Canada’s MMA Law Passes First Reading in the House of Commons


Further to my efforts to keep track of Canada’s progress in formally legalizing MMA, Bill S-209 has now passed first reading in the House of Commons.

Below is the official Hansard transcript:

    He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce Bill S-209, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (prize fights).
    This legislation seeks to amend the Criminal Code by expanding the list of permitted sports under the prize fighting provisions. This change to Canada’s prize fighting laws is long overdue.

     Mixed martial arts have come a long way as a sport in the past 20 years. Their safety record is admirable, their product is popular throughout Canada and worldwide, and the list of Canadians like Georges St-Pierre who excel at this sport is constantly growing.

    I am proud to do my part as a member of Parliament to modernize our laws, since this particular part of the Criminal Code has not been updated since 1934.

    Currently, close to 100,000 Canadians who practice combat sports, some of these sports are recognized by the International Olympic committee, such as judo and tae kwon do, can be considered to doing so illegally under the current provisions of the Criminal Code. Bill S-209 would merely correct this oversight so that Canada can effectively regulate acceptable combat sports openly.

    Seeing as how this bill is non-controversial and is a sensible piece of legislation that clearly addresses a blind spot in the Criminal Code, I look forward to seeing the bill passed expeditiously with the support and co-operation of all members.


Erik Magraken is a personal injury litigator and Partner with the British Columbia law-firm MacIsaac & Company. You can follow his BC Injury Law Blog here:

4 Responses to “ Canada’s MMA Law Passes First Reading in the House of Commons ”

  1. Robin Black says:

    Thanks Erik!

    What impact will this have on amateur MMA in Canada?

    Thanks for your time and efforts sir.

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  2. Erik Magraken says:

    Thanks for your comment Robin. It’s my pleasure to continue to highlight this issue.

    The Bill, in its present form, does not address the gap that will be created on the Provincial side with respect to amateur contests. If the Bill is passed in its present form each Province will need to address this gap.

    For the sake of convenience the below link will take you to my previous article addressing this:

    I don’t believe this is an intentional gap. I have written to the House of Commons and am advised that Members of the Committee reviewing this Bill will receive my letter addressing this issue. I have also been in touch with BC’s Minister of Sport and an told they are aware of this issue.

    I will be happy to write further on this topic once there are further developments.

    Yours truly,


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