Did The National Policy Stimulate the Rate of Prairie Settlement?

Argues that the National Policy of Canada in the late 1890’s was more destructive than beneficial to the Canadian economy.

Other than the staples thesis, the National Policy has probably engendered more debate among economic historians than any other issue in Canadian economic history. Though many credible positions can be taken on the issue, this paper will argue that the National Policy did induce settlement in the Prairies after 1896, but it likely did more harm than good into the longer term. While it is undeniable that it had some corollary if not positive impact, for the most part the National Policy was wasteful and unnecessary. It was a misdiagnosed prescription of the wrong medication at the wrong time.