Massive Western Canadian
Protest Movement .
In the dark days of the 1930s, during The Great Depression
, the western provinces experienced great hardship. A drought, combined with terrible wheat prices, had resulted in a crisis situation. Unemployed men began to wander across the continent, riding the rails
. The Canadian
Government organized hard labour make-work camps for these men. The treatment was greatly resented. It was perceived that Central Canada did not appreciate how the West was suffering.
Union leaders organized a giant cross-Canada protest in 1935. Desperate and unemployed men from all over the alienated west
would travel to Ottawa
to present their case at Parliament. Prime Minister Richard Bedford Bennett
, a wealthy industrialist by trade, was completely unsympathetic to the hungry mens' plight. He ordered the RCMP
to ambush the trek in Regina
and force the men to return to the work camps.
The deeply unpopular Bennett would soon lose the next election; he eventually abandoned Canada for England.