The Honourable Roy J. Romanow, P.C., O.C., S.O.M., Q.C., served in public office in Canada for over thirty years, most notably as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1991-2001. During this period, major health reforms were introduced based on programs of well-being, which balanced the delivery of health care more appropriately between acute care and preventative programs.
Prior to his time as Premier, he was one of the key players in the federal-provincial negotiations that resulted in the Constitutional Act of 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 2001-2002, Prime Minister Chrétien appointed Mr. Romanow to be a one person Royal Commissioner on the Future of Health Care in Canada, culminating in the important Building on Values, which recommended a substantial improvement to our information on Canada's health resources to collect and analyze data on health care providers.
If we want to improve the overall health of Canadians and reduce health costs, then one of the most effective and efficient places to start is by reducing poverty.
For this final report he received the Pan American Health Organization’s 2003 Administration Award for his work with the Health Commission and commitment to human rights and justice initiatives.
Mr. Romanow has been an indispensable Upstreamist throughout his public life, particular in the area of income inequality as a key social determinant of health, and bringing into focus the need to reduce poverty in order to improve the health of Canadian communities and individuals. As a member of Upstream's advisory board, he lends important support, guidance and input on socioeconomic and political strategies to invest in a Canada where everyone has a chance for a healthy life in healthy communities, supported by a healthy economy.
Both levels of government must resist the temptation to put the fight against poverty on the back-burner while dealing with the effects of the global fiscal crisis – because policy fields do not exist in isolation.
Mr. Romanow is a member of the Privy Council of Canada, was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003, and is the recipient of numerous Honourary Degrees. Currently, Mr. Romanow holds the positions of Senior Fellow in Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. He was recently on a panel at the Broadbent Institute's Progress Summit, speaking on the importance of medicare as a Canadian value and as an election issue.