TEACHING AND LEARNING COMMUNICATION FOR DEVELOPMENT A perspective from Canada
When the television-viewing public in Canada finally decided who qualified as the “Greatest Canadian” they picked a man whose name is unknown outside of Canada. Unlike Winston Churchill or Ronald Reagan who topped the British and American lists respectively, Tommy Douglas was our national hero. Once considered a radical socialist, Douglas not only promoted but realized our most important social services in Canada including universal health care, pensions for senior citizens and mothers’ allowances. During an era preoccupied with the Soviet Union/USA struggle, Douglas also urged Canada to promote human rights and antiwar interventions globally. From the 1940s through to his death in 1986 his work was political as well as imminently practical. Canada, Tommy Douglas explained, had to be based on principles of civil liberty for all with an appreciation of its heritage of multiculturalism.