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The Trudeau Years, Economic Problems
economic troubles, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, federal investment, oil crisis, high taxes
Trudeau came to power intending to modernize government and reform the constitution, but he soon found his agenda hijacked by economic troubles. Both inflation and unemployment rose, and expensive social and economic programs had led to large and continuing budget deficits despite high taxes. Canada’s economic problems were compounded when the price of oil increased dramatically during the oil crisis of 1973. The crisis was provoked when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which included many of the major oil-producing nations of the world, cut back on production. In an effort to shield Canadians from high oil prices, Ottawa tried to control sales of oil. The province of Alberta, a large oil producer, resented these efforts. Westerners also resented federal investment in depressed regions, particularly Atlantic Canada and Quebec.
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