Canada criminalizes conversion therapy in new Criminal Code sections

After the House of Commons adopted the motion to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ individuals last week, the Senate has also unanimously passed the bill. The quick passing of the bill was met with delight from LGBTQ activists as well as MPs across all parties. On Wednesday, December 8th, the bill passed through Royal Assent and will become law in 30 days.

As defined in the bill, conversion therapy is the harmful practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Bill C-4 eliminates this practice by creating 4 new Criminal Code sections. The punishment for violations of the section is up to 5 years in prison.

The passing of the bill created hope in some that this parliament would be able to remove partisanship when it comes to fundamental human rights.

The Senate expedited the passage of the bill after the recommendation from some that a careful study of the bill could lead to the re-traumatization of some victims and survivors. The Justice Minister, David Lametti, helped work the bill after failures to pass in the past parliament. This bill marks the first to pass in the new government and received royal assent from new Governor-General Mary Simon.

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual and/or physical abuse and is searching for legal rights and remedies, Slater Vecchio LLP is here to help. Please contact us for a free, private, confidential meeting.

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James Richards
As a member of our class action practice group, I act for survivors harmed by institutional abuses in both class action and individual civil sexual assault claims. I believe that every harmed person deserves to be heard and advocated for.