Woodrow Lloyd

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Woodrow Lloyd
Woodrow Stanley Lloyd-M. West, Regina.jpg
8th Premier of Saskatchewan
In office
November 7, 1961 – May 22, 1964
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Governor Frank Lindsay Bastedo
Robert Hanbidge
Preceded by Tommy Douglas
Succeeded by Ross Thatcher
Member of the Legislative Assembly
In office
June 15, 1944 – June 23, 1971
Preceded by John Allan Young (CCF)
Succeeded by Elwood Lorrie Cowley (NDP)
Constituency Biggar
Leader of the Opposition
In office
May 22, 1964 – July 4, 1970
Preceded by Ross Thatcher
Succeeded by Allan Blakeney
Personal details
Born Woodrow Stanley Lloyd
July 16, 1913
Webb, Saskatchewan
Died April 7, 1972( 1972-04-07) (aged 58)
Seoul, South Korea
Political party CCFNDP
Spouse(s) Vicki Lloyd[1]

Woodrow Stanley Lloyd (July 16, 1913 – April 7, 1972) was a Canadian politician and educator. Born in Saskatchewan in 1913, and became a teacher in the early 1930s. He worked as a teacher and school principal until 1944, and was involved with the province's Teachers' Federation, eventually becoming its president. He was first elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan in 1944. He served as Education Minister and then Treasurer in Tommy Douglas's Co-operative Commonwealth Federation government between 1944 and 1961. He succeeded Douglas as Saskatchewan Premier in late 1961. Lloyd is best remembered as the man who piloted Canada's first Medicare program from legislation to implementation in 1962, and overcoming that summer's doctors' strike to enable it to continue. He was defeated in the 1964 Saskatchewan general election and served the next six-years as the Leader of the Official Opposition. He stepped down as the New Democratic Party's leader in 1970 (the CCF changed its name in 1967), and from the Legislature in 1971. He was appointed to a United Nations post in South Korea, where he died of a heart attack in 1972.

Early life[edit]

Born in Webb, Saskatchewan on July 16, 1913.[1] He initially studied engineering, but due to the Great Depression, switched his studies to teaching and graduated with a BA from the University of Saskatchewan in 1936.[1] He started teaching school that year, and eventually became a school principal in the early 1940s at Stewart Valley, Vanguard and Biggar.[1] He was also active in the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation and held many positions in the organization including the presidency from 1940 to 1944.[2] He also served in the University of Saskatchewan's Senate,[1] and was the president of the Saskatchewan Educational Conference in the early 1940s.[2]

Douglas government 1944—1961[edit]

In 1944, Woodrow Lloyd was elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation member for the constituency of Biggar, a seat he held until his retirement in 1971. Lloyd would become the youngest cabinet minister in Saskatchewan history, up to that point, when he was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Education by new Premier, Tommy Douglas. Lloyd served as Minister of Education for the next sixteen years and oversaw the complete overhaul of the Saskatchewan education system.[3] The most controversial measure he introduced was the amalgamation of over 5000 of Saskatchewan's local school boards (units) into 56 larger school units in 1944–1945.[4] The measure was instituted to create more equitable education opportunities for students across the province by providing students greater opportunity to receive instruction by specialized teachers and access to increased education resources, including provincial grants.[4] However, the move was opposed by some in rural Saskatchewan who resented the loss of local control over schools,[4] as the move to large school units resulted in the closure of nearly all rural one-room schools over the next two decades.[5]

After the 1960 election Douglas appointed Lloyd the Provincial Treasurer. In 1961 Douglas resigned as Premier to assume the leadership of the newly formed federal New Democratic Party (NDP). Lloyd was elected leader of what was now called the Saskatchewan CCF-NDP after he easily defeated Olaf Turnbull in the leadership contest.[6]

Premier of Saskatchewan[edit]

As Premier, Lloyd was responsible for implementing the universal health care plan that Douglas had introduced.[7] Lloyd's government had to cope with the July 1962 Saskatchewan doctors' strike, when the province's physicians withdrew service in an attempt to defeat the Medicare initiative.[7] Lloyd and his government refused to back down on the concept of a universal public health care system, and persuaded the doctors to settle after 23 days.[7]

While Medicare was implemented, the political turmoil did lasting damage to the Lloyd government, contributing to its defeat at the hands of Ross Thatcher's Saskatchewan Liberal Party in the 1964 provincial election. Medicare was later extended to all provinces and territories in Canada as a result of the Saskatchewan experiment.

Lloyd was the first Premier of Saskatchewan to have been born in the province after its accession to confederation in 1905.

Post-premier career[edit]

After his government’s defeat Lloyd became Leader of the Opposition a post he held until 1970 when Allan Blakeney was elected leader of the Saskatchewan NDP. On his retirement, Douglas gave him the ultimate complement, saying that Lloyd was "the conscious of the government, and the conscience of the party."[8] After retirement from the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1971, Lloyd was appointed as representative for the United Nations Development Program in South Korea. However just months after assuming this post, he died suddenly in Seoul, South Korea.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Provincial leaders praise Mr. Lloyd: Memorial service planned to honor former premier". The Star-Phoenix. Saskatoon. 1972-04-10. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Former Premier Dies". The Star-Phoenix. Saskatoon. 1972-04-08. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  3. ^ "Lloyd Leaves Legacy of Dedication". The Star-Phoenix. Saskatoon. 1970-04-01. p. 29. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  4. ^ a b c Johnson, pp. 84–86."
  5. ^ "Says Province is Fortunate to Assess Position Before Too Late". The Star-Phoenix. Saskatoon. 1955-06-04. p. 6. Retrieved 2011-12-17. 
  6. ^ Lloyd (1979), p. 113.
  7. ^ a b c Coyle, Jim (2012-05-12). "Clashes between governments and doctors have long history". The Toronto Star. Toronto. Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  8. ^ McLeod & McLeod, p. 153.


  • Johnson, A.W. (2004). Dream No Little Dream: A Biography of the Douglas Government of Saskatchewan, 1944–1961. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-8633-0. 
  • Koester, C.B., ed. (1976). The Measure of the Man: Selected Speeches of Woodrow Stanley Lloyd. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books. ISBN 0-919306-71-3. 
  • Lloyd, Dianne (1979). Woodrow : A Biography of W. S. Lloyd. Regina, Saskatchewan: The Woodrow Lloyd Memorial Fund. 
  • McLeod, Thomas H.; Ian McLeod (2004). Tommy Douglas: The Road To Jerusalem (2nd ed.). Calgary: Fifth House. ISBN 1-894856-48-1. 
  • Norton, Dianne (2004). "Woodrow S. Lloyd". In Gordon L. Barnhart. Saskatchewan Premiers of the Twentieth Century. Regina: University of Regina, Canadian Plains Research Center. ISBN 0-88977-164-2. 
  • Quiring, Brett (Spring 2004). "The Social and Political Philosophy of Woodrow S. Lloyd". Saskatchewan History. Saskatoon: Saskatchewan Archives Board. 56 (1): 5–20. ISSN 0036-4908.