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Bill C-8

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First Session, Forty-third Parliament,
68-69 Elizabeth II, 2019-2020
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-8
An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)
FIRST READING, March 9, 2020
MINISTER OF JUSTICE
90916


SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things, create the following offences:
(a)causing a person to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will;
(b)causing a child to undergo conversion therapy;
(c)doing anything for the purpose of removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada;
(d)advertising an offer to provide conversion therapy; and
(e)receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.
It also amends the Criminal Code to authorize courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


1st Session, 43rd Parliament,
68-69 Elizabeth II, 2019-2020
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-8
An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)

Preamble
Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to the persons, and in particular the children, who are subjected to it;

Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity, including the myth that a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity can and ought to be changed;
And whereas, in light of those harms, it is important to discourage and denounce the provision of conversion therapy in order to protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
R.‍S.‍, c. C-46

Criminal Code

1(1)Subsection 164(1) of the Criminal Code is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (d), by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (e) and by adding the following after paragraph (e):
(f)the representation, written material or recording, copies of which are kept in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is an advertisement for conversion therapy.
2018, c. 29, s. 12(2)
(2)Subsections 164(3) to (5) of the Act are replaced by the following:
Owner and maker may appear
(3)The owner and the maker of the matter seized under subsection (1), and alleged to be obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, may appear and be represented in the proceedings to oppose the making of an order for the forfeiture of the matter.
Order of forfeiture
(4)If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the publication, representation, written material or recording referred to in subsection (1) is obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, it may make an order declaring the matter forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which the proceedings take place, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct.
Disposal of matter
(5)If the court is not satisfied that the publication, representation, written material or recording referred to in subsection (1) is obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, it shall order that the matter be restored to the person from whom it was seized without delay after the time for final appeal has expired.
2014, c. 25, s. 46(4)
(3)Subsection 164(7) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Consent
(7)If an order is made under this section by a judge in a province with respect to one or more copies of a publication, a representation, written material or a recording, no proceedings shall be instituted or continued in that province under section 162, 162.‍1, 163, 163.‍1, 286.‍4 or 320.‍104 with respect to those or other copies of the same publication, representation, written material or recording without the consent of the Attorney General.
(4)Subsection 164(8) of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:
advertisement for conversion therapy means any material — including a photographic, film, video, audio or other recording, made by any means, a visual representation or any written material — that is used to advertise an offer to provide conversion therapy contrary to section 320.‍104; (publicité de thérapie de conversion)
2014, c. 25, s. 46(5)
2(1)The portion of subsection 164.‍1(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Warrant of seizure
164.‍1(1)If a judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is material  —  namely, child pornography as defined in section 163.‍1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that makes child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy available  — that is stored on and made available through a computer system as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that is within the jurisdiction of the court, the judge may order the custodian of the computer system to
2014, c. 25, s. 46(6)
(2)Subsection 164.‍1(5) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Order
(5)If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the material is child pornography as defined in section 163.‍1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that makes child pornography, the voyeuristic recording, the intimate image, the advertisement of sexual services or the advertisement for conversion therapy available, it may order the custodian of the computer system to delete the material.
2014, c. 25, s. 46(7)
(3)Subsection 164.‍1(7) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Return of material
(7)If the court is not satisfied that the material is child pornography as defined in section 163.‍1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that makes child pornography, the voyeuristic recording, the intimate image, the advertisement of sexual services or the advertisement for conversion therapy available, the court shall order that the electronic copy be returned to the custodian of the computer system and terminate the order under paragraph (1)‍(b).
3Paragraph (a) of the definition offence in section 183 of the Act is amended by
(a)adding the following after subparagraph (xlvi):
(xlvi.‍1)section 273.‍3 (removal of child from Canada),
(b)adding the following after subparagraph (liii):
(liii.‍1)section 320.‍102 (forced conversion therapy),
(liii.‍2)section 320.‍103 (causing child to undergo conversion therapy),
2019, c. 25, s. 98
4Paragraph 273.‍3(1)‍(c) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(c)under the age of 18 years, with the intention that an act be committed outside Canada that if it were committed in Canada would be an offence against section 155, subsection 160(2) or section 170, 171, 267, 268, 269, 271, 272, 273 or 320.‍103 in respect of that person; or
5The Act is amended by adding the following after section 320.‍1:
Conversion Therapy
Definition of conversion therapy
320.‍101In sections 320.‍102 to 320.‍106, conversion therapy means a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour. For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates
(a)to a person’s gender transition; or
(b)to a person’s exploration of their identity or to its development.
Forced conversion therapy
320.‍102Everyone who knowingly causes a person to undergo conversion therapy against the person’s will is
(a)guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b)guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Causing child to undergo conversion therapy
320.‍103(1)Everyone who knowingly causes a person who is under the age of 18 years to undergo conversion therapy is
(a)guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b)guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Mistake of age
(2)It is not a defence to a charge under subsection (1) that the accused believed that the person was 18 years of age or older, unless the accused took reasonable steps to ascertain the person’s age.
Advertising conversion therapy
320.‍104Everyone who knowingly advertises an offer to provide conversion therapy is
(a)guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b)guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Material benefit from conversion therapy
320.‍105Everyone who receives a financial or other material benefit, knowing that it is obtained or derived directly or indirectly from the provision of conversion therapy, is
(a)guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b)guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Coming into Force

