Showing 16114 results

People and organizations

Vancouver (B.C.). Lennie Commission, 1928

  • Corporate body

The Lennie Inquiry, headed by Commissioner R.S. Lennie (barrister-at-law), was initiated in response to complaints from within the Police Department and growing rumours about lack of efficiency in and cooperation between certain divisions of the Department. The enquiry was established by resolution of City Council on April 13, 1928, to investigate the administration of the Police Department and "any supposed malfeasance, breach of trust or other misconduct" of any member of the Department. A further resolution was passed on May 3, 1928, stating that members of the Police Commission (and, therefore, the Mayor) were to be included within the scope of the enquiry. The hearings were held at the Vancouver Courthouse and took 180 hours. The proceedings were widely reported in local newspapers and a final report was submitted to Council on August 23, 1928.

Vancouver (B.C.). Medical Health Officer

  • Corporate body

The Medical Health Officer is responsible for the overall planning and implementation of public health services in the City of Vancouver in accordance with legal responsibilities delegated by federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government, and in response to identified health needs in the community. The Medical Health Officer has duties as Secretary of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Greater Vancouver and as Chairman of the Administrative Council. In association with the City Commissioner, the Medical Health Officer is responsible for effective departmental functioning in conjunction with other City departments and boards, and shares, with other departmental members, significant responsibilities for liaison with federal and provincial government departments, professional organizations, and voluntary agencies. The administrative history of the office of the Medical Health Officer is synonymous with that of the Health Department, and as such, researchers are directed to the Health Department administrative history for an account of the development of this office.

Vancouver (B.C.). Multicultural Health Education Program

  • Corporate body

The Multicultural Health Education Program was established in 1986 to offer health promotion and educational services to immigrant communities in Vancouver. From the Program's establishment to the closing of the Vancouver Health Department in 1995, the position of Multicultural Health Educator was held by Guninder Mumick.

Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Clerk

  • Corporate body

The basis for the authority of the City of Vancouver's City Council is the first Vancouver Act of Incorporation of April 6, 1886 enacted by the Government of the Province of British Columbia. The Act set out the powers, functions, and some procedures relating to the government of the City of Vancouver, and required election of a City Council, the governing body of the local government. Although the City of Vancouver funds the Library, the schools, and the parks, each of these have their own governing boards. The Act of Incorporation (more recently called the Vancouver Charter) has been amended frequently, and is periodically revised and consolidated. The Act has defined the increasing land parameters of Vancouver. In 1886 Vancouver extended from the West End and Alma Road in the west, to Nanaimo Street in the east, and 16th Avenue to the south. In 1911, District Lot 301 and the Townsite of Hastings were annexed (so that Vancouver then extended east to Boundary Road, and south to 25th and 29th Avenues in some areas of the eastern half of the city). Then in 1929, the municipalities of South Vancouver and Point Grey were amalgamated with Vancouver (to result in present-day boundaries to the south and west). City Council's powers may be exercised by by-law or resolution, according to the provisions of the Charter. Powers have included: creation and maintenance of "public works" (now often referred to as "the infrastructure"); land and building regulation; provision of police and fire protection; maintaining health standards; provision of cultural and recreation services; and tax collection through property taxes, business licenses, and other fees. Local government is responsible to the provincial government, according to the Municipal Act of British Columbia. Some of the relationships with provincial and federal government are intricate, as program requirements are legislated from above, and some program funding is provided by senior governments. The Mayor is the president of Council according to British parliamentary traditions. In order to carry out its functions Council has the authority to determine the internal organization of the governance and bureaucracy. Until 1956 Council was formally involved in all aspects of the operations of the City through the "Council Committee" system. The system was seen as increasingly cumbersome and ineffective, so the Board of Administration was created to take care of managing operations, all the bureaucracy's administrative and service functions except governance (as of 1974 the Board was replaced by the City Manager). Standing committees, as subdivisions of the major aspects of the business of Council, have always existed.
The responsibilities of the City Clerk were established with the Act of Incorporation in 1886, which declared the City Clerk to be the Returning Officer of the City (the official responsible for voters' lists and elections). Additional duties included purchasing supplies and were somewhat undefined. With the clarifications of the 1900 Act of Incorporation, formalized responsibilities included recording Council minutes, keeping custody of the by-laws, and maintaining financial records. The Clerk also received all mail directed to the City. A 1912 by-law assigned responsibility for facilitating communication between the citizens, the Mayor, Council, and Council's committees to the City Clerk. In a 1953 Act of Incorporation amendment, the Clerk was named as custodian of the City seal. With the exception of financial functions, which long ago passed to financial officers, the Clerk's responsibilities have remained remarkably consistent. The primary functions over time have been: taking minutes for the meetings of City Council and related bodies; keeping the records of the City of Vancouver as required by the Vancouver Charter; carrying out correspondence on behalf of Council; keeping all records related to City Council decision making (including large volumes of supporting documents); assembling voters' lists and carrying out elections (for Council, the Park Board, the School Board, and on plebiscites); providing communication, information, and public relations services, including responsibility for civic ceremonies; and, since 1970, responsibility for the Archives. From 1886 to 1974, the City Clerk reported directly to Council; from 1974 the position has been reporting to the City Manager's Office. Although the formal organization of the City Clerk's Department has in recent years consisted of a number of divisions - the Council secretariat, the Voters' List Division, periodically a small Public Relations / Communications Division, and the Archives and Records Division (since 1970) - in practice, the Office of the City Clerk has included all divisional sections except the Archives. During some periods the Office of the City Clerk was more commonly referred to as the City Clerk's Office, though the former has prevailed.

