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October 6, 2017 | History



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About the Book

Stanley Haidasz, P.C., M.D., was known as one of the foremost trailblazers of multiculturalism in Canada. As Canada’s first Minister of State for Multiculturalism in 1972, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau later appointed him to the Senate in 1978. Serving there until 1998, this tenure is considered his most notable achievement.

Born to Polish parents who immigrated to Canada in 1910, he studied medicine at the University of Toronto, and completed post-graduate work in cardiology at the University of Chicago. Haidasz then found a different calling: politics.
In 1957, Haidasz was the Liberal MP for the Toronto riding of Trinity, assisting many communities and immigrants in his ethnically diverse riding. Returning to the House of Commons in the 1962 election, he served five successive terms until his Senate appointment.

The House of Commons productive years between 1957 and 1978 ushered in Medicare, established the Canada Assistance plan, nurtured bilingualism and multiculturalism and uplifted Canada’s international stature. Dr. Haidasz’s multiculturalism guidance helped to solidify equal standing for Canadians of diverse backgrounds, cultures and religions.

Distinguished public service paralleled his career as a passionate doctor. Haidasz was instrumental in the passage of Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan and Income Supplement, the Clean Air Act and other civil liberties and human rights legislation. Championing the Anti-Smoking Tobacco Bill was a testament to his attitude about environmental protection.

Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm’s book about Senator Haidasz is not only an engaging personal account but also a contribution to a wider knowledge about the rising social significance of the Polish community in Canada.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Center for Strategic and International Studies, U.S. National Security Advisor for President Jimmy Carter

Stanley Haidasz described in this book by Dr. Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm has left a permanent impact on the history of Canada as the first Canadian of Polish origin to enter the federal Parliament. I also believe that he was a perfect representative of his constituency. He was always accessible and never refused to give of his time and attention. He did not serve only the Polish community but helped and cared for all the
ethnic minorities. He was very popular among them and well liked.
Jesse Flis, member of Parliament for fourteen years, presently Director NATO Council of Canada, Council for Polish Studies-University of Toronto

Throughout his life, Stanley Haidasz demonstrated a strong spirit of public service and a singular dedication to bettering his community and country. A highly esteemed physician and proud member of the Polish community, he brought unique talents and perspective to Canadian political life. Spanning five decades, his distinguish parliamentary career as a Member of the House of Commons, Senator and the first Secretary of State for
Multiculturalism, leaves an impressive and enduring legacy.
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

Stanley Haidasz was an anchor of the Polish community in Canada, and served Canadians of all backgrounds throughout his life as a doctor, Member of Parliament and Senator.”
Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader


He was a caring and compassionate person, starting with the dedication to his family and, beyond that, to leadership in the Polish community, remembering his roots as the son of Polish immigrants, and, of course, his service to the people of Canada.
Art Eggleton, a former Canadian Cabinet minister and Mayor of Toronto, currently Senator representing Ontario

A sensitive biography of a Canadian of Polish background who started his adult life as a doctor and later became a senator in the Canadian Parliament. In addition to the biographical part, the book records exchanges between Haidasz and other members of Canada’s political establishment.
Sarmatian Review, September 2015

