New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Courts will be able to order seizure under the Liberals’ conversion therapy ban bill

Key takeaways:

  • The Liberals’ latest measure, which was submitted on Monday, is their third attempt to make conversion therapy illegal.
  • Profiting from conversion treatment and advertising or advocating it would result in a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

The newest attempt by the federal government to outlaw conversion therapy in Canada would allow judges to order the seizure or removal of online content that promotes the discredited technique.

The new bill, introduced on Monday, is the Liberals’ third attempt to outlaw conversion therapy, with the government hoping to approve it before Christmas.

If passed, it would be illegal to force someone to undertake conversion therapy, take a minor out of the nation to receive conversion therapy abroad, profit from the practice, or advertise or promote it.

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Conversion therapy refers to actions that try to change a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation. It has been dismissed by the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association, among others.

The government’s previous attempt to ban conversion therapy through legislation had not passed the Senate when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the federal election in August.

As a result, when Parliament was dissolved before the vote, the bill died on the order paper.

The previous measure, C-6, prohibited conversion therapy for adolescents and adults who did not consent to it, but the latest version is set to outright ban the practice.

Officials claimed the bill submitted on Monday goes further than the last one because it broadens the restriction beyond simply juveniles, according to a background document posted on the Justice Department’s website.

Courts will be able to order seizure under the Liberals' conversion therapy ban bill

“This bill is related to former Bill C-6, which the House of Commons passed in the last Parliament, but there is one significant difference,” the government noted.

“It builds on past proposed legislation to protect all Canadians, regardless of age, from the dangers of conversion therapy and to promote the dignity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) people.”

The bill proposes the addition of four new criminal offenses to the Criminal Code. The criminal of inciting someone to undertake conversation therapy, as well as the offense of transferring a juvenile from Canada to undergo the treatment abroad, would each carry a potential sentence of five years in jail.

Profiting from conversion treatment and advertising or advocating it would result in a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

On Monday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern, Justice Minister David Lametti and Women and Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien will host a press conference to discuss the revisions.

The measure is expected to support the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois, the Green Party, and several Conservative MPs, including party leader Erin O’Toole. More than half of the Conservative caucus voted against the previous attempt by the administration to put a stop to the practice.

Source: Global News

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