Mr. Speaker, last month Canadian Blood Services closed Canada's only stand-alone plasma centre. We lost 30 skilled employees in Thunder Bay and hundreds of loyal donors. That facility provided vital transfusion products to patients across Canada.
Canadian Blood Services claims there is an excess supply of plasma while at the same time it has announced plans to import over 20,000 litres from suppliers in the United States collected from paid donors.
Now we hear that a private for-profit company in Toronto has applied to Health Canada to start paying donors for plasma to sell to Canadian Blood Services. This is insanity. Provinces will spend over $300 million a year for imported blood products. The World Health Organization warns that paying for plasma increases the risk of blood-borne diseases. The Krever report said donations should never be paid for.
Thunder Bay blood donors want an investigation. We need safe blood from Thunder Bay volunteer donors. We need to keep our Canadian health system public.