Houston, Clarence J. (1900–86)

Born in Ottawa on March 18, 1900, and raised on a farm near Tyvan, Saskatchewan, C.J. Houston obtained his MD from Manitoba in 1926 and practiced in Yorkton until the age of 75. In 1943 the Health Insurance Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons endorsed a proposal submitted by C.J. Houston and R.A. Dick of Canora calling for a universal provincial health plan, governed by an independent commission. Houston was a member of the council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan as well as its president in 1947, the year that hospitalization was introduced. He was one of two doctors on the Saskatchewan Health Survey Committee from 1949 to 1951, and one of three physician nominees on the Saskatchewan Health Services Planning Commission (the Thompson Committee). While a strong supporter of hospitalization, Houston insisted on a commission for medicare that would be independent of the provincial government—which led him to join three others on the Thompson Committee in a dissenting report. He published a number of scholarly articles and served as president of the Medical Council of Canada for one term. He died in Saskatoon on May 21, 1986.

Gregory P. Marchildon