Canada between the War (1919 - 1939)

Richelle Young Canada between the war (1919 - 1939). (n.d.). Retrieved from

dates & events

Bloody Saturday

Jun 21 1919

Bloody Saturday happened during the Winnipeg General Strike. During the strike, it got violent between the protesters and police. In the end one-man died and thirty people were injured, and many people were arrested. A few days later, the strike was over.

William Mackenzie King

Dec 29 1921

Mackenzie King was Canada's 10th Prime Minister. in 1930, King insisted that social welfare was the responsibility of the provinces, declaring he would not give a "five cent piece" to any province that did not have a liberal government. This speech was not popular among voters. In the election of 1930, The Liberals were voted out of office & the Conservative Party came into power.


Jan 11 1922

In 1921, North America had greatly been affected by diabetes. At that time, no one knew the cause or treatment of the disease. In 1922, Canadian medical researchers at the University of Toronto had discovered a treatment called insulin. Ontario doctor, Frederick Banting, determined that people with diabetes could not absorb sugar & starch from the blood stream because they were missing an important hormone-insulin. Results were astounding & saved the lives of millions.

Chinese Exclusion Act

Jul 1 1923

the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in Canada on July 1st 1923. This Act banned all Chinese from entering Canada, except for students, merchants, and diplomats. Canadians feared that the Chinese would take over their jobs. Due to the Great War (1914-1918), discrimination still existed in Canada.

Royal Canadian Air Force

Apr 1 1924

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was the air force of Canada from 1924 until 1968. Its focus was mostly on civil aviation, however the government believed military planes could be justified only if they were used for peaceful purposes as well. Therefore, early RCAF pilots patrolled for forest fires, checked on fishing boats, and watched for smuggling along Canada's coasts. In 1968, the three branches of the Canadian military were combined into the Canadian Forces and the RCAF was split up.

Persons Case

Aug 16 1927

Emily Murphy ,Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Edwards and Irene Parlby decided to petition the prime minister about the meaning of 'persons' in Section 24 of the British North American Act. In April of 1928, the Supreme Court of Canada decided women were not 'persons' qualified for appointment to the Canadian Senate, however the Privy Council in Britain stated otherwise. As a result, women were considered 'persons' in the eye of the law.

Black Tuesday

Oct 29 1929

In the 1920's, Black Tuesday, the day Canada's stock market crashed. Many people who invested in the stock market were affected negatively and lost everything. This dramatic event had played a big role in Canada's economic downturn in the 1930's, which was known as the Great Depression

The Great Depression

Nov 1 1929

The stock market crash caused the Great Depression. Many people lost their jobs, many people were in debt. High tariffs, natural disasters, multiplier effect, and the lack of government response were the four main causes.

Statute of Westminister

Dec 11 1931

The British Parliament passed the Statute of Westminister which was a law that gave full independence. This meant that Canada was a self-governing nation and had its own laws. But, Canada did agree to remain part of a new Commonwealth of Nations, which is why its type of government is a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy.

Imperial Economic Conference

Jul 25 1932

Canada hosted the first Imperial Economic Conference ever held outside London. A system of preferential tariffs was established for the Empire. As a result, Canada maintained considerable market share in Britain and throughout the Empire during the Great Depression.

On-to-Ottawa Trek

Jun 10 1935

The On-to-Ottawa Trek was a protest of unemployed men. They boarded trains to Ottawa to protest the government. The men got to Regina, where the police accused them of disobeying the law and plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Bennett. Violence broke out and a lot of people were injured and a police officer was killed.

New Deal

Oct 10 1935

Prime Minister R.B. Bennett knew that Canadians were angry with the government over the economic situation. In 1935, just before an election, Bennett introduced his plan to establish unemployment & social insurance, set minimum wages, limit the hours of work, fair treatment of employees, & control prices so that businesses could not make unfair profits. The people called this Bennett's New Deal. However, in the election of 1935, William Lyon Mackenzie King was back in charge.

Notion of collective security

Sept 1936

Prime Minister Mackenzie King goes to Geneva where he renounces the notion of collective security, asserting that the League's role should be one of conciliation and mediation, not punishment. In the same year, King signs a three-year, most-favored-nation trade agreement between Canada and the United States. This would form the basis for increasingly close relations between the two countries later on.

Canada declares war

Sept 10 1939

Canada declared war on Germany seven days after Britain and France. The first Canadian troops left for England in December. Although "obliged to go to war at Britain's side”, King's delay of a week was a symbolic gesture of independence. In 1939, the defense budget totaled just $36.3 million. The next year, it reached $64.7 million, with almost half going to the air force. The permanent army, with approximately 4,200 officers and partially trained men, had little or no modern military equipment.

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Dec 17 1939

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was established a Canadian contribution to victory in WWII. Run by the Royal Canadian Air Force it assured the production of war material and foodstuffs.