The Great Depression in Canada. The Great Depression in Canada. Background: Laurier, who had kept the country united, dies in 1919, and the liberal party splits.
Laurier, who had kept the country united, dies in 1919, and the liberal party splits.
New political parties develop in the 20’s (e.g. National Progressive Party, United Farmers of Ontario & United Farmers of Alberta), but only serve to introduce new issues:
Regulation of industry
Financial support for farmers
Federal v. Provincial authority
Pictured below: U.S. branch plants inundated Canada so as to circumvent the high tariffs.
3. Increased global competition leads to greater supply and lower prices.
Economic Situation of 20’s
Cost of WW1
Dependence on US
US mineral demands (Cu & Zn)
Paper & Automotive demands
Above: The Dust Bowl affects the Canadian prairie. The photograph taken near Cadillac, Saskatchewan in 1937.
Impact of the Crash
Imports drop by 25%
Exports drop by 55%
Wheat prices drop by 75%
Unemployment at 27%
Saskatchewan devastated by Dust Bowl
Newfoundland reverts for colonial status during Depression
King ousted due to his stance on federal role in relief: “not a five cent piece!”
Response of R.B. Bennett
(prime minister 1930-35)
Increased tariffs by 50% (raises prices) & provided $20M in relief (helps cover cost of higher prices) Thus, no net gain.
Canadian Wheat Board
Farmer’s Creditors Arrangement Act – loans to farmers
Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act
Bank of Canada – 1stnat’l bank
Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission
Did not deal with causes!
(Statute of Westminster 1931 – grants full autonomy to Canada)
“Relief Camps” in the wilderness to deal with “Bennett Boroughs”
Run as military camps
Hotbed for radicals (e.g. Relief Camp Workers Union of 1935)
“On To Ottawa Trek” in April 1935 by Arthur “Slim” Evans, but stopped in Regina. Led to violent confrontation with RCMP’s
Struggle with provincial leaders for balance of authority (e.g. Mitchell Hepburn, Governor of Ontario and the Oshawa Strike of 1937)
Pictured Left: A “Bennett Buggy”
Response of W. L. M. King (prime minister 1935-48)
Elected in 1935 on “King or Chaos”
Signs Reciprocal Trade Agreement in 1935 with U.S.
Trans-Canada Airlines in 1937.
Increasingly radical populist opposition parties gain power
Communists (CPC of 1921)
Socialists (CCF of 1932)
Nationalists (Union Nationale) – ruled Quebec from 1936 on under leadership of Maurice Duplessis.