Canadian MPs approve conversion therapy ban

Canadian MPs voted 263–63 to pass Bill C-6, effectively banning conversion therapy.

Yesterday, Canada’s House of Commons held third reading on Bill C-6, which amended the Criminal Code to make conversion therapy illegal.

Originally introduced to the House last October by David Lametti, the federal minister of justice, the bill went through 3 sittings of the House before being referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights a few weeks later.

The committee met 4 times last December to amend the bill, and reported their amended version of the bill on 11 December 2020. It didn’t come before the House for another 4 months, in April.

Members of Parliament debated it 3 more times—in May and June—before finally holding third reading and voting yesterday.

The bill passed 263–63.

You can read the bill in its entirety here.

Voting in favour of the bill were 147 Liberal MPs, 51 Conservative MPs, 32 Bloq MPs, 20 NDP MPs. 4 independent MPs, and 1 Green MP.

Alberta MPs voting for the bill were as follows:

  • Aboultaif, Ziad
  • Cumming, James
  • Jeneroux, Matt
  • Kelly, Pat
  • Lake, Mike
  • Liepert, Ron
  • McCauley, Kelly
  • McLean, Greg
  • McPherson, Heather
  • Rempel Garner, Michelle
  • Sahota, Jag
  • Webber, Len

The votes against the bill included 62 Conservative MPs, as well as Derek Sloan, who has technically been an independent since Erin O’Toole kicked him out of the Conservative Party last January because he had accepted a campaign donation from white supremacist Paul Fromm while running for the CPC leadership.

Rachael Harder, MP for Lethbridge, was one of the MPs who voted against the bill. Several other MPs from Alberta also voted against it:

  • Barlow, John
  • Benzen, Bob
  • Calkins, Blaine
  • Cooper, Michael
  • Diotte, Kerry
  • Dreeshen, Earl
  • Kmiec, Tom
  • Kurek, Damien
  • Kusie, Stephanie
  • Motz, Glen
  • Shields, Martin
  • Viersen, Arnold
  • Warkentin, Chris
  • Yurdiga, David

The following 11 MPs abstained from voting (keep in mind that some of them may not have been present fir the vote):

Amos, WilliamPontiacLiberal
Brassard, JohnBarrie—InnisfilCPC
Collins, LaurelVictoriaNDP
Doherty, ToddCariboo—Prince GeorgeCPC
Hallan, Jasraj SinghCalgary Forest LawnCPC
May, ElizabethSaanich—Gulf IslandsGreen
Richards, BlakeBanff—AirdrieCPC
Rota, AnthonyNipissing—TimiskamingLiberal
Seeback, KyleDufferin—CaledonCPC
Sikand, GaganMississauga—StreetsvilleLiberal
Uppal, TimEdmonton Mill WoodsCPC

You can find the full list of MP votes here.

The bill still must be approved by the senate before it takes effect.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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