When Bill S-209 first started making headlines last year it was clear that the wording of the legislation would leave a big legal gap which Provinces would be tasked with filling.
As Bill S-209 slowly plodded through the Senate and Parliament, Provinces across Canada did little in anticipation of the law passing. Now S-209 is in force, and, as predicted, Amateur MMA is illegal in all Canadian Jurisdictions without a legislative framework in place addressing AMMA.
This is no longer an academic concern, events are now being directly affected.
Top MMA News reports that Unified MMA 16 which is scheduled to take place this week in Alberta has cancelled all amateur bouts on the card. Cody Rempel of Top MMA News also reports that AFC 19, set to take place in July, has cancelled all amateur bouts. This sudden change is certainly not unexpected. More importantly, the timing of these cancellations is no coincidence as this is occurring exactly as Bill S-209 received Royal Assent.
Alberta is not alone. BC is lacking a framework, as is Ontario and basically every Canadian Jurisdiction. S-209 was not intended to make MMA illegal, on the contrary, it was intended to force Provinces to deal with the issue. Provincial governments have been sitting on the fence and without pressure may continue to do so. It is long past time to lobby local governments to pass the proper laws needed to give AMMA and other combat sports a clear and certain framework.