The NDP reminds us that it's still the party of economic illiterates:
NDP health critic Don Davies is leading a call for the federal government to shut down a for-profit blood donation clinic that recently opened in Saskatoon, Sask.
Canadian Plasma Resources, which opened its doors on Feb. 18, pays donors a small amount of money for making plasma donations.
In recent weeks, several groups have spoken out against the clinic, including the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour.
Speaking from Ottawa on Monday morning, Davies called on federal Health Minister Jane Philpott to cancel the licence that was granted to the clinic by Health Canada.
"This kind of blood collection endangers the safety and sustainability of Canada's life-saving blood supply," Davies said.
There is method in their madness. Though it is - of course - its own special kind of madness:
Concern over the Saskatoon clinic stems from the possibility that it may attract vulnerable donors, who may not be totally honest when they are interviewed and screened before donation, Davies said.
"When you start introducing a profit motive, coupled with placing the blood donor clinic near vulnerable populations, like low-income areas, methadone clinics, detox centres, now you introduce the possibility that that person may be a little less forthright, because they may need the money," he said.
Strangely that same logic doesn't apply when screening applicants for welfare or other social services. Now follow the NDP bouncing ball: People will lie to get a few dollars once in awhile for donating blood to a private organization, but won't lie to get a few hundred dollars each month from the government. Apparently "vulnerable" populations have strong scruples about abusing public resources.
Let's assume that Mr Davies is raising a valid point, that paying for donations will introduce a less ethical group of donors into the blood system. The logical response would be to increase screening of the expanded blood supply to offset the perceived risk. This is a response so blindly obvious that only an NDP front bencher could miss it so completely. Just to underscore the point Saskatchewan's Minister of Health responded to Davies' criticisms by pointing out that 80% of Canada's blood plasma comes from paid donors, most of which is imported from the United States or Europe.
Mr Davies job is to know factoids like that. So either he is incompetent - and remember who he works for - or he is willfully misrepresenting the facts to fit his statist ideological agenda. Place your bets at the counter. The minister's 80% truth bomb not only utterly obliterates Davies' original point it also completely destroys the logic underpinning the Canadian system of unpaid blood donations. By the admission of the man who runs a provincial health system - in the cradle of Medicare no less - the unpaid system has so comprehensively failed that we must import the vast majority of our plasma from outside of the country. Even the Soviets weren't that inept.