Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has responded to the TRUSU Equity Committee’s End the Ban! campaign which called on her and the Federal government to fulfill their election promise to “end the discriminatory ban that prevents men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood.”
In October, the Equity Committee sent 853 postcard petitions from the campus community to the Health Minister which well exceeded the Committee’s 500 petition goal. The Committee was pleased to see that campaign participants received a response letter from the Minister dated February 14, 2018 addressing a variety of blood donation issues.
While the Minister said that the Government is “developing a long-term vision for blood services that ensure safety and non-discrimination in donation policies,” and that Canadian Blood Services is “looking at ways to allow more MSM to donate blood,” the Equity Committee is disappointed that the Government has no genuine plans at this time to fulfill their stark election promise to end the MSM blood donation ban.
“The Government’s election promise was as plain as day,” said Caitlin Orteza, TRUSU Vice President Equity. “Three years ago they acknowledged the ban was discriminatory and not based in science, and said they were going to end it – but they still haven’t taken definitive action.”
In the coming months, the Equity Committee plans to continue to monitor this issue, to call on the Government to fulfill their promise, and to hold the Minister accountable to her pledge to ensure non-discrimination in blood donation.
“It’s now 2018,” concluded Orteza. “I’m confident we can ensure the safety of the blood supply without banning men who have sex with men.”
View the Health Minister’s Letter to End the Ban! campaign participants below.
About the Equity Committee:
The TRUSU Equity Committee is a group of eight elected and appointed students who work to raise awareness about the systemic oppression of marginalized communities in society, and to challenge that oppression on campus.
For more information, contact:
 Liberal Party of Canada. “Platform: Ending MSM Blood Donation Ban.” liberal.ca/realchange/ending-msm-blood-donation-ban/. 2015