Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 12, 2006 | 2:10 PM ET
The federal government is expected to announce on July 24 a $1-billion compensation package for victims who contracted hepatitis C in the tainted blood scandal, the Canadian Press reports.
Health Minister Tony Clement will award compensation to Canadians who contracted the disease before 1984 and after 1990. This group of so-called “forgotten victims” had been excluded from a federal-provincial package in 1998.
An internal government communications plan obtained by CP said Health Minister Tony Clement had been scheduled to table a package on July 6.
However, a source told the news agency, the announcement was delayed to accommodate the schedule of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington last Thursday. Harper is expected to participate in the announcement.
Clement’s office said it does not comment on “leaks” but affirmed that compensation for the remaining victims who contracted hepatitis C is one of the minister’s “top priorities.”
Thousands of Canadians were infected with the virus, which attacks the liver, and HIV when blood was distributed without testing throughout the country in the 1980s.