Minister of Justice’s Office to Review Concerns Regarding Bill S-209 and Amateur Martial Arts/MMA

A brief update for those of you who have been following my concerns regarding Bill S-209 potentially criminalizing currently lawful amateur martial arts contests.

As previously reported, BC’s Minister of Sport has responded to my concerns and is aware that appropriate Provincial legislation will need to be introduced if/when Bill S-209 passes.  I am pleased to report that the Federal Minister of Justice’ s office will also review my concerns.  Below is my exchange with the Honourable Senator Bob Runciman’s office.  I will write a further update once I have the reply of the Federal Minster of Justice’s office.


Mr. Raison, thank you for your reply.  I look forward to hearing from you once the Minister of Justice’s office has a chance to review this.

 My concern is that amateur contests (such as Karate and other non-Olympic martial arts) become outlawed with the proposed amendment unless Province’s specifically intervene and designate such contests as being appropriate.  This can leave many martial arts contests behind.  I can appreciate that this is not the goal of the Bill but such an interpretation appears correct.  As Minister Chong’s letter indicates, there would be a gap on the Provincial side in BC which would need intervention if Bill S-209 passes in its current form and I imagine the same would be true for other Provinces.

 Thanks again for looking at this concern.

 Yours truly,

Erik Magraken


From: Raison, Barry [mailto:raisob@SEN.PARL.GC.CA]
Sent: August-20-12 6:55 AM
To: Erik Magraken
Subject: RE: Bill S-209 and Provincial Implications


Mr. Magraken,


It is not our view that the bill does what you believe it does. The province can delegate the authority for oversight under the bill, as they do now. You should also note that this bill, although not a government bill, is nearly identical to the former Bill C-31, a government bill from the 2nd session of the 40th Parliament.


Nonetheless, I am forwarding your concerns to our contact in the Minister of Justice’s office.

 Barry Raison, Policy Advisor,

Office of the Honourable Senator Bob Runciman,

351 East Block, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A4

613-943-4020 (phone)

613-943-4022 (fax)


 From: Erik Magraken 

Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 5:15 PM

To: Raison, Barry
Subject: Bill S-209 and Provincial Implications

 Senator I wrote last month but have not had a reply, I thought it would be prudent to follow up.

 First off, thank you for your work on Bill S-209.  I welcome this legislation.

 I write to raise a concern with respect to Provincial implications on the amateur level.  The legislation, in its present wording, will work to criminalize amateur provincial contests by default unless each Province enacts an appropriate regulatory body.  Many Provinces, including my home Province of BC, don’t have such a body.

 I have raised this concern with BC’s Ministry of Sport and they advise they are aware of the issue.  You can see the Minster’s response here:

 I write to suggest that other Provinces be made aware of this issue so they can take appropriate steps to regulate Amateur contests given that your Bill appears well on its way to becoming law.  Any steps your office can take to achieve this would be appreciated.

 Yours truly,

Erik Magraken 




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s