I think that the best idea is a full-on partnership with the CIS. Have one nationally televised game of the week (TSN buys the rights for a pittance, or some channel looking for content?) every week, including playoffs and the Vanier Cup. Have each CFL ticket also be good for the next CIS home game near them, so each Ti-Cats home game would come with a free admission to the next Mcmaster Marauders home game, to drum up attendance and support (it’s not like the colleges are selling out). Leave the ratio as it is, with the exceptions of if the primary QB is Canadian, you only need 6 starters to be nationals, or if two-thirds of the roster is Canadian, you only need 6 starters.
The Swiss hockey league, knowing that they do not have the resources, nor the influence, to be the best league, only allows four import players, because they want to give their own countrymen playing time, and a dream to shoot for. This is how it should be in the CFL. I’m not advocating for only four imports, but I’d rather have 12 Canadian starters than for the league to go down to five.
Dropping the ratio would have a snowball effect. If it improves the play, why not go to 4 Canadian starters? 3? 2? None, and let the best players play? The better-developed American player pool would take up nearly every starting spot allowed them, and the mostly American coaching pool would be more than happy to give it to them.
Keep the Canadian in the Canadian Football League