Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
Key Players: 1914-1929 Key Players: 1914-1929 Key Players: 1930-1939


Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Born at St. Lin, Quebec, Henri-Charles-Wilfrid Laurier (1841–1919), was a lawyer, journalist and politician, leader of the Liberal Party from 1887 to 1919 and Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911. Laurier is remembered for consolidating Confederation by creating compromises between French and English Canadians over language issues in education, creating Alberta and Saskatchewan, supporting the construction of two transcontinental railways, helping to refine the role of religion in social services and defining the extent of Canada’s military commitments to the British Empire. Laurier was in favour of Canada contributing to the First World War, believing such support served Canada’s interests, and he campaigned for military volunteers while attacking Prime Minister Robert Borden’s indifference to the hardships created by wartime inflation. To defuse the conscription crisis, Laurier proposed a national referendum on conscription and worked to defend national unity by continuing to work with French and English Canadians during the divisive election in 1917. Although Laurier died in 1919, his party’s concern for social welfare is evident in its 1919 election promise of a federal guarantee for universal access to health care.

Laurier Syrup, bearing the name and image of the Liberal leader, listed Spanish flu among the conditions it treated.

People have always used over-the-counter patent medicines to manage their ailments. Laurier Syrup, bearing the name and image of the Liberal leader, listed Spanish flu among the conditions it treated.
© Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1999.124.138.1, 9274-3202-2864-D2002-012880.JPG

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010