June 20, 2016
A safe blood system is the first priority. Expanding the number of people who can safely donate is the second priority.
Today, backed by the latest scientific evidence, Canada will reduce it’s very restrictive donation criteria for ‘men who have sex with men’ (MSM) from five years to one year. This will take effect on August 15th and will allow many more Canadians to make the gift of life through donations of blood, tissue and much-needed organs.
I welcome this change as it will benefit all Canadians and I’m pleased these changes came without having to pursue the issue further through my motion in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. While the new one year restriction will be less than ideal for some, I believe such changes should be based purely on scientific evidence and medical advances alone. I’m pleased with today’s announcement and the potential for more donors.