The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was one of the most influential strikes in Canadian history. J. S. Woodsworth, a strike leader who was briefly imprisoned, went on to found the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which was the forerunner of the New Democratic Party.
After World War I many Canadian soldiers returned home to find few opportunities, though many companies had enjoyed enormous profits on war contracts. Wages and working conditions were dismal and labour regulations were mostly non-existent. The Bolshevik revolution had just occurred in Russia, and some workers saw this as an example of a successful socialist revolution.