- Corporate body
The first City Surveyor was appointed in 1878.
The first City Surveyor was appointed in 1878.
The Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau was created on June 30, 1913 through By-Law No. 8062. The Bureau was established to “investigate and examine the character and bona fides of all charitable concerns seeking aid from the City or its citizens”. In effect, the Bureau was responsible for ensuring that charities raising funds in the City filled an actual community need and demonstrated efficient and responsible stewardship of funds. The Bureau was made up of nine members, each of whom held office for a three year term.
In 1925, the Bureau joined the Confidential Exchange. The Exchange, a program sponsored by the Social Welfare Commission until 1939 and the Public Welfare Committee thereafter, was a coordinating body for agencies involved in social welfare work. In 1956, the provincial government passed The Charities Endorsement Act and widened the Bureau’s powers. The Act regulated granting of authorization to solicit funds or sell items within the province of Manitoba for a charitable purpose by charitable organizations or other agencies.
In 1996, the Act was amended again, and these amendments resulted in dissolution of the Civic Charities Endorsement Bureau. On December 11, 1996, the City of Winnipeg passed By-Law 6916/96, the Civic Charities Applications and Permits By-law, which designated a City of Winnipeg employee to authorize by permit fund-raising activities for charitable purposes as defined in The Charities Endorsement Act. At that time, the Director of the Community Resource, Protection and Safety Services, Community Services Department, was charged with administering and enforcing the new by-law. Presently, permit applications for civic charities are issued by the Manitoba Consumers Bureau and permits for raffles are issued by the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission.
As a standing committee of Council, the duties of the Committee on Finance included supervision of all City accounts, preparation of the annual budget, monitoring wages of all subordinate employees of the city, and consideration and review of every committee report that included a recommendation for the expenditure of civic funds before it was submitted to City Council. The original name of the committee was Committee on Finance and Assessment. In later years it was called the Finance Committee or Committee on Finance. The Board of Control replaced the Committee on Finance during the period 1907-1918.
The Committee on Legislation and Reception was responsible for wages and working conditions of civic employees, staff changes and appointments, grievances concerning civic personnel, labour union negotiations, work of the employer-employee advisory board, general legislation and charter amendments, and for reporting on legislation and receptions.
Names of the Committee over the years have included the Legislative Committee, Committee on Legislation, Reception, Trade and Commerce, Committee on Legislation and Reception, and Committee on Personnel and Legislation (1950-1957).
In 1958 the duties of the Committee on Personnel and Legislation were taken over by the Committee on Finance. In 1960 the Standing Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-Law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Personnel and Legislation and Committee on Public Works.* (See Municipal Manual, 1960 and Council Minutes 1957-1960).
The City of Winnipeg was incorporated November 9, 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. The Charter established a committee system of government – while Council was the governing body for the City, it was in committee that civic policies were formed and executed. The initial task for the first and all subsequent elected Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council term. From 1876 onward, the City had a standing committee whose function was to consider a broad range of issues relating to public health and welfare. The name of the committee and its scope of responsibilities changed periodically over the years:
1876-1878 Board of Health
1879-1882 Heath, Relief and Cemetery Committee
1883-1886 Committee on Health and Relief
1887-1905 Health, Market and License Committee (sometimes Market, License and Health Committee)
1905-1908 Public Health Committee
1909-1957 Committee on Health
1958-1971 Committee on Public Health and Welfare.
In 1972, Chapter 105 of the Statutes of Manitoba came into force unifying twelve area municipalities and the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg into one city government. At this time, the Committee on Public Health and Welfare was discontinued and its responsibilities assigned to a new Committee on Environment (primarily licensing matters) and a new Committee on Recreation and Social Development (matters relating to libraries, health, social services, parks and recreational services).
The Committee on Public Safety was responsible for supervision of the City Fire Department, Signal System, Building, Plumbing and Electrical Inspection Services, and Transportation and Traffic. The name of the Committee changed from the Committee on Public Safety to the Public Safety Committee for the years 1951-1957. In 1958 the duties of the Public Safety Committee were taken over by the Committee on Public Works.
The Committee on Public Utilities was responsible for Hydro Electric, Steam Heating, and Street Lighting Systems, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Water Mains and Sewers, Garbage Collection and Disposal, and Street Cleaning.
In 1958 the duties of the Committee on Public Utilities were taken over by the Committee on Public Works. In 1960 the Standing Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-Law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Public Utilities and Committee on Personnel and Legislation.
The Committee on Public Works was a standing committee of Council. The Committee's roles and responsibilities changed over the years as it gained or lost different functions and duties. Jurisdiction of the Committee over the years included the Engineers Department, Shops Department, City Quarries, Sewer Inspection and Maintenance, City Yards, Streets and Sidewalks, Snow Clearing, Bridges and Subways, Street Name and House Numbering, Civic Buildings, Concrete and Asphalt Plant, City Gravel Pit, and Reports of City Surveyor on Plans and Surveys. The committee was required to report to Council on all of these matters, and to recommend works of permanent improvement.
Names of the Committee changed several times over the years, as is reflected in the committee minutes. Names of the committee have included Works Committee, Committee on Works, Works and Property Committee, Committee on Public Improvements, and, finally, the Committee on Public Works.
The committee was appointed in 1958, and was responsible for considering and reporting on public and emergency housing projects, zoning, town planning, enforcement of by-laws relating to urban renewal, rehabilitation or conservation areas, matters relating to the Civic Centre, Public Safety Building, and Parking Garage, and the appointment of a technical committee to report and advise on the above mentioned activities.
In 1960, the Committee on Utilities and Personnel was formed by By-law 18236 to perform the combined functions of the former Committee on Public Utilities and Committee on Personnel and Legislation.
