Updated eligibility criteria approved by Health Canada
This week, Health Canada approved our request to remove eligibility criteria specific to men who have sex with men, and to instead focus on sexual behaviour associated with higher risk of infection among all donors. This change, which supports both safety and inclusion, will be implemented later this year. It means we will ask all donors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, if they've had new or multiple sexual partners in the last three months. We will spend the coming months preparing to implement the new criteria, including system and process updates, as well as robust training for employees. We look forward to welcoming new donors no later than Sept. 30, 2022, when the new sexual behaviour-based screening criteria are in place. Read the news release or visit Connect for more details on this significant step forward in our journey to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive donor community.
A sister honors her brother's transplant advocacy
Myles Lynch, who was born with cystic fibrosis, was the first person in Canada to receive three double lung transplants. He also passionately advocated for others who need organ and tissue transplants. Behind his journey every step of the way was his older sister, Jillian, who is now determined to continue with Myles's advocacy work as she navigates life after her brother's passing in December 2021. Jillian has an account on TikTok where she shares her thoughts and experiences, and she is also working on a book about her journey with her brother. Read more on blood.ca/stories about Myles's journey as a transplant patient, his advocacy work and how his legacy lives on.
Volunteers in B.C. form a dynamic duo helping Canada's Lifeline
This week, we honoured our volunteers across the country for National Volunteer Week. Every day we celebrate those people in our midst who help us meet patient need and brighten the donor experience. David and Mary-Alice Mirhady, a couple in Burnaby, B.C., are two of those volunteers. With their combined 35 years of giving their time at mobile donation events, as well as donating blood and platelets, this dynamic duo demonstrates what it means to show up and help others. Visit blood.ca/stories to find out more about their passion and dedication to Canada's Lifeline.
Mental Health Week supports and activities — May 2-8
Next week, May 2-8, is Mental Health Week. This year's theme is focused on empathy as a key element in creating supportive connections. We've lined up ways you can get involved, find support and learn new skills. On Monday, May 2, join award-winning humanitarian Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, along with Michael Landsberg, a mental health speaker and founder of #SickNotWeak, and Kayla Breelove Carter, a clinical traumatologist, for thoughtful conversation on how to bring empathy to life. Register on Zoom to reserve your spot and then visit the well-being calendar on Connect for details on the week's events. We understand it can be difficult for employees to access some of the virtual events we host. If you would like to attend one of these sessions, please discuss with your supervisor whether your attendance can be accommodated during your scheduled shift. As well, please know that recordings will be made available following the sessions.
Question of the day:
For those staff who've worked from home all of 2021, will Canadian Blood Services provide a T2200 form so that we may claim appropriate expenses on our personal taxes?
The Government of Canada is offering a remote worker rebate, which is available to claim for the 2021 tax year. When filing your taxes this year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has two different methods by which you can claim remote work expenses. The first method allows you to claim $2 per day to a maximum of $500 if you were required to work from home during the past year; backup or receipts are not needed. The second option is to complete the detailed T2200S form for remote work expenses, allowing you to claim amounts in excess of $500. However, employees must keep detailed receipts of all the expenses they are claiming in case of a CRA audit. If you would like to request a T2200 / T2200S for the 2021 tax year, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please note, you only require a T2200/T2200S form in case of a CRA audit and do not require it prior to submitting your annual return.