Joint Statement by Minister Lametti and Minister Ien on legislation to criminalize conversion therapy receiving Royal Assent

Statement

December 8, 2021
Ottawa - Department of Justice Canada

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, today issued the following statement:

“We are very pleased that Bill C-4, which criminalizes conversion therapy practices, has received Royal Assent. This is an important achievement for LGBTQ2 communities in Canada, who have been advocating for the passage of federal legislation for years. We are proud and grateful for the unanimous support and expeditious approval of this bill by all Parliamentarians in both the House of Commons and the Senate.

“The consensus demonstrated by Parliamentarians in Canada is a part of an emerging global consensus surrounding the real and life - long harms for conversion therapy victims and survivors. In fact, with these changes to the Criminal Code, Canada’s criminal laws on conversion therapy are among the most comprehensive in the world.

“This legislation represents an important milestone in the Government’s commitment to protecting the dignity and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Two-Spirit communities, by criminalizing a shameful, unscientific, and destructive practice.

“Upon coming into force on January 7, 2022, this legislation will protect all Canadians - regardless of age - from the harms of conversion therapy and from its commercialization. It will also protect minors from conversion therapy both in Canada and abroad.

“Efforts 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 cause great harm. They are rooted in a wrong - and harmful - view that these facets of a human being can and should be changed to align with what has been perceived as ‘normal’ or ‘natural’. This further stigmatizes LGBTQ2 persons and harms their dignity and equality. With this new legislation, the Government is standing with LGBTQ2 communities and reaffirming its commitment to ensuring Canada is a place where everyone is free to be their true and authentic selves.

“Criminal law reform is an important step toward protecting LGBTQ2 persons, but more remains to be done. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial and municipal partners, as well as stakeholders, to ensure that Canada is a country where everyone can be their true selves.”

Quick Facts

  • According to the results of the 2019-2020 Community-Based Research Centre Sex Now Survey, 10% of sexual minority men who responded to the survey had been subjected to conversion therapy practices. The results of the Survey also showed that lower income, Indigenous, racialized and gender-diverse persons are disproportionately represented among those exposed to conversion therapy.
  • Ontario, Nova Scotia, PEI, Yukon and Québec have enacted legislation addressing different aspects of conversion therapy in their jurisdiction. Other jurisdictions have implemented non-legislative measures, such as Manitoba, which issued a position statement indicating that it expects health professionals to ensure that conversion therapy is not practised in the province.
  • Some Canadian municipalities, such as Vancouver, B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, St. Albert, Strathcona County, Lethbridge, Wood Buffalo and Spruce Grove, Alberta, Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan and Kingston, Ontario are banning the practice and promotion of conversion therapy within their city limits.

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For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
(613) 992-6568
Chantalle.Aubertin@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

Johise Namwira
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth
873-353-0985

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada
819-420-6530
CFC.Media.SWC@cfc-swc.gc.ca

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