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A Bibliography on Local Government in
British Columbia - Continued


History of Local Government

Urban history is one of the most developed of academic disciplines that deal with cities in Canada, and municipal governments have received a fair amount of attention in this body of literature.

Two periods of time have been assigned particular significance in the general Canadian literature: the turn of the century and the 1930s. Important factors in the earlier era were the growth of cities and changing ideas about the proper scope of government, both of which led to increasing demands for services and an emphasis on technical expertise as the solution to many problems. In addition, it was said that local government concerns were more a matter of administration than "politics", a term which often had connotations of corruption and cronyism when used by reformers. The idea that local politics should be non-partisan was reinforced, and parallels were frequently drawn between the board of directors of a company and a city council. "Honesty" and "efficiency" were the watchwords of the reformers.

The second era of particular importance to local governments was the Depression. Up until that time unemployment relief had been the responsibility of municipalities and private charities. Since there was no way that local governments and charities could cope with the mass unemployment of the 1930s, the responsibility for the problem shifted to the provincial and federal governments. This was a key step in the shift away from social services being provided by local governments, and with it an extremely important policy area slipped from local control.

Other general themes which are found in the B.C. literature include: the influence of large companies on the way cities developed, most notably the influence of the CPR on the Vancouver area; the influence of geography on settlement patterns; and in terms of the structure of governments, a gradual increase in inter-municipal co-operation to deal with area-wide problems, and the assignment of an increasing number of functions to local governments as popular demand for government services rose. A related theme is a gradual loss of autonomy. The provincial government may have allotted more tasks to local governments, thereby broadening the scope of local government in one sense, but at the same time the provincial government has exercised closer supervision over municipalities.

The number of historical works which deal solely with local government issues is extremely limited. The list below includes some works which only briefly touch on government issues. See also section 9B, on the history of planning in British Columbia.

A. General Canadian Works

Artibise, Alan F. J. and Paul-Andre Linteau. The Evolution of Urban Canada: An Analysis of Approaches and Interpretations. Report no. 4. Winnipeg: The Institute of Urban Studies, University of Winnipeg, 1984. Very useful overview.

Higgins, Donald J. H. Local and Urban Politics in Canada. Toronto: Gage, 1986. Chapters 2 and 6. See pages 56-59 for B.C.

Magnusson, Warren. "Introduction: The Development of Canadian Urban Government. " in City Politics in Canada, ed. Warren Magnusson and Andrew Sancton, 3-57. Toronto. University of Toronto Press, 1983.

Rutherford, Paul, ed. Saving the Canadian City: The First Phase, 1880-1920. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.

Tindal, C. R. and S. Nobes Tindal. Local Government in Canada. 2nd ed. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1984. See Part A.

Weaver, John C. Shaping the Canadian City: Essays on Urban Politics and Policy, 1890-1920. Monographs on Canadian Urban Government, no. 1. Toronto: Institute of Public Administration of Canada, 1977.

B. Works about British Columbia

Andrews, Margaret W. "The Best Advertisement a City Can Have: Public Health Services in Vancouver, 1886-1888." Urban History Review 12 ( Feb. 1984): 9-27.

Andrews, Margaret W. "The Emergence of Bureaucracy: The Vancouver Health Department, 1886-1914," Journal of Urban History 12 (Feb. 1986): 131-55.

Andrews, Margaret W. "Epidemic and Public Health: Influenza in Vancouver, 1918-1919." B.C. Studies, no. 34 (1977): 21-44.

Armstrong, Christopher and H. V. Nelles. "Suburban Street Railway Strategies in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, 1896-1930. " In Power and Place: Canadian Urban Development in the North American Context, ed. Gilbert A. Stelter and Alan F. J. Artibise, 187-218. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986.

Barman, Jean. "Neighbourhood and Community in Interwar Vancouver: Residential Differentiation and Civic Voting Behaviour." B.C. Studies, no. 69-70 (1986): 97-141. Double issue also published as Vancouver Past: Essays in Social History, ed. Robert A. J. McDonald and Jean Barman. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986.

Baskerville, Peter A. Beyond the Island: An Illustrated History of Victoria. Burlington, Ont.: Windsor Publications. 1986.

Baskerville, Peter A. "Finance Capital and the Municipal State: The Case of Victoria, British Columbia, 1910-1936. '' Studies in Political Economy 21 (Autumn 1986): 83-106.

Breen, David and Kenneth Coates. Vancouver's Fair: An Administrative and Political History of the Pacific National Exhibition. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1982.

Cain, Louis P. "Water and Sanitation Services in Vancouver: An Historical Perspective." B.C. Studies, no. 30 (1976): 27-43.

