Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray voted in favour of Bill C-4, a bill that would amend the Criminal Code to ban conversion therapy in Canada.
The bill received unanimous consent in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Bill C-4 was tabled by Minister of Justice David Lametti on Monday (Nov. 29) after the previous bill, Bill C-6, died on the table when Parliament was prorogued on Aug. 15.
Previously, Gray voted against the bill, saying the wording of the bill makes it appear as if having a conversation between parents and their children about sexuality is illegal. The Okanagan’s other Conservative MPs Dan Albas and Mel Arnold, as well as the NDP’s Richard Cannings, previously voted in favour of Bill C-6.
She refused to apologize for the vote, which prompted Kelowna Pride to ban her from all events.
“This version of the Bill is different from the legislation that was previously introduced, and it satisfactorily addresses my concerns surrounding the definition and application of conversion therapy. For that reason, I joined my Conservative colleagues in the House of Commons in providing unanimous consent to approve this legislation and put it back to where it was in the legislative process, prior to the Liberals calling an early election,” she said.
Meanwhile, local LGBTQ2S+ advocacy groups like Advocacy Canada are welcoming the bill, urging Gray and other MPs to support it.
In a press release published on Monday, Advocacy Canada said Bill C-4 is the most comprehensive bill the Liberals have tabled on conversion therapy so far.
“It is important to ensure that all Canadians are protected from these practices that have proven to have no benefits, and have been shown to cause lasting harm to individuals who have become victims of them. This should not be a partisan issue,” said Advocacy Canada founder Wilbur Turner.
This is the third time the federal government has attempted to ban conversion therapy.
The bill now goes to the Senate.