitution)

For the bullet summary, please go here.

 We will be posting comments from MP’s of Canada related to Canadian rights, and the Competition Act

It's time to support Canadian Hockey once again!

It's time to support Canadian Hockey once again!

 

 

This is what our elected officials ‘live for’…..

 To serve the people. Give your local MP a chance to stand up for your voice in Parliament!

We had discussed the idea of using a form letter, but a personally worded letter stating how you feel is always more effective. MP’s will be comparing notes.

Thanks to Corey Schlueter and Bryan Kirkham for their efforts to bring us this information!

  

 

 

 

 Canada

 Click Here to see the list of MP’s to find yours!

Key points to include in your email:

  • Veto rights that Toronto Maple Leafs and MLSE  ‘think’ they have
  • Competition Act and the new issue included to stop the ‘Conspiracy to avoid Competition’, and to fix prices and supply
  • Mention Jim Balsillie and his group, PSE
  • Mention Sheila Copps and her current support and drive to get answers in Parliament
  • Urge your constituent to speak to the press and encourage them to set up press conferences to address this issue
  • Thank your representative for their support
  • Ask them to get back to you personally with a progress report
  • Ask them to brush up on the case by visiting http://haveavoice.makeitseven.ca/rants, and http://makeiteighteh.com, and other mainstream media and blogs.

Alternatively, use one of the emails already sent in the comments below, and change the contents to suit you.

It’s time to help our ‘Braveheart’, Jim Balsillie, and stand united for hockey rights in Canada.

Please make comments in this post below, when you send, and any information you get back! Post your letter if you choose!

Here is a sample letter (courtesy Patrick Romanoski):

Hello Ms. Charlton,

My name is Patrick Romanoski.

Living on Hamilton Mountain, you are my MP.

Ms. Charlton, I need you to work along with the efforts of Sheila Copps, who is looking for answers to the question of illegal veto rights as it infringes on the laws of Canada, and specifically how it applies to the Competition Act.

Section 4.3 of the NHL constitution grants each team exclusive control over its “home territory,” stating that, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent. No franchise shall be granted for a home territory within the home territory of a member, without the written consent of such a membership” Since the Coyotes franchise is not “GRANTED” by the NHL, this point is moot, it will be purchased!

The previous section stating, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent.” stands on its own. Thus this section is illegal & a pure case of restraint of trade!!!

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a lawyer send a letter to the NHL in 2006, which in essence stated clearly that any team that wants to enter the territory of another must have “unanimous” support of all teams. In other words, MLSE thinks they can stop the locating of a team in Hamilton, as they say it would infringe on their territory.

Jim Balsillie and PSE are looking to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton. If successful in the auction, his company will continue to meet resisitance from MLSE.

According to the Competition Act, any company or companies conspiring to restrict a product or supply of a product could be guilty of a criminal offence. Changes were proposed in March 2009 to effect potential jail time as much as 14 years imprisonment and fines as high as $25 million per occurence.

In a previous review the competition bureau was deliberately misled by the NHL by witholding this letter. Their responses to questioning was therefore not the whole truth and resulted in no wrongdoing being discovered.

This fact added to the facts uncovered in the PSE purchase attempt to move a team to Hamilton suggests a new review under oath is required.

Ms. Charlton, if you could provide clarification on the new changes too, that would be appreciated.

If you would be so kind, please acknowledge receipt of this email, and send progress reports on your efforts.

Thanking you for your representation and help in this matter,

Yours truly,

Patrick

Or, alternatively, Corey Schlueter came up with a terrific one too:

Dear Dr. Albrecht,

I am sure you are aware Jim Balsillie as PSE has made an offer to purchase an NHL team through the US bankruptcy system. While this issue at first seems trivial and of no concern to the Government of Canada; I must assure you that is not the case.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a lawyer send a letter to the NHL in 2006, which in essence stated clearly that any team that wants to enter the territory of another must have “unanimous” support of all teams. In other words, the Leafs think they can stop the locating of a team in Hamilton, as they say it would infringe on their territory.

