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  Time Line of TB in Canada

 1921 - First TB Survey of "Healthy"

Volunteers process two men during a community survey in Nova Scotia during the 1960s.

"In 1921 the first tuberculosis school survey in Canada was conducted by the Saskatchewan Anti-Tuberculosis Commission to determine the incidence of infection among school children, to discover the source of the disease, and to ascertain the conditions – pathological, economic, and social – which would tend to encourage the disease."

-- Wherrett in The Miracle of the Empty Beds, 1977.
Schoolchildren are tested for TB infection using the tuberculin skin test.

Of some 170,000 school children in Saskatchewan, 1346 were surveyed, and a stunning 56.6% were found to be infected with TB. Following the results of this survey, the Canadian Tuberculosis Association provided $1000 to each of the other 8 provinces to undertake similar surveys of their schoolchildren.


In 1932 the first industrial surveys were organized by the Canadian Tuberculosis Association, the Montreal Department of Health, and the McGill University Faculty of Medicine. Funds were provided by the Canadian Life Insurance Officers’ Association for the purpose of demonstrating and encouraging tuberculosis case-finding in industry.

People are given injections for the tuberculin skin test during a community survey in Nova Scotia. Positive reactors would be tested further for active tuberculosis.