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Photograph of a ship drying its sails at Pictou, Nova Scotia, 1909

A ship drying its sails at Pictou, Nova Scotia, 1909
Source ]

The Department of Transport was established on November 2, 1936, with the passing of the Department of Transport Act. The new legislation merged two former government departments -- Marine and Fisheries and Railways and Canals -- and transferred the Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of National Defence to create Transport. The department was organized into five major sections: Administrative, air services, canal services, marine services, and railways and steamships.

The outbreak of the Second World War increased the Department's responsibilities. During the 1990s, it gained increased authority in the area of air traffic and safety. Although headquartered in Ottawa, it carries out many of its duties in regional offices across the country.

Today, the Department is primarily responsible for the development and operation of a safe and efficient national transportation system through capital assistance and administrative programs in air, marine, and surface transportation. As well, it oversees the development of policy and regulates the statutory requirements of federal legislation related to transportation.

Documents on progress in development of Canada's Hudson's Bay route, RG 12, volume 1815, file 3852-18, 41 pages
Source ]

Further Research

Department of Transport fonds. Library and Archives Canada. fuseaction=genitem.displayItem?=eng&rec_nbr=23&rec_nbr_list=23

ARCHIVED - Canada, By Train. Library and Archives Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010).

"History of Departments: Transport." Parliament of Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010)

Transport Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010).