According to the Competition Act, any company or companies conspiring to restrict a product or supply of a product could be guilty of a criminal offence. Changes were proposed in March 2009, where potential jail time as much as 14 years imprisonment, and fines as high as $25 million per occurrence.

In a previous review the competition bureau was deliberately misled by the NHL by withholding this letter. Their responses to questioning was therefore not the whole truth and resulted in no wrongdoing being discovered.

This fact added to the facts uncovered in the PSE purchase attempt to move a team to Hamilton suggests a new review under oath is required.

As you can see the issue has become extremely important. MLSE and the NHL wish to protect their market share contrary to the law. Also by blocking this move the NHL is costing Ontario thousands of possible new jobs and the revitalization of Hamilton.

As my MP I am sure this issue is of great concern to you as well and I look forward to your representation in this matter.

Sincerely,
Corey Schlueter

 

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49 responses to “Time to send a ‘personal’ email to your MP on the MLSE veto issue (article 4.3 of the NHL Constitution)

  1. benefitsontario

    Hello Mr. Sweet,

    My name is Craig Ferguson.

    I run the website, http://makeiteighteh.com in support of bringing more NHL hockey to deserving parts of Canada, and in particular at this time, Hamilton, Ontario.

    Living in Waterdown, you are my MP.

    Mr. Sweet, I need you to work along with the efforts of Sheila Copps, who is looking for answers to the question of illegal veto rights as it infringes on the laws of Canada, and specifically how it applies to the Competition Act.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs had a lawyer send a letter to the NHL in 2006, which in essence stated clearly that any team that wants to enter the territory of another must have “unanimous” support of all teams. In other words, the Leafs think they can stop the locating of a team in Hamilton, as they say it would infringe on their territory.

    Jim Balsillie and PSE are looking to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton. If successful in the auction, his company might meet resisitance from MLSE.

    According to the Competition Act, any company or companies conspiring to restrict a product or supply of a product could be guilty of a criminal offence. Changes were proposed in March 2009 to effect potential jail time as much as 14 years imprisonment and fines as high as $25 million per occurence.

    Mr. Sweet, if you could provide clarification on the new changes too, that would be appreciated.

    You can obtain more information by visiting http://haveavoice.makeitseven.ca/rants, and http://makeiteighteh.com, and other mainstream media and blogs.

    If you would be so kind, please acknowledge receipt of this email, and send progress reports on your efforts.

    Thanking you for your representation and help in this matter,

    Yours truly,

    Craig Ferguson

  2. Evening Jeff99 etal:

    Nice to see the continued interest, and happy to answer your questions, as best I can, Please remember my knowledge only comes from the Execs we do business with (my Company has as clients the Owners of some 7 teams, so I hear a fair amount. Plus AEG is both a Client, and Execs are friends, as I’m LA-based, and our Luxury Box at Staples is next to theirs). So feel free to evaluate as you wish; I believe they are sharing their honest views, but clearly there may be bias and self-interest involved.

    1. I get the clear impression that the BoG IS still “supremely confident” they will win, BUT that they are preparing for ANY eventuality, and want to be set for any eventuality, This is NOT simply about the Coyotes, in their view, but a threat to their entire Business, and ability to operate. Obviously some may interpret their actions as a sign of nervousness or even desperation, but I have personally seen or heard no evidence of that.

    2. Your thoughts about the BoG accepting an expansion fee from Mr. Balsillie may have been true previously, BUT I have a very difficult time envisioning it now. His actions during this entire debacle have caused ENORMOUS animosity. And once the BoG Members learned that Mr. Balsillie had TWICE precipitated Anti-Trust Investigations of the League, resulting in the expenditure of considerable time and money, positions REALLY hardened. Finally, during this whole saga, Mr. Balsillie managed to turn two of his best allies (Mr. Gillett and Mr. Melnyk) into two of his most fervent adversaries. Add to that the feelings of AEG, MLSE, Jeremy Jacobs and Comcast, and the only way i can envision Mr. Balsillie getting a team is by paying a few hundred million EXTRA, to assuage some of the anger. Just my view, of course.

