Fort McMurray Passes Combative Sports Commission Bylaw


Fort MacMurrayWith Bill S-209 now in force, the legislative floodgates are opening with regional governments passing laws addressing mixed martial arts and other combat sports.   Alberta’s Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray) is the latest to enter the fray with the City Council having just passed a Combative Sports Commission Bylaw.

The new bylaw received Third Reading on June 25, 2013.  The local commission will be tasked with regulating and  licencing professional “combative sports events” which are defined as follows:

“Combative Sports” means any sport that holds contests where opponents strike 
each other with a hand, foot, knee, elbow or other parts of the body, including, but 
not limited to, boxing, wrestling, full contact karate, kickboxing, martial arts, 
mixed martial arts and muay thai;

These events will be regulated by the Commission and with this will be brought into legal compliance with section 83 of Canada’s Criminal Code.

The Commission will not regulate amateur combat sports events but these will be permitted so long as they are overseen by “one or more amateur bodies“.  Amateur Contestants and Amateur Events are defined as follows:

“Amateur Contestant” means anyone who participates in a Combative Sport that 
is governed by one or more amateur bodies and does not receive any money or 
other gain from such participation; 

 “Amateur Event” means a Combative Sports competition that is restricted to 
Amateur Contestants and is governed by one or more amateur bodies;

You can find the Bylaw here –  fort mcmurray combative sports commission bylaw

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.

6 Responses to “ Fort McMurray Passes Combative Sports Commission Bylaw ”

  1. captain candu says:

    A commission? I thought they had a commission in place already? What happned to the old commission that was regulating the other events, over the last years?

    anyways, this probably means a mass exodus of other promotions from alberta are going to head up there, and try there luck.

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  2. Prior to passing this bylaw Fort McMurray simply turned a blind eye to MMA.

    With the passage of S-209 this is no longer an option for local governments. They can either pass laws allowing the sport or do nothing and keep it illegal (which is the default position under the Criminal Code if no law to the contrary is passed). Fort Mac has chosen the better of the two options.

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  3. Donald Duck says:

    LOL @ Candu, what rock have you been under? This Duck and many other voices have often called out the lack of commission up north as a huge issue.

    Nice to see them taking this action, it will help to standardize and regulate the sport.


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  4. Bdc says:

    All the bullshit can now be put at rest…you see keith. Looking forward to the future of mma up here and everything an approved commision brings. Its about damn time.

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  5. cray says:

    sandy bowman is a god!

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