The Canadian Government wants to provide up to Can$75,000 in “gender affirmation coverage” in its health insurance plan for public service employees.
The proposed change to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), which could include procedures such as drastic ‘sex change’ surgery as well as cross-sex hormones, would be available to as many as 1.5 million federal employees, retirees and their dependants.
If the updated plan is approved, it will come into effect in July 2023.
The move follows the country’s trans-affirming ban on so-called conversion therapy, which came into effect earlier this year.
Bill C-4 criminalises alleged attempts to “change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual” or “change a person’s gender identity to cisgender”, with a prison sentence of up to five years.
The Bill was fast-tracked into law without a vote in Parliament or committee scrutiny, because politicians deemed debate “unnecessary”.
But the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada warned that the Bill’s “definition of conversion therapy remains overly broad and will impact freedom of expression and religion”.
Last month, former Conservative Party leader The Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith said Westminster’s proposed conversion therapy ban should be revised to avoid “unintended consequences”.
Speaking to Sky News, the MP said he agrees with Liz Truss’s aim to ban conversion therapy, but the current plans threaten freedom of speech.
The Bill is currently suspended but Truss previously said she was in favour of a ban.