Bad Blood The Unspeakable Truth

Bad Blood: The Tragedy of the Canadian Tainted Blood Scandal

Now re-written, updated with new content and facts

Bad Blood The Unspeakable Truth see the trailer based on the book

By Vic Parsons

They had every reason, and certainly every right, to expect only the best. For the one in 5,000 Canadian males born with the genetic blood coagulation disorder called hemophilia, a breakthrough in the processing techniques of donated blood products in 1981 was more than a simple triumph of medical technology. Compact vials of dried and supposedly purified concentrates to clot the blood offered a reprieve from excruciating pain and personal liberation from a life of constant vigilance and the possibility of early death. But as Bad Bloodmeticulously chronicles, that freedom was short-lived. In a horrifying tumble of events, batches of contaminated blood supplies in the early 1980s infected as many as 1,000 Canadian hemophiliacs with the deadly AIDS virus. "The tragic irony of this infection was that the blood transfused into the veins of those unfortunate patients was intended to give life," writes author Vic Parsons. "Instead, it has brought premature death to hundreds of Canadians."

This is a story of devastating impact. For one thing, the trail of innocent victims does not end with hemophiliacs - almost all men because the condition is rarely passed to daughters. Unaware of their own contamination, many of those men passed on HIV (the virus that is believed to cause AIDS), as well as infectious hepatitis C, to their sexual partners. During operations between 1978 and 1985, hundreds of other Canadians - many of them impossible to track down - were given transfusions from blood lots carrying the same impurities.

Like tap water, the safety of the blood delivery system was never in question at the time. And the very notion of blood - the other essential liquid of life - as a tainted, deadly enemy is difficult to accept. "Blood cleanses the body of unwanted corruption, carries oxygen to the brain and nourishment to the cells, and fights off intruders," writes Parsons. "It flows within all higher animals like a vestige of our brine-soaked creation."

Parsons argues that the tragedy might have been contained, if not avoided, earlier than it was. That much is evident in testimony spilling each week from the federal inquiry into Canada's blood supply, a multimillion-dollar exercise led by Justice Horace Krever of Ontario's Court of Appeal. A veteran Ottawa journalist, Parsons builds a dry but unflinching case against a top-heavy blood bureaucracy - at its pinnacle, the Canadian Red Cross Society and the federal regulatory Bureau of Biologics - that operated a system riddled with flaws and false economies.

Safety was second to budget trimming, Parsons contends. Turf wars buried scientific data that alerted blood agencies to potential dangers. Hemophiliacs, who became the miners' canaries of the blood system, were themselves self-destructively passive. At every turn, writes Parsons, "eyes were shut to mounting evidence, until it was too late."

What rescues Bad Blood from a numbing blur of dates and statistics is the poignancy - and compelling courage - of those whose lives are threatened most. Few of the personal stories of infected hemophiliacs and their families, scattered throughout the book, are as brutally frank as the chapter involving Parsons's son, David. Now 24 and living in Nicaragua, David, a hemophiliac, was 15 when he first learned that he was HIV-positive in 1986.

The Parsons family, including David's mother, Lorraine Calderwood-Parsons, and his younger sisters, Jennifer and Jill, struggled to reconcile themselves to emotions that ranged from "fury to bottomless anguish to abject helplessness to a sense of betrayal to sickening fear." For a brief period, David found refuge in drug and alcohol abuse. Eventually, he discovered continuing comfort in volunteer work. Still, as he told his father, "it's a drag to be angry all the time."

The stories of the Parsons and of other families in the book are both painful and uplifting to read. Two of the three sons of Toronto AIDS activist Denise Orieux are HIV-positive hemophiliacs. "This disease has so overwhelming an effect because my sons are going to die," Orieux tells Parsons. "And at the same time, it's like something has been lifted. Every moment is precious. I have no time to waste on bullshit."

Ed Kubin, a former financial controller who lives outside Winnipeg, lost his job and his marriage after testing HIV-positive. Kubin's younger brother Barry, also a hemophiliac, died of AIDS in 1991; their mother died the following year of what Kubin says was a broken heart. Writes Parsons: "When he becomes really ill with AIDS, Kubin will get into his truck, say goodbye to his children, now age 14 to 21, and head to the mountains where he finds joy, serenity and peace." In his pocket, Kubin carries a small object. Showing it to the stunned Parsons, whose son he had befriended, Kubin explains: "When I have no money and I can't do anything, that's the bullet that will end my life."

