Alberta to consider province-wide athletic commission

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mixed martial arts is legal everywhere in North America, but there is wide variation in regulation. Some Canadian provinces uniquely have municipal athletic commissions. Both Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta have municipal commissions, as the mid-sized cities Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Cold Lake, and Penhold.

There have been repeated calls in Alberta for a single province-wide athletic commission. Now the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s convention, which will take place from November 22 to 24, is being asked to consider a unified sanctioning body.

Scott Johnston has the story for Canada’s Global News.

Edmonton mayor Don Iveson and Red Deer’s Tara Veer have written Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda giving a heads-up that the AUMA resolution is coming. A similar motion three years ago tabled by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo got enough support from AUMA delegates but was never acted on by the province.

Steve Phipps, who chairs the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission, anticipates this vote will pass as well.

“My gut feeling is, if it passed three years ago, I don’t think anything has changed that would cause it not to pass this time,” he said in an interview. “What the province will do when the AUMA approaches them with it, I have no idea. I don’t know where this ranks in their priorities because I’ve never had any direct feedback from them.”

“There’s no advantage to having a patchwork system of regulatory standards when it comes to competitor safety,” he said.

Phipps anticipates the independent review of boxer Tim Hague’s death will address the idea of the Notley government creating a province-wide regulatory body. That will add some support to the Red Deer sponsored AUMA resolution. The report from MNP LLP, which is doing the investigation from the June event, will be released in December.

“Perhaps with this many parties seeking the same thing, the province will be more amenable than it was several years ago,” wrote Phipps.

Phipps also said that a single major event might cover the cost of a provincial commission for a year.