Did Vision deliver mixed martial arts a fatal blow?
In a classic move known as the "bob, duck and weave", Vision has said no to bringing mixed martial arts to Vancouver and punted the issue over to the Province. This despite Vision previously claiming that Vancouver needs to show "leadership" on so many other issues.
NPA Councillor Anton moved to support bringing mixed martial arts into Vancouver, however, Vision Councillor Heather Deal did a "strike-and-replace" on her motion and shot it down. Deal also utilized a classic delay tactic by requesting a few more costly studies to determine if there is any justification for supporting MMA in Vancouver.
Despite all the delegations who took the time to present to Council this morning, it would appear as though the Vision caucus had already made up their minds before they arrived in the Chamber. What else would explain their carefully prepared "strike-and-replace" motion? Their decision does make a mockery of the whole public presentations process.
Deal has asked the Province of BC to regulate the sport as well as request City staff study the cost-benefits of mixed martial arts to our local economy. She also asked the legal department to review if there are ways for the City to reduce their legal liability.
Boy, now there's leadership for you. Two more costly studies and a plea to the Province to help regulate the sport.
Is this a knock out blow for mixed martial arts in Vancouver...likely not. Staff are going to be sent away and spend thousands of dollars to "study" the issue even more. Our guess is the staff report won't see the light of day until just after the next civic election in 2011.