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During the 1974 Federal election the Conservative leader, Robert Stanfield proposed that a wage and price freeze should  be imposed on the Canadian economy in order to fight the quickly accelerating inflation rate. The Trudeau government opposed this policy and fought the election against wage and price controls.

The early 70's had brought political instability on the international scene and with the formation of OPEC in the early 60's (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Nations) the scene was set. OPEC began to raise the price of crude oil which in conjunction with American hyper spending over the previous 10 years began to drive up inflation rates. Unions responded to arising prices by striking and demanding equivalent wage increases while businesses passed on the increase in production costs to the consumer in the form of higher prices for products. Due to the impact of increasing inflation in most other developed countries, Canada found it difficult to control affairs in the domestic economy.

The Liberals won the election but by 1975 the inflation rate which had been 10.7% in 1974 had climbed to 10.9% and showed no sign of abating. Trudeau was forced to rethink all of the options and when he introduced the Anti-Inflation Act in Parliament it contained wage and price controls for various segments of the economy.

The legislation was only one part of a program that also imposed limits on Federal government expenditures, tighter monetary policies and government restrictions on fiscal policy.

Wage increase were to be restricted to 10% during the first year of the program, and then 8% and 6% during the following two years. These restrictions applied to all Federal government employees and employees of companies that employed over 500 works. The implementation of these policies was overseen by the anti-inflation board which had the ability to recommend the reduction in prices of consumer goods, wage rollbacks and rebates to customers of various services. 

By 1978 the effects of the wage and price controls, all though not definitive, were viewed as a failure and were phased out. Within a year the anti-inflation board was dissolved. The program was generally disliked by Canadians and the government intrusion into the free market economy had many unforeseen results which created more difficulties then were solved by the program.