Nova Scotia Archives

Government Administrative Histories

Nova Scotia. Department of Provincial Secretary

Other forms of name:
Nova Scotia. Provincial Secretary

The Provincial Secretary, first appointed in 1720, was responsible for all government record-keeping and for conducting all official correspondence. As a high-ranking minister, the Provincial Secretary was, until 1792, always a member of the Council and, from 1848, always a member of the Cabinet. From 1878 onwards the post was held on an ex officio basis by the Premier and, until 1946, the Provincial Secretary was also the Provincial Treasurer (Minister of Finance). Under the modern Public Service Act the Provincial Secretary became a department of government, responsible for the administration of numerous acts and for all other matters not specifically assigned to a minister. In 1980 the department's responsibilities were distributed among the Departments of Government Services (later Supply and Services), Consumer Affairs and Attorney General (now Justice). In 1993 all residual responsibilities of the Provincial Secretary were transferred to the Department of Justice. The Provincial Secretary as a department of the public service continues to exist statutorily if in no other sense.

Notes: Authority record based on Arthur S. Barnstead, "Development of the Office of Provincial Secretary, Nova Scotia," Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society 24 (1938): 1-32; Statutes of Nova Scotia: 1972 c. 6; Orders in Council 79-1558 (4 Dec. 1979), 93-352 (8 Apr. 1993).



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