Mr. Speaker, this is National Blood Donor Week which we officially celebrate for the first time this year after a bill initiated in the other place received royal assent on February 14. I am proud to have been the House sponsor for that piece of legislation.
All hon. members should understand the importance of blood donation to our health care system.
Each year hundreds of thousands of Canadian donors are required to meet the demands of hospitals across Canada. National Blood Donor Week presents an opportunity to thank those who have given blood and recruit others to do the same.
Yesterday I had the honour of joining Canadian Blood Services in opening the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as a new permanent blood donation clinic in Toronto. That clinic will serve as a visual reminder that the need for blood never wanes. Long after these celebrations are forgotten, we will still need those donors.
I encourage all Canadians to give blood, to give the precious gift of life.