Series GR-3563 - Records of the Deputy Minister of Women’s Programs and the Executive Director of the Women’s Secretariat

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Records of the Deputy Minister of Women’s Programs and the Executive Director of the Women’s Secretariat

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  • textual record

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  • 1982-1989 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Ministry of Government Management Services

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1.8 m textual records

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Biographical history

The Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Government Services was established in 1871 under its first name, the office of Colonial Secretary, by authority of The Constitution Act of 1871 (SBC 1871, c. 147). Prior to that, the origins of this ministry were in the offices of the Colonial Secretaries for the Colony of Vancouver Island (1863-1866), the Colony of British Columbia (1864-1866) and the united colony of British Columbia (1866-1871). When British Columbia joined confederation in 1871, the name Colonial Secretary remained in place until April 1872 when a Provincial Secretary was named to assume the duties and functions (SBC 1872, c. 15). The mandate of the Provincial Secretary included all the powers, duties and functions held by provincial secretaries and registrars in other provinces of the Dominion of Canada. They included being the keeper of the Great Seal of the Province, with the authority to issues letters patent and commissions, and being the keeper of all registers and archives of the province and previous governments of the province. As with other departments, it was also the duty of the Provincial Secretary to make an annual report to the Lieutenant-Governor. The first annual report was produced in 1972. At various times, different agencies have been under the direction of the Provincial Secretary such as treasury and audit branches, Bureau of Mines, gold commissioners, Returned Soldiers’ Commission, Provincial Library and Archives, Provincial Board of Health, Vital Statistics, Provincial Home, and others. In most instances these agencies were later transferred to the control of new ministries established to administer the specific function or functions. At various times and for varying periods, the Provincial Secretary was responsible for industrial schools, mothers’ pensions, administration of the Infants’ Act, protection of historic sites, and arbitration of labour disputes. In 1947, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary administered the Civil Service Commission, Government Printing Bureau, Superannuation Commission, mental hospitals, institution farms, homes for the aged, inspector of hospitals, and the Elections Act. In 1976, with the addition of travel and tourism functions from the Dept. of Recreation and Travel Industry, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was renamed the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry (OIC 3199/76). Those functions were transferred out in 1978 to the Ministry of Tourism and Small Business Development. At the same time, the Provincial Secretary acquired responsibility for the Public Service Act, the Heritage Conservation Act, the British Columbia Buildings Corporation Act, and cultural services, library services, recreation, and fitness services functions from the Ministry of Recreation and Conservation. The ministry’s name was changed to the Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Government Services (OIC 3018/78) with the subsequent changes recorded in the revised statutes released the following year (RSBC 1979, c. 279). In 1988, the Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Government Services was renamed the Ministry of Government Management Services. At the same time, the office of the Provincial Secretary, and some of the functions traditionally performed by the Provincial Secretary, such as protocol and special services, provincial elections, lottery grants administration, and Government House, were transferred to the Ministry of Tourism and Provincial Secretary (OIC 1312/88).

Custodial history

The records were held in the custody of the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development before transferal to the BC Archives.

Scope and content

The series consists of memos, correspondence, reports, briefing notes, and conference proceedings created between 1982 and 1989. Although the records were held in the custody of the Assistant Deputy Minister of Women’s Programs, they consist of the records of both the Deputy Minister, Isabel Kelly, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Christine Bullen. Bullen also served as the Executive Director of the Women’s Secretariat (Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training).

The series documents the relationship between BC ministers responsible for the status of women and their counterparts in other provinces. The series consists of several conference packages from meetings of federal, provincial, and territorial representatives. The conference packages often provide evidence of British Columbia’s stance on federally-discussed matters.

The records provide evidence of government actions surrounding issues deemed to be priorities, and many records include backgrounders and recommendations. The series also documents milestones and accomplishments of the Women’s Secretariat. The series provides evidence of the range of available programs and funding solutions. Many records provide recommendations for action on certain issues, such as childcare, women in the workforce, and spousal abuse. Correspondence documents the support that the Minister Responsible for Women’s Programs provided to other BC government ministries in the form of lunch-and-learns and workshops for provincially-employed women on topics such as “Improving your writing” and “Street-smarting your kids.”

Container 911767-0037 also includes generic provincial government administrative handbooks, directories and guidelines.

Many of the conference proceedings booklets were originally in binders. These have been placed in acid-free folders. Some reports in container 911767-0042 are in French. The records are covered by the Executive Records schedule (schedule 102906.)

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Transferred from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in October 2016.


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Accession number(s) : 91-1767

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