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Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross Society
Charitable organization
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Revenue485.2 million CAD (2005)

The Canadian Red Cross Society is a Canadian humanitarian charitable organization.

It was established in the fall of 1896 as an affiliate of the British Red Cross Society (then known as the National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War). Colonel Dr. George Sterling Ryerson spearheaded the organization's founding; he was earlier responsible for setting up Canada's St. John Ambulance Association in 1895. The Canadian Red Cross Society Act (1909) legally established the Red Cross as the corporate body in Canada responsible for providing volunteer aid in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. It is a national society and member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The Movement includes the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation). It is one of 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.

The mission of the Canadian Red Cross is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. The Society provides disaster services programs and injury prevention services such as water safety and first aid training. The Society, through the international network of the Red Cross, helps the world’s most vulnerable populations, including victims of armed conflicts and communities destroyed by devastating disasters. The current Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer is Paul Wharram.


Programs in Canada

The Canadian Red Cross has local branches in every province and territory in Canada. In addition, many authorized providers throughout Canada offer the following programs:

  • Disaster Management
  • Family Links
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Swimming & Boating Safety
  • Violence Prevention
  • Homecare Services
  • Medical Equipment Loan Service


Until Sept 28th, 1998, The Canadian Red Cross was responsible for all blood services in Canada. They were removed from this position and replaced by the Canadian Blood Services because of the nation-wide controversy when it was revealed that between 1986 and 1990 it had irresponsibly [1], and knowingly [2], supplied tainted blood to patients. In 1994, an investigation found that 95 percent of hemophiliacs who used blood products supplied by the Canadian Red Cross before 1990 had contracted Hepatitis C[3], according to the Krever Inquiry approximately 85 percent of those infections could have been avoided.
More than 1000 Canadians were infected with HIV and 20,000 contracted Hepatitis C from blood transfusions given by the Red Cross during that period.[4]
The Canadian Red Cross was fined $5,000 for it's role in the tainted blood scandal and agreed to plead guilty to distributing a contaminated drug. It agreed to give 1.5 million dollars to the University of Ottawa for a research endowment fund as well as a scholarship for family members of those affected. In exchange, Six criminal charges against the Red Cross were dropped.[5]
The then-director of the Red Cross, Dr. Roger Perrault, is currently on trial for criminal negligence for his role in the scandal. Charges he faces are four counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and one count of common nuisance endangering the public.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Krever Commission report
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Canadian_Red_Cross". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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