2004 INDUCTEE The Honourable Marc Lalonde Health Policy, Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy

Born:

July 26, 1929

(L’Île-Perrot, Québec)

Education:

MA, Université de Montréal (1955)
MA, Oxford University (1957)

Awards & Honours:

1989: Officer of the Order of Canada

1988: Medal for Exceptional Contribution to Health Policy, World Health Organization

Picture of Marc Lalonde

Established the health field concept

Portrait of Marc Lalonde

A leader in health policy

As the Minister of National Health & Welfare, Marc Lalonde received international recognition as the co-author of "A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians.” Considered a masterpiece in Health Care Policy, his publication challenged traditional views about health and urged policy makers to consider the environmental and behavioural risks threatening the health of Canadians. Today, the four cornerstones of health identified in the document - human biology, environment, lifestyle and health care organization – are integral to the development of health promotion policies worldwide. Lalonde realized the importance of research in maintaining and improving the health of Canadians, and under his enlightened leadership, national research programs flourished.

The Honourable Marc Lalonde and Dr. Maurice LeClair were jointly nominated and inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Key Facts

Selected by the Pan America Health Organization as one of eleven Public Health Heroes who have shaped the past 100 years of international public health

Gave unprecedented financial support to the Medical Research Council of Canada

Established the four pillars for future health research: basic research, clinical research, socio-medical research and organizational research

Served in many cabinet positions including as Minister of Justice and Minister of Finance

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

With their report, Lalonde and LeClair successfully challenged the prevailing view that medical advancements and technological innovation alone could improve Canadians’ wellness. Moreover, their holistic approach to health would not only prove more effective but also address governments’ concern over the rising costs of medical services. This practical and pioneering approach to policy inspired countries around the world. Decades later, the report remains relevant. Not only are many of the topics raised in the report still discussed, but the report’s call for investment in health promotion also established research centres and public health campaigns that continue to work towards improving Canadians’ health. These include addressing concerns about racism in health care, climate change and substance use.

Picture of Marc Lalonde - Back row, left

2004

  • Marc Lalonde inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Ottawa, Ontario

  • Continuing his impact on the international sphere, served as an ad hoc judge at the International Court of Justice

    He also remained a practicing lawyer until his retirement in 2006.

  • Became Minister of Finance

    Lalonde served both under Pierre Trudeau and John Turner before he retired from federal politics in 1984.

  • Appointed Minister of Justice

    He remained in this portfolio until the government’s defeat in 1979. When the Liberals returned to power in 1980, Trudeau named him Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.

  • Marc Lalonde presented the concepts of "A New Perspective" to the Pan American Health Organization

    Health Policy

    Shortly after, he had the Trudeau Cabinet turn the report into a Green Book to ensure its wide dissemination.

  • Appointed Minister of the Department of National Health and Welfare

    He served in this role until 1977. Maurice LeClair was his Deputy Minister until 1974.

  • Marc Lalonde entered politics

    He was elected as Liberal MP for the riding of Outremont.

  • Travelled to Ottawa to begin work for the Pearson Government

    His first role was as an advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office and, the following year, as Pierre Trudeau’s Principal Secretary.

  • Called to the Quebec Bar

    After a few years in practice, he taught law at the University of Montreal from 1959 to 1960.

1955

He realized the importance of research in improving the lives of Canadians.