June 17, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The New Brunswick Task Force on Blood Services and concerned stakeholders met with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) officials over the last two days. Task force members urged CBS to reverse its decision to close its New Brunswick Production Centre, located in Saint John.
In meetings with the task force Monday and yesterday, a variety of stakeholders from the medical community brought forward their concerns and recommendations.
The stakeholders represented the point of view of New Brunswickers from all areas of the province. They impressed upon CBS officials of the importance to retain the CBS centre in Saint John.
They also said: in the event of an emergency, blood supplies are needed very quickly; it is essential to have access to blood supplies in a timely manner.
Representing CBS were Dr. Graham Sher, chief executive officer; Ian Mumford chief operating officer; Jean-Paul Bédard, vice-president, public affairs; and Dianne Korim, executive director of facilities redevelopment. They were presented with a number of questions that fell under four categories:
The CBS representatives answered some, but not all, of these questions. CBS has assured the task force that it will respond by the end of June to all the questions asked. CBS also said it will provide detailed logistics plans, as requested by the task force. Once it receives these responses, the task force will review them and determine the next appropriate step in fulfilling its mandate.
The non-partisan task force was appointed by the provincial government and the official Opposition following a unanimous vote in favour of an official Opposition motion in the legislative assembly on Thursday, April 2.
The motion urged all levels of government to work together to maintain the CBS centre in Saint John.
The task force, under the direction of Premier Shawn Graham and David Alward, leader of the official Opposition, is mandated to develop and implement an action plan aimed at reversing the decision of CBS to close the centre.
Representing the government caucus are Donald Arseneault (MLA, Dalhousie-Restigouche East) and Stuart Jamieson (MLA, Saint John Fundy). Representing the official Opposition caucus are Margaret-Ann Blaney (MLA, Rothesay) and Claude Landry (MLA, Tracadie-Sheila).
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carl Davies, communications, Government Members' Office, 506-453-8737; Tyler Campbell, communications, official Opposition members' Office, 506-453-7494.