Alcohol was taking in toll on many families, and during WWI, groups like the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and the United Farm Women of Alberta formed to ban alcohol. The first temperance societies in Canada appeared around 1827 in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and Montréal. The groups initially tolerated moderate use of beer and wine, a concession which was to continue in Québec but soon gave way in the rest of the country to calls for total prohibition of all alcohol.
On June 1, 1916, prohibition became effective in Manitoba ; and in July Alberta voted for prohibition. In September a referendum was taken in British Columbia and prohibition won.
By the mid-1920s most of the provinces had already repealed their Prohibition laws and by 1930 only Prince Edward Island had Prohibition in place.
Prohibition was the result of generations of effort by temperance workers to close bars and taverns, which were the source of much drunkenness and misery in an age before social welfare existed.