Petition: Changing Import Designation to develop Cdn QBs

CFL fans need to lobby the League to have the rules changed at the QB position to something suitable to both the CIS QB and the league and fans who support the teams.

The import designation needs to be changed to non-import. The current status makes it impossible for Canadian QBs to crack a CFL roster. Canadians need to help their own and get over any jealousies otherwise Canadians will never be on the roster at that position. Its time something was done now.

Right now Canadian Qbs are getting a raw deal. From the time before and during the time of Russ Jackson they got a raw deal. They will continue to do so unless the rule is changed. Dunnigan was an exception who took the chance and recognized talent at the Canadian QB position signing Dennison and keeping him on the roster as long as he was with the club. There is a lot of bias and short sightedness in the CFL. Hopefully some of this can be changed. Fans need to have a say.

If there was some hope for the Canadian QB they would get more training at earlier levels and not be forced to switch to other positions. Currently Canadian QBs like Dennison, Bone, Flynn, Jusdannis who demonstrated talent were being hurt by the current ruling and many CFL gms would like to see the rule kept the same. This keeps the Canadian QB’s down. It also prevents future young Canadian talent from pursuing these positons and developing from earlier ages because there is no hope they will get a look. There’s not a lot of progressive thinkers in the CFL. Anyone who has been has been more of an outcast. Its a case of groupthink not whats good for the league. This is a shame.

Much the same as the NFL kept blacks out of the equation CFL is keeping Canadians out. Every Cdn player has had to fight much harder than the US players to find a spot on the roster. RBs also have a difficult time. Lumsden got a look by the NFL when some CFL teams were snubbing him. CFL shows bias. It is time this changed. Its great to have imports and they are very much needed on the team but lets not forget our own.

If you would like to see the rule changed to help Cdn QB’s sign on in one of he bottom boxes. This is a petition more than a poll.

I realize there is bias, jealousy and prejudice at every level of sports. Some will try and prevent this from happening for reasons of jealousy, lack of knowledge and bias. Some in the CFL have tried to prevent this happening for years, but hopefully this time something productive can be done.

I believe as much as anyone that a Canadian deserves an equal chance at competing for any position.Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t there the same complaints of anti-Canadian rules bias in the old days? The league made the change to designate the quarterbacks as not counting against the ratio several years ago as a result. Now people are complaining that THAT is biased as well. Make up your minds, people!

The “problem” will disappear once more and better Canadians develop as quarterbacks at the lower levels, high school and university - not due to some rigged league rule legislating them onto CFL rosters. Token Canadian third-string QBs holding clipboards aren’t going to inspire kids to play the position, it’ll only perpetuate the notion that Canadians can’t play. Just like Patrick Roy inspired a generation of Quebec kids to choose goaltender as their position, there needs to be a Canadian phenom to arrive on the scene at QB to catch the imagination of youth to play quarterback. By the way, Denison isn’t the guy.

I am so opposed to this Im not sure where to start. Just a bit of background on where I stand on the whole canadian content issue. I am opposed to the current rules that say at X number players must be canadian or trained in canada or other nonsense like that. I think that we should try to get the most talented players available if that means entire rosters of american players I am all for that. Whatever brings up the talent level of the league is what I am in favor of. The fact is that there are americans that are working in wal mart that are better than a lot of the canadians in the league but arent playing because of that ratio.

As for making it mandatory that one QB on a team be canadian I am opposed ot this on two levels the first being that it will bring down the talent level of the league because there are americans that are way better than any canadian QB. The second reason Im opposed to this is that having a thirdd string QB that will never set foot on the field for any reason will not encourage people to play that position.

I’m with Tiger, Kanga, And Quick Kick. I’d love to see that 3rd string QB a Canadian.

GREAT POST…sign me up!

You dont know what cdn qbs could or could not inspire. You dont know that some couldnt make it to starter.

And you dont know Dennison is not the guy. No one does until he plays in a game in front of sports critics media and fans. Saying anything else is out right fabrication. Your post sounds like sour grapes but football is compeitive there are plenty of jealous players out there who dont want the success of others. Did Dennison beat your team or was he a better QB than you? If you want to know about Dennnison ask Dunnigan what he thought of him. You might get a chance since Dunnigan will soon be on TSN.

now. why not look to give the CIS qbs a break. change the status and make it workable for the team so that they aren’t penalized for bringing one onto the roster. not saying to have it manditory but if they decide to sign one the rules work to help both the player and team. if CIS QB’s actually stood a chance of making a cfl team it would inspire more Candian talent at younger ages to focus on the positon rather than focus on others or transfer over to sb.

But why does this not surprise me that in a petition to try and help the Canadian university QB to develop and give them the chance to play in the CFL some try to block it. Come on people. Help your fellow Canadians. This is the CFL. This isn’t about eliminating American players. Its about giving Canadian QB’s who have talent a fair chance to develop and make a team. Get with the program. Just for today set aside the jealousy, myopia and bias. Try and work together to accomplish something.

