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Ward 8 - Evan Woolley

Banning Conversion Therapy in Calgary

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. 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.

Both Vancouver and St. Albert City Councils recently passed a motion banning conversion therapy. In Edmonton, City Council voted unanimously last month to ban the practice and instituted a $10,000 fine for businesses found guilty of breaking the rules.

Councillors Farrell, Carra, Gondek, Mayor Nenshi, and I are asking our colleagues to direct Administration to draft a bylaw to prohibit conversion therapy and fine anyone found advertising or offering the practice in Calgary. We are also asking the city to 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. 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.

While the Federal Justice Minister has been instructed by the Prime Minister’s Office to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy, the Government of Alberta has yet to take action.

Read the Notice of Motion here. It will be presented at the January 21 Priorities and Finance Committee meeting.

Categories: Community, Councillor’s initiatives

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.