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The National Policy was an economic policy put in place in 1879 by John A. Macdonald's government. It remained the basis of Conservative economic policy for many years -- Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden would maintain the policy from 1911 to 1920, as would Prime Minister R. B. Bennett from 1930 to 1935.
A nationalist policy designed to favour Canadian industries and to promote consumer confidence, the National Policy was initially seen as a protectionist measure. Over time, however, the policy took on a larger scope. The Canadian Pacific Railway, the colonization of the Prairies, the development of ports, and financial support for a sea link to Europe and Asia to support the export of Canadian goods came to be included under the heading of the National Policy.