Contact Us
     Location:      Location: Alberta Government > Culture and Community Spirit > HeRMIS >PAA
View Report!
No.: GR0078
TITLE: Department of International and Intergovernmental Relations fonds
CREATOR: International & Intergovernmental Relations
DATE RANGE: 1945-1994
EXTENT: 82.18 m of textual records and other materials
Other materials include: 45 videocassettes, 15 video reels and ca. 100 photographs.
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Dates of Founding and/or Dissolution:
The Department of International and Intergovernmental Relations was established as the Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs under The Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs Act (S.A. 1972, chapter 33), which came into force June 2, 1972.

Functional Responsibility:
The newly-elected Lougheed Government, which assumed office on September 10, 1971, recognized a need for a department devoting its full attention to intergovernmental affairs. A Minister of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs was appointed in 1971, and the Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs was established under The Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs Act (S.A. 1972, chapter 33), which came into force June 2, 1972. This Department was responsible for advising the Minister on the coordination and review of all policies, programs and activities of the Government of Alberta and its agencies in relation to the Government of Canada, other provincial and territorial governments, as well as governments of foreign countries and states, and the agencies of all of these governments. These responsibilities involved regular liaison with other provincial departments, involvement in negotiations of intergovernmental agreements and participation in intergovernmental meetings. The activities of the government were initially divided into three functional categories: Social and Cultural Affairs, Resource and Industrial Development, and Constitutional and Economic Affairs.

The Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs also supported offices outside of Alberta. An office had been maintained in Ottawa since the 1930s, and came under the department when it was established, though with reduced functions. This Office was primarily a "listening post," gathering information on issues of the day, monitoring House of Commons and Commons committees, and monitoring meetings or hearings of federal agencies when of significance to Alberta. An office in Toronto, primarily related to the manpower field, was opened in February 1975, and closed in October 1984. The Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs also monitored and coordinated Government of Alberta activities internationally. The Department initially supported three international offices. Alberta House, in London, England, represented Alberta's interests in the United Kingdom and in Europe, and traced its root back to when Alberta's first Agent-General, Herbert Greenfield, was appointed in 1925; he held the position until 1931. The position was vacant from 1931 until 1948, when R.A. McMullen became Agent-General, holding the post until 1970. The Alberta Government also supported smaller offices in Los Angeles, which opened October 1962, and Tokyo, which opened May 1970, both of which were to develop and improve trade relations. New international offices were opened in Hong Kong in 1980, in Houston in 1982, in New York in 1982 and in Seoul in 1988. The Houston Office closed in 1989 and the Los Angeles Office in 1991-1992. The remaining international offices were transferred to Economic Development and Tourism, where they were restructured and refocused on commercial activities. The Agent-General Act was repealed in 1996 (S.A. 1996, chapter 1). The Ottawa Office remained a part of International and Intergovernmental Relations, but was closed on June 28, 2000 after it was determined that the Office's services were no longer necessary.

The Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs Act was repealed and superseded by the Government Organization Act (S.A. 1994, G-8.5), which became effective January 1, 1995. The Department continued to develop government-wide policy and strategies for Alberta's relations with other Canadian governments and the international community. In April 1997, as part of government-wide restructuring, the Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs amalgamated with Aboriginal Affairs, with Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs assuming the responsibility for Alberta's relations with Aboriginal people and Aboriginal governments. The name of the department was changed to reflect this, becoming Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs. The Métis Settlements Appeal Tribunal and the Métis Settlements Transition Committee were to report to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs. In May 1999, the name was again changed, this time to International and Intergovernmental Relations, and a new Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs was appointed. Following the March 2001 ministry restructuring, Aboriginal Affairs became an independent ministry, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. This new ministry assumed the responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs previously undertaken by International and Intergovernmental Relations.

A number of different offices have also been part of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs and International and Intergovernmental Relations. The Protocol Office organized visits of visiting trade missions and ambassadors. The Office was transferred to Executive Council April 1, 1978. Responsibility for the Protocol Office returned to Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs on June 7, 1993. The Office was transferred again from International and Intergovernmental Relations to the Executive Council as part of the government-wide restructuring announced in May 1999. In 1980-1981, an Office of the Provincial Pipeline Coordinator was established to coordinate Alberta's involvement in the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline Project; the Office was abolished in 1983. Translation Services were transferred from Public Works, Supply and Services in 1985, forming the Translation Bureau. In 1986-1987, the department assumed responsibility for the Office of the Alberta Trade Representative from the Department of Economic Development; the Offices, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary, were closed in 1988. In 1993, an Office for Internal Trade Negotiations was established, to coordinate Alberta's participation in talks to eliminate internal trade barriers within Canada. In March 1999 the Francophone Secretariat was created, serving as a liaison between the government and the Alberta Francophone community; it was moved to the Ministry of Community Development in July 1999. A new office, the International Governance Office, was created in April 2000 within the Ministry, which was to coordinate the Alberta government's participation in international governance projects, which has become part of the International Relations Section.

