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Cranney states,
“Ripping through the skies at Mach three, reaching the outer limits of the
stratosphere, intercepting Soviet bombers over the artic, and being
un-detectable on radar (Cranney, 2016, 197).” These were the Royal Canadian Air
Force (RCAF) requirements for a new high tech fighter jet. Every American
manufacturer said it was impossible to do, but A.V. Rowe (Avro) Canada believed
otherwise. Avro got close, very close, to these specifications – however, due
to misjudgment and short-sightedness on the part of Prime Minister Diefenbaker,
the project and all its associated industries and technologies were ordered to
be cancelled and destroyed. Canceling the Avro Arrow is the most defining
moment in Canadian history because of its negative short and long term
consequences. The cancelation was disastrous because of the technical losses,
job and economic losses, and the “Brain Drain” of many incredibly intelligent
and talented people to the United States. The twenty third of September, 1958
was immortalized as “Black Friday”- the day the project was cancelled, and the
day that Canada’s fate would be sealed.

            Unprecedented
amounts of technology were lost that fateful day. Many of the lost industries
were at the forefront of their fields, and were making ground breaking new
discoveries. The Avro Arrow cancelation had defining effects due to the
technical losses it caused. The Arrow was lost despite being the best plane at
the time, Canada lost the chance at any future developments in technology, and
Canada lost the chance to develop the best aerospace industry in the world –
leaving the country in the dark for the future. The plane was a masterpiece
collage of all the technologies available at the time. It was behind the
creation of wind tunnels to test its new delta wing design, and it was behind
the creation of reliable jet engines. Cranny states, “The Arrow was the most
advanced piece of technology at the time (Cranny, 2016, 228).” The plane was a
huge technological achievement, and it was all destroyed at the hand of a man
who did not understand its true potential. Avro Canada was the best aerospace
company in the world during this project. Every day something new and exciting
was being created. There were prototypes for flying cars being drawn, and Avro
was working on the computer decades before it would become mainstream
(Hawaleshka, 1998). Because the company was shut down, and these developments
ceased, all future creations and technologies were lost. Canceling the Arrow
project prevented Canada from being able to join into the excessively lucrative
computer and military sectors, blocking several billion dollar industries from
being created.

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Zuk
Stated:

From start to finish, the
Arrow project took place in the late 1950s, during the height of the cold war,
and the start of the space race. The aerospace industry was about to hit a huge
boom, bringing thousands of people from all around the world to North America.
The space race was on, and whoever held the keys to the largest Aerospace
company not only held a licence to print money, but would have a guarantee that
their country would become the most revered and powerful. The same day the
first Arrow rolled off the factory floor in its home town of Malton, Ontario,
The Soviet Union launched their Sputnik satellite into space (Zuk, 2004, 118).      

This new space race news
supercharged the already budding Canadian aerospace industry, and Canada was on
track to be that powerful and revered country. However, on that fateful Black
Friday, all hope was lost. Canadas chance at glory and world power slipped away
like the receding tide, and has left Canada in the proverbial “stone age”. These
technical losses have helped make the cancelation of the Avro Arrow the most
defining moment in Canadian history. The Arrow was lost despite being the best
plane at the time, Canada lost the chance at any future developments in
technology, and Canada lost the chance to develop the best aerospace industry
in the world – leaving the country in darkness. To create something so
incredible, and then for it to be taken away because of its “feasibility” is a
crime on the level of no other, and consequently, every citizen of Canada has
faced repercussions as a result – either the day of, or decades later.

            The jobs lost on “Black Friday” cost many families their
livelihoods, greatly reduced the governments taxable income, and even drove a
few poor souls to suicide. That day was a mass genocide of potential from the
industry, and many professionals would never return to work in aerospace again.
The negative short and long term consequences garnished from the Avro Arrows
cancelation are what makes it the most defining moment in Canadian history. The
un-fathomable job losses were a large contributor of these negative
consequences. Canada lost their third largest employer in a day, all related
industries lost their employees, and the lost jobs would never see the light of
day again. Avro was the lifeline of over 10,000 employees. Zuk states, “When the
government cut Avro’s “cord”, Malton and the county it laid within lost their
prosperity – with its effects still being felt today (Zuk, 2004, 92).” Malton,
Ontario was almost completely filled with Avro employees, and the livelihood of
all local shop and business owners relied on the continuation of Avro employee
business. After the event, most of the employees left the area, or were snatched
up by American firms, thus leaving Malton a ghost town. All Arrow related
industries across the country also were forced to shut their doors, forcing
another 20,000 hard working people out of jobs, for a running total of 30,000
(“Rise and Fall of Arrow”, 2017). This meant that on a smaller scale, many
communities felt economic depression. The lost jobs and industries would never
return to Malton, or anywhere else in Canada. The aerospace revenue stream for
the government was closed, and every job that was lost – was gone for good
(Campagna, 2010). To demonstrate, this means the government was simultaneously
shooting themselves in the foot, and making lives harder for many Canadians. Canceling
the Avro Arrow is the most revered defining moment in Canadian history because
of its negative short and long term consequences. In all, Canada lost their
third largest employer in a single day, all related industries also lost their
employees, and the lost jobs would never come back. Furthermore, this was a
nightmare for Canada, but a blessing for the United States.

