Protect our Blood Supply
Protéger nos réserves de sang

By December 29, 2023 January 31st, 2024 No Comments

December 1, 2022

Minister Jones Must Protect Our Blood Supply

MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) rose in the legislature to make a statement on World AIDS Day, reminding the government of the Krever Commission and the importance of protecting Ontario and Canada’s blood supply.

“Speaker, today, December 1st is World AIDS Day. The most important message AIDS taught Canadians is the importance of protecting our blood supply. The AIDS virus in our blood supply unknowingly infected hundreds of Canadians who received blood transfusions in the 1980s, leading to the “Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada” better known as the Krever Inquiry. The report concluded “that blood is a public resource, that donors should not be paid, that Canada must increase self-sufficiency in all blood and blood products and that no part of the national blood operator’s duties should be contracted out.”

In 2014 a private company was preparing to open paid plasma collection centres in Toronto and Hamilton. Recognizing the threat, the previous government passed the Voluntary Blood Donations Act. I was proud to vote in favour of that bill, along with our current Minister of Health, Minister Jones and eight members of the current government, to shut these clinics down.

Now, 8 years later, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has signed a deal with Grifols Pharmaceuticals that contracts out plasma collection to that for-profit company. We must remember the Canadians who got sick, all those who died and the recommendations of the Krever Inquiry. The Ontario Minister of Health is the lead supervisor of Canadian Blood Services. She has a duty to act right now to protect Ontarians and Canadians by shutting down this deal. For profit plasma collection put people’s lives at risk, will the Minister act now before it is too late.

It was announced in September that CBS had signed an agreement with Grifols, a company headquartered in Spain, to meet national targets for plasma supply by collecting paid-for plasma. In 2014, Minister of Health Sylvia Jones, Minister of Housing Steve Clarke, Minister of Energy Todd Smith, Minister of Agriculture Lisa Thompson, Speaker of the House Ted Arnott, MPPs Bailey, Hardeman, Scott and Yakabuski all voted in favour of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act.