November 21st, 2017

NDP: Liberals must stop working for pro-profit plasma donations

OTTAWA – On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Krever Inquiry into the tainted blood scandal, the NDP, along with health advocates and health professionals, are raising serious concerns about information received under Access to Information that shows Health Canada working in favour of for-profit plasma donation centres.

“There is evidence to suspect that a lobbyist, before being registered, was engaged in inappropriate activities in advance of recent blood broker approvals in Saskatoon and Moncton,” said NDP Health Critic Don Davies. “As the regulator, the Minister of Health should be protecting the safety of Canadians - not supporting private business interests.”

Documents obtained through an Access to Information request show that Health Canada has been working with the private blood broker’s unregistered lobbyist for years in advance of Health Canada’s licencing approvals. The documents also show that under the Liberals, and despite pan-Canadian opposition, the Health Minister’s office coordinated with private companies to support commercial blood collection activities.

“Health Canada certainly shouldn't be strategizing with private companies to undermine our public blood donation system,” added Davies. “Canadians expect their health regulators to put the safety of our blood system first.”