    3. They have a contingency plan in place., which is already agreed to, from what I’ve been told. The clause only promising to remain in Phoenix one year is a means of “holding Glendale’s feet to the fire” in order to get the desired Lease Modifications. Despite the claims of some Members, the Lawyers involved in this case, on behalf of the BoG, are highly regarded, and have prepared fairly well. Plus the NFL and NBA have lent legal assistance as well.

    4. The NHLPA has no position on this matter to date. The current CBA allows them NO INPUT. Plus the Players are fairly split; many like playing in Sunbelt Cities, where they make salaries equal to other Players, but have very little pressure, and no one bothers them. Others feel differently. The currently scheduled NHLPA meeting will be a confrontation, wherein Players from a faction let by Eric Lindros claim that Mr. Kelly is :”too close” to League Officials. But that is an NHLPA issue; the current Contract (CBA) gives them no rights on these matters. Obviously there will likely be some demands during the next CBA negotiations.

    Hope this helps. Have a good night all.

    This guy posts alot if info………maybe he knows……..maybe he doesnt!

  3. Hello Ms. Charlton,

    My name is Patrick Romanoski.

    Living on Hamilton Mountain, you are my MP.

    Ms. Charlton, I need you to work along with the efforts of Sheila Copps, who is looking for answers to the question of illegal veto rights as it infringes on the laws of Canada, and specifically how it applies to the Competition Act.

    Section 4.3 of the NHL constitution grants each team exclusive control over its “home territory,” stating that, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent. No franchise shall be granted for a home territory within the home territory of a member, without the written consent of such a membership” Since the Coyotes franchise is not “GRANTED” by the NHL, this point is moot, it will be purchased!

    The previous section stating, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent.” stands on its own. Thus this section is illegal & a pure case of restraint of trade!!!

    The Toronto Maple Leafs had a lawyer send a letter to the NHL in 2006, which in essence stated clearly that any team that wants to enter the territory of another must have “unanimous” support of all teams. In other words, MLSE thinks they can stop the locating of a team in Hamilton, as they say it would infringe on their territory.

    Jim Balsillie and PSE are looking to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton. If successful in the auction, his company will continue to meet resisitance from MLSE.

    According to the Competition Act, any company or companies conspiring to restrict a product or supply of a product could be guilty of a criminal offence. Changes were proposed in March 2009 to effect potential jail time as much as 14 years imprisonment and fines as high as $25 million per occurence.

    Ms. Charlton, if you could provide clarification on the new changes too, that would be appreciated.

    If you would be so kind, please acknowledge receipt of this email, and send progress reports on your efforts.

    Thanking you for your representation and help in this matter,

    Yours truly,

    Patrick Romanoski

    • RE: Illegal restraint of trade by Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment‏
      From: CharlC@parl.gc.ca
      Sent: September 8, 2009 11:05:11 AM
      To: pgoleaf@hotmail.com

      Dear Mr. Romanoski,

      Thank you for your email regarding Jim Balsillie’s efforts to bring an NHL team to Hamilton.

      I considered the points you raised in your email earlier this year when Mr. Balsillie first made public his offer to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and bring them to Hamilton. Like you, I was interested in knowing whether the League was in violation of the Competition Act, and if there was a piece of legislation that could be drafted to assist Mr. Balsillie in his efforts.

      What I discovered was that since 1975, the Competition Act has contained a special conspiracy offence for agreements and arrangements which limit competition in professional sports.

      The special offence applies to agreements and arrangements between or among teams and clubs engaged in professional sport as members of the same league and between or among directors, officers or employees of those teams and clubs. Two types of agreements or arrangements are included in the offence: those that restrict the employment of individual athletes; and those related to the “granting and operation of franchises in the league.”

      The offence also includes two factors that the courts must consider in determining whether the agreement or the arrangement is a conspiracy: a) whether the sport is an international league and, if so, whether any limitations, terms or conditions should be accepted in Canada; and b) the desirability of maintaining a reasonable balance among the teams or clubs participating in the same league.

      Case law in respect of the special professional sport conspiracy provision has not examined the anti-competitive effect of agreements and arrangements related to the granting and operation of franchises in a league.

      That being said, the Nation Hockey League also has rules and by-laws which could restrict the ability to move the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton.

