The second event in the joint Dictionary of Canadian Biography (DCB) and Massey College Speakers Series will feature Gregory P. Marchildon in conversation with DCB General Editor David A. Wilson about one of the most influential leaders in Canadian history: Tommy Douglas.
In 1911 a six-year-old boy from a working-class family in Scotland arrived in Canada. Suffering from a bone infection and slated to have his leg amputated, he was spared when a doctor performed an expensive operation on him at no charge, as part of a clinical experiment. The young boy drew a lesson from the experience that he would never forget: medical care should be freely available to those in need, not sold as a commodity. Canadians got the message. In 2004 Tommy Douglas was voted “The Greatest Canadian” by CBC viewers, from among a list that included Terry Fox and Pierre Trudeau. Greg Marchildon, author of the DCB’s forthcoming biography of Douglas, tells his story.
Senior Fellow Greg Marchildon is the Ontario Research Chair in Health Policy and System Design at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. The author of numerous journal articles and books on Canadian history, comparative public policy, public administration and federalism, he served as executive director of the federal Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (the Romanow Commission), and was the Deputy Minister to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Saskatchewan during the 1990s.