Archive for June, 2012

I have been tracking the progress of Senate bill S-209 which will formally legalize regulated MMA in Canada.  It has now passed the Committee Stage and passed Third Reading on June 22, 2012 making the Bill very close to becoming law.

The Bill has remained intact in its initial form with only one minor variation changing line 14 of its text to decriminalize amateur contests that are on the Programme of the IOC and also adding contests on the Programme of the “International Paralympic Committee”.  A list of these can be found here.

The changes do not fix the concerns I previously raised about Bill S-209 potentially criminalizing various amateur contests.  Provinces will need to address this on a Province by Province basis.  I am advised that appropriate measures are in the works in BC and that details of these will be provided to me shortly.  I will write further on this topic once I have further details.

As expected, Bill 50, BC’s Athletic Commissioner Act passed Third Reading today and will now become law.  You can click here and here for my past posts on this Bill.

You can click here (and scroll down to 1440) to read the BC Legislature’s Committee Hearing regarding the legislation.

A few points of interest from today’s hearing;  First Ida Chong, BC’s  Minister of Sport confirmed the legislation does not apply to fake contests such as WWE style wrestling stating “Wrestling is not considered a professional contest as such, because it has a predetermined result. I hate to shatter people’s opinions of it, but apparently that’s the situation.

The Minister was also questioned about the gap the legislation creates on the amateur side but notwithstanding this the legislation has passed.  I should note out of fairness to the BC Government that this gap does not arise from Bill 50 itself but rather from Canadian Senate Bill S-209.  In any event, here is the exchange:

G. Gentner: “The commissioner is responsible for the following…,” and it lists what they are — professional contests, etc. I look at Ontario and other legislation, and it also mentions amateur jurisdictions. Can the minister explain why this legislation does not look at amateur contests as well?

Hon. I. Chong: In British Columbia I would say, then, we perhaps have somewhat of a different model. We have provincial sports organizations who oversee amateur sport. So this provincial athletic commissioner would only regulate and oversee professional sports contests.

G. Gentner: Well, therefore, if you’re not defining “amateur,” I’d like to know…. If you are talking about professionals in the combative sports, what is the age criteria?

[1510]

Hon. I. Chong: There is no prescribed age limit

HSE – 20120531 PM 021/BMG/1510

Hon. I. Chong: There is no prescribed age limit, if that was the question that the member was asking, but I just want to go back to his other question. He mentioned Ontario with respect to oversight of the amateur sports, and I’m advised by staff that Ontario…. Their athletic commissioner does not deal with the amateur sports side. It is the professional contests of exhibitions as I understand it.

The Commission Rules are expected to come out in the Fall of 2012.