Nunavummiut get option to learn more about organ donation through tax returns

Federal government hopes new service from Canada Revenue Agency increases awareness of organ, tissue donation

Nunavummiut who file tax returns next year will have the option to tick a box that will permit the Government of Nunavut to send them information about organ and tissue donation, the Canada Revenue Agency announced Monday. (File photo)

By Madalyn Howitt

Nunavummiut will be able to add their names to a list to receive information about organ donation when they file their tax returns next year, the Canada Revenue Agency announced Monday.

The CRA will add a box to 2022 Nunavut tax returns that residents can choose to check off.

This will allow the revenue agency to share the taxpayer’s contact information with the Government of Nunavut, which will send information about tissue and organ donation.

The purpose is to help raise public awareness on organ and tissue donation. Currently, fewer than one in four Canadians are registered organ and tissue donors, CRA spokesperson Chris MacMillan said in a news release.

“As most Canadians are required to file an income tax and benefit return each year, the CRA is uniquely positioned to help raise public awareness on organ and tissue donation,” MacMillan said.

However, it is unclear what information could be provided to Nunavummiut who tick the box — the territory does not currently have an organ donation program, according to Health Department spokesperson Danarae Sommerville.

In 2018, a House of Commons committee recommended to the federal government  the federal government identify and create opportunities for Canadians to register as organ donors.

Access could be through federal programs and services in collaboration with provincial and territorial organ donation programs.

“While Nunavut does not have clinical programs to directly procure tissues or organs, Nunavummiut would have the opportunity to declare in advance their intent or willingness to contribute tissue and organs in the future if they are in proximity of a transplant program,” Sommerville said.

She noted that the Ottawa General Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario both have clinical programs for tissue and organ transplants, including living donor programs.

Many Nunavummiut travel to Ottawa for medical treatment not easily accessed in the territory. 

Nunavummiut who opt to receive information about organ and tissue donation will have their name and most recent email and mailing address on file disclosed to the GN.

Sommerville said the GN is working on an agreement with the federal government outlining how this process will work.  

Ontario also opted into the service, alongside Nunavut.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by common sense on

    WOW ! talk about greed, CRA is not satisfied to get our hard earned money now they want our organs too!

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    • Posted by Forever Amazed on

      There really is not respect for anyone is there? I am going to print a notice and keep it in my wallet – absolutely no organ harvesting allowed on my body.

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