Posts Tagged ‘Saskatchewan Athletics Commission Act’

Saskatchewan Bill 108

 

 

 

 

 

Less than a year following passage of Bill S-209 the landscape for professional MMA in Canada continues to take shape with another Province formally legalizing the sport.

On March 18, 2014 the Saskatchewan Athletics Commission Act  (Bill 108) passed Third Reading.  The Act creates a Province wide Athletics Commission which will regulate professional boxing, MMA and “other prescribed sport(s)” in the Province.

The Act comes into force on proclamation.  Once in force the Lieutenant Governor in Council will pass appropriate regulations setting out the specific details for professional MMA in the Province.

The Third Reading was direct and to the point.  Below is the transcript of the proceedings in full:

Mr. Michelson: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am
instructed by the Standing Committee on Intergovernmental
Affairs and Justice to report Bill No. 108, The Athletics
Commission Act without amendment.

The Speaker: — It has been moved by the Chair of the
Intergovernmental Affairs and Justice report that the Bill No.
108, The Athletics Commission Act be reported without
amendment. Is the Assembly ready for the question?

Some Hon. Members: — Question.

The Speaker: — It has been moved by the Chair that the . . .
Okay. We have a new script and I went a little too close to the
top here.

When shall this Bill be considered in Committee of the Whole?
I recognize the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport.

Hon. Mr. Doherty: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I request leave
to waive consideration in Committee of the Whole on this bill
and that the bill be now read the third time.

The Speaker: — The minister has requested leave to waive
consideration in Committee of the Whole on Bill No. 108, The
Athletics Commission Act without amendment and that the bill
be now read the third time. Is leave granted?

Some Hon. Members: — Agreed.

The Speaker: — The minister may proceed to move third
reading.

[14:30]

THIRD READINGS

Bill No. 108 — The Athletics Commission Act

Hon. Mr. Doherty: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I move that
this bill be now read the third time and passed under its title.

The Speaker: — It has been moved by the minister that Bill
No. 108, The Athletics Commission Act be now read the third
time and passed under its title.

Is the Assembly ready for the question?

Some Hon. Members: — Question.

The Speaker: — Is it the pleasure of the Assembly to adopt the
motion?

Some Hon. Members: — Agreed.

The Speaker: — Carried.

Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel: — Third reading of
this bill.

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.