Canada in the Great Depression

Essay by pakmanHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2004

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The whole world was affected tremendously by the great depression, but Canada was one of the hardest hit nations. Exports being a large part of Canada's income, it was because of the damage done to world trade that Canada suffered so greatly. At the height of the depression, in 1933, 30% of the labour force was unemployed and 20% of all Canadians were dependent on government relief for survival. Did the government do enough to fix this? Most people certainly didn't think so. The relief that the government provided for families was not satisfactory. The relief camps for single, unemployed men were a complete mess. Both Prime Minister Bennett and King didn't treat the depression as seriously as they should have.

As the unemployment rate skyrocketed, earnings dropped during the depression but the cost for living dropped faster. So although most people in Canada were facing very difficult times during the great depression, there were still people who were living life as if the depression had never come, some were even better off than they had been before.

Those with no jobs were always in search for a means of survival, thinking on a day to day basis. The Government, instead of trying to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor almost completely ignored the problem. The soaring unemployment rate was an overlooked, and the federal government gave the provincial government the responsibility to cope with it. This lead to further problems as the provinces were not able to handle this crisis, especially the 4 west provinces. The Americans chose a different route. They created jobs more jobs and this elevated the morale of the American people. Their results were much better than those of Canada.

What the provincial government established as relief for families was completely improper.