Conservatives' O'Toole says MPs can vote freely on two controversial bills

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he’ll allow MPs free votes on two bills that are controversial within his party. Last week, the Liberal government reintroduced legislation to ban the practice of forcing someone to undergo therapy aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity. On Monday, the Liberals reintroduced a bill that expands eligibility for medical assistance in dying.

Both pieces of legislation have met stiff resistance from socially conservative pockets of the Conservative party. That faction was crucial to O’Toole’s win in the leadership race in August and he has pledged their points of view will always be respected. O’Toole himself voted against the original legislation allowing medical assistance in dying, but did say last week he is in favour of a ban on conversion therapy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct.

7, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

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