Predecessor and Successor Bodies:
When the Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs was established, it was to administer those parts of the public service consisting of the Office of Special Counsel for Alberta in Ottawa and the Alberta Intergovernmental Affairs Agency. The Foreign Office in London, England (Alberta House) and the office in Los Angeles had been administered by the Department of Industry and Tourism until the establishment of the Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Administrative Relationships:
The Ministers of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs and International and Intergovernmental Relations were to be members of the Executive Council.

Administrative Structure:
The Department initially consisted of three divisions, Social and Cultural Affairs, Resource and Industrial Development and Constitutional and Economic Affairs. The divisions were reorganized to Resources and Industrial Development (becoming Resources and Economic Development in 1980 and Economics and Resources in 1986-7), Social and Cultural Affairs, and Research and Planning. A new division, Urban Affairs and Housing, was established in January 1977, but integrated into Social and Cultural Affairs division in 1977-1978. In 1978, two new divisions were established, International Affairs and Northern Affairs, while the Protocol branch was transferred to the Executive Council. The following year, the work of the Northern Affairs division was reassigned to the Resources and Industrial Development division. Departmental services were provided by the Administration and Communications (established in 1982) divisions. In 1985, the Research and Planning and Social and Cultural Affairs divisions merged to form the Constitutional, Fiscal and Social Affairs division (becoming simply Social and Constitutional in 1987-1988). The department was reorganized in 1991 into the following divisions: Constitution and Coordination, Policy and Planning, Canadian Intergovernmental and International, with continued support from Administration and Communications. These became Planning and Coordination Division, Canadian Intergovernmental Division, and International Division, along with the Office of Internal Trade Negotiations in 1993. In 1996, another reorganization resulted in two sections, International Relations and Canadian Federalism, and two major policy teams, Trade Policy and Social and Fiscal Policy Reform. With the addition of Aboriginal Affairs in 1997, three new divisions were added: Aboriginal Relations, Indian Land Claims, and Aboriginal Self-Reliance Initiatives; Social and Fiscal Policy Reform was removed from the organizational structure and Canadian Federalism became Canadian Intergovernmental Relations. The divisions related to Aboriginal Affairs formed the basis for the new Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, which was established in 2001.

Names of the Corporate bodies:
The Department of International and Intergovernmental Relations was first established as the Department of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs. In 1997, the department added Aboriginal Affairs to its responsibilities, and its name was changed from Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs to Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs to reflect this change in responsibility. In 1999, the name was changed again, to International and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Names of Chief Officers:
Ministers of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs:
Don Getty (1971-1975)
Lou Hyndman (1975-1979)
Dick Johnston (1979-1982)
James D. Horsman (1982-1992)
Peter Elzinga (1992-1993)
Ralph Klein (1993-1994)
Ken Rostad (1994-1997)
Dave Hancock (1997)

Minister of Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs:
Dave Hancock (1997-1999)

Ministers of International and Intergovernmental Relations:
Shirley McClellan (1999-2001)
Pearl Calahasen (Associate Minister of Aboriginal Affairs) (1999-2001)
Halvar Jonson (2001-present)

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of Aboriginal Affairs records from 1991 to 1993; Centennial Branch records (originally from the Department of the Provincial Secretary) from 1965 to 1967; Communication records from 1980 to 1994; Department operational records from 1950 to 1993; Deputy Minister records from 1971 to 1990; Ottawa Office records from 1945 to 1972; Tokyo Office records from 1969 to 1979.
RELATED RECORDS: Also see Agent-General (London) records in the Alberta Department of Industry and Commerce fonds, and Protocol Office records in Executive Council fonds.
Back to search results

Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve.

Home    Search    Map    About the Provincial Archives   Login

© 1995 - 2013 Government of Alberta    Copyright and Disclaimer    Privacy    Accessibility