30th day after royal assent
6This Act comes into force on the 30th day after the day on which it receives royal assent.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons



explanatory notes

Criminal Code
Clause 1: (1)Relevant portion of subsection 164(1):
164(1)A judge may issue a warrant authorizing seizure of copies of a recording, a publication, a representation or any written material, if the judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that
(2)Existing text of subsections 164(3) to (5):
(3)The owner and the maker of the matter seized under subsection (1), and alleged to be obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services, may appear and be represented in the proceedings to oppose the making of an order for the forfeiture of the matter.
(4)If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the publication, representation, written material or recording referred to in subsection (1) is obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services, it may make an order declaring the matter forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which the proceedings take place, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct.
(5)If the court is not satisfied that the publication, representation, written material or recording referred to in subsection (1) is obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services, it shall order that the matter be restored to the person from whom it was seized without delay after the time for final appeal has expired.
(3)Existing text of subsection 164(7):
(7)If an order is made under this section by a judge in a province with respect to one or more copies of a publication, a representation, written material or a recording, no proceedings shall be instituted or continued in that province under section 162, 162.‍1, 163, 163.‍1 or 286.‍4 with respect to those or other copies of the same publication, representation, written material or recording without the consent of the Attorney General.
(4)New.
Clause 2: (1)Relevant portion of subsection 164.‍1(1):
164.‍1(1)If a judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is material  —  namely, child pornography as defined in section 163.‍1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services as defined in 164(8) or computer data as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that makes child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services available  — that is stored on and made available through a computer system as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that is within the jurisdiction of the court, the judge may order the custodian of the computer system to
(2)Existing text of subsection 164.‍1(5):
(5)If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the material is child pornography as defined in section 163.‍1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services as defined in subsection 164(8) or computer data as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that makes child pornography, the voyeuristic recording, the intimate image or the advertisement of sexual services available, it may order the custodian of the computer system to delete the material.
(3)Existing text of subsection 164.‍1(7):
(7)If the court is not satisfied that the material is child pornography as defined in 163.‍1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image or an advertisement of sexual services as defined in subsection 164(8) or computer data as defined in subsection 342.‍1(2) that makes child pornography, the voyeuristic recording, the intimate image or the advertisement of sexual services available, the court shall order that the electronic copy be returned to the custodian of the computer system and terminate the order under paragraph (1)‍(b).
Clause 3:Relevant portion of the definition:
offence means an offence contrary to, any conspiracy or attempt to commit or being an accessory after the fact in relation to an offence contrary to, or any counselling in relation to an offence contrary to
(a)any of the following provisions of this Act, namely,
Clause 4:Relevant portion of subsection 273.‍3(1):
273.‍3(1)No person shall do anything for the purpose of removing from Canada a person who is ordinarily resident in Canada and who is
.‍.‍. 
(c)under the age of eighteen years, with the intention that an act be committed outside Canada that if it were committed in Canada would be an offence against section 155, subsection 160(2) or section 170, 171, 267, 268, 269, 271, 272 or 273 in respect of that person; or
Clause 5:New.

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