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The On-To-Ottawa Trek

By Edited Jan 5, 2014 0 0

This is simply a small, short, summary of the event: The On-To-Ottawa Trek

The trek happened in June (3rd), 1935 originating from groups of men in federal relief camps scattered across remote Western Canada. The 1600+ strikers formed together after a two-month protest in Vancouver and started traveling east. They were attempting to get to Ottawa so they could bring their grievances to the federal government. They were hoping to get "provision of adequate first aid equipment in the camps, the extension of the Workmen's Compensation Act to include camp workers, the repeal of Section 98 of the Criminal Code of Canada, and that workers in camps be granted the right to vote in federal elections". Unfortunately, they stopped in Regina when the Canadian government decided to meet with the leaders of the trek in Ottawa (June 22nd, 1935) on the condition that they stay in Regina where there was a large RCP outpost. The Canadian government in Ottawa did not see eye-to-eye with the trekkers. Bennett attacked the group, calling them radical, and accusing the trek leader of being an extortionist. It turned into a shouting match and the meeting was a failure. The trekkers tried to continue their trek to Ottawa (June 26th), although the RCMP who were prepared for such a measure stopped them. They shot tear gas, and fought urban style to keep the trekkers from continuing east. They eventually arrested 120 trekkers. Considering that there was communist influence in the trek, the Canadian government acted appropriately. In making a move to satisfy or at least hear out the trekkers, they kept the public's respect and got to see who the leaders were. They were then able to justify arresting them. They had a win-win situation on their hands!



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