      Article 4.3 of the NHL Constitution grants each member team veto power over the relocation of a competitive team within its “home territory.” According to article 4.1 of the NHL Constitution: “Each Member Club shall have exclusive territorial rights in the city [in] which it is located and within fifty miles of that city’s corporate limits.” The distance between Air Canada Centre, where the Leafs play, and downtown Hamilton is approximately 41 miles; consequently, the Leafs have veto power to prevent the relocation. Article 4.2 of the NHL Constitution prevents the addition of a new team to the League without the consent of three-fourths of all members of the League. Finally, section 36 of the NHL By-Laws requires an application for relocation to be filed no later than the 1st of January of the year prior to the year in which the club proposes it will commence its first season in the new location.

      All of these rules may be considered anti-competitive, but could be allowed by Canadian courts due to the “desirability of maintaining a reasonable balance among the teams or clubs participating in the same league,” as stated in paragraph 48(2)(b) of the Competition Act.

      I am quite certain the Mr. Balsillie and his team of legal experts will consider all of these provisions as they pursue the dream of bringing an NHL team to Hamilton.

      Thank you again for getting in touch.

      Chris Charlton, MP

      Hamilton Mountain

      • My Reply:

        Macaluso open letter to Balsillie Team
        Posted on September 05 2009

        Dear Mr. Walker,

        As the former CEO of Copps (HECFI) 1989-2005, I have been following Mr Balsillie’s bid with the outmost of interest and wish him nothing but success. I know first hand, having been involved with several past attempts to land a relocation/expansion team for Hamilton, that Toronto always reared its ugly head with threats of a veto. Here are some examples:

        1) Met with Cliff Fletcher, who was with the Calgary Flames, at the Omni Hotel in Detroit. Present with me was Jerry Patterson. Cliff told us straight out that it was going to be a huge uphill battle for Hamilton to obtain an expansion franchise as the Toronto Maple Leafs had a “Veto” vote.

        2) Met with Barry Shenkarow, owner of Winnipeg Jets, at his office in Winnipeg. Present with me were the Mayor and Harrah’s Casino’s potential buyer of the Jets. Mr Shenkarow was forthright in his statement to us. He said that he would be wasting his time dealing with selling the team to Hamilton’s prospective owner because the Leafs had made it very clear to him that they would use their veto against any attempt to sell the team to a potential Hamilton owner. Although our prospective owner had a check in amount of $75,000,000 on his person and in fact showed it to Mr Shenkarow. Mr Shenkarow reacted angrily and stated that the dollar amount was not the issue, Toronto’s NHL constitutional right of a veto, was.

        3) Met with Marcel Aubut, who was the owner of the Quebec Nordiques in Quebec City at the Colisee. Present with me was Jerry Patterson and Frank DeNardis. Mr Aubut made it clear to us that he could not accept the offer of $75,000,000 from Harrah’s Casino, for the purchase of the Nordiques(although he stated he wanted to badly) because the NHL had their hands tied due to Toronto’s insistence that they would exercise their veto vote.

        4) Met with Peter Pocklington in Hamilton and Edmonton and was informed and also given a copy of the NHL constitution and pointed out the article dealing with the veto power a team had with regards to a team locating within their 50 mile territory. Mr Pocklington was adamant that he could challenge the Leafs and the NHL via a complaint to the Competition Bureau and win. I met with his lawyers (Cassels Brock) who were preparing the paper work for the Competition Bureau. Mr Montemurro,a former lawyer with the Competition Bureau, was handling Mr Pocklington’s case. Pocklington was prepared to emulate the Al Davis LA Rams move. Unfortunately the City of Edmonton decided to sweeten the lease agreement with the Oilers and subsequently remained there. As a result of this situation, I was informed by Peter on a visit to Edmonton as a guest of his at a Pavarotti concert, that the NHL removed the clause dealing with a veto and substituted it with a majority vote clause. He showed the amended article to me.

