Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during an announcement in Gatineau, Que., on July 6.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

New Brunswick is failing to live up to its obligations under the Canada Health Act because it continues to make it difficult for women to access abortions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

As a consequence, the federal government is withholding health-care transfers to the province, Trudeau told reporters in Moncton, N.B.

“Making sure that every woman across this country has access to reliable reproductive services is extremely important to us, and that’s why we’ve continued to impress strongly upon the government of New Brunswick how it needs to keep up its obligations under the Canada Health Act,” Trudeau said.

Story continues below advertisement

The prime minister initially said Ottawa was holding back millions of dollars in health-care transfers to New Brunswick, but a spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s Office said after the news conference the correct figure is $140,216.

A representative from the office of New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs was not immediately available for comment.

New Brunswick law bans government funding for abortions conducted outside three approved hospitals. The provincial government subsidizes abortions at two hospitals in Moncton and one in Bathurst, but it won’t cover the cost of the procedure at Clinic 554 in Fredericton.

Trudeau said his government will work to ensure everyone in the country has access to abortion, including at Clinic 554.

A New Brunswick judge in June authorized a national civil liberties group to mount a legal challenge to the province’s abortion law. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says the law limits access to abortions, particularly for poor and marginalized people.

New Brunswick’s government had opposed the association’s bid for standing, arguing the group didn’t have a specific connection to the province.

Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Tracey DeWare, however, said that stance was “unreasonable,” and she wrote in her ruling, “with all due respect to the position of the (province), it is without merit and given the jurisprudence directly on point, surprising.”

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies