Honorable Thomas C. DouglasBorn: October 20, 1904, Falkirk, Scotland
Died: February 24, 1986
Education: B.A. - Brandon College; M.A. - McMaster University, 1933
Category: Builder Medicare
Thomas Clement Douglas was born in Falkirk, Scotland in 1904 and emigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba with his family in 1910. He earned his B.A. at Brandon College and graduated with his M.A. from McMaster University in 1933. Two years later, Douglas won his first election. This was to be the start of his 44 year run as an elected official. Douglas will always have the distinct title of "The Father of Canadian Healthcare".
Douglas envisioned, built and tirelessly promoted our national system of healthcare. The proposal for medicare in 1959, was that it would be universal, pre-paid, publicly administered, accepted by both providers and receivers of the medical service and it would provide high quality care, including preventive care. The very same principles introduced by Douglas in 1959 are found in the 1984 Canada Health Act.
His leadership has provided long term benefits to medical science in Canada and the Canadian health care system remains as a model and source of envy to other countries around the world. To recognize his achievements, Douglas was awarded the companion of the Order of Canada and a national scholarship has been established in his name. Douglas died in 1986 but prior to his death, he had already become an integral part of Canadian history and one of Canada's most respected visionary politicians.