Fonds 343 - Northwest Territories. Department of Safety and Public Services fonds

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Title proper

Northwest Territories. Department of Safety and Public Services fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Cartographic material
  • Graphic material

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Fonds

Reference code

343

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Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1970-1997 (Creation)
    Creator
    Northwest Territories. Department of Safety and Public Services (1989-1997)

Physical description area

Physical description

ca. 72 cm of textual material
maps
photographs and negatives

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Administrative history

In 1989, the Department of Safety and Public Services was created. Previously, the Department of Justice had responsibility for programs and services dealing with safety, labour and consumer affairs. The Department of Safety and Public Services was responsible for the administration of public safety in the Northwest Territories, including promotion and enforcement of public and worker safety, protecting the interests of workers and consumers and the distribution of alcoholic beverages throughout the Northwest Territories.

The Directorate was responsible for the senior management of the department, including monitoring goals and objectives, departmental policies and budgets and ensuring government priorities, policies and guidelines were followed. The Finance and Administration Division provided financial administrative services to the department, such as budget development and control, authorizing financial transactions and financial reporting. The Policy and Planning Division developed departmental policies, set department priorities, coordinated consultations on public safety and consumer issues at the federal/territorial level, identified responses to public safety and consumer issues which had an impact on the Northwest Territories and negotiated agreements between the two levels of government. Between 1996-97, the Directorate Division assumed two new functions. Investigating and Prosecution consisted of a contingency fund to provide funding in order to conduct investigations of major accidents and fires and to fund the cost of prosecuting. The Works Advisor Program assisted injured workers in their appeal to the Workers' Compensation Board. This program was administered by the Directorate but funded by the Workers' Compensation Board.

The Consumer and Corporate Affairs Division was comprised of three sections. The Consumer Affairs section was responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act, the Lotteries Act and the Residential Tenancies Act. In addition, this section handled consumer complaints, developed consumer information packages on a variety of subjects and published a quarterly newsletter, "Northern Consumer," which was circulated throughout the Northwest Territories. The Licensing section administered licensing and registration provisions of the Business License Act, Insurance Act, all (medical) Professions Acts and regulated the insurance industry. The Vital Statistics section registered all births, deaths, and marriages, name changes and adoptions in the Northwest Territories. This section also issued certificates or certified copies of certificates for these events.

The Safety Division encompassed regulatory and administrative responsibilities for fire, electrical, mechanical, gas and occupational and health and safety. These responsibilities included investigation of occupational related safety and health hazards, accidents and complaints, inspection of buildings and worksites and the review of plans to ensure compliance with codes, regulations and statutes. The Fire Safety section was responsible for training of volunteer fire chiefs and fire departments; investigation of fires and occupational-related safety and health hazards; the delivery of fire prevention programs; the inspection of buildings and work areas; and review of building plans to ensure compliance with the Fire Prevention Act and Regulations in the Northwest Territories.

Between 1990-1991, the responsibility for fire safety was moved to its own division. The Safety Division also became responsible for the inspection, installation and registration of boilers and elevators. The Boiler and Pressure Vessels section identified, registered and inspected all boilers in the Northwest Territories to ensure their safe operation. Enforcement was made under provisions of the Boiler and Pressure Vessels Act and Regulations. The Electrical and Elevator section ensured electrical and elevator installations complied with the provisions of the Electrical Protection Act. The Gas Section enforced provisions of the Gas Protection Act and Regulations through inspections, public education and registration of gas fitters.

In 1995, the department reorganized the former Safety Division and the Office of the Fire Marshal to establish one division with "one-window" access to all programs and services dealing with public safety matters. The Public Safety Division, now carried out responsibilities, which included investigations, inspections, review of construction, plans, technical advice, certification examinations and other systems to ensure compliance with building codes, regulations and statutes. This division also offered training programs to increase awareness of safety hazards, and offered a fire prevention program aimed at children. This division continued to have regulatory and administrative responsibility for electrical safety, boiler and pressure vessel safety and fire safety.

The Mine Safety Division administered and ensured the enforcement of the Mining Safety Act and Regulations along with other applicable legislation and safety codes. This division's responsibilities included: the provision of inspection services to mines, quarries, exploration sites and closed mines; the provision of mine rescue training and equipment to all Northwest Territories mines; the maintenance of mine rescue equipment; the setting of standards for mine supervisors and other key mining occupations; the provision of examinations and accreditation to ensure that required standards are met; the technical aspects of ground control, mine ventilation and dust and other pollutants; and the approval of all diesel powered mining equipment, braking systems, fire suppression systems and falling objects and roll-over protection. In 1996, the Occupational Health and Safety Division assumed responsibility for mine safety.

The Occupational Health and Safety Division was formed in 1996-1997 and had regulatory and administrative responsibility for workplace safety through the enforcement of the Safety Act and the Mine Health and Safety Act. These responsibilities included worksite inspections, accident investigation, documenting occupational specialties, reviewing plans, consulting with works and managers, withdrawing certification and prosecuting where necessary to ensure compliance with Codes, Regulations and Statutes.

In 1992-1993, the Department of Safety and Public Services assumed the responsibility for provision of administrative services for the Public Utilities Board. The Public Utilities Board was an independent agency regulating utilities in the Northwest Territories, under authority of the Public Utilities Act. The Board protected the public interest by establishing rates that were fair for the consumer, while at the same time allowed the utilities the opportunity to earn a fair rate of return.

Labour Services administered the Labour Standards Act and related legislation, which provided for the minimum conditions of employment, including hours of work, minimum wage etc. The Labour Standards Board was established by the Labour Standards Act. It heard appeals from any decision or order of the Labour Standards Officer. The Department of Safety and Public Services provided administration services for he Board.

Between 1993-1994, the department became responsible for the Liquor Commission and Liquor Licensing Board. The Liquor Commission purchased and distributed alcoholic beverages and provided the Government of the Northwest Territories with a source of revenue. The Liquor Licensing Board was established by the Liquor Act. The Board administered and enforced the Liquor Act and issued renewals, transfers, suspended and cancelled all liquor licenses. The Board controlled the conduct of licensees, the management and equipment of licensed premises and the conditions under which liquor was sold or consumed.

Between 1997-1998, the department transferred the Occupational Health and Safety programs and services to the Workers' Compensation Board. The other programs that were delivered by this department were either privatized or assumed by the Executive, Department of Public Works and Services, Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Social Services. The Department of Safety and Public Services ceased to exist at this time.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of approximately 72 cm of textual material dated between 1970-1995. Records are from the Fire Safety, and Finance and Administration divisions of the Department of Safety and Public Services. The files relate to Director's and Settlement Council Meetings, policy and procedures files, reports, departmental reorganization, the Labour Standards Board, the Liquor Licensing Board and various standing committees.

The fonds also includes fatality investigation records (text, photographs and maps) from the Mine Safety Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Division.

There are also records from the Mine Safety Divison, including Inspection Reports and correspondence generated by Mining Inspection Services for Miramar and Necro Con Mine.

Notes area

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      Location of originals

      Availability of other formats

      Restrictions on access

      Access restricted under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

      Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

      Finding aids

      Finding aid available.

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      Rights

      Copyright held by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

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      Language of description

      • English

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