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

Press Release

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

The Intersectoral Action Fund addresses complex public health challenges

September 20, 2022

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 is taking action to address systemic health challenges and barriers so that every individual has the resources and opportunities for health and wellbeing.

Health inequities are the systematic, unfair, and avoidable differences in health outcomes. Health inequities have long existed in Canada, but have become 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, Shafqat Ali, Member of Parliament for Brampton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, Adam van Koeverden announced an investment of close to $790,000 through the Intersectoral Action Fund (ISAF). This funding is helping five Ontario-based organizations to address some of the complex public health challenges that affect health equity and wellbeing.

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 and improve access to healthcare for all. Through this funding, we are taking important steps to improve health equity and wellbeing of people in Ontario. Together, with the support of community organizations within and outside of the health sector, such as early childhood, transportation, housing, and food security 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

“These organizations play an important role in helping the Government of Canada strengthen its efforts to address our country’s complex public health challenges. These projects will help build a healthier future for communities in Ontario.”

Shafqat Ali
Member of Parliament for Brampton Centre

“With these funds we will develop a much needed plan for action on the social determinants of health to better understand the needs of LBQ women and non-binary people.”

Helen Kennedy
Executive Director, Egale

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how precarious working conditions impact workers’ health, undermine public health, and worsen health inequities particularly for racialized, low-wage, migrant, and women workers. This funding will support collaborative efforts between health and labour partners to improve working conditions as a social determinant of health.”

Brynne Sinclair-Waters
Executive Director, Ontario Employment Education & Research Centre

“Supporting community resilience, and healthy human and natural systems is at the core of what we do at TRCA. We are honoured that the PHAC has chosen to fund TRCA’s Growing Healthy Towers project, which is working with more than 20 organizations, across two regions, and 12 sectors, investing in neighbourhoods experiencing intersecting climate and community health issues.”

John MacKenzie
Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

“With the support of PHAC, STEPS looks forward to convening stakeholders coast to coast to reimagine the role of parks and culture programmers in designing equitable cities.”

Alexis Kane Speer
Executive Director, STEPS Public Art

“Our Safe at Home Hamilton Working Group recognizes the multiple barriers to economic security that women and gender diverse peoples experience when living with or have a history of partner violence. These funds will enable us to strengthen multi-sector supports to remove these barriers.”

Patricia O’Campo Ph.D.
Executive Director, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Unity Health Toronto

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

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Inquiries


COVID-19 public enquiries



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