Hon. Terry M. Mercer (Deputy Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, this year marks the tenth anniversary of the National Blood Donor Week Act, legislation that I sponsored to recognize and celebrate blood donors from across the country who continue to selflessly give life. It is hard to believe that it was 10 years ago.
The World Health Organization declared June 14 as World Blood Donor Day to raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood donors around the globe. In passing the legislation, Canada took a lead role in expanding upon the very important need for donors.
National Blood Donor Week 2018 offers a week-long opportunity to thank donors across the country for their life-saving contributions, including nearly 400,000 donors who gave blood this past year. Most important, I believe it reminds us, and all Canadians, that more blood donors are needed. Even though half of the Canadian population is eligible to donate blood, fewer than 4 per cent of eligible donors actually donate. These people save lives, and we need more people to do so.
So, honourable senators, this week I am asking you for your participation during National Blood Donor Week, whether it be donating blood or encouraging someone else to donate blood. In fact, outside tomorrow, Wednesday, June 13, right here on Parliament Hill, Canadian Blood Services will be hosting a blood-typing event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I encourage you all to attend and have your blood typed, see if it’s a rare one, so that perhaps you may be able to also save a life. Thank you.