            American aerospace firms such as Lockheed-Martin and
Boeing were keeping their eyes on Avro. They hoped that sooner or later Avro
would fail – based on Diefenbaker’s lack of approval. Both Lockheed and Boeing,
along with several smaller companies, had representatives camped outside the
Malton plant on Black Friday – offering jobs to anyone who walked past, even
janitors. In the short term, this did give salvation to struggling employees,
but it did commence the largest “brain drain” of all time, to the USA. The
cancelation of the Avro Arrow has been the most defining moment in Canadian
history because of its negative short and long term consequences. The “brain
drain” was not dissimilar to watching water flow down the drain, except it was
prosperity – not water – flowing away. The cancelation left gaps of brain power
in the country, employees were left desolate, and American aerospace firms took
all the promising individuals to work for them. Brain drain is defined as a
mass loss of intelligence from an area. There is no better way to define this,
than to use the intelligence decline in Canada after the cancelation of the Arrow
project. Zuk states, “All the extremely bright and talented employees have been
lost, creating a sharp decline in Canadian brain power for generations to come”
(Zuk, 2004, 127). Without smart people, a country can not progress. Throughout
history it has always been smart and determined people that make all the major
advancements in technology and science. A society without intelligence is a
failing society, and that is what Canada was left to work with. On the human
side of the exodus, you have thousands of desolate employees that have no where
to go. Their only saving grace does not come from their own county, but comes
from the neighbouring nation. If the Canadian government had showed more
support for its citizens, than perhaps less would have been lost to the United
States (Campagna, 2010). Again, Prime Minister Diefenbaker left his people on
the wire for his actions, and even when presented with another opportunity to
save his best and brightest – he turned a blind eye. This leaves nothing to
wonder on why they left. The hardest, and most difficult part of all of this to
digest, is the large number of employees that started working in the United States.
The pride of Canada was taken from the people, but then given to the Americans
on a silver platter. “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
was the American space agency. It was created late 1958, and about fifteen
percent of all its employees working on the Apollo Program were from Avro Canada
(Rise and Fall of the Arrow, 1).” All the amazing Canadian minds were put to
work, and successfully landed men on the moon on July 20th, 1969.
The Avro Arrows cancelation has become the most defining moment in Canadian
because of its negative consequences. The cancelation left gaps of brain power
in the country, employees were left desolate, and American aerospace firms took
all the promising individuals, and used them for their own achievement.
Potentially, The American success garnered from the space program couldn’t have
occurred if the cancelation never happened. Rather it could have happened in
Canada.

            The Arrow’s cancelation was disastrous because of the
technical losses, job and economic losses, and the “Brain Drain” of many
incredibly intelligent and talented professionals to the United States. The
cancelation of the Avro Arrow is, and forever will be, the most defining moment
in Canadian history because of its negative short and long term consequences. That
twenty third of September in 1958 should, and will forever be remembered as the
day Canada changed for the worse. The day Canada lost its shot at becoming a
powerful world leader. The Arrow was a pivotal piece of technology, it held the
keys to many billion dollar industries that would benefit every Canadian economically
– it is now gone. Thirty thousand employees across the country – out of work.
Thousands lost to work in the American aerospace industry – leaving Canada in
the dark. The true North strong and free is far from the truth, with Canada’s
miniscule military and relative weakness. These negatives should have become
positives if Prime Minister Diefenbaker had been able to understand the true
potential of this revolutionary jet fighter. For the money spent on Bomac
missiles, 135 Arrows could have been built – providing a better defence whilst
creating many more positives for his country (Zuk, 2004). Its potential far
exceeds that of what Canada employs today (CF-18 Hornet), except it was being
built in 1958, rather than 2018. The takeaway lesson is that every decision has
consequences; Sometimes what seems like a good idea, can have monumental
consequences in the future. In the long run, it is always better to invest in
your own people and country – it often pays dividends in the future. If Canada
had kept the plane and continued its developments, all aspects of science and
technology would have improved compared to that of today, and we could be
living in a world now, that we might reach in fifty to a hundred years.
Therefore, if another opportunity to create something like this occurs in
Canada again, it can only be hoped that the same mistakes will not be made.

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