Is Ontario Selectively Prosecuting MMA Events?

I have previously highlighted why there is no proper framework for amateur MMA in Ontario and until appropriate post Bill S-209 laws are passed amateur MMA events cannot comply with section 83 of the Criminal Code.

Despite this it appears that some amateur Combat Sports events are taking place without government repercussions.  Pecker’d Promotions discusses at least two past MMA events on their website which apparently took place in 2013 after Bill S-209 was passed, namely the Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Championship Series 1 and 2 which are advertised to have taken place on November 13, 2013 and December 14, 2013 in Burlington and Brampton Ontario.  There are also video highlights published on YouTube:

I applaud efforts to grow amateur combat sports in Canada.  For this to happen effectively, however, a proper legal framework needs to be put in place.  Absent this those involved risk prosecution under the Criminal Code.  To my knowledge there have not been any prosecutions for the AMMACS events despite section 83 of the Criminal Code.  The question is why?  Is Ontario choosing to put their head in the sand when it comes to amateur MMA the way much of Canada did before Bill S-209 or, worse yet, is the government choosing to only selectively prosecute amateur MMA events at their discretion?

If the Government is looking the other way because they are now ok with amateur MMA they are going about it the wrong way.  There is no reason why amateur MMA can’t be legalized in Ontario and the Government can choose to follow either the BC Model, the Saskatchewan Model or carve their own path.  Until this is done those that participate in the sport are taking a gamble as to whether the authorities will seek to enforce the letter of the law.

7 thoughts on “Is Ontario Selectively Prosecuting MMA Events?

  1. Alex, thanks for your prompt reply. I agree shedding light on this situation is important for all stakeholders in the Canadian MMA community.

    I applaud your efforts to grow amateur MMA but am curious as to how you are hosting these events in Ontario without Government intervention.

    As you may know, since S-209 was passed amending s. 83 of the Criminal Code the default position is that amateur combat sports (with the exception of Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Wrestling and Boxing) are illegal unless a Province passes an appropriate law changing the default position. Ontario has no such law on the books. Can you tell me what position the Ontario government has taken towards your events? If there has been no contact with Provincial authorities can you tell me why you feel your events will not be targeted?

    1. O there has been contact with Provincial authorities, Police, Senators, MP’s, MPP’s, Mayors, and so on,…

      I have been targeted and I have had many conversations and meetings with local authorities in regards to hosting AMMA (on Ontario soil);

      1. Canadian FILA AMMA-Pankration-Gi/NoGi Grappling (Brampton Ontario) 2013
      2. World FILA AMMA-Pankration-Gi/NoGi Grappling Championships (London Ontario) 2013
      3. AMMACS 1 Brampton Ontario 2013
      4. AMMACS 2 Burlington Ontario 2013.

      Under the regulation of the Canadian Combat Association and the Ontario Grappling Association we have the sanctioning, insurance, all the way up to the sport accord. Without the steps that these groups have taken, we would never be able to host such events and I would not be in this conversation.

      I feel that an open conversation needs to be had and what better way to do it than Monday night,…whos down to edumacate the peeps? Down to blow the lid off on this with me?

      I will try and set this up so we can give adults the facts and offer them the choice to compete in events that they feel the sanctioning organization and promoter has to offer with safety, regulations and a system set in place.

      Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Championship Series #AMMACS

  2. Thanks Alex. I don’t doubt that you have all the best oversight you can put together in terms of insurance, safety, etc. The problem in Ontario is, even with best efforts on behalf of a promoter to host an amateur event with all appropriate safety steps etc., you still can’t get around section 83 of the Criminal Code. I know I sound like a broken record but until new Provincial legislation is introduced (or a simple Order in Council is passed) these events risk section 83 prosecutions.

    This applies not only to MMA but to non Olympic Traditional Martial Arts such as Karate and Jiu Jitsu. It is neglectful for the Ontario government not to address this legal gap now that the Federal Government has given them the power to do so under Bill S-209.

    Thanks again for your reply, I appreciate you engaging in this discussion.

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