MPP for Perth-Wellington
Unit 2 – 55 Lorne Ave. E
Stratford, ON N5A 6S4
Support Gender-Affirming Health Care in Perth-Wellington and Across Ontario
Dear Matthew Rae, MPP for Perth-Wellington,
We are writing to you as a collective of Pride organizations serving your riding of Perth-Wellington.
Gender-affirming health care is broadly defined as health and social services to support a transgender
person’s transition — including hormone replacement therapy, surgical interventions such as breast
removal or genital reconfiguration, and mental-health support. The problems in gender-affirming care in
Ontario are undoubtedly complex, ranging from medically necessary services still left out of OHIP
coverage (such as chest masculinization post-breast removal, facial feminization surgery and surgeries to
shave down someone’s Adam’s apple); to chronically underfunded gender-affirming care clinics; to
family doctors hesitant to provide services to trans people due to stigma and ignorance.
In rural areas such as Perth-Wellington, accessing gender-affirming care presents even more barriers as
there is often no services in our communities and health professionals often automatically refer trans
individuals to larger cities like London or Kitchener – even for the most basic care. Trans people are
disproportionately low-income, making it more difficult to get to London or Kitchener due to the cost of
owning a car and the lack of public transportation options connecting our rural communities to larger
There are large amounts of research – international research, Canadian research, and Ontario-based
research – that proves providing gender-affirming care is lifesaving – especially in trans youth. Inaction on
advancing gender-affirming care is causing harm towards trans people.
So how can you, Matthew Rae help gender-affirming care in Perth-Wellington and Ontario?
Firstly, a new private member’s bill, called the “Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee Act”
was introduced on November 16, 2022. The Act provides that the Minister of Health shall, within 60 days
of the Act coming into force, establish a Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee. The Advisory
Committee shall submit a report making recommendations to the Minister for improving access to and
coverage for gender-affirming health care. This bill has the potential to begin addressing the many
problems in gender-affirming health care — but it needs to make it through Queen’s Park first.
We need you as our MPP to support this bill. You can make a difference to not only your trans
constituents but to trans people in every corner of this province.
There’s more that needs to be done to support gender-affirming care in this province. One critical
example is funding changes for services like the Connect-Clinic. The Connect-Clinic, which has over
1,500 patients and 2,000 more people on a waiting list offers hormone therapy and surgery referrals for
trans and gender-diverse people across Ontario through fully virtual appointments. For rural areas like
Perth-Wellington, this is a resource that is invaluable to trans folks. As of December 1, 2022, the
Connect-Clinic will no longer accept new patients due to changes in Ontario’s funding agreement with
doctors. In a recent update, the Ministry of Health has decided to not allow the Connect-Clinic’s
physicians to bill for care for existing patients. As a result, they are pausing clinical care via virtual visits
as of December 1, 2022.
As a virtual-only clinic, Connect-Clinic physicians will be able to bill $20 per video appointment and $15
via phone — lower rates than the previous $67 or more. The Connect Clinic says the new rates won’t
cover the depth of care the clinic provides, making it impossible to add new patients.
We ask that you send a request to the Minister of Health and Cabinet to make equity-based changes to
the new funding agreement to ensure life-saving virtual services like the Connect-Clinic can properly
serve their current and future clients.
Gender-affirming care is lifesaving care.
As organizations working to improve the experiences of 2SLGBTQI+ people in Perth-Wellington, we
implore you to take ACTION and advance gender-affirming care in this province.
Yours in Pride,
President/Board Chair, Stratford-Perth Pride
Chair, Minto Pride Committee