Relief camps are established for the unemployed
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Canadian government opened federal relief camps in rural areas of Canada. The camps were designed to provide employment, shelter and medical care for homeless and single unemployed men, and to prevent them from congregating or organizing in urban centres. Although recruitment for the camps was voluntary, men who resisted were often arrested for vagrancy. The Department of National Defence managed the camps along the lines of army training camps. This made for difficult conditions, and led to anger and militancy among some of the 170,248 men who participated in the camps.
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.