Another forum member has forwarded an e-mail he has already sent to his MP. I will not use his name as I do not have his permission to do so but here is a blank that people can use to send to their MP.
"Dear (insert member of parliment name)
As one of your constituents, I would like you to
consider my request for your help to have Section 83 of the Criminal Code amended either through a Private Members Bill or if possible a government bill, which would allow the sanctioning of Mixed Martial Arts events in Ontario.
Section 83 of the Federal Criminal Code stated
"PART II OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC
ORDERPrize FightsEngaging in prize fight 83. (1) Every one
(a) engages as a principal in a prize
(b) advises, encourages or promotes a prize
(c) is present at a prize fight as an aid,
second, surgeon, umpire, backer or reporter,
is guilty of an offence punishable on
summary conviction. Definition of "prize fight" (2)
In this section, "prize fight" means an encounter or fight with fists or hands between two persons who have met for that purpose by previous arrangement made by or for them, but a boxing contest between amateur sportsmen, where the contestants wear boxing gloves of not less than one hundred and forty grams each in mass, or any boxing contest held with the permission or under the authority of an athletic board or commission or similar body established by or under the authority of the legislature of a province for the control of sport within the province, shall be deemed not to be a prize fight.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 83; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 186."
This code is archaic and impeding the ability for promoters to put on MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) events, fans to watch the sport in Ontario and MMA athletes from Ontario to partake in the sport within their own province. It is also taking away the economic benefits these events would bring to Ontario.
The province of Quebec has long amended provincial
legislation to allow the sanctioning of MMA events and many of the other provinces are following suit. The City of Vernon, B.C. has just passed a
municipal by-law to allow the formation of an Athletics Commission to hold such events. Ontario though does not allow for municipalities to override
Ontario's Athletics Control Act.
Mr. Ken Hayashi is Ontario's Athletics Commissioner
and states that there has to be an amendment to Section 83 to allow the sanctioning of MMA events and I quote:
"Please be advised that under the Athletics
control Act and Regulations the Office of the Athletics Commissioner has the authority to sanction professional boxing, boxing with the hands and feet
(kickboxing) and wrestling. And any that any other combative sport that is not recognized under the Athletics Control Act, or any amateur combative sport that is not recognized by the Ministry of Tourism & Recreation, falls under section 83 of the Canadian Criminal Code.
To have Mixed Martial Arts legalized it will take legislative changes to both the Canadian Criminal Code and to the regulations under the Athletics Control Act. One would have to lobby both the
Federal and Provincial governments to seek legislative amendments."
Mr. Hayashi also said in an interview much of the
same, that there needs to be an amendment to section 83 and here is part of that interview:
MA: "how can Quebec allow MMA if section 83 is worded as is?"
KH: "they perhaps open themselves up to liability by doing so."
MA: "so in essence, anyone who sanctions MMA in Canada is in contradiction to S83 and thus guilty of a criminal offence. Correct?"
KH: "I don't know but who's going to charge them? You'd have to get yourself a lawyer I guess to argue about that."
MA: "why can't Ontario do what Quebec is doing?"
KH: "I've contacted our legal dep't and they've stated that we cannot make changes to the Athletics Control Act until the wording in section 83 is changed".
MA: "Is there anything one can do to try and change the minds of the Ontario gov't on this?"
KH: "I don't know, it's not up to me".
MA: "Who would you suggest I contact?"
KH: "You'd have to lobby the gov't. I am not able to advise the best way to do that."
MA: "So in essence, you are only responsible for ensuring the Athletics Control Act is adhered to. You are not responsible for changing it. Correct."
KH: "Yes, exactly."
MA: "May I ask what your opinion is of MMA or is that not even relevant."
KH: "Exactly, I'm completely indifferent.
If the province chose to allow MMA tomorrow I'd be fine with it."
(Insert MP's name here), I hope you will consider my request for your help to try and have Section 83 of the Criminal Code amended and I look forward to your response.
(insert your name here)