Canadian Homefront Contributions

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The Canadian Homefront Contribution Toward World War 2 The art of winning a war, as perceived by many, is through the victory of each battle along the way. Although valid, truly winning a war is determined by the battle at home, where the contributions of each individual are equally, if not more, significant than those made on the front lines. The decisive action taken up by the Canadian Government on the homefront during World War 2 ensured the continuous success of financing the war effort, while also providing the much-needed supplies and resources for war-borne industries. The Government’s efforts were likewise significant in maintaining a steady number of combatants through the re-establishment of conscription in the latter stages…show more content…
Although the pre-established provincial income and corporate tax was heavily relied upon by the federal government at the onset of the war, the financial burden of a total war became increasingly prevalent. As such, the federal government reimposed Victory Bonds in order to incentivize the financial contribution for Canadian citizens. While temporary, their contribution was significant in aiding the government in financing the war effort, as they managed to amass a substantial $12 billion in revenue across the entirety of World War 2, covering approximately 55% of Canada’s total war expenditures from 1939-1950 (Hoogeveen, 312). The non-existence of this hefty sum would have resulted in Canada succumbing to the heavy burden of inflation, as they did following the first world war. Additionally, the detrimental possibility of inflation also lead the Canadian government to take up constructive action which mitigated this risk in the years following the war. The establishment of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board at the onset of the war was crucial to ensuring that the social unrest following WW1 would not return to Canada (English). Tasked with restricting the wages and prices of goods during the war to control the rate of inflation, the Board managed to mitigate the national price increase to just 2.8% from 1941 to 1945, achieving the record for the…show more content…
During the war, Canada was Britain’s largest exporter of supplies and war materials. The London Free Press of August 24, 1939 stated that Canada was expected to “lead all the dominions in export of arms and materials to the mother country in the event of war” (Santor, 6). From 1939 to 1945, Canada created a total of 900k rifles, 815k military vehicles, 244k machine guns, 16k aircraft, 6.5k tanks, 3.3k landing craft, 487 escort ships, 410 merchant ships, and 254 navy tugs (Santor, 8). About 70% of all war production manufactured by Canada went overseas. In January of 1942, Canada made its first comprehensive attempt to help Britain finance the war, Canada — knowing that Britain had no feasible way to pay for it — gave Britain war munitions worth $1 billion, nicknamed the ‘Billion Dollar Gift’, as well as an interest free loan of $700 million. (Mackenzie, 1). This gift and loan helped Britain maintain the strength of their war efforts for the rest of the year. The total amount of financial assistance Canada gave to Britain during World War 2 adds up to a little over $3 billion (Stacey, The Industrial Contribution), approximately $40.7 billion today. As a result of the Canadian government’s efforts, Canada was turned into an effective and exceptionally significant producer of munitions and war

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