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Tommy Douglas, leader of the CCF,
was premier of Saskatchewan
from 1944 to 1961.
Tommy Douglas Career Highlights:
He Introduced universal hospitalization in Saskatchewan in 1949 and a Medicare plan for Saskatchewan in 1959.
Crown Corporation Act led to the establishment of provincial air and bus lines, SaskPower and SaskTel.
Labour legislation included the Trade Union Act, the improvement of workers compensation and minimum wages, and a labour relations board.
Industrial development reduced the province's dependence on agriculture.
Introduced the first public automobile insurance in Canada.
Just before he left Scotland, Douglas fell and injured his knee. Osteomyelitis set in and he underwent a number of operations in Scotland in an attempt to cure the condition. Later however, in Winnipeg, the osteomyelitis flared up again and Douglas was sent to hospital. Doctors there told his parents his leg would have to be amputated. Fortunately, a well-known orthopedic surgeon took an interest in his case and agreed to treat the boy for free if his parents would allow medical students to observe. After several operations, Douglas's leg was saved. This experience convinced him that health care should be free to all. "I felt that no boy should have to depend either for his leg or his life upon the ability of his parents to raise enough money to bring a first-class surgeon to his bedside," Douglas told an interviewer many years later.