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

Winnipeg (Man.). Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement

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Winnipeg (Man.). Joint Committee on Vacant Lands Settlement

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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.

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