Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Leader, says he expects Canadian Blood Services to soon reverse a discriminatory policy that precludes many homosexual and bisexual men from donating blood.
The Liberals promised to repeal the restriction during their victorious 2015 election campaign, but it is not addressed in the party’s re-election platform this year.
In 1992, Canada enacted a lifetime ban on gay males, but in 2013, the law was altered to allow blood from a guy who has not had sex with another man for at least five years.
The waiting period then dropped to one year, and became three months in 2019.
Trudeau blamed cuts by the previous Conservative government for the delay by the independent blood-donation agency, which he says didn’t have the data needed to make a final decision.
Recently, Canadian Blood Services said that by the end of 2021, it would recommend to Health Canada that it remove the waiting period and bring in screening for all donors based on sexual behavior.
It reiterated this goal in a statement on Friday and said it would take time to go through Health Canada’s approval process and then implement the change.
“We believe we now have the evidence we need to make a strong submission and are hard at work on this important step towards a more inclusive system,” the agency said.
Trudeau would only say that he expects an announcement soon.
“We have said consistently right back since 2015 that the ban on blood donation, on giving blood, for men who have sex with men is unacceptable, discriminatory and wrong,” Trudeau said.
“We are very, very hopeful and we expect Canadian Blood Services to announce soon that the ban ? will be lifted shortly. It is something that we are working on, continue to work on, it is something we will ensure happens.”
The Liberal leader made the remarks from a hangar at Canada’s busiest airport, where he highlighted his plan to make vaccinations mandatory for anyone flying, traveling by train, and traveling by cruise ship.
Last week, Trudeau stated that a re-elected Liberal government would lay aside $1 billion to assist provinces in developing their own domestic vaccine passports.
Immunization mandates have been a contentious topic in the election, and the leaders addressed the issue in Wednesday night’s French-language discussion.
Trudeau has stated that he will not force anyone to get a COVID-19 shot, but that those who reject without a medical cause will have their privileges restricted.
Source_ The Canadian Press