The Government of Canada commemorated Thomas Clement “Tommy” Douglas as a Person of National Historic Significance
Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina—Wascana, commemorated the national historic significance of Thomas Clement “Tommy” Douglas with a plaque unveiling ceremony at the T.C. Douglas Building in Regina. The announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna.
The TC Douglas Calvary Centre in Weyburn originally put the nomination forward and were instrumental in having Mr. Douglas designated. Wendy Sidloski and Ron Wormsbecker represented the Centre and participated in the unveiling.
In the photo are, from left, Dr. Bill Waiser, the Saskatchewan Member for the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada; former premier Roy Romanow, minister Ralph Goodale, NDP leader Ryan Meili and Ron Wormsbecker of the TC Douglas Centre in Weyburn and former cabinet minister.
A Baptist pastor, fiery orator, and human rights activist, Tommy Douglas was drawn to political life by the human struggles he witnessed in Saskatchewan during the 1930s. Believing that political action was the best way to improve the lives of Canadians, Douglas helped found and led the first social democratic government in North America, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF).
Serving five terms as the Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, his government created an ambitious and innovative program of social reform that included the introduction of labour and human rights codes, and a new approach to relations between Indigenous Peoples and government. Douglas was also an important influence on the development of medicare in Canada, building on the Saskatchewan tradition of co-operative values to implement the first publicly funded, universally accessible hospital insurance plan in 1947.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am honoured to commemorate the national historic significance of Tommy Douglas. Through compassion, an unwavering commitment to social justice, and integrity, he helped improve the lives of Canadians. Above all, he left us the legacy of the publicly funded health insurance program across Canada that is central to our Canadian values. As a native of Saskatchewan, I am proud of Tommy Douglas’ accomplishments and I encourage all Canadians to learn more about his significant role in our country's history," said Ralph Goodale at the unveiling.