Art auction supports patients and honours a remarkable creative spirit
Hundreds of pieces of art are being auctioned off online, with all proceeds being donated to Canadian Blood Services. The art, which was created by dozens of self-taught artists with disabilities, is being auctioned in memory of the late Ayako Ellen Anderson. Ellen was an exceptional artist and community activist who received many blood transfusions before she passed away in 2019. Her family hopes that members of the public will be inspired to place bids online between July 29 – August 8, to honour Ellen’s legacy and help support patients in need across the country. “Given how much she appreciated the blood transfusions she received, I’m sure my mother would be happy to know that Canadian Blood Services will benefit from the auction,” says Ellen’s son, Brennan. “It’s a fitting way to celebrate both her life and the art she inspired.” Read Ellen’s inspiring life story and browse the artworks up for auction at blood.ca/stories.
Alberta government approves more than 340 frontline employees for Critical Worker Benefit
We are pleased to share that 345 Canadian Blood Services frontline employees in Alberta have been deemed eligible to receive the Critical Worker Benefit (CWB). The program was introduced by the Alberta provincial government earlier this year and once the province confirmed that Canadian Blood Services employees were eligible to apply, an application was submitted in early April 2021 on behalf of Alberta employees. Similar “hero pay” programs were introduced in several other provinces in 2020 (B.C., Sask., Man., Ont., N.S., Nfld.), however, Canadian Blood Services was either deemed ineligible based on the program criteria in those provinces or not included as an eligible employer.
The Alberta government determined that a large portion of our employees in Alberta qualify for this financial support:
- 451 employees were submitted for support and 345 have been approved.
- Those approved only include those who had a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 as a consequence of performing their jobs and worked a minimum of 300 hours between October 12, 2020 and January 31, 2021.
- The benefit is $1,200 per employee and is fully funded by the Alberta government, including associated payroll taxes.
- Payments will be processed through our own payroll system in the coming weeks.
Eligible employees receiving this support will be notified by their managers. Read more about the Critical Worker Benefit and eligibility criteria.
Three-time cord blood donor shares message of inspiration and information
Throughout July, we have been celebrating Cord Blood Awareness Month by sharing the stories of some of the grateful recipients and generous donors of lifesaving umbilical cord blood. We are wrapping up the month by sharing the story of three-time cord blood donor Lynn Bates, a registered nurse in Ottawa who believes that information is the key to building Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank. She imagines that virtually any expectant mother who understands the power of cord blood will be inspired to donate. “Women are incredible,” she says. “And we cannot miss this amazing opportunity to use some of what we literally create to help others who so desperately need it. I encourage all mothers-to-be who are able to donate cord blood to do so.” Read Lynn’s story and learn more about cord blood donation at blood.ca/stories.
Question of the day: Earlier this year, the federal government voted to declare Aug. 1 “Emancipation Day” across Canada. Is Canadian Blood Services doing anything to recognize this important date?
In March 2021, the Canadian government officially designated Aug. 1 as “Emancipation Day” across Canada. This federal day marks the anniversary of when Britain’s Parliament abolished slavery in the British Empire in 1834.
Ontario had previously been the only province to have marked Emancipation Day, but it is now being recognized nationally as a step forward in acknowledging the multi-generational harms caused by slavery. Canadians are not always aware that Black and Indigenous Peoples were once enslaved on the land that is now Canada.
To recognize this important date, we encourage and invite employees to reflect, educate and engage in the ongoing fight against anti-Black racism and discrimination and celebrate the strength and perseverance of Black communities in Canada.
Several resources on racism/anti-Black racism are available on the diversity, equity and inclusion resources page on Connect, including inclusion and allyship articles and toolkits and educational webinars.
To help educate people in Canada about Emancipation Day and the history of slavery in this country, the Government of Canada has also assembled several educational resources.
Employees who identify as members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Peoples of Colour) community and who wish to join our employee-led BIPOC employee resource group are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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