Seeking to bolster support for conscription, Borden reached out to the opposition to form a union government. Laurier refused, fearing loss of his political base to Henri Bourassa, who led opposition to the war in Quebec. The Liberal party split over the issue with many liberals joining the union government to fight the election. In June, the Union government put forward legislation that would have enabled the government to conscript every male between 18 and 60.
Opposition to conscription was not limited to Quebec. Many farmers opposed the measure arguing that they needed their sons at home if they were to meet the rising demand for agricultural production. Labour leaders supported the conscription of wealth arguing that burden of service should be shared by the wealthy as well as the working class. Still others opposed the war as a matter of conscience or saw the measure as an offense against Canadian democracy. Among visible minorities denied political equality there was also objection to being called to