2004 INDUCTEE Maurice LeClair, MD Health Policy, Patient Care


June 19, 1927

(Sayabec, Quebec)


April 25, 2020


MD, McGill University (1951)

MSc Medicine, University of Minnesota (1958)

Awards & Honours:

1985: Companion of the Order of Canada

1980: Officer of the Order of Canada

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Picture of J. Maurice LeClair

Established the Health Field Concept

Dr. Maurice LeClair

A Leader in Health Policy

As Deputy Minister of National Health for the Government of Canada (1970-1974), Maurice LeClair distinguished himself with his forward-thinking approach to the economic and social challenges of traditional health care delivery. He attracted international recognition with the 1974 publication, A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians, co-authored by The Honourable Marc Lalonde, then Minister of National Health & Welfare. The document, considered a masterpiece in health care policy, identifies the key determinants of health that had remained essentially unchanged to this day. For decades, government offices and university campuses in Canada and around the world have used A New Perspective to orient their health care policy.  

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

Key Facts

Articulated the health field concept that acknowledges the intersecting roles of prevention and health promotion as equally vital for wellness

Advocated the public health principles that became the four research pillars of the CIHR

A New Perspective led to a variety of social marketing campaigns such as ParticipAction, Dialogue on Drinking, and the Canada Food Guide

The Pan-American Health Organization described A New Perspective as one of the twelve initiatives that had most improved public health in the last century

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 J. Maurice LeClair


  • 2004 Inductees

    Maurice Leclair is inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Ottawa, Ontario

  • Hubert Laframboise began working on the first draft of -A New Perspective-

    During this time, Leclair gave Laframboise the crucial support the report needed.

  • Marc Lalonde presented the concepts of the report to the Pan American Organization.

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

  • Under Dr. Maurice Leclair’s guidance, the Department of National Health and Welfare created the Long-Range Health Planning Branch

    Health Policy

    The Branch was instructed to consider the future of health care system in Canada.

  • Dr. Leclair became Deputy Minister of Health.

    Committed to continued public service, Dr. Leclair joined the Department of National Health and Welfare. Marc Lalonde joined him in the Department as Minister in 1972.

  • Dr. Leclair joined the federal government.

    His first position was as an advisor to Prime Minister Lester Pearson.

  • Dr. LeClair is appointed as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.

    Five years later, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke.

  • After two years in practice, Dr. Leclair decided to pursue further training.

    He became a fellow of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Following his three-year fellowship, LeClair returned to Canada to practice internal medicine and was active in numerous professional offices and medical, scientific and business directorships.

  • Dr. LeClair established a medical practice.

    After graduating from medical school at McGill University, Dr. Leclair became a general practitioner in Shawinigan, Québec.


The public service gave me much more than I was able to give.