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financial straits the municipality was experiencing itself. By 1932 arrears in taxes were over $150,000 and the municipality was unable to pay its municipal levy, or pay individual school districts the amounts they requisitioned. 16
Most applications were well merited but abuses did occur, with the result that relief was terminated. One particular problem concerned the large number of migrants in the municipality as people moved from one municipality to the other in search of work. At times it was difficult to determine which municipality was liable for the relief bill. All through the depression, in fact, Rhineland's population increased as urban Mennonites returned to the country and farm as job opportunities in the city decreased. In some cases persons on relief in the city were sent back to their home municipality, where it was cheaper to provide relief.
Relief, however, was just a stop-gap measure and solved few problems in the municipality. In some cases, accepting charity from the government was in fact a humiliating experience. As it became evident that the depression was no temporary slump some residents in the municipality lost their illusions about Canadian society and saw that the adoption of the profit economy had been a mistake. Out of these feelings and out of the practical concerns of self-help, co-operatives would develop in the R.M. of Rhineland.
The Toews family grading Rhinelands roads in 1921. Featured here is an Altman Taylor Tractor.
Credit: Peter Toews