We’re refreshing!

Come experience the new website and submit your feedback. The current site will temporarily
remain available as we make the final adjustments to the new online experience.

Click here to check it out. ►
1 888 2 DONATE(1 888 236-6283)
Find a Clinic:  search Search this site:  search
Book an appointment
Home > Media Room > Media Room
Facebook youTube Twitter flickr
Why Should I Donate?
Who Needs Blood?
Can I donate?
Basic Eligibility
Donor Questionnaire
Malaria policy
Donation Date Calculator
American Sign Language
What Can I Donate?
Types of Donations
Plasma & Platelets
Stem Cells
Financial Gifts
Blood for Research
How Can I Get Involved?
In My Community
Send an e-card
Public Involvement
Partners for Life
What's Your Type
Sign Up to Learn More
Young Blood For Life
Assignment Saving Lives
National Blood Donor Week
What Should I Know?
Pandemic Preparedness
Safety and Testing
Research & Development
West Nile Virus (WNV)
Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI)
vCJD Travel Deferral
Become a Volunteer
New Donor Form
Change Your Address
Join OneMatch
Become a Partner for Life Organization
Become a Partner for Life Member
Join Ready, Set... Give!
Donor Experience Survey
Customer Service
Circular of Information
Customer Letters
Plasma Protein Products
Hospital Customer Forms
Resource Library
OneMatch Documents
Adverse Events
Diagnostic Services

Resource Centre

Transition of the Blood System to Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services was created in September 1998, in the aftermath of the contaminated blood incident of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The decision to create a new national blood authority was consistent with the conclusions of Mr. Justice Krever in his Final Report, Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada. The recommendations called for a single, integrated entity responsible and accountable for the safety and security of Canada’s blood system.

Having rebuilt the trust of Canadians in the blood system, our goal now is to maintain it. Trust is an essential ingredient to operating a national blood system, particularly from the viewpoint of recipients of blood products, donors, the general public, corporate members and employees.

The Transition of Operations
On September 10, 1996, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers agreed to put in place a new national blood authority that would operate at arm’s-length from all governments and that would be responsible for managing all aspects of an accountable and fully integrated blood system. They agreed on the following things:

  • The safety of the blood system is paramount;
  • A fully integrated approach is essential;
  • Accountabilities must be clear; and,
  • The system must be transparent.

In particular, the Ministers confirmed that the new supply system would adhere to a set of key guiding principles designed not only to maintain and protect the voluntary donor system, but also pursue national self sufficiency. These principles would also encourage adequacy and security of supply; confirm safety of all blood components and fractions; preserve gratuity of all blood to recipients within insured health services; achieve a cost-effective and cost-efficient system; and, maintain a national blood program.

The new national blood authority would be responsible and accountable for the following activities:

  • Recruiting blood donors and managing blood donations;

  • Collecting whole blood, plasma and platelets;

  • Testing and laboratory work; processing, storage, distribution and inventory management;

  • Developing and implementing quality assurance/ quality control standards;

  • Coordinating a national program in research and development for blood, blood products and transfusion medicine;

  • Establishing public and professional educational programs directed at appropriate utilization of blood and blood products; and,

  • Surveillance; and health risk management.

The Canadian Blood Services Transition Bureau (CBSTB) was appointed by Canada’s Health Ministers on October 15, 1997. The Transition Bureau had the responsibility for managing the safe and effective transfer of the Canadian Red Cross Blood Program to Canadian Blood Services.

The Canadian Blood Services’ Board of Directors was appointed on March 27, 1998. At its first meeting in April 1998, the Board assumed responsibility for the transition. On June 3, 1998, the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Canadian Blood Services was appointed. The organization was authorised to establish the CBS Insurance Company Limited (CBSI) by a Members Resolution passed on August 24, 1998. The Provinces and Territories agreed to provide additional funding on an annual basis.

A core transition planning team remained in place until Canadian Blood Services assumed full responsibility for the operation of Canada’s new blood supply system on September 28, 1998, ending the Canadian Red Cross operation of the blood system.

For more information about the operation of Canadian Blood Services, visit our About Us section.

< Back

Media Room
Media Contacts
News Releases

Top of the page Privacy and Access to Information | Terms of Use | Copyright © 1998-2015 Canadian Blood Services. All rights reserved.