Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
History: 1939-1948 DEPRESSION DEVELOPMENTS, 19301939 NATIONAL SYSTEM, NATIONAL FAILURE? : WAR, RECONSTRUCTION AND HEALTH SECURITY FOR CANADIANS, 1939–1948 PUBLIC OR PRIVATE? VOLUNTARY OR COMPULSORY? : HOSPITAL CARE FOR CANADIANS, 1948–1958



Competing Options

But the Canadian and British governments appointed other committees and task forces to create reports that provided a blueprint for the future. In Great Britain in 1942, Sir William Beveridge published his famous report, which advocated a national healthservice, revised approaches to unemployment relief and slum clearance. The Canadian Cabinet Sub-Committee on Reconstruction hired a British-trained, McGill-based sociologist, Leonard Marsh, to review Canada’s existing social programs and assess its future needs. On March 16, 1943, his Report on Social Security for Canada was leaked to the press. Like Sir William Beveridge, who came to Ottawa in June to testify before the House of Commons Special Committee on Social Security, Marsh strongly advocated central government direction of housing, health care and job creation, along with the maintenance of full employment. Since he was a member of Heagerty’s Advisory Committee, he had been privy to that group’s research and deliberations. But, like many Canadian government reports, the Marsh report failed to attract support, largely because its comprehensive approach to social welfare program planning did not fit with the Department of Finance’s focus on economic growth.

Photo: Sir William Beveridge in 1943

Sir William Beveridge in 1943, when he was in Ottawa to testify before the House of Commons Special Committee on Social Security, which was planning for the future of Canadians after the Second World War.
Library and Archives Canada, PA-175614. © Estate of Yousuf Karsh.

< Previous | Next >


Back to Timeline 1939 - 1948
    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010