This feature documentary offers an incisive look at Canadian politics at the 1976 Progressive Conservative Party leadership convention. Cape Bretoner Flora MacDonald is campaigning for the Party’s leadership, the first woman to do so. We follow MacDonald behind the scenes as she works with her staff to prepare policy, speeches, and strategies to win the race. We also get a glimpse of MacDonald’s sprightly and upbeat attitude as she puts her best foot forward in front of voters, media, and the Party’s elite.
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 short documentary records Black activist Anne Cools’ 1978 run for the Liberal Party nomination in Rosedale, one of Toronto's largest and socially most diverse federal ridings. The film records her bid for political power, and explains the nomination contest, a basic step in the Canadian electoral process. Because she was competing against the Liberal Party's preferred candidate, the nomination battle in Rosedale turned into one of the most innovative and fascinating in the history of Canadian politics.
This documentary examines the media's coverage of the federal election of May 1979. Filmed over a 3-week period, it takes a fascinating look at journalists in action and the politicians who attempt to manipulate the media.
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 documentary offers a glimpse into the 1997 federal election in the Halifax electoral district. Two strong female politicians, Liberal candidate Mary Clancy and NDP party leader Alexa McDonough, are caught in a tight competition in one of the most contested races in the country. Director Meredith Ralston follows the two women around the campaign trail for weeks, getting inside an election that was often described as “nasty.” Both larger than life and hungry to win, in quieter moments Clancy and McDonough reveal the strains and contradictions of their chosen careers. Why Women Run highlights the accomplishments of women in politics and the problems many women face participating in the political process.
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.
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.
This short documentary profiles Sophie Wollock and the newspaper she founded for the western suburbs of Montreal in l963, The Suburban. A weekly paper distributed free to some 45,000 homes, most of them anglophone, The Suburban became famous for the strongly worded editorials written by Wollock, mainly on the subject of Québec nationalism. The film looks at the paper, then under the guidance of her son, and sums up some of Wollock's more impassioned editorials.
This feature-length documentary paints a lively portrait of Father of Confederation and first premier of Newfoundland Joseph Roberts Smallwood, or "Joey," as he is known to most Canadians.
Following one of Canada’s most colourful political figures during a two-and-a-half-month period that included a stormy Liberal leadership convention, the film reveals a man misunderstood even by his close associates.
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.