Government to save NHL Season
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    Government to save NHL Season


    Prime Minister Martin today announced that the federal government will
    take over the National Hockey League and run it as a "sacred trust, just
    like health care."
    The announcement came as pressure mounted for the government to do
    something to end the current NHL shutdown.
    "No Canadian should be deprived of NHL hockey during hockey season,"
    Martin said. "We will take over the NHL and run it in the public
    interest, just like we run the government of Canada."
    In an hour-long news conference, the prime minister outlined reforms to
    the national game that his government will present to an emergency
    session of Parliament next week.
    "To protect the NHL from further Americanization, NHL commissioner Gary
    Bettman will be fired and replaced immediately by Governor-General
    Adrienne Clarkson," Martin said.
    Asked whether the Governor-General knew anything about hockey, Martin
    replied "not much," but that Clarkson and 200 of her closest friends
    would be leaving immediately on a fact-finding tour to investigate
    hockey-government relations in Hawaii, Fiji and Monaco.
    To address long-standing concerns about escalating violence in hockey,
    Martin said the government will increase the number of linesmen and
    referees to 12 per game, one official for each player on the ice. In
    addition, Canada's gun registry legislation will be amended to require
    all hockey sticks to be registered.
    Once nationalized, all NHL teams will be subject to federal government
    guidelines for gender equality, affirmative action, and
    non-discrimination in hiring.
    "Inability to skate, shoot, or pass," Martin said, "will no longer be a
    sufficient reason for denying any Canadian an opportunity to play in the
    Martin added that in future all NHL teams will also be required to
    abolish the position of "right wing" from their rosters.
    Asked why, Martin said it was necessary to increase support for hockey
    among union members, and to secure NDP backing for the NHL
    nationalization bill in Parliament.
    The PM affirmed that "the great Canadian principle of equalization will
    be fully applied to our national game."
    "The current distribution of NHL teams in Canada is unacceptable to this
    government," he said. "It violates the principle of regional equality for
    Alberta and Ontario to have two NHL teams each while some provinces have
    none. Commencing next season, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be moved to
    Fredericton and the Edmonton Oilers to Charlottetown."
    Martin declared the seating arrangements at NHL hockey rinks
    "unacceptable" as well.
    "We do not accept two-tier medicine in this country and we cannot accept
    multi-tier seating at hockey arenas. It's un-Canadian."
    Martin explained that former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano will
    be put in charge of a program to flatten the seating arrangements in all
    NHL arenas.
    Asked how spectators in the back rows would be able to see the game,
    Martin said the government is devising a plan for rotating spectators
    from back seats to front seats between periods.
    "It is our intention, in the interests of fairness, to ensure that any
    inability to see the game is fully equalized among all spectators, Martin
    said. "It's the Canadian way."
    In recognition of the principle of "asymmetric federalism," and to secure
    the support of the Bloc Quebecois for the nationalization measure, Martin
    also confirmed that the Montreal Canadians will be exempted from the
    proposed reforms.
    Finally, to pay for the nationalization program, the government's next
    budget will include a Fan Tax, an Ice Tax, a Puck Tax, a Stick
    Registration Fee and a new 115-per-cent income tax bracket for any hockey
    player making more money than the PM.

  2. #2
    The Comedy is in the Back Array Saturnin's Avatar
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