Lise Vaugeois MPP, Thunder Bay–Superior North

Government of Ontario

Niagara MPP Gates honours Tommy Douglas’ legacy on public health care

Published on February 27, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK - MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) delivered a statement at Queen’s Park on Monday, honouring the anniversary of the passing of Tommy Douglas, and re-affirming the importance of his legacy in establishing our universal, publicly funded health care system.

“In 2004, the CBC did a Canada-wide vote to find the Greatest Canadian of all time,” said Gates. “1.2 million people across Canada voted. The winner was Tommy Douglas, the father of our universal, public health care system.”

As the Premier of Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas introduced the first single-payer, universal, publicly funded health care system in North American history, before becoming the leader of the federal New Democratic Party. He passed away thirty-seven years ago on February 24th.

“Tommy spent his life trying to make change for the better and we need to remember and honour his legacy,” said Gates. “People across Ontario, across Canada, know that universal, public, not-for-profit health care is part of what it means to be a Canadian. We take care of one another. We support our health care workers.”

“Ontarians don’t want private, for-profit health care, where the wealthy can skip the queue while everyone else is forced to dip into their savings or forgo care entirely,” said Gates. “The Ontario NDP are committed to maintaining and protecting Tommy Douglas’ legacy by putting forward common-sense solutions in publicly funded health care”.