Mrs. Barbara Sparrow (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Health and Welfare):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to say to my colleague that AIDS has affected Canadians in many ways over the past 10 to 15 years. For those who have received blood or blood products that have been contaminated with the HIV virus the issue has become one that is very difficult for many Canadians.
I want to thank each and every one who has come forth and spoken out with regard to their difficult circumstances. It has indeed been rewarding. Not only did it help us but it helped the committee make its decisions.
The problem with the HIV tainted-blood supply in the early 1980s has prompted other actions. My colleague responded to the subcommittee's report on tainted blood which was tabled in the House probably 10 days ago. Immediately the Minister of National Health and Welfare took action. He wrote to every provincial minister of health with regard to going into this public inquiry with all the provinces and with the other players such as the Red Cross and the Haemophilia Society. They will all
June 8, 1993
play a major part. The minister gave his word. He has written and he also stated that he hoped to have this public inquiry underway by September 1. This is a result of the good work that the committee did under the leadership of the member for Delta.
In the middle of last April the Hospital for Sick Children announced a plan to notify the families of children who received large volumes of blood or a blood transfusion between 1980 and 1985. They are tracing these because those infants were quite young then and they would probably be around the age of 13, 14 or 15 now. There might be a chance of sexual activity and we do not want any transmission from any youngster who might have had contaminated blood in those days.
With regard to the-