The following individuals have served as City Clerk:
Thomas Francis McGuigan, 1886-1905
Arthur McEvoy, 1905-1907
William McQueen, 1907-1931
Charles Jones, 1931-1935
W. L. Woodford, 1935
Fred Howlett, 1935-1945 (acting 1935-1937)
Ronald Thompson, 1945-1973
Douglas Haig Little, 1973-1978
Robert Henry, 1978-1987
Maria Kinsella, 1987-1997
Ulli Watkiss, 1998-2001
Syd Baxter, 2001-2008
Marg Coulson 2008- (acting 2008-2009)

For more historical information on the above bodies see the inventory for the City Council and the Office of the City Clerk fonds. Administrative histories for other creators in this fonds (e.g. Airport Board) are given at the series level.

Related Resources:
For South Vancouver and Point Grey municipality Council, City Clerk's, and all other retained archival records dating from before amalgamation with the City of Vancouver in 1929, see the Corporation of the District of South Vancouver fonds and the Corporation of Point Grey fonds. The offices forming City Council, the mayor and aldermen (now called councillors), are arranged as the Mayor's Office fonds and the Councillors' office fonds.

Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the Industrial Commissioner

  • Corporate body

In 1948, in an effort to encourage the settlement of new industries in Vancouver, the position of Industrial Commissioner was created. The position was held by Thomas Flanagan, who was also the Supervisor of Land Sales and Rentals Division. After 1953, the position no longer appears in the municipal reports.

Vancouver (B.C.). Office of the City Comptroller

  • Corporate body

The Director of Finance, formerly known as Comptroller, is responsible for the control and supervision of all the financial affairs of the City. This function includes the supervision of the operating divisions, management of the City's short-term investments, and control of the City's debt. Between 1886-1912, the Treasurer was the chief financial officer of the City and thus handled these responsibilities. In 1912, the Comptroller, who had previously controlled the accounting function, replaced the Treasurer as the head of the Finance Department. As head of the City's financial department, the Comptroller had responsibility and authority for the collection of all revenue, solicitation of monthly reports, preparation of estimates, custody of titles, bonds, and securities, and rental/leasing of City properties. These increased powers were incorporated into the City Charter in 1921, with the Comptroller's main function defined as the general control over the collection of City revenue and all other fiscal matters. In 1953, the authority of the Comptroller was further increased as he was named the Chief Financial Officer of the City and was responsible for all the financial affairs of the City and was to act as Council's advisor on all financial matters. In 1965, the title of Comptroller was replaced with the title Director of Finance. The Director currently controls all the financial functions of the City, subject to the authority of the City Manager and Council and acts as their main advisor on all financial matters.

