Item - 2021.QS3.8
- This item was considered by Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Advisory Committee on September 27, 2021 and was adopted without amendment.
- See also EX27.15
QS3.8 - Funding Cuts to AIDS Committee of Toronto and Other Health Service Providers
- Decision Type:
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit Advisory Committee recommends to the Executive Committee that:
1. City Council express its disappointment and concern with the Federal Government’s decision to significantly reduce funding the HIV/AIDS health service providers in Toronto and across Canada.
2. City Council support the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health’s recommendation and urge the Federal Government to increase the federal HIV/AIDS strategy funding to $100 million annually beginning in 2022.
Recently, the Public Health Agency of Canada informed the AIDS Committee of Toronto and other HIV/AIDS health service providers that their funding will be decreased significantly over the next five years.
These funding cuts are putting the supports our communities need in jeopardy and will have a considerable and measurable impact on the thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto and across Canada. Keeping these health programs and services free and accessible to all is critical to continue the work towards a city with zero new HIV infections, zero HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and the Senate of Canada have both recommended that funding to the federal HIV/AIDS strategy be increased to $100 million annually. This increase has never been realized and has actually remained the same since 2003.
These funding cuts come at a time when our community needs these services now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has further marginalized many populations at risk of human immunodeficiency virus, Hepatitis C virus and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, and it has both taught us the dangers of underfunding public health and demonstrated our capacity to mobilize resources when needed.
If we are going to meet Canada’s commitment to both the UNAIDS and World Health Organization viral hepatitis elimination targets, it will be critical for us to invest in and expand HIV/AIDS health programs and services, not reduce them.