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Adam Zivo: Trudeau's cynical politics is why conversion therapy is still legal in Canada – National Post



The Liberals only care about LGBTQ issues insofar as they can be electorally exploited

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The Liberals want to convince you that Conservatives are responsible for Canada’s ongoing failure to ban conversion therapy — a discredited and widely-condemned practice which uses mental and physical abuse, often to the point of torture, to “fix” LGBTQ people. “Fixed” individuals often end up scarred for life and have a tendency to commit suicide.


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Yet conversion therapy actually remains legal owing to the cynical politicking of the Trudeau government, which has sabotaged attempts to ban the practice, at the cost of LGBTQ people’s lives, so that it can continue to be exploited as an election issue.

During their first three years of majority government, the Liberals made no attempt to ban conversion therapy. When, in March 2019, they were pressured by the NDP to change that, they argued that conversion therapy falls under provincial jurisdiction as it is relates to health care.

The Trudeau government then conveniently changed its mind a few months later, just in time for election season, and campaigned on banning conversion therapy at the federal level. This inconsistency is unsurprising given that the Liberals similarly campaigned on ending the gay blood ban while quietly arguing that it wasn’t actually their responsibility.


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After the 2019 election was over, the Liberals, now vulnerable with a minority government, seemingly followed through on a promise and tabled a bill to ban conversion therapy in March 2020 (Bill C-8).

C-8 would have criminalized profiting from conversion therapy, as well as practicing conversion therapy on minors or non-consenting adults. Voluntary conversion therapy for adults would have remained legal in respect of Canadians’ charter rights.

However, Conservatives were concerned about whether “conversion therapy” was too vaguely defined in the bill. Imagine a minor goes to their imam, rabbi or pastor and asks whether being LGBTQ is compatible with their religion — and the religious leader says, “No, you should not be LGBTQ if you want to be in God’s grace.” Would that kind of conversation be criminalized?


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Eric Duncan, the Conservatives’ first openly gay MP, proposed clarifying the ban by borrowing the Liberals’ own words, as the Justice Ministry’s press release for C-8 stipulated that these kinds of cases would be excluded.

But then the pandemic halted everything and C-8 languished as Parliament focussed on emergency measures — which is understandable.

Less understandably, Trudeau decided to avoid scrutiny for the WE scandal by proroguing parliament last summer, which nullified Parliament’s legislative agenda, killing all bills that had yet to pass. The conversion therapy ban was reintroduced in October of 2020 as Bill C-6.

During C-6’s second reading (a preliminary stage of lawmaking), Duncan once again advocated for using the Liberals’ own words to fix the bill’s ambiguity.


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As Conservatives believed that the clarity issue would be resolved, C-6 passed its second reading with near-unanimous support and was referred to committee for review. Only seven Conservative MPs voted against it, representing five per cent of the Conservative caucus.

But then, from December 2020 to April 2021, nothing happened. C-6 sat in limbo as the Trudeau government avoided bringing it up for Parliamentary debate. Some have argued that this was because parliament was toxic and dysfunctional at the time, making bills generally hard to pass.

However, the government unilaterally decides which legislation comes up for debate and when. How could Canada’s opposition parties have possibly obstructed legislation that the Liberals deliberately chose to keep off Parliament’s agenda for almost half a year? Either the Liberals did not consider the ban important, or they purposefully froze it to keep in their political back pocket.


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In April 2021, the Liberals finally deigned to bring C-6 to a third reading, having rejected the Conservatives’ proposed amendments and consequently leaving the Conservatives divided over the clarity issue. Dissatisfied with the bill’s wording, 62 Conservative MPs voted against C-6 while 51 voted for it. The other parties showed unanimous support, and so the bill passed and was sent to the Senate.

Owing to the Liberals’ stalling, the Senate was unable to properly review C-6 before being adjourned for the summer, putting the bill in limbo again until the Senate could reconvene in mid-September. The Liberals then accused the Conservatives of preventing the Senate from being recalled to pass C-6 during the summer, despite the fact that the Speaker of the Senate, who is a de facto Liberal (Liberal senators are nominally “independent”), can recall the Senate unilaterally.


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But this debate was soon moot. When Trudeau called another election, he once again nullified parliament’s agenda and killed the conversion therapy ban for a second time — because the well-being and lives of LGBTQ children are just playing chips for Liberal realpolitik.

Now, the Conservative election platform pledges to ban conversion therapy using clearer language, while the Liberals have pledged to ban the practice within the first 100 days of forming government, despite having stalled the ban for at least two years.

Throughout this saga, the Liberals have blamed the opposition for stalling legislation and have stoked the narrative that Conservatives condone the torture of LGBTQ children. For example, they have consistently tweeted condemnations of Conservative votes against C-6 while conveniently ignoring the clarity issue, leading readers to infer that Conservatives oppose the ban in principle rather than particular wording. It’s cynical and dishonest, but effective. On social media, Conservative advocacy for LGBTQ rights (such as ending the blood ban, supporting LGBTQ refugees, and legalizing poppers) has often been met with some variation of: “Yeah but don’t they support torturing queer kids?”


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Undoubtedly, some Conservative MPs used the clarity issue as political cover to justify opposition to banning conversion therapy. Yet, reading through their parliamentary speeches, the vast majority seem earnest about ending the practice and genuinely concerned about unclear scope — concerns which could have easily been assuaged if the Liberals actually cared about LGBTQ lives. Is it so hard to add a single sentence, taken from your own press release, to a bill?

But the Liberals only care about LGBTQ issues insofar as they can be electorally exploited. If children have to be tortured to wedge voters, that’s okay with Trudeau. It’s deplorable.

Join us Wednesday Sept. 15 for a live online debate. From universal social programs and high taxes to “greening” the economy: What kind of government should Canadians have in their lives — and how much of it?



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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Renzo to Head KCL's Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law – Daily Nous



Massimo Renzo has been appointed as the new Yeoh Tiong Lay Chair and Director of the Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law at King’s College London (KCL).

Professor Renzo, previously a professor of Politics, Law, and Philosophy at KCL and the acting director of the Yeoh Centre, was selected for the endowed chair and directorship following an open search to fill the position. He works in legal, moral and political philosophy, and has written on topics such as political authority, just war, humanitarian intervention, human rights, philosophy of criminal law, consent, and manipulation, among others. You can browse his writings here.

The Yeoh Centre was founded in 2014 with the aim of exploring “major issues in law and politics through the lens of philosophy.” Its previous director was John Tasioulas (Oxford). You can learn more about it here.

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Politics Briefing: Quebec introduces legislation to ban pandemic-related protests near hospitals, other facilities – The Globe and Mail




Quebec’s Premier says he is taking a cautious approach to proceeding with legislation to outlaw COVID-19-related protests within 50 metres of hospitals, vaccination sites and testing centres, among other facilities.

“It’s never easy to say you cannot go on the street,” Premier François Legault told a news conference on Thursday, responding to a media question about why he had decided to proceed now with Bill 105.

The legislation, with details on prospective fines, was tabled Thursday by the province’s Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault in response to recent anti-vaccine protests outside such facilities.

“It’s not something that you can do every day. You have to be careful. We want to make sure that people will not win, trying to say that the law is unacceptable, and we cannot enforce it,” said Mr. Legault.

“We wanted to do it correctly and I think that also we need to have the support of all the other parties, and I think that it’s the right time.”

Provisions of the bill will cease to have effect when the public health emergency declared in March, 2020, ends.

More details on the legislation here.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.


TRUDEAU FACES CABINET CHALLENGES – Justin Trudeau will have to contend with the defeat of three female cabinet ministers as he crafts his senior leadership team in what’s expected to be a quick return to governing. Two senior government officials told The Globe and Mail Mr. Trudeau will outline his government’s next steps once Elections Canada has finalized the seat counts, which could be as early as Thursday. Story here.

QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT O’TOOLE LEADERSHIP – In the first public challenge to Erin O’Toole from within his own ranks, a member of the Conservative Party’s national council says the Tory Leader should face an accelerated leadership review for “betraying” members during the election campaign.

LIMITED DIVERSITY IN TORY CAUCUS – CBC has crunched the the numbers, and concluded that the vast majority of the MPs making up the new Conservative caucus — nearly 95 per cent — are white, even as the country’s racial makeup is diversifying. Before this election, 9 per cent of Tory MPs were BIPOC. Story here,

LPC CANDIDATE ACCUSED OF TAKING RIVAL PAMPHLET – A Calgary resident says he has doorbell security camera footage showing Liberal candidate George Chahal, the night before the election, approach his house in the Calgary Skyview riding and remove an opponent’s campaign flyer before replacing it with one of his own. He posted the footage to Facebook, which has now received thousands of views. Story here.

FORMER LPC CANDIDATE TO SERVE AS INDEPENDENT – Kevin Vuong, who won the Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York as a Liberal candidate, said he will serve as an Independent MP, days after his party said he will not sit as a member of the caucus. Story here.

TWITTER BERNIER BAN – Twitter restricted People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier’s account, preventing him from posting any new messages for 12 hours after he used the platform to encourage his supporters to “play dirty” with journalists covering his campaign. From CBC. Story here.


KENNEY FENDS OFF LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE – Jason Kenney appears to have quelled another challenge from within his own caucus. A non-confidence vote against the Alberta Premier was withdrawn on Wednesday, but he committed to an earlier-than-planned leadership review, to be held well in advance of Alberta’s 2023 general election. Don Braid of The Calgary Herald writes here on how Mr. Kenney survived this fight against his leadership.

NEW CHARGES AGAINST FORMER SNC-LAVALIN EXECS – SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and two of its former executives are facing new criminal charges related to a bridge contract in Montreal nearly 20 years ago, plunging the Canadian engineering giant into another legal maelstrom as it tries to rebuild its business after years of crisis. Story here.

FORD LOOKING FOR CHILDCARE DEAL – Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he wants to make a child-care deal with the federal government. The province has acknowledged it was in discussions with Ottawa about a potential agreement into the last hours before the federal election was called in August.


“Private meetings,” according to an advisory from the Prime Minister’s Office.


