Canadian Blood Services’ statement on Pride Month

As Pride celebrations begin across Canada this month and extend into the summer, Canadian Blood Services is proud to stand in solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

This year, in the wake of increased violence, hate crimes and injustices, particularly against trans and gender diverse people, it is as important as ever that we, as Canada’s Lifeline, foster inclusion, equality and safety within our workplaces, our donor centres, and our communities more broadly.

We’ve long celebrated Pride Month with our employees, but it is especially important to us this year to stand in solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities across Canada. This is also the first Pride Month since we moved to sexual behaviour-based screening for all donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Though this shift in donor screening practices represents an important milestone towards ensuring greater inclusion in Canada’s blood system, we know there is more work that needs to be done to build a more inclusive and equitable Canadian Blood Services. We are committed to doing better.

In partnership and collaboration with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, we have committed to and are actively doing the work to make Canadian Blood Services more inclusive. This includes undertaking actions to ensure donors no longer experience deadnaming or misgendering while trying to donate blood products and supporting our employee resource group for 2SLGBTQIA+ staff. For the past year, we have also been engaging with a 2SLGBTQIA+ advisory committee to understand how we can respectfully welcome new donors to Canada’s Lifeline.

Additionally, we seek not only to become a more inclusive blood operator and employer, but to also help support and foster inclusion within the greater Canadian healthcare landscape.

Canadian Blood Services firmly believes, for instance, that eligibility to donate biological products should not be based on sexual orientation. As our role in organ and tissue donation in Canada is to facilitate collaboration in the donation and transplantation community, we are committed to supporting ongoing work to make organ and tissue donation policies more inclusive.

The Progress Pride flag will fly at our head office in Ottawa throughout the Pride season this year to demonstrate our solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, and to remind ourselves that our work to further advance 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion has just begun.

I wish you all a safe and happy Pride, and share my personal, ongoing commitment to foster and sustain a truly inclusive Canadian Blood Services.

I also want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our 2SLGBTQIA+ employees, volunteers, donors, registrants, and community partners. We wouldn’t be Canada’s Lifeline without you.

Dr. Graham Sher,

CEO, Canadian Blood Services