In September 1939, Mackenzie King had reorganized his Cabinet to ensure maximum efficiency in fighting the war. Ian A. Mackenzie, the popular but bibulous British Columbia member who had been Minister of National Defence, was demoted to Minister of Pensions and National Health. In spite of this loss of status, Mackenzie quickly became interested in expanding the reach of his portfolio. Aided by Dr. John J. Heagerty, the department’s Director of Public Health Services, he began to push the Cabinet to support the development of a national health insurance program. Mackenzie justified his request on the grounds that Canadians needed positive benefits in return for their support of the war effort. He also pointed out that other political parties were offering similar social welfare programs in their platforms and that the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), in particular, was gaining ground in public opinion. What did the public want? Security from poverty, the high costs of health care and the threat of unemployment.