Many whine that there isn’t enough training. Well this would inspire more training. It would inspire more to compete because they’d have hope. Right now there isn’t any hope for any Canadian QB no matter how well they play. Supporting this and making some changes would let the Canadians who are interested in pursuing the position of QB at junior level know they could one day make a team and maybe eventually start. It would give them something to work towards. The prejudice would be gone. And there’d be a lot more traiining at earlier ages for Canadians. The help starts here. Vote for change not regressing stagnating or moving backwards. Some of the old thinking GMS will one day leave replaced by more forward thinking management.

I’m certain if this petition gets read by the powers that be in the CFL and is taken even remotely seriously then changes could be made that are suitable for all concerned. I’m certain they can work around all concerns. But, it has to begin somewhere. This seems as good a place as any to start. What has anyone else done so far to try to improve things. Complain and put Canadians down?

id hate to see a 3rd string Canadain QB, i wanna see a 1st string canadain QB, i agree more canadian QBs would be good, but i dont just want them there so they can be there. they should step up there game, maybe that 3rd string QB from the Giants should be up here.

I think they should be given the chance. At least invite them to training camps where the media and football critics can view them and see for themselves the way things are. Not the way some in the CFL would like fans to believe.

I’d love to see a 1st string Canadian QB but they have to start somewhere. It takes time for even the US QB’s to earn that starting role.

Saw Dennison in CFL preseason game and he outperformed every QB on both teams. He received Star Player status and was cut. Ritchie never intended on keeping Dennison even before he saw him. It was a PR move. Must have killed him when he saw Dennison do so well. Media reports had Ritchie trying to trade Dennison before he got to Winnipeg. Dunnigan later signed Dennison in Calgary and kept him the season. Calgary got sold and the new regime took over and fired the existing management in Calgary. This put an end to Dennison’s CFL career. Dennison deserves to be in the CFL. Dunnigan, Marshall just prior to his positon with the Cats, Russ Jackson and Sam Wyche all made these claims. Dunnigan followed through.

But it’s not just Dennison. It’s the next group of CIS QB’s and the ones after that that need the support. It was orginally Russ Jackson who was not wanted as a CFL QB. He was signed on defence and got lucky when the teams 2 QB’s got injured. He got his chance to play. Otherwise no one would ever have known he could play. Many in the CFL would have liked it that way. Theres a list of players like Jusdanis, Flynn, Jackson, Dennison that all should have been given a fair chance in camp. Dennison got a shot with Dunnigan. However, not all GM’s want a Canadian there. They are of the mindset the only good players are coming out of the NCAA. Maybe Lumsden will remember the CFL mindset when he makes his trip to Seattle.

If the Canadians are at least invited to camp and allowed to compete against there US colleagues, in the presence of fans, media, football critics, who could view what is happening, everyone would see for themselves if these players could perform or not. It would dispell a lot of controversy. And if some are so certain that Canadians can’t perform, why not invite them to camp and let everyone see that way there is no dispute . If you are so confident, you would welcome the opportunity and chance for your point to be made. Strong opposition and resistance to them getting a look at camp indicates more of a fear that they’ll do well and then what… No one is saying definitely keep them on the team if they don’t do well. But if they do, definitely. They have earned their place like every other QB and should be treated the same. Just asking that they get invited to camps like other players and show what they can and cannot do. No one is saying sign all CIS QB’s. But definitely the ones who like Dennison, Flynn, Jusdanis, Bone, Jackson who have proven they can play. Give those type of players a chance. Step up the competition, bring Canadian QB’s along with US Qbs to camp and see the difference. You might be surprised.

BTW, heard Dennison did well in the informal workouts with the Cats. Definitely beat out some of the prospects.

the way it is now, Canadian QB's are penalized by not being counted as "Non-Imports" in the CFL.

There is no way teams should be forced to carry a Canuck QB, but at least if some team does sign a Canadian QB, he should at least count towards the Non-Import ratio and the team be allowed to carry an extra import, (as a Designated Import, perhaps).

mada wrote:

I am opposed to the current rules that say at X number players must be canadian or trained in canada or other nonsense like that. I think that we should try to get the most talented players available if that means entire rosters of american players I am all for that. Whatever brings up the talent level of the league is what I am in favor of.
This brings up an interesting scenario that contrary to what many believe, getting rid of the import rule may actually increase the talent and level of play at the CIS level as coaches at Canadian universities would say that if there are going to be Canadians regularly able to compete at the CFL level, then we should adopt full scholarships, increase the intensity of coaching and practices, get better training facilities and stadiums etc. Of course, I'm not so sure all of this is what we want in Canada but I think what mada is saying should be discussed by the CFL seriously. It might also allow for better TV deals in States and the CFL needs more TV revenue to be able to allow smaller market teams to keep some higher priced talent.

To end, this is probably where the CFL will evolve to at some point if the CFL wants to be perceived as going to “the next level”. And if Europeans attend games for NFL Europe teams, I’m sure we will do the same. But be prepared for not having any or very, very few local boys playing for our teams for a while. The more I think about it, the more I don’t really like it, but there could be a lot of positives, like I say, from getting rid of the import rule.

