Government of Canada Improves Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for LGBTQ2 Communities
June 28, 2022 | Toronto, Ontario | Health Canada
The Government of Canada firmly believes that everyone should have access to safe and consistent sexual and reproductive health services. To do so, we are committed to removing barriers to access that continue to exist from coast to coast to coast.
We know that in Canada, LGBTQ2 communities are often unable to access inclusive sexual and reproductive health services because of a lack of safety in health care settings and/or a lack of provider knowledge about LGBTQ2 health. Today, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, the Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, announced more than $5.1 million in funding from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund for projects by the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), Egale Canada and Sherbourne Health. These nation-wide projects will help improve sexual and reproductive health services, as well as develop resources and tools to support LGBTQ2 communities in getting the care and supports they need.
The CBRC will receive $2,856,327 to work with partner organizations to foster health promotion leadership within LGBTQ2 communities; improve health care providers’ capacity to provide sexual and reproductive care to community members; and create health promotion and policy resources for community members, health care providers, and policy-makers.
The CCGSD will receive $1,090,624 to develop and deliver new educational resources and tools related to LGBTQ2 inclusive sexual health education. In five Canadian cities, this curriculum will be taught to teachers, as well as health and social service providers to increase their capacity to support LGBTQ2 youth and marginalized individuals. Through this curriculum, it will help improve access and promote greater equity in sexual and reproductive health care.
Egale Canada will receive $584,941 to develop training in intersex health for health care providers as well as peer support resources for intersex individuals and parents/guardians of intersex children. By developing these resources, this project will help providers ensure that intersex individuals receive patient-oriented care, as well as provide opportunities for mutual support and knowledge-sharing within this community.
Sherbourne Health will receive $569,443 to improve the quality of and access to sexual and reproductive health services for LGBTQ2 communities. The project will develop, pilot, and promote resources for health care providers on sexual and reproductive health options and considerations for community members.
These investments reflect our belief that no matter who you are or where you live, we will always protect reproductive rights for all individuals in Canada.
“Everyone, regardless of their sexual or gender identity, has the right to be their true, authentic self and have access to the care and services that they need to lead a happy and healthy life. As many individuals continue to face barriers and stigma when trying to access information and services regarding their sexual and reproductive health, projects like the ones announced today are doing important work to find solutions. Together, with organizations across the country, we are committed to defend the right to safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health services for everyone, including LGBTQ2 communities in Canada.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
“Canadians deserve health services that take into account intersectional realities. Organizations such as the Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), Egale Canada, and Sherbourne Health all work to deconstruct existing barriers and provide appropriate sexual and reproductive health care options for LGBTQ2 communities. Providing safe and accessible sexual and reproductive health services is a crucial step towards achieving equality.”
The Honourable Marci Ien
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
“Accessing inclusive health care and information that affirms diverse genders and sexualities continues to pose a challenge. For 2SLGBTQ+ people, these barriers pose a significant risk to our quality of life. A community-led response that invites service providers and community members to shape new resources that best serve our needs is a must. This funding from Health Canada will act as an important step forward in addressing sexual and reproductive health care gaps for 2SLGBTQ+ people across the country.”
Michael Kwag, Acting Executive Director, Director, Knowledge Exchange and Policy Development
Community-Based Research Centre
“Comprehensive sexual health education is an important building block to lifelong health access for 2SLGBTQ+ youth. Due to the nature of the barriers to equity that exist within our healthcare system, 2SLGBTQ+ individuals must often self-advocate for the care they need throughout their lives. By increasing the capacity of teachers, healthcare providers, and social service providers to support those whose access to healthcare has historically been limited – including 2SLGBTQ+ youth – the CCGSD hopes to create communities of care across Canada that make sexual and reproductive healthcare more accessible for all.”
Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah, Executive Director
Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
“We are extremely excited to be undertaking this ground-breaking project focussed on improving the lives of intersex people in Canada. Working with the intersex community, we will create educational resources for health care practitioners, policy makers, as well as develop a peer support network and programming for intersex communities, including parents/guardians of intersex children and infants, to connect.”
Helen Kennedy, Executive Director
“We know that access and health provider knowledge can be barriers for care for 2SLGBTQ individuals. With this funding, Sherbourne Health will be able to create much-needed resources to provide education and awareness about reproductive and sexual health, ultimately improving care. Sherbourne Health is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of real system change for 2SLGBTQ people across Canada.”
Hazelle Palmer, President and CEO
Budget 2021 committed $45 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to improve access to sexual and reproductive health care support, information, and services for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access.
From this $45 million commitment, to date, nine contribution agreements have been signed, for a dollar value of $15.2 million. Of the nine projects, two address access to abortion, five address LGBTQ2 communities and two address youth. Two of the nine projects include components focusing on Indigenous peoples. In addition, per capita funding of $9.7 million will be provided to the Province of Québec to support community-based organizations located in Québec.
The Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund was created to support a wide range of evidence-informed and innovative projects for people in Canada who are at increased risk for poorer sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including LGBTQ2 people, Indigenous and racialized populations, women and youth.
In addition, Budget 2022 committed $79 million over six years to help support people in Canada who want to become parents as well as allow:
- medical expenses related to a surrogate mother or a sperm, ova, or embryo donor fees paid to fertility clinics and donor banks in Canada in order to obtain donor sperm and ova to be eligible under the Medical Expense Tax Credit for 2022 and subsequent taxation years.
The Government has taken concrete steps to support LGBTQ2 communities, including:
- Creating the first federal LGBTQ2 Secretariat;
- Criminalizing conversion therapy;
- Investing $20 million through Budget 2019 for the LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund, from which 76 projects were announced in February 2021 and eligible projects are being extended for 2022-23;
- Investing an additional $15 million for a new LGBTQ2 Project Fund via Budget 2021; and
- New commitments through Budget 2022, including $100 million over five years to support the implementation of the forthcoming Federal LGBTQ2 Action Plan.
As part of the LGBTQ2 Survey conducted to inform the development of the first-ever Federal LGBTQ2 Action Plan, results of consultation with LGBTQ2 people in Canada included information on experiences with health care professionals’ understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada
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