A public hearing will be held regarding the repeal of the Combative Sports Bylaw.
City Council had the first reading on Monday, following the last Governance and Priorities Committee meeting where administration laid out its motivation behind the repeal.
“After administration reviewed the bylaw, they felt it did not protect the fighter, it did not protect the promoters, nor did it protect the City properly,” says Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
The bylaw was created in 2010, since then there has been a lack of events and currently no members sit on the commission that was also created. As well, the Government of Saskatchewan has a provincial commission that would oversee professional combative sports on that side of the border and the provincial act trumps any bylaw Lloydminster has in place. Alberta has no provincial commission, so if the repeal were to go forward, professional combative sporting events could only take place on the Saskatchewan side.
“It’s not being banned, because of the act in Saskatchewan, if a promoter was interested in bringing MMA to the city of Lloydminster it could be hosted on the Saskatchewan side without any precursors from the city that I am aware of,” says Aalbers.
During the meeting City Clerk Doug Rodwell brought forward some information that has come to light since the GPC meeting.
“What we brought forward to council is the discussions relating to Penhold’s commission and the fact they could come to the city and oversee one event annually. As well as our discussions with a local MMA community representative and their agreement that this by law doesn’t meet the needs of the fighters or the promoters or the City,” says Rodwell.
“The amateur [MMA] events, there’s currently no governing body is what we understand and we wanted to make sure that clarity was brought to council as well. The requirement of a bylaw might be there to hold an amateur MMA event,” adds Rodwell.
The City is looking to hear from community members, as well as representatives from the combative sports community at the public hearing.
“What that will result in, maybe a new bylaw, maybe a revision to the existing bylaw, there is a lot of things we need to look at,” says Aalbers.
Aalbers plans to speak with Emonton’s Mayor Don Iveson later this week. Iveson is heading a committee of nine mayors to lobby the Alberta Government for a provincial commission to be set up.
“I just wanted to bring him up to speed on our existing bylaw, what we’re looking at doing, the beginning of the repealing, what we’ve learned from Saskatchewan, just to make sure and make sure I can lend my voice to that group if that’s the case to lobby the Government of Alberta,” says Aalbers.
The hearing is set for October 16.