Results

Public Health Agency of Canada

11/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2021 14:55

Government introduces legislation to ban conversion therapy practices in Canada

November 29, 2021 - Ottawa - Department of Justice Canada

Diversity and inclusion are among Canada's greatest strengths. Everyone should be able to live a true and authentic life, free from violence and discrimination, no matter who they are or who they love.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, introduced proposed amendments to the Criminal Code to ban so-called conversion therapy practices in Canada. This bill would make Canada's criminal laws on conversion therapy practices among the most comprehensive in the world.

The legislation proposes four new Criminal Code offences that would prohibit:

  • causing another person to undergo conversion therapy
  • removing a minor from Canada to subject them to conversion therapy abroad
  • profiting from providing conversion therapy
  • advertising or promoting conversion therapy

The proposed legislation would also authorize courts to order the seizure of conversion therapy advertisements or to order their removal from computer systems or the Internet.

This bill expands on Bill C-6, adopted by the House of Commons in the previous Parliament. It does so by protecting all Canadians-regardless of their age-from the well-documented harms of conversion therapy practices.

Conversion therapy practices aim to change an individual's sexual orientation to heterosexual, to change an individual's gender identity to cisgender, or to change their gender expression to match the sex they were assigned at birth. They harm and further stigmatize sexual and gender-diverse persons and undermine their equality and dignity. They reflect myths and stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) communities, particularly that their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression are wrong. These harmful practices also reinforce heteronormative and cis-normative ideas, as well as gender-conformity on LGBTQ2 individuals.

The practice can take various forms, including counselling and behavioural modification. Conversion therapy practices are discriminatory and have been proven to be harmful to the physical, mental and social well-being of the victim, even for adults who consented to it.

Criminal law reform is an important step in protecting the equality and dignity of LGBTQ2 persons, but more remains to be done. The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces, territories, municipalities, survivors and stakeholders to ensure that Canada is a country where everyone-regardless of their gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation-can live equally and freely.