Agency under Cloud

Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC) is under a lot of cloud after another board member has decided to quit the federal agency. This is the third Director to resign in the last two and a half months. This has further raised concerns and sparked off calls for a public investigation of the organization and its controversial record.

Experts point out that these departures raise further questions about the agency and its working style. The agency was established three years ago but has failed to start its main task of regulating the fertility business. The agency has an annual budget of about $10 million.

Irene Ryll did not offer any comment or provide any reason for her departure. In March, two other Directors, including Francoise Baylis, a Dalhousie University bio-ethics professor, and Barbara Slater, a former health policy director with the Ontario Government resigned from the agency.

Diane Allen, head of the Infertility Network, an advocacy organization stressed that it seems that there are a lot of problems at the agency. She pointed out that if things continue like this, the agency will not be able to function properly.

It is being stressed that the parliamentary health committee should call a meeting to determine the state of the agency. The issue has already been raised in the Parliament by Megan Leslie, the NDP health critic. She is also calling for a public review of the agency.