VICTORIA – Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has issued the following statement welcoming the introduction of a bill in federal parliament to ban conversion therapy:
“On behalf of the Province of British Columbia, I applaud the federal government for responding to our August 2019 call for action to ban conversion therapy.
“We fully support these amendments to the Criminal Code. Introducing criminal penalties for advertising or taking money for conversion therapy makes it clear that attempting to change someone’s gender or sexual identity is harmful and wrong and will not be tolerated in Canada.
“I am especially pleased that this bill includes specific provisions to protect LGBTQ2S+ children. Children and youth are at the highest risk of being forced into conversion therapy – and they often experience lifelong trauma as a result.
“This bill is an important step toward making Canada a better place for LGBTQ2S+ people. It sends the message that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities have a right to live their lives in peace and safety, without interference.
“I acknowledge the work undertaken by B.C.’s attorney general, minister of Health and the MLA for Vancouver-West End to urge the federal government to amend the Criminal Code and make conversion therapy a crime.
“These discredited and discriminatory practices have been allowed to continue in Canada for far too long. Our government hopes this bill passes swiftly into law.”