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City of North Vancouver Disbands Athletic Commission, Effectively Blocking MMA Sanctioning by the City

(Way to let personal opinion get in the way of making an informed decision, North Vancouver.)

City of North Vancouver city council squashed any possibility that the city will sanction mixed martial arts events any time in the near future as it voted to disband the North Vancouver Athletic Commission Monday night, according to the Northshore Outlook.

“I’ve watched enough of it (Ultimate Fighting Championship) channel surfing to know that I find it repugnant … barbaric,” said Coun. Pam Bookham in the interview with The Outlook.

It was evident that the city was unwilling to work with the commission when councillors voted in March against spending $2,000 of the city’s 2010 operating budget to fund the commission’s objectives, in spite of the money MMA events put into their coffers.

The decision to dissolve the group was likely partially due to of all of the bad press that resulted from an assault by two brothers on two gay men following the June UFC event (which it was never proven they had attended) and an altercation that amounted to little more than a heated argument at an amateur MMA show earlier this month.

Here’s what happened in the latest "incident":

A Vancouver-based MMA trainer reportedly stormed the ring to defend his downed fighter who continued to receive blows from his opponent despite a stoppage call from the referee. While the trainer was verbally lashing out at the referee and the fight’s champion, other people also entered the ring and added to the commotion.

“It probably factored into some of the people’s (councillors) decision,” said Coun. Bob Fearnley who moved the motion to dissolve the athletic commission.

Commission chair Michael Pattenaude downplayed the incident for what it was.

“Yeah there was at the very end, a conflict between the two schools, but it’s not like it ever got physical,” said Pattenaude, who says that Monday night’s decision will likely lead to more underground events in the city, which will leave the city with blood on its hands if injury or death occurs at such an event.

“We’ve heard that it happens in North Van … some (fighters) are being paid,” said Pattenaude.

Pattenaude, who said he is considering approaching the District of North Vancouver (where he says a couple councillors support his vision of ?sanctioning MMA) to form another commission, believes council’s decision was made with a lack of understanding of MMA and other combat sports.

“It looks bad when people see a little bit of blood, but most of these injuries are superficial,” said Pattenaude.

Proving Pattenaude’s point, Fearnley admitted that he doesn’t watch “that sort of stuff” but has "read articles" on the subject — likely the ones about the "UFC 115 gay-bashing" or the "amateur MMA event that erupted in post-fight chaos."

“My wife is a nurse and she talks about head trauma and the long-term effects of this type of sport,” said Fearnley.

Should a councillor be taking the opinion of a nurse over reports from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine or that of years of statistics and neurosurgical research?

Cagepotato Comments

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CheechFace- July 23, 2010 at 10:35 am
I agree with most of what you said but since I'm originally from Ireland I'm going to jump straight to the salient point of your!
We don't get all of the ones you've mentioned here so I'm going to have to keep an eye out. Definitely like Moosehead, and this isn't a criticism as such, but fuck me it does give you a lot of gas after a case of them. Molson only had a few times and it is a nice brew and Labatt Blue is a pretty good one too.
Not many beers/lagers/ales/ciders to mention from Ireland really and those that are aren't to everyone's taste but personally I do love a good Guinness and REAL Bulmers is beautiful out under a hot sun.
When the topic turns to whiskeys now then you'll all have to drop round mine, try a few choice ones and then we can all beat the shit out of each other for fun.
Indica- July 23, 2010 at 9:58 am
Hey Ballprick, as I am born and raised in B.C. along with all of its glory, I am not a hippy stuck in the 60's fuckhead era, MMA hating politcian. I am just a hick that likes his BC Bud™ , mushrooms, beer and MMA. So stop drinking all that haterade playa, haters gon' hate.
Kicktothegroin- July 23, 2010 at 9:33 am
WTF Ballkick

Kokanee is an embarassment to our province and Molson and Labatt are just generic garbage brands, like Coors and Bud in the US. You're right on the other ones though.
Japanadian- July 23, 2010 at 9:04 am
@MMA Mike - too much to read for most on CP
all you have to know is, Vancouver will still have UFC.
nobody in Vancouver gives a shit about NorthVan, just a bunch of richers ruining the mountain side causing landslides and destroying the homes of black bears.