        5) Invited to meet with Seymour Knox(senior 2nd) in his office at the old Buffalo Auditorium three weeks after Ron Joyce’s bid was rejected. Present with me was the Mayor.He was quite irate and angry with us regarding trying to get a team in Hamilton. He said he had a lot of money invested in the Sabers and was not about to let anyone in his 50 mile protected territory. I advised him that Hamilton was over the 50 mile radius to Buffalo and that there was no veto provisions for him in the NHL constitution. He said I was wrong and that his measurement was related to “how the crow flies) and not by land. He said that having a team in Hamilton would hurt both Buffalo & Toronto and that both had the veto power to exclude us at any time. He suggested that a team would never come and swore “over his dead body”. He told us to be happy with an AHL team and stop whining as we were not a primary market but a secondary one. He also stated that we should have never built Copps Coliseum….it was a stupid government decision.

        I stand behind the aforementioned 100% and am prepared to sign an affidavit if it will help Mr Balsillie. Please note that the Mayor involved with me at some of the above mentioned meetings was Bob Morrow. He is now a Citizenship Judge in our Region. Imagine getting an affidavit from a Judge and submitting it to Judge Baum.

        All the best

        Gabe Macaluso

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  5. I forgot to add in my letters that:

    In a previous review the competition bureau was deliberately misled by the NHL by witholding this letter. Their responses to questioning was therefore not the whole truth and resulted in no wrongdoing being discovered.

    This fact added to the facts uncovered in the PSE purchase attempt to move a team to Hamilton suggests a new review under oath is required.

    If people will add this to their letters it would be benificial.

    thanks

  6. okay I sent Iggy a 2nd email asking he ignore the 1st.
    may as well post it too.

    The Illegal Restraint of Trade by Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment

    Hello Mr. Ignatieff,

    My name is Patrick Romanoski.

    As leader of the opposition your involvement in this issue is important to millions of Canadians.

    Mr. Ignatieff, I need you to support the efforts of Sheila Copps, who is looking for answers to the question of illegal veto rights as it infringes on the laws of Canada, and specifically how it applies to the Competition Act.

    Section 4.3 of the NHL constitution grants each team exclusive control over its “home territory,” stating that, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent. No franchise shall be granted for a home territory within the home territory of a member, without the written consent of such a member.” Since the Coyotes franchise is not “GRANTED” by the NHL, this point is moot, it will be purchased!

    The previous section stating, “no other member of the League shall be permitted to play games … in the home territory of a member without the latter member’s consent.” stands on its own. Thus this section is illegal & a pure case of restraint of trade!!!

    The Toronto Maple Leafs had a lawyer send a letter to the NHL in 2006, which in essence stated clearly that any team that wants to enter the territory of another must have “unanimous” support of all teams. In other words, MLSE thinks they can stop the locating of a team in Hamilton, as they say it would infringe on their territory.

    In a previous review the competition bureau was deliberately misled by the NHL by witholding this letter. Their responses to questioning was therefore not the whole truth and resulted in no wrongdoing being discovered.

    This fact added to the facts uncovered in the PSE purchase attempt to move a team to Hamilton suggests a new review under oath is required.

    Jim Balsillie and PSE are looking to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and move them to Hamilton. If successful in the auction, his company will continue to meet resisitance from MLSE.

    According to the Competition Act, any company or companies conspiring to restrict a product or supply of a product could be guilty of a criminal offence. Changes were proposed in March 2009 to effect potential jail time as much as 14 years imprisonment and fines as high as $25 million per occurence.

    Mr. Ignatieff, if you could provide clarification on the new changes too, that would be appreciated.

    If you would be so kind, please acknowledge receipt of this email, and if possible send progress reports on your efforts.

    Thanking you for your representation and help in this matter,

    Yours truly,
    Patrick Romanoski

  7. Craig, I kind of know letters to Iggy would get major feedback since I have written to him before & results (a question asked in Question Period) were forthcoming.

    I would think highlighting it as well would help. It does not need to be modified by the sender except for their own name & thus is easier to send.

    The letters to individual MPs are very important though.

    Iggy will get feedback from his caucus & this will make all of the MPs sit up & take notice if he asks a question during Question Period. It will light a fire under all of them when they realize the size of our constituancy.

