The working document entitled A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians, often referred to as the “Lalonde Report,” was released in 1974. Its suggestion that present patterns of morbidity and mortality were not particularly amenable to health care interventions, and seemed rather to be the result of lifestyle, environment, or underlying biological patterns, has attracted a great deal of attention, both in Canada and elsewhere. This article examines the responses of various interested groups to the Lalonde Report, with particular attention to the assumptions and biases that each group brought to bear on the report, and to the conflicting perspectives on the report which resulted.

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