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Marc Lalonde

Born in Île-Perrot, Quebec in 1929, Marc Lalonde has served as a lawyer, civil servant and politician. Lalonde received his B.A. from St. Laurent College in 1950, his LL.L. from the Université de Montréal in 1954, an M.A. in Law in 1955 and an M.A. in Economics and Political Science in 1957 from Oxford University, as well as a Diplôme d’études supérieures en droit from the University of Ottawa in 1959–1960. Lalonde was called to the Quebec bar in 1955, and taught Common Law and Economics at the Université de Montréal from 1957 to 1959. Lalonde interrupted his legal/academic career to serve as a special legal advisor to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s Minister of Justice, E. Davie Fulton, from 1959 to 1960, but resumed private practice in Montréal. Lalonde became a special advisor to Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1967 and then acted as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s principal secretary from 1968 to 1972. In 1972, Lalonde successfully ran for Parliament, serving as Minister of National Health and Welfare from 1972 to 1977. As minister, Lalonde renegotiated the federal–provincial financial and administrative structure of medicare to adapt to the economic conditions of the 1970s. He gained international recognition for advocating a new approach to health policy in A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians. A new fiscal framework and health promotion were his contributions to the evolution of medicare.

Photo: Marc Lalonde

When Marc Lalonde became Minister of National Health and Welfare in 1972, he had two objectives: to control health care costs and to rationalize the health care system.
The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Artist: Irma Coucill.

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