Senator Stanley Haidasz: A Statesman for all Canadians
On Thursday, August 12, 2009, Stanley Haidasz passed away. For over forty years he was a Liberal member of Canada’s Parliament, senator, and cabinet minister. In this biography Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm, examines the life of the first Canadian with Polish heritage to serve in Canada’s Parliament.
Spurred to search for a better life in Canada, Stanley’s parents emigrated from Stanislawów, Poland in 1910. They settled in the Queen Bathurst area of Toronto, which was an area to which Ukranians, Slovaks, and other Polish people had moved. Thirteen years after the Haidaszs arrived in Canada, Stanley was born.
In his neighborhood and within his family everyone spoke Polish; Stanley did not learn to speak English until he started first grade. Once he learned English, he excelled in school. He also learned he had a gift for public speaking and even competed in public speaking competitions. In high school he had his first taste of politics when he worked for the campaign of Arthur Roebuck, a liberal member of the House of Commons. Roebuck won the election.
Though Roebuck’s campaign was successful, Stanley decided to pursue a different path; it would take many years for Haidasz to return to politics. He briefly attended seminary but then transferred to the University of Ottawa where he earned his bachelor of philosophy degree. Medical school came next followed by a career as a physician. During this time he met and married Natalia Gugala with whom he later had four children.
In 1957 everything changed when Haidasz was convinced by prominent members of his community to run for election for the House of Commons, representing an area of Toronto that was heavily populated by immigrants. Despite strong conservative leanings in the rest of the city, he won the election. During his time in Parliament, he staunchly advocated for immigrants, helped to pass Medicare, as well as the Clean Air Act. Stanley eventually retired from politics in 1998. His worsening health convinced him to move to a retirement home in 2005. When he died four years later, he was lauded for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of those striving to be and those who already were Canadian citizens.
About the author. Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm was born in Łódź, Poland and earned her master’s degree in Literature from the University of Łódź and a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Warsaw. She has lived all over the globe including England and Toronto, Ontario before finally settling in Wilmington, Del., where she lives with her husband, Norman Boehm and son, Thomas.
Mary Lanham, POLISH AMERICAN JOURNAL, Boston, NY February 2017, pg 6

Senator Stanley Haidasz by Aleksandra Ziółkowska-Boehm

Published in 2014 in Montreal by the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada (ISBN 978-0-9868851-1-2), Senator Stanley Haidasz: A Statesman for all Canadians, is a biography of a Polish-Canadian politician who has made a great impact on the life of the country. The publication of this book was supported by Canadian Polish Millennium Fund (Toronto), and Polish Socio-Cultural Foundation of Quebec (Montreal). (...)
PAHA Newsletter
Polish American Historical Association Newsletter
ISSNO739-9766 Vol. 72, No. 2, October 2015


Ziolkowska-Boehm’s book constitutes a good example of how ethnic minority leaders may exert a great influence not merely on their local communities but also on entire nations. In the person of Stanley Haidasz, Polish Canadians undoubtedly gained an outstanding leader devoted to serving Polonia, and above all, a man of high standards and firm convictions (….).
Radosław Misiarz, Chicago, Polish American Studies, Autumn 2017, Vo. LXXXIV, No. 2, pg.107-108


April 6, 2015
Dear Aleksandra,
Thank you for sharing with me your timely book about Senator Haidasz. He deserves it and he would to be very pleased with your efforts.
With best wishes,
Zbigniew Brzezinski

April 17, 2015
Dear Aleksandra,
Please accept my congratulations to you on the birth of your latest book! Brzezinski makes the important observation that you excel in educating Canadians (also Americans) in becoming much more appreciative of the social significance of Polish people in North America! You have fulfilled a very important need, and provided a strong literary service to your native homeland. I am proud to be your friend.
Bob Ackerman
New Alexandria, Pennsylvania

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Published December 2014 by Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in Canada. Montreal in Montreal .

Table of Contents

Chapter I
Home Environment and Its Influence
Chapter II
Introduction to Politics
Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary
Chapter III
Minister of Multiculturalism
Chapter IV
The Senator
Chapter V
For Poland and Polish People
Chapter VI
Through Other People’s Eyes
Chapter VII
Parting Thoughts and Quotations
Appendix I
Canadian Culture. Announcement of Implementation of Policy of Multiculturalism within Bilingual Framework. House of Commons, October 8, 1971
Appendix II
Towards a Multicultural Society (Address by the Hon. Stanley Haidasz. P.C., M.P., M.D, Minister of State for Multiculturalism at the first Canadian Conference on Multiculturalism, Ottawa, October 15,1973)
Appendix III
Conference on security and co-operation in Europe
Senate Debates, April 6, 1978
Appendix IV
Poland: Government Solidarity Senate Debates, January 30,1990
Index of names
About the Author

The Physical Object

Number of pages

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October 6, 2017 Edited by Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm Edited without comment.
April 29, 2017 Edited by Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm Edited without comment.
April 29, 2017 Edited by Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm Edited without comment.
February 4, 2017 Edited by Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm Edited without comment.
December 20, 2014 Created by Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm Added new book.