“’A Tense and Courageous Performance’: The Leadership of The Honorable Allan J. MacEachen in the Creation and Passage of Bill C-227, the Medical Care Act, 1966”
Ross Langley, Dalhousie University
7:30 pm, Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 6016 University Avenue
In the long, tortuous, complex and important history of the development of comprehensive health insurance in Canada, few events were as critical as the creation and passage through Parliament of a medicare bill by a minority government. On July 12, the Honorable Allan J. MacEachen introduced Bill C-227 the Medical Care Act. Over the next six months intense Parliamentary debate followed. Skillfully piloting the Bill, masterfully parrying attacks and maintaining its integrity, he won acclaim, forging parliamentary unity as it passed by a vote of 177 to 2; ensuring Medicare would be considered “undoubtedly the single greatest public policy story of the past 50 years”.