Raising awareness in Alberta and Manitoba about new conversion therapy Criminal Code offences

Department of Justice Canada

Diversity and inclusion are among Canada’s greatest strengths. Everyone should be able to live a true and authentic life, free from violence and discrimination, no matter who they are or who they love.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada joined by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, Jeff Surtees, Executive Director from the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta and Mary Troszko, Executive Director from the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba, announced funding for two projects that support the implementation of legislative changes to ban conversion therapy. Both organisations will raise awareness about the new Criminal Code offences related to conversion therapy, and bring light to some of the most vulnerable people.

Conversion therapy practices aim 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. They harm and further stigmatize sexual and gender-diverse persons and undermine their equality and dignity. They reflect myths and stereotypes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2) communities, particularly that their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression are wrong. These harmful practices also reinforce heteronormative and cis-normative ideas, as well as gender-conformity on LGBTQ2 individuals. Changes to the Criminal Code made in 2021 banned and criminalized conversion therapy practices.

The funding has supported the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta to:

  • develop legal information materials on conversion therapy including a short animated video describing the law and its historical importance and host a webinar;
  • reach the LGBTQ2+ community specifically and the wider population in Alberta; and
  • raise awareness and increase availability of information through a number of activities.

The funding has supported the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba to:

  • develop public legal education materials including: brochures, fact sheets, posters, FAQs, a video and a webinar related to conversion therapy.

Justice Canada has provided a total of $123,000 for these two projects under the Victims Fund. This investment supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect all Canadians- regardless of age – from the harms of conversion therapy and from its commercialization.

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