The federal government is set to introduce legislation towards a nationwide conversion therapy ban today.

This follows a 2019 campaign promise by the Liberal government to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy. The practice of conversion therapy, which has been deemed as a serious threat to the health and well-being of those affected by the Canadian Psychological Association, is a discredited practice aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

In March 2019, pflag Canada sent a letter to the offices of Justin Trudeau, endorsing a nationwide petition to end conversion therapy, spearheaded by It Gets Better Canada. While the federal government acknowledged the practice’s harms, it rejected the plea to end conversion therapy, stating that governing it fell to provinces and territories. In light of today’s recent developments, Omid Razavi, Director of Communication for pflag Canada, says that their organization applauds the government for introducing action to amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy nationwide.

“The practice of conversion therapy can lead to serious long term harm for any individual exposed to this “pseudo-therapy, including self-hatred, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicide. We are hopeful that this is the first step towards definitive action from the federal government in recognizing the destructive harm of conversion therapy.”