Saskatchewan Plays the Trump Card over Municipal MMA Regulation in Weyburn

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Earlier this month I discussed the combat sports athletic commission rumored to be coming to Weyburn, Sakatchewan concluding that if Cities in Saskatchewan have the authority to regulate MMA under the Cities Act and there is “no interference from the Provincial legislature” then the path may be clear for municipal commissions.

I have just been informed that the Province will in fact interfere with this development making it clear that in their view the Cities Act will not give Weyburn the authority to regulate MMA.  Melanie Baumann, Senior Policy Analyst for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport has set out the Province’s position as follows:

Regarding the messaging about the Weyburn event, bylaw and interest in bringing in the Central Commission from Alberta….

 Our legal advice is as follows: “the passing of such a bylaw and establishing such a body would not come within the proposed amendments of the Criminal Code so as to make a professional MMA fight legal under the Code. While the bodies established by municipalities under the existing legislation can be seen to be established “under the authority of the province’s legislature”, they are established pursuant to a general authority and as such would not come within the wording of the section.”

 If the government chooses to sanction professional MMA (regardless of whether provincial or municipal), new legislation or amendments to the three Municipal Acts would need to be done. 

Ms. Bauman’s analysis may prove troubling for Commissions in Alberta if their authority was scrutinized as their powers are derived from a similar legal footing as what Weyburn purported to do.  Although, as previously discussed, section 535 of Alberta’s Municipal Government Act is a strong factor in support of Municipal Commission powers in Alberta and a similar section does not exist in Saskatchewan.  The bottom line is Provincial governments have the trump card in how Combat Sports will be regulated in Canada.  Saskatchewan has played theirs.

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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.

35 Responses to “ Saskatchewan Plays the Trump Card over Municipal MMA Regulation in Weyburn ”

  1. Donald Duck says:

    Queue the rush to 97 Ave in Edmonton.

    Let’s just hope that Pat’s reach and influence doesn’t extend down the road from his office or we could quickly see the birth of a Provincial Alberta commission. It would be nice to see a consolidated voice when it comes to regulations and the greater weight of the provincial government may help with putting restrictions on sub-par promotions and fighters. Unfortunately no one in Alberta has shown to have the knowledge and backbone required to do this type of job.

    I hear the faint sounds of calliopes playing circus music…

    Donnie

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  2. PUCK says:

    Yes very interesting…I do tend to agree with the duck on this one. Not to many guys out there want that job…..even less are qualified to do it. And I’m sure if we/they/ABC whoever looked into it that most commisions and promotions are all run by people that are “under” qulified…AKA no fight experience pro or ammy and no Marshal Arts background to speak of….but….they wanted to make some money….

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  3. Graham Weenk says:

    Saks gov is hurting all sask fighters and inhibiting the growth of all businesses in the industry. We are the only province with no commissions. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  4. Marv says:

    I agree with graham! Saskatchewan fans and fighters are getting fed up with our gov’t. Personally I’m choked about it for several reasons. We are regarded as Canada’s most resource rich province while Saskatoon is Canada’s fastest growing city. So it’s time to act like it, bringing mma events to our cities and towns will bring in money to further our economic growth, and I gotta say CUC is a perfect venue for a UFC event, and before all you ignorent people say “ohh Saskatoon could never be successful with a large event like that!!” Bite your tongue. Saskatoon is having perpetual success with hosting large events like the world juniors, the memorial cup, the junos etc. due to fan support and a province that sticks together and gets involved. Anyway when our commission is created I hope the wait will be worth it and we don’t have moron judges timing the rounds with grandpas greasy ol’ pocket watch….hmmm that last round seemed kinda long, I better shorten this one up a bit. Once again PROFESSIONAL SPORT you fuckin plugs in Edmonton. (Sorry for cursing and for venturing off topic) and no I won’t let that go because its idiots like that are continuing to make the sport look bad and barbaric, holding it back from further success in Canada. It’s no wonder Manitoba got a UFC event before you. If Saskatoon got an event before Edmonton that would make my whole life. At least we can count to 5 haha right edmuhhhhhnthun?!?!

    Fin

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  5. Donald Duck says:

    Wait is that what you call the gap between Alberta and Manitoba?

    Donnie

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  6. Roderick says:

    I would love to see a test case before the Saskatchewan courts i.e. if, hypothetically, the city formed a commission, would it be lawful?

    The problem is getting the dough together to bring it – I doubt that the city would pay for it.

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  7. I’d put my money on the Province’s position if it was fought in Court. Section 83 of the Criminal Code gives Provinces the power when it comes to combat sports regulation.

