If You are Unemployed in Almonte- Hitchike to Carleton Place



Photo-Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in “It Happened One Night.” Credit Columbia Pictures/Getty Images


In a September 1950 issue of the Almonte Gazette the townsfolk of Almonte were so furious the editor went to his typewriter to complain loudly.


It is understood that the Unemployment Insurance Commission has terminated the practice of sending an employee from the Carleton Place office to Almonte to deal with the claims of persons out of work in this town. We don’t know who is responsible for this decision but it works a distinct hardship on those who must figure out some way of getting to Carleton Place once every two weeks.

If it were an indication that unemployment conditions, here, were no longer serious it might be accepted as a reasonable step, but this is not the case according to our information. It is said that there are still some 141 local persons under part or full time compensation, and the idea of all of them trying to thumb their way to Carleton Place seems very unjust. Employers and employes in Almonte pay into the funds of the Unemployment Insurance Commission in the same way that is done by those liable in other towns where the Government set up branches. It seems outrageous that workers should be penalized because they live in a town close enough to a larger one that the Dominion Governm ent feels it can save money by making the one office do. Many of these claimants, practically all of whom arc textile workers, should blame the Dominion!

On top of that they are required to pay or beg for transportation to the nearest unemployment Insurance office. It sounds like something out of this world. Unless our information as to the number of local people affected is incorrect, the least that could be done is for the Commission to keep on sending an official over her to deal with.


F. C McDiarmid of Carleton Place —Photo- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Almonte cases rather than have 141 unemployed going seven miles to demand what is their right. If there were only a few out of work, here, as was the case in normal times, the arrangement we complain of would cause no particular hardship, although we can’t see where it is justified even if only a dozen claimants were on the roil. In the above we are not blaming Mr. Frank McDiarmid who is in charge of the Carleton Place office. No doubt the action taken is in accordance with a general policy laid down by Departmental officials at Ottawa. After all Almonte is not the only town located close to a larger one that might be affected by the factors mentioned above.

Read the Almonte Gazette here



F. C McDiarmid was a Merchant at Men’s and Boy’s Outfitters on Bridge Street. 

Unemployment-Annual average rates of 3% to 5% were common in Canada before 1958 and from 1964 to 1969. From 1958 to 1963 and in the early 1970s, 5% to 7% rates prevailed. Women’s unemployment rates were likely lower than those of men in the 1950s and 1960s, but became higher in the 1970s as more women participated more regularly in the labour force.


Hitchhiking— Hitchhiking apparently, irked local police officials, as well as the F.B.I. First, in the late 1950s, the F.B.I. began warning American motorists that hitchhikers might be criminals.

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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  10 Nov 1930, Mon,  Page 4


About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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