Vancouver (B.C.). Permits and Licenses Department

  • Corporate body

The Department of Permits and Licenses was established on February 28, 1967 with the amalgamation of a variety of inspection, licensing, and business tax units, to coalesce, within a couple of years, into the following primary divisions: the new office of Director, the head of the expanded Department; the Building Inspection Office (comprised of the former Building Department, including its head, still called the Building Inspector, with the addition of Electrical Inspection, formerly part of the Electrical Department, and two Engineering offices, the Smoke Inspector and the Septic Tank Inspector); and the License and Business Tax Office (a unit moved intact, along with its head, the City License Inspector and Business Tax Collector, from the Finance Department). The authority for the department's regulatory activities derives from the Vancouver Incorporation Act of 1886 (section 120, "Powers of Council to Pass By-laws") and its subsequent amendments and revisions, and is supplemented by the British Columbia Municipal Act which defines municipal standards relating to public safety, public health, and business regulation. The intricacies of almost continual structural fine tunings can best be summarized by brief notes on functions including air pollution monitoring, animal control, building and development permit processing, building inspection, business licensing and taxation, City owned buildings construction and maintenance, electrical inspection, gas inspection, industrial waste inspection, plumbing inspection, and properties inspection. These functions evolved as follows:
(1) Air pollution monitoring. Carried out by the smoke inspectors of the Engineering Department until 1967; part of Permits and Licenses' responsibilities 1967-1971. In 1971 the GVRD took over this function.
(2) Animal control. Operation of the City Pound and issuance of animal licenses was carried out by the License and Business Tax Office of the Finance Department until 1967, then moved to the Permits and Licenses Department.
(3) Building and development permit processing. The building permit process is primarily overseen by plan checkers who work closely with the building trades, while development permits were monitored by the Building Inspector, then by the zoning staff within the Planning Department. However, there has always been a close relationship and overlap between the two functions (zoning was part of Permits and Licenses for a short period, approximately 1967-1969).
(4) Building inspection. City Council first spoke of the need for a Building Inspector in June 1899 (referring the matter to the Board of Works). By-law no. 366 (12 Nov. 1900) first defined building standards and assigned the Building Inspector to examine building plans and issue building permits according to the standards. Building permit records were kept by the Building Inspector from at least January 1901. The earliest building standards adjudication was carried out directly by City Council (which had that authority from the Vancouver Incorporation Act, see Council minutes for procedural details), then by the Building Inspector (an autonomous unit until 1967), then by the Permits and Licenses Department as a division (variously named Building Inspection, Inspection and Enforcement, Permits and Inspection, etc.).
(5) Business licensing and taxation. These functions enforce or enable the License By-law, the Vehicle Licensing By-law, the Vehicle for Hire By-law, the Business Tax By-law, etc. The earliest of many business licensing by-laws passed by City Council related to liquor licenses (no. 5, 1886) and cabs and drays, etc. (no. 8, 1886). Carried out originally by City Council (in conjunction with the City Clerk and City Solicitor) , then by the Fire, Health and License Inspector's Office (by 1891), and eventually by the License and Business Tax Office of the Finance Department until 1967, when it transferred, in tact, to the Permits and Licenses Department. In 1984 the business tax was repealed, but licensing continued.
(6) City owned buildings construction and maintenance. This function relates to the control and coordination of the consultants and contractors hired for these purposes. Carried out by the Building Department until 1967, by the Permits and Licenses Department until 1978 (then by the newly created Civic Buildings Department).
(7) Electrical inspection. Has enforced the Electrical By-law and the Fire By-law (including fire alarms, emergency lighting, etc.). Carried out by a unit of the Electrical Department until taken over by the Permits and Licenses Department in 1967.
(8) Gas inspection. This function relates to the construction of gas lines according to regulations. Carried out by the Building Department until 1967, then by the Permits and Licenses Department.
(9) Industrial waste inspection. Has enforced aspects of the Plumbing By-law, ensuring that industrial waste is safely discharged into the sewer systems.
(10) Plumbing inspection. Carried out by the Building Department until 1967, then by the Permits and Licenses Department.
(11) Properties inspection. Has enforced the Zoning and Development By-law, the Standards of Maintenance By-law, the Untidy Premises By-law, and part of the Sign By-law.
Predecessors of the Permits and Licenses Department are: the Engineering Department, 1886-1967; the Building Inspector's Office (i.e. the Building Department), 1900-1967; the Electrical Department (electrical inspection only), ca. 1920-1967); and the License and Business Tax Office of the Finance Department, ca. 1890-1967.
From first appointment in 1900 until the Building Department's amalgamation with the Permits and Licenses Department in 1967 the Building Inspector reported to the responsible City Council Committee (names varied, e.g. Building and Town Planning Committee, etc.). The other primary forerunner of the Permits and Licenses Department, the License and Business Tax Office (originally the Fire, Health and License Inspector's Office), also reported to the responsible City Council Committee (the Police Committee in the 1890s), then was a part of the financial function, reporting to the City Comptroller from ca. 1912-1964, who was renamed the Director of Finance in 1967. The Permits and Licenses Department reported to the Board of Administration 1967-1974, and subsequently to the Board's replacement, the Office of the Ciy Manager, 1974-1995. In 1995 the Permits and Licenses Department became a unit of the larger service group, Community Services, so reported to the General Manager of Community Services.
The internal organization of the Permits and Licenses Department has varied considerably, both in terms of the number and types of divisions, and the divisional alignments of some of the branches. The primary functional units which have existed from the early period are: building permits and inspection, and other types of inspection; and business license and business tax administration. In 1980, about 13 years after the two primary functional units become the core of the Permits and Licenses Department, the following internal organization is given in the City's organization chart: the Permits and Inspections Division (including Permits and Plan Checking, Building Inspection, Plumbing Inspection, Electrical Inspection, and Industrial Waste Inspection); the Property Use Division (consisting of Property Use Inspection); the License and Business Tax Division (including License and Business Tax, City Pound, an Vehicles for Hire Inspection); and the Administrative Service Division (including Correspondence, Reception, Data Resource, and Steno Pool).
The name of the Permits and Licenses Department has not changed since 1967.
The following individuals have served as director of the Permits and Licenses Department: H. L. Bryson (1967-1978); Roger Hebert (1979-1992); Jack Perri (1993- ).

