To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, I have reached back into the Forgotten Alberta archives to re-post a retrospective on the impact of the Great War on Palliser’s Triangle.
This article was originally published in the Prairie Post East on November 16, 2012
It has been said the Canadian nation was born on the battlefields of Europe during the First World War.
While the end of the war in 1918 marked a new beginning for Canada, its commencement four years earlier signaled the beginning of the end for many southeastern Alberta communities.
Following the declaration of war in 1914, overseas investment in mines, farms, railways and irrigation projects across Palliser’s Triangle dried up nearly overnight.
The economic and social fallout that ensued forever altered the landscape of Alberta’s southeast, and helped inflame ethnic tensions that smoldered long after conflict ceased.
As detrimental as the entire episode seems today, back in the summer of 1914, declaration of war was seen as cause for celebration.