Le « sou du pauvre » : les municipalités, l’indigence et l’accès aux soins hospitaliers au début du XXe siècle à Montréal


  • Noémie Charest-Bourdon Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Martin Petitclerc Université du Québec à Montréal




This article is devoted to the history of general hospitals and the “sou du pauvre,” a municipal tax instituted in 1915 to reimburse Montreal hospitals for their expenses associated with caring for the needy. Comparing the Quebec and Ontario hospital systems as well as the legislation that governed their development in both provinces sheds light on the rationale behind the imposition of the “sou du pauvre,” which broke with the authorities’ non-interventionist tradition in regard to the regulation of poverty in Quebec. Studying this important municipal policy, which has undergone no analysis to date, yields some important insights into the history of the regulation of poverty, the medicalization of hospitals, and the formation of the State in early-twentieth century Quebec.

Author Biographies

Noémie Charest-Bourdon, Université du Québec à Montréal

Noémie Charest-Bourdon est étudiante au doctorat à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Martin Petitclerc, Université du Québec à Montréal

Martin Petitclerc est professeur au département d’histoire de l’UQAM.