MP Duncan pushes parliament to end blood ban

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By Nick Seebruch
MP Duncan pushes parliament to end blood ban
MP Eric Duncan speaking in the House of Commons during Question Period on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

OTTAWA, Ontario – During Question Period on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, Dec. 9, Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry Conservative MP Eric Duncan pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government to end the ban on gay and bi-sexual men donating blood.

As it stands now, gay men must wait three months to give blood after a sexual encounter with another man.

Duncan, who is the first openly gay Conservative MP, slammed the government for not lifting the ban as they promised five years ago, especially at a time when the world is experiencing a public health crisis and more blood donations are needed.

“Five years ago and counting, the Prime Minister promised to end the blood band against gay and bi-sexual men,” said Duncan. “All parties are in favour of ending this stigma now, not in months or years. More than ever, safe blood donations are need urgently. The Canadiam Medical Association, and the All Blood is Equal campaign have the science based safe solution that changes the questionnaire to ask about sexual behaviour, not sexual orientation.”

Prime Minister Trudeau shot back, laying blame at the feet of his predecessor, Stephen Harper.

“In 2015 were made a commitment to end the MSM Blood Ban and we are working towards that,” Trudeau said. “We dropped the ban from five years to one year and further dropped it to three months, but we needed to do that based on science. Unfortunately, under the Harper Government, the Blood Services was starved of the research money necessary to do the work and therefore we funded them to do the research necessary do eliminate that blood ban all together, that is our goal, and that is what we are going to do.”

Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Leader of the Opposition pushed Trudeau further, pointing to other countries that have done away with the discriminatory ban.

“The Prime Minister has made this promise several times over the past few years, but like many things, there is never action,” O’Toole said. “There is science and there are several other countries following this procedure and ending these bans now.”

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