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Bégin, Monique.

Translated by David Homel and Lucille Nelson. Montreal, Optimum Publishing International, 1988. 215pp, paper, $18.95. ISBN 0-88892-219-0. Distributed by McClelland and Stewart. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Ruth Bainbridge

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

Monique Bégin, a well-known Canadian figure, spent six years as minister of health. Although this book deals mainly with the development of the medicare system in Canada, it also clearly delineates the political workings of our country. Such aspects as division of powers between the federal and provincial governments, the steps taken in the passage of a bill, the day-to-day workings of the Canadian parliamentary system and the role played by the media are clearly described.

Bégin takes us on a journey beginning with her first day as minister of health. Throughout this journey we see the myriad frustrations she encountered in her fight to rescue something she was sure the silent majority not only wanted but needed—a medicare system. In Canada, this medicare system meant quality health care available to all regardless of income or location and did not include user fees or extra billing.

This book is written in large, easy-to-read type and contains twenty-three black-and-white photographs. The format is chronological and there are footnotes and an index. It would appeal mainly to readers interested in political history or the public health service with an upper secondary or post-secondary reading level.

Ruth Bainbridge, Humber Community College, Toronto, Ont.
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