A Changing Society

Ch.7 Timeline by Cole Mercado and Shayla Dale


Cole's Assigned Work: 1. Immigration after WWII 2. Change in Culture 3. New Projects 4. Prime Ministers in Power 5. Newfoundland 6. Pearson in Power 7. French Relations 8. Medicare

Immigration after WWII

Approx. 1945

After WWII, nearly one million veterans returned to Canada. Not all of them came home alone: one in five Canadian bachelors servings overseas married there. Approximately 48 000 war brides and their children arrived in 1945 and 1946. For many of these women, the vastness of Canada, the loneliness, and the brutal winter came as a shock. The war brides had to adapt to a new country, but throughout Canada life as changing at a rapid pace. A booming economy; thousands of immigrants; new houses in the suburbs; more automobiles, television, and portable radios blaring rock ‘n’ roll all helped to create a Canada that was different, more materialistic than it had been before the war.

New Projects


Much of Canada’s new wealth came from industries that developed in the post-war years. Some of the new products, including plastics and pesticides, grew out of inventions made during the war. Above all, the economic boom was fostered by the development of natural resources such as metals and other minerals. One of the most important developments was the discovery of oil at Leduc, Alberta, in 1947. The St. Lawrence Seaway was also built, to link the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes and open the heart of the continent to large ocean-going ships. Another giant project was the Trans-Canada Pipeline. Abundant supplies of natural gas had been discovered in Alberta. The Pipeline was built to transport gas cheaply from the West to the industrial centres of central Canada.



Prime Minister King’s last task in office was to expand the nation from sea to sea. Until 1932, Newfoundland had been an independent, self-governing dominion within the British Empire. During the depression, however, the island has suffered so badly that its government had gone bankrupt; Britain set up a special commission to govern it. After WWII, the islanders were given the opportunity to vote on their political future in a referendum. Joey Smallwood tried to persuade the islanders into joining Canada. He argued that union with Canada would bring modernization and higher living standards to Newfoundland. Yet, many Newfoundlanders believed that the benefits could not make up for the higher taxes and loss of identity that Confederation would bring them. Some would have preferred economic unions with the United States. On March 31, 1949, Newfoundland became part of Canada.

Prime Ministers in Power


Louis St Laurent (1948-1957) was a Quebec lawyer who entered politics late in life. He was a liberal who was nicknamed “Uncle Louis” because of his love of children. The media played a strong role on his image as a political leader, and by 1957, television showed the 75 year old Laurent looking tired and depressed. In comparison, the new Progressive Conservative leader, John Diefenbaker, was electrifying. Used to public speaking as defence attorney in Saskatchewan, “Dief” proved to be a great campaigner and a witty orator. Television carried his image across the nation, and he led his party to an election victory, the first westerner to become prime minister. The defeated Liberals choose a new leader, the diplomat Lester “Mike” Pearson. Pearson’s successor was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a new kind of political figure for Canadians. Previous leaders had seemed formal and serious, but Trudeau was relaxed and irreverent. He scandalized members of Parliament by arriving at the House of Commons in a flashy sports car and wearing sandals and an open-necked shirt.

Change in culture


The CBC, which had already created a national radio network, was put in charge of the development of television. It opened the first two stations in Toronto and Montreal in 1952. Two years later, four more cities were included. By 1960, 90% of Canadian homes had television—more than telephones. It soon became clear, however, that the concerns of the Massey Commission were well-founded. U.S. programs topped the list of Canadian television favourites. As the years passed, Canadian children grew up knowing more about U.S. culture and values than any generation before. In 1968, the federal government established the Canadian Radio-television (CRTC).This agency would regulate the amount of foreign material broadcast over the airwaves and impose rules requiring Canadian content.

Pearson in power


Pearson and his Liberals appealed to younger and urban voters, especially in central Canada. Pearson’s vision of Canada was based on two founding peoples, French and English. He believed that, in the long run, the British connection to Canada would be severed. In his view, Canada needed an identity that would be meaningful to all Canadians, including the two million people who had immigrated since World War II. Pearson was responsible for many features of modern Canada. His government introduced a trial abolition of capital punishment and easier divorce laws. Above all, he is remembered for introducing Canada’s flag and for improving Canada’s social welfare system.



