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CONSCRIPTION IN CANADA   89

men overseas, or with reservists, men who joined the allied forces or the navy, about 360,000 men had left our shores. In February, 1917, the total Canadian force on the fighting front in France numbered 130,000. During the year ended May 31st, 1917, the total enlistment in Canada was only 85,306. In the same period the casual-ties alone were 74,792, and the total casualties for the war up to May, 1917, were 99,693. During April and May, the total enlistments were 11,790, and for the same period the casualties were 17,399. In other words, Canada early in 1917 needed a hundred thousand men, and these were coming at the rate of fewer than six thousand a month, which, at that rate, would take a year and a quarter to get the required number. Early in 1917, it was apparent to all that the system of voluntary recruiting was not adequate, and as the weeks went by fewer and fewer recruits presented themselves. In this connection not a little criticism was levelled at Quebec, and out of this criticism momentous issues were to follow. Much of this criticism was of course made for political purposes, but the following comparative statement of total enlistments up to May 15th, 1917, showed clearly that Quebec was far behind the other provinces in her quota of men:

Province   Enlistments

Ontario   173,078

Quebec   45,277

Maritime Provinces   38,200

Manitoba and Saskatchewan   79,779

Alberta    35,477

British Columbia   40,264

Yukon    2,327

 

Total   414,402

One critic pointed out that in proportion to population Quebec had only contributed 32 per cent. of her quota of the half million; the Maritime Provinces 58 per cent.; Manitoba and Saskatchewan 112 per cent.;


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