Home » Government » Information » Wartime Information Board
Wartime Information Board
| Wartime Information Board | CBC and NFB | Censorship |
The Bureau of Public Information was established in December 1939 to keep Canadian citizens informed about the progress of the war. In the spring of 1940 it released a series of articles titled "The Canadian War Effort; a weekly review of developments along the home front." When it came under the wing of the Department of National War Services in July 1940, it gained enough momentum to create divisions for press releases, photographs, radio programs, posters, and monthly booklets titled "Canada At War."

Newspaper publishers across Canada were the conveyors of most of the war news. The government churned out a large volume of press releases as well as a number of serial articles between 1940 and 1945. All were aimed to keep citizens informed and supportive of the war. An example of a series that was carried by the Summerside Journal for several months began in August 1940. Under the byline "Today's Feature Story" various topics were covered, including Canada's Dental Corps, Watching the Coast, Mine Sweeping, Canadian Nurses, and the Royal Air Force. Another series in May 1941 was titled "Canada Gives Winston Churchill the Tools" and described the ways in which Canada was helping Britain with munitions and materials.

In addition to the information distributed via print, photographs, and radio broadcasts, the Public Information office issued a series of posters. Two examples appeared in the Journal in July 1942.

There was a change to the Bureau in September 1942 when it was integrated into a newly formed Wartime Information Board (WIB). Its mandate was to co-ordinate all public information and to reflect what was happening in Canada as well as overseas. In January 1943, all photographic operations came under the jurisdiction of the National Film Board.

The WIB continued the monthly account of the war effort in the publication "Canada At War." In addition, it had regular periodicals and special papers on a variety of topics. It distributed information for a diverse audience ranging from farmers, housewives, industrial workers, and the armed forces. Some very informative illustrations about the home front appeared.

Not directly associated with the Wartime Information Board, but a source of information for government was the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. Much of its work was for internal use by government departments, but one of its publications available to the public was an official yearly handbook simply titled "Canada." An article in the Summerside Journal in April 1943 claimed the current edition contained good statistical information about the war effort.