Mr. Speaker, May is Hepatitis C Month in Canada. It is a time when we pause to reflect on the great human tragedy caused by tainted blood. We think of the families who have lost loved ones and we are reminded of those who struggle each day of their lives fighting this deadly disease.
Tragically, the government has victimized many for a second time by refusing compensation. I remind the health minister of his own words, “...I don't think that those claimants should have to spend their lifetime in litigation”. Yet that is exactly what is happening.
Not only are those who were infected before 1986 being mistreated by the minister, many who were promised compensation have yet to be paid. They have been waiting for over three years. The minister's record on hep C is shameful.
I would like to commend the Mid-Island Hepatitis C Society, led by Sue White of Ladysmith, and my colleague, the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan, for organizing last year's first ever hepatitis C candlelight vigil in Nanaimo.
Again today vigils will take place across Canada remembering the victims and raising awareness of hepatitis C.