As a broadcaster and politician, Don Jamieson provided an invaluable public service to Canadians and notably to the people of his home province, Newfoundland and Labrador. The documentary, Just Himself: the story of Don Jamieson is written and directed by his grandson, Joshua Jamieson, giving the film an insight and angle unlike anything else that could ever be done on the subject.
Don’s involvement during Newfoundland’s confederation gave him a first hand taste of politics, campaigning for economic union with the United States – cast in the role of being the voice for Ches Crosbie. After connecting with Geoff Stirling, the two established CJON- TV and CJYQ radio. Don continued to develop the Canadian broadcasting industry becoming the President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) from 1961 – 64, during which he reached out with weekly ‘minute- torial’ nationally syndicated broadcasts.
He was elected as the MP for Burin-Burgeo (known today as Random- Burin-St. George’s) in a 1966 by-election and subsequently served as a member of Trudeau’s cabinet in the top portfolios of Defence, Transportation, Regional Economic Expansion and External Affairs. Through his various roles, Don brought infrastructure, signed the 200 mile limit protection at his home in Swift Current, NL and faced Russian spies in Ottawa. Don served federally until 1979, returning home to take on the Liberal leadership in a provincial election, squaring off against Brian Peckford.
After a short return to private life, Don was appointed to represent Canada as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, with “his fund of political anecdotes and Newfoundland stories [making] him a firm favourite with the Queen,” – published in the Daily Telegraph in 1986.
The documentary discusses Jamieson’s career highlights with Don’s family, former prime ministers, senators, MPs, MHAs, journalists and academics before exploring how time, technology and social media have changed the world of politics.The film aims to engage the audience to look at politics in a new light, getting an inside look at public life.