CBC Digital Archives

Planning for life after the war

War is over, victory savoured. Now what to do with jobless soldiers streaming home? And how to get women out of the factory and back to the hearth? Such postwar fears evaporated as the economy boomed, a surge of immigrants transformed an increasingly confident nation and the social safety net began to take shape. In what's now viewed as a golden age, modern Canada was born.

After three years of fighting, the war in Europe has also brought unprecedented changes at home in Canada. Hastily-planned suburbs are being built outside major cities with little thought to the future. Wartime drives have citizens focussed on helping the troops, not themselves. When the war is over, what will Canada look like? In this episode of CBC Discussion Club, three Torontonians talk about the concept of "reconstruction" -- not just of buildings, but of society. 
CBC Discussion Club programs were produced in cities across Canada, always with the general theme of Canadian unity. The series ended in February 1943. It was replaced with a series, called Of Things To Come, dealing exclusively with the postwar reconstruction theme.
. Other discussion and forum programs airing on the CBC in 1942 included the Farm Forum and the National Labour Forum.

• The discussion about reconstruction heard in this episode was inspired by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's historic "Four Freedoms" speech, delivered in his Jan. 6, 1941, state of the union address.
• Following a discussion of national security, military production and support for Britain in the war, Roosevelt concluded with a vivid summary of "the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy." The foundations he listed became known as the four freedoms.

• "In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way - everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.  The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour - anywhere in the world."
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Discussion Club
Broadcast Date: Aug. 28, 1942
Guest(s): Martin Baldwin, Carl Bernhardt, Margaret Gould :
Duration: 6:21
Photo: National Film Board of Canada. Phototheque/Library and Archives Canada/PA-193166

Last updated: October 2, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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