First Ontario, and now Canada. Bill S-209 Passes

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is now legal Canada wide Thanks to the Canadian House of Commons passing MMA bill S-209. Now it’s up to the Cities and provinces to sanction and regulate MMA but can now do so without any legal concern.

Bill S-209, also known as the “MMA bill” removes the criminal code prohibition on mixed martial arts in Canada has passed the third and final reading in the House of Commons after receiving royal assent.

The bill amends section 83(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada that regulates prizefighting, which has not been updated since 1934 and has been long overdue. Specifically, it clarifies the propriety of promoting MMA events in Canada.

It was this narrow interpretation of section 83(2) that was used by the Ontario provincial government to determine that MMA was illegal in Ontario, until it was relaxed in 2011 and it was only after extensive lobbying by the UFC President Dana White, and mounting pressure from groups like UFCOntario.com, as well as the greatest sports fans in the world, UFC & MMA Fans. Bill S-209 minimizes the possibility of such narrow interpretations being used in the future.

MMA Fans from all across Canada can rejoice knowing that their beloved sport will no longer be able to become subject to future bans due to a mere interpretation.

UFC Director of Canadian Operations, Tom Wright said that “This is a major development for the sport of mixed martial arts as we now have a consistent legislative framework for Canada and its provinces. The UFC thanks Senator Bob Runciman for spearheading this initiative and MP Massimo Pacetti for piloting this through the House of Commons. We’re also appreciative of MP Ryan Leef’s support throughout this entire process.”

Now Winnipeg will be next up with June 15TH with UFC 161 MTS Centre – Evans vs Henderson, then Toronto later this year will host its fourth UFC show UFC 165 September 21ST TBA. Montreal is the only city to host more UFC events then Toronto, standing at 6.

MMA is currently only sanctioned provincially in Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and British Columbia. The UFC stated in its release that its goal was to have the sport regulated in all 10 provinces and 3 territories.

UFC tweets

Tom Wright @WrightUFC
It’s official. Professional MMA is now legal in Canada. A great day for our sport
3:33 PM – 5 Jun 2013

Tom Wright @WrightUFC
@myerscurtis yes. The province or cities still needs to sanction and regulate – but now they can so without any legal concern.
4:53 PM – 5 Jun 2013