1 January 1990 to 31 December 1993
The DAR Employees' Timetable which came into effect on 27 September 1936, listed the stations along the Kentville Subdivision, westward from Coldbrook, as follows:
• Round Hill
• Annapolis Royal
The stations along the Yarmouth Subdivision were:
• Annapolis Royal
• Upper Clements
• Deep Brook
• Bear River
• Smith's Cove
• North Range
• Sissiboo Falls
• Church Point
• Little Brook
• Lake Annis
• Brazil Lake
• Ohio, Hebron
• Evangeline Wharf
(formerly known as the
Nova Scotia Power Commission)
Electric Generating Capacity
Tufts Cove, Dartmouth, Halifax County|
Lingan, Cape Breton County
Point Tupper, Richmond County
Trenton, Pictou County
Glace Bay, Cape Breton County
Maccan, Cumberland County
Tusket, Yarmouth County
Victoria Junction, Cape Breton County
Burnside, Dartmouth, Halifax County
|Town of Antigonish||73,833,786||4,144,939|
|Berwick Electric Commission||22,560,000||1,252,218|
|Town of Canso||8,185,600||455,015|
|Kentville Electric Commission||73,168,740||4,003,130|
|Town of Lunenburg||49,760,430||2,729,999|
|Town of Mahone Bay||8,464,937||482,658|
|Riverport Electric Commission||6,681,600||382,821|
On March 5th, 1990, Metro Halifax received word from the CRTC that a new 100,000-watt FM radio station had been granted the right to begin broadcasting on 96.5 MHz offering Easy Listening music. After a few months of hard work the station was ready to go on the air. On the morning of August 30th, 1990, a group of about 700 guests were invited to be at the Sheraton Halifax Hotel for a full course breakfast and live entertainment. At about 7:50 that morning, the tune Here Comes the Sun was played, followed by Art Hustins Jr. introducing the entire staff of 96.5 SUN-FM. Exactly at 8:00, the crowd counted down to the official on-air time, with SUN-FM supporter Marie Smith pushing the switch. The crowd was amazed by the fancy laser light show signaling the broadcast start of SUN-FM. Many listeners across areas of Nova Scotia tuned in to the birth of the new 96.5 SUN-FM.
At one time there was an online Audio clip — RealAudio [1:04]:
"Hear the crowd countdown and Ian MacPhee signing the station on"
but this has disappeared.
Some classic Atlantic Canada radio moments (viewed 11 December 2000)
This webpage is archived in the Wayback Machine.
Classic On-The-Air Moments Archived: 2001 February 28
CRTC Decision 90-994 denied the application by New Brunswick Broadcasting Company Limited to increase the transmitter power of CHSJ Saint John, by changing the daytime power from 10,000 watts to 50,000 watts and the nighttime power from 5,000 watts to 10,000 watts.
In 1985, CRTC Decision 85-29 authorized New Brunswick Broadcasting Co. Limited (NBBC) to change CHSJ's carrier frequency from 1,150 kHz to 700 kHz. Subsequently, in Decision 87-991, NBBC was authorized to relocate its transmitter site to Seaview, New Brunswick, to facilitate implementation of the 700 kHz frequency previously authorized. According to NBBC this change was necessary because of potential re-radiation problems expected from power lines located in the vicinity of the original site at Longview. In the present application, NBBC contended that the proposed power increase was necessary to increase its signal strength in the central area of Saint John, which it claimed had been inadequately served since the relocation of the transmitter site.
At the hearing, Radio One Limited, licensee of CIHI and CKHJ-FM Fredericton, opposed the proposed increase noting that CHSJ's proposed coverage would include Fredericton and would result in a duplication of the country music programming of CKHJ-FM. It stated that the small, already-saturated Fredericton market could not support a new service and that further fragmentation would threaten the financial viability of Radio One Limited's stations.
In its intervention, Annapolis Valley Radio Limited (AVR), licensee of radio stations CKDY Digby, CKAD Middleton, CKEN Kentville, CKWM-FM Kentville, and CFAB Windsor, expressed strong concerns about the loss of advertising revenues for its stations which it claimed would result from the extension of CHSJ's signal into Nova Scotia. AVR therefore requested that conditions of licence be imposed on NBBC to prevent the sale of advertising by CHSJ in Nova Scotia. The Commission also acknowledged the interventions from Radio CJLS Limited of Yarmouth, Radio Atlantic (CKCL) Limited of Truro, and Radio Atlantic (CFNB) Ltd. of Fredericton, raising concerns about the penetration of CHSJ into their respective markets and the impact on their advertising revenues. In reply, NBBC reiterated that the purpose of its application was to strengthen its signal in its principal market area and that it did not intend to "solicit advertising in areas not previously canvassed for local advertising revenues".
Subsequent to the hearing, at the Commission's request, the Department of Communications (DOC) conducted a study of the strength and quality of the existing CHSJ signal in its central market, the results of which were submitted to all parties. Among the findings of this study it was established that, although the signal was weak in some areas, it did meet the minimum specifications prescribed by DOC for service in the urban environment. In addition, DOC's evaluation indicated conclusively that CHSJ's signal quality was excellent at all locations monitored. Moreover, analyses conducted by the Commission and DOC revealed that at 50,000 watts transmitter power, CHSJ would deliver a strong local grade (higher than 5 millivolts per metre) signal to the Annapolis Valley. In the Commission's view, this could cause market fragmentation in the region and threaten the financial viability of existing stations.
Furthermore, based on figures indicating a recent increase in the size of CHSJ's audience and an improvement in its financial situation since the antenna relocation, the Commission was not convinced that there was a financial need for the station to increase its listenership and recