Conversion Therapy Ban

Image Source: Wikimedia

Suzie Deschambault
Staff Writer

On Monday March 9th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced Bill C-8. The goal of this new legislation is to ban conversion therapy. However, it is not the first time that such measures have been proposed in Canada. Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia have already restricted conversion therapy on minors. Ontario and Manitoba banned the practice in 2015. 

Trudeau’s proposition gives an official definition for conversion therapy such that, according to the first reading of the Bill C-8 to the House of Commons of Canada, a conversion therapy “means a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour. For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relatesto a person’s gender transition; or to a person’s exploration of their identity or to its development.”

This new bill also proposes new changes to the Criminal Code in ways that it will be illegal to cause someone to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will, to cause a minor to undergo conversion therapy, to remove a child from Canada so that the child undergoes conversion therapy outside Canada. The Bill C-8 also makes illegal the advertisement of conversion therapy or the benefit, financial or material, from the provision of conversion therapy. In the case of the adoption of the Bill C-8, someone convicted under some of those new changes in the Criminal Code could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.

Originally Published on Vol.49 Issue 11 on March 18th, 2020