January 23, 2007
launch for “Heather Crowe’s Legacy”
Click on picture to watch the new video
documentary about Heather Crowe
for a Smoke-Free Canada is pleased to make available to
the public a short film about the life and death of
smoke-free activist Heather Crowe.
“Heather Crowe’s Legacy: An Ordinary Canadian’s
Extraordinary Gift” is a 25 minute film produced by
Ottawa-area filmmakers Judy Redpath and Richard Austin.
Weaving together footage from Heather’s trips across
Canada and interviews with Heather and her supporters,
the documentary film makers show how this one remarkable
individual galvanized political and public health
efforts to protect workers from second hand smoke.
Heather Crowe was a non-smoking waitress in Ottawa who
became ill with lung cancer in the spring-summer of 2002
as a result of a 40 year career in mostly smoke-filled
restaurants. From the time of her diagnosis until her
death four years later, Heather campaigned for changes
to municipal, provincial and federal laws. Her
successful claim for compensation benefits from the
Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and a
Health Canada advertisement about her helped Canadians
understand the serious health consequences of being
exposed to second hand smoke.
“When Heather began her courageous campaign to transform
attitudes and the law, very few workers were protected
from second-hand smoke,” said Cynthia Callard, executive
director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. “Her
campaign strengthened public health initiatives across
Canada, and today more than 80% of Canadians live in
communities where the law requires that all restaurants,
bars and workplaces are smoke-free.”
Heather Crowe’s Legacy captures the spirit and
accomplishment of this brave private citizen who
successfully struggled for others even while facing her
own death. In telling the story of how Heather has
helped to transform Canada, the film shows how Heather
herself was transformed from a private to a public
figure and what that meant to her.
“Heather never lost herself to this campaign,” said
Callard. “Despite being in the public eye during the
most private of moments, Heather remained honest,
determined and selfless.”
The film is designed for viewing in family settings as
well as in classrooms or community meetings. By showing
that with courage and determination, one ordinary person
can make a difference; one person can change society for
the better the film will be of interest to Canadians
working on other pressing social issues.
“We are very grateful to those who helped us finance
this video,” said Callard. Funding for the film was
provided by Health Canada, the Canadian Council for
Tobacco Control and the Manitoba Medical Association.
The film can be viewed on the web-sites of Physicians
for a Smoke-Free Canada (www.smoke-free.ca) and can be
viewed or ordered from the Canadian Council for Tobacco
“Heather’s campaign is not yet over,” said Callard.
“There are several Canadian governments which have not
yet improved their labour code or smoking laws to
protect all workers from tobacco smoke in indoor
workplaces, including the federal government and those
in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
Among those continuing Heather’s campaign are the Ottawa
youth activist group, exposé, and a black ribbon
campaign lead by Queen’s freshman, Danielle Mignault.
The Heather Crowe Legacy Foundation, administered by the
Canadian Council for Tobacco Control, provides a way for
other Canadians to support this ongoing work.
- 30 –
"For further information,
contact Cynthia Callard 1 613 233 4878