Tommy Douglas, Mouseland, circa 1930s

CCF politician Tommy Douglas was masterful orator who combined humour, sarcasm, irony, anecdote, and self-deprecation in ways that allowed him to become the country’s most effective popularizer of socialist ideas. Fellow MP Clarence Gillis first told the story of Mouseland and Douglas picked it up. It is a drama in which mice keep voting against... Continue Reading →

Woodrow Lloyd on Medicare, 1962

Woodrow Lloyd was premier when Saskatchewan introduced North America’s first public, tax-funded health insurance program in July 1962. Saskatchewan’s doctors resisted, saying it was state medicine and would interfere with their relationships with patients. The tension reached a fever pitch by May 1962, when the doctors held their annual meeting in Regina. Lloyd walked into... Continue Reading →

Stephen Lewis and HIV/AIDS, 2002

Stephen Lewis is a consummate speaker who rarely uses scripts or even notes. A politician earlier in life, he later served as Canada’s ambassador to the UN, and later still as the UN’s unofficial ambassador to combat the spread of HIV/Aids in Africa. He gave this speech to a citizens’ forum in Calgary during the... Continue Reading →

Tommy Douglas, October crisis, 1970

Most Canadians supported Pierre Trudeau when he implemented the War Measures Act in October 1970, and an overwhelming majority of MPs supported him as well. But NDP leader Tommy Douglas and most of his caucus were opposed. Douglas said he was appalled by the kidnappings, but he believed that the government had enough powers to... Continue Reading →

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