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The New West
CBC Commentary

Last Best WestFrom the earliest days of homesteading in the Canadian West there were high hopes that the new land could be improved upon over the established societies of Europe and eastern North America. The Canadian West was considered by many idealists to be the last chance to build a new society. In fact, when promoting settlement in the Canadian West, it was often referred to as not just the last west but the "Last Best West."

There have been numerous attempts to create this "improved" society. Reform movements such as the social gospel, prohibition and women's and farmers' movements were met with varying levels of success in the early half of the 20th century. Social Credit theory, which denounced various pitfalls of the capitalist system, was also embraced to some degree. After World War II, many of the ideals of the welfare state, such as universal healthcare, were also well received.

Canada West MagazineToday, the Canadian West continues to change and respond to the changing country and world. The population of the West is now virtually as urbanized as that of central Canada and economic affluence, especially in the case of Alberta, makes western voices ring loudly in Ottawa. It is in some ways the dawning of a "New West." 

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