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

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authority records

Winnipeg (Man.). Volunteer Aid and Relief Fund Committee

  • Corporate body
  • April 1885 - October 1885

The Volunteer Aid and Relief Fund Committee was established by Council Motion on April 13, 1885. The Motion provided an initial sum of $1000 to be used exclusively for the relief of the “wives and families of those volunteers” called to the front, and established a committee to administer the fund. The Committee consisted of the mayor and six aldermen. The Committee was assisted by a Ladies Association, the members of which found “cases of necessity among the families of the Volunteers”. The work of the Committee concluded in October of 1885. An audit of their papers and books was approved by Council and forwarded to the newspaper for publication.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Housing Conditions

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 the creation of the Emergency Housing Department in 1945, which 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.

Winnipeg (Man.). Better Housing Commission

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 and commissions to investigate and manage various projects, issues and questions placed before the City.

The Better Housing Commission was formed in 1966 as specified in Section 707A of The Winnipeg Charter. The Commission consisted of five persons appointed annually by Winnipeg City Council. The Commission heard appeals related to notices issued under By-law No. 19165 (Minimum Standard of Housing Repair By-law). This by-law established minimum standards for the state of repair of the exteriors of residential buildings and of buildings in residential areas, and enabled enforcement. Members of the Commission in its inaugural year were: Alderman S. Rebchuk, George A. Stewart, E. J. W. Akins, T. A. MacFarlen, and Serge Radchuk. With the exception of Serge Radchuk, who was replaced by Fred James in 1967, membership remained the same until the last year of the Commission. The Better Housing Commission ceased operations in 1971 with the formation of Unicity.

Winnipeg (Man.). Playgrounds Commission

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.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee to Investigate Charges regarding Purchase of Motor Trucks

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.

The Special Committee to Investigate Charges regarding Purchase of Motor Trucks was appointed on February 2, 1920 to address allegations made by the Winnipeg Motor Trades Association, Car Section, that tenders to supply vehicles to the City did not receive impartial consideration. The file contains a Resolution by the Winnipeg Motor Trades Association, Car Section, which includes the names of vehicle dealerships and managers. Also included is a statement by J. G. Sullivan, Consulting Engineer, refuting the charge. Sullivan's statement is signed by members of the committee responsible for selecting vehicles for purchase.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Amalgamation

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.

The Special Committee on Amalgamation was appointed by Council on August 19, 1918 to "consider and report on the question of adjusting, re-arranging and amalgamating the various departments of City Offices". In order to complete this task, the Committee requested statements from the City's twenty-three administrative departments showing the functions and duties of the department and the organization of staff (including the name, position, salary and responsibilities of each staff member). Statements were not requested for the Fire Department or the Light and Power Department. The Committee's final report was accepted by Council in December of 1918 and referred to the City Solicitor to draft requisite legislation. The Special Committee on Amalgamation had five members and adjourned following submission of its report to Council: Controllers Wallace and Puttee and Aldermen Fowler, Fisher and Vopni.

Winnipeg (Man.). Special Committee on Social Evil Question

The Special Committee on Social Evil Question was appointed by Council on February 28, 1910 to meet with a similarly named committee of the Moral and Social Reform Council of Manitoba to address prostitution in the area around Rachel and McFarlane Streets in particular. Later in 1910, Council requested the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council appoint a Commission to investigate charges of graft within the police department regarding trade in liquor and prostitution within a segregated area in the City (Rachel and McFarlane Streets). Judge Robson's report was received by the City in January of 1911. Although Council adopted a motion to have the Special Committee on Social Evil Question "remain a permanent Committee of the City Council for the year 1910", a handwritten note dated January 3, 1912 states "This matter has not been taken up." Committee minutes exist for three meetings in 1910 (March 17, 21 and 22). No file code was assigned to this special committee.

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