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Judy LaMarsh

Born in Chatham, Ontario, Julia (Judy) LaMarsh (1924–1980) was a lawyer, politician and broadcaster. She joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps in 1943, became a sergeant and was demobilized in 1946. LaMarsh received her B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1947, attended Osgoode Hall and was called to the bar in 1950. Despite discrimination against women in the legal profession, LaMarsh was a successful lawyer. In 1960, she was elected to the House of Commons, later serving as Lester Pearson’s Minister of National Health and Welfare from 1963 to 1965 and presiding over the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan and the formulation of medicare. Although LaMarsh had the support of Minister of Finance Walter Gordon, and an agreement was reached with the provinces, she did not see the program take effect on July 1, 1967 as she had originally hoped. Instead, Mitchell Sharp, Gordon’s successor, and Prime Minister Pearson opted to delay the implementation of medicare until July 1, 1968 for financial and administrative reasons. After serving as Secretary of State from 1965 to 1968, LaMarsh left politics because she opposed Pierre Trudeau’s leadership of the Liberal Party.

Photo: “The patient will have to await  a detailed study of the country’s tax structure.”
“The patient will have to await a detailed study of the country’s tax structure.”

Health Minister Judy LaMarsh was an easy subject for Ed McNally in Montréal. This cartoon refers to the major overhaul of Canada’s taxation system, which was given priority over the introduction of medicare in July 1964.
Ed McNally, Montreal Star, 1964

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