Speeches of Tommy Douglas - Volume 2

Image of DVD coverThe Foundation has released the next DVD in the collection “The Speeches of Tommy Douglas”. Volume 2 is video from speeches Tommy made in the House of Commons from 1978-1979. The DVD, introduced by Ed Broadbent, contains six speeches made by Tommy Douglas in his last two years in the House of Commons.


  • Interview with Ed Broadbent: Interviewed by the Douglas-Coldwell Foundation's Treasurer, Pat Kerwin, Ed tells us what it was like to have Tommy Douglas in his Caucus and more...
  • Medicare – February 2, 1979: In this speech, Tommy was debating the Liberal bill to have the federal government renege on $80 million in funds committed to the provinces for Medicare improvements. This cutback was part of Trudeau’s restraint package that he infamously introduced after chatting with Helmut Schmidt at G-8. In his speech Tommy not only attacked the cutback but gives an overview of the history of Medicare. He then spoke about what remains to be done in Medicare in its second stage including matters like prescription drugs and glasses.
  • Petro-Canada & the 1972 – 74 Minority Parliament - November 15, 1978: In this speech Tommy was responding to remarks made the previous day by Sinclair Stevens , the MP for York Simcoe, who objected to PetroCanada buying 48% of the shares of Pacific Petroleum. Tommy defended the setting up of PetroCanada as a result of the minority government. Indeed for half the speech he defended socialism versus right wing conservatism. The second half of the speech focused on the tar sands and Canada’s independence in oil matters.
  • Pipeline Debate – April 4, 1978: Bill C-25 sought to provide the legislative framework for a pipeline to bring gas from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska through the Yukon and eventually to USA. Although he supported the idea of a pipeline, Tommy Douglas raised many concerns including Canadian jobs, environment, native claims, cost over-runs and the security of supply of Canadian gas.
  • Canadian Ownership of Resources – June 20, 1978: Tommy Douglas spoke in this speech on an NDP motion that all new resource development should have majority Canadian control.
  • Solar Power Speech – February 20, 1979: This is Tommy’s speech on the private member’s bill of Charles Caccia that sought to set up the Canadian Solar Energy Institute. In his speech, Tommy focused on renewable energy.
  • Income Tax Act and Provinces – June 13, 1978: Despite Tommy Douglas having headed up a provincial government for over 16 years, most people would not associate him with knowledge of government finances. This speech shows his ready grasp of these issues. It was given in the context of a budget brought in by Jean Chretien who was then Minister of Finance. Chretien wanted to stimulate the economy by reducing the provincial sales tax with Ottawa paying half the cost. The PQ government in Quebec wanted to take a different approach.

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