Tommy Douglas

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  • Topic: New Democratic Party, Canada, Tommy Douglas
  • Pages : 2 (510 words )
  • Download(s) : 19
  • Published : June 4, 2013
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Tommy Douglas was one of the most influential politicians in Canadian history, whose contributions were monumental in shaping our nation. He began as a Baptist minister and then entered politics by becoming a House of Commons member, then premier of Saskatchewan, and finally leader of the NDP federal political party. He achieved many great goals in his lifetime as a politician, but his two main achievements were leading the first socialist government elected in Canada thereby establishing democratic socialism in Canadian politics as well as being the creator of Medicare, the most advanced health care system in the world. Tommy Douglas was elected to the House of Commons in 1935 as a member of the CCF party. Afterwards in 1944, he entered provincial politics by becoming the premier of Saskatchewan, thereby becoming the leader of the first democratic socialist government in North America. He emphasized the importance of political and economic democracy and set the stage for democratic socialism. He aimed to reduce poverty across Canada and therefore, aimed for 70% of the government budget be put towards social services. As premier, he introduced many important programs that are still used today in our government system. These include Medicare, which was the continent’s first single payer universal health care program, Canada’s first publicly owned automotive insurance, many crown corporations that competed with private sector interests, and legislation that allowed the unionization of public service. He passed the Crown Corporation Act, which led to the establishment of the provincial air and bus lines SaskPower and SaskTel. The labour legislations he passed included the Trade Union Act, improving workers compensation, raising minimum wage, and the creation of a labour relations board. He encouraged industrial development, which reduced Saskatchewan’s dependency on agriculture. Under his mandate, old age pension plans evolved to include medical, hospital, and...
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