Maclean's June 26, 1995

Setting the record Straight

Published in the Toronto Star May of 2018

When I won the Ontario PC leadership in May of 2015, by the largest margin in the party’s history, I inherited a party that was on the verge of financial bankruptcy. We were $7 million in debt and held the worst balance sheet of all the political parties in Ontario.

Under the capable leadership of Tony Miele and our PC Ontario Fund Board we raised record amounts. In 2016, over a period of six months, I spoke at 234 fundraising dinners and lunches. We raised $16 million that year, a record for any given year in Ontario politics. Fast forward to January 2018, when I was forced out as PC leader, we had $4 million in the war chest, had pre-paid key election expenses and had the best balance sheet of all the political parties in Ontario.

We also witnessed record membership growth. When I announced my intention to run for the Ontario PC leadership on the fall of 2014, we had 12,000 party members, the smallest of all Ontario political parties. We were disproportionately white, rural and old.

By the time I left as leader, we had a membership, which was either 136,000 according to Vic Fedeli or over 200,000 according to Thomas De Groot of the PC Party Party Executive and IT Chair. Either way it was the largest in the party’s history and the largest of any party in Ontario. Even more remarkable, we had become diverse, multicultural, urban, young and finally reflective of the beautiful mosaic that is Ontario.

We built a policy platform — the People’s Guarantee, which was praised across the province and in a Toronto Star editorial. Our policy co-chairs Kaydee Richmond and Kevin Gaudet poured their hearts and souls into this document. It was a home run and a culmination of two years of hard work by the grassroots of our party. What a contrast from some of the past platform launches that had failed miserably, such as faith-based funding in 2007, chain gangs in 2011 or 100,000 job cuts in 2014.

Our platform pushed mental health into the mainstream of Ontario political debate and now all three parties have adopted the funding commitments we made in the People’s Guarantee. Excluding sections on the environment, many parts of the document have been adopted by Doug Ford. I am proud this document has lived beyond my time as leader.

We became the first party to have third party oversight and we even hired private security to attend the particularly contentious nominations. While our nominations certainly became controversial, this was a result of having more candidates interested in running for our party than ever before. When we won by-elections in the Liberal strongholds of Scarborough Rouge River and Sault Ste Marie, it set off an avalanche of interest in becoming a PC Party candidate. We were not prepared as a party for the lengths people would go to win nominations. We had to shut down attempts to print fake ballots, produce fake ID’s, stop fistfights and even the stuffing of ballot boxes. I was beyond frustrated to hear these ongoing stories.

We took steps to ensure these nominations were run fairly and free from abuse. I personally ordered the party to bring in PWC to observe and certify our nominations. I have been as shocked as anyone else to hear about allegations that a candidate stole private 407 data. In retrospect, I am increasingly of the opinion political parties are ill equipped to handle nominations and that it is time to have Elections Ontario manage this part of our democratic process.

Hopefully, the next Parliament can consider this.

Ford said he inherited 90 candidates from me and he wasn’t involved in their vetting. He should sleep easy that he was handed a strong slate of candidates and an impressive potential cabinet. During my leadership, we managed to recruit the most women and visible minority candidates in our party’s history.

Look at Peter Bethlenfalvy in Pickering who ran the credit rating agency DBRS, Rod Philips who ran the OLG, former broadcaster and Hamilton city councillor Donna Skelly, former hockey star Troy Crowder in Sudbury, former Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford in Kenora, Caroline Mulroney, Bay Street lawyer and Brampton South candidate, Prab Sarkaria, Logan Kanapathi in Markham, who is set to be the first Tamil MPP in Ontario’s history, Angely Pacis, the candidate who won in Mississauga Centre who speaks five languages and was set to be the first Filipino Canadian MPP in our province’s history.