The struggle for government-funded medical care had started many years earlier in Saskatchewan. At that time, Canadians who fell seriously ill could see their life savings wiped out on medical care. Despite bitter opposition from doctors, Saskatchewan premier T.C. “Tommy” Douglas introduced a complete Medicare program that allowed all people in the province to seek medical treatment without paying directly out of their own pockets. When the bill was finally passed in 1962, it proved to the rest of the nation that a Medicare system was possible. In the same year, Tommy Douglas left provincial politics to become leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP), formed from the CCF. Fearing that the NDP might capture voted with a campaign for national Medicare, the Liberals added health care to their party platform. As a result, the national Medical Care Act was passed in 1966. This bill meant that federal and provincial governments would now share the cost of medical care by doctors and hospitals for all Canadians, with funding from taxes.

French Relations


When Pierre Trudeau succeeded Pearson as prime minister in 1968, he was determined that the federal government should do more to persuade people from Quebec that their future lay with Canada. In 1969, he acted on the advice of the “Bi and Bi commission”. His government passed the Official Languages Act, making Canada an officially bilingual country. Now, all federal government agencies across the country were required to provide services in both languages. English-speaking civil servants had to take French language training courses, and more French Canadians were appointed to senior federak government positions. Trudeau also called on all Canadians, especially young people, to increase their understand of the other national culture.


Shayla's Assigned Work:
1. Trudeaumania
2. Trudeau and the World
3. 1970's economy
4. Pre-patriation
5. Minorities
6. Women
7. Mulroney and the 1980's economy
8. Chretien



Trudeau was glamorous and charismatic. Canadians were thrilled by the way he captured their imagination like no other politician had. Trudeau had a clear vision of what he thought Canada should be. "Just society" was the expression he used which made people admire him. He believed that the government had a duty to protect the rights and freedoms of the people and to foster their social and ecomonic well-being. Trudeau helped Canadians realize we needed a call for change. Due to the babyboom by 1965 over half of the population was under 25, they created a more powerful youth culture of protest a "youthquake." This is also when the "hippie" phenomenon started. When rock music, long hair, bizarre clothing, sexual promiscuity, experimentation with drugs became a protest against mainstream society. This is when the famous "make love, not war" became. During this time feminism emerged as a significant force. The government responded to the pressure of feminists and set up the royal commission on the Status of Women in 1967. A group fixated on self-satisfaction got the nickname "Me Generation" in 1970 Greenpeace created dramatic tactics to draw attention to environmental issues, which generated a great deal of support and criticism.

1970's economy


A variety of factors led to a worry for the economy. Which included the oil embargo imposed in 1973 imposed by OPEC/ War broke out, between Israel and the Arab neighbors in which Canada supported Israel. In retaliation OPEC (including Arab countries) refused to sell oil. The increase in oil prices started a round of inflation that would last most of the 1970's. With the price going up, there was a demand for higher wages. The inflation increased the need for women to join the workforce. The average families buying power had fallen for the first time since WW11 by 1978. Unemployment rose to its highest level since the 1930's. The cost for energy and labor soared, while the demand for product went down. NEP brought in to deal with oil crisis and rising gas prices 3 aims: Reduce consumption of oil, Protect Canadians from rising oil prices, and make Canada self-sufficient in oil.



In 1971, an official policy of multiculturalism was set in stone which outlined the following: Support and encourage various cultures and ethnic groups, give structure and vitality to society, encourage and share cultural expressions and values to contribute to a richer life for everyone.



Brian Mulroney came to power in 1984. Mulroney had a plan to save money by trimming many social programs in order to pay off debt. He planned to stimulate the economy by cutting the rate of taxes. In the end this plan did not work, and Canada was hit by a recession in 1990.



Chretien came to power in 1993 and inherited $466 billion in debt. The liberals and Chretien's solution was to inject more money into the economy. These projects would create jobs, and workers would spend their money and boost the economy. Universities and colleges raised their tuition fees and health care systems suffered. This debt became a crisis and Martin announced Canada could no longer afford "big government"