Regina mayor supportive of conversion therapy ban
REGINA -- Regina Mayor Sandra Masters says she would like the City of Regina to follow in the Saskatoon's footsteps and ban the practice of conversion therapy.
Masters made the comments after Thursday's special city council meeting regarding an application about the historic Cook House.
"I would be in favour of a ban," Masters said. "We have a lovely new committee called Community Wellness Committee, this is exactly the issue that should go before this committee. They should review it hear from delegates on both sides of the argument, and then make a recommendation and into council. That is a place to be heard before council, and I would welcome that topic to come forward."
Saskatoon’s city council voted 9-1 to ban the practice in the city on Tuesday.
“The message that I want to send is that everyone is welcome in our community, that our identity is yours, and that no identities are bad,” Saskatoon City Councillor Hilary Gough said Tuesday.
The bylaw would block the offering or provision of counselling or behaviour-changing techniques and any other purported treatment, service practice or the offering or sale of any goods.
It bans conversion therapy from being performed at all non-profit and for-profit businesses, which includes places of worship.
The bylaw does call for "non-judgement" counselling.
Queen City For All (QCFA) is calling for the City of Regina to also ban the practice of conversion therapy in the community.
“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is a widely discredited and violent practice that harms LGBTQ2+ people and families, and makes them more vulnerable to abuse and suicide,” said QCFA spokesperson Kent Peterson. “Regina city council must move swiftly to ban this form of violence and abuse in the Queen City."
Peterson said it's important to ban the practice of conversion therapy to ensure no one else undergoes the treatment and also to send a message to those who have undergone it or been pressured into it.
"It's not right and it will send a validating message that who they are is okay and they're welcome in that community," Peterson said. "We think that is a powerful message to send, not just for people that have already experienced conversion therapy, but for people that may experience it in the future, in particular, our young people."