On this National Day of Observance, thank you for your unwavering dedication

For those employees who are working at Canadian Blood Services facilities across the county today, you will notice that our flags have been lowered to half-mast. Canadian Blood Services is taking part in a National Day of Observance to commemorate those who lost their lives due to the COVID-19 crisis and to recognize the significant impacts we have all felt.

March 11 marks the one-year anniversary of the day the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a world-wide pandemic. In an instant, we along with the global community had to respond to a rapidly changing environment with significant impacts on the health of our families and the patients we as an organization are committed to serving. Our teams, especially on the frontlines, had to respond quickly and with incredible resiliency to ensure we continued to meet patient needs and support hospital partners who were facing unprecedented pressures.

Every moment of every day during this crisis, we appreciate our frontline teams. You have worked long hours and put yourselves at risk to make sure we can get patients the products and services they need to survive. Your unwavering dedication and determination in the face of the biggest health crisis in modern times, is unprecedented. Yet, here you are, helping to save lives every day during a time of deep national loss.

Even though there have been many challenges, please take a moment today to reflect on how far we have come.  As I have said many times, this is a marathon not a sprint. For many of you, there is indeed light at the end of the road as vaccinations roll out across the country.  For others, who have had to care for loved ones, or lost a friend or family member, that light may still be filled with sadness.

Today we will mourn those losses with you. We will celebrate your achievements. And we will offer all of you our most profound thanks.

Stay safe, stay well and look after your loved ones.