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World Football League CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT World Football League

Here is a brief breakdown of what was known as the Canadian Football Act, enacted by the Canadian government in April of 1974. This was the main reason why the Toronto Northmen were forced to move to Memphis.

  • The bill was designated C-22.
  • The bill was introduced by, of all people, the health minister, Marc Lalonde.
  • It claimed it would try and protect the Canadian Football League and would allow the CFL to grow and develop its own distinct character.
  • Of the mayors of the nine CFL cities at the time, only three were against the Canadian Football Act. They were the mayors of Vancouver, Montreal and oddly enough, Toronto.
  • After the bill passed second reading in the House Of Commons, it was given to the Standing Committee on Health, Welfare and Social Affairs, where it effectively died after the Northmen moved to Memphis.
  • If you think about it, there was no such legislation barring the World Hockey Association from having teams in Canada.
  • Clause 6 in the Act stated that no person that owns, operates or manages a team in a league foreign from the CFL shall play in Canada. Subsection 2 stated that no player or member of the said team shall play in Canada. This meant that if the bill passed and became law, the Northmen were screwed.
  • There were rumours that if the Northmen left Toronto, they would head to either Buffalo or Seattle. Both never materialized.
These facts were gathered from the actual debates held in the House Of Commons from April 10 to 28, 1974.
© 1996-2005 Robert Phillips. All rights reserved.