(Ottawa) Conservative leader Erin O’Toole will once again allow his Caucasus free vote on a government bill banning conversion therapy.
Therapies that seek to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are widely discredited as so-called harmful methods.
Earlier this week, liberals introduced a third bill in the House of Commons to outlaw these practices.
The second version of the law on the order paper in the Senate died when federal elections were called and Parliament was dissolved last August.
It was approved by the House of Commons, however, despite the leader’s attempt to show a more progressive stance on LGBTQ issues. Of O’Toole’s 119 MPs, 62 voted against the bill.
At the time, many Conservative MPs complained that the wording of the bill was too broad and that sexual intercourse between children and their parents or with religious adults could be considered a crime.
The vote sparked an uproar when critics blamed Mr O’Toole for failing to follow his more progressive rhetoric on LGBTQ issues.
When faced with another vote soon on the issue, a spokesman for Mr O’Toole confirmed that he would allow free voting again, but that he would “continue to support the LGBTQ community for a long time and support efforts to ban transplantation”.
“He also highlights the fact that liberals have failed three times to act quickly on this issue,” wrote Josie Sabatino, director of O’Toole Communications.
“The bill will be voted free, and all Conservative MPs will oppose the coercive and harmful practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” she added.
Allowing MPs to vote as they please on matters of conscience, Mr. since he became party leader. O’Toole’s attitude, which includes a significant number of MPs from his social conservative faction.
Nicholas Xiao, founder of the legal group No Conversion Canada, said the bill was passed unanimously by federal leaders to send a clear message to LGBTQ Canadians that conversion therapy is not acceptable. He said Mr O’Toole’s decision to allow free voting was disappointing.
“You are endangering the lives of LGBTQ2 Canadians for discussion,” he denied. And you agree to discuss their basic freedoms. ”
“I do not believe you can vote with a clear conscience on things that are unacceptable,” he added. It is a failure of leadership. ”
A spokesman for the New Democrats confirmed that all members of the political party would vote in favor of the ban.
Mr Xiao said Michelle Rimpel Garner, a well – known Conservative MP who has been fighting for LGBTQ rights for a long time, agreed to meet with them. His team also hopes that two openly gay Conservative MPs, Eric Duncan and Melissa Lantsman, will take the issue further.
Mr. O’Toole’s MPs will have the opportunity to discuss the law when they meet in Ottawa on Wednesday for their weekly national caucus meeting.
They also need to discuss another government bill related to COVID-19. The two-part bill would grant federal-controlled workers 10 days of paid sick leave and create two new criminal code offenses against anyone who threatens a health care worker or obstructs a health care facility.
The latter measures are in response to anti-vaccine protests outside hospitals and clinics, but they also apply to facilities that perform abortions.
The latest example of the federal election campaign in September is that liberals have long used abortion to split politically with the Conservatives.
The Campaign Life Coalition, a national anti-abortion organization, has previously warned that the bill would restrict free speech to those who openly oppose the policy.
Longtime Ontario backbench MP Cheryl Gallant also said in a recent video posted on social media that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants a “ban on demonstrations” and wonders “what kind of event will be banned”.
A statement from Erin O’Toole’s office suggested that the Conservatives support the bill. ButMe Sabatino did not respond to a question on whether the party line would be imposed.
She said the Conservatives would support the current criminal code measures that protect health care workers, as well as the new measures proposed in the “(bill) as well as the provisions for sick leave paid to all industries under federal regulations.”
MMe Sabatino vowed that a Conservative government would extend the law to “other public works and critical infrastructure.”
Erin O’Toole has criticized blockades in the past and has organized protests against transport infrastructure such as railroad tracks.