For many years, CUPE has been vocal about supporting blood and plasma self-sufficiency in Canada through voluntary, unpaid donations. Whenever we can, we bring that message to Parliament Hill.

This Thursday, Amanda Vyce, health care researcher at CUPE’s national office, presented a submission to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology (SOCI), in support of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act (Bill S-252).

“If passed, this Bill will promote national self-sufficiency and ensure that Canadian blood remains a public resource for use by Canadian patients,” Vyce told the committee. “Canada’s dependence on plasma sourced from the United States poses a safety risk to the security of our supply. It is not viable in the long term.”

CUPE also spoke strongly against the privatization of the blood and plasma supply.

“Health Canada granted licenses to Canadian Plasma Resources, a private company, under the false pretence that private, for-profit plasma clinics would boost our plasma self-sufficiency,” Vyce said. “Over the past 20 years, Canadian Blood Services has built a safe blood system that Canadians trust. Allowing that system to be eroded by private shareholder interests won’t safeguard our public blood system – or the public interest.”

Bill S-252 would ensure Canada’s blood system remains public, directly accountable to Canadians, and that Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec maintain control over the domestic supply of blood and plasma, and not private, for-profit corporations.