Political Fumble: The War Measures Act, The Implications Of The Institution Of The War Measures Act Of 1970 By Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

1302 words - 5 pages

Political fallacies are a prominent aspect of the Canadian political landscape, from John A. Macdonald?s railway scandal, to the recent significant underestimation of the gun registry cost. In each case the initial policy framework attempts to combine personal political ambitions with political policy, a mixture which proves to be insoluble to public approval. In the 1960?s, Canada was introduced to a new type of political leader, a person who was not afraid to mix emotion with policy, who preferred indecision as opposed to compromise . Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Canada?s most popular Prime Minister, left a significant mark on the Canadian landscape. A trademark for change, Trudeau opened Canada?s borders to new arrivals, socialized government agencies and strived to create a Canadian identity which is not so similar to the United States by embracing the founding peoples of Canada, the French. The declaration of Canada as a bilingual nation was the most prominent aspect and undoubtedly left the largest visible mark on the Canadian landscape. Among Trudeau?s achievement lye political fumbles, among the most apparent is the enactment of the War Measures Act. The War Measures Act is the single most irresponsible action taken by the Canadian government in the past 40 years, Trudeau?s biggest fumble in an otherwise successful political career. The primary reason for enacting the act was the issue regarding the FLQ, a largely regional problem that involved Quebec alone. However, the negative ramifications of the War Measures Act were felt throughout the country. Economically, Canadian markets and companies faired negatively in domestic and international markets. Socially, unwarranted police raids of homes and businesses from British Columbia to Newfoundland & Labrador terrorized innocent civilians. In addition, the resolution of the FLQ crisis did little to stem the argument for a sovereign Quebec, damaging the credibility of both Trudeau and the liberal government.Economically, the implementation of the War Measures Act impacted both the domestic market and Canada?s international economic status. Domestically, the act resulted in price increases and job losses. For instance, Canada?s oldest department store, The Bay, raised merchandise rates 11% in response to the act . In addition, many Canadian companies cut the number of jobs, especially in Quebec. In a pulp and paper mill in Jonquiere, Quebec, transport jobs were lost due to speculation and rumors of truck bombs, these jobs were never recovered . Internationally, Canada?s economic stature was also compromised by the act. For example, the Canadian dollar sunk to levels not seen in a number of years. Also, many international investors began to pull money out of Canadian companies, causing revenue shortfalls . Many American-based companies which owned factories throughout Quebec shut down during the enactment due to security risks . Statistics Canada suggested the economic losses suffered during the...

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