Interesting tidbits regarding the Canadian Football Act of 1974, introduced for the preservation of the CFL, and prevention of further invasion from foreign professional football leagues.
The Canadian Football Act (1974) was a proposed Act by the Parliament of Canada in April 1974 designed to give a government-protected monopoly over professional football in Canada to the Canadian Football League. Although it was never signed into law, the move by the government eventually compelled the World Football League's Toronto Northmen, a team that was originally set to play in Toronto, to move to Memphis, Tennessee in the United States as the Memphis Southmen.
Today, there is speculation that a similar act will develop if the National Football League tries to expand to Toronto and thus threatens the Canadian league's existence.
The Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts currently play in the city and have in the past been protected from American competition. The World Football League intended to place a franchise in Toronto known as the Toronto Northmen, but then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau threatened to pass a Canadian Football Act to prevent such a move. The WFL backed down and moved the team to Memphis, Tennessee, where it became known as the Memphis Southmen and later the Mid-South Grizzlies in a failed bid to join the NFL.
-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, Montreal and Toronto, also the biggest cities of Canada then and now, with two of them hosting teams from leagues that played a different code of football. Montreal played host to one of the World League of American Football teams, the Montréal Machine, in the early 1990s after their CFL team folded in the late 1980s. Toronto were hosts to an Arena Football League team for two seasons, the Toronto Phantoms.
-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.