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The Government's Response to The Great Depression by Mind Map: The Government
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The Government's Response to The Great Depression

Prime Minister Mackenzie King was not prepared to deal with the crises that the Great Depression brought

He thought the problem was only temporary, and the economy would recover.

When Canadians turned to his Federal Government for help, he told them their situations should be dealt by the municipal and provincial governments

Many municipalities had already been bankrupt from the financial strain of the depression

After winning as election against King, Prime Minister Bennet did not like the idea of Government Relief just like previous Prime Minister, King

Bennett's Conservative Government tried to help Canadians through the depression

In 135, The Prarie Farm Rahbilitation Act was introduced to help farmers build irrigation systems and reservoirs. It was too late because drought and poverty had already forced many familes to leave their farms., Jobless/ homeless men were drifting across the country to find work, The "Red Scare" campaign was still ruling in Canada, and the Canadian Government was afraid these men would be unfluenced by the Communist Party, In 1931, a new law outlawing communist commotion was introduced. The Communist Party leader, Tim Buck, was convicted in defame of this law and spent 2 years in prison, Middle- class Canadians were frightened by this

Bennett tried to "use tariffs to blast a way" into world markets and out of depression. In order to protect Canadian industries, Bennett raised tariffs more than 50%, but economy began failing even more, as other nations, in turn set up trade barriers against Canada.

Introduced the Unemployment Relief Act, giving provinces $20 million for work- creation program programs. The economy still didn't improve.

Created a national network of work camps for single men, to help provide relief from the Depression, The men were paid $0.20 a day and were given room & board. Their bunks were infested with bugs and the food was disgusting, Men left the relief camps in te interior of BC in protest against camp conditions and they wanted higher pay., When the relief camps were closed in 1936, the provincial government reduced relief payments, leaving men in detitute, Men protested at the Vancouver Art Gallery and other buildings. Since the men refused to leave they were evicted with tear gas, The men decided to take their complaints to the Prime Minister in a protest (On-to-Ottawa-Trek). They crowded on top of fright carws, and these trekkers rode through the Praries. They gained a lot of support from people, In response, Bennett called in RCMP to stop trekkers in Regina. Bennett then attacked union leaders as communist radicals and troublemakers., The RCMP were ordered to clear the trekkers. The trekkers resisted and battles the RCMP and police for hours. This incident is known as the Regina Riot, An officer was killed, many people were injured and 130 men were arrested, Men were completely isolated deep in the woods, working on hard labour projects, such as building roads, clearing land & digging drainage ditches

When Franklin Roosevelt became President in 1933, he introduced a "New Deal" that influenced Canada's government at that time

This new deal created public work programs for unemployed & farmers

This new deal also introduced Social Secturity

Provided several social assistance programs (old age pension, unemployment insurance and financials assistance for dependant mothers and children)

The U.S federal government spent billions of dollars to get the economy working again

It didn't pull the U.S out of depression, but it did help millions survive and it gave everyone hope for the future

Bennett surprised Canada by introducing a similar new deal, inspired by Roosevelt's Deal.

Insurance to protect workers against illness, injury, and unemployment

Revised old age pensions to help support workers over 65 years of age

Voters thought Bennett was just desperate to win votes and they questions the value of his social insurance programs for the unemployed. People thought his new policy was created far too late

Agricultural support programs to help farmers and the creation of the Canadian Wheat Board to regulare wheat prices

Legislation for workplace reforms that regulated work hours, minimum wages and working conditions

Gave fairer, progressive taxation, meaning people who earned more money paid more tax

The Co-ooperative Commonwealth Federation founded in 1932 in the Prairie Provinces was Canada's first socialist party

they believed that Capitalist breeds inequality and greed and this was what caused the depression

They supported a socialist system, which involved the government controlling the economy so that all Canadians would benefit equally

Their ideas intrigued to many people who weren't happy with the government's response to the depression

Leader J.S Woodsworth lead a party platform that opposed free-trade market economics and supported public ownership of key industries

advocated social programs to help the elderly, the unemployed, the homless, and the sick

Woodsworth also urged the government to creat employment though spending money on public works

The Social Credit Party was a political party from Wester Canada that also offered alternative options to Canadian voters with William Aberhart as their leader

This party was based on the belief that capitalism was a wasteful econmic system

Banks hoarded money, which prevented customers to buy goods that capitalism produced

Aberhart felt that the government should release money into the economy for people to spend

Social credit appealed to many people from Alberta, in particular since the depression devastated their economy banks, Aberhart promised citizens with a "basic dividened" of $25 a month to buy necessities., The Federal Government challenged the right of a province to issue its own currency and social credit was then disallowed by the Supreme Court, With nearly 50% of the popular vote in Alberta, The Social Credit Party won 17 seats in the federal election of 1935

Maurice Duplessis, a former Conservative, joined with dislussioned Liberals to form a party that supported Quebec nationalism, called Union Nationale

This party relied on the support of the Roman Catholic Church and rural voters

They blamed a lot of Quebec's social and econmic problems on the English minority in Quebec, which controlled the problem's of the economy

The party's platform was based on improved working conditions, social insurance programs, publicly owned power companies, and a system of farm credits

Maruice didn't fulfill his promises of reform during his 1st term and he did little to improve economic and social conditions in Quebec, He still remained Premier until 1959 with the exception of one term from 1939-1944

Provincial Solutions

In Ontario, Provincial Liberals came to power in 1934 for the first time in 29 years with Mitch Hepburn, a populist farmer

Even though he tried to improce Ontario's economy, he didn't do much to help the unemployed and he was against unionization

He won wide support by champoining the causes of "the little man" he raised against big businesses and he was fond of flamboyant gestures such as auctioning off the provincial governments fleet limousines

Returning the Liberals to power, Dufferin Pattullo was elected premier in 1933 in British Columbia

He introduced reforms to shorten the workday, increase the minimum wage, and increase relief payments by 20%, Public work projects were launched (The Fraser River Bridge at New Westminister) and a new City Hall for Vancouver

He was a strong believer in greater provincial spending power

Changes in the Federal Government

Mackenzie King returned to power as voters were frustrated by Bennet' inability to deal with the crisis of the depression for 5 long years

King didn't support government intervention in the economy and only believed that the economy would improve on its own, in time

He felt that spending money on social programs during a depression did not make economic sense and it would be better to wait until the economy became strong to introduce expensive programs, King's views didn't mash so well with the National Employment Commission as they recommended the federal government spend millions of dollars on job creation and training programs, while he only spent a fraction of that

He created the Royal-Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations and to examine the thorny issue of federal-provincial relations and to look into the responsibilities of the different levels of government, The Comission's findings, which were known as the Rowell-Sirois Report, recommended that the federal government give the poorer provinces grant, or equalization payments, which would ensure that every province was able to offer its citizens that same level of services, Wealthier provinces did not like this idea of giving their tax dollars to other provinces, Equalization payments would federally transfer richer funds to poorer services, The Commissions recommended that the federal government bear the responsibility for unemployment insurance and other social benefits such as pensions, The unemployment crises caused a lot of tension between provincial and federal governments over a disagreement regarding which government had the right to collect tax money and which government should pay for social and unemployment assistance