The Great Candy Bar Protest

The year was 1947. World War II had come to an end and nations across the globe were rebuilding. For Canada, that meant a return to free market capitalism after years of government-mandated freezes on wages and the price of goods and services. Looking to recover from nearly a decade of thin margins, companies began to raise the price on everything from vegetables to automobiles. When children in the small town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island wandered down to the Wigwam CafĂ©, they were surprised to find that the nickel they had saved from their allowance would no longer buy their favorite candy car. That’s because the price had shot up 60% overnight, going from 5¢ to 8¢. Rather than accept the price increase, the youngsters decided to do something about it. They hastily scrawled signs and began marching up and down the streets. After the local newspaper snapped a photo of the little protesters, children across Canada began picketing their own corner stores. They finally stormed the capitol building, shutting down government business for a day. Within days, the sale of candy bars in Canada had dropped 80%.