And I do think that the current level of play by Canadians in the CFL is quite excellent. All I want is for the CFL to be a healthy and stable league, able to generate more dollars to help small market teams able to keep higher priced talent as I’m not so sure a salary-cap system will ever be enforced in the CFL, particulary now as the CFL is in a growth stage. And one other thing, we have to remember that in Canada, football is competing agains’t hockey in every community for the fans entertainment dollar and this is something to consider. Consider the fact now that a junior hockey team like the London Knights is worth more than any CFL team - the Knights, I am told, can fetch $10 mill right now and the Hunter brothers are considering selling. The CFL needs to be aware of this.

Great post Earl. Excellent points. I think with more forward thinking these problems may eventually get resolved and a solution can be found that is beneficial to both the player and league.

Encouraging fans to register and vote.

I think it would be great to see a Canadian playing as the 1st string QB in the CFL. But I think short of instituting a rule that makes it mandatory to have a Canadian as the 1st or 2nd string QB on every team, you’re not going to see it. Third string QB’s rarely get any gametime so mandating a Cdn as 3rd string QB does nothing. One thing that should be looked at is the situation with Jesse Palmer of the NY Giants. Here is a guy who by his actions would prefer to be the 3rd string QB of an NFL team rather than try to compete to be a 1st string QB in the CFL.

Bottomline, as a paying customer, I want to see the best athletes perform, regardless of their nationality.


dennison showed he was better than the qbs in preseason game. opening up a 3rd place on the team would probably propell him to succeed even more.

Palmer, he’s another story. Too in love with himself to do anything. He’s not a player. Let’s not paint all Canadians or all players by the same brush.

I disagree, opening up a 3rd spot would not propell him to succeed even more. Third string QBs don’t get enough reps or game action to improve themselves.

I’m not painting all Canadians or players by the same brush, I merely bring up one example in Jesse Palmer of a Canadian who should probably be in the CFL instead of wasting his time as a 3rd stringer in the NFL. Are there any other Canadian QB’s (aside from Dennison) who should be in the CFL?


Your poll doesn’t have an option for “no I wouldn’t like to sign up.”

While I don’t like the idea of forcing teams to employ Canadians as quarterbacks (1st, 2nd or 3rd) I think that those teams that do so should get some advantage.

The problem is that to do so would create nine positions for designated clipboard holders: Canadian 3rd-string QBs who never get a chance to throw a single pass for their entire career. I don’t think this is what we really want either.

And eliminating the ratio completely would mean that average Canadian teenagers, knowing they would no longer have a chance to compete with their American counterparts for jobs in the CFL, wouldn’t bother pursuing the sport in university. Say it cuts in half the number of players trying out for university football. The smaller schools would lose their football programs entirely, and some potential star players would either be forced to transfer, or else abandon their dreams of a football career. Gradually as fewer and fewer Canadians become pros, fewer and fewer students pursue university football, and after a while, the CIS drops football altogether.

Obviously that’s a worst-case scenario, but isn’t that more likely than “schools that had no money before when football was a viable career choice will suddenly begin pouring money into a lost cause”?

No is not an option because as I indicated in the original post, it is not a poll. It is a petition. Either yes, or don’t sign up.

Now, there’s no saying Canadian QB’s wouldn’t get reps or playing time if they were 3rd or 4th string. The Cats are bringing in a 4th string, and I’m betting he’ll get some reps.

The Canadian has to break in somewhere and start. And, better to get a chance as a 3rd string, than not at all. We are currently living in the dark ages the way things stand. It’s a joke.

You’re right; sorry about that.

I agree that the current system has to be changed. I’ve heard Russ Jackson say he never would have gotten a shot under the current format. Can you imagine CFL history without Russ Jackson?? Russ Jackson!!
But should a team that has a Canadian holding a clipboard get the same ratio advantage as one that has a Canadian starting QB? I don’t think so. Should teams be forced to sign a Canadian as one of their quarterbacks? No way.
That’s not to say there is nothing they can do.
Teams are required to have a certain number of non-imports on the field. As I understand it, a Canadian QB does not count toward this number. That’s got to change, so that if a Canadian is actually playing quarterback, the team may employ an extra import at another position. If they change this rule, and include quarterbacks in the ratio, I can see how teams would be encouraged not only to bring in Canadian quarterbacks, but also to have them start if they are capable. That would give Canadians the opportunity to pursue a career as a quarterback in the CFL. So yeah, in that case, I guess I’m in.
What the bulk of my post is against, though, is the notion of eliminating the ratio entirely.

There was a guy played for Toronto (I think) and Hamilton (for sure) just a few years ago. Very smart, dynamite arm and very Canadian. I remember he had a helluva game for Hamilton vs Argos. So what happened? He was dropped in favour of an import with less talent but more experience. We need to have the Canadian talent groomed for a couple of years because they just don’t get to play in those high pressure Bowl games like the American kids.
Can anyone recall the QB I referred to?