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

Press Release

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

The Intersectoral Action Fund addresses complex public health challenges

May 24, 2022

Canada is one of the healthiest countries in the world, and everyone in Canada deserves opportunities to thrive and lead a healthy life. Our government 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, racialized communities, as well as people from lower income households, children, youth, and seniors.

Today Emmanuel Dubourg, Member of Parliament for Bourassa, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $220,621 from the new Intersectoral Action Fund for a project on access to healthy food in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec.

The funding will support a research project by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec to study the implementation of food cooperatives in rural communities with little or no local access to fresh, healthy food. The research team will document efforts made by citizens and organizations to develop these cooperative projects. It will also assess the effect of cooperatives on food quality and participant health, and the impacts on community vitality and well-being.

The results of the project will be used to equip organizations and individuals who would like to set up a food cooperative elsewhere in Quebec and thereby improve access to healthy food and contribute to community food security.

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.


“Healthy eating is important for ones wellbeing and our government is committed to ensure everyone has access to fresh, healthy food. The research done by Institut national de la santé publique will help fill the gaps in supporting healthy eating in local rural communities. Together, with community organizations, we will continue to tackle health inequities across Canada.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“The Institut national de santé publique du Québec 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 Quebec. Today’s announcement will ensure the success of our generation’s battle to feed ourselves well and rebuild our food sovereignty.”

Emmanuel Dubourg
Member of Parliament for Bourassa

“This grant gives the EffICAS research team the means to study the real outcomes of food cooperatives on individuals and communities with poor food access. We believe that the arrival of a food retailer in an underserved community can have positive impacts on the quality of residents’ nutrition and health, as well as on the community’s social life and the local economy.”

EffICAS research team

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

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