Monday, January 16, 2006

Liberals Insulted Hep C Blood Victims

On September 20, 1996 my brother, Tony, my best friend and the greatest guy anyone ever met died with Hepatitis C.
For the year before both of us joined the battle to confront the government and Red Cross about their failure to protect the blood supply and Canadians. I carried on this struggle for a few years after his death as one of the activists chasing Alan Rock and gang of thugs trying to hold them accountable.
We were less than a half dozen folks with no money, some very sick, all with lives to live who took on the entire Liberal Empire.
What did we know from those good bureaucrats was definite and disgusting.
The government knew (a Liberal one by the way) that the blood system was compromised as early as the 1960's. They new there was a new deficiency, they didn't know what it was. During the 70's this was labelled non-A, non-B Hepatitis. The Blood Committee of the Bureau of Biologics of Health Canada decided that the risks of infection were acceptable, but the cost of warning people of the infection of the blood system was not. They refused announcing this, and refused the obvious opportunity for people to provide autologous donations (of their own blood) and targeted donations for family members. Thousands of Canadians were infected during this period.
Later on, still under a Liberal government, it was decided that it would be cheaper to pay out any compensation claims, than to pay $32 million a year for treating the blood.
We know what happened, probably 20,000 or more people were infected by Hep C in the blood supply, with many more subsequently infected downstream.
When the Liberal government was attacked for this shame, their response was disgusting (and predictable). At first they denied any responsibility. Then they circled their wagons and stonewalled. Then they had a bunch of meetings and decided to not do anything. I remember Rock stating that this file was closed, and my response that they considered our people to be 8 x 11 and manila.
During this time and after my brother's death I visited death bed after death bed. Met with hundreds of people whose lives were ruined, without any Liberal compassion.
Thanks to the work of our volunteers, and the actions of people like Andre Picard and Michael Harris, they finally came clean and admitted responsibility for people infected between 1986 and 1990. Curiously a period when the PCs were in office.
I remember our volunteer lobbyist offering advice, "remember their jobs and power are way more important to them than your sick people are to you. They will do anything to keep you down. They will try and hire your volunteers, they will try to offer you directed money to make you pursue other strategies, they will invite you to sit on committees to study solutions (and delay proceedings) and then never have the committee meet." The Liberals did all of these and more.
Finally, they were nailed and had to come up with something to get the public off their back.
Their final response. $1.1 Billion in compensation, to be negotiated with by class action lawyers.
Where were these lawyers when we needed them? Personally starting class action suits in our victims interests, without the involvement of the victims groups. What was the end result?
One of Alan Rock's best friends was appointed by Alan Rock to represent the victims. He had not put one dime into our campaign or spent one minute advising us. Subsequently he received $60 million from the compensation fund. All Victims collectively have not received much more (the lawyers and fund administration costs now total an equal amount to all compensation pay outs).
An unwieldy compensation application process was designed making it tough (especially for sick people) to apply and qualify.
Alan Rock's buddy the class action lawyer flies around in a Lear jet. My brother is in his grave.
Another example of how Liberals do things.

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