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Officially launched on April 5, 2004, The Greatest Canadian was a television program series by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to determine who is considered to be the greatest Canadian of all time, at least according to those who watched and participated in the program. The project was inspired by the BBC series Great Britons.
Radio-Canada, the CBC's French-language arm, was not involved in The Greatest Canadian project, reducing the input of Canada's French-Canadian minority over the results. The CBC did make its website available in French, however.
The "Greatest Canadian" was not decided by a simple popular poll, but was instead chosen through a two-step voting process. On October 17, 2004 the CBC aired the first part of The Greatest Canadian television series. In it, the bottom 40 of the top 50 "greatest" choices were revealed, in order of popularity, determined by polls conducted by E-mail, website, telephone, and letter. To prevent bias during the second round of voting, the top ten nominees were presented alphabetically rather than by order of first round popularity.
This second vote was accompanied by a series of documentaries, where 10 Canadian celebrities acting as advocates each presented their case for The Greatest Canadian. Voting concluded on November 28 at midnight and the following evening, November 29, the winner was revealed to be Tommy Douglas.

He's known as the man who discovered insulin, bringing new hope to diabetics the world over. Frederick Banting's groundbreaking research in the early 1920s brought him worldwide acclaim and earned him a lifetime annuity from the federal government, a knighthood in the British crown and Canada's first ever Nobel Prize in Medicine.
History was made when the first words were transmitted via telegraph on March 10, 1876, "Mr. Watson, come here, I need you." After patenting the invention and staging a demonstration of the telephone at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, Bell went on to form the Bell Telephone Company in 1877.
Starting out as a hockey player, then a successful NHL coach, Don Cherry soon found his niche on the television screen. Outspoken, outrageous and at times outlandish - Cherry has been called many things during his 24 years with CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, but he's never been accused of being at a loss for words.
For more than 50 years, his staunch devotion to social causes, rousing powers of speech and pugnacious charm made Tommy C. Douglas a popular political force. From his first foray into public politics in 1934 to his post-retirement years in the 1970s, Canada's "father of Medicare" stayed true to his socialist beliefs.

On the morning of April 12, 1980, Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope. Fox's journey took him through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario, until he stopped just outside of Thunder Bay. He had run 5,376 kms, and by February 1981, raised $24.17 million.

Fox died, with his family beside him, on June 28, 1981. That September, the first Terry Fox Run was held.

Affectionately called "the Great One", he is the greatest scorer in NHL history, breaking over five-dozen records and racking up nearly 3,000 points. He's won four Stanley Cups and has held or shared 61 NHL records. He serves on countless charities and his foundation helps disadvantaged children from North America participate in hockey.
Macdonald is best known as the founding father of Canada, who united the French and the English and who facilitated the construction of Canadian Pacific Railway. The characteristics that made him such an effective leader are the same ones that define Canada as a nation.
During his five years in office Pearson oversaw the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan, national Medicare, the Bilingualism and Biculturalism Commission, a national labour code, and the Maple Leaf flag. The crowning achievement was his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1956.
As the host of CBC's The Nature of Things and the author of more than 30 books, David Suzuki has been called a "gladiatorial geneticist" who mixes education with entertainment. The passionate Suzuki has earned a well-deserved reputation as an environmental guru for two generations of Canadians.
Trudeau's unique blend of charisma and fierce intelligence managed to keep him in power for nearly 16 years. During that time, he never wavered from his goal to create a unified and "just" Canada. He worked to promote bilingualism, stamp out separatism and create a Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights.