On the topic of Eugenics, the RCMP and Tommy


(The Sun - Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg & Calgary)

Dear sirs,

Your editorial of February 28, 2011 reveals new information, courtesy of the secret RCMP file, about the past and opinions of Tommy Douglas. In fact, had the Sun done its own research with any due diligence, it would have discovered that there was nothing new or revelatory in those files. (I suggest your readers explore the three fine biographies of Douglas that are available).

Douglas’s views on eugenics were once shared, alas, by many in all parts of the world in the early 20th century. What matters is what Tommy actually did once he became premier of Saskatchewan -- when he specifically rejected advice involving eugenics -- instead instituting programs of therapy for mental illness, and training and education for persons with handicaps. Political leaders in B.C. and Alberta found eugenic ideas much more acceptable at the time.

Douglas’s views on homosexuality were common currency among medical professionals and certainly among religious leaders, in the 30s and well beyond. Again, what matters is what he did. Douglas never exhibited or practiced prejudice, and supported human rights and fought discrimination, including discrimination against homosexuals, throughout his career. Indeed, his record in defending and promoting individual liberties is far and away better than that of his political opponents.

The balance sheet of Douglas’s achievements – which have improved the life, health and well-being of generations of Canadians – more than justify the title ‘Greatest Canadian’.

What is surprising in reading through these "secret" documents is a reaffirmation of the honesty and integrity of Tommy and how ironically, his message of peace and humanity was taken as a threat by those in power... and perhaps still is.


David Mackenzie

Latest posts

Celebrate Women Today and Everyday

Blog Post 


Today is International Women’s Day; a day which I am truly thankful for all the women who have worked tirelessly, past and present, towards a more equitable world where all voices are heard. I take this day to reflect on the women that came before me and the work that we have to continue to do in their honour.

February Newsletter: Gala Highlight Video + Lecture Details and Research

Blog Post 


As promised we’ve got lots of news to share with you this month. The Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation had a banner year in 2023. We produced more special events, original content, research projects, and educational materials than ever before!

This year we’re building from that success. You’ll see us in more places with more exciting programs for you to participate in throughout the year. All of this growth is thanks to our supporters like you.

We hope you enjoy our update this month.

Honouring Ed Broadbent's Legacy + Plans for 2024

Blog Post 


We hope you have had a good start to the year. We’ve got lots of important information and event announcements to share with you this month.

Thank you to those who supported us last year with a donation and helped us advance social democracy! You allow us to continue the important work we do, being the only charity in Canada to promote social democracy and carry on our founders' legacies. With your support we were able to create new research, establish an annual lecture series, new scholarships, new training for activists, and an interview series with social democrat leaders. And, this year we have even more content to deliver and special event plans to share with you. 

Your charitable tax receipts are on the way!

Take action

2024 Jack Layton Lecture
BC Premier John Horgan's Keynote
The Alexa McDonough Lecture
50th Anniversary Dinner Highlights
Dave Barrett Lecture Video
50th Anniversary Dinner Photos
The David Lewis Lecture
2nd Annual Mouseland Gala
Audrey McLaughlin Interview
Make a Donation
Alexa McDonough Womens’ Leadership Centre
Become a Member
Lecture Series
Help Fund Educational Research

Connect with us