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Medicare gets a rough ride in Regina

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.

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On July 11, the doctors strike peaks. Media reports talk of possible violence and leaders on both sides call for calm. Medicare opponents from around Saskatchewan gather at the provincial legislature in Regina, including some with lynched effigies of Premier Lloyd and Tommy Douglas. Crowd estimates vary from 10,000, as claimed by the rally's organizers, to one government official's claim that he could get more people out to a picnic. Police put the number at around 4,000.
• The tradition of hanging people in effigy originated in medieval France. In the case of a criminal who had fled justice and could not be found, the public executioner hanged a representation of the fugitive, complete with name and the decree that condemned him. Doing so was considered the same as actual punishment. The word "effigy" evolved from the Latin term "effingo," meaning to shape or form.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: July 11, 1962
Host: Knowlton Nash
Interviewer: Bill Cunningham, Tim Ralfe
Duration: 5:47

Last updated: January 10, 2012

Page consulted on July 3, 2014

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