Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen during a March 11, 2021 federal finance committee videoconference. (House of Commons video feed)

Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen during a March 11, 2021 federal finance committee videoconference. (House of Commons video feed)

Cloverdale-Langley City MP draws criticism over conversion therapy debate comments

MP Tamara Jansen has apologized to a fellow MP for what she said was a misunderstanding

Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen has come in for criticism after she used a Bible quote that included the word “unclean” while opposing a conversion therapy ban in the House of Commons Friday, April 16.

The debate on the third reading of Bill C-6 – aimed at banning coercive “therapy” for LGBTQ youths – began with a speech by Ontario Liberal MP Robert Oliphant.

“It is a bill that is deeply personal and incredibly important to me,” said Oliphant, one of only four openly gay serving MPs. “While I do not expect everyone to relate to this bill the way I do, I do expect every member in the House to truly wrestle with what it means for them to vote against this bill.”

During his speech he quoted from the Bible, from the Prophet Micah, saying “‘what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’”

Jansen was the first MP to respond, saying she was glad that Oliphant had invoked the Prophet Micah, noting that she was going to quote the Apostle Matthew, saying “‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.’”

Oliphant fired back immediately.

“Madam Speaker, the first thing I would say is that people like me are not unclean,” he said.

A United Church minister, he criticize her volleying back a quote.

“It is deeply offensive to play Bible baseball like that.”

He also noted something that was picked up by commenters on social media – Jansen pronounced the silent T in apostle.

Jansen was critical of some aspects of Bill C6, and told the story of “Charlotte,” a young woman in Calgary who was involved in “lesbian activity” and sought counselling “when she did not want to continue with her lesbian activity.”

“What we are about is ensuring the safety and security of everyone, including Charlotte and anybody who has doubts or concerns about their sexuality, but not to engage in conversion therapy,” Oliphant said in his response.

READ MORE: Jansen invokes 2000 Trudeau encounter with reporter during gender violence debate

The Cloverdale-Langley City MP was also criticized by John Aldag, the former Liberal MP of the riding who has already announced he plans to run against her in the next federal election.

“Homophobic language and homophobic policy have no place in politics and no place in Cloverdale-Langley City,” Aldag wrote on Twitter. “We are better than this.”

Jansen said she was quoting the statement as a warning against hypocrisy.

“Another Member of Parliament interpreted the remarks in a different manner, which wasn’t my intent,” Jansen said.

She has called Oliphant and apologized, and offered a public apology and clarification in the House, Jansen said in a statement.

“I think it is unfortunate that in the discussion around this event, my criticism of Bill C-6 has been entirely overlooked and misrepresented,” Jansen said.

She said she supports a ban on conversion therapy when it is “harmful, degrading, and coercive practices that seek to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity against their will.”

In the end, the bill passed with unanimous approval of the Liberal, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, and Green caucuses, and with the support of the vast majority of the Conservative caucus as well. Just seven MPs voted against the bill.

Jansen did not vote against the bill, but she abstained from voting due to her issues with the specific wording of the legislation.


Jansen has also been receiving criticism locally.

Several constituents contacted the Cloverdale Reporter to say they’ve reached out to Jansen, but said she’s not responding to them. Some have said she’s even blocking them on social media.

“Why is an elected official blocking her constituents from voicing their displeasure with how she represents us?” asked constituent Mark Yates. Yates said he was blocked on Instagram after trying to contact Jansen.

“I am one of hundreds of people who have been blocked from her page for simply voicing my displeasure with her using her religion to persecute others.”

—With files from Malin Jordan.

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CloverdaleFederal PoliticsHouse of CommonsLangleyLangley CityLGBTQ

Just Posted

Douglas Denyer walks with his wife Dorothy, who passes away at 90. The long-time resident of Langley and Rotarian since 1984 turned 100 on June 16. He has two sons, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Celebrating ‘a beautiful life,’ Langley senior turns 100

‘I’ve always tried to help out everyone I can” Douglas Denyer says

Vancouver Giants will return to the ice on Oct. 8, hosting the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Giants will renew division rivalry with Cougars when season resumes in October

First game at Langley Events Centre since February of last year

A flower-bedecked memorial to one three people who died at the scene of a suspicious house fire in Langley stands outside the burnt-out house in the 19600 block of Wakefield Drive on Monday, June 29, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
First hearing for man charged in Langley triple homicide

Kia Ebrahimian faces three counts of second degree murder

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in Langley

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read