Further to my efforts to keep track of Canada’s progress in formally legalizing MMA, Bill S-209 has now passed first reading in the House of Commons. Below is the official Hansard transcript:
This legislation seeks to amend the Criminal Code by expanding the list of permitted sports under the prize fighting provisions. This change to Canada’s prize fighting laws is long overdue.
Mixed martial arts have come a long way as a sport in the past 20 years. Their safety record is admirable, their product is popular throughout Canada and worldwide, and the list of Canadians like Georges St-Pierre who excel at this sport is constantly growing.
I am proud to do my part as a member of Parliament to modernize our laws, since this particular part of the Criminal Code has not been updated since 1934.
Currently, close to 100,000 Canadians who practice combat sports, some of these sports are recognized by the International Olympic committee, such as judo and tae kwon do, can be considered to doing so illegally under the current provisions of the Criminal Code. Bill S-209would merely correct this oversight so that Canada can effectively regulate acceptable combat sports openly.
Seeing as how this bill is non-controversial and is a sensible piece of legislation that clearly addresses a blind spot in the Criminal Code, I look forward to seeing the bill passed expeditiously with the support and co-operation of all members.
(Motion agreed to and bill read the first time)