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Canadian Blood Services CEO must resign: OPSEU

Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling for the resignation of Canadian Blood Services CEO Dr. Graham Sher. The call comes after media reports revealed that CBS won’t rule out paying Canadians for plasma donations.

“Dr. Sher has lost the public’s trust and should step down,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “The fact that CBS would even consider paying people for their plasma is in direct contravention of the Krever Commission’s report from almost two decades ago. That report clearly stated that blood is a public resource and that donors should not be paid.”

Sher’s latest comments contradict a statement he made during a panel discussion in October 2013. In a video obtained by OPSEU, Sher says that [at Canadian Blood Services] “we do not pay any of our donors, we never have, never will and have no intention of paying donors.” Click here for the video.

OPSEU’s President also challenged Sher’s argument that CBS needs to collect more plasma to meet the increasing demand for blood plasma products.

“Four years ago, CBS closed down the public plasma collection facility in Thunder Bay precisely because the demand for plasma was falling,” Thomas. “There is no shortage of plasma in Canada.”

Since 2008, Canadian Blood Services has taken on the added responsibility of organ and tissue donation. “It is appalling that the guardian of our blood supply is opening the door to payment for body parts,” said Thomas. “Today, CBS is saying it’s okay for people to sell their plasma; tomorrow they might give the green light for people to sell a kidney.”

“Our union will continue to oppose any move to permit donors to be paid for blood or plasma or, for that matter, body parts. “We intend to fight this decision by CBS.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931