Winnipeg in Focus is a database for archival descriptions and digital collections at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

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Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Housing Conditions

  • Collectivité
  • 1935-1957

The City of Winnipeg was incorporated in 1873 by a charter granted by the legislature of Manitoba. At incorporation, the City 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 Councils was to strike standing committees for the Council year. In addition to standing committees, Council established special committees to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City. Special committees were typically struck by a Council motion that outlined committee composition and responsibilities. From about 1924 onward, special committees and their associated files were assigned an alpha-numeric code beginning with the letter "A".

The Special Committee on Housing Conditions was formed in December of 1933. In the original motion, the committee was instructed to conduct a detailed survey of housing conditions in Winnipeg. This motion was amended and the scope of the committee expanded to address the "whole matter of housing conditions in the City of Winnipeg". In 1935, the committee was further instructed to look into overcrowding and to determine areas that could be cleared and redeveloped. Between 1937 and 1945, the committee formed and managed the Winnipeg Housing Company Limited and its demonstration home project.

Throughout its history, the committee worked with the federal and provincial governments to take advantage of programs and funding sources for housing starts and renovations. In particular, the committee worked with Wartime Housing Limited to address housing needs for returning servicemen and veterans. In 1947, the committee created a Fact Finding Board to prepare a report on housing conditions up to that point in time.

Acute housing shortages during the 1940s lead to creation of the Emergency Housing Department in 1945, reported to Council through the Special Committee on Housing Conditions. This city department maintained a registry of applicants for housing and available housing units, lead a campaign to encourage citizens to register and rent out unoccupied rooms in their homes, administered various emergency and low rental housing sites, and became increasingly involved in welfare and social work relating to tenants in city housing projects (individual or family case histories are contained in some communications files). Annual reports prepared by the Emergency Housing Department provide statistical data and analyses of the effects of acute housing shortages on those living in substandard housing as well as on the city as a whole.

Effective January 1, 1957, the staff of the Emergency Housing Department were transferred into the Public Welfare Department of the City of Winnipeg, which then reported to Council through the Public Welfare Committee. At the first council meeting in 1957, a motion to "not reappoint" the Special Committee on Housing Conditions carried by majority and it was discontinued.

Transcona (Man.)

  • Collectivité
  • 1912-1971

The Town of Transcona, Manitoba was founded in 1912, was granted a City Charter in 1961 and was dissolved in 1972 when it joined eleven other municipalities in amalgamation with the City of Winnipeg. Its mandate was to provide municipal services, primarily to immigrants attracted by employment opportunities following the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1907) and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway shops (1908). It’s immediate predecessor was a Board of Trade, set up in 1911 to govern the growing settlement. Prior to creation of the Province of Manitoba in 1870, the area was administered by the Council of Assiniboia (1835-1870). Following the Dominion Government of Canada’s purchase of land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1869, the newly formed Province of Manitoba had jurisdiction over the area and began the process of municipal incorporation. In 1921, Transcona declared bankruptcy and the area was administred by the Manitoba government until 1928. The name “Transcona” is derived from the National Transcontinental Railway and continues today as an electoral ward within the City of Winnipeg.

Winnipeg (Man.). City Clerk's Department. Archives and Records Control Branch

  • Collectivité
  • 1978-

Winnipeg was established as a city in 1874 and began creating records immediately, but it did not have a city archives until 1978. Many of the surrounding municipalities that were later amalgamated into Unicity in 1972 were in a very similar situation, and their surviving records have now become part of the Winnipeg City Archives' holdings. The building at 380 William, the old Carnegie Library, was set aside for storage of records and archives. Since its formation, the Archives and Records Control Branch has been responsible for managing records in storage, developing records management policy and practice, and facilitating research access to the City’s archival collection.

The required enabling bylaw for the records and archives provisions of the City of Winnipeg Act was passed in 1996, and the Records Committee was created and first met in June 1997.

See Terry Cook, "In the Public Trust: A Strategic Plan for the Archives and Records Management Services in the City of Winnipeg," (November 29, 1999).

Winnipeg Flood Record and Archives Committee

  • 1997-

The Flood Record and Archives Committee was created in May of 1997 by the Chief Commissioner, Board of Commissioners of the City of Winnipeg, and was dissolved in [1998]. Its mandate was to collect records of all Winnipeg, Manitoba floods from City departments and to add to existing archives. Collecting focussed on records created by the City of Winnipeg administration, records collected from outside organisations for elected officials, and records existing in the City of Winnipeg Archives. The Committee was chaired by the City Clerk, and included the City Records Manager and Archivist, the Emergency Program Co-ordinator, and a Flood of the Century journalist from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Emergency Preparedness and Co-ordination Committee was created in the early 1980’s, and managed the 1997 flood in Winnipeg. It co-ordinated the activities of all civic departments, outside agencies, the public sector, and volunteer groups during the State of Emergency. In April and May, sandbagging operations were undertaken along rivers in the city and in the flooded regions to the south as the Red River crested at 24.5 feet above normal. Rural and urban areas were evacuated, and the Provencher Bridge in Saint-Boniface was closed. The EPCC’s permanent provincial affiliate is the Inter-agency Committee for Emergency Preparedness, co-ordinated by the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organisation. The EPCC is supervised by the city’s Emergency Control Committee (Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chair of Works and Operations, Chair of Protection, Parks and Culture, and Board of Commissioners members) which is responsible for implementing the Emergency Preparedness Program. The EPCC is chaired by the Commissioner of Protection, Parks and Culture and operates out of the Emergency Operations Centre in the City Hall Council building basement.

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