Premier Alison Redford says she's pleased to hear of a new effort to get U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has joined 10 U.S. Republican governors in sending a letter to Obama.

The letter says the proposed pipeline, which would carry bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to U.S refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, would create thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.

Redford says Alberta is pursuing its own avenues in support of the pipeline.

But she calls Wall's letter "another arrow in the quiver.''

TransCanada is now hoping for approval from the State Department after filing a new application with an altered pipeline route.

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    Contrary to some people's beliefs, Canada is not gun free. There are nearly 10 million privately owned firearms -- 1.1. million of them handguns -- in this country of 34 million, making <a href="">Canadians the 13th most heavily armed people in the world</a>. But for years now, Canada has grappled with the problem of firearms being moved across the U.S. border and into the hands of Canadian street gangs. Police Chief Bill Blair of Toronto recently told a radio show that <a href="">70 percent of guns used in crimes in the city</a> came from the United States. Many Canadians point the finger at lax gun laws in the U.S. and at their champions, the gun lobby. In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, U.S. politicians have renewed a long-running debate about gun control, particularly a return to the assault weapons ban that expired during the George W. Bush era. A series of public shootings last summer in Toronto focused Canadians on the same issue. But with a government in place that has shown little appetite for gun control -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is busily dismantling the country's long-gun registry and recently allowed gun exports to Colombia, one of the world's most violent countries -- Canadians are looking to the U.S. to see which way the Obama administration will go on this issue, and hoping the president's actions will finally slow the illegal flow of guns into Canada. (TEXT: Daniel Tencer PHOTO: Daniel White of Estes Park, Colo., waves a placard at a pro-gun rally as the Colorado Legislature opened its general session across the street in the State Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


    Canada didn't go into Iraq with the United States, but it did go into Afghanistan as part of the military mission launched after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Canadian troops have been there ever since, holding down the brutally violent Kandahar region until 2011. Since the start of the mission, 158 Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan, making it the deadliest military conflict for the country since the Korean war. Canada withdrew the main part of its combat forces in 2011 but has left behind about 950 training personnel, who are working with other NATO forces to build an Afghan army ahead of the scheduled withdrawal of foreign troops in 2014. The country <a href="">is playing the second-largest role in this effort</a>, after the U.S., and may be called on to do even more if European allies, under economic pressure at home, continue to withdraw. With the end in Afghanistan finally, truly, in sight, Canada is looking to the <a href="">Obama administration to ensure a smooth transition to the Afghan military</a> -- which will hopefully actually exist come 2014. All eyes are on Obama to ensure that the U.S. and its allies don't find themselves bogged down, once again, in a conflict that has now been running for more than 11 years. (TEXT: Daniel Tencer Photo: A U.S. Army soldier on patrol near Baraki Barak base in Logar Province, on October 13, 2012. MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/GettyImages)


    While a <a href="">majority of Canadians favor the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana</a> (though <a href="">their government disagrees</a>), the <a href="">U.S. war on drugs</a> continues to make it next to impossible for Canada to change its pot laws. In 2003, then-Prime Minister <a href="">Jean Chr├ętien announced that his government intended to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana</a>. Those <a href="">plans were shelved after the U.S. expressed its displeasure</a>. The implied threat was clear: Change the law, and movement across the border will come to a screeching halt. But now that <a href="">several states have decriminalized or legalized</a> marijuana, the argument that a change in Canada's drug laws would pose a threat to the U.S. is becoming increasingly dubious. Many Canadians believe it's time for a change, and proponents look to Obama to lead the charge to reform America's drugs laws. At the very least, they want Obama to signal that states and neighbors are free to pass their own marijuana legislation without interference from Washington. (TEXT: Michael Bolen PHOTO: Rachel Schaefer of Denver smokes marijuana on the official opening night of Club 64, a marijuana-specific social club, where a New Year's Eve party was held, in Denver, Monday Dec. 31, 2012. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)


    When Canada legalized gay marriage in 2005, the country became a destination for gay Americans wishing to wed. But that image of Canada as a haven for same-sex matrimony took a hit this year, when it emerged that a technicality in Canada's law made it impossible for gay people who live in the U.S. to get divorced in Canada, because their marriages were not recognized in their home country. Though it never showed much enthusiasm for same-sex marriage, Canada's Conservative government moved quickly to allow same-sex divorce for foreigners married in Canada. Yet the situation highlighted the difficulties between Canada's progressive stance on gay marriage and the reluctance of many U.S. states to move in the same direction. Three more U.S. states -- Maine, Maryland and Washington -- approved same-sex marriage in last fall's election, and it seems that, bit by bit, the U.S. is moving in the same direction as Canada on the issue. But though many Canadians take pride in their country's being on the forefront of this sea change in society, most would likely be happier if the two countries simply had the same definition of marriage. With President <a href="">Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage</a> last year, the odds of this happening have increased considerably. (TEXT: Daniel Tencer PHOTO: Brendon K. Taga, left, and Jesse Pageat, the second couple to receive a same-sex marriage license in Washington state, pose at the King County Recorder's Office on December 6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. David Ryder/Getty Images)

  • In 2009, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary <a href="">Janet Napolitano outraged Canadians by suggesting the 9/11 hijackers</a> entered the United States via Canada. Though she later backtracked (the hijackers did not cross the Canadian border), Napolitano has continued to suggest that Canada is less secure than the United States and should be treated more like Mexico. The news, reported in 2011, that <a href="">America is considering building security fences along its northern border<a> only served to inflame Canadian tempers. And while <a href="">a new border pact framework</a> should go a long way toward resolving American concerns about Canada's security, some of the provisions in the deal have raised alarm bells, including <a href="">cross-border policing</a>, <a href="">data sharing with third parties</a> and the <a href="">streamlining of meat inspections.</a> (TEXT: Michael Bolen.. PHOTO: AP/The Canadian Press, Mark Spowart)


    As one of America's closest allies, Canada often finds it difficult to plot its own course on foreign policy. Canadian leaders tend to follow the president's lead, and risk backlash when they stray. Take the example of Israel. Late last year,Canada was among the handful of nations that sided with America and Israel by <a href="">voting against granting Palestine non-member observer status</a> at the UN. <a href="">This despite a recent poll for the BBC that found 59 percent of Canadians believe Israel is having a negative effect on world affairs</a>. <a href="">Canada has even suspended diplomatic relations with Israel's greatest enemy<a>, closing its embassy in Iran last September. That move followed a <a href="">break with Syria</a>, another of Israel's rivals, in May. Canada has long been seen as a moderating influence on world affairs, the sort of country that might act as an intermediary in negotiations or a backchannel for sensitive information. But the ongoing tension between Israel and Iran, and the pressure to toe America's line on the conflict, now put that reputation at risk. Most Canadians respect Israel's right to exist and recognize that Iran's nuclear program poses a threat to world peace. But the longer the crisis drags on, and the threat of war persists, the more likely it will be that Canadians demand a break from American policy. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, <a href="">Canada declined to participate</a>. If President Obama fails to avoid war with Iran, history may repeat itself. (TEXT: Michael Bolen PHOTO: Iranian navy personnel celebrate after successfully launching a Ghader missile from the Jask port area on the shores of the Gulf of Oman during a drill, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. AP Photo/Jamejam Online, Azin Haghighi)