After Alberta became a province it suffered financially and started the
"dirty thirties" in massive debt. Looking for a way to bring Alberta and its
citizens out of poverty William Aberhart, who was not yet the Premier,
became interested in the monetary ideas of Major C.H. Douglas, who espoused
state supervision of credit and dividend payments to citizens. In 1935
Aberhart promised he would issue $25 vouchers to all Albertans. The next day
there were long lineups of people waiting for their $25 as promised but
there was no such voucher created at that time. However, on this basis
Aberhart was persuaded to become Premier by acclamation. The citizens had to
"wait" until 1937 for their $25 as that was when the Alberta government
introduced "Prosperity Certificates". The federal government declared these
illegal because the issue of currency was their jurisdiction. The Alberta
government made sure these "Prosperity Certificates" were all honoured in
Alberta. The media and others called these certificates "funny money". This
sounds a little too early to be the ones you describe but later the Alberta
government under Aberhart created "Credit Unions", the Alberta Treasury
Branch banks and a system of "social credit" vouchers. These were to be paid
by the ATB to anyone who bought Alberta made products or services. MLAs had
part of their salaries paid in these credits and if they did not buy Alberta
made products or services they could not use of this portion of their pay.
Through these and other legislation passed by the Alberta Government and
deemed illegal by the feds Aberhart was able to bring Alberta out of debt.
Aberhart died in 1943 but the reforms he started had Alberta's debt paid off
by 1949 and the province remained debt free until 1971. When the Tories took
over in 1971 there was eight billion dollars in the bank. I am not saying
this based on any political agenda as Aberhart was long-dead before I was
even born. However, this is what the history books tell me!
One such book contains photos and descriptions of various types of
alternative monetary schemes in Canada so if you wish to send the pictures
of the "funny money", I will see if I can find them in the book.
The history of Canada's alternative methods of creating their own money
dates back to 1685 when there was a shortage of French money in Canada. Thus
"playing card money" was issued to provide currency until the ships from
France came with new supplies. See
http://www.canadianheritage.org/reproductions/21764.htm but don't be fooled
by their blurb which says it was used in France - it was solely created in
and for "New France". In fact, the French government objected strongly to
this monetary system and finally forced it out of existence in 1719. This
just proves you cannot believe everything on the Internet even when it is
issued by a supposed authoritative source.
Xenia Stanford (president@...)
A.G.E. Ancestree Genealogical Enterprises
Column: "Nos Racines Francaise" http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette
Local book and magazine sales: http://www.knowmap.com/age/
Celtic Stone Art: http://www/celticstoneart.com
Phone: (403) 295-3490; Fax: (403) 274-0564
[mailto:owner-dist-gen@...]On Behalf Of George Lake
Sent: April 16, 2004 9:46 AM
Subject: Bank Notes/Funny Money
I have an enquiry about whether something that looks like cheques or
receipts might be 'Funny Money' issued by the Aberhart government. There
are 3 documents dated in 1943/44 in a single jpg scan of about 44k
total. They each seem to have a bank stamp suggesting they have been
processed by Treasury Branch.
If anyone on the list with banking or money expertise thinks they might be
able to identify these email me and I will email the jpg file.
Thanks for the help.
Chairman, Alberta Family Histories Society
AFHS Website: www.afhs.ab.ca
my website: www.glake.ca