CBC: The right to vote
Winnipeg municipal politics in 1940 were livelier than they are now, said Gerald Friesen, a history professor at the University of Manitoba.
“Intense debates, real activity, platform speakers, huge crowds here in the auditorium building, for example,” he said.
At the time, Winnipeg was considered the “Gateway to the West,” he said. The city limits were smaller than they are now, and its population was roughly 300,000.
Economically, it had manufacturing and finance, but the primary industry was grain — a crucial commodity to the Allied forces at the start of the Second World War.
The city was also coming out of the decade of the Great Depression, and the labour issues that had fuelled the 1919 General Strike were still hotly contested.