Minister of Government Services (Manitoba)
The position was created on January 13, 1871, carrying out the responsibilities of the Board of Public Works from the defunct Council of Assiniboia. The minister was originally styled as the Minister of Public Works. The department was responsible for overseeing roads, bridges, ferries and related services.
The first Public Works minister of Manitoba was Thomas Howard, who resigned from the position after only ten days to exchange portfolios with Provincial Secretary Alfred Boyd. Until Edward Hay's resignation in 1874, all ministers of Public Works in Manitoba were also ministers of Agriculture (J.H. Ellis, The Ministry of Agriculture in Manitoba, p. 54).
Manitoba's population increased significantly in the late nineteenth century, and the department of Public Works became increasingly important in providing services to new arrivals. During the premiership of Rodmond Roblin (1900-1915), the department became especially powerful as a tool of government patronage. Robert Rogers, who held the portfolio for eleven years, was sometimes regarded as the second most important figure in the Roblin government.
In later 1914, Public Works minister Walter Humphries Montague was forced to announce that expenditures for the province's new legislative buildings would be exceeded by fifty per cent. Roblin was forced to appoint a Royal Commission to study the controversy, and his government resigned from office the following year after the commission report identified instances government corruption and kickbacks. Montague was indicted on fraud charges, but died before legal proceedings could begin.
In later years, specific government works were taken away from the Public Works ministry and allocated to separate portfolios. The position gradually came to have less authority, though it remained responsible for road construction and related projects in mid-century.
Upon the establishment of an all-party coalition government in 1940, Progressive Conservative leader Errick French Willis was appointed as Public Works minister under a Liberal-Progressive premier. He held the position for ten years, until the Progressive Conservatives left the coalition.
The department was renamed as the Ministry of Government Services in 1969, and Howard Pawley became Manitoba's first Minister of Government Services in the administration of Edward Schreyer. Two years later, when Joseph Borowski was appointed as minister, the department was renamed as Public Works again. It was changed back to Government Services by Premier Sterling Lyon in 1978, with the appointment of Sidney Spivak as minister.
The position was restructured by the incoming government of Gary Doer in 1999, and was incorporated into the Highways and Government Services portfolio. Two years later, it was again renamed as Transportation and Government Services.
The current ministry lists its government service responsibilities as follows: "The Government Services component provides a wide range of central support services to government in an efficient, cost-effective manner. Primary services include the construction, leasing and maintenance of government buildings and property across the province. Management services for information technology, transportation, and telecommunications."
Ministers of Public Works/Government Services in Manitoba
|Name||Party||Took Office||Left Office|
||January 13, 1871||January 23, 1871|
||January 23, 1871||December 14, 1871|
||Conservative||December 14, 1871||July 8, 1874|
||Liberal||July 8, 1874||December 2, 1874|
||Conservative||December 3, 1874||May 11, 1876|
||Conservative||May 11, 1876||October 16, 1878|
||Conservative||October 16, 1878||May 1879|
||May 1879||June 1879|
||Conservative||June 1879||August 27, 1886|
|David H. Wilson
||Conservative||August 27, 1886||December 24, 1887|
|David H. Wilson
||Conservative||December 26, 1887||January 19, 1888|
||Liberal||January 19, 1888||May 26, 1892|
||Liberal||May 26, 1892||January 6, 1900|
|David H. McFadden
||Conservative||January 10, 1900||December 20, 1900|
||Conservative||December 20, 1900||October 7, 1911|
|Colin H. Campbell
||Conservative||October 11, 1911||November 4, 1913|
|Walter Humphries Montague
||Conservative||November 4, 1913||May 12, 1915|
|Thomas Herman Johnson
||Liberal||May 15, 1915||November 10, 1917|
||Liberal||November 10, 1917||January 20, 1921|
|Charles Duncan McPherson
||Liberal||January 20, 1921||August 8, 1922|
||Progressive||August 8, 1922||February 22, 1929|
|Donald McKenzie (*)
||Progressive||February 22, 1929||May 18, 1929|
||Progressive||May 18, 1929||1932|
|Liberal-Progressive||1932||November 4, 1940|
||Progressive Conservative (Coalition)||November 4, 1940||August 19, 1950|
||Liberal-Progressive||August 19, 1950||January 25, 1955|
|Francis Campbell Bell
||Liberal-Progressive||January 25, 1955||July 6, 1956|
||Liberal-Progressive||July 6, 1956||June 30, 1958|
||Progressive Conservative||June 30, 1958||December 21, 1959|
||Progressive Conservative||December 21, 1959||October 24, 1962|
||Progressive Conservative||November 5, 1962||July 22, 1966|
||Progressive Conservative||July 22, 1966||September 24, 1968|
||Progressive Conservative||September 24, 1968||July 15, 1969|
||New Democratic Party||July 15, 1969||December 18, 1969|
||New Democratic Party||December 18, 1969||September 3, 1970|
||New Democratic Party||September 3, 1970||September 8, 1971|
||New Democratic Party||September 9, 1971||October 24, 1977|
||Progressive Conservative||October 24, 1977||October 20, 1978|
||Progressive Conservative||October 20, 1978||April 12, 1979|
||Progressive Conservative||April 12, 1979||January 16, 1981|
|Warner H. Jorgenson
||Progressive Conservative||January 16, 1981||November 30, 1981|
||New Democratic Party||November 30, 1981||August 20, 1982|
||New Democratic Party||August 20, 1982||November 4, 1983|
||New Democratic Party||November 4, 1983||January 30, 1985|
||New Democratic Party||January 30, 1985||February 4, 1987|
||New Democratic Party||February 4, 1987||May 9, 1988|
||Progressive Conservative||May 9, 1988||February 5, 1991|
||Progressive Conservative||February 5, 1991||May 9, 1995|
||Progressive Conservative||May 9, 1995||January 6, 1997|
||Progressive Conservative||January 6, 1997||October 5, 1999|
(*) McKenzie was an acting minister. Doern was acting minister until April 13, 1972.