Wage and Price Controls

"Guardians of our hearths"

Speaking to the women who controlled four out of every five dollars spent in Canada, Charlotte Whitton explained inflation, price controls, and the power that women could exercise to help with the war.

Keeping an eye on prices

To combat inflation during the Second World War, the federal government imposed controls on wages and prices. These booklets were distributed widely to women so they could keep track of prices while shopping; stores that appeared to be charging above the price ceiling were to be reported to one of thirteen Women's Regional Advisory Committees for investigation.

Controlling the Cost of Living

This speech by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King in October 1941 addresses the increased cost of living during wartime, including potential causes and a plan for stabilization.

Fighting inflation

This pamphlet, the second in a series, emphasizes price-consciousness through an overview of Canada's price control policy and its effectiveness on combating inflation.

Everything is Expensive ... Why?

By 1917, Canadians were experiencing a steep rise in the cost of living. A number of Canadians called for the Borden government to implement a system of wartime price-fixing to alleviate the strain of inflation. While systems of food and fuel control would be adopted in mid-1917, formal price-fixing was never adopted. This booklet contemplates the issue and questions why Canadians should be subject to such inflation during wartime.

Buying alcohol in Quebec

Quebec regulations allowed adults over the age of twenty to purchase up to forty ounces of alcohol each fortnight; coupons became void once the date on them passed.

QC permit.pdf (6.68 MB)

Buying alcohol in Saskatchewan

William Hart was stationed in Winnipeg with the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1944; when one flight took him to Saskatchewan, he was required to secure a provincial permit book for a single purchase of alcohol.

SK Liquor Board.pdf (13.88 MB)

The supply of toilets in wartime

Military needs took precedence during the Second World War, and this manufacturer of sinks, toilets, and bathroom fittings informed customers that they might not have their orders filled because of wartime demands.

Permit for purchasing alcohol

The sale of liquor had been subject to controls long before the Second World War - the need for servicemen and women to carry a purchase permit merely added another layer of complexity.

The cost of milk

Like every other commodity, milk was sold at prices that were carefully controlled by federal and provincial authorities.