Born in Bass River, Nova Scotia, George Forrester Davidson (1909–1995) was a distinguished civil servant who graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1928 and a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1932. Davidson learned about social welfare problems in Canada first-hand as Superintendent of Welfare in British Columbia in 1934, Director of Social Welfare in British Columbia from 1939 to 1942, Director of the Canadian Welfare Council from 1942 to 1944, and Deputy Minister for National Health and Welfare from 1944 to 1960. In this latter position during the 1950s, Davidson assisted the provinces in their efforts to create health care strategies by developing standardized surveys to assess existing needs and levels of care. Davidson’s work with the provinces furthered the cause of medicare in Canada because it showed how federal–provincial cooperation could be achieved at the same time as helping the provinces and federal government generate the data needed to create a national health insurance system.