Chapter 10 IntroductionHochelaga 1500-1642Ville-Marie 1642-1665French Empire 1699-1763Small French Town 1665-1760Conquered City 1760-1800British Commercial Takeover 1800-1850Industrial City 1850-1896Canada's Metropolis 1896-1914North-American City 1914-1929Depression and War 1930-1945Modern City 1945-1960Québec's Metropolis 1960-1992ConclusionQuizEducational Resources

The Great

A destabilized

A city in trouble

The Second World

Chapter 10 / DEPRESSION AND WAR / A city in trouble  Previous pageNext page
A city in trouble  

The Depression seriously undermined municipal finances. Montréal paid for a large portion of unemployment relief. Property taxes, which exempted religious, educational and social institutions, were insufficient to meet the City’s needs. It was forced to borrow, thereby increasing its burden of debt.

Business circles called for a reduction in expenditures. Camillien Houde, a Populist politician, refused to cut back unemployment aid. In 1935, he introduced new taxes, including Québec’s first sales tax.

The municipality’s financial situation remained precarious. Montréal was placed under government trusteeship from 1940-1944. Among other measures, City Council was completely transformed: property and business owners, along with English-speaking members, gained influence, while the Populists fell from power.

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