Under the provisions of the Municipal Act (2001), City Council votes on the passing of new by-laws and the amendment of existing by-laws in Council meetings, based on recommendations and advice from the Office of the City Clerk. Council also delegates statutory responsibilities to sub-committees, and through Committee of the Whole Meetings, Council discusses critical issues covering the broad mandate of the City. It is through Council Meetings that decisions are made and resolutions are achieved.
This series contains minutes from Council meetings of The City of Thunder Bay. The City of Thunder Bay was officially incorporated under the City of the Lakehead Act (1969) when the former municipalities of Port Arthur, Fort William, Neebing and McIntyre were amalgamated. The merging of the municipalities occurred following a regional study prepared by the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs in 1968. The study had been proposed by Saul Laskin, former Mayor of Port Arthur and first Mayor of Thunder Bay, and jointly signed by the Mayors of all five councils. The report recommended the merging of the municipalities citing benefits such as the economic promotion of the area and benefits of scale such as cost reductions and development opportunities. In 1969, a formal Organization Committee was established to prepare for the administration of the new City.
Following the formal amalgamation of the City, by-laws were established to set out the rules for procedure for Council meetings and the organization of policy committees to cover the various elements of government administration. In July 1970, Council approved the establishment of four policy committees which were divided into the following categories; Protection of Persons and Property, Health and Social Services, Recreation and Community Services and Planning. With changes to the corporate organization of city government throughout the 1970’s, policy committees had been reorganized. In 1978, under By-law 303-1978 (amended in 1979, 1981 and 1982) three Standing Committees were established relating to Engineering and Operations, Community Services and Community Planning and Development. These committees comprised of members of Council who wished to serve on them, with no fewer than seven members per committee. At 2011, Committee of the Whole Meetings are attended by all City Councilors and are divided into; Community Services, Planning, Operations and Administrative Services.
Between 1973 and 1976, Councilors were elected representatives from each of the four wards established for The City of Thunder Bay at that time; Fort William, Port Arthur, Neebing and McIntyre. From 1977, Council consisted of representatives from the newly established ward system which included the creation of seven distinct wards within the City; Current River, McKellar, Red River, Northwood, Westfort, McIntyre and Neebing. As of 1986, Council consisted of 12 members and the Mayor; one representative from each of the seven wards and 5 representatives reflecting the at large areas surrounding Thunder Bay. In accordance with Bylaw
139-2006, the 13 members of Council each serve a term of four years.
Mayors presiding over Council in the time reflected in this series include; Saul Laskin (1970-1972), Walter Assef (1973-1978 and 1981-1985), Dusty Miller (1979-1980), Jack Masters (1986-1991), David Hamilton (1992-1997) and Ken Boshcoff (1998-2003). The Office of the City Clerk is responsible for maintaining the records of proceedings for Council.
Series consists of meeting minutes of City Council for the City of Thunder Bay and include the adoption and consideration of minutes from the Committee of the Whole meetings, particularly relating to key issues such as capital expenditures, community plans and development, transportation, infrastructure, education, zoning applications and the approval or rejection of by-laws for the City. Also included are the minutes of the Organization Committee prior to the formal amalgamation of the City in 1970. Major issues discussed in these minutes include the organization study, plans for birthday celebrations for the City of Thunder Bay, and the establishment of an organizational structure for the amalgamated City.
Early minutes cover key establishment issues such as urban renewal schemes for the South and North ward, establishment of a Citizen Advisory Committee to encourage citizen participation in civic affairs, development of traffic systems and transportation for the City and the establishment of the Thunder Bay Public Library Board. Recent meeting minutes include issues relating to social services, the redevelopment of well-known properties in the City, civic recognition ceremonies, civic beautification, crime and capital budgets.