When the Criminal Code was amended in 2013 paving the way for Mixed Martial Arts to be legalized in Canada other sports were disrupted in the wake of legal change. In particular, professional kickboxing was left in legal limbo with some Provinces taking the position that the overhauled Criminal Code prohibited the legalization of the sport.
The Senator who drafted the Criminal Code amendments expressed concern that interpreting the law as prohibiting professional kickboxing “defies logic”. Despite this there is fragmentation across Canada about the sport’s potential legality.
Fortunately, at a recent Conference of Federal-Provincial-Territorial Minsters responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation consensus was reached that nationwide clarity is needed and a press release indicates that “they endorsed the proposed amendments to section 83 of the Criminal Code relating to Prize Fights.”
These ‘proposed amendments’ have yet to be publicly released as their exact language is being refined. I have it on good authority, however, that the language includes effort to make it clear that Provinces have the express power to legalize professional kickboxing if they wish and that many Provinces are prepared to exercise this power once clarified.