Part one of a 2-part documentary examining Canada's national health insurance system, from its conception on the Canadian Prairies in the early part of the 20th century to its present state of crisis. This first part traces the events leading to July 2, 1962, the day on which Medicare was launched in Saskatchewan. The doctors reacted to the plan by declaring a general strike. The film recreates this stormy chapter of history through film and television archives and personal testimonies, particularly those of former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas and Chief Justice Emmett Hall.
Shot at the Pierre Boucher Hospital in Montreal, this film takes us into the emergency room to see how our healthcare system is holding up. What it reveals is a powerful indictment of management that sees only the bottom line while human lives are at stake.
Shot at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland, this documentary reveals the workings of a contemporary health-care facility. Accompanied by hospital staff, we travel through labs, pharmacies, supply rooms, operating theatres and patient rooms from the maternity ward to the morgue. As debate in Canada and the world rages over health care, Hospital City offers a moving, human portrait of the people whom the issues touch most closely.
On March 2, 2004, Bernard Lord's Conservative government announces that the hospital in Caraquet, New Brunswick, will be converted to a community health centre. Considering the government's decision unfair, the people of the region rally to save the health care services to which they feel entitled. Despite their year-and-a-half-long struggle, the Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus is closed. In recording the chronology of the events, Renée Blanchar plunges into the heart of the action with an urgent need to speak out against injustice. The result is a very human film about solidarity. In French with English subtitles.
This feature documentary traces the political career of T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the New Democratic Party, who was voted the Greatest Canadian in 2004 for his devotion to social causes, his charm and his powers of persuasion. Known as the "Father of Medicare," this one-time champion boxer and fiery preacher entered politics in the 1930s and never looked back.
This documentary short is a portrait of Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and 13th prime minister of Canada, John George Diefenbaker (1895-1979). Diefenbaker's political career spanned 6 decades. When he died in 1979, his state funeral and final train trip west became more a celebration of life than a victory for death. Interweaving scenes from past and present, the film crafts a tribute to an illustrious Canadian and records how a nation paused to pay homage to "The Chief."
In Part 1 of this 3-part documentary series, director Donald Brittain chronicles the early years of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque. From their university days in the 1950s to 1967 when Lévesque left the Liberal Party and Trudeau became the federal Minister of Justice, Brittain attempts to get at the heart of what makes these men so fascinating.
This feature documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at political decision-making in Ontario, the most populated Canadian province. A candid study of Ontario Premier Bill Davis and his Cabinet profiles the political process—a daily round of committee meetings, budget tabling, and media relations initiatives. Born into a political dynasty, Davis has the power and resources of the “big blue machine” behind him as he initiates political manoeuvres that tackle everything from unemployment to provincial-federal relations. The film reveals key aspects of Davis's political philosophy, one that kept the Conservatives in power in Ontario for 36 consecutive years.
This feature-length documentary looks at those desperate days of October 1970 when Montreal awaited the outcome of FLQ terrorist acts. Using news reports and clips from the time, the film reflects upon the October Crisis and reveals the relief, dismay and defiance people felt when the Canadian army stepped in.
Part 2 of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque covers the years between 1967 and 1977, a colourful decade that saw Trudeau win three federal elections, the 1970 October Crisis and the sweeping rise to power of the Parti Québécois.
The final instalment of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque spans the decade between 1976 and 1986. The film reveals the turbulent, behind-the-scenes drama during the Quebec referendum and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it also traces both Trudeau's and Lévesque's fall from power.