March 2017 update: Alberta just announced it is going to stop private blood brokers from the exploitive practice of allowing for-profit blood plasma clinics. This is a major victory -- already Ontario and Quebec have said no to these predatory clinics. Since we launched our campaign last summer asking the provincial and federal government to stop the privatization of blood plasma, our friends at BloodWatch.org have been busy delivering your signatures right to the federal Health Minister in Ottawa and to provincial Health Ministers across the country. Our campaign has been covered by CBC’s the National, in a huge expose in Maclean’s Magazine -- and it even made the front page of the Globe and Mail. It’s clear we are being heard.
Original petition from July 2016:
A private company wants to harvest blood plasma from people in Canada, selling it at a massive markup on the international market. And its biggest source of profit could be the most vulnerable Canadians.
Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR) already tried to set up a clinic in Toronto beside a homeless shelter and another clinic next to a methadone centre in Hamilton. Luckily, they were shut down by a unanimous vote in Ontario’s parliament in 2014. But now, CPR is setting its sights on the rest of the country.
Unless we pass legislation to ban for-profit blood collection now, we’ll be playing whack-a-mole protecting Canada’s public blood supply province by province. We need a coordinated effort across the country to put an immediate stop to this dangerous private industry.
Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health: Protect our public blood collection system now.
CPR opened a clinic in Saskatchewan just a few months ago and is offering people $25 gift cards to give blood plasma. This plasma is then exported to the US -- where it can be sold for up to $300 on the international market, reaping huge profits for the private company.
Donating blood is part of being Canadian and a core part of our public healthcare system. Our tragic history with the tainted blood scandal showed just how dangerous private interference with our blood system can be.
Private blood brokering does not improve our public health system, it fractures it and creates an environment where corporate profiteers benefit from the commodification of human tissue. In the U.S., vulnerable people are selling their plasma to survive, and we can’t let that happen in Canada.
One of the main reasons why I co-founded BloodWatch.org is to make sure that a vital part of our healthcare system is not privatized, and that we treat all blood as a precious human gift and public resource. This is why we reached out to SumOfUs.org and organizations across the country to work on this campaign.
Let’s take action now to safeguard our public blood system for generations to come. If we reach 15,000 signatures, I will personally deliver these petition signatures to health ministers across the country to make sure our voice is heard.
Call on our new Canadian Health Minister and the Provincial Ministers to pass laws to stop companies from profiting off the blood of Canadians now.
This petition was started by Kat Lanteigne, CoFounder & Executive Director of BloodWatch.org