Canada History Week 2019

STANDING THE GAFF On June 11, 1925, company police killed coal miner William Davis during a standoff at Waterford Lake, Nova Scotia, which marked the height of tensions as striking workers demanded better working conditions and recognition of their union from coal companies. Besco Vice-President John McLurg said: “we have all the cards … eventually they will have to come to us … they can’t stand the gaff.” This phrase became the strikers’ motto, describing their ability to endure the long-term hardships resulting from coalfield work. The Nova Scotia Coal Fields in Sydney and Stellarton are designated national historic sites. KNIGHTS OF LABOR A cadre of historians, artists and activists champion social justice via comic books. In 2013, they published a free comic on Canada’s early labour movement. ON TO OTTAWA TREK In 1935, about 1,500 residents of federal Unemployment Relief Camps in British Columbia went on strike and travelled by train to Ottawa to protest poor conditions in the Depression - era camps. The strike leaders were eventually arrested, resulting in the violent Regina Riot . Courtesy of Toronto Star . Courtesy of National Film Board of Canada and Library and Archives Canada