Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works

Identity area

Type of entity

Primary Agency

Authorized form of name

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Department of Public Works

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1905-1972

History

The Department of Public Works was one of the original departments created upon the formation of the Executive Council of the North-West Territories in 1897. The department, with headquarters in Regina, was headed by a commissioner and deputy commissioner.

Upon the formation of the province of Saskatchewan in 1905, the provincial department's mandate included the inspection and regulation of coal mines and steam boilers; surveying; the construction and maintenance of bridges; the operation and maintenance of ferries; the construction of fireguards; the provision of a water supply; road improvements; the organization and administration of local improvement districts and the collection of arrears in taxes.

Also in 1905, the department purchased eleven existing buildings, including the jails (gaols) at Regina and Prince Albert from the Dominion Government. By 1906, responsibility for the administration of the jails and their inmates was shared between the department and the Department of the Attorney General. In 1915, Public Works assumed full responsibility. Wardens of the jails reported to the Deputy Minister of the department. A new jail building was constructed at Moosomin (1909) and jails were replaced at Regina (1914) and Prince Albert (1922). Between 1931 and 1941, female inmates were housed at the North Battleford Women's Gaol until the women's facility at Prince Albert was reopened. Responsibility for jails was transferred to the Department of Social Welfare in 1947.

Responsibility for the construction and maintenance of public buildings was added in 1906, and construction of new facilities, including court houses and the Legislative Building in Regina, began shortly thereafter.

In 1908, responsibility for local improvements was transferred to the newly established Department of Municipal Affairs. In 1909, the commissioner and deputy commissioner became known as minister and deputy minister. From 1910 to 1911, the department administered The Factories Act and mediated wage disputes. Around 1912, administration of The Factories Act and The Coal Mines Act was transferred to the Department of Agriculture.

Several significant departmental changes occurred around 1914. Responsibility for surveying, bridges, ferries, fireguards, water supply, and road improvements was transferred to the Board of Highway Commissioners. The department assumed responsibility for the administration of psychiatric hospitals, and detention facilities. The administration of the estates of persons, with no other guardian, detained in a mental hospital in Saskatchewan, was transferred from trust companies to the department. The department also became responsible for landscaping the grounds of public buildings.

In 1928, the administration of The Steam Boilers Act was transferred to the newly established Department of Railways, Labour and Industries. The function was returned to Public Works in September, 1934 and remained there until 1945, when it was transferred to the Department of Labour.

In the early 1930's, responsibility for the administration of the two psychiatric hospitals (North Battleford and Weyburn) and the Industrial School for Boys was transferred to the Departments of Public Health and Education respectively. Public Works retained responsibility for the maintenance of the psychiatric hospitals and also maintained the new School for the Deaf in Saskatoon after it opened in 1931. In 1936, the department stopped administering the estates of the mentally incompetent.

Around 1941, the department began purchasing and maintaining vehicles for use by government employees. Around 1943, the department began operating a plant to supply electricity and steam power to the Legislative Building. In the late 1940's, responsibility for the maintenance of psychiatric hospitals, schools for the deaf and boys schools was transferred to other departments. Public Works started to provide a government mail and messenger service in 1947 and began to operate a machine shop and government garage for servicing government vehicles around 1949.

By the early 1960's, the department's primary functions related to the provision of accommodation, transportation and mail services to government agencies. The department's operation and maintenance of government buildings included space planning, leasing, and management of construction projects. In 1966, the Central Vehicle Agency (CVA) was established to provide vehicles and aircraft for use by government departments and agencies. CVA also assumed responsibility for the province's air ambulance service.

On April 1, 1972, the Department of Public Works was reorganized into the Department of Government Services.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

The primary function of the Department of Public Works throughout its existence was the construction, operation and maintenance of public buildings.

Mandates/sources of authority

The Public Works Act (S.S. 1906, c.10)

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

For an agency history of the federal Department of Justice, please contact Library and Archives Canada.

Relationships area

Related entity

Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Air Ambulance Service (1945-)

Identifier of related entity

GA 10

Category of relationship

hierarchical

Dates of relationship

1966-1972

Description of relationship

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works is the controlling agency for Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Air Ambulance Service

Related entity

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works. Local Improvement Branch (1905-1908)

Identifier of related entity

GA 100

Category of relationship

hierarchical

Dates of relationship

1905-1908

Description of relationship

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works is the controlling agency for Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works. Local Improvement Branch

Related entity

North-West Territories. Dept. of Public Works

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship

temporal

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

North-West Territories. Dept. of Public Works is the predecessor of Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works

Related entity

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Government Services

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship

temporal

Dates of relationship

Description of relationship

Saskatchewan. Dept. of Government Services is the successor of Saskatchewan. Dept. of Public Works

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

GA 64

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 2008-10-30. Approved 2012-03-06. Last modified on 2017-11-29.

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

AMICUS Authorities - no entries found.
Department of Public Works Annual Reports.
Government Administrative Histories (Internal SAB Document).
SAB Clippings File - Saskatchewan - Executive Departments - Public Works.

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places