“We are grateful for all those who have made the trek to Ottawa in the campaign to end paid plasma operations in Canada. We have a real chance of winning this battle.” — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
Ottawa (31 Oct. 2018) — Health care advocates from across Canada took to Parliament Hill on October 30 to support federal legislation S-252 that would ban paidplasma operations in Canada and protect Canada’s life-saving, voluntary blood system.
A large contingent of members of the National Union participated in the lobby.
"We are grateful for all those who have made the trek to Ottawa in the campaign to end paid plasma operations in Canada. We have a real chance of winning this battle,” said Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer of the 390,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).
Voluntary Blood Donations Act being debated in the Senate
The Advocacy Day, organized by BloodWatch.org, took ptace as the Senate is debating The Voluntary Blood Donations Act. More than 40 meetings were booked with senators and MPs.
The Voluntary Blood Donations Act, a bill introduced by Senator Pamela Wallin, would ban the practice of paying people to sell their blood and plasma. This federal legislation mirrors the legislation that was passed in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. Quebec has had legislation in place since 1993.
Federal legislation is necessary because Health Canada continues licensing private blood brokers in those provinces that won't implement a ban. The goal is to stop Health Canada from issuing licences and the only way to do that is to make it a federal law.
Currently, there are 18 private paid-plasma clinics in the queue for licensing.
Why a Senate bill?
It is thought that a private members bill would die on the floor because so far, the federal Liberals have been supporting paid-plasma. Senators can continue to introduce a bill through the Senate, and it will have a longer life span.
It also allows for a public committee process where senators can call witnesses to put on the public record the concerns for the safety and capacity of the blood system that are the basis of the BloodWatch campaign.
According to a communique from BloodWatch.org, “This has been, and will be, a long, hard fight. We are fighting the major influence of Big Pharma in Ottawa."
"We've had 3 laws passed in the last 5 years and now have protected 80 per cent of Canada from private blood brokers. We won't leave our brothers and sisters out in the cold! We're gonna win. WE ARE.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE