Government of Canada Improves Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health

News release

September 7, 2023 | Edmonton, Alberta | Health Canada 

Everyone, regardless of their sexual or gender identity, should have access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and resources that are safe and stigma-free. However, experiences of discrimination within Canada’s health care system have and continue to make it more difficult for many members of marginalized groups to get the care they need. This is especially true for 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous, Black and racialized communities, as well as women and youth, as the barriers they face are also compounded by a lack of culturally safe, relevant, equitable and stigma-free information and services.

Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced close to $1.3 million in funding from Health Canada’s SRH Fund to support projects led by the Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean (CHABAC) Network housed at HIV Edmonton. These innovative projects will improve access to vital SRH services and reduce barriers to care for these underserved communities across the Prairies and beyond, through health care provider training, SRH awareness campaigns, and culturally relevant tools and resources. 

The SRH Fund was established through Budget 2021 with an initial investment of $45 million to improve access to SRH care for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access, with an additional $36 million made through Budget 2023. 

This announcement reflects the Government of Canada’s belief that everyone has the right to access safe and relevant SRH services, and is an example of how the Government is supporting human rights. 

Quotes

“Sexual and reproductive health services are health care. As many individuals continue to face barriers and stigma when trying to access these services, organizations like HIV Edmonton and the Sexuality Resource Centre Manitoba are doing important work to support and improve access for everyone, no matter who they are or where they live.” 

The Honourable Mark Holland 
Minister of Health 

“Everyone has the right to access safe, and stigma-free sexual and reproductive health services. Organizations like HIV Edmonton and the Sexuality Resource Centre Manitoba improve access and reduce barriers to these services for underserved communities across the Prairies. Our government is here as a partner in this important work.” 

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault 
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages and MP for Edmonton Centre 

"Health equity outcomes can be improved when people have access to sexual reproductive health information that resonates with their lived experience. Mobilizing ACB communities under the CHABAC banner has been recognized by UNAIDS 2019 Programme Coordinating Board report. HIV Edmonton is honoured to host the CHABAC Network in their national effort, coordinating five hub sites, with this funding to impact the sexual reproductive health of ACB people across the nation.” 

Catherine Broomfield, Executive Director 
HIV Edmonton 

“Increasing SERC's ability to provide culturally relevant, appropriate, and timely education in the form of resources and training was highlighted as a need over the course of the pandemic. By offering both digital and in-person programming, SERC will be better able to provide equitable access to information, programs, and services to underserved and marginalized populations. The development of bilingual and culturally safer resources, the launch of our Learning Management System, and the expansion of our Facts of Life information service means we’ll be able to reach communities who cannot physically travel to access our services or would otherwise be excluded due to cultural or linguistic barriers. This funding will improve the ability of all Manitobans to access essential comprehensive sexual health education, information and resources." 

Leigh Anne Caron and Gillian Roy, Co-Executive Directors 
Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba 

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 committed $45 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to improve access to SRH care support, information, and services for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access. 

  • Budget 2023 provided an additional $36 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Health Canada to renew the SRH Fund. 

  • To date, twenty-three projects have been funded. Of these projects, four address access to abortion, seven address the SRH needs of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and four focus on Indigenous communities, including Indigenous youth and Two Spirit people. Two projects focus on racialized people or newcomers, two more address youth from a range of populations, and four more address additional priorities. In addition, funding has been allocated to the province of Québec to support community-based organizations located in the province. 

  • The SRH 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 SRH outcomes, including members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, Indigenous and racialized people, women, and youth.

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Contacts

Alexandra Maheux
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
343-575-0890

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

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