It’s Pride week in O-Town, and Ottawa’s mayor is calling for action. Jim Watson is urging Trudeau and the federal government to take action ASAP when it comes to conversion therapy in Canada. Although a bill was introduced back in March, it didn’t proceed through Parliament.

On Wednesday, August 26, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is expected to give a notice of motion at City Council, urging councillors to denounce the controversial practice.

Watson is then expected to ask Trudeau and the federal government to reinstate the bill that was introduced back in March, which would ban the practice nationally.

The widely condemned practice aims to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity through various methods of counselling or medication.

Those subjected to conversion therapy are often children.

According to CBC News, the mayor will denounce it as “harmful for individuals and to society by promoting myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity."

Bill C-8, "An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Conversion Therapy)," had its first reading in March, but limited Parlimentary action due to COVID-19 prevented the bill from going any further.

The original bill proposed five years in prison for anybody offering conversion therapy to people under the age of 18. 

Among other things, the bill would have made it illegal to take young people outside of Canada for the practice, to give it to somebody against their will, to be paid to provide it, and to advertise it.

If Watson’s motion is passed on Wednesday, he will contact Trudeau directly to ask for Bill C-8 to be reintroduced "as soon as possible in the upcoming session of Parliament."

Right now, Parliament is prorogued until September 23, per a request from the prime minister.

Although conversion therapy is yet to be banned nationally in Canada, it is illegal already in some regions.

Ontario banned the practice in 2015, and the City of Calgary made a similar move earlier this year. Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Vancouver also have related bans in place.

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