B.C. supporters of conversion therapy received a setback in the September 20 election.
That's because four of the 12 B.C. members of the Conservative caucus who voted against a ban were defeated in their Metro Vancouver ridings.
On June 6, a large majority in Parliament voted in favour of Bill C-6, which was introduced by Justice Minister David Lametti.
This legislation made it a criminal offence to cause an individual to undergo conversion therapy against their will. The bill also banned forcing children to receive therapy to make them heterosexual.
Bill C-6 had widespread support in the LGBT+ community. After all, many LGBT+ people suffered trauma from this practice dating back decades.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole supported banning conversion therapy.
However, there were 62 other Conservatives who voted against Bill C-6 on June 6, including the Dirty Dozen from B.C.
Through their votes, they left left an impression that many Conservatives think that it's okay for therapists to receive money and to advertise their services to try to change people's sexual orientation against their will.
You can read the names of the B.C. members of the Conservative caucus below who voted against the ban:
Kenny Chiu (Steveston–Richmond East)
Alice Wong (Richmond Centre)
Tamara Jansen (Cloverdale–Langley City)
Nelly Shin (Port Moody–Coquitlam)
Marc Dalton (Pitt Meadows–Maple Ridge)
Ed Fast (Abbotsford)
Tracy Gray (Kelowna–Lake Country)
Rob Morrison (Kootenay-Columbia)
Mark Stahl (Chilliwack-Hope)
Tako Van Popta (Langley-Aldergrove)
Brad Vis (Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon)
Bob Zimmer (Prince George–Peace River–Northern Rockies)
A lot of blame is being heaped on O'Toole for the Conservative loss on September 20.
But the reality is that a majority of voters in the suburbs of Vancouver and other large cities are growing increasingly tired of right-wing, Bible-thumping zealots. Especially those who think it's acceptable to pay a therapist to persuade a gay person to become straight.
The first four names on that list—Chiu, Wong, Jansen, and Shin—lost their seats in the September 20 election.
Two represented Richmond ridings, one was in the Tri-Cities, and one was in a riding straddling Surrey and Langley.
Three of them were first nominated when another social conservative, Andrew Scheer, was leading the Conservatives.
O'Toole didn't lose their seats on Monday. These four social conservatives who didn't want to ban conversion therapy have only themselves to blame.
That's because their votes in Parliament suggested that they think sexual orientation is something a person chooses.
O'Toole is better off without them as Conservative representatives in the suburbs of Metro Vancouver.
It would be far better for him to run pro-LGBT candidates in these four ridings in the next election.
Through their losses, he's shedding the Scheer mindset that has cost the Conservatives three straight elections.
When journalists in Eastern Canada point to Conservative losses in B.C. as a sign of O'Toole's weakness as a leader, they invariably overlook the role that these candidates played in their own demise.
"Lesbian activity" comment invited ridicule
Almost any politician who supports legalized conversion therapy in the inner suburbs of Vancouver is doomed to go down to defeat. And as Jansen's loss indicates, it can also be a problem for candidates in the outer suburbs of Vancouver.
Let's get real: just last April, Jansen was raising one woman's concerns about "lesbian activity" during a debate in Parliament over conversion therapy.
That generated a Twitter hashtag ridiculing her, which was gleefully shared by lesbians and their allies.
In the past, Jansen has criticized Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and claimed that there's a lot of scare-mongering about greenhouse-gas emissions.
Is that someone O'Toole really wants in his caucus if he's going to modernize the Conservative Party of Canada?
But it's hard to modernize a party to appeal to the broad spectrum of British Columbians when O'Toole still has eight other dinosaurs in caucus who voted against banning conversion therapy.
Let the Conservative party's housecleaning begin.