Canada: Post WWII
Newfoundland joins Canada
• On March 31, 1949 Newfoundland entered
confederation as the tenth province.
• Joey Smallwood spearheaded the movement for
union with Canada and became Newfoundland’s first
• There was a referendum in Newfoundland regarding
confederation and there was a significant amount of
opposition a vote was held and 45% of the people
voted in favor of creating a responsible government,
while 41% voted to join Canada, and 14% voted for a
• This vote was considered unclear, and in a second
vote union with Canada obtained a majority vote.
Boom in resource development
• A wave of prosperity swept Canada in the fifties.
Western oil and Natural gas reserves yielded new
sources of power for Canadian industry.
Hydroelectric projects were initiated to harness
• As new resources were discovered new industries
sprung up to support them. Ex the St. Lawrence
Seaway was constructed to aid in the transport of
materials. Building the St. Lawrence Seaway
• A great deal of this economic growth was largely
due to foreign investment, much of it American.
This contributed to the wealth of Canada during the
1950’s and 1960’s. Unfortunately this also led to
future conflicts over the ownership and financial
control of Canada’s resources
The Baby Boom
Canada’s population grew more quickly in the 15 years after WWII than at
any other time. By 1961 there were 50% more Canadians than there had
been at the end of the war. This period becomes known as the Baby Boom.
Many Canadian soldiers had married overseas and brought their “war
People began to move to the “suburbs,” shopping malls, cars and
expressways became part of the Canadian way of life.
In this post-war period more immigrants came to Canada than at any time
since the turn of the century. Many were refugees or displaced persons
from Eastern European countries like Poland, Yugoslavia, and Latvia. Now
that their homelands were ruled by communists they felt they could no
longer live there.
By 1951, only 47% of Canadians had their roots in Britain. The multicultural
society had arrived
In Canada today around 27% of the total population, belong to the children
of baby boomers.
This generation is often called Generation Y or the echo generation 'echo of
the baby boom.’
The children of baby boomers generation was smaller than the baby boomer
generation. Baby boomers had fewer children than their parents. Fertility
dropped from 3.1 children per woman at the end of the baby boom (1965)
to 1.6 in the mid-1980s.
Case Study: Canadian Sports Heroes of the 40’s
Barbara Ann Scott King was a Canadian figure skater. She was the 1948
Olympic champion, a two-time World champion (1947–1948), and a four-time
Canadian national champion (1944–46, 48) in ladies' singles.
Known as "Canada's Sweetheart", she is the only Canadian to have won the
Olympic ladies' singles gold medal, the first North American to have won three
major titles in one year and the only Canadian to have won the European
During her forties she was rated among the top equestrians in North America.
She received many honours and accolades, including being made an Officer of
the Order of Canada in 1991 and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008.
Joseph Henri Maurice "The Rocket" Richard was a Canadian professional ice
hockey player who played for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey
League (NHL) from 1942 to 1960.
The "Rocket" was the most prolific goal-scorer of his era, the first to achieve
the feat of 50 goals in 50 games and the first to score 500 goals in a career
Richard won the Stanley Cup eight times in Montreal, He was inducted into the
Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961, the customary three-year waiting period being
waived in his honour.
The Fabulous Fifties
• Economically things looked good in the 50’s.
• Television became a common feature in Canadian homes.
Mass Marketing becomes much more effective and is
beginning to be aimed at the growing teen population
• The fifties brought prosperity and excitement. But rapid
change can be hard. The divorce rate began to creep up.
The move to the suburbs increased reliance on the
automobile. Cities, fashions, lifestyles and values were
transformed in the 50’s
• Rock and Roll emerged as a new form of musical
expression and drew attention to the new culture of youth
that was developing because of the Baby Boom
• The 50’s marked the beginning of the civil rights
movement in the US and this would effect Canada as well.
• World War II was over, however the “Cold War” was just
Socialism inFederation, or
• The Co-operative Commonwealth
CCF was elected in 1944 in Saskatchewan under
the leadership of Tommy Douglas. Mouseland
The CCF favored socialist policies, designed to
increase government involvement in the economy
and improve social programs.
During the cold war the CCF faced a great deal of
criticism and were occasionally denounced as
In 1961 Douglas resigned from the CCF to become
the national leader of the newly organized New
Democratic Party (NDP)
Ultimately the CCF and the NDP under the
leadership of Douglas, were responsible for the
introduction of the Medicare Act to Canada. Social
The Cold War
• In the 1950’s the cold war became the dominant force in
international politics. It divided the world between two
opposing ideologies: totalitarian Communism and
• The capitalist nations, led by the US and the communist
countries, led by the Soviet Union, competed for influence
over, or control of, the rest of the world.