Related Resources:
For further information on the origins of the functions of the department consult City Council minutes (series 31) and the corresponding early indexes. The City Clerk kept City Council supporting files on all matters before Council; series 20 contains "Building Inspector" files from 1910, and "License Inspector" files from 1891.

Vancouver (B.C.). Police Court

  • Corporate body

Under the 1886 Act of Incorporation, City Council was given authority to establish a Police Court and to appoint a Police Magistrate. The Police Magistrate was given the powers and authority of a Stipendiary Magistrate of the Province, which empowered him to rule on minor breaches of federal and provincial statutes, issue summonses and warrants, conduct release hearings and preliminary hearings for cases destined for higher courts. The Mayor, in addition to his powers as ex-officio Justice of the Peace, was given exclusive jurisdiction to try all cases relating to the bylaws of the city. In 1898 an amendment to the City Charter removed the Mayor's jurisdiction in these cases. The jurisdiction and powers of the Police Court remained relatively unchanged until 1962 when the Magistrates Act replaced the Police Court with a Magistrate's Court; the Police Magistrate and Deputy Magistrates became Magistrates. The former Police Magistrate was to be the administrator of the City Courts. The City was no longer required to provide office space for the Magistrates Court, this responsibility being taken over by the Provincial Government. In 1969, the Magistrate's Court became a Provincial Court of B.C., ending the City's administrative responsibility for the court.

Related Resources:
Board of Police Commissioners fonds; Police Department fonds.

Vancouver (B.C.). Official Traffic Commission

  • Corporate body

The Official Traffic Commission was established by Council resolution in 1930 to investigate, consider and make recommendations to Council on traffic matters, both legislative and administrative, referred to it by Council, any Committee of the Council, the Police Commission, civic officials, any public body or persons, or on its own initiative.

Traffic matters the Commission dealt with included those pertaining to the regulation and control of traffic on the streets of the City, including automatic devices, signs and markings for controlling and regulating all traffic, as well as the best methods of obtaining and for enforcing such regulation and control.

The Official Traffic Commission was disbanded on May 18, 1976. All traffic issues formerly handled by the Commission were subsequently referred for decision directly to the Engineering Department, on the understanding that there be a right of appeal to Council.

