Government of Canada helps to address health and social inequities in Atlantic Canada

News release

The Intersectoral Action Fund addresses complex public health challenges

May 26, 2022 | Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island | Public Health Agency of Canada

Canada is one of the healthiest countries in the world, and everyone in Canada deserves opportunities to thrive and lead a healthy life. The Government of Canada recognizes that every individual should have the resources and opportunities for health and wellbeing and is taking action to address systemic health challenges and barriers.

Health inequities are the systematic, unfair, and avoidable differences in health outcomes. Health inequities have long existed in Canada, but have been even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic disproportionately affected the mental and physical wellbeing of many groups in society, including Indigenous peoples, Black and racialized communities, as well as people from lower income households, children, youth, and seniors.

Today, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $248,542 through the new Intersectoral Action Fund (ISAF).

This funding will help the Prince Edward Island-based Atlantic Summer Institute on Healthy and Safe Communities Inc. (ASI) to advance policy approaches that promote equity and mental health amongst infants, children, and youth in Atlantic Canada and beyond. The project will enhance capacity for intersectoral action amongst governments, private sector, and civil society through evidence-based knowledge mobilization. The long-term goal of the project is to reshape how health policy is developed and, ultimately, to enhance societal well-being in Atlantic Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, through the ISAF, is funding projects across the country to improve the conditions for health and the systems and structures that shape them, and to help everyone in Canada reach their full health potential.


"Our government is taking action to address health inequities to improve access for all. Through this project, ASI will take important steps to better the well-being of infants, children, and youth in Atlantic Canada. Together, with the support of community organizations across the country, we will keep working towards improving our health care system so it works for everyone. "

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"The Atlantic Summer Institute on Healthy and Safe Communities Inc. (ASI) plays an important role in helping the Government of Canada strengthen its efforts to address our country's complex public health challenges. This project will help build a healthier future for communities in Atlantic Canada."

Sean Casey,
Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

"The mental health of Atlantic Canadians has been a topic of increasing concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The ASI Policy Brief advocates for starting in the early years and taking an 'upstream' approach through mental health promotion for children and youth. ASI has been working collaboratively on this brief with partners across Canada for the past two years. Resources from the ISAF will help to mobilize the policy brief recommendations across sectors and governments into productive policy outcomes and system change."

Malcolm Shookner
President, ASI Board of Directors

Quick Facts

  • The ISAF launched in May 2021 to support action on social determinants of health. The Fund helps build capacity in communities to advance intersectoral action on social determinants of health, particularly as they move towards the difficult work of recovering from the pandemic.
  • Social determinants of health refer to the broad range of social, economic and environmental factors that relate to an individual's place in society (such as gender, race, income, education, or employment) and that determine individual and population health. These determinants are shaped by the distribution of wealth, power, and opportunities within and between populations.
  • Intersectoral action refers to the ways that different groups and sectors of society work together to enhance the health of our communities. The ISAF supports communities to build capacity for such action, and helps ensure that the social determinants of health and health inequities are understood and addressed.
  • Fourteen projects were selected for funding through the ISAF. These projects will address the root causes of long-standing community health challenges or those heightened by COVID-19, or proposed activities that build on or advance intersectoral initiatives to expand their reach or impact.

Associated Links


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

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Public Health Agency of Canada

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