Defination of a Non-Import

The new CFLPA and CFL agreement states that the non-import rule has been expanded to read "any player that is a Canadian citizen and has lived 5 years in Canada before his 18th birthday".
I'm still a little confused. Does this mean that an American player can become a Canadian citizen when eligible and play as a non-import, or does it mean these players that have lived in Canada for 5 years before their 18th birthday have to be a Canadian citizen before they are eligible to play as a non-import.
If it is only the latter, it won't change much of anything. A player like Jamal Westerman a DE now with the NY Jets may qualify as he moved to Brampton and played high school football but didn't qualify for non-import staus because the old rule cut off was at 15 years.

I thought as stated above was already the current rule and there is no change I can see if that is the case, but I'm interested to hear from someone to clarify the matter if there has been some change.

Basically the rule just means what it says the way I read it before and now.

One one cannot simply naturalise Canadian after his 18th birthday to get around this rule if they never were living in Canada before their 18th birthday or not at least five years.

However apparently the way it reads if one were living in Canada at least five years before age 18, and whether or not they were Canadian whilst living in Canada at that time, then I suppose the way it reads they could naturalise to be a Canadian citizen after age 18 and be considered also a non-import?

But if that exception applies to any players at all I bet it is only a handful.

Also I guess this is why the designation is called "non-import" and not simply "Canadian."

It is the "be a Canadian citizen" remark that got my interest. As far as I know that wasn't an issue before. You just had to prove you lived parts of 5 years in Canada before your 15th birthday and not neccessarily be a Canadian citizen.
So maybe they have tightened the rules a bit (you would almost have to be Canadian born) and added the three years as a trade off.
I'm sure Duane Forde will find out who is out there in the NCAA who will qualify under the new rule.

Thanks for clearing this up DoubleBlue.

I forgot that the prior designated age was only 15 not 18 right! And right practically speaking with very, very few exceptions said persons likely would be Canadians by their 18th birthday all the same too if not born in Canada yet having lived there for years.

I would imagine that this rule change opens some things up more for players from various immigrant backgrounds from which players are scouted and drawn more for all of pro football in North America as well.

Indeed I would think most everyone staying in Canada would become Canadian through naturalistion after having lived in Canada in their youth if not born there. This is not necessarily the case before age 18, but I would think very few exceptions would exist in that regard as stated below.

Is it possible to go from import to non import? Let's say I sign with the Argos when I'm 18. Then after living in Canada for 5 years I become a naturalized citizen. Would my status change?

NO. The rule is living in Canada 5 years BEFORE your 18th birthday.

Possible interpretation: Live in Canada (but NOT citizen) for 5 years before your 18th birthday, sign with Argos any age as import, become citizen, become non-import.

The GameImport RatioEach team may have a maximum of 42 players, including 3 players who shall be identified as quarterbacks and 39 other players, of whom not more than 19 may be imports.

Teams must have a minimum of 41 players, including two players who shall be identified as quarterbacks and 39 other players, of whom not more than 19 may be imports.

Each team must establish a reserve roster of 4 players. These 4 players may be imports or non-imports.

Roster Breakdown
Import Non-Import Quarterbacks Total
19 20 3 42

Import Ratio ExplainedEach team may dress a 42-man active roster consisting of:

•3 QBs (no designation)
•19 imports
•20 non-imports
The 19 imports break down as follows:

•16 imports
•3 Designated Imports
The three designated imports are players who can play on special teams OR replace an import starter (they cannot start).

Of the 24 starters on a team, a minimum of seven starters must be non-imports. When applied to a starting roster of a team it breaks down as follows (when using the minimum number of non-import players):

•1 QB
•16 starting imports
•7 starting non-imports

Import / Non-Import ClassificationA player who was physically resident in Canada for an aggregate period of seven years prior to attaining the age of fifteen years qualifies as a non-import player.

Maybe things haven't been updated yet, but this is what shows up on the official rules list. Hopefully somebody at the CFL headquarters will actually get around to updating things, so we don't have to go by rumours. One report was that the rule had changed to, 5 years in Canada before the 18th birthday, plus being born in Canada.
It's a confusing rule to say the least.

Requiring "born in Canada" isn't allowable discrimination under various human rights acts.

From the collective agreement press-release:

"The agreement does expand the definition of a non-import to include Canadian citizens who were resident in Canada for an aggregate period of five years prior to the age of 18, in addition to non-Canadian citizens who were resident in Canada for an aggregate period of seven years prior to the age of 15."

Even the above isn't quite correct as I understand it. The idea is that anyone qualifies as a non-import under the latter as that was the existing clause. The former is the "expansion" of the clause, which is stated somewhat differently in this quote:
"The definition of a non-import is expanded to include a player who is a Canadian citizen and was physically resident in Canada for an aggregate period of five (5) years prior to the age of 18 years."

The present tense "IS a Canadian citizen.." and past tense "WAS physically resident..." are critical legal distinctions. In other words, it doesn't matter when the player becomes a Canadian citizen only that they currently be so to have the expanded definition applicable to them.

What I'd like to know is how they can prove somebody has actually lived 5 or 7 years in Canada before their 15th or 18th birthday.
Say a CFL player has a son who lives in Canada with him during the CFL season and then goes back to the States with his parents when the season is over. Does that count for 1 year, or do they have to have a year round residence in Canada?