Posts Tagged ‘Bill 108’

Saskatchewan Hansard Debate Photo

The Saskatchewan Athletics Commission Act, which will legalize pro MMA and other combat sports in the Province, is up for second reading and is presently being debated by the Saskatchewan government.

It appears there is momentum in place and the law will likely pass but there is debate about the particulars of the proposed law.  Now is an opportune time for stakeholders in the MMA community in Saskatchewan to contact their MLA to ensure your feedback is received.

Some of the more interesting concerns noted relate to the possible need for a Fighter’s Association and also disability benefits for competitors.   Regarding a Fighter’s Association MLA Buckely Belanger commented that a lifetime in contact sports can take its toll  and “I think a lot of players recognize that and that’s why you have the NHL Players’ Association to look after their members.  And you would assume and hope that a commission of this sort that looks after the mixed martial arts fight contests, that they also look after their participants as well.  I think that goes without saying that it’s something that’s really, really important when it comes to this particular art itself“.

With respect to possible disability benefits for combatants the same MLA noted as follows:

And again I know that people could legally protect themselves by having the participants or the combatants sigh a waiver and full well know what they’re getting into.  But…I think it’s incumbent upon the higher supporters of this particular sport, and that being government, that they put the proper protection in place to ensure that if a fighter gets hurt, or wore, gets brain injury, then that there is provisions to ensure that they have a decent income after if they get injured, and that there’s provisions that would care for them following their career if there is some MMA event in the province of Saskatchewan”

I have compiled the full debate transcripts here which are worth reviewing for those interested in Combat Sports regulatory issues:

Saskatchewan Hansard Debates re Athletic Commission Act

Saskatchewan MMA law

Earlier this year the Government of Saskatchewan legalized amateur MMA and other combat sports and announced plans to create a Provincial Athletic Commission to address professional combat sports.  The first legislative step to make this a reality has now taken place.

The Government introduced Bill 108 “An Act Respecting the Athletics Commission and Professional Contests or Exhibitions“.  You can read the Bill here:

Saskatchewan Athletics Commission Act

The Bill proposes a Province wide commission tasked with licencing and regulating “Professional Contests or Exhibitions” which are defined to include pro boxing, MMA, and any other “prescribed sport” which leaves open the possibility of a more expansive interpretation of section 83 of the Criminal Code.

Bill 108 passed first reading on November 5, 2013.   Now is the time for stakeholders in the combat sports community to review Bill 108 and give the Government feedback about any desired changes before it is finalized and passes into law.