Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Woodrow S. Lloyd


Born in Webb, Saskatchewan, Woodrow Stanley Lloyd (1913–1972) was a teacher and politician who succeeded Tommy Douglas as Premier of Saskatchewan in 1961.

Lloyd began his teaching career in 1933, became active in the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and was its President from 1941 to 1944. In 1944, Lloyd successfully ran for the provincial Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Biggar, Saskatchewan, the constituency that he would represent until his retirement in 1971.

Premier Douglas appointed Lloyd as Minister of Education, making him the youngest Cabinet minister in Saskatchewan’s history. In this post, Lloyd successfully amalgamated over 5,000 school boards into 56 Larger School Units, giving students access to better facilities and specialized teaching. In 1960, Douglas appointed him as Provincial Treasurer.

 As Douglas’s successor, Lloyd implemented Saskatchewan’s medical care insurance plan in 1962, despite opposition from the medical profession, other provincial parties and “Keep Our Doctors” Committees. Although the doctors went on strike on July 1, 1962, Lloyd’s commitment to medicare and to resolving the dispute with dignity was successful and the plan was implemented. Lloyd’s resolution of the Saskatchewan doctors’ strike showed the rest of Canada that publicly funded, accessible medical services could not be blocked by the private goals of the medical profession.

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