Canada & World War II: The Homefront

This website will examine and explain the homefront in Canada during World War Two, including; the role of women, propaganda, and Japanese Internment Camps.


Propaganda is a type/form of advertising tactic used by the government to promote or spread specific beliefs or ideas. It is used to: encourage enlistment (joining) in the military, supporting the war effort, evoking a sense of patriotism and the disdain of other countries, purchasing Victory Bonds, appeals for discretion, and encourage/enforce rationing.

The Role of Women

During the WWII, women, as they did in WWI, took the place of men in factories. They assisted in the manufacturing of many war materials.

Women went from housekeeping to operating turret lathes. They were depicted as tough, strong, independent. The Canadian example is Bonnie the Bren Gun Girl (Veronica Foster).

Day care was created to allow women with children to work in the factories.

Women also went overseas as nurses.

Japanese Internment Camps

Following the Japanese attack on Peal Harbor, there was a fear that Japanese Canadians (living mostly on the British Columbia coast) would be potential spies and pose a threat to Canada.

The Government forced Japanese Canadians to leave their homes and many belongings - which they sold to support the war effort - as well as shut down shops, they were forced to move into camps.

The conditions in the camps were poor. There was inadequate heating in winter, they were forced to live in small shacks, and many families were forced to live in very substandard conditions.

Was the Japanese Internment by the Canadian Government justified under the circumstances of World War II?