Canadian Response to the Great Depression

Soup Kitchen Unemployment victims during the Depression resorted to the soup kitchens like this one in Montreal in 1931, operated by voluntary and church organizations.

- 1929-1939
- Known as the Dirty Thirties
- Prices and wages fell significantly, impacted all 10 provinces in Canada, and 1 in 5 Canadians became dependent on government relief. [1] [2]

Richard Bennett [2]
Bennett was in power during 1930-1935. He was conservative on the political spectrum, and implemented laws such as raising tariffs to protect local business. He also introduced the New Policy in 1935, promising unemployment insurance, reduced workweek, and other economic planning. However, the effects on economy were minimal. Bennett's responses were mostly left-winged.

Mackenzie King [2]
King later came to power, introducing the new Reciprocity Treaty with the United States. He introduced The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Bank of Canada, as well as providing money for the provincial governments for spending on relief programs. King stands more towards the left end of the political spectrum, and he implemented more social programs and spendings for provincial governments to stimulate money circulations.


  1. "Evolution of Modern Liberalism." Perspectives on ideology. Edmonton, Alta.: Alberta Education, 2010. 208-210.
  2. “Great Depression of Canada.” The Canadian History Page. 18 Mar 2012. <>
  3. "Depression Soup Kitchen". The Canzdian Encyclopedia. 18 Mar 2012. <>