    In Alberta the Province seems content in letting Cities run the show through the general powers from the Municipal Government Act plus they have the benefit of section 535.

    In Saskatchewan the Government trump card is likely the end of the matter. If not they can easily clarify this with legislative amendment so either way their position would come out on top.

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  8. PUCK says:

    I’m down for seeing mma or the UFC go to Sask. but the world juniors/Memorial are the bigest tournements for hockey in a hockey nation? I don’t think that every person who’s likes hockey will like or is into MMA? I wish that were true? And the Junos??? I don’t see Celien Dion coming out to Saskatoon to see a fight. lol But hey? Maybe she digs it? I don’t think those comparisons will hold any base to how MMA is recieved in Sack. Plus, Winnipeg and Edmonton are most likely the 2 biggest fight towns in west canada,lots of grappling/kickboxing/Muay Thai tournys and MMA events….I personally never hear anything going on over there? Marv, Do you know what the last “Big” fighting event was in anything over in Sack? Not ripping on ya at all just wondering?

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  9. I think the last big fighting event in Saskabush was hog tying and bronco busting, Yeehaa!!! Damn! I missed it I was too preoccupied with the tractor pulling contest and the demolition derby.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  10. Donald Duck says:

    The problem is that MMA is still a niche sport and doesn’t have the broad popularity of hockey (in reference to the world juniors). While I’m sure 99% of us would fill our fight fix by watching two monkeys with dull razors fight over a frozen banana in a 7/11 parking lot the average person couldn’t possibly care less.

    UFC’s big names are really only draws in the world of Combat Sports and before you pull out the, “Well Donnie the UFC sold 55k seats in Toronto” argument let’s look at it in scale.

    There are approximately 5.5 million people in the GTA so 1% of the population went to the show.

    There are just over 1 million people in all of Sask. and roughly 350,000 in Regina and Saskatoon combined. Through in PA and you might hit 0.5 million…

    Not sure the UFC is going to gamble on a possible turnout of 5000 people.

    Donnie

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  11. Roderick says:

    With the new amendments to the criminal code, there shouldn’t be any amateur: MMA, Muay Thai or kick boxing in Saskatchewan, unless and until the LG (Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield) changes things … as I have said before, I doubt that it is on her list of priorities.

    I feel sorry for the athletes and fans in Saskatchewan.

    The changes to the Criminal Code were supposed to make it easier for MMA to get recognition as a bona fide sport – instead it has silenced amateur MMA throughout the country.

    A step back has been taken, in that some fighters now may consider fighting pro, because there is no amateur MMA.

    In this vein, the emergence of a Provincial Commission in BC is good if you are a big player/promoter with deep pockets, but to a small time promoter doing it for the love of the sport, it is going to be hard to make a buck, and if you can’t make a buck you won’t see many shows.

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  12. AMLEHTC says:

    LG Vaughn seems like a bitch

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  13. Roderick says:

    AMLETHTC,

    I have never met the lady.

    Given her signature is required to bless AMMA in Saskatchewan, let’s be nice – you get more with sugar that sh*t.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  14. AMLEHTC says:

    Considering that she is keeping a lot of talented fighters from fighting locally, I don’t like her. Saskatchewan seems to have some talented guys and it’s a shame that it’s not being showcased

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  15. So is this event going to happen? It’s being advertised as running, did they figure it out?

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  16. Marv says:

    Sorry buys I lost this link. Puck– by mentioning the world uniprs and junos I was merely stating how saskatoon has been successful at running world class events.. I wasn’t comparing attendance. Yes you are totally right I can’t even ne a large a event in sask but that’s because it’s been illegal for so fuckin long. We need a province wide commission so that can be fixed. I’m also gonna say that it’s not a niche sport here everyone you talk to would go to stoon for a UFC card, CUC would sell out for sure

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  17. Marv says:

    And big poppa groove shut the fuck up bitch. Keep dumpin hair gel on that hollow Mellon of yours. Pussy

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  18. Donald Duck says:

    Marv, you’re the kind of guy who has a TapOut sticker on his truck and likes to point out to his friends that the guys on TUF aren’t doing “Ultimate Fighting” they’re doing MMA.

    You’re probably also the same guy who likes to remind people that you were a big fan back when they called it NHB…

    Look MMA is a marginal sport and has nowhere near the popularity in Canada that hockey or curling do. I know that might make you sad and I’m sure you have at least 15 buddies who would drive from Mooseknuckle Saskadonkey to come to a UFC but won’t sell out a major stadium.

