CBC Digital Archives

An appeal to Canada's women on health plan

Since Tommy Douglas helped usher in Canada's medicare system in 1967, it has earned the envy of the international community. Many Canadians see free public health care as the hallmark of what Pierre Elliott Trudeau called "The Just Society." Yet, as the medicare debate has proven, it's a system that is not without its flaws or opponents.

With the 1957 federal election looming, the Liberal government proposes a health plan that would see Ottawa pay 50 per cent of the costs of hospital care if provincial governments agree to pay the other half. While it may seem like a guarantee of free hospital stays for Canadians, the CCF's Marjorie Cooper urges Canada's women to vote against a plan that excludes the mentally ill, who represent half of all hospital patients.
• Agnes Macphail, who became Canada's first female MP with her election to Parliament in 1921, was among the founders of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in 1933. Macphail helped establish the CCF alongside James Shaver Woodsworth, Canada's first socialist MP, who was also originally elected to Parliament in the 1921 election. In 1943, the CCF's Macphail won a seat in Ontario's provincial election and became one of the first two women to sit as MPPs in Ontario.
Medium: Radio
Program: Political Broadcasts
Broadcast Date: June 6, 1957
Guest(s): Marjorie Cooper
Duration: 4:15
Photo: Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A 5352

Last updated: January 10, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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