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Public Involvement

“The public must have access to information about the policy, management and operations of the blood supply system and be represented in the decision making.”

Justice Horace Krever, Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada (Krever Commission)
November, 1997

Since its inception in September 1998, Canadian Blood Services has been committed to operating in an open, transparent and collaborative manner.

In March 2000, the Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors established a Public Participation Task Force (PPTF) to make recommendations on ensuring effective public participation. The Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors responded to the Task Force by launching a number of public involvement initiatives.

The following is a list of some initiatives we have taken since 1998. This is by no means an exhaustive list as public involvement is a continuum at Canadian Blood Services:


From the very beginning, two of the people who sit on our Board of Directors were appointed to represent the views of consumers. They play a crucial role in ensuring the members of the Board take into account the views and sensitivities of consumers when they are considering issues and making decisions.

Our website provides Canadians with a place to go, at their leisure, to learn about how we work. We post all the minutes from our Board meetings, copies of our external safety audits and responses, and all our national news releases, newsletters and fact sheets.

Every year, two of the Board’s meetings are open to the public. We hold these meetings in different cities across the country, and encourage Canadians to attend and watch the Board of Directors as they conduct a typical meeting. Within these open meetings there are opportunities for individuals or groups to address the Board on topics of their choice.


We have conducted several surveys and focus groups in different areas across the country, permitting us to learn about and consider the views of Canadians on specific topics.

At these events we invite the general public as well as international experts in blood issues to make presentations and hear each other’s views. After each conference, a panel prepares an independent report based on the consensus of the meeting.

Canadian Blood Services collaborates with stakeholders to organize Consensus Conferences to bring together experts to deliberate and reach consensus on topics relevant to transfusion medicine. Please visit professionaleducation.blood.ca for details on consensus conferences held to date.

Canadian Blood Services worked with the provinces and territories to develop a reference group for each jurisdiction that will advise the provincial and territorial ministries of health. There are eight groups representing 12 jurisdictions and they provide Canadian Blood Services with a venue to interact with the leaders in the provincial health systems involved in transfusion services. These groups include representation from key stakeholders.

In addition to participating on international advisory committees, the Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Blood Services has established three independent advisory committees: consumer, scientific, and research and development. Other advisory committees are established as specific issues arise.

We have introduced a Freedom of Information Policy and a Protection of Personal Information Policy that ensures Canadians have access to the information we consider when making decisions about the blood system, while at the same time protecting the personal information that we collect in the course of business. Click here for a summary of these policies.

The National Liaison Committee helps ensure that interested Canadians contribute to decision-making on issues affecting the blood system. The National Liaison Committee is intended to identify issues, and offer ideas, opinions and concerns from across Canada.

Committee Summary Notes

Canadian Blood Services has also established five regional liaison committees across the country made up of members of the public, stakeholders and the medical community. The purpose is to provide input on blood system issues, ensure special interests are brought to the attention of Canadian Blood Services, and to build effective relationships. The summary notes from these meetings are posted on our website. Representatives from each Regional Liaison Committee participate on the National Liaison Committee.

Committee Summary Notes