- http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/html/bloodtaskforce.htm Letter from the RCMP Blood Task Force to victims'
groups December 03, 1998
- With the introduction of new information,
the investigation has become extremely focused and we have again requested
information from Canadians who have any key evidence, to come forward.
We have come to believe that people with key information for this investigation
are out there and we need their cooperation.
- The Task Force has 20 full time staff,
which includes 12 investigators, a research analyst and a liaison to keep
people informed. So far, the Task Force has received approximately 500
tips from the 1-888 number and two via the Internet. There have been approximately
575 interviews conducted. The investigators have traveled to the United
States, Germany and The Netherlands for information, and have sought assistance
from Police Agencies nationally and internationally.
- Because of the complexity of the investigation
and the amount of information, investigations of this kind take a long
time to complete. The Task Force has streamlined and improved efficiency
by using a new Major Case Management System, supported by the RCMP computer
- We continue to urge anyone with information
relating to the investigation to call the TIPS line at 1-888-530-1111 or
through the Internet.
- In the early 1980s, more than a thousand
Canadians were infected with HIV through the blood supply; some, unknowingly,
infected others. Thousands more were infected with Hepatitis C.
- Some were infected after receiving transfusions
of blood components, usually in a hospital, and often during surgery. Others
became infected after using factor concentrates - blood products used to
treat hemophilia - that were made from the pooled plasma of large numbers
of blood donors.
- Hundreds have died and thousands continue
to suffer the effects of these blood-borne diseases.
- On October 4, 1993, an Order in Council
(PC 1993-1879) authorized a Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in
Canada, pursuant to Part 1 of the Inquiries Act. The Honorable Mr. Justice
Horace Krever was appointed commissioner, and public hearings began November
- During the inquiry, evidence was heard
from close to 500 individuals. These included victims, employees of government
agencies, expert witnesses, private industry, the Canadian Red Cross Society,
and other agencies responsible for the safe delivery of blood services
- The commission's report was tabled in
November of 1997. In it, Krever assigned no criminal wrongdoing. However,
he did notify almost a hundred individuals, corporations and government
bodies that he could make a determination relating to misconduct.
- The investigation
- On November 26, 1997, Commissioner Murray
announced the RCMP would conduct a review of the findings of the Commission
of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada to determine whether there were
grounds to launch a criminal investigation.
- On February 12, 1998, the RCMP Blood
Task Force launched a full-scale criminal investigation into the blood
system in Canada.
- Currently, the task force is focusing
on the structures and systems relating to the decision-making processes
within the Canadian blood distribution program between 1980 and 1990. This
includes the heat treating of blood products, the manufacturing and distribution
of factored blood, surrogate testing for Hepatitis C, and the screening
and testing of blood products.
- This is a very complex and delicate investigation
involving thousands of victims from every jurisdiction in Canada. The task
force is following a comprehensive strategy, involving coordinators and
investigators in each province and territory, and partnerships with provincial,
municipal and regional police services. A national, toll-free number (1-888-530-1111)
has been established to gather information from people who may have information
regarding decision- making within the Canadian blood system during the
early- to mid-1980s.
- If you have information about the Canadian
blood distribution system and the decision-making process between 1983
and 1987, the RCMP Blood Task Force urges you to contact them.
- We'd like to talk to you if you've seen
documents, overheard conversations or attended meetings that relate specifically
to decisions made about the blood distribution system during those years.
- All communication with the task force
will be confidential. Information can be provided anonymously.
- Your information will be assessed and
prioritized by the task force. Our investigators will follow- up on all
- There are two ways to contact the RCMP
Blood Task Force:
- Tips hotline 1-888-530-1111
- The hotline operates Monday to Friday,
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., eastern standard time.
- Callers will be asked to provide their
name, address, phone number and a brief summary of their information to