Foster, Hamar. "Law Enforcement in Nineteenth-Century British Columbia: A Brief and Comparative Overview." B.C. Studies, no. 63 (1984): 3-28.

Hak, Gordon. "The Communists and the Unemployed in the Prince George District, 1930-1935." B.C. Studies, no. 68 (1985-86): 45-61.

Koroscil, Paul M. "Boosterism and the Settlement Process in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, 1890-1914." In Canadian Papers in Rural History, vol. 5, ed. Donald H. Akenson, 73-103. Gananoque, Ont.: Langdale Press, 1986.

Lee, Carol F. "The Road to Enfranchisement: Chinese and Japanese in British Columbia." B.C. Studies, no. 30 (1976): 44-76. Includes brief discussion of getting the municipal vote.

Leonard, Frank. "Grand Trunk Pacific and the Establishment of the City of Prince George, 1911-1915." B.C. Studies, no. 63 (1984): 29-54.

MacDonald, Norbert. "The Canadian Pacific Railway and Vancouver's Development to 1900." B.C. Studies, no. 35 (1977): 3-35.

MacDonald, Norbert. "A Critical Growth Cycle for Vancouver, 1900-1914." B.C. Studies, no. 17 (1973): 26-42.

MacDonald, Norbert. Distant Neighbors: A Comparative History of Seattle and Vancouver. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987.

Matters, Diane L. "Public Welfare Vancouver Style, 1910-1920. " Journal of Canadian Studies 14 (Spring 1979): 3-15.

"Mayors of Merritt." Nicola Valley Historical Quarterly 8 (March 1985): 2-11. Describes mayors, 1911-1981.

McDonald, Robert A. J. "The Business Elite and Municipal Politics in Vancouver." Urban History Review 11 (Feb. 1983): 1-14.

McDonald, Robert A. J. "'Holy Retreat' or 'Practical Breathing Spot'?: Class perceptions of Vancouver's Stanley Park, 1910-1913." Canadian Historical Review 65 (June 1984): 127-53.

McKee, William C. "The Vancouver Park System, 1886-1929 -- A Product of Local Businessmen." Urban History Review 7 (no. 3-78): 33-49.

Meredith, T. C. "The Upper Columbia Valley 1900-1920: An Assessment of 'Boosterism' and the 'Biography of Landscape.'" Canadian Geographer 29 (Spring 1985): 44-55.

Meredith, Thomas C. "Boosting in British Columbia: The Creation and Rise of Invermere." Urban History Review 16 (Feb. 1988): 271-79.

Municipal Historical Society, Vancouver, B.C. Your Worship, Members of Council: Highlights from Municipal Reform Movements in the Lower Mainland. Vancouver: Municipal Historical Society, 1980.

Nelles, H. V. and Christopher Armstrong. "The Great Fight for Clean Government." Urban History Review 5 (no. 2-76): 50-66. Includes some comments on submissions to the 1912 B.C. Royal Commission on Municipal Government.

Paterson, D. G. "European Financial Capital and British Columbia: An Essay on the Role of the Regional Entrepreneur." B.C. Studies, no. 21 (1974): 33-47. Deals with 1890-1914.

Riis, Nelson A. "The Walhachin Myth: A Study in Settlement Abandonment." B.C. Studies, no. 17 (1973): 3-25.

Roy, Patricia E. "The Fine Art of Lobbying and Persuading: The Case of the B.C. Electric Railway." In Canadian Business History: Selected Studies, 1497-1971, ed. David S. Macmillan, 239-54. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972.

Roy, Patricia. "The Illumination of Victoria: Late Nineteenth Century Technology and Municipal Enterprise." B.C. Studies, no. 32 (1976-77): 79-92.

Roy, Patricia E. "The Preservation of the Peace in Vancouver: The Aftermath of the Anti-Chinese Riot of 1887." B.C. Studies, no. 31 (1976): 44-59.

Roy, Patricia E. Vancouver: An Illustrated History. History of Canadian Cities, vol. 3. Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, Publishers and National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada, 1980.

Taylor, John H. "Mayors a la Mancha: An Aspect of Depression Leadership in Canadian Cities." Urban History Review 9 (Feb. 1981): 3-14. Includes Vancouver's Mayor McGeer.

Weaver, John C. "The Property Industry and Land Use Controls: The Vancouver Experience, 1910-1945." Plan Canada 19 (Sept.-Dec. 1979): 211-25.

Williams, David Ricardo. Mayor Gerry: The Remarkable Gerald Grattan McGeer. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1986.

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