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LOBBYING FOR LIVES: Lessons From The Front (30 minutes)

Produced, written and directed by Jack Micay
In association with the Canadian Cancer Society

This multi-award winning video tells the story of what The Globe and Mail called ‘the most intense lobbying battle ever seen in Ottawa’, between the Canadian health community and the tobacco industry over Canada’s first bill to ban cigarette advertising and limit other forms of tobacco promotion (‘The Tobacco Products Control Act’). The health coalition, led by the Canadian Cancer Society and the Non Smokers Rights Assoc., had far less money and political clout, yet they managed to beat the industry at their own game of hard nosed scrambling for public opinion and the support of legislators.

As well as telling a gripping and inspiring story, the video extracts and analyzes the lessons in politics and the media that were learned along the way. These lessons will be of interest to any student of the Canadian political system. They will also be of practical use to any organization or advocate interested in lobbying for public health or any other legislation.

The host is Doug Barr, CEO at the time of the Canadian Cancer Society. There are candid interviews with the major players on both sides, including then Minister of Health Jake Epp, Bill Neville, the chief tobacco industry lobbyist, as well as other politicians, journalists and the leaders of the health coalition. These are mixed with on the spot documentary footage, newsclips and a series of original drawings by noted political cartoonist Jerzy Kolacz. The result is an entertaining video that can be used effectively as both an educational and motivational tool.

“This would be an excellent addition to any high school, college or public library collection.” - Anna Russell, Video Rating Guide for Libraries

“The presentation is a superb lesson in civics that is readily transferable to the U.S. counterpart situation.” - SCIENCE Books and Films

“A superb case study on how national health organizations can have an impact on health policy.” - HEALTH PROMOTION magazine

“For organizations wishing to improve their efforts at influencing public policy, LOBBYING FOR LIVES is an up-to-date, practical and invaluable resource.” - CANCER FORUM, Australian Cancer Society

“A very good motivating vehicle for everybody involved in the health promotion and education field. It provides an inspiring example of coalition building.” - Karen McLean, Program Co-ordinator, THE LUNG ASSOC.. OF METRO TORONTO


* Golden Sheaf Award for best educational production, Yorkton Film and Video Festival

* Golden Apple Award, U.S. National Educational Film and Video Festival

* Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film Festival

UP FROM THE ASHES: The Fight For A New Tobacco Act (53 minutes)

Produced, written and directed by Jack Micay
In association with the Canadian Cancer Society

This award winning video case study brings to life the dramatic struggle between the Canadian health community and the tobacco industry over the 1997 federal Tobacco Act. This was the replacement to the previous tobacco control bill (‘The Tobacco Products Control Act’), which the industry had successfully ducked, first through a loophole, then through the courts. They had also reversed much of the progress that Canada had made in tobacco control by engineering a massive wave of cigarette smuggling and then a huge cut in cigarette taxes that reduced the retail price in much of the country by half.

The main battleground was tobacco sponsorship of arts and sports events, which had become the industry’s main vehicle for selling cigarettes in Canada, especially to kids. As expected, the industry mounted a lavishly funded campaign to first prevent, then defeat, then weaken this legislation, using every weapon in their arsenal. They also had time on their side, as the legislative window before an expected election was rapidly closing.

This instructional and entertaining documentary conveys the hard-earned lessons of that battle. It is presented by Dorothy Lamont, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, and was produced in association with the Canadian health community, which granted the film maker full behind the scenes access. Interviews with politicians, lobbyists and journalists, and fly on the wall documentary footage are artfully woven into a story of true political intrigue, which ended in a major victory for public health in Canada.

"This is a heartening and enlightening story of a health community that fights smart, fights hard and won't quit - lessons we know but never learn! It's a must for every serious advocate in every democratic country that is compromised by tobacco industry money and political power." - Michael Pertschuk, Co-Director of The Advocacy Institute, Washington

"This film is the first comprehensive and current review of the crucial behind-the-scenes maneuvering by politicians, Big Tobacco and health advocates in the continuing struggle to protect public health in Canada and beyond. There is much to recommend this film - it is hard-hitting when appropriate, detailed yet fast-moving, and it is balanced in its approach. It should be a staple for every academic, politician, health care worker and citizen interested in the public good." - Dr. Ron Stewart, former Minister of Health of Nova Scotia

"This is a well-produced, informative video of legislative history that needs to be documented.........a powerful and motivating video since it demonstrates the idea that if you get involved, you can make a difference. It's packed with lots of good visuals and step-by-step commentary by anti-smoking groups, health coalitions, the media, the tobacco industry and government officials." - PROJECTIONS, the journal of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto

“In a vivid and compelling way, this film shows the kind of intensity and aggressiveness that public health needs to muster in order to counter the tobacco industry and to push governments forward." - Gar Mahood, Executive Director, Non-Smokers Rights Association, Canada

"This tape is a great teaching resource which every tobacco control advocate in the US and elsewhere should see. It shows the kind of intensity and smarts that are needed to win against the tobacco industry. These are lessons which we too often fail to appreciate and apply." - Stan Glantz, professor of medicine, U. of California at San Francisco


* Gold Award, WorldFest Houston, 1999