Vancouver (B.C.). Properties Division

  • Corporate body

In the early years the management of City-owned properties was the responsibility of the Office of the Assessment Commissioner. By 1912 the Land Purchasing and Claims Department was established to take over the function. The names for this unit fluctuated, e.g. by 1932 it was the Land Sales Department and by 1936 the Lands and Rentals Department. By the late 1940s the functions included land sales, rentals, building repairs, land subdivisions, and insurance; by the 1948 expansion additional responsibilities were land purchasing, industrial development, lot clearing (transferred from City Engineer), and wartime housing (159-E-6 reel 1 file 1). On July 27, 1957 City Council passed the recommendation of the newly formed Board of Administration (1956) that the following units would become part of a new Finance Department headed by the City Comptroller: City Comptroller's Office, Accounting, Addressograph and Multilith, Assessment, Internal Audit, License and Business Tax, Motor Vehicle Inspection, Personnel and Payroll, Property and Insurance [referred to as the Properties Division], Purchasing and Supply, Revenue Collection, Tabulating, and Treasurer. In 1978 the Properties Division became part of the Civic Buildings Department, which was reconfigured as the Housing and Properties Department in 1989. With the major City reorganization of 1995, the Housing and Properties Department became Real Estate Services, under the broad financial unit called Corporate Services.

Vancouver (B.C.). Property Endowment Fund Board

  • Corporate body

The Property Endowment Fund and the Property Endowment Fund Board were created by Council resolution in 1975. The 5-member Board, which consists of the Mayor, two members of Council, the City Manager, and the Director of Finance, has the following purposes: to maintain or increase the City's ownership of strategic land in the City of Vancouver; to support the City's planning and development objectives; and to produce a reasonable return on the City's investment in properties consistent with the City's planning and development objectives. All decisions of the Board must be ratified by Council.

Vancouver (B.C.). Revenue and Treasury Division

  • Corporate body

Since 1966, the Revenue and Treasury Division has been responsible for the functions of treasury and tax collection. The treasury function has been part of the Department of Finance since 1886. Prior to 1966, the duties associated with this function were carried out by the City Treasurer and included receiving monies, the paying of authorized accounts, custody of negotiable securities (with the Director of Finance) and the recording of debenture ownership as requested. The tax collection function has also been part of the Department of Finance since 1886. Prior to 1966, the duties associated with this function were carried out by various offices, e.g., the Collector of Taxes, Poll Tax Collector, Revenue Tax Collector, and Special Collections Branch, and included the collection of property taxes, local improvement charges and flat water rates, parking meter monies, and other sundry accounts, auctions involving the tax sale of property, the issuing of tax certificates and the custody of the tax rolls. In 1966, these two functions were brought together through the amalgamation of the Property Tax Branch and Collections Branch to form the Revenue and Treasury Division.

Vancouver (B.C.). Risk and Emergency Management Division

  • Corporate body

The Risk and Emergency Management Division was created in 1992 by the amalgamation of the Vancouver Emergency Program (formerly the Vancouver Civil Defence Board), and the Risk Management Program.

In 1951 the Province of British Columbia passed the Civil Defence Act, assigning responsibility to the Provincial Secretary and providing grants to local governments to set up defence programs. Consequently, in 1951 the City established the Vancouver Civil Defence Board and the position of Civil Defence Coordinator. The primary function of the Board was civil disaster preparedness; accomplished through the conduct of emergency operations exercises and training programs, and liaising with provincial and federal bodies to prepare for emergency operations during and after potential civil disasters such as earthquakes, fires, acts of terrorism and hazardous material spills. These activities have expanded to include staff training, public education, administration of the City's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and implementation of the Council approved emergency management initiatives.

In 1974 the Provincial Secretary changed the name of the function from Civil Defence Branch to the Provincial Emergency Program and requested local governments to change their terminology accordingly. In response, the Vancouver Civil Defence Board was renamed the Vancouver Emergency Program.

