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Tommy Douglas grew up on the prairies during the roaring twenties and the onset of the Great Depression. As a theology student he earned extra money while attending Brandon College, giving sermons on Sunday at $15 a week. His sermons focused in on social policy and helping those who needed help in society. He was drawn to the CCF when it was formed and ran in the Federal election in 1935 and was one of seven CCF MP's sent to Ottawa. 

In 1942 Douglas was elected leader of the provincial CCF party n Saskatchewan and on June 15th 1944, his party won 47 of 53 seats in Saskatchewan and he became the Premier of the Province. This made Tommy Douglas the first elected leader of a socialist party anywhere in Canada or the U.S. He went to work quickly by forming the Saskatchewan Power Corporation which pushed power lines to most rural communities and isolated farms in the province. He also passed many human rights bills, nationalized many services, unionize the public service but most importantly of all passed legislation which provided free hospital care to the people of Saskatchewan. This action was to lead to universal Medicare in the province in 1961 which would serve as the model for the other provinces and become a corner stone of Canadian society.

The responsible financial management of Saskatchewan's budgets by the CCF, reduced the provincial deficit left by the previous government and actually started to produce yearly surpluses thus countering the oppositions predictions that all of the CCF's socialist programs would ruin the province.  

By G Scott staff writter,  2012 - Canadahistory.com - section:eras, subsection The Peace

 




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html