Issue involved Laurier and Borden. • Borden was for conscription • Laurier was against Conscription • It became a fight between the French and the English. Laurier and Borden
Borden originally promised that there would be no conscription. • After attending the Imperial War Conference, Borden realized that Canada needed to contribute more troops.
Laurier supported Borden’s at most points during the war could not support conscription. • Laurier knew that if he supported conscription he would allow Quebec to fall under the dangerous Nationalism of Henri Bourassa. Sir Wilfrid Laurier
By 1917 Borden felt he had no choice but to implement conscription. • Borden realized that most new immigrants tended to vote liberal. • Although Laurier did not support him on conscription, he was able to convince other liberals to vote with him. Robert Borden
Did not support French Canada. • Told parliament that French Canadian involvement in the war was minimal and that French Canadians were not volunteering • Many French Canadians did not go to war but there was several factors preventing them from doing so. Sir Sam Hughes
There were two reasons that led French speaking Canadians to oppose conscription. • The French felt they had no allegiance to France or Britain • Regulation 17 Why the French Canadians Opposed
Farmers hated conscription because it forced their sons to leave the farm. • Immigrants • Both groups wanted conscription of the rich and heavier taxes to make sure financiers and business people made the same sacrifice as them. Who else is opposed?
Borden knew that French Canadians, Immigrants and Western farmers would not be very supportive of conscription, so he implemented two acts to help him win an election. • Military Voters Act • War Time Election Act How Borden won the election
Gave the vote to all British subjects in the Canadian armed forces. • Allowed voting to be conducted overseas. • The acting government had the right to put the votes toward any constituency. Military Voters Act
Granted the vote to all wives, sisters, and daughters of soldiers who were serving or had served overseas • Denied the following people the right to vote: • Those of enemy birth. • Those of European birth speaking the enemy tongue. War Time Election Act
The main issue of the election was conscription. • Borden was warned that conscription would kill the conservative party for 25 years in Quebec. • The Liberals ended up with 82 seat (62 from Quebec) The Unionist won 153 seats giving them a landslide victory and the ability to implement conscription. The 1917 Election
All males between 18 and 45 were eligible for compulsory military service. • Exemptions were possible for: • Persons working in essential war occupations. • Those doing work for which they had special qualifications. • Those for whom military service would cause special hardship. Military Service Act
French Canadians rioted in protest of conscription. • Many French Canadian marched through the streets yelling “a bas Borden” (Down with Borden). • Some protestors even pelted Canadian soldiers with rotten vegetables, ice, and stones. What happened?
The riots occurred March 28th and April 1st, 1918. • In total 4 people were killed and 10 soldiers were wounded. • By the end of the riots there was $300,000 in damages. The Easter Riots
In 1920, after the war Borden retired leaving Arthur Meighen as his successor. • Meighen faced an election the following year, in which the conservatives lost, conscription was considered a major reason for the failure. • Of those who were conscripted very few actually made it overseas to the front lines. How it all ended