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The Canadian Economy in the 1950s and the 1960s

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1 The Canadian Economy in the 1950s and the 1960s

2 Many new industries developed after WWII
Plastics and pesticides were developed out of inventions made during the war. Important new resources were discovered. In 1947, oil was discovered at Leduc, Alberta. Boom towns resulted from the new mines and wells that were developed in the wilderness. Manufacturing also grew, but it was focused almost exclusively in Ontario and Quebec.


4 The government improved infrastructure
New roads, sewers, powerplants, schools, and hospitals were built. The government also used the increased money it was making from taxes to undertake 3 megaprojects: The Trans-Canada Highway The Saint Laurence Seaway The Trans-Canada Pipeline




8 Americans began to invest in Canada
The USA was running short of raw materials, so they began to look north for natural resources. By 1956, 68% of Canada’s oil industry and 50% of our manufacturing were American owned. By 1967, Americans owned 88% of Canada’s oil industry! This was both good and bad for Canada.

9 Advantages Branch plants provided employment for Canadians. Canadian industries benefitted from American technology. The earnings of these businesses and workers provided more tax revenues for the Canadian government. Disadvantages Profits from branch plants and resource extraction went to Americans. Canada was losing control over its economy.

10 Canadians also benefitted from the new wealth
Canadian tycoons built huge commercial empires. Trade Unions fought for a greater share of the prosperity. Wages rose from 65 cents to 93 cents an hour between 1945 and 1948. The five-day, forty-hour work week was established. Result: Canadian workers had more money and leisure time.



13 But not everyone benefitted from the new wealth
The unskilled working poor in cities still worked and lived under miserable conditions. Women were discouraged from working and were discriminated against in the workforce. Canada’s First Nations people suffered as environmental damage from resource extraction reached their reserves.

14 Canada Expanded After WWII, the people of Newfoundland were given a chance to decide the future of their colony: They voted to join Canada in a referendum in 1948. The man credited with bringing Newfoundland into confederation is J.R. “Joey” Smallwood.

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