- The federal legislation prohibiting conversion therapy techniques in Canada received royal approval on Wednesday, making it legal.
- Cause another person to undergo conversion therapy will be a crime punishable by up to five years in prison as effective January 7.
On Wednesday, Canada’s federal legislation prohibiting conversion therapy practices obtained royal permission, making it official. However, the new criminal offenses will not take effect until early January.
The four new Criminal Code infractions will take effect 30 days after the bill receives royal assent, on January 7.
That means it will be banned in a month to treat someone of any age, willing or unwilling, to so-called conversion therapy.
Cause another person to undergo conversion therapy will be a crime punishable by up to five years in prison as effective January 7. Anyone found promoting, advertising, or profiting from offering the procedure might face up to two years in prison.
Following the federal government’s November 29 introduction of Bill C-4 in the House of Commons, MPs unanimously agreed to carry the bill through all legislative stages in the House of Commons without amendments on December 1.
The bill was subsequently transmitted to the Senate, where senators unanimously voted on December 7 to pass the law without debate or committee review.
Political leaders and LGBTQ2S+ campaigners alike have hailed the bill’s expedited all-party support, which comes after years of previous unsuccessful attempts to create additional protections against the damaging practice.
“Bill C-4’s passage and the unanimous support it received from every official in Parliament sends a clear message to LGBTQ2 Canadians: you are valid and deserving of a life free from harm,” Nicholas Schiavo, founder of No Conversion Canada, said in a joint statement with The Trevor Project, a U.S.-based LGBTQ2S+ suicide prevention and crisis intervention advocacy group.
“As we commemorate this momentous occasion, we owe it to survivors and their tireless fight to have brought us to this point where conversion ‘treatment’ is finally prohibited in our country.”
Bill C-4’s success was hailed as “an important triumph” by Justice Minister David Lametti and Minister for Women, Gender Equality, and Youth Marci Ien, who sponsored the government legislation.
“The Canadian Parliamentary consensus is part of a growing global understanding on the real and long-term damages suffered by conversion therapy victims and survivors… Conversion therapy is illegal in Canada, and its criminal penalties are among the most comprehensive globally.”
Conversion therapy is already prohibited in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton, among other provinces and municipalities in Canada.
“I’m glad the senators followed the Commons’ lead and moved quickly and unanimously.” On Parliament Hill on Wednesday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole stated, “I want to commend them for their efforts.”
After the Liberals made LGBTQ2S+ rights and the Conservatives’ earlier opposition to the bill a wedge issue in the 2021 federal election, his party was the one to initiate unanimous consent motions in both chambers.
Measure C-4 is the first bill to pass the 44th Parliament in its entirety and the first to obtain royal consent in a ceremony presided over by Governor-General Mary Simon.
Source: CTV News
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