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Archived - Minister Ambrose takes part in Canadian Blood Services' "Wrap It Up Red" Campaign

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Appeals to Canadians to #WrapItUpRed - become a blood, organ and tissue donor this Holiday Season

December 3, 2014 Ottawa, ON Health Canada

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health today teamed up with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and other Members of Parliament to rally Canadians to wrap up the holidays in red this year by rolling up their sleeves and donating blood at a local clinic and/or registering to become organ and tissue donors.

To help kick off this year's national Wrap It Up Red campaign, Minister Ambrose, along with Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, Ted Opitz, and other colleagues, donated blood at a local clinic in Ottawa today. Laureen Harper was also in attendance to lend support to CBS's Wrap it Up Red campaign. This was in response to Canadian Blood Services' invitation to all Canadians to take an hour out of their busy schedules to donate blood this holiday season. The campaign aims to boost blood donations and appointments, and promote organ and tissue donation during the holidays and into the New Year - typically a challenging time for blood collections.

As part of the national campaign, which runs from December 3 to January 3, communities across the country will wrap up clinics and light up significant landmarks in red, including Niagara Falls, to show their support and appreciation to generous donors and encourage others to book appointments to donate blood.

Last year, Minister Ambrose, along with Laureen Harper launched a special page on the Healthy Canadians website, along with a social media campaign, #GiftOfLife, to raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation in Canada. The page contains information about the importance of organ and tissue donation in Canada, as well as an interactive map to help Canadians contact their relevant provincial/territorial organizations to sign up.

After giving blood at an Ottawa clinic, Minister Ambrose joined parliamentarians and other dignitaries at a reception on Parliament Hill to recognize patient recipients and help recruit more donors. Also in attendance were Dr. Graham D. Sher, Canadian Blood Services CEO, and Mackenzie Curran, a stem cell and blood recipient, and her parents.

For those interested in donating blood, you can download the Canadian Blood Services GiveBlood App, book an appointment online at or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283). For details on blood clinics in Quebec, please visit Héma-Québec or call 1-888-666-HEMA (1-888-666-4362).

Quick Facts

  • On average, every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood. Since blood and blood products have a limited shelf life, the demand is constant.
  • Approximately 1 in 2 Canadians are eligible to give blood. Last year, 1 in 60 Canadians actually did.
  • 52 per cent of Canadians say they or a family member have needed blood or blood products for surgery or for medical treatment.
  • There are many chances for people to donate, with 41 permanent locations and 20,000 annual clinics across Canada.
  • More than 4,500 people are waiting for organ transplants in Canada today; however, only a fraction of Canadians are registered to donate. While many Canadians are aware of the need for organ transplants, there remains a shortage of donors.


"Along with my colleagues, I would like to encourage all Canadians to roll up their sleeves and start one of the easiest, but most important traditions this holiday season - giving blood. It's easy to do, and will help Canadian Blood Services maintain a safe and much-needed supply to fill the constant demand for blood during the holiday season. The lifesaving power of blood donations is the best gift you can give to help the millions of patients every year who need transfusions. So please, roll-up your sleeves, and let's all save some lives and give the #GiftOfLife!"
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"We are delighted to have the support of the Honourable Rona Ambrose and Members of Parliament in launching this year's Wrap It Up Red holiday campaign. Together, we plan to raise awareness about the ongoing need for blood, stem cells, organs and tissues in Canada. This is one of the most important times of the year to give a special gift by donating blood and signing up to be a stem cell and organ donor."
Dr. Graham D. Sher, CEO
Canadian Blood Services

"More donors are needed during the busy holiday season, so in keeping with the generous spirit of giving, I and my fellow MPs will be asking Canadians to consider making a blood donation or registering as organ or tissue donors this year. Together, we can ensure there is blood and vital organs and tissue available for all Canadian patients when they need it. So please, help save a fellow Canadian by giving the gift of life this year."
Ted Opitz
Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre

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Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health

Health Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

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