Federal plan for universal access to contraceptives and diabetes medication announced in Sherbrooke

Federal plan for universal access to contraceptives and diabetes medication announced in Sherbrooke
Federal ministers, local MPs, and representatives from contraception- and diabetes-related local organizations gathered for a press conference to announce the new federal plan (Photo : William Crooks)

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant, Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Canadian Heritage and MP for Brome-Missisquoi, and Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health and Addictions and MP for Sherbrooke, presented the government’s plan for the rollout of the first phase of national universal pharmacare May 24. This initiative aims to provide universal access to most prescription contraceptives and diabetes medication.

The announcement took place at Collective for Free Choice in Sherbrooke. Representatives from ConcertAction Femmes Estrie, the Collective for Free Choice, Elixir, the Cégep de Sherbrooke’s Youth Clinic, the University of Sherbrooke Health Clinic, and Diabète Estrie were also in attendance.

Speaking first, Brière thanked The Collective for Free Choice for welcoming the three MPs into their premises. She said the collective has been instrumental in informing, raising awareness, and advocating for the rights of women in Sherbrooke since 1989. The collective works tirelessly, she continued, not only to maintain abortion services but also to empower women regarding their sexual and reproductive health.

Brière said ensuring that every woman has the freedom to choose, access to contraceptives is essential, and that this freedom should not come with a price tag. Addressing the gathering of representatives, she said their support and commitment to this cause are crucial for advancing the government’s efforts and creating a society where health choices are freely accessible.

Speaking next, St-Onge said the MPs presence in Sherbrooke sends a clear and straightforward message: the Liberal government will always support women and their reproductive rights. The health of Canadians and Quebecers is a priority for our government, she continued. This has been reinforced by our engagement with communities across Quebec and Canada, leading to unprecedented federal support for the health system here in Quebec.

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