• Most of the countries the two sides sought to dominate
were developing countries or former colonies of Western
• In the US McCarthyism began to spread at the instigation
of American senator John McCarthy, who accused many
Americans in and out of government of being communists
and started the House to
• The developing world became the battleground for the
two new superpowers in a series of proxy wars.
• Igor Gouzenko was a clerk for the
Soviet embassy in Canada who gave
away Soviet spy secrets and
• Gouzenko is often credited with
helping start the Cold War.
• His defection highlighted the
distrust between the West and
McCarthyism and the Red Scare
McCarthyism has its origins in the period in the United States known as
the Second Red Scare, from around 1950 to 1956
Americans became increasingly afraid of communist influence on
American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.
Named for U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, "McCarthyism"
During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being
communists or communist sympathizers
The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees,
those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists.
Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or
questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or
supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated.
Many people suffered loss of employment and/or destruction of their
careers; some even suffered imprisonment.
McCarthyism includes the speeches, investigations, and hearings of
Senator McCarthy himself; the Hollywood blacklist, associated with
hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee
(HUAC); and the various anti-communist activities of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (FBI) under Director J. Edgar Hoover.
The Cold War Continued:
• In 1951 the Cold War centered on Korea
• This was the first open warfare between
Communist forces and pro-Western forces.
• Within days of the invasion of South Korea,
Canada offered 3 naval destroyers to the UN
force. By the end of the Korean war, about 25 000
Canadians saw action in the conflict. 312
Canadians were killed
• The Korean War involved the USSR and China vs.
the USA and its allies under the leadership of the
UN. The Korean War ended in 1953 only to be
replaced by a long and bloody war in French IndoChina, that would eventually draw the US into
combat in Vietnam.
Cold War: The Arms Race
• In 1951 the US tested its first hydrogen bomb.
• Through out the Cold War the US and the Soviet
Union develop weapons of Mass destruction.
Building bombs nearly 1000x as powerful as the
bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
• The USSR followed by testing its first hydrogen bomb
• People in North America begin to build Fallout
Shelters, to hide in, in the event of a nuclear attack
• The Arms Race was on. By the end of the decade,
guided missiles were beginning to replace bombers.
The US and the USSR were now able to attack targets
10 000 km away in less than 1 hour.
The arms race led to the space race.
The Soviets initially led the space race they launched “Sputnik” was the
first artificial Earth satellite. It was a polished metal sphere.
The Soviet Union launched it on October 4, 1957.
The surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis, began the
Space Age and triggered the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War.
The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific
If missiles could send hydrogen bombs halfway around the world, then
they could also carry nuclear payloads into space.
The USSR launched its first satellite armed with a nuclear warhead in
1958; the US soon followed.
Soon scientists began exploring the possibility of using satellites for
peaceful means, such as communications and space exploration.
Canada and the Cold War
Canada had a precarious position in the Cold War.
Canada is located between the two major players in
the Cold War the US and the USSR. Canada was firmly
on the side of the US in the Cold war and became a
member of both, NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty
Organization and NORAD (North American Air
Defense Command) this changed in 1981 to (North
American Aerospace Command), which acted as the
North American defense system.
The Communists had their own defensive
organization known as the Warsaw Pact
NATO and the Warsaw Pact
• NATO countries include:
• Norway, Great Britain, Portugal, Spain, France,
Belgium, Netherlands, West Germany, Italy,
Greece, Turkey and of course the USA and
• Warsaw countries include:
• The Soviet Union, East Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and
Canada and the Cold War:
the Avro Arrow
• During the 1950’s the Canadian government was involved in the
development of a new military jet aircraft. The Avro Arrow was built by
the A.V. Roe Company in Ontario.
• It was expected to be one of the most advanced war planes of its kind.
• The Arrow was initially approved by the Liberal government in 1953,
however when the conservatives took power under John Diefenbaker
(AKA Dief the Chief) in 1957, he cancelled the Arrow project.
• This led to a great deal of controversy: thousands of people lost their
• People charged that the government had abandoned a made-in-Canada
project in favor of a made in the US defense policy. They claimed that the
entire Canadian aircraft industry was crippled by Diefenbaker's decision.
• Despite being partially responsible for the creation and passage of the Bill
of Rights in 1960, Diefenbaker’s decision to ground the Arrow
contributed to the Conservative party defeat in 1963.
The Suez Canal Crisis
• The French built the Suez Canal in the 1860’s Soon after
the British bought a majority of shares in the Suez Canal
Company, in order to make the canal part of their route to
India. The British were at this time occupying Egypt. In
1955 with Britain's eastern empire gone, Britain agreed to
withdraw from Egypt.
