Canada. Board of Works : The Board of Works was established provisionally in Lower Canada by an Ordinance of the Special Council in 1839. The Board, which had five members, had authority to supervise projects and to make recommendations on public works, but had no power to authorize expenditures without the approval of the Governor (Lower Canada, Ordinances, 2 Vict. Chap. 64). In 1840, the action of the Special Council in creating the Board of Works was ratified and the Board was made a permanent body in Lower Canada (Lower Canada, Ordinances, 4 Vict. Chap. 38). The Board of Works was established for United Canada in 1841 (4-5 Vict. Chap. 38).
The Board was substantially reorganized in 1846; provision was made for the appointment of a Chief Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner. The Commissioners were given the power to enter into contracts on behalf of the province, but could not spend funds on any work which had not been previously sanctioned by the Legislature. They were also given control over the construction and maintenance of canals, roads, bridges, timber slides, public works, and buildings (9 Vict. Chap. 37).
The Department of Public Works was established in 1859, headed by a Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner. The new Act was essentially a consolidation of earlier legislation (22 Vict. Chap. 3). An Act respecting the Public Works of Canada was passed on 21 December 1867, establishing the federal Department of Public Works. The federal department continued the administration of public works which had been under the charge of the Commissioner of Public Works of the United Provinces of Canada, and assumed responsibility of public works in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (3l Vict. Chap. 12, s. 10). RG11 General Inventory