My political role model was former Premier Bill Davis. His cabinets were strong and qualified. He always stressed the importance of having a strong team. We were well on our way to recreating the Big Blue Machine of the great Bill Davis that would have governed as a fiscally conservative, moderate, inclusive, pragmatic and progressive party. That’s no mess.

Mayor Brown signing his book in Brampton Tonight

Ford waded into the fray early on to offer comments on the book, even saying in an interview that Brown was doing a “disservice to Brampton” by moving forward with publishing it after winning the mayoral race

But the publisher, Optimum Publishing, says Takedown was in the works months before Brown’s run and subsequent win in the mayoral race, and any promotions are part of his contractual obligations.

Brown’s publisher also says he continues to stand behind Takedown and its contents as it outlines some of the inner workings of a party with issues it needs to sort out.

See the FULL ARTICLE

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Patrick Brown's Ottawa book signing draws disillusioned Tory supporters

Ousted Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown was in Ottawa on Saturday to sign copies of his tell-all political memoir.

It was the third appearance Brown has made in support of the book, which was released in November and received wide attention for its claims that Brown was unceremoniously forced to resign amidst unproven allegations of sexual misconduct.

On Saturday morning, Brown had two back-to-back events in a meeting room of a Holiday Inn in Gloucester. His first audience consisted of about 25 people.

Some were Brown loyalists, people he greeted by name. Some said they had an interest in politics and were curious about what he had to say. Some were former Conservative insiders who said they no longer supported the party because it no longer appealed to “progressive” voters.

Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown signs a copy of his book in Ottawa on Saturday,JOANNE LAUCIUS / POSTMEDIA

A year ago, Brown was widely touted as a favourite to become Ontario premier as the province headed towards an election on a wave of dissatisfaction with Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government.

However, last January, less than five months before the election, Brown resigned in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations, which he denied. He has since filed a defamation lawsuit against CTV News, which first reported the allegations.

Brown soon jumped back into the political fray. He planned to run for regional chair of Peel, but Premier Doug Ford cancelled that election. Brown registered for the mayoral race in Brampton on July 27. In October, in the most closely-watched race of this fall’s municipal elections, he defeated incumbent Linda Jeffrey.

Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, has sold more than 7,000 copies so far, according to publisher Dean Baxendale.

In the book, Brown made a number of explosive claims, including that Ottawa-area MPPs Randy Hillier and Lisa MacLeod were “ring leaders” behind his sudden forced exit as party leader.

Brown concedes that he made a few mistakes along the way. “The biggest lesson I learned is that you can only move a political party as fast as its members are willing to be moved,” he wrote. “Some of the moves I made were done much too quickly. I was trying to change the nature of the conservative movement overnight. You cannot take a party that includes people who hate unions, who are homophobic or who are climate-change deniers and move them to a new centrist party overnight.”

Brown spoke briefly to the audience before the book signing, saying that nominations should be run by Elections Canada or Elections Ontario.

“Winning a nomination is like winning a seat. We have candidates spending $100,000 on nominations,” he said. “Every political party has challenges with nominations.”

He was also critical of the the political staffers who resigned en masse shortly after the CTV story about him in January. “We hired mercenaries. We brought them in. People who quit that night were mercenaries. When you have mercenaries, their loyalty is to themselves, not the campaign.”

Some members of Saturday’s audience said the events that led to Brown’s resignation had left them disillusioned.

“I found it really distasteful what they did to him,” said Anita Walden, who described herself as a long-time Conservative volunteer. “How could people that you trusted turn their backs on you?”

Added Debbie Jodoin, a former Eastern Ontario Conservative organizer: “I stand with the man. He’s truthful, he’s honest.”

Jodoin says she’s now on the outside of the Progressive Conservative party, looking in, and has never been happier. “I’m a strong Conservative. But people don’t see it that way because I support Patrick Brown. It’s not my party anymore.”

A file photo shows Patrick Brown in late January, when a media report about sexual misconduct allegations against him led to Brown’s resignation as Ontario Progressive Conservative leader. His book deals at length with the situation, and he has since filed a lawsuit against CTV over the initial reporting about the allegations. AARON VINCENT ELKAIM / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Brown said he had no plans to return to federal or provincial politics.

“Right now my entire focus is on getting Brampton back on track,” he said  “I’m loving my new job.”

