"Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world."-Douglas. Although he was born on October 20, 1904 in Falrik, Scotland, in some ways the Tommy Douglas Canadians know was born 10 years later in Winnipeg. Tommy Douglas has contributed a lot to the well-being of Canada. Douglas greatest achievements includes; his ultimate goal of universal health care, the most advanced health-care system in the world, his ability to make ordinary citizens lives better by actually keeping his promises during election and his ability to pass anti-discrimination law. Through his ideas of better Canada, Douglas proved to be the most idolized man in Canadian history. In his 44 years of being elected representative, his love to speak on behalf of individual men and women of Canada changed the nature of our society forever. It is no ambiguity that Tommy Douglas stands out as the greatest Canadian.
It is no doubt that Canadians have strong devotion towards the free Medicare. In fact, Canada is known for its successful Medicare. Statistic show Canadians are among the healthiest people in the world. This all would have not been possible without Tommy Douglas. It all started with him having a bone infection as a child. Douglas had gone through several unsuccessful leg surgeries to get rid of the infection. Because his parents were unable to raise enough money to pay specialists, Douglas almost had his leg amputated. He was lucky that a surgeon offered to operate on him for free. That surgery saved Douglas leg. A vision of free medical care to every citizen was born for Douglas after the kind act of generosity by the surgeon. After sweeping away victory in 1944 elections, his first acts as premier was free medical and hospital care for pensions, those on government support and for cancer patients. Through his hard work after sweeping to victory, by 1962 Douglas enacted the first Medicare plan in North America. Medical care act of 1966 changed Canada forever. This act provided every one with the ability to access healthcare. This act provided every individual with public converge of hospitals and doctors. Tommy Douglas believed "people should be able to get healthcare just as they are able to get educational services an inalienable right" . Some Canadians felt the increased tax was unfair , but most Canadians felt it was right as it created equality amongst citizens. This act created equality between the poor and the rich. With Medicare, he was able to provide every one with equal opportunity to access medical treatment.
Politics, it's a race of who can tell the most lies. Politicians lie to your face making fake promises, get elected and then come back looking for more love for next elections. Tommy Douglas was a little man with a big heart. He was a man who kept his promises. Tommy Douglas had a new vision for the role of government; he believed that it had a responsibility to serve, to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. The promises he made during election campaign were kept. He was able to improve the lives of people. On June 15, 1944, the CCF- swept to victory under Douglas leadership. With powerful, wealthy opposition, his government was able to pass more than 100 bills that first term; a great achievement was presented in our society. The CFF were able to eliminate sales tax on food and meals and reduced the provincial debt by $20 million. The CFF under Douglas paved roads and brought electricity to farms of Saskatchewan. They increased educational spending. Some school budgets were subsidized by up to seventy-five percent by the government. While these were great achievements, it only proves that a great politician he was. He was able to bring real changes to people's lives.
Nobody likes to work for twelve or even fifteen hours a day, especially under dangerous working conditions. Douglas was able to accomplish the biggest achievement during his political life, he introduced measure to modernize the rights of working people which includes improved working conditions, higher minimum wage, establishment of mandatory holidays and set workers' compensation standards . He was the first one to introduce 8 hours' work day, 5 day work week and paid holidays for workers. Douglas had a great concern for the welfare of industrial workers and the labour movement. At the 1944 session the CCF were able to pass the advanced labour code in Canada -the right of collective bargaining. This act allowed negotiations of wages and other conditions of employment by a body of employees. Along with this act, CCF guaranteed two weeks of holiday leave with pay per year. His ability to achieve such great measures only proves his strong devotion towards people, Canadians.
Discrimination is something we don't see openly in today's society. Being treated poorly because of one's ethnicity background was no new territory back before world war one. One good example is discriminations towards Japanese Canadians during World War 2 years. An achievement Douglas was able accomplish in 1947 protected people from being discriminated. Douglas' government created and put into place Canada's first Bill of Rights. It included protections for the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly and elections, while also legally forbidding both racial and religious discrimination . This disabled any human resource to not hire one simply because of their ethnic background or even religion. Anti-discrimination act only proves his strong devotion to make ordinary citizens lives better.
Tommy Douglas stands out as one of the greatest Canadian. Douglas dedicated his life to make Canadian citizens life better which actually worked. He is far more than the guy who gave us Medicare, he is an inspiration. He was able to provided equality amongst poor and rich. He gave us employment rights and freed us from discrimination as he was the first one to place Canada's first Bill of Rights. He is the man of people; after all he went into politics for them in the first place. He was able to provide us with a great vision of tomorrow. Without questions Tommy Douglas proves to be tittles the greatest Canadian.