Canada's Defining Moments
By: Gurbaaz Mangat
The Battle of the Somme
Prohibition was the result of temperance workers to close down bars. Bars were causing so much drunkenness and misery before social welfare existed. Bar owners believed alcohol and hard liquor was the key to economic success.
Pre-Confederation laws against the sale of alcohol had been passed, including the Dunkin Act in Canada in 1864. This allowed any county or municipality to prohibit the retail sale of liquor by majority vote. The government of Sir Wilfred Laurier decided majority of 13,687 votes registered in favor of prohibition was not large enough to warrant passing a law. Quebec voted the most against the law.
The provincial stopped legal drinking establishments and the sales of alcohol and liquor. The drinks could only be bought through government approval for Scientific, Mechanical, Artistic, and Medical use. Crimes declined in a rapped rate. But home made booze hit the streets and was a big sell. This lead to Bootlegging raising around Canada and illegal drinking places called "Speakeasies."
Prohibition was short lived in Canada to gain any fame. In 1920 British Columbia voted "Wet", and soon after legal alcohol was beginning to sell. In Ontario the legal selling of alcohol started back up in 1927.
The Dark Secret
During the Great Depression the federal government decided to open relief camps for men who were jobless. These relief camps offered the men jobs where they would get paid a certain amount. The government was often criticised for opening the camps instead of raising work wages. The dark secret behind the relief camps were most men were not allowed to visit their families once they were in the camp, also most men would die inside the camp. If the government saw a homeless or unemployed man they would be put in the relief camp no matter what. In British, Columbia many camps went on strike demanding improved living conditions inside the camps, also new work programs in Ottawa. The strikers failed to convince Bennett’s government to change the camp policy and retreated to Regina, where the protest ended violently on July 1st. By the time the camps closed in June 1936, 170,248 men had lived and worked in them, providing 10,201,103 man days of relief.