CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said in a statement the league will honour the NFL's suspension of Rice. The running back was released Monday by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely after a video was released showing him hitting his then-fiancee in February.
A source also told The Canadian Press the CFL head office sent an email to its teams saying Rice couldn't be added to any negotiation list and wouldn't be allowed to sign with a club as a free agent.
The grainy video, released by TMZ Sports, shows Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing.
Months ago, a TMZ video showed Rice dragging Palmer, now his wife, from the elevator at the Revel casino, which closed Sept. 2.
Suspended NFL players not under contract south of the border have been allowed to sign with CFL teams. But the source said Cohon invoked a clause in the league's constitution that allowed him to rule Rice ineligible to play in Canada while under NFL suspension.