In the face of mass casualties on the Western Front, Sir Robert Borden’s government enacted the Military Service Act in 1917. It made conscription, or compulsory military enlistment, the law. Opposition leader Sir Wilfrid Laurier was firmly against the act. A number of his Liberal MPs agreed with him, but not all: the party was divided. Conscription was bitterly resented in many quarters, especially in Quebec.
Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.