Is privatizing Canadian blood plasma collection and protecting our voluntary blood system a Federal or Provincial/Territorial issue?

It is both Federal and Provincial/Territorial:


At the federal level, Health Canada, as the regulator of the blood system, is authorized by the Federal Government to issue the license for private paid plasma clinics. However, the Federal Government has the power to stop private paid plasma clinics by revoking the granted licenses and by putting a moratorium on any future licenses. The Federal Government can also implement legislation that would prevent Health Canada from undermining our public blood system in the future, by passing a federal version of the Voluntary Blood Donations Act.

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Provincial and Territorial:

Provinces and Territories have a tremendous amount of power and the constitutional right to implement provincial health policies to safeguard the integrity of our blood system. Ontario is the perfect example of this. The private blood plasma clinics had been built in Ontario with permission from Health Canada, without any public consultation. Ontario stepped up and implemented the Voluntary Blood Donations Act which bans the private sale of blood or plasma in the province – effectively making it illegal for private blood brokers to operate in Ontario’s borders.

If a provincial Health Minister says “It’s not up to me, it’s up to Health Canada,” that is absolutely not the case. Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers have a direct responsibility to protect our public blood system and can do exactly what Ontario did without any logistical hurdles. In fact, the Federal Health Minister has said publicly, “It’s up to the provinces to decide.”

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