Vol. 5, Issue 1

Buchan, J. (2021). Follow the money: Ontario’s provincial departmental funding from 1950-1959 and its relation to the polio epidemic. The Young Researcher, 5(1), 66-81. 

What can we learn from past epidemics? Beyond consolidating medical history, investigating past public health crises can reveal institutional successes; scholarly inquiry can unearth the sources of these triumphs, providing guidance for current and future hardship. The academic community is well-versed in the polio epidemic in Canada, but research gaps still remain; this ex post facto analysis examines Ontario’s provincial department budgeting from 1950 to 1959, illustrating fiscal priorities and governmental reactions to the polio epidemic. Three main factors — relative financial constancy, a lack of inflated funding for the Department of Health, and major investment in non-polio related sectors — signal Ontario’s financial success during the epidemic. This budgetary victory coincides with the final downturn of Ontario polio cases, suggesting that a provincial government with preexisting and robust medical infrastructure can weather an epidemic without creating severe financial fallout.

Keywords: Polio epidemic, epidemic comparison, Ontario finance, provincial budget analysis, financial analysis

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ISSN 2560-9815 (Print)
ISSN 2560-9823 (Online)

All articles appearing in The Young Researcher are licensed under 
CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 Canada License.