POLITICS

B.C. brings in legislation to regulate kick-boxing and mixed martial arts

05/07/2012 08:39 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT
VICTORIA - The provincial government has introduced legislation to regulate boxing, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts events across B.C.

Should it become law, Bill 50, known as the Athletic Commissioner Act, will establish a commissioner to oversee the sports.

The commissioner will replace local government bodies that currently regulate the events, said Ida Chong, minister of community, sport and cultural development.

"The benefit of having a provincial athletic commissioner would be that every professional contest would be subject to the same rules and regulations, whether it was being held in Vancouver, Nanaimo or Vernon," said Chong.

Once the position is created, the commissioner will ensure a consistent standard of qualifications and safety protocols under a licensing and permitting framework.

The commissioner will have the authority to suspend and cancel license and event permits and issue administrative penalties.

The legislation will not apply to amateur contests.

The Community Charter and the Vancouver Charter allow municipalities to establish local athletic commissions and authorize public events.

At least nine B.C. municipalities currently have athletic commissions.

The provincial government has announced that it will amend the charters and remove the authority to create local commissions if the bill becomes law.