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On this Canada Day, Canadians face calls for change — and economic historians have been trying to adjust


This week’s deadly heat wave, with its new record temperatures, is just one example of how the country’s economy seems to be embroiled in change this Canada Day.

Urgent plans to speed the switch to electric cars and the painful process of moving away from Canada’s dependence on carbon-producing fuels are part of a longer list of economic earthquakes.

The country is currently adapting to a string of extraordinary events:

  • A recession caused by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.
  • The return of inflation after a decades-long absence that some expect will lead to a rise in interest rates.
  • Government intervention in the economy not seen since the decades after World War II. 

But as difficult as it is to be sure of the country’s economic future in such changing times, historians are struggling to re-examine Canada’s economic past.

As former economic heroes, such as Henry Dundas, Egerton Ryerson and John A. Macdonald, are knocked off their…

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