Tag Archives: Ken Boshcoff

Former Thunder Bay CBS clinic staff thanks donors

The rain didn’t dampen last week’s gathering of former donors and staff from the Thunder Bay Plasma Donor clinic. Canadian Blood Services closed the clinic April 12 after two weeks’ notice, claiming they had a Canada-wide surplus of plasma for transfusion.

The appreciation event at the Thunder Bay Labour Centre was an opportunity for staff to say goodbye to long-time donors to the clinic. It was also an opportunity to sign petitions calling for greater self-sufficiency in Canada’s plasma supply.

Former staff of the Thunder Bay Plasma Donor Clinic thank long-time donors.

Former staff of the Thunder Bay Plasma Donor Clinic thank long-time donors.

CBS showed in their annual report that they are increasing imports of American plasma while shutting down the last remaining dedicated plasma donor clinic in Canada. Meanwhile several new private for-profit plasma donor clinics are being set up in Southern Ontario.

Thunder Bay resident Reg Meclay spoke about the health problems he experienced after receiving American plasma collected from an Arkansas prison. City Councillors Ken Boshcoff and Larry Hebert – both former donors at the clinic – also spoke. Messages were read from Mayor Keith Hobbs and federal MPs Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty.

The event was hosted by OPSEU’s Kelly Borchardt, whose son sang the national anthem to open the gathering.

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Cookies made for the occasion.

Cookies made for the occasion.

Mayors, OPSEU President to speak at April 11 rally to save Thunder Bay plasma center

THUNDER BAY – Two mayors and the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will be among speakers at a rally next week intended to save the Thunder Bay Plasma Collection Centre.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and former Mayor Ken Boshcoff will be joined by OPSEU’s Warren (Smokey) Thomas and other speakers at the April 11th rally in front of the Canadian Blood Services site slated for closure the next day.

The Thunder Bay plasma collection facility is the only one of its kind in Canada.

CBS says it doesn’t need the Thunder Bay facility given it has an excess supply of 10,000 units of plasma per year. However, their annual reports reveal that CBS has been increasing the volume of plasma it has been purchasing from the United States. In their 2010-11 report, CBS indicated they purchased more than 20,000 units of “surplus” American-sourced plasma.

When: Wednesday, April 11 / 12 Noon
Where: CBS Thunder Bay, 1165 Barton St.

“CBS is not only importing foreign-sourced plasma, it is exporting Canadian jobs,” says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the 130,000-member Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

OPSEU warns that American “paid” blood donations are contrary to the World Health Organization’s 2010 recommendations to reduce transfusion-transmissible infections.

While CBS tells the public about excess supply, it has a different message for hospitals, indicating the demand for immunoglobulin (made from blood plasma) rose by 9 per cent last year and is expected to jump by a similar amount again this year. Immunoglobulin is used to boost the immune system of cancer patients and allows for more aggressive chemotherapy treatment.