BC Government Comments on Proposed Athletic Commissioner Act

I previously discussed that the BC Government has introduced sensible legislation seeking to create an Athletic Commissioner who will be tasked with regulating professional MMA and other Striking Sports on a Province wide basis.

I am following this matter and today had a chance to review the Government’s comments on the Floor of BC’s Legislature when Bill 50 was first introduced.  For the sake of convenience I reproduce these here:

BILL 50 — ATHLETIC COMMISSIONER ACT

Hon. I. Chong presented a message from His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor: a bill entitled Athletic Commissioner Act.

Hon. I. Chong: Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill 50 be read for the first time now.

Motion approved.

Mr. Speaker: Continue, Minister.

Hon. I. Chong: This bill would provide for the establishment of a provincial athletic commissioner to regulate and supervise professional boxing, kickboxing and other similar sporting events, including mixed martial arts. Once established, the commissioner’s primary focus would be to ensure consistent application of safety rules for participants in professional contests. This approach will replace local government commissions that currently require and regulate these types of events with a centralized regulatory body ensuring consistency across the province.

This legislation would not apply to amateur sporting contests. The duties of the commissioner would be to ensure a consistent standard of qualifications and safety protocols for all participants and officials through a uniform licensing and permitting framework. It would ensure compliance with the proposed act and its regulations through the use of suspension or cancellation of licences and event permits as well as administrative penalties.

The benefit of having a provincial athletic commissioner would be that every professional boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts or similar event would be subject to the same rules and regulations whether it’s being held in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Vernon or anywhere else in the province.

[1350]

Since sports such as kickboxing and mixed martial arts are very popular and are taking place without a consistent regulatory framework, it makes sense to be proactive about creating this position to increase the safety of athletes and officials as well as to provide certainty for communities and the industry.

I move that the Athletic Commissioner Act be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

Bill 50, Athletic Commissioner Act, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.

I will continue to follow the development of this law and post relevant updates at this blog as they develop.

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