A journalist's impressions

Journalist Fernand Rinfret, later a member of parliament and mayor of Montreal, took part in a press junket to Britain and France in 1918, and wrote about his impressions of the war zones in an Ottawa newspaper, "Le Canada."

Freedom or despotism?

In this wide-ranging speech, Sifton, the chairman of Canada's Commission of Conservation, placed the First World War in the context of the long struggle for freedom that went back to Demosthenes, the Everlasting League, Magna Carta, and England's Glorious Revolution.

Sifton address.pdf (9.87 MB)

The Union Government in power

A year after the 1917 election, Newton Rowell, president of the Privy Council in the Union Government, surveyed its achievements, including the institution of conscription, and applauded the Liberals (like himself) who went over to the Union side.

Can Germany win the war?

Foster, the Minister of Trade and Commerce, addressed two critical questions in this talk: did Britain do everything possible to keep out of the war?; and, can Germany win the war?

Some Phases.pdf (8.03 MB)

The war so far

In this speech, the former Ottawa Member of Parliament and member of the Senate gave a brief outline of the Allied war effort over the first two years of the war.

Vote against the Union Government

In this booklet published during the 1917 election campaign, Boyd called for Canadian voters to reject the Union Government and "shatter the trenches of deception, special privilege, political autocracy and narrow-minded fanaticism."

Fair Play.pdf (16.67 MB)

Laurier and voluntary enlistment

During the bitterly fought 1917 election campaign, the Union Government released this correspondence between Liberal leader Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Canadian Club in Hamilton, Ontario, to cast doubt on Laurier's commitment to the war effort.

Two Letters.pdf (1.61 MB)

The coming of war

Although the war was only a few months old, Canadians already had access to a selection of diplomatic communiques and government papers relating to the declaration of war and Canada's contribution to the imperial war effort.

Canada as a German colony

In this fascinating address, Clarance Warner sketched a picture of Canada's future if the British Empire lost the First World War and Canada became a German colony.

The removal of Sir Sam Hughes

After Minister of Militia and Defence Sam Hughes was ousted from the government of Sir Robert Borden in 1916, the federal Liberal Party published a series of letters that attempted to discredit the government's conduct in the episode.

Hughes & Borden.pdf (10.17 MB)