IRIS Estrie director fears closure is imminent after losing government subsidy

By Michael Boriero

A lack of government funding at both the provincial and federal level has forced IRIS Estrie, an organization that provides prevention services for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs), HIV, and hepatitis, to re-evaluate its future.
After losing its main source of funding, Interim Director Charlène Aubé is worried that the organization won’t be able to survive another year. She is considering a permanent shut down of IRIS Estrie by March 2022. It has mostly to do with the worker shortage.
“The financing we get from Quebec, which is also recurring, we have very little money. It’s not even enough to pay one intervener’s salary, so we’re putting pressure to increase the funds, but the response has been negative,” said Aubé in a phone interview.
Up until this year, IRIS Estrie was benefitting from a recurring federal subsidy. However, it wasn’t renewed this time. The funds are going to other projects across Canada for the next five years. The funding hasn’t changed since 2003, she said, and there is stiff competition.
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