Government of Canada Strengthens Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for Youth

News release

August 24, 2022 | Calgary, Alberta | 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.

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of improving accessibility and promoting inclusion for everyone in Canada, including youth. Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced more than $2.8 million in funding from the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund for projects by the Centre for Sexuality, and the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN). These projects will improve access to sexual and reproductive health services and resources for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access, more specifically youth, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples.

The Centre for Sexuality will receive $2,033,062 to adapt their existing in-person program, the Relationship and Sexual Health Education program, to include an online component as well as content related to the particular needs of LGBTQ2 youth, First Nations communities, and persons with developmental disabilities. This project will also support the development of training resources for health care providers to help them better meet the needs of these specific populations.

SIECCAN will receive $805,916 to provide health service providers with the materials and tools to improve sexual health promotion for Autistic youth and disabled youth.This project will develop toolkits to improve care and services tailored to these populations.

These investments reflect our belief that reproductive rights are fundamental rights, and as such our Government will always protect these rights for all individuals in Canada.

Quotes

"Everyone should have access to quality health services, where and when they need it. That's why our government is committed to removing barriers and stigma that many across the country continue to face when accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Together, with organizations like the Centre for Sexuality and SIECCAN we are improving access to these essential services for youth, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ2 communities."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

"The Centre for Sexuality has been serving the community for 50 years. We know the positive impact of comprehensive sexual health education and the importance of creating programs that meet the needs of diverse communities. We also know it is essential to ensure professionals build their capacity to support individuals with barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services. We are grateful for this funding, which will enable the Centre for Sexuality to scale the Relationship and Sexual Health Education program and reach Canadians who have previously been unable to access our services."

Pam Krause
President & CEO, Centre for Sexuality

"The sexual health needs of Autistic and disabled youth have long been overlooked and neglected, in large part due to prevailing stigma and misconceptions. Health service providers and other supporters require resources to better understand the sexual health needs of Autistic and disabled youth so that they can effectively support them. We are grateful to Health Canada for recognizing this as an area of need and for providing us with the opportunity to work with individuals with a wide range of expertise and lived experiences to improve sexual health promotion for Autistic and disabled youth."

Yi Wen Shao
Project Coordinator, The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • Of this $45 million commitment, $24.9 million has been allocated to date. Nine projects, valued at $15.2 million, are underway. Of these nine projects, two address access to abortion, five address LGBTQ2 communities and two address youth. Two 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 populations who are at increased risk for poorer sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including members of LGBTQ2 communities, Indigenous and racialized people, women and youth.
  • Budget 2022 committed $79 million over six years to help support people in Canada who want to become parents by allowing certain medical expenses related to surrogacy or sperm, ova, or embryo donor fees to be eligible under the Medical Expense Tax Credit for 2022 and subsequent taxation years.

Related Products

Backgrounder: Improving Access to Services for Youth under the Sexual and Reproductive Health Fund

Contacts

Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

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