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Webinar: how municipalities can ban conversion therapy practices

February 3, 2021

Over the past two years, numerous Alberta municipalities have supported their LGBTQ2S+ communities by passing bylaws and policies that prohibit “conversion therapy”. To raise awareness of the opportunities available to municipalities, AUMA’s Welcoming and Inclusive Communities initiative is pleased to host a webinar on how municipal governments can approach the issue from legal, policy, and practical perspectives to help stop this harmful practice. Participants will leave the session with an understanding of:

  • the harm caused by conversion therapy practices;
  • the types of legislative tools used by municipalities to prohibit conversion therapy;
  • lessons learned from municipalities; and
  • community responses and reactions.

Panellists will share their experiences based on their roles in supporting the implementation of bylaws in each of their respective communities. Municipalities of any size will be able to draw learnings from the webinar and apply to their local context.


February 24, 2021, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


  • Merrin Fraser, Councillor, Town of Rocky Mountain House
  • Nancy Jacobsen, Legal Supervisor, City of Edmonton
  • Stacey McManaman, Business Strategist, City of Calgary
  • Dr. Kristopher Wells, Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair, MacEwan University
  • Cathy Heron, AUMA Vice President and Mayor of the City of St. Albert (moderator)


To join this webinar, please register online. In addition, we encourage registrants to pre-submit questions to so they can be addressed in the webinar.

What is conversion therapy?

“Conversion therapy” means a practice, treatment, or service designed to change, repress, or discourage a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour. Conversion therapy is an unscientific and harmful set of practices, which stigmatizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit (LGBTQ2+) persons, undermines their dignity, and negatively impacts their health, safety, and equality rights. It reflects outdated myths and stereotypes about LGBTQ2+ persons, in particular, that sexual orientations other than heterosexual, and gender identities other than cisgender, can and should be changed. These fraudulent practices can take various forms, including behavioural modification, extreme fasting, forced isolation, gender correction, and demonic exorcism.