Last year I highlighted BC’s position that professional kickboxing and muay thai events are not allowed under the updated Section 83 of the Criminal Code. The Senator that drafted the law responded disagreeing with the Province’s narrow interpretation of the law.
Senator Runciman has since taken a stronger stance stating that BC’s interpretation of the law he wrote “defies logic“. The Senator, in a letter written earlier this year to BC’s Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development states that “It defies logic that some martial arts competitions were deemed legal under the previous boxing-only definition, but are now considered illegal under a definition that permits mixed martial arts“.
This is an important development because if a Court is ever asked to interpret s. 83 of the Criminal Code in deciding the scope of provincial powers to regulate professional “mixed martial arts”, the presiding judge can look to the intent of the law.
Ideally this will prompt the BC Government to revisit their position and consider legalizing professional kickboxing in the Province. Additionally, this should be persuasive in influencing other Provinces in deciding the scope of their powers in legalizing professional combat sports. Not all Provinces agree with BC’s position and, given the Senator’s views, a broad interpretation of what “mixed martial arts” entails is likely warranted.
I have obtained a full copy of Senator Runciman’s letter to the BC Government which can be found here: