Making Medicare:  The History of Health Care in Canada, 1914-2007 Back to Timeline Back to Timeline
History: 19781988 FROM COST CONTROL TO HEALTH PROMOTION: IMPLEMENTING MEDICARE, 19681978 SAVING THE SYSTEM: THE CANADA HEALTH ACT, THE OTTAWA CHARTER AND ACHIEVING HEALTH FOR ALL, 19781988 THE ENDLESS CHALLENGE: BALANCING CHANGE AND CONTINUITY, 19892007



Publicizing the Issue

When Minister Bégin became aware of the issue prior to the 1979 election, she gave a series of public addresses, which argued that the provinces were “diverting funds” from the block transfers rather than applying them to health and post-secondary education. Naturally, the provinces, which were struggling to control their deficits and to keep their medical associations onside, were furious. The election of 1979 thus became the first stage in a conflict that has continued to the present. On the one side stood the federal minister, who was expressing concern that Canadians were unable to access curative services because of additional costs, and on the other side were the provinces and the doctors, who claimed that it was Ottawa’s cuts to the original financial arrangements that forced them to pursue these methods in order to maintain the quality of Canadian health care.

Photo:  Dating from 1979, Tom Innes’s pre-election depiction of a battered and broken medicare resonated with people  all over Canada, not just in Alberta.

Dating from 1979, Tom Innes’s pre-election depiction of a battered and broken medicare resonated with people all over Canada, not just in Alberta. Health Minister Monique Bégin, meanwhile, argued that the provinces were “diverting funds” from health care.
Glenbow Archives, M-8000-384



Back to Timeline 1978 - 1988
    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010