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HomeSportAlberta will try to name rodeo its official sport for 2nd time

Alberta will try to name rodeo its official sport for 2nd time

A bill seeking to make rodeo Alberta’s official sport is getting a reride through the legislature.

On Thursday, Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely tabled Bill 205, the Official Sport of Alberta Act.

“The sport commonly known as rodeo, including chuckwagon races, is hereby recognized and declared as the official sport of Alberta,” the bill reads, following its introduction in the legislature.

“I believe including chuckwagon races is essential for rodeo, and chuckwagon races are quality family entertainment,” Lovely said on Thursday, according to hansard. “These activities are wholesome, family oriented, and an important pillar of our cultural foundation in rural Alberta.”

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Calgary-North MLA Muhammad Yaseen introduced a similar private member’s bill in December 2020 and a committee report recommended it proceed onto next steps to become law.

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On March 22, 2021, eight UCP MLAs spoke of the importance of rodeo to the province in debate, including Lovely.

“Here in Canada, our official winter sport is ice hockey, with our official summer sport being lacrosse. Did you also know that Saskatchewan’s official sport is curling? It’s been like that since 2001,” she said at the time, according to hansard.

“It’s time for Alberta to follow suit and recognize our official sport.”


Click to play video: 'MLA proposes Alberta declare rodeo as province’s official sport'


MLA proposes Alberta declare rodeo as province’s official sport


Edmonton-South West MLA Thomas Dang raised concerns that his colleagues would use up time on a bill that seemingly already had support.

“I simply cannot understand why the government and the UCP are debating concurrence on their own private member’s bill when all UCP members on the private members’ committee supported that the bill proceed,” Dang said, according to hansard.

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“It is up to this side to be able to make sure that they show that there is a reason for concurrence,” Chestermere-Rocky View MLA and then minister of culture, multiculturalism and the status of women Leela Aheer said, per hansard.

“In fact, I would suggest that the data that is being applied here not only shows the importance of rodeo but all of the other important pieces that rodeo applies to, which is hugely impactful to this province.”

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That session of the legislature ended on Feb. 16, 2022, leaving Bill 212 unfinished.

With the Camrose backbencher reintroducing the bill, it still has to complete three readings and receive royal assent before becoming law.

And it has until the provincial election – May 29, 2023 – to do so, or face another go-round.


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Abdullah Anaman
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