  8. Have composed this letter for those wishing to forward this page to their friends so they can sign on & pass it on.

    The Leafs have been discovered to be the major reason that a hockey team has never made it to Hamilton. They hold a veto over any team which is illegal under our laws.

    The operator of the website makeiteighteh.com has been dogged in his persuit of the truth & invaluable in providing information that has kept our hopes alive that Hamilton will finally get the team we deserve. We are at a critical juncture right now & can use all the support we can muster to put this bid over the top.

    I would ask those of you that would like to see a team in Hamilton or would like the Leafs to have the competition to lower ticket prices & put a better product on the ice to help.

    On the site page

    https://makeiteighteh.com/2009/08/31/time-to-send-a-personal-email-to-your-mp-on-the-mlse-veto-issue-article-4-3-of-the-nhl-constitution/#comments

    there are links to all of our MPs sortable by riding & sample letters asking them to support an investigation of the NHLs illegal practices.

    The sample for the individual MP only requires you to copy it & change the name to your representative & add your name at the end. The letter to the opposition only requires you to cut & paste it unchanged & add your own name at the end. There is a link which is sortable by riding so you can find your MP & their email address.

    Thank you for your time & please consider helping further by forwarding this to all of your friends that might be interested. You can keep everyones email private by putting their addresses in the Bcc column.

  9. should have read “leader of the opposition”…my bad

  10. Corey Schlueter

    Here is the letter I sent today

    Harold Albrecht
    153 Country Hill Dr
    Unit 2A
    Kitchener, On N2E 2G7

    Dear Dr. Albrecht,

    I am sure you are aware Jim Balsillie as PSE has made an offer to purchase an NHL team through the US bankruptcy system. While this issue at first seems trivial and of no concern to the Government of Canada; I must assure you that is not the case.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs had a lawyer send a letter to the NHL in 2006, which in essence stated clearly that any team that wants to enter the territory of another must have “unanimous” support of all teams. In other words, the Leafs think they can stop the locating of a team in Hamilton, as they say it would infringe on their territory.

    According to the Competition Act, any company or companies conspiring to restrict a product or supply of a product could be guilty of a criminal offence. Changes were proposed in March 2009, where potential jail time as much as 14 years imprisonment, and fines as high as $25 million per occurrence.

    In a previous review the competition bureau was deliberately misled by the NHL by withholding this letter. Their responses to questioning was therefore not the whole truth and resulted in no wrongdoing being discovered.

    This fact added to the facts uncovered in the PSE purchase attempt to move a team to Hamilton suggests a new review under oath is required.

    As you can see the issue has become extremely important. MLSE and the NHL wish to protect their market share contrary to the law. Also by blocking this move the NHL is costing Ontario thousands of possible new jobs and the revitalization of Hamilton.

    As my MP I am sure this issue is of great concern to you as well and I look forward to your representation in this matter.

    Sincerely,
    Corey Schlueter

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  12. Letter sent to Ted McMeekin and David Sweet as below.

    Dear Dr. Sweet, Mr. McMeekin
    Hello, Mr. Sweet, and Mr. McMeekin, I have a concern which I believe requires your attention and action. I’m sure you’ve heard from many constituents on this issue as I am confident your voice will assist in properly publicizing and initiating the correct governance oversight required (i.e. anti-competition and unfair business practices).
    The issue I am referring to is the ongoing bankruptcy court case in Phoenix Arizona where PSE has submitted a bid to buy and relocate the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
    I, along with many constituents feel the direct opposition of the NHL and its Board of Governers and the indirect opposition of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) as proven by recent court filings where MLSE states clearly it believes it holds a veto over any NHL franchise moving into its territory is anti-competitive.
    I respectfully request your assistance in raising this issue publicly and to the appropriate agencies and authorities (i.e. the Canadian Competition Bureau). Your voice added to the many Canadians supporting Jim Balsillie will assist in raising the unfair and unethical business practices.
    For more information please see http://www.makeitseven.ca, and http://makeiteighteh.com, and other mainstream media and blogs.
    As my MP and MPP I am sure this issue is of great concern to you as well and I look forward to your representation in this matter.
    I’d appreciate any feedback you could provide me on this matter.

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