Tommy Douglas “The Greatest Canadian” gets stamped
50th anniversary of Saskatchewan’s Medical Care Insurance act
June 29, 2012
(OTTAWA ON) – Canada Post today issued a stamp to honour Tommy Douglas, the father of universal medicare in Canada. The stamp marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of Saskatchewan’s 1962 Medical Care Insurance Act.
Tommy Douglas was born in Scotland in 1904 and came to Canada with his family in 1910 and settled in Winnipeg. Growing up poor, he developed an infection that would have cost him his leg had his father not met a generous surgeon who agreed to treat Tommy for free, provided his students could observe. Through this experience, he realized the need for all to have access to medical care.
“As Canadians we take many things for granted, including universal health care,” said Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services for Canada Post. It’s an honour to recognize the 50th anniversary of Saskatchewan’s Medical Care Insurance Act and the man who made it all possible.”
The leader of the first socialist government in North America, Tommy Douglas brought massive change to the province of Saskatchewan and led the way for many social reforms in the rest of Canada. Tommy Douglas is considered the Canadian "father of medicare." In 1947 Tommy Douglas introduced universal hospitalization in Saskatchewan and in 1959 announced a Medicare plan for Saskatchewan. Douglas died in 1986 and in 2004 CBC viewers voted him as “The Greatest Canadian.”
Stamp designer Derwyn Goodall strived to honour Yousuf Karsh’s classic portrait of Douglas while providing a modern backdrop showcasing the complexity and humane aspect of Canada’s medical profession.
About the stamp
The stamp measures 40 mm x 32 mm (horizontal) with 13+ perforations and is printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in 7 colours plus varnish. They are general tagged on all four sides. The official first day cover will be cancelled in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. The stamps are available in panes of 16 stamps.
Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the news section of Canada Post’s website, and photos of these new stamps are also available. Stamps and other products will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at canadapost.ca/collecting, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free 1-800-565-4362, and from other countries, call 902 863-6550.