A poem that was written by a NEWS writer to mock the words of Ian McKenzie.

Before the days of universal healthcare, Canada was still trying to create a system that could support the population's needs. Complications arose, however, when the world wars overwhelmed the system with thousands of wounded veterans.  After the first war, Canada developed services meant to help rehabilitate wounded veterans. However, a poor economy and lack of social services meant that many veterans were unable to support themselves due to the mental and physical disabilities they had gained as a result of the war. Many disabled veterans had to live in hospitals to receive the required care and services. Therefore, when World War II began, the veterans’ hospitals were still filled with veterans from World War I, leaving no room for the recently injured (1). This crisis forced Canada to re-evaluate the system and try to make ends meet. Unfortunately, Canada’s initial strategy was inadequate for the sheer volume of veterans needing care. It was poorly overseen by the “Department of Pensions and National Health,” Soldiers reported overcrowding and poor hospital conditions. Alongside these complaints, serious staffing issues overwhelmed the current staff with the patient loads (2). 

“The Department of Pensions and Health” was a government section during World War II responsible for overseeing the committee that created the veteran's healthcare system. This committee was called “Demobilization and Re-establishment,” chaired by Ian McKenzie (the Minister for the Department of Pensions and Health). They were initially responsible for many controversial decisions related to veterans medical care. One of their most polarizing decisions was to expand the Christie Street Hospital rather than replace it (3).