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Relief Camps

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Grade 10 History

on 20 November 2014

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Transcript of Relief Camps

Living Conditions
Poor living conditions
The men did physically-demanding labor
In return, men got room-and-board (provided with a place to live as well as meals, taken out of their paycheck)
Medical care
They were paid one-tenth of what an employed laborer would make doing the same work.
They lived on extra war clothing
Work six and a half days a week for twenty cents a day.
How many camps/people there were
The camps were located in remote regions such as interior B.C. and northern Ontario
By the time the camps closed in June 1936, 170,248 men had lived and worked in them.

Pros/Cons of Relief Camps
Who Started them
In Canada, the 1st Relief camp was in British Columbia, Canada
What They Did
Lived in semi-military camps provided with basic necessities
Labor work of the men living there
Provided the men with an income
Men working were required to work 44 hours a week
aside from working men had some free time
Worked on replanting trees
Building bridges
Working on construction
Various trades were needed in the camps
Unemployed single men
The Government did not want the unemployed to start a rebellion
Relief Camps
Where Camps were Located
Remote rural areas
Northern Ontario
Interior British Columbia
Relief Camp Workers Union (RCWU)
Created by workers in British Columbia
Under the direction of Arthur Evans
Demented better food, real wages
End to military discipline
Felt they haven't been treated right
Feeling isolated
Union grew and became strong throughout 1934
Union got refusal from government doe negotiation
Started striking
Relief camps had both good & bad aspects
Gave single unemployed men a place to go
Medical Care
Prevent Communist revolt
Gave men with families more job opportunities at home
Low pay
Poor living conditions
Bad food
Strict military Discipline
Isolation from society
Labor intensive jobs
Long work hours
Lead to rioting
Why Relief Camps Started
On-to-Ottawa Trek
ex: some of the unemployed men were soldiers that have served their time at war.
It's made for the men whom did not have a family to go to, and men that didn't have a job and were left on the streets
Originally in 1931, the BC government paid $2.00 a day for those in relief camps
When the federal/provincial government took over, the payment was reduced to $7.50 a month (almost 6x less)
1933 the military (DND) took over and reduced wages to 20¢ a day(10x less)
April, 1935 the workers unity league (WUL)/(RCWU) organized a strike (1400 men)
(20,000 in May)
Worked 8 hours a day, 44 hours a week
June 3, 1935, a 1000 trekkers journeyed to Ottawa (freight train) to take the issue with PM.
Journey ended in Regina as railways refused access to their trains (2000 stayed)
June 14 met with two federal cabinet ministers
June 17, 8 leaders of protest (Arthur "Slim" Evans) invited to meet Bennett
Rajala, Richard A. "Forced Relief - Legion Magazine." Legion Magazine. N.p., 1 Sept. 2000. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <https://legionmagazine.com/en/2000/09/forced-relief/>.

"On to Ottawa Trek." On to Ottawa : Hungry 30's Relief Camps. N.p., 15 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.ontoottawa.ca/trek/trek_hungry2.html>.

"Relief." Relief. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/crash%20depression/Relief.html>.

"Relief Camps." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP13CH2PA2LE.html>.

Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://b68389.medialib.glogster.com/media/33e3af19506aba3a7435996865d511d9880fec156299bff8b8cdfe05c3cc56c5/relief-camps.jpg>.

Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://thetyee.cachefly.net/News/2008/12/02/roadconstruct.png>.
"Great Depression of Canada." The Homepage. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.yesnet.yk.ca/schools/projects/canadianhistory/depression/depression.html>.

"On to Ottawa Trek." On to Ottawa : Relief Camp Workers Union. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.ontoottawa.ca/trek/trek_rcamp.html>.

"Relief." Relief. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/crash depression/Relief.html>.

"Relief Camps." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP13CH2PA2LE.html>.

"Richard Bedford Bennett." Prime Minister of Canada. Copyright, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

Learning, CBC CBC. "Relief Camps." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

Howard, Victor VH. "Unemployment Relief Camps." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Julia Skikavich, 22 Feb. 09. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
Federal government was scared that the unemployed( soldiers that fought in the first world war) are going to attack him
ex: Strikes/ protest, and try to physically hurt him
Alot of men were in these camps
The government sent most of the unemployed men to these relief camps
The relief camps were from 1930 - 1935
At the time, the Prime minister was Richard Bedford Bennet
Regina Riot
Negotiations failed with the PM and the trek leaders returned to Regina
July 1st the leaders of the trek held rally at Market Square announcing trek was over (2000 people-only 300 were trekkers)
Same time unaware the RCMP and local police prepared to arrest the trekkers
At 8:17 the RCMP charged at the crowd clubbing everyone, people started fighting back
100's were injured, 128 arrested and 2 dead
Next day the Premier sent an angry wire to PM
Trekkers released and sent home
Full transcript