Bill S-209 Receives Royal Assent; Now Officially In Force


Bill S-209, which overhauled the Criminal Code to allow Provinces to give MMA a legal framework in Canada has now received Royal Assent. This makes the new law now in force. MP Bal Gosal issued the following comments:

OTTAWA, June 20, 2013 /CNW/ – The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), today issued the following statement welcoming Royal Assent of Bill S-209, which will bring changes to the Criminal Code to amend the definition of prize fight and expand the list of permitted sports under prize fighting provisions:

“I am very pleased to announce that An Act to amend the Criminal Code (prize fights) has received Royal Assent.

“Sport has evolved and grown in importance in today’s society, and government policies, regulations, and legislation must evolve as well. Until now, the Criminal Code definition of prize fighting had not been updated since 1934, when boxing was the only combative sport considered.

“Today, many combative sports are included on the programs of both the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees and are governed by international federations that establish standardized rules for their sports. Other sports, such as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and other mixed martial arts, are growing in popularity and are being conducted under a governing set of rules for participants around the world.

“Our Government believes that authorized combative sports played under an accepted set of international rules should not be deemed to be explicitly illegal in Canada by the mere fact that they are combative sports.

“We are pleased that the amendments to the Criminal Code reflect the current reality of combative sports and provide provincial governments and sport bodies with a clear legal framework to effectively regulate combative sport in their jurisdictions.”


Erik Magraken is a personal injury litigator and Partner with the British Columbia law-firm MacIsaac & Company. The article was re-printed with permission from his Canadian MMA Law Blog.

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