Department of Labour, Deputy Minister’s Office: Lacelle files

Available reels: 9

Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Labour.
Department of Labour, Deputy Minister’s Office: Lacelle files
RG 27 B 1
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
The Department of Labour was created in the year 1900. The original objectives of the Department were the preparation and publication of the "Labour Gazette", settlement of industrial disputes, promotion of fair wage payment and proper conditions, and administration of the Alien Labour Acts. Initially, the administration of the Department was the responsibility of the Postmaster General until 1909 when the Office of the Minister of Labour was established under a separate Cabinet portfolio. Additional responsibilities have been added to the Department over the years. It was involved in the creation of a system of national employment offices after 1918, and after 1926, in the implementation of Canada's first old age pension plan. In 1940, the Department began to administer unemployment insurance. After 1945, it became increasingly involved in the creation, planning, and administration of the Canada Labour Code. In 1954 the Department created the Women's Bureau, the first federal government unit to be devoted to the interests of women in the workforce. The department was relieved of some of its functions in 1966 with the creation of the Departments of Manpower and Immigration and Regional Economic Expansion. In 1975, the Department of Labour was officially renamed Labour Canada. In 1996, Human Resources Development Canada took over the services of Labour Canada. Since 2003, Human Resources and Social Development Canada has handled the portfolio. Labour initiatives are overseen in the present day by the he Minister of Labour and Housing.
This collection consists of records that are the earliest administrative files from the first central registry records system of the Department of Labour. They are named after Joseph Henry Lacelle who was an employee of the department from 1905 to 1946 and who was the originator of the filing system. The records deal with all aspects of the department's work during the period and constitute all that has survived of the main central registry records for the earliest years of the department. Included are a number of the earliest files created under the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act as well as files on the early years of Canadian involvement in the International Labour Organization beginning in 1918. Other files deal with the implementation of the Employment Offices Co-ordination Act after 1918. For the years before 1939 there are a number of key files on unemployment relief after 1930 and on departmental responsibility for technical and vocational education. The development of government policy on old age pensions and unemployment insurance in the 1920s and 1930s is also covered. For the years of the Second World War, there are key files on the Department's major activities including the National Selective Service and the British Columbia Security Commission.