BC Senator proposes bill to keep NFL out of Canada

BC Senator Larry Campbell says he will intoduce a bill to keep the NFL out of Canada. I admire his sentiments but unfortunately, I don't think that in this day of free-trade, it can be prevented.

The National Post article is provided below.

An Argo-Cat fan

Keep NFL out of Canada: B. C. Senator
Plans Legislation

Sean Fitz-Gerald, National Post
Published: Friday, May 16, 2008

Senator Larry Campbell is drafting a bill to protect the Canadian Football League from a full-scale American invasion, arguing that a National Football League franchise making a full-time home in Toronto would "be the demise of the CFL."

Speculation on the NFL's future in Canada has been swirling anew this year, with the Buffalo Bills set to play eight games inside the Rogers Centre over the next five seasons, beginning with an exhibition game in August. Organizers have trumpeted the high demand for tickets, and some believe the arrangement will ultimately lead to the team's permanent relocation to Toronto.

"I believe that it's time that we just say, 'enough,' " Mr. Campbell said yesterday.

"We have a vibrant league. We have millions of people who watch it. We have a much more exciting brand of football. And let me tell you, I'm an NFL fan.

I've gone to the last two Super Bowls, so it's not like I'm anti-NFL. I just don't need it in Canada."

He plans to present the bill to the Senate in two or three weeks, before it adjourns for the summer.

Mr. Campbell addressed the issue on the floor last month and, as a long-time supporter of the B. C. Lions, he does not intend for his actions to be merely symbolic.

"I don't do symbolic gestures," he said. "I don't run up against walls, I don't fight battles that I don't think I can win.

"I plan on trying to make it very difficult for the NFL to come into Canada, and I expect that I am going to call upon politicians, both in the Senate and the House [of Commons], to stand up," the Senator said.

Mr. Campbell would not disclose the details of his planned bill or how it might impede NFL forays into Canada.

Rogers Communications is paying the Bills $78-million for the eight games in Toronto, with announced ticket prices for the public ranging as high as $295. The least-expensive seat will still cost $55, tapping into the kind of wealth that has largely vanished from Buffalo.

"I think there are many ways of protecting the CFL which can be worked out between the leagues," said Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Godfrey, who has spent two decades trying to land an NFL team. "It doesn't need government involvement. Nobody wants to protect the CFL more than the people who are trying to bring the NFL to Canada."

Mr. Campbell is not the first would-be protector of the CFL.

Former federal health minister Marc Lalonde introduced the Canadian Football Act to the Senate on April 10, 1974, in response to another U. S.-based threat. The now-defunct World Football League was preparing to place a team in Toronto -- called the Northmen -- and Mr. Lalonde's bill sought to ban foreign leagues from Canadian soil. It never became law.

"It was a warning shot kind of thing," Mr. Lalonde said with a chuckle yesterday. "It was not the top priority of the government, let's put it that way. It made a lot of noise and news for a while, and the situation took care of itself."

Mr. Lalonde, a Montreal based lawyer who continues to work in international commercial arbitration, is not sure the government would be allowed to table a bill like the Canadian Football Act under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"It's more and more difficult to introduce restrictive measures in terms of employment in the North American market," he said. "People don't come as immigrants -- you've got a lot of Canadians playing hockey in the States and a lot of Americans playing in the Canadian Football League."

Ontario Progressive Conservative leader John Tory, a former CFL commissioner, is also unsure of the government's ability to offer protection. He is not convinced the NFL is en route to Canada full-time, but believes that, if it were, it would first ensure the long-term viability of the CFL.

"I've always believed that part of the way in which the NFL ensured -- if they came here -- that the CFL remained strong was for the ... same people who had the NFL franchise to [own] the CFL franchise," he said. "I think it could be very effectively marketed together. I mean, Toronto has a sufficient number of football fans."

Mr. Campbell does not believe the two leagues could coexist in Toronto.

"The CFL is a Canadian institution," he said. "We like to protect all of our other cultural icons, but there doesn't seem to be the same vigour with the CFL. I don't think that's true, and I'm going to prove that."

Don't these senators have more important things to worry about.
We don't need government and these unelected senators to protect the league.

Let the people decide - if Bills can sell out in Toronto with $200 tickets - good for them and good luck to them.
All we need to do is for CFL fans to step up to the plate and buy CFL tickets and try to sell out all CFL stadiums this year. That would send a strong message that CFL football is strong in this country and we don't need any type of government regulation to make it work.

I think this is great More Power to Him
If Barack Obama Become the new U.S President Free Trade Maybe Gone as we know it Anyways.
Barack has already gone on Record Saying He want to make Major Changes to it .

Senator Campbell is just Beating Obama to the punch
We Pass a Law Banning the NFL From Canada.
It a Long Shot but I Hope he Pulls it off.

Ridiculous, go do something more productive with your time and my money Mr. Senator. If the CFL is that weak across Canada that an NFL team will destroy it, and I know it isn't, then let it die out.

How is it an issue of nationality and employment? No one's saying Americans can't come and play football in Canada.

Keeping senators out of Canada would be more useful, but I digress.

Oski Wee Wee,

Keeping senators out of Canada would be more useful, but I digress.

Oski Wee Wee


I can't see this even getting off the ground. And I'm not sure how I really feel about this but when it comes to the free trade agreement and Americans, I do have issues. Especially pertaining to how if any component of the free trade doesn't favor the Americans, then they don't abide by it. For instance...the softwood lumber issue where despite the repeated rulings in our favor, Canada still end up paying billions to the US in "duty fees".

So maybe we should attempt to become just as "protectionist" as they are.