In Ottawa, signing book for admirer

Patrick Brown's Media and Book Tour

Patrick spoke with many old friends and supporters in Ottawa

Highlights, but full article above

Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, has sold more than 7,000 copies so far, according to publisher Dean Baxendale.

In the book, Brown made a number of explosive claims, including that Ottawa-area MPPs Randy Hillier and Lisa MacLeod were “ring leaders” behind his sudden forced exit as party leader.

“Winning a nomination is like winning a seat. We have candidates spending $100,000 on nominations,” he said. “Every political party has challenges with nominations.”

He was also critical of the the political staffers who resigned en masse shortly after the CTV story about him in January. “We hired mercenaries. We brought them in. People who quit that night were mercenaries. When you have mercenaries, their loyalty is to themselves, not the campaign.”

Some members of Saturday’s audience said the events that led to Brown’s resignation had left them disillusioned.

“I found it really distasteful what they did to him,” said Anita Walden, who described herself as a long-time Conservative volunteer. “How could people that you trusted turn their backs on you?”

Added Debbie Jodoin, a former Eastern Ontario Conservative organizer: “I stand with the man. He’s truthful, he’s honest.”

Jodoin says she’s now on the outside of the Progressive Conservative party, looking in, and has never been happier. “I’m a strong Conservative. But people don’t see it that way because I support Patrick Brown. It’s not my party anymore.”

Fedeli Called for Halt to Awarding of Contract to Great Canadian Gaming

According to an interview with John Oakley that is embedded in a larger article by Sam Cooper, the finance minister was quite adamant about stopping the awarding of the Great Canadian Gaming contract.

But between Patrick Brown’s removal on January 23/24 and the peak of the stock, insiders made a cool 1.5 Billion dollars. Nice if you would have known the outcome and the valuation multiple based on the deal.

But after January 26th, the PC Party never took up the issue again. WHY? As Ontario citizens, we should ask why. He is your Finance Minister after all. To quote our Premier, “he is a man with the upmost integrity.”

Read the full Cooper article here.

Excerpt from the article and links to PC Party:

On Oct. 21, former PC party president Rick Dykstra sent out emails titled “Corrupt gaming strategy” and citing the money laundering probe in B.C.

“We should be going after these guys in the house,” Dykstra wrote, to Patrick Brown. “We show their process is corrupt and we can call their whole strategy into question. Just spoke with Duncan Brown, former head of the OLGC. He said based on this, he would toss Great Canadian Gaming.”

OLG executives declined to be interviewed for this story. In a prepared response spokesman Tony Bitonti wrote, “OLG has confirmed with B.C. and Ontario officials that Great Canadian is not under criminal investigation for illegal activity involving money laundering.”

On Oct. 30 2017 in Queen’s Park, PC finance critic Victor Fedeli came out swinging.

“Internal government documents reveal a $500-million money-laundering investigation in B.C.,” Fedeli said. “We read about ‘suspicions of ‘terrorist financing,’’ possible organized crime connections, hockey bags full of cash — tens of millions of dollars in $20 bills. The RCMP investigation goes back to 2015. To the finance minister (Charles Sousa): What did he know and when did he know it?”

And Fedeli pointed directly at Sousa.

“Did the minister know his hand-picked casino operator is linked to a money-laundering investigation?”

Sousa, in response to Fedeli’s attacks, insisted the OLG contract process was fair, transparent, and not politically influenced in any way.

PREMIER FORD ATTACKS BROWN AS USUAL

By Alexander Penfold

The following is an excerpt from the Bramptionist, November 18th. My comments follow.

“In an interview with outlets outside Queen’s Park, Ford was asked Monday about what he thought of Brown’s move to pick a fight with the PC party. Ford said, “He really went after people. It’s disappointing and I have to question his leadership.”

Brown Addresses Media and Book Launch

Brown Addresses Media and Book Launch

Ford and Brown have been known to have a contentious relationship and one of the big questions has been whether Brown can collaborate with the province to further Brampton’s agenda and fund major projects to move the city forward. The jury’s still out on that, however.