• At the same time as the British were removing themselves
from Egypt. The Egyptians under the Leadership of Colonel
Gamal Abdel Nasser began the completion of the Aswan
High Dam across the Nile.
• In 1956 because of Nasser’s dealings with the USSR,
Britain and the US cut off aid for the Aswan project.
• In return Nasser seized the Suez Canal Company. He also
encouraged more terrorist attacks on Israel, and invited
the USSR to help him finish the dam. This made the British
very angry. The British believed that the US and the rest of
the Commonwealth would share there anger over the Suez
The Suez Canal Crisis: Continued
• The Commonwealth, with the exception of Australia and New Zeeland,
were not sympathetic to what was viewed as an example of British
• Canada did not care about the Canal, however it was very concerned
about the effect of the crisis on international relations.
• Canada realized that while the US might not agree with Nasser’s actions,
they would not support Britain in an aggressive action against Egypt.
• France and Israel supported Britain.
• The Israelis were supposed to attack Egypt on Nov. 1, 1956. The plan was
that the French and English would use this as a pretext to step in and
guard the vital international waterway.
• Their hope was that Nasser’s government would then topple.
• On Oct. 29 Israeli paratroops struck. On Oct. 30, Britain and France
ordered both Egypt and Israel to stay 16km away from the Canal.
• The USSR responded with an ultimatum: Atomic Bombs would rain down
on London and Paris if the invasion did not end.
The Suez Canal Crisis: Continued
• The Americans were very angry with the British.
• The U.N. Security Council ordered Israel to withdraw, Britain and France used
their vetoes for the first time.
• The issue was taken before the U.N. General Assembly. There, 65 nations
supported a resolution denouncing the invasion. Canada abstained from the
• Canada was torn over the issue. A small majority supported the British
invasion. Prime Minister St. Laurent did not.
• The Prime Minister and then Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester
Pearson told England that there would be no Canadian support for the
Attack on Egypt.
• Pearson proposed that an “emergency UN force” be sent in this is known as
• This gave the French and British a pretext to withdraw from Egypt. Nassar
agreed that the force was acceptable.
• Pearson had found the formula that kept Britain and France from
humiliation, and the UN, NATO and the Commonwealth survived the
• In 1957 Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Suez
The creation of OPEC
Oil producing nations like Iran started OPEC in 1960s by approaching
other oil producing nations like Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
They had discussed a closer relationship as early as 1949, suggesting that
they exchange views and explore avenues for regular and closer
communication among petroleum-producing nations of the world.
The founding members of OPEC are Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and
In 1973, OPEC declared an oil embargo in response to the United States'
and Western Europe's support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
The result was a rise in oil prices from $3 per barrel to $12 and gas
U.S. gas stations put a limit on the amount of gasoline that could be sold,
closed on Sundays, and limited the days gasoline could be purchased
based on license plates
• First long-range anti-aircraft missiles in
the world developed by Canada with the
help of the Americans.
• They were put all around the coasts and
the border to protect against soviet
• Stands for North American Aerospace
• The US pressured Canada to setup a missile
defense program to warn of incoming nuclear
• The program was established in
The DEW Line
• Stands for Distance Early Warning Line and
was used in the fifties.
• A system of radar stations in the far north that
would detect soviet bombers.
• Became outdated as it became possible for
countries to launch nuclear weapons without
planes using intercontinental ballistic missiles
The Massey Commission
In the 1950’s much like in the 1920’s Canadians were inundated by
American culture. Canadians watched American movies, listened to
American Radio shows and watched American Television programs.
The government and people of Canada became concerned that Canada
would lose its unique identity.
The Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and
Sciences, otherwise known as the Massey–Lévesque Commission, chaired
by Vincent Massey, examined Canada's cultural sovereignty from the
United States and various other nations.
The report released its findings in 1951 when it concluded that Canada
was indeed threatened, culturally, by the United States of America.
The Massey Report recommended the creation of cultural institutions
such as the National Library of Canada, the Canada Council, and other
grant-giving government agencies.
The Canada Council for the Arts and the
National Library of Canada
The Canada Council for the Arts, commonly called the Canada Council, is a Crown
Corporation established in 1957
It acts as an arts council of the government of Canada.
Created as the result of the Massey Commission to foster and promote the study
and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.
It funds Canadian artists and encourages the production of art in Canada.
Now combined with the National Achieves of Canada the purpose of the National
Library is to
to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and
to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural,
social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society;
to facilitate in Canada co-operation among communities involved in the
acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge;
to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its
LAC is expected to maintain "effective recordkeeping practices that ensure
transparency and accountability".