Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support most strongly the proposed Canadian Red Cross blood fractionation facility in Nova Scotia.
Currently, 96 per cent of our fractionated blood products, which are used by 300,000 Canadians, are purchased abroad. This situation makes us uniquely vulnerable to foreign safety standards, international shortages, export restrictions and fluctuations in international prices.
This facility will ensure that all Canadians derive, first and foremost, important health benefits. It will provide safer and less expensive products and will generate savings of up to $575 million in the next decade to the Canadian health care system.
Moreover, the economic benefits of this facility are of importance to Nova Scotia. It will produce $11 billion in economic spinoffs for the Atlantic region in the next decade and create over 400 jobs in the high-tech sector.
This plant represents a significant step toward the goal of self-sufficiency in blood products, which has been deemed essential by the World Health Organization.
Nova Scotians and all Canadians must be allowed to reap the benefits of a Canadian fractionation facility.