Bill C-51 and the Winnipeg General Strike
We are in Winnipeg. The Year is 1919.
The newly passed Bill C-51 is going to create a repeat of history.
A government attempt to silence dissent in that is a difficult economy for many regular Canadians.
The declared threat back then was “Bolshevism”. Today it is “Terrorism.” The game is the same. Only the terminology is switched.
The Immigration Act was amended so British-born immigrants could be deported. The Criminal Code’s definition of sedition was also broadened.
On 17 June the government arrested 10 leaders of the Central Strike Committee and two propagandists from the newly formed One Big Union. Four days later, a charge by Royal North-West Mounted Police into a crowd of strikers resulted in 30 casualties, including one death. Known as “Bloody Saturday”, it ended with federal troops occupying the city’s streets.
It would take another three decades before Canadian workers secured union recognition and collective bargaining rights.