Ballkick- July 23, 2010 at 7:59 am
Thanks for the complete version of stupidity on the Vancouver City's uninformed decision on MMA. I am always amazed at the bureaucracy and incompetence of elected officials. even more so now. I agree with Cro mag, the UFC will find other cities in Canada to do shows at in due time.
I would like to suggest Calgary but we too are mired in a corrupt and biased City council that lets favoritism and nepotism rule the day here too. Unfortunately our Capital of Edmonton is the best place in Alberta to hold such an event.
MMA is as Cro mag states huge in this country. Canadians ARE the biggest buyers of mma pay per views per capita in the world. We are big big fans of this sport.
Vancouver's loss will be Edmonton's gain.
I would also like to echo some of the sentiments of Shitbag. The government is for all intensive purposes a false agency. Ruled by a select few with the money to have our elected official do their bidding as they see fit. Your vote means SHIT!
Doesn't matter what party you vote for they are all controled and financed by the same people. You see,... they hedge their bets by financing every party so no matter who gets the nod, they will control whomever is in the governing party.
I would put dollars to doughnuts that Pam's leading financial contributor is not a fan of MMA (probably because they do not stand to make any profit out of MMA in Vancouver)

Here are some beers you need to get your hands on for true Canadian Beer drinking pleasure. From all areas of Canada, just in case you are from the East and not the West where I hail. P.S. careful Canadian beer has more alcohol content (in most/but not all cases) than American beer
#1...Kokanee (even tho it was better when it was a micro-brewery and now is not as good, also my personal favorite), Labatt 50, Molson Dry, La Fin du Monde, Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager, Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale, Moosehead, Molson Export, Molson Canadian, Labatt Blue.
dogpt3- July 23, 2010 at 6:40 am
@ Everyone talking shit about Canada - Have you guys heard of a city in the U.S., I think its called something like New York City? They sanction boxing and have held some of the most epic boxing matches since the dawn of time yet refuse to sanction MMA.... Retarded ass Americans, Chael Sonnen is a perfect example of your dumb asses, running off at the mouth just making shit up as you go.

@ MMA Mike you are the man, unfortunately the majority of people in government are idiots, I wish there were more people like you running things instead of idiots like Pam Bookham.

Well guess what Pam Bookham, I find you repugnant and disgusting and therefore ban you from ever having sex with anyone. Go fuck yourself, just because you don't like something you think you have the right to ban it for the rest of the city? MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world right now and you are too ignorant to appreciate the skill and strategy involved in the sport. You watched in on T.V. for 10 minutes and made a decision, what does that say about you? It says:
a) you are lazy as shit and if thats how you make decisions then what else have you pulled the trigger on based on 10 minutes of "research"
b) you are a cunt
I know your type already Pam Bookham, self serving and arrogant with a misguided feeling that you are actually important. I hope Kalib Starnes fathers your next child, at least then you would have a legitimate reason to hate MMA.

shitbag- July 23, 2010 at 6:33 am
Ok people, I know my name's Shitbag, but listen up, this shit's important:

Stop participating in politics! Stop voting, yes stop voting. Stop watching any and all news. STOP. Stop thinking any government, anywhere has anything to do with practical life and reality.

It doesn't. Your participation does exactly shit. You think you voting, participating or being involved on anything is going to decide what the government does? Unless you yourself have sold your soul and have become one of the ignorant dumb whores that is in any government, just forget about it.

Stop living in a stupid fucking fantasy land. It is irrelevant what political system we are talking about - we all live by pretend arbitrary laws that government uses for its own will and purposes.

The UFC should go to a semi-rural area in Canada just outside the jurisdiction of Vancouver and put on a show, (perhaps on native land? Like in the US with Indian casinos?).

Fuck everything, including you and me.
justscrappin- July 23, 2010 at 6:29 am
Well the MMA_Mike...schooled us on the goings on in Vancouver. He was insightful...eloquent....and I still yawned and didn't care.
El Guapo- July 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm
I don't hate GSP, but I do hate boring fights. Comprende, Frenchie?

Thanks, Chairman. Former Chairman. Politics blow.

