Along the river boardwalk on one of my walking trails, stands a bronze statue of Tommy Douglas, the Father of Canadian Medicare. His story and accomplishments can be Googled.
There are 2 little known facts when one researches Tommy Douglas:
The first is that the sculptor, Lea Vivot, was a Czechoslovakian immigrant to Canada, who became ill after her arrival here. After her hospitalization ended, she inquired about her bill and was told there was no charge. This began her research into the Canadian Health Care system, and that research led her to Tommy Douglas. Ms Vivot donated the sculpture to our city as a tribute of appreciation to Mr. Douglas.
The second is that Tommy Douglas’s grandson is actor Kiefer Sutherland, who was here for the unveiling of the sculpture.
A few years ago, when we had spring floods here with the river rising above its banks, someone with the typical Canadian sense of humour, put a life jacket on Tommy. It made national news here.
I’m surprised to see that no one has outfitted him with some winter clothing.
“We are all in this world together, and the only test of our character that matters is how we look after the least fortunate among us. How we look after each other, not how we look after ourselves. That’s all that really matters, I think.” ~ Tommy Douglas