Advocates say no blood for money in B.C.

Wanting to make sure B.C. bans paying money for blood, an advocacy group is traveling the province drumming up support.

  • Fri May 6th, 2016 5:00am
  • News

Members of BloodWatch.org, the BC Health Coalition and the BC Hemophilia Society kick off a wee-klong tour Sunday, May 8 in Abbotsford to push for a ban in B.C. on paying people for their blood and plasma donations.

They will host a meeting in Kelowna on Thursday, May 12.

The advocates are calling on the province to follow Ontario and Quebec’s lead and implement the ban following news that private company Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) wants to open up shop in this province.

The group will meet with elected officials in Victoria on Tuesday, May 10 and host a series of public town hall meetings in Abbotsford, Victoria, Parksville, Kelowna and Kamloops.

“A private, for-profit blood system raises serious concerns about the safety and integrity of our voluntary blood system,” Rick Turner, BC Health Coalition co-chair said in a press release.

CPR, the same company that tried to open clinics in Ontario until the province passed legislation forbidding paying people for their plasma in 2014, reportedly said that B.C. is “top of our list” to expand operations. So far Health Minister Terry Lake has said he’s open to pay-for-plasma in B.C.

“Allowing this company, or any other, to pay donors for plasma conflicts with the recommendations of the four-year inquiry into the tainted blood tragedy that infected over 30,000 Canadians with HIV and hepatitis C,” BloodWatch.org co-founder Kat Lanteigne representing tainted blood survivors is quoted as saying in the press release. “We need a ban in place in B.C. now.”

A free Kelowna meeting, Stop Paid Plasma: Keep Our Blood System Safe, takes place on May 12 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Okanagan Mission Community Hall, 4409 Lakeshore Rd.

Other meetings are May 8 in Abbotsford, May 10 in Victoria, May 11 in Parksville and May 13 in Kamloops.

For more information contact bchealthcoalition.ca.