No schedules released for party leaders.


Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on whether this is the end of majority governments in Canada:But in Canada, for one reason or another, the grip of two-party politics has been broken – irrevocably, it seems. As a result, something else that is not supposed to happen under first past the post has been happening, with remarkable frequency: minority governments. This is not just the second straight federal election to produce a Parliament without a majority party: it is the fifth in the past seven, 11th in the past 22.”

Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on why, if any federal leader should be stepping down, it’s the likeable Jagmeet Singh: ‘Strange business, politics. While a bit short of a majority, Justin Trudeau wins a third successive election by a large margin in the seat count. Yet some critics say he should be put out to pasture. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh suffered a drubbing in the 2019 election, losing almost half his party’s seats. With much higher expectations, he did badly again in Monday’s vote, electing (pending mail-in vote counts) only one more member. Yet hardly anyone says a word.”

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on why the knives are out for Erin O’Toole, but not Jagmeet Singh: “Theoretically, Mr. O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh should be in the same boat. Both failed to channel national frustration over a pandemic election call and turn it into material support; both delivered underwhelming results. But Mr. Singh, who led a campaign that saw the party claim 25 seats as of this writing – just one more than it held before – doesn’t appear to be in immediate jeopardy of losing his job. The saga of former NDP leader Tom Mulcair, who was turfed by his party when the NDP won 44 seats in 2015 (that is, about 75 per cent better than it did on Monday), offers an explanation for why.”

Jen Gerson (Maclean’s) on why Tories should not “do that stupid thing” they’re thinking of doing: “If you dump your affable, moderate, centrist leader at the first opportunity because he didn’t crack the 905 on his first try, and you replace him with someone who will chase Maxime Bernier’s vanishing social movement like a labradoodle running after the wheels of a mail truck, you will wind up confirming every extant fear and stereotype this crowd already holds about you and your party.”

Steve Paikin (TVO) on advice for Justin Trudeau, inspired by the political experiences of former Ontario premier Bill Davis: I think if Davis were still alive, he’d tell the current Prime Minister: “A lot of people are underestimating you right now. They think you’re damaged because you called this snap election, and it didn’t work out as you’d hoped. Well, I’ve been there. My advice, Prime Minister, is to reach out. Be more collegial and less ideological and adversarial. Establish a good working relationship with your opponents.”

Send along your political questions and we will look at getting answers to run in this newsletter. It’s not possible to answer each one personally. Questions and answers will be edited for length and clarity.

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop

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Japan’s ruling party puts legacy of Abenomics in focus.



Japan’s widening wealth gap has emerged as a key issue in a ruling party leadership contest that will decide who becomes the next prime minister, with candidates forced to reassess the legacy of former premier Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies.

Under Abenomics, a mix of expansionary fiscal and monetary policies and a growth strategy deployed by Abe in 2013, share prices and corporate profits boomed, but a government survey published earlier this year showed households hardly benefited.

Mindful of the flaws of Abenomics, frontrunners in the Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race – vaccination minister Taro Kono and former foreign minister Fumio Kishida – have pledged to focus more on boosting household wealth.

“What’s important is to deliver the benefits of economic growth to a wider population,” Kishida said on Thursday. “We must create a virtual cycle of growth and distribution.”

But the candidates are thin on details over how to do this with Japan’s economic policy toolkit depleted by years of massive monetary and fiscal stimulus.

Kono calls for rewarding companies that boost wages with a cut in corporate tax, while Kishida wants to expand Japan’s middle class with targeted payouts to low-income households.

The winner of the LDP leadership vote on Sept. 29 is assured of becoming Japan’s next prime minister because of the party’s parliamentary majority. Two women – Sanae Takaichi, 60, a former internal affairs minister, and Seiko Noda, 61, a former minister for gender equality – are the other candidates in a four-way race.

Parliament is expected to convene on Oct. 4 to vote for a successor to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who announced his decision to quit less than a year after taking over from Abe.

A government survey, conducted once every five years and released in February, has drawn increasing attention to trends in inequality during Abe’s time.

Shigeto Nagai, head of Japan economics at Oxford Economics, said the survey revealed “the stark failure of Abenomics to boost household wealth through asset price growth.”

Average wealth among households fell by 3.5% from 2014 to 2019 with only the top 10% wealthiest enjoying an increase, according to a survey conducted once every five years.

Japanese households’ traditional aversion to risk meant they did not benefit from the stock market rally, with the balance of their financial assets down 8.1% in the five years from 2014, the survey showed.

“We think the new premier will need to consider the failures of Abenomics and recognize the myth that reflation policies relying on aggressive monetary easing will not solve all Japan’s problems without tackling endemic structural issues,” Nagai said.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda defended Abenomics and said the pandemic, not slow wage growth, was mainly to blame for sluggish consumption.

“Unlike in the United States and Europe, Japanese firms protected jobs even when the pandemic hit,” Kuroda said when asked why the trickle-down to households has been weak.

“Wage growth has been fairly modest, but that’s not the main reason consumption is weak,” he told a briefing on Wednesday. “As the pandemic subsides, consumption will likely strengthen.”


(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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