Mr. Speaker, much has been said in the House about stem cell research and the tremendous possibilities for regenerative medicine. Spinal cord injuries, tissue replacement and even sports injury repair are hot topics of discussion.
Whether it is baby Cole in Cape Breton who is undergoing a transplant, or toddler Joseph Kim in Coquitlam, B.C. whose blood may save his five year old brother, stem cells and transplants have been in the news.
Recently, a plentiful, non-ethically charged and underutilized source of valuable tissue has been coming to the forefront. Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of blood tissue and stem cells that until recently has been largely discarded.
Increasingly, blood and bone marrow specialists have been calling for a national cord blood bank. Dr. Armand Keating, Director of Cell Therapy at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, and Dr. Stephen Couban of the Bone Marrow Transplant Group are two prominent advocates.
Motion No. 287 gives this Parliament an opportunity to support this life-saving initiative. Let us move quickly to make a national cord blood bank a reality and help Canada develop the rich potential of regenerative medicine.