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March 27th, 2019

Minister of Youth Ignores Canadians’ Call for a Ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors

OTTAWA – Last month, NDP Deputy Critic for LGBTQ2+ Issues, Sheri Benson, wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau imploring him to respond to petition e-1833, which garnered 18, 200 signatures from Canadians supporting a federal ban on the harmful practice of conversion therapy for minors in Canada. Last week, the Liberal government confirmed that they would not seek a federal solution to this human rights issue.

“It is rare for a petition to receive this much support. Canadians are sending a clear signal: as a country, we need to stand up for human rights, including for the LGBTQ2+ community,” said Benson. “I am disappointed that Prime Minister Trudeau did not even bother to respond to this call. This is his responsibility as the self-appointed Minister of Youth. Our community deserves better.”

Conversion therapy is an attempt to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ individuals to heterosexual that has been discredited by the World Health Organization and many other credible voices in the medical community. Instead of taking concrete action against this despicable practice in Canada, the Minister of Justice, David Lametti, responded on behalf of the Liberal government claiming that the provinces and territories are responsible to make the changes. This is particularly disappointing given that Malta has implemented a national ban on conversion therapy, and it is expected that the United Kingdom will follow suit.

“Other countries are leading the charge to protect vulnerable communities from this harmful practice” said NDP Critic for LGBTQ2+ Issues, Randall Garrison. “Canada should be setting an example on the world stage, not lagging behind. It’s one thing to raise the Pride Flag on Parliament Hill, but, at some point, this Prime Minister and his special advisor on LGBTQ2+ Issues will have to take a hard look at what Canadians expect respect from their government to look like.”