Conservative Canadian politician Richard Bedford Bennett was Prime Minister from 1930 to 1935 at the peak of the Great Depression. Historians generally agree that his policies to solve the severe economic recession were ineffectual and made the Conservative Party's return to power impossible until 1957. After winning the 1930 general election, Bennett also assumed the powers of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance. This concentration of power, as well as Bennett's reluctance to consult other respected politician began to alienate him the sympathies of the Canadian electorate as did his choice of living in the luxurious Chateau Laurier, Ottawa's best hotel.
In addition to these problems relating to his image in the minds of Canadian citizens, Bennett was unable to take the bold steps required by the economic situation. He was always opposed to increase social spending fearing to create a deficit, so the only action he took to improve Canada's economic condition was to raise tariffs on imported goods. He devised this plan in order to protect Canadian products, but he obtained the opposite as foreign companies retaliated and Canadian exports fell considerably causing more factory closures and job losses.