North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture

Identity area

Type of entity

Primary Agency

Authorized form of name

North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Department of Agriculture

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1897-1905

History

The government and civil service of the North-West Territories was in an almost constant state of flux in the time period between the creation of the territory and the creation of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905. Rail access to the Canadian west resulted in a population boom, primarily of those involved in farming who moved to the west to gain access to cheap agricultural land. The responsibilities of local government expanded as the population grew.

The Department of Public Works had become a catch-all for many activities but as the population expanded and responsibilities grew, some duties relating to agriculture once handled by the Department of Public Works were transferred to the Department of the Territorial Secretary. It quickly became obvious that these responsibilities were more than expected. On December 15, 1897, An Ordinance Respecting the Department of Agriculture received assent forming the Department of Agriculture.

James Hamilton Ross was serving as both Territorial Secretary and Commissioner of Public Works. Until the creation of the new department, the functions of the Department of Agriculture fell under those two offices. Upon its creation, he was also given the Agriculture portfolio. He held this portfolio until January 21, 1899.

He was followed as Commissioner by George Hedley Vicars Bulyea (January 21, 1899 to February 4, 1903) and William Elliot (February 4, 1903 to August 31, 1905).

On December 18, 1897, John Alexander Reid, Clerk of the Executive Council, was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture. The government felt that work relating to the department could be handled by Reid in connection with his office as Clerk. In June, six months later, the workload necessitated the temporary appointment of Charles Walter Peterson as a dedicated Deputy Commissioner and this position was confirmed on October 13, 1898. Peterson held the position until June 30, 1903. John Rothes Charles Honeyman took over as Deputy Commissioner on July 1, 1903 and held this post until August 31, 1905 (provincial status for Saskatchewan and Alberta).

The first annual report of the department was delivered in 1899. It described little of the accomplishments of the fledgling department but focused primarily on what could be accomplished by the fledgling agricultural industry if given support by government. It promoted the value of experimental farms including test irrigation, the importance of meteorological observations and the need for noxious weed ordinances.

Broad categories of departmental activities included reports on various livestock, registration of livestock brands, support for agricultural societies, fire suppression, wildlife and game and territorial hospitals.

The report for 1899-1900 included an expansion of activities relating to public health.

By 1900-1901, as individual clerks were given specific responsibilities, the roots of distinct branches could be seen:
Statistical - agricultural, meteorological, medical and vital statistics Brands - registration of cattle brands
Accountants - accounts, remittances and deposits
Agricultural Organizations - support for various farming and livestock groups
Records Branch - incoming and outgoing correspondence.

The Department continued until the creation of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905 at which time responsibility devolved to the respective provincial jurisdictions.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

The Department of Agriculture was responsible for the administration of all parts of government relating to agriculture, statistics and the public health (including hospitals).

Mandates/sources of authority

The Agriculture Department Ordinance (North-West Territories Ordinances, 1897, no. 18)

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Deputy Commissioner's Office

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1897-1905

Description of relationship

Deputy Commissioner's Office is a subordinate agency to North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture

Related entity

North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture. Deputy Commissioner's Office (1897-1905)

Identifier of the related entity

GA 54

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture is the controlling agency for North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture. Deputy Commissioner's Office

Related entity

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Agriculture (1905-1989)

Identifier of the related entity

GA 38

Category of the relationship

temporal

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Agriculture is the successor of North-West Territories. Dept. of Agriculture

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

GA 51

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)

Status

Final

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Authority record created on 2008-06-02. Approved 2012-03-06. Last modified on 2017-11-29.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

The Agriculture Department Ordinance (North-West Territories Ordinances, 1897, no. 18)
Dept. of Agriculture Annual Reports

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places