In 1985, in response to rising liability insurance premiums, City Council made the decision to establish a self-insurance program to handle liability claims against the City. A Risk Management Program was formally established as a division of the Department of Finance in February of 1987. The Program was designed to administer the self-insurance program and to handle liability claims against the City, as well as to advise other departments and civic bodies on minimizing risk of loss or damage to third parties. It also manages the City's insurance portfolio and administers the deductible reserve, initiates third party collection proceedings to recover damages and administers the self-insurance liability reserve.

In 1992 the Risk Maangement Program was joined with the Office of Emergency Management to form the Risk and Emergency Management Division, still within the Department of Finance. In 1995 Risk and Emergency Management became a division of the City Corporate Services Group.

Name changes evolved as follows:
Vancouver Civil Defence Board, 1951-1974;
Vancouver Emergency Program, 1974-1992;
Risk Management Program, 1987-1992;
Risk and Emergency Management Division, 1992-.

Vancouver (B.C.). Real Estate Services

  • Corporate body

In the early years the management of City-owned properties was the responsibility of the Office of the Assessment Commissioner. By 1912 the Land Purchasing and Claims Department was established to take over the function. The names for this unit fluctuated, e.g. by 1932 it was the Land Sales Department and by 1936 the Lands and Rentals Department. By the late 1940s the functions included land sales, rentals, building repairs, land subdivisions, and insurance; by the 1948 expansion additional responsibilities were land purchasing, industrial development, lot clearing (transferred from City Engineer), and wartime housing (159-E-6 reel 1 file 1). On July 27, 1957 City Council passed the recommendation of the newly formed Board of Administration (1956) that the following units would become part of a new Finance Department headed by the City Comptroller: City Comptroller's Office, Accounting, Addressograph and Multilith, Assessment, Internal Audit, License and Business Tax, Motor Vehicle Inspection, Personnel and Payroll, Property and Insurance [referred to as the Properties Division], Purchasing and Supply, Revenue Collection, Tabulating, and Treasurer. In 1978 the Properties Division became part of the Civic Buildings Department, which was reconfigured as the Housing and Properties Department in 1989. With the major City reorganization of 1995, the Housing and Properties Department became Real Estate Services, under the broad financial unit called Corporate Services.

Vancouver (B.C.). Rental Accommodation Grievance Board

  • Corporate body

The Rental Accommodation Grievance Board was established by Council in September 1969 under By-law no. 4448. Three Board members were appointed by Council for about 3 years each, with one of those appointed chair, according to the by-law and amendments. The Board office was located on the ground floor of City Hall.

Created to solve some of the problems caused by Vancouver's low vacancy rate in rental housing, which left some tenants particularly vulnerable in rental disputes, the Board was authorized to settle grievances between landlords and tenants (e.g. excessive damage deposits, proper notice of rent increases, unauthorized entry, mitigation of damages, standards for accommodation, etc.).

As early as 1970, the Board's powers were called into question. Changes to the provincial Landlord and Tenant Act specifically noted the types of duties performed by the Board were under provincial jurisdiction. This legislation was confirmed in a Small Claims Court decision in February 1972. In 1973, the judgement was upheld by the B.C. Supreme Court and the Board was relegated to a more advisory role. Although the by-law remained in place, the powers of the Board had been effectively disallowed by the courts. In 1974, the provincial government assumed greater control over rental housing in the province with the establishment of the Office of the Rentalsman. With their responsibilities supplanted by provincial legislation, the Board advised the City Council that the Board should be disbanded and all services discontinued. Such a motion was passed by Council on February 18, 1975.

Vancouver (B.C.). South Shaughnessy Single Family Zoning Review Program

  • Corporate body

In 1990 City Council approved the South Shaughnessy Single Family Zoning Review Program. The purpose of the program was to respond to concerns about the design and landscaping of new houses in the area and the resulting change in character. The photodocumentation of "Second Shaughnessy" and "Third Shaughnessy" began in the summer of 1990 and was initially carried out by students working for consultant Robert G. Lemon Architecture and Preservation on behalf of the Shaughnessy Heights Property Owners Association. After the summer, Planning staff continued with the documentation and added the area from West 41st Avenue south to West 57th Avenue, west to East Boulevard, and east to Oak Street. The Planning Department's South Shaughnessy / South Granville Zoning Review Study was completed in 1996, after the creation of four new zones to respond to the varying concerns of different areas of Shaughnessy.

Results 101 to 150 of 16114