Canada History

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Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

A New World | Prosperity | World Role | Newfoundland | Korea | CCF & Tommy Douglas | Immigration

During the war the demand for soldiers, workers, administrators and anyone who could work, pushed the economy to full employment or as close to it as was possible. The demand for wartime supplies, armaments, foodstuffs and almost any commodity had reached a peak and after the war ended it was expected that the reduction of demand might create a recession or a return to the depression. With the economies and industry of so many countries in ruins in 1945, the demand for Canada's production goods not only did not decline but in increased.

Canada's factories and infrastructure had not suffered the bombing and destruction of the war and continued grow in size and capacity as the demand increased. Europe in particular needed Canada's food and production to feed the homeless, shelter the people and rebuild it's shattered economy.

The issue however began to revolve around the ability of the European nations to pay for their purchases. By 1947 a crisis point was reached as more and more credit was extended to Europe which in effect brought in no immediate cash while Canadians were buying U.S. consumer goods and product as an unbridled pace. This outflow of cash to the U.S. threatened to bankrupt the Canadian government without some rebalancing of expenditures to the U.S. or collection of money owed from European countries.

The Canadian government reactivated it's wartime authority over the economy and restricted U.S. product form coming into the country and the crisis was averted after only a few months. The economy continued its rapid growth as new industries were developed.

Alberta expanded its oil industry in 1947 when oil was discovered and Leduc 1 began production. This spawned a whole set of secondary industries in the province to supply the workers, additional exploration, the building of refineries, the development of the petrochemical industry and of course the building of the infrastructure required to support the new businesses.

The second world war demanded the supply of minerals and metals for war product. Canada through government and U.S. investment expanded the mining industry drastically and this growth continued after the war and well into the 60's. Nickel, zinc, copper, iron, silver and gold were all found in relative abundance across the Canadian shield and in many places in British Columbia. Canada became a major producer of Uranium which was required for the building of atomic bombs. Salt Rock, coal and lead/zinc production boomed in the Maritimes and potash from Saskatchewan all added to the export revenue of the country. Labrador and Quebec developed one of the largest iron industries in the world in the Ungava region.

The prairies wheat production was being shipped all over the world and due to better agricultural practices, improved grain strains and much more stable markets and prices, provided steady growth across western Canada.

The post war years were a golden time in the Canadian economy and huge amounts of investment from the U.S. were able to fund the development of many of these industries. The boom was to last 20 years before cracks in the growth and other issues began to effect Canadian prosperity, but that was in the future.