Let's Go Canada!

by Dr. Stéphane Guevremont

Canada played a crucial part in the Second World War but seldom received credit for it. The First Canadian Infantry Division stationed in England in the summer of 1940 was the only Commonwealth army fully equipped and ready to repel a German invasion on Britain’s soil had Hitler decided to invade. At sea, the first three years of the conflict saw the brunt of the Battle of the Atlantic fall on the shoulders of the tiny Royal Canadian Navy, which grew 44 times bigger to complete its task. Beginning in 1943, a Canadian admiral was in sole command of the Western Hemisphere, from Halifax to Ireland, directing vital Allied shipping. While our Navy became the 4th largest fleet on the planet, the Royal Canadian Air Force trained some 131,553 Allied air crews in Canada who went on to win air battles around the globe for our cause. Moreover, 15 Canadian heavy bomber squadrons stationed in England helped create and sustain an enduring second front over Europe, hammering strategic German war industries and workers at night until their surrender.

In the end, Canadian society was drastically transformed by the Second World War. Civil liberties were curtailed, employment grew tenfold and cultural and social values changed forever. Our nation of only 11 million citizens became a middle power on the global scene and we often forget how 10 % of our population greatly contributed to make the world a far better and safer place during the years 1939 to 1945. That victory, though, came at a terrible cost of 44,090 Canadian lives. Lest we forget.

Get your tickets for the fundraising dinner & talk by Dr. Stéphane Guevremont on Sat MAR 19 from 5–9 pm. Funds raised will go towards the Galt Museum’s 2017 statue of Sir Alexander and Elliott Galt. $60/ticket | available at the Galt Museum Store and online at galtmuseum.com