Calgary city committee moves forward with steps to ban conversion therapy

Click to play video: 'Calgary councillors ask for ban on conversion therapy' Calgary councillors ask for ban on conversion therapy
WATCH: Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley joins Global News Morning Calgary to discuss a motion going before Calgary city council on Jan. 21 that asks for a ban on the controversial practice of conversion therapy – Jan 21, 2020

The City of Calgary is moving ahead with steps to ban the controversial practice of conversion therapy.

A notice of motion to ban conversion therapy was before the Priorities and Finance Committee on Tuesday.

The motion was put forward by Mayor Naheed Nenshi and four city councillors.

Conversion therapy aims to change a person’s sexual orientation through counselling or religious teachings.

The federal justice minister has been instructed by the Prime Minister’s Office to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy.

READ MORE: Could Calgary ban conversion therapy?

Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas, while in support of the ban, questioned the city’s role if the federal government is already bringing in legislation.

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“I would not want us to be putting the city in a position where we are the ones bearing the brunt of costly legal challenges instead of the federal government,” Farkas said.

“My concern would be: Is this a kind of downloading where, if the city is making prohibitions, then it lets the federal government off the hook and allows the city to be out there and perhaps be the target of legal test cases?”

The Priorities and Finance Committee voted unanimously to send the notice of motion to a full council meeting on Feb. 3.

Last year, St. Albert was the first city in Alberta to ban conversion therapy.

Edmonton has since followed.

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