"We Cannot Shoo These Men to Another Place": The On to Ottawa Trek in Toronto and Ottawa

Steven R Hewitt

Abstract


This year is the sixtieth anniversary of the On to Ottawa Trek. The original Trek started in Vancouver as over a thousand unemployed men attempted to reach Ottawa by rail to express their discontent with the policies of the Bennett government. Their journey ended in Regina when a police-provoked riot led to their dispersal. Major works on the subject have not recognized that parallel treks occurred in Manitoba and Ontario from June to August 1935. "We Cannot Shoo These Men to Another Place" explores trek events in Toronto and Ottawa and discovers that while the trek itself was a failure, it did reveal the anti-Communist paranoia of both the political right and left and the Canadian state.

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