Alberta mayors pushed for provincial MMA commission days before Tim Hague’s death
A letter dated June 7 from the Edmonton and Red Deer mayors shows the cities were seeking support for a provincial commission to oversee combative sports.
Don Iveson and Tara Veer asked other Alberta mayors to sign a form that would help urge provincial authorities to create this governing body.
The pair acknowledged the popularity of mixed martial arts in Alberta and stressed the need for standardized rules and safety requirements.
“There is currently no national or international governing body for combative sports,” the letter reads.
“Over the past three years, all other provinces have created provincial commissions to provide standardized governance and increased efficiency of regulatory services, expect for Alberta, which instead has seven independent municipal commissions.”
Currently, the city oversees the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission.
The mayors said creating one commission for all Alberta would make the sport safer.
“It would ensure compliance across the province with the high standards of safety required to host MMA events, including requirements for properly trained and accredited officials and the requisite number of ringside physicians. With standardized rules, regulations, and operating procedures, events would be consistently held in a safe and properly governed manner,” the letter reads.
The letter was sent just nine days before a KO Boxing event at the Shaw Conference Centre on June 16 after which Alberta fighter Tim Hague died.
Hague fought Adam Braidwood and lost the fight by a knockout. He walked out of the ring under his own power but was later taken to hospital in critical condition. He passed away June 18 from his injuries.
The City of Edmonton said a third-party review will be done to look into the boxing match. The Combative Sports Commission always does internal post-fight reviews, but in some cases, an independent review is ordered. The review will include everyone involved, such as promoters, physicians, referees and inspectors.
In their letter, the mayors said the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo put forward the idea of a provincial commission in 2013 and it was supported by a “majority of municipalities.” However, Iveson and Veer said the province didn’t move forward with the resolution at that time.
“A provincial commission in Alberta would allow promoters to stage events in more municipal facilities throughout the province, with events under the governance of provincial commission authorities, as well as improve safety compliance for events and athletes,” the letter reads.
The mayors also suggested one provincial commission would reduce the duplication of costs involved with having commissions in multiple cities.
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