On April 26, the government of British Columbia introduced the Voluntary Blood Donations Act, which will prohibit payment for blood and plasma collection across the province. Similar bans already exist in Alberta and Ontario.
“CUPE applauds this move by the BC NDP government to promote the safety and security of Canada’s supply of blood and blood products, and protect our public health care services against privatization,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “We know from study after study that unpaid blood donation is recognized worldwide as the safest source of blood.”
Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) operates private, for‑profit plasma collection clinics in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. The company was licensed by Health Canada to establish clinics in British Columbia but passing the Voluntary Blood Donations Act will effectively halt that expansion.
Private, for‑profit clinics force the Canadian Blood Services, which manages the national blood supply outside Quebec, to compete for blood and plasma donors. That’s a major problem since we know that voluntary donors provide the safest blood.
CPR has indicated it intends to expand to Nova Scotia and Manitoba, but CUPE is calling on those governments to follow the example set by BC, Alberta, and Ontario. To protect our blood supply system, we must place the public health care interests of Canadians ahead of the profit-driven interests of private blood brokers.