I thought that Weyburn Saskatchewan would be the first to teach us what happens when an unsanctioned combat sport is hosted in a post Bill S-209 world but the matter is apparently still “under investigation”. Moving East, Charlottetown PEI has just demonstrated the modern reality of what occurs when a combat sports event is planned without proper legislation in place.
CBC News reports that Island Inferno VII, an amateur kickboxing event, was shut down by local police just hours before taking place. The event has been hosted in previous years without a hitch but now, with Bill S-209 in place and no appropriate Provincial laws giving amateur kickboxing a legal framework in PEI, the event is left in the dark.
While the event organizers have good reason to be upset by the 11th hour government shutdown, the local authorities are not out of line in their legal position. This serves as a real-world reminder that the law in Canada is now clear that amateur combat sports outside of those in the Programme of the IOC (boxing, judo, wrestling and taekwondo) are illegal by default. Provinces can overcome this default position by passing appropriate local laws designating which combat sports can be held in compliance with Section 83 of the Criminal Code. You can click here for a summary of what Bill S-209 does and the ways to comply with the law.
It is not enough to have event oversight by a sport organization such as Kickboxing Canada as the Island Inferno organizers did, the event also must be held in a jurisdiction that has passed the required laws giving their blessing to the specific combat sport. BC and Saskatchewan are two such provinces who have designated legal amateur combat sports further to Bill S-209. Other Provinces would do well to follow suit.