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Canadian Economy During Wwii

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Canadian Economy during World War II
A New Decade, A New War, A New Economy:
With the fall of France during the Battle of Dunkirk, pressure was placed upon Canada and other countries with relation to Britain to enter the war and help the latter fight back against the Nazi army, in any way it can such as providing necessary supplies as well as soldiers making Canada change its decision into making it a total war, and thus WWII officially had started in 1939. This decision had made a large impact upon Canada’s economy in such a way that the war could be seen as something as a sweet poison in which it had help Canada get out of the Great Depression due to it gearing towards war and the re-opening of factories to produce many products to aid the allies. This not only greatly lessened the unemployment rates so much that it almost seem non-existent which can be clearly seen in the comparison of the unemployment rate in 1939 which was 11.4% and that of 1945 which was 1.6%, it also made Canada very wealthy having generated a large sum of money through selling goods to the allies, and with the help of the government introducing several new concepts such as the Unemployment Insurance Act and Wage and Price Controls being imposed to fight wartime inflation, they were able to prevent Canada from going into debt with the large production. Such benefits of the war however still do not justify its atrocious backlash which is the loss of human life, which is why it can be seen as a double ended sword.
Inventions for the war:
At the start of the war the Allies seemed to be fighting a losing battle against the Germans due to their large army as well as their advanced technology such as the U-boats overpowering them. However, as a result of Canada’s ingenuity they were able to invent new and improved technologies that not only benefited the allies allowing them a good foot hold against the enemy, which would later on snowball them to victory against the Nazis, but also helping them gain large amounts of money due to the large demand for such products further improving Canada’s economy. Some examples of these inventions are: * Wilbur Franks antigravity suit for fighter pilots in 1941 * Donald Hings’ walkie-talkie which was used on the battlefield in 1941 * T.R. Griffith’s electro thermal aircraft de-icing which was invented in 1945 * J.E. Wright’s computerized navigational system, invented in the same year (1945) * Scientists’ discovery of a way to preserve food for longer durations

Canadian Industries:
With the decision of the war changing from that of a limited one, into a total war, as a result of France’s downfall. Canada and its people brought into their attention that Britain is possibly their frontline and only defense from Hitler and his Nazi army. With this in mind, they decided to change and use all their resources especially their industries to benefit the allies against the Germans by now not only producing raw goods such as wheat, lumber, and oil but also building other necessary war gear such as munitions, air planes, tanks, and many more in all their available factories as well as the expansions of more factories to increase manufacturing equipment, going so far as to using those originally intended for the production of something else such as automobiles and is now used to produce war vehicles, all for the purpose of meeting their quotas.
Several ways in which Canadian Industries specifically aided the allies during the war are:
Munitions and weapons Industry:
In April 1940, the federal government of Canada established the department of munitions and supplies which under the leadership of Clarence Decatur Howe was responsible for co-ordinating domestic industry during World War 2. Throughout the war Canada created whole new industries to manufacture weapons alongside the pre-existing ones to satisfy the growing demand of the allied army, and through this Canada over the course of the war was able to build 815,000 military vehicles, 50,000 tanks, 40,000 artillery, and 1,700,000 small arms with them originally being meant to replace the lost weapons left in Dunkirk during the fall of France, but due to their high quality equipment was soon in high demand, with even Germans hoping to capture Canadian made trucks during their battles due to them being capable of travelling over certain terrains with ease unlike German made ones which easily gets stuck in the sand. By the end of the war, Canada’s war production was ranked 4th among the allies with 70% of what Canada made being sent to supply the allies, and the remaining 30% being actually used by Canada’s own military.
Navy and ship building Industry:
In May 1940, after the fall of France, Canada made it its priority to help enlarge the allies’ merchant shipping fleet to replace the lost ones as well as increase both the naval escorts to reduce the ships lost due to a U-boat attack and convoys that brings supplies from Canada to the frontlines in Britain. At the beginning of the war, the Canadian navy had 11 combat vessels, 145 officers and 1,674 men, But by the end of the it, the Canadian navy was the 3rd largest in the world having 90 plants, employing more than 126,000 men and women, 4,000 naval vessels, 300 anti-submarine warships, 4 tribal-class destroyers, 410 cargo ships with 348 ten thousand tonne merchant ships, all as a result of Britain’s clear demand for them to build as many naval and merchant ships as they could possibly build.
Aircraft Industry: During World War 2 Canada saw a large increase in its Canadian aircraft industry with an addition of 120,000 new workers with 25% of it being women. At the time with Britain being constantly bombarded by bombs from German bomber planes, Canada was considered to be an important source of airplane production and pilots. Having manufactured during the war, around 16,000 aircraft. With about 4,000 aircraft being produced per year and Canadian factory space for the production of aircraft increased from 500,000 square feet before the war to a high of 14,000,000 square feet at its peak during the war. The British Commonwealth air training plan used to teach pilots how to fly and fight with airplanes had generated $120,000,000 in Canada alone - being the cost of Recruiting and Manning Depots, Initial Training and Elementary Training of Canadian pupils. By the end of the war, Canada had the 4th largest air force having numerous airplanes and veteran pilots.
Government Changes:
With the establishment of the Department of Munitions and Supply under C.D. Howe during WWII, the government did not stop their proactive influence upon Canada’s economy to prevent them into further falling into the depression and instead improve. With this mission the government was able through improving as well as adding new rules for the economy into not only helping Canada lift itself out of the depression that befell upon them in the 1930s but also strengthening it in the process. Such examples include the launch of social welfare policies which include the Unemployment Insurance Act, family allowances, farm price supports, and national housing program. They had even made sure that to further increase the money they gain to support the allies, they sold victory bonds, increased income tax, and made sure that many people were not unemployed to increase their production, going so far as to fining those who do not have a job.

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