just some dong- July 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm
Hahaha... Canadians!
MMA_Mike- July 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm
You need to get the story straight. The City of North Vancouver has nothing to do with the City of Vancouver. I am Mike Pattenaude, the former Chair of the City of North Vancouver Athletic Commission. Just because the City of North Van's Councillors made an uninformed decision on this subject, doesn't mean that the City of Vancouver will follow suit. Yes, Mirko was "fired" from the City of Vancouver Athletic Commission, if you can fire a volunteer, but only because he had personality conflicts with staff.
I've worked with the North Shore Municipalities for 8 years now, with such items as the North Shore Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, the Traffic Planning Advisory Commitee, and I'm the current Chair of the Infant Development Program on the North Shore, and I can tell you that when Council has made up their minds, it's done.
As a Commission member, we are normally given access to any reports that come out that are in reference to the agenda items at hand. The CNV Athletic Commission went into Council chambers on Monday evening, after being pushed far back on the docket, and were given 10 mins to make a case. Our 1 year trial was up, but in reality we only had 6 months. The Corporate Director for the City, who was our "Staff Liaison for the City", happened to be the same person who went into Council the year before with a report recommending the disbandment of the Athletic Commission. Great start for us. Sure, we made our case in COuncil, and they gave us a 1 year trial, but soon after December, the Corporate Director made a request for the Athletic Commission for a $2000 budget, which we kept insisting we didn't need. After working with other Commissions around BC, it's very apparent that the Commission can sustain itself on member license fees. But, according to the City Director and Council, we can't have a budget, we can't use the fees we collect, and we have to use a staff member for collecting the minutes and other paperwork. Sooo, how does that work than? The City can take any money in that we collect, but we're not permitted to spenmd any of it on the staff member to pay their wages? Hmmm. So, once the Council said no to the budget request, which we werent invited to nor consulted about prior to the meeting, the Corporate Director froze the paperwork, and stopped the Commission. Can a staff member do that? Even though the Council has given us direction to do work? Nice to know that a staff member trumps Council will.
And the measley $2000, that would have run the Commission for an entire year, and wouyld have bveen replenished and then some? No to that, but on the same night that Council did approve the Commission for the one year trial, they gave a group $40,000 to help put on an ecvent on the Pier. A music event. I don't remember being asked if I wanted my tax money to go to that? And it wasn't even for the whole event. The group wanted to bring in some extra performer that wanted the cash!!!
Next election, really check into who's in Council. Half the Councillors made their decisions based on watching the UFC on TV for 10 mins. Do you really think we would have had the UFC in North Vancouver? No, what we wanted was to regulate and provide safetey to those members of the regulated sports community that wanted to participate in this sport. A Commission looks after Pro events, and if you're a participant who even receives $200 for training fees, you are now deemed a pro. That person really isn't on the same scale as say Brock Lesnar. But, the Council doesn't see this liability issue. They will, once someone gets hurt, and their lawyers get ahold opf the fact that there was a Commission there for the safety of the fighters, and to regulate the sport. But now, it'll be a free for all. They think that by stopping the Commission they'll end the sport. That makes as much sense as disbanding the Police force, and therefore assuming thatt crime will stop, because they're nopt going to participate in it, by providing regulation.
We were all volunteers, with an extensive background in the sports, trying to regulate it. Trying to make it accessible and safe for all. We were refs, judges, people who have worked with sanctioning bodies. We're not promoters, we were here to help the sport.

But, don't look to the City Of North Vancouver, and make decisions on Vancouver City. We're two different municipalities, two different Mayors, and very different Councillors.

Mike Pattenaude,
Former Chair of the City Of North Vancouver Athletic Commission.
NinjaNerd8- July 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm
What's with the constant GSP hatred... His last couple of fights have gone to decision but at least the guy tries to end them. You get in there and see how fucking easy it is.

Or is it that you just can't stand seeing a Canadian beating Americans et al...
sPeLLcHeCkEr- July 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm
LOL @ videodrome.

Goes to show you got issues when you can't even live up to your "gonna-add-a-weed-reference-for-cred" handle. Great to see the majority is up to spec in spelling lately. :D
justscrappin- July 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm
* puts one finger on nose...points at deadpanda with other finger*
Deadpanda- July 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm
So this is pretty much the city of Vancouver's stance: "I'm not informed or well read on the subject of MMA. So in order to avoid having to actually do my job & learn about representing what the people in my city want, I'll just indiscriminately ban it."
justscrappin- July 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm
North Vancouver is so gay....they make Perez Hilton look like Mike Tyson.
justscrappin- July 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm
Jake Shields is so boring that Gregorian monks chant his name.
Almost North- July 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm
Jake Shields is so boring he is almost as boring as Jake Shields.
El Guapo- July 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Jake Shields is so boring even Canadians think he's boring which, when you consider they revere GSP, is saying something..
Meohfumado- July 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm
Surprised Vancouver didn't outlaw hockey after the Bertuzzi incident...which was much worse than anything that has happened in MMA.

Don't get me wrong, I love hockey and that act was not indicative of hockey players or the sport.

Just not a fan of blatant hypocrisy.

Almost North- July 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm
^ The much feared weed burn.
Videodrome_NOW- July 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Nice Happy Gilmore reference. Now, in Bongtar's defense...he smokes Mexican weed and hence the effects on his brain. Even BC weed is better than that shit.
iDestroy- July 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm
Jake Shields is so boring that rather than watch his next fight, I'm just gonna reread this article.
Almost North- July 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

" I was the only guy to ever take off his skate and try to stab somebody"
justscrappin- July 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Hey Ballkick...I was wondering from the last article....what American beers have you had? Also, what Canadian beers do you feel are superior?