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The Canadian Football Act (1974) was a proposed Act by the Parliament of Canadamarker in April 1974 designed to block the World Football League (WFL) Torontomarker charter team, and protect the Canadian Football League (CFL). Although it was never signed into law, the move by the government eventually compelled the WFL's Toronto Northmen team to move to Memphis, Tennesseemarker in the United Statesmarker. Today, there is speculation that a similar act will develop if the National Football League (NFL) tries to expand to Torontomarker and thus threatens the Canadian league's existence.


  • Designated C-22.
  • Introduced by the Minister of Health, Marc Lalonde.
  • Claimed it would try and protect the Canadian Football League, 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, Montréal and Toronto, also the biggest cities of Canada then and now (Montréal playing host to one of the World League of American Football (WLAF) teams (Montréal Machine) in the early 1990s when their CFL team folded)
  • After the bill passed second reading in the Canadian 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.
  • 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, therefore if the bill passed and became law, it would effectively kill teams like the Northmen.

These facts were gathered from the actual debates held in the House of Commons from April 10 to April 28, 1974.

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