Parliament resumes and new border rules: In The News for June 21
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of June 21 What we are watching in Canada OTTAWA — Parliamentarians are entering what could be their final stretch in the House of Commons before summer break as the Liberal government sharpens its focus on two key pieces of legislation. On the agenda are the Liberals' proposed ban onWhat we are watching in Canada ...
Legislation that would make conversion therapy illegal in Canada has stalled in the Senate as the chamber begins a months-long summer break.
The delay means the legislation is at risk of being wiped out entirely should Parliament be dissolved ahead of a widely anticipated fall election.
"We've been communicating with senators, stressing that this is an issue of life and death," said Nicholas Schiavo, founder of the advocacy group No Conversion Canada.
Single-game sports betting about to become legal after Senate passes bill
OTTAWA — Betting on single games of football, hockey and other sports is about to become legal in Canada. The Senate has approved Bill C-218, a private member's bill that amends Criminal Code provisions around gambling on single sports games — currently illegal except for horse racing — in a bid to win back customers from offshore sites, U.S. casinos and illegal bookmakers. The upper chamber approved the bill Tuesday by a vote of 57-20. It now awaits royal assent to become law.
"Conversion therapy is a confirmed form of torture. And so there's no time to waste when it comes to protecting Canadians."
The legislation, Bill C-6, proposes changes to the Criminal Code that would effectively outlaw conversion therapy — the widely discredited practice of attempting to change an individual's sexual orientation to heterosexual or their gender identity to cisgender (which means identifying with the sex assigned to them at birth).
It employs various approaches, from talk therapy and medication to aversion therapy — which attempts to condition a person's behaviour by causing them discomfort through things like electric shocks when they're exposed to specific stimuli.
An expert at the United Nation Human Rights Council said in 2020 that conversion therapy can amount to torture in some instances. The UN report notes that the practice can inflict severe pain and suffering and has no scientific basis.
Scherzer passes checks, Nationals stare down Phillies 3-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Max Scherzer threw his glove and hat to the grass, then stared down Phillies manager Joe Girardi after getting checked for a third time by umpires for sticky stuff as the Washington Nationals beat Philadelphia 3-2 Tuesday night. Scherzer (6-4) looked sharp in his return to the rotation after missing a start due to a groin injury, striking out eight in five innings. Girardi apparently didn’t like what he saw. In the fourth,Scherzer (6-4) looked sharp in his return to the rotation after missing a start due to a groin injury, striking out eight in five innings. Girardi apparently didn’t like what he saw.
Bill C-6 would make it illegal in Canada to subject a person to conversion therapy without their consent and make it illegal to subject children to the practice, regardless of consent.
"If you are a young person and you see this become law, it sends a very clear message that who you are, who you love or how you express yourself is valid and it is protected under law," Schiavo said.
The Trudeau government tabled the bill in the House of Commons in October 2020. It was adopted on third reading earlier this month, despite strong resistance from some Conservative MPs.
It reached second reading in the Senate on Monday before being referred to the committee on legal and constitutional affairs. The Senate is not scheduled to return until September 20 at the earliest.
'I wanted to do what I thought was right'
Video: Liberals’ conversion therapy bill fails to pass the Senate before summer break (cbc.ca)
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Survivors of conversion therapy say an updated law could help protect young people from being subjected to a harmful and traumatic experience.
"If this legislation would have come out back then, I would have thought there was hope," said Ben Rodgers of Belleville, Ont., who was recommended for conversion therapy by his church around 2003, when he was 19 years old.
Rodgers said the attempts to re-program his sexuality included a pastor and counsellors "screaming and yelling" at him in tongues and three days of fasting.
"I wanted to do what I thought was right," Rodgers told CBC News.
He said he was told by his church that the therapy would rid him of "demons of lust and homosexuality," which were said to have taken hold of him after he was sexually abused as a child.
"It was the teachings of a hateful people, of a hateful church, that was just simply telling me I had to do it," Rodgers said.
Some Conservatives say bill is too vague
Of the 63 MPs who voted against the bill at the House of Commons, 62 are Conservatives. The other, MP Derek Sloan, was elected as a Conservative before party leader Erin O'Toole expelled him from caucus in January.
Diamondbacks beat Padres 10-1, end record 24-game road skid
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks snapped their record 24-game road losing streak by routing the San Diego Padres 10-1 on Saturday night, getting six scoreless innings from Merrill Kelly and four hits and five RBIs from Eduardo Escobar. Escobar and Christian Walker homered for the Diamondbacks, who hadn’t won away from Chase Field since April 25, when Madison Bumgarner pitched seven no-hit innings at Atlanta. The Diamondbacks had droppedEscobar and Christian Walker homered for the Diamondbacks, who hadn’t won away from Chase Field since April 25, when Madison Bumgarner pitched seven no-hit innings at Atlanta.
Fifty-one Conservative MPs, including O'Toole, voted in favour of the bill.
Those opposed to the legislation have said the bill does not adequately define conversion therapy, meaning it risks banning "voluntary conversations" about sexuality.
The Liberal government has accused the Conservatives of delaying what they describe as a crucial piece of legislation to protect LGBTQ Canadians.
O'Toole, meanwhile, describes the timing of the bill's reintroduction as a cynical political ploy by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Bill C-6, first announced in March 2020, has had a slow path through Parliament in part because of the Liberals' decision to prorogue in August 2020, which erased the bill from the House of Commons agenda.
"Mr. Trudeau preferred to try to play politics with this. That's why it's in the dying days of this session," O'Toole said.
"Mr. Trudeau will have to answer for whether the bill gets through the Senate or not before he chooses to call an election."
On Tuesday, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc urged the Senate to speedily approve the bill so it can receive royal assent.
"We certainly hope the Conservatives in the Senate aren't going to frustrate the clear will of the majority of elected representatives in the House of Commons," he said.
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