Over the past several months the City of Vernon, BC had debated banning Mixed Martial Arts. Today the City followed through with their plans and passed Bylaw 5505-2014 which prohibits professional MMA events in the City.
Below is the Bylaw in full which is the first of its kind in the Province banning the sport following the Provincial government legalizing it via a Province wide athletic commission:
BYLAW NUMBER 5505
A bylaw to regulate and prohibit mixed martial arts
WHEREAS section 59(1 )(f) of the Community Charter authorizes Council to prohibit
professional boxing, professional wrestling and other professional athletic contests;
AND WHEREAS section 8(3)(i) of the Community Charter authorizes Council to prohibit
activities in relation to public health;
AND WHEREAS under section 2(1)(a) of the Private Health Bylaws Regulation (B.C. Reg.
42/2004) a bylaw in relation to the protection, promotion or preservation of the health of
individuals must be deposited with the Minister of Health;
AND WHEREAS section 8(6) of the Community Charter authorizes Council to control,
inspect, limit and restrict business, including by establishing rules respecting what must
be done in relation to the business and business activities;
AND WHEREAS section 59(2) of the Community Charter provides that before adopting
a bylaw under section 8(6) or 59(1), Council must give notice of its intention as Council
considers reasonable, and provide an opportunity for persons who consider they are
affected by the bylaw to make representations to Council;
NOW THEREFORE the Council of the Corporation of the City ofVernon in open meeting
enacts as follows:
1. This bylaw shall be cited for all purposes as “City of Vernon Mixed Martial Arts
Bylaw Number 5505, 2014″.
2. In this bylaw,
(a) “business” means carrying on a commercial activity or undertaking of any kind
or providing a service for the purpose of profit or gain;
(b) “contest” includes an exhibition;
(c) “matchmaker” means a person who arranges contests between particular
athletes for a mixed martial arts contest;
(d) “mixed martial arts” means unarmed combat between two or more persons
involving the use of a combination of techniques from other martial arts, including,
without limitation, grappling, kicking, striking and holding;
(e) “promoter” means a person who carries on a business in relation to mixed
(f) “second” means a person who assists an athlete between rounds in the course
of a mixed martial arts contest or exhibition.
Mixed Martial Arts
3. No person may engage as a contestant in a professional mixed martial arts
4. Without limiting section 3 or other forms of athletic contest, no person may engage
as a contestant in a professional mixed martial arts contest if the contest is or
relates to a business or business activity.
5. Without limiting sections 3 or 4, or other forms of athletic contest, no person may
act as a promoter, matchmaker or second in a mixed martial arts contest if the
contest is or relates to a business or business activity.
6. Nothing in sections 3 through 5 regulates an amateur mixed martial arts contest or
exhibition held by or in relation to the business of a mixed martial arts training
studio or trainer holding a valid and subsisting business license
Offences and Fines
7. (a) Every person who contravenes, suffers or permits any act or thing to be done
in contravention of, or neglects to do or refrains from doing anything required to be
done pursuant to any provision of this bylaw or any notice issued pursuant to this
bylaw, commits an offence punishable on summary conviction, and shall be liable
to a fine not exceeding the sum of $10,000.00.
(b) Where an offence is a continuing offence, each day that the offence is
continued shall constitute a separate and distinct offence.
(c) No person may obstruct a bylaw enforcement officer or peace officer in the
fulfillment of their duties.
(d) This bylaw may be enforced by means of a municipal ticket or bylaw notice in
the forms prescribed for those purposes in the Community Charter and Bylaw
Notice Enforcement Act. Designated offences, bylaw enforcement officers, fines,
fine reductions or surcharges are as set out within the City’s current Municipal
Ticket Information Bylaw and Bylaw Notice Enforcement Bylaw.
(e) Every person who:
i. contravenes any of the provisions of this Bylaw; or
ii. causes or permits or allows any act or thing to be done in contravention or
violation of any of the provisions of this Bylaw; or
iii. neglects or refrains from doing anything required to be done by any of the
provisions of this Bylaw,
is guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine and penalty of
not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and not more than Ten Thousand
Dollars ($10,000.00), and to the cost of prosecution, and to imprisonment for a
term not more than 6 months. Each day such offence continues is deemed to
constitute a separate offence and separate fines, each not exceeding the
maximum fine for that offence, may be imposed for each day or part thereof in
respect of which the offence occurs or continues.
(f) In addition to penalties set out in section 3, a court may also make orders in
accordance with section 263.1 of the Community Charter, as amended.
(g) Nothing in this bylaw limits the City from utilizing any other remedy that would
otherwise be available to the City at law, including remedies available through
prosecution or civil remedies, including injunction.
8. If a portion of this bylaw is held invalid by a Court of competent jurisdiction, then
the invalid portion must be severed and the remainder of this bylaw is deemed to
have been adopted without the severed section, subsequent, paragraph,
subparagraph, clause or phrase.