The Great Depression
Were Canada’s government’s responses to the Great Depression adequate?
By: Prateek Madhika
Were Canada’s government’s responses to
The Great Depression adequate?
After World War I ended in 1919, Canada had a small recession during the World war, but after the war, Canada had the fastest growing economy in the world. The 1920s had been a successful period of growth for Canada, with living standards improving remarkably. Then suddenly, in the late 1920s the economy took a sharp turn for the worse. The depression originated in the US, directly caused by the spark of the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday, but quickly spread to almost every country in the world due to globalization. Canada was then in depression from 1929 until 1939 when World War II started.
The depression had a big impact on the Canadian economy, and it hurt the economy very severely. The people of Canada could not do anything to help get themselves out of the depression but be dependent on the government to help them out. Everyone in Canada was relying on the government to help them out as the depression lasted. But, the government did not do as expected to do. The government either ignored issues, or suggested inefficient methods of solving problems, passed the responsibility of solving a problem onto provinces, took inadequate actions or even worsened them. When 27% of Canadians were unemployed, the government thought that this issue was a local issue and therefore the responsibility of solving it should be given to the provinces. The government could not resolve the economic issue as the other countries, such as the US, did. Although the Unemployment Relief Act allotted $20 million to be used to relief , it was not enough. Many Canadians were unhappy of how the government was “helping” the people during the depression. They were not satisfied of what the government was doing, or not doing to help them. The government was taking poor people off the street and into “relief camps” in remote areas. The relief camps gave jobs to the jobless and gave shelter and food to the ones without it. Although the ...