Natalie Joly is a Councillor for the City of St. Albert. Thank you, St. Albert, for your support.

Conversion Therapy {City Council Meeting July 8, 2019}

Conversion Therapy {City Council Meeting July 8, 2019}

On July 8, 2019, St. Albert Council voted unanimously to support drafting bylaw amendments that would see “conversion therapy” banned in St. Albert. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to share your support, your stories, and to those who are championing policies in their communities that will give momentum to the drive for federal criminalization of this practice.

Since then, I’ve received a torrent of messages showing support, and some from ‘conversion therapy’ survivors who are relieved that municipalities are starting to act to help drive the eradication of this practice in Canada. The stories of survivors are heart-wrenching.

Whereas Council on June 11, 2018 adopted a Declaration that St. Albert embraces diversity and is proud to be a place where all residents and visitors are valued and included; And Whereas Conversion Therapy seeks to alter through medically and socially unacceptable means the manner in which members of the LGBTQ2s+ community self-identify and express to others their uniqueness as individuals, and as such Conversion Therapy is a cruel and degradingpractice, contrary to the principles of Council’s June 11,2018 Declaration and having no place in the welcoming and inclusive community that St. Albert strives to be;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Municipal Council of the City of St. Albert, Alberta fully supports elimination of the practice known as Conversion Therapy, in St. Albert and elsewhere, and strongly urges the Government of Canada to enact legislation making the practice of Conversion Therapy a criminal offence.

And that Administration be directed to prepare a bylaw by December 31, 2019 for Council’s consideration to:

Amend the Land Use Bylaw to provide that activities commonly known as “conversion therapy” (i.e., practicesor techniques aimed at changing or attempting to changea person’s sexual orientation or gender identity orexpression) are neither a permitted nor a discretionary use in any land use classification;

Amend the Business Licensing Bylaw to provide that conversion therapy is not a lawful business activity in St. Albert and no business license shall be issued for any person or organization that has conversion therapy as part of its business activities.

Set a fine of $10,000 for those advertising or offering conversion therapy service for minors within St. Albert.

The week following the passing of the motion was challenging because of the sheer volume of media requests and emails from residents, but I’m delighted that the unanimous support of our Council and the wonderful support of our community achieved so much attention. Our actions are starting conversations and pushing forward policy across the country.

Since this motion passed, councillors in Calgary have started exploring the possibilities of a ban and councils in Spruce Grove and Strathcona have already supported motions to move forward bans in their communities. Edmonton is expected to consider actions later this summer. These actions show tremendous support for seeing higher levels of government take action.

Seeing our community members step up to make this happen was incredible. Special thanks to St. Albert United Church members and pastor Mervin Gallant, Terry Soetaert & Outloud St. Albert, Kris Wells (Canada Research Chair for the Public Understanding of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth), MLA Marie Renaud and MP Randy Boissonnault. Our administration were also wonderful - their help to research the issue, draft the motion, and make this happen was invaluable. And thank you to my Council colleagues who are always open-minded and prepared to take leadership when it comes to making St. Albert an even better place to call home.


Summer + GPFC Meeting August 12, 2019

Summer + GPFC Meeting August 12, 2019

Last weeks & Regular Council Meeting July 8, 2019

Last weeks & Regular Council Meeting July 8, 2019

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