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With the declaration of the war, the Canadian government immediately became much more involved in the planning and and control of the economy. In April 1940, the government established the Department of Munitions and Supplies, and King appointed C.D Howe as its minister. Howe was given extraordinary authority to do whatever it took to gear up the economy to meet wartime demands. He told industries what to produce and how to produce it. In his direct, impatient manner, he convinced business leaders to manufacture goods they had never made before. Soon Vancouver was building ships for the navy, Montreal was constructing new planes and bombers such as the Lancaster, and Canada's car industries were producing military vehicles and tanks. Munitions factories opened in Ontario and Quebec. If the private sector was unable to produce what Howe wanted, he created Crown Corporations to do the job. Even farmers were told to produce more wheat, beef, dairy products, and other foods. Under Howe's leadership, the government ran telephone companies, refined fuel, stockpiled silk for parachutes, mined uranium, and controlled food production. This was the policy of total war, with Canadians willing to do whatever it took to defeat the enemy.


How did Canada's policy of total war change the economy? Why was the policy necessary?

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