International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau rises in the House of Commons during question period in Ottawa, June 7, 2018.

MONTREAL — Canada’s international development minister says that access to family planning services such as contraceptives and abortion is key to fighting poverty.

Marie-Claude Bibeau says Canada will continue to speak frankly with other countries on the need for such services, even if it remains controversial in some circles.

Bibeau is in Rwanda today ahead of a four-day international conference on family planning that runs until Thursday.

She tells the Canadian Press in a phone interview that some countries are willing to discuss the topic but don’t always follow up with concrete commitments.

She says reproductive and sexual education and access to contraception are important steps in eliminating poverty, especially among women.