An excerpt from

Walking Fingers: The Story of Polio and Those Who Lived With It
by Edited by Sally Aitken and Helen D’Orazio

Quick implementation of the vaccine program in Canada is attributed to the Honourable Paul Martin, Sr. In 1946 he had just been appointed to the U.N. when he got news that his son, eight-year old Paul Jr., had contracted polio. It took almost a year before he fully recovered. Paul Martin, Sr. had had spinal meningitis (later referred to as polio) as a boy and his son's bout with polio reinforced his awareness of the need for a universally accessible response to polio. In 1953 the Canadian government funded the Connaught Lab's production of Medium 199 for the Salk polio vaccine. Martin made a deal with Maurice Duplessis that if he were to provide a new building for the Institute of Microbiology in Montreal, Ottawa would underwrite the cost of polio vaccine.