War Measures Act, invoked in 1939, empowered
Ottawa to take whatever measures the
government believed necessary for the
successful prosecution of the war. The
federal government carefully managed
the flow of information and, in 1941,
imposed strict wage and price controls.
Beginning in 1942, it rationed many commodities
such as meat, sugar, coffee, gasoline,
rubber and textiles.
addition to those in military service
or working in war industries or agriculture,
millions of Canadians contributed to
the ‘total’ war effort by
volunteering with organizations such
as the Red Cross, or participating in
salvage campaigns, gathering everything
from scrap metal to newsprint. Through
it all, millions of Canadians, reading
official casualty reports in the newspapers,
worried daily about the fate of their
friends and loved ones overseas.