Motion will seek to ban conversion therapy in Calgary
CALGARY -- A notice of motion being tabled by a group of city councillors and the mayor next week will seek to have conversion therapy banned in Calgary.
Signed by Couns. Evan Woolley, Druh Farrell, Gian-Carlo Carra and Jyoti Gondek, along with Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the motion will be put forward at Monday's regular meeting.
"The loathsome practice of conversion therapy is opposed by the College of Alberta Psychologists and the Canadian Psychological Association and has long-term harmful consequences," Woolley said in a release.
"It is reprehensible and alarming that in 2020 there are still individuals and organizations in Calgary that promote what amounts to a form of psychological abuse."
Conversion therapy is already banned in several other cities, including Edmonton, St. Albert and Vancouver.
The Calgary motion will direct administration to draft a bylaw "to prohibit conversion therapy and fine anyone found advertising or offering the practice in Calgary," according to a release.
The motion will also ask that the city advocate to the provincial government to end the practice across Alberta.
“I was raised in a loving household by two women. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s it was impossible for them to be open about who they were, and is still the case for many of our citizens today,” said Woolley.
“I want to raise my child in a city that is welcoming of all people regardless of who they love. Conversion therapy works to counter that ideal and we as a community must stand against this hurtful practice.”
The motion also notes that while the federal justice minister has been instructed by the Prime Minister’s Office to amend the Canadian Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy, the Government of Alberta has yet to take action.
“This issue is too important to sit and wait for action from other levels of government,” said Farrell in a statement.
“Having city council ban conversion therapy will send an important message to our LGBTQ2 community. Conversion therapy is abusive and it simply doesn’t belong in Calgary.”