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Canada Declares War

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Canadas steps to independence

1919: Paris Peace Conference Canada has its own seat at the Paris Peace Conference, signs the Treaty of Versailles 1922: The Chanak Crisis Canadian parliament refuses military support for British intervention in Turkey 1926: The Imperial Conference The Balfour Report acknowledges the independence of the dominions of the British Empire

Canadas steps to independence cont.

1931: The Statute of Westminster Recognized in law the report that had made Canada an autonomous nation. Canada was now a member of the Commonwealth, an association of free and equal states.

Canadas Depression
When the stock market crashed in the US in 1929, the results were disastrous for Canada
40% of our exports went to the US Few Canadians owned stocks, but many lost jobs with the fallout of the crash Protectionism in the twenties hindered global recovery, Canada was affected

Canadas response
Canada tried many things to pull itself out:
People moved around looking for work (transience) The government put some people on the dole Government sponsored infrastructure programs to get people working Raising tariffs (counterproductive) to stimulate local business Government interventionism into the economy to try to stimulate growth and increased social programs to take care of the neediest

None of these was ultimately successful in stopping the bleeding though we were slowly climbing out when the War broke out

Canadas response to growing tensions

PM Mackenzie King did not want war and was an ardent supporter of appeasement
He was also somewhat enamoured of Hitler when they met in 1937

He also didnt want the slowly recovering country to be plunged back into debt

The St. Louis incident

King was not moved by the oppressive Nuremburg Laws (that were punishing the Jews)
After Kristallnacht, one cabinet member recommended that 10000 Jews be allowed to emigrate to Canada
Cabinet turned him down

In 1939, the St. Louis, an ocean liner coming from Germany, was refused permission to dock when it appeared off Canadas east coast. It was forced to return to Europe where many of its passengers died in the concentration camps.

Government appealed to continuing unemployment to refuse refugees Immigration director Fred Blair said of Jewish immigration none is too many

Which responsibility was more important for King, protecting the jobs of Canadians and maintaining unity or helping non-Canadians?

Canada declares war

When Britain and France declared war on Sept. 3, there was a lot of pressure on Canada to declare as well King made a speech on Sept. 8 strongly in favour of the war
His French minister of justice (Lapointe) also came out in favour which helped convince the Quebecers that war was important Lapointe also said that Quebec would never accept conscription

King backed the minister and promised no conscription

Canada declares war cont.

On Sept. 10, Canada declared war When war was declared, our army was ~4500 soldiers and 16 tanks There were no cheering crowds this time, but Canada still managed to get 58000+ volunteers in the first month
Many were attracted by the pay ($1.30/day)

The first troops sailed from Halifax on December 10,1939