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Produced by Tamara Lynch; directed by Jane Churchill
National Film Board of Canada with Citizenship Branch, Multiculturalism and Citizenship Canada, 1991. VHS cassette, 25:00 min., 28:00 min., 30:00 min., and 36:00 min. respectively, $259.00. Democracy at Work: It's Your Country, Our Constitution: The Law of the Land, Our National Parliament: The Inside Story and Local & Provincial Governments: Working Together. Includes study guide. Distributed by Mclntyre Media Ltd., 30 Kelfield St., Rexdale, Ont. M9W 5A2.

Grades 5 to 9/Ages 9 to 14

Reviewed by Michele F. Kallio

Volume 20 Number 4
1992 September

This four-video set discusses democracy from the Canadian point of view. The first video, Democracy at Work, discusses the tradition of democracy in Canada. What freedoms should be granted? Video number two is Our Constitution. Politics is compared to a game of winners and losers, the Constitution being the referee and the final law giver. The history of the British North America Act of 1867 to our present Constitution is discussed through humorous cartoons and drawings. Local and Provincial Governments (no. 3) discusses jurisdiction and levels of responsibility by following a fictional inquiry into the building of a private development in a green space.

The fourth video is entitled Parliament. We are shown Parliament through the eyes of a parliamentary page. As in the previous videos, the workings of Parliament are again described and illustrated with humorous drawings. The three branches of Parliament, the executive, legislative and judiciary, are described in detail, as are the roles of the Governor General, Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition.

The videos are a lively and pleasing presentation. The music is energetic and aids discussion. The reference pamphlets supplied by the Citizenship Branch are bright, readable and informative. The study guide to Government in Canada: Citizenship in Action is a discussion guide as well as a source of further information, and presents a challenging program to Canadian studies courses. A glossary and list of resources are also included.

A well-put-together program a definite bonus to any Canadian studies course.


Michele F. Kallio is a former teacher-librarian in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.

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