    Sorry.

    Donnie

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  19. hasslehoff says:

    @DonnieD, you just described the majority of so-called UFC/MMA/NHB fans…too funny, but unfortunately so very true

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. Donald Duck says:

    Dude I remember when their was a huge split between the two NoGi brands….

    Donnie

    PS – I’m worse than “that guy”.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. Marv says:

    I missed you Donnie, sorry to disappoint you but no, I do not have a tapout sticker on my truck, my truck is not a lifted black dodge with a slip tank in the back, I do not ,have not, and never will own a pair of white sunglasses and I’m not on steroids…wait I just described every guy in Edmonton. No I’m not “one of those” mma fans, I admit I started watching mma in 2005 when I was 16 yrs old. although I know the type of people you’re talking about so I gotta laugh. Lastly, you’re right, I have been being a little more optimistic on the whole selling out CUC subject but that’s not say it wouldn’t be a succesful event.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  22. Graham Weenk says:

    According to reliable sources, Saskatoon was a preferred option over Winnipeg by the UFC because of extremely high ppv buys.

    I was as surprised as anyone to hear that info thinking that UFC would want Winnipeg 1st since its a bigger center, but apparently Saskatoon ppv totals are much higher.

    No commission here meant Winnipeg got the show. Saks would sell out CUC very quickly.

    That’s the info I got from what I’d consider very reliable sources.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Marv says:

    Very interesting graham, did you guys move locations?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Graham Weenk says:

    Yep, 339 Edson street huge new place 7500sqft, 2 big mat spaces, octagon, 2weight rooms

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Donald Duck says:

    Graham I find it very hard to believe that the UFC would enter such a small market (see my above post on scale) as Saskatoon or Regina. If Saskatoon was truly the hub of MMA love as you describe then training with Dave Harris (sorry Lockhart) wouldn’t have been the only option for a long time.

    Saskatoon has a lot going for it, same with Regina but population density is not one of them. I could see your comment holding true back in the WEC days but for now the UFC is just too big to gamble on a market that small.

    Donnie

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  26. Graham Weenk says:

    I got my info from reliable sources Donnie. Not just an opinion. Based on ppv buys.

    I was as surprised as anyone to hear it, but apparently Winnipeg has really low ppv buys while Sask is very high.

    Sask commission officially passed today tho, pro mma here next year so we’ll see if there is any truth to UFC claim

    Otherwise great news for all Sask fighters today!

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Tom Wright just said that this Sask legislation will make Sask the 6th province to get UFC shows.

    I expect a fight night out of the smaller arena though.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. Ryan Davies says:

    Hey Marv you really makin fun of edmonton and you are drom saskatchewen?? Lmfao dont you have some sheep to go fuck farmboy!

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  29. Rick says:

    Saskatchewan will hold a UFC event in Saskatoon and it will sell out. People don’t come from just the province but also from all over the country and from the U.S. as well. I predict an event in February, March 2014 at the CUC centre and it will be extremely successful.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Marv says:

    Wow, I m must’ve really hit a nerve with that white sunglasses hey?! Oh right, when your mom was over she told me how you make her was all your affliction shirts. Make sure you get touchups on your tribal tattoos and drive around with a pitbull in your lifted diesel to make up for your 4 inch dick……anyway done with that. Great day for MMA in Sask.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. Ryan Davies says:

    Good day for saskatchewen all jokes here marv but dont all the guys in alberta with lifts and small tooooners come from saskatchewen!! Just sayin!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. AMLEHTC says:

    cant we all just get along, celebrate this day for MMA and come together to make fun of Steve Fader

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  33. Marv says:

    Hahahahaha you’re kinda right man, you guys can keep them. Amlehtc- I agree but ive been trying not to comment on the “fader ordeal” because it legit pisses me off.. Just chirpin back and forth is fun for me cuz I don’t take anything personally. I’m sure mr Davies feels the same way. But yea what a joke. If he loved the dog that fuckin much he’d pay for it himself. Good lord what’s next

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  34. Donald Duck says:

    Having fought and cornered in Sask-a-Donkey multiple times I will say the fans are very serious about their fighting there. I have joked before that there are only three things Saskatchewanians do well… Hockey, Drink and Fight.

    I had forgotten about ‘fight nights’. That might make sense but they’d have to put a decent name to headline and a stack of solid Canadians to round it out.

    Doable.

    Donnie

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. Marv says:

    Hahahaha finally someone gets us. Nicely put Donnie

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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