On October 30, 1975, the Executive Policy Committee instructed the Board of Commissioners to study the status of women employees in the City. To accomplish this, the Board of Commissioners created the the Committee on the Status of Women in the Employ of the City of Winnipeg, which was comprised of civic employees. Merle McCullough of the City Clerk's Department served as chairperson of the committee. The committee was directed to study career opportunities for women within the City, to identify inequalities, and to create a report detailing recommendations and guidelines to "bring about a greater utilization of women within the employ of the City of Winnipeg". The committee delivered its final report in April, 1977.
In October 1981, Mayor William (Bill) Norrie created the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Race Relations to examine racial matters, advise the Mayor and City Council on racial issues, and recommend ways to improve racial harmony in the City of Winnipeg.
The Race Relations Committee replaced the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Race Relations in the fall of 1984. Shortly thereafter, a steering committee was formed to report on the role, operation, and structure of the Race Relations Committee. On March 23, 1985, it recommended that the Race Relations Committee be reconstituted as the City of Winnipeg Race Relations Commission. The steering committee believed the Commission would have more authority as it would report directly to the Mayor and City Council. As well, the steering committee determined that “if [the commission] was placed in any other context, the body would not appear to have sufficient authority.” The steering committee also recommended that the City create an ad hoc committee of the Mayor’s Race Relation Committee to hold public meetings.
The final outcome of this work was the creation of the Community and Race Relations Committee (CRRC) by City Council on June 11, 1986. The CRRC was mandated to develop policies and programs to improve racial relations within Winnipeg and to provide guidance for individuals and organizations seeking aid on matters of racial discrimination. The CRRC was also tasked with mediating disputes in order to foster understanding between ethnic groups.
Initially, the CRRC consisted of seven community at large members, seven institutional members, the Mayor, Chief of Police, Chief Commissioner, and the Chairperson of the Executive Policy Committee. The Mayor served as Chairperson and the role of Vice-Chairperson was given to the Chairperson of the Executive Policy Committee.
There were also several sub-committees including the Education and Management Sub-Committees. The CRRC reported the Executive Policy Committee.
In 1988, the Management Sub-Committee recommended that the Chairperson be a citizen member and the Mayor become the Vice-Chairperson. It was also recommended that the community at large members be reduced from seven to three and the institutional membership be increased to eleven. City Council adopted these recommendations on June 11, 1988.
The CRRC was criticized as having too much institutional representation and not enough from the community. Beginning in 1993, the Management Sub-Committee began a review of the CRRC’s structure. In response to demographic changes in Winnipeg, City Council dissolved the CRRC on December 31, 1999. It was later replaced with the Task Force on Diversity on January 1, 2000. The Task Force on Diversity became the Citizen Equity Committee the following year.
The Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement, also known as the Special Committee on Colonization, was appointed by Council on January 30, 1888 to work with the Board of Trade and other interested parties to devise “a scheme for the settlement of vacant lands in the vicinity of the City of Winnipeg”. The City’s interest in settlement of these lands is apparent as early as 1880 when Council passed a motion on June 14 of that year calling for the Dominion government to “unlock” and distribute land “set aside for the children of Half Breeds” in the Manitoba Act of 1870. The Joint Committee’s plan was implemented during the spring and summer of 1888. It involved the preparation and distribution of information pamphlets by travelling agents hired by the Joint Committee and by agents in North American ports of arrival. Various bonuses were offered to agents and others for successful settlement of these lands. In December of 1888, Council instructed the City Solicitor to prepare a by-law that would enable Council to issue debentures to fund the work of the Colonization Committee during 1889 (By-Law 431). Being a money by-law, it was put to a vote by rate-payers and was defeated at the polls. Although the Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement appears not to have continued beyond 1888, communications received by the City suggest that efforts to encourage settlement of lands around the City of Winnipeg were ongoing into the 1890s.
The Parking Authority was founded in 1958, with the passing of By-Law No. 18056. In 1972, the Parking Authority was put under the control of the Committee on Environment, and in 1973, By-Law No. 18056 was repealed.
The Parking Authority was responsible for the construction, operation, maintenance, control and management of public parking lots and parking buildings belonging to the City. Most business consisted of expropriating land to build parking lots.
Development of Winnipeg’s network of public parks began when the Public Parks Board was created by the City of Winnipeg in 1893 and empowered to acquire land for park purposes. In addition to park development, the Parks Board constructed and operated municipal golf courses and swimming pools, was involved in city beautification through tree planting and boulevard maintenance, and managed recreational facilities, the zoo and municipal cemeteries. The Parks Board evolved into the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Winnipeg following a re-organization of municipal government in the greater Winnipeg area in the 1970s.
The first public playground in Winnipeg was opened in 1908 by the Committee on Public Playgrounds for Winnipeg, the members of which had been appointed at a citizens meeting on May 28, 1908: Mrs. J. Dick, Mrs. Dr. Sparling, J. Dyson, J. S. Woodsworth, J. W. McMillan, John Appleton, H. R. Hadcock, E. L. Drewry and H. E. Wilson. This committee solicited private funds for a demonstration project to be operated in conjunction with the Mother's Association through the summer of that year. By the fall of 1908, the Committee on Public Playgrounds for Winnipeg had become the Playgrounds Association of the City of Winnipeg, reflecting a broad trend in North America and their connection with the American Playgrounds Association. In 1909, the Association met with the City of Winnipeg's Board of Control to propose creation of a commission to manage a system of playgrounds for the city. The Board of Control supported the proposal and the Playgrounds Commission was organized in 1909 under By-Law 5557 with an appropriation of $4000. The Playgrounds Commission managed playgrounds until 1919 when its powers were transferred to the Public Parks Board through By-Law 9835.