In the interview, Ford says he thinks Brown did a “disservice to the people of Brampton” by moving ahead with releasing Takedown after winning the mayoral race.

“It’s common sense, you win the mayor of Brampton [race], I would have scrapped the book as quickly as possible, but he wants to get out there and continue trashing people.”

Even before the book was released it was causing a stir in political circles. Last week Ford came to the defense of MPP Lisa McLeod who is just one a group of elected officials and party insiders Brown talks about in his book.”

Optimum Publishing released a Canada-wide Press Release through Canada NEWS WIRE on Friday calling out the premier for spreading false rumours about the content in the book. (SEE FRIDAY PRESS). While the PC Party has demonstrated some fake solidarity prior to the convention in support of Fedeli, the discord and splitting of the party was on full display this weekend. Mr. Brown continues to stand by his tell all book that explores the inner workings of the party apparatus, the plotting by players seeking power and backroom deals and those that broker them. Ford, once an ally, has continued to demonstrate his petty and vindictive streak since winning the leadership of the PC Party and now as Premier.

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The Political Comeback of the Decade

Patrick Brown Makes Comeback in Brampton

The Political Comeback of the Decade

TORONTO, ON, CANADA, October 30, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/
Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown. Hardcover $39.95

PB is better off away from the PC Party's nest of vipers.These Keystone Kops of politics, couldn’t organize a secret stab-in-the-back conference call any better than they could a one-car funeral.”
— Christie Blatchford, National Post Newspaper

Who is on the right side of political history in Ontario?

Today, Optimum announces the publishing date for Patrick Brown’s tell-all book, Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown. This searing critique of the rivals and colleagues who betrayed him, and the friends, family, and supporters who stood by him is a political story like no other.

In the most compelling political memoir this century, Brown takes you through his rise in politics, his successes and failures—and most importantly, the events that led to his swift fall from grace.

Even before the TV cameras were turned off, his closest advisors were headed for the exits, negotiating with rival campaigns that supposedly didn’t even exist. There’s no question that Brown was the victim of a smear job, but one paid for by whom? Liberal? PC Party? Bay Street? or rogue actors?

FROM CHAPTER 5: NIGHT OF KNIVES

“I listened to my caucus, my team, my colleagues. I remember that early into the call, someone said, ‘Oh, that fucking Lisa has already gone out with a statement.’

"As I listened in, what I heard horrified me. Some of my colleagues had transformed into hyenas.”

Chapter 5 chronicles and captures Brown’s thoughts and emotions as he and Thompson (his communications director) listened to the caucus call for 20 minutes; until announcing they had been on the call for its entirety. This compelling chapter will take the reader through an emotional journey of what took place before and leading to his unintended resignation.

The call was released by Maclean's magazine a month later. Macleans will release an interview on the book on November 15th.

The book is a who's who of both the past Liberal and the PC government as well as the Conservative establishment both in Ontario and Ottawa.

A sample from the INDEX of all Indexes here.

Source: opibooks.com

Limited Edition Selling Well

For Immediate Release

Toronto
May 18, 2018

Takedown, The Political Assassination of Patrick Brown. 2300 copies remain.

250 copies remain of the Limited Edition. Only $45.00.

We are pleased to announce that there are only 250 Special Edition copies of the book available as of 8:00 a.m. today for the $45.00 introductory price. In less than 4 days, the sales have been phenomenal and we have been overwhelmed by the response to this important, landmark political book.  This signed and numbered Foil stamped edition is only available through this special offer. 

After June 15th it will only be available at the regular 39.95 price + shipping and handling (unsigned). Please order your copy today.  

 

On Free and Fair Trade: The Supply Management Conundrum 

Was Maxime Bernier right?  Is Supply Management a symbol of the past that continues to penalize families to the Tune of 7.1 Billion each year?  Yes, that is correct. The average low-income family could use a 750 dollars a year after tax break like that.  

During the height of the leadership contest, Maxime Bernier reacted to Donald Trump with an open letter published by the Globe and Mail.  This touched off a heated debate in Canada, but it was clear Maxime was on the right side of history. Will the Canadian government start to open up the Dairy, Egg and Poultry industries to US producers as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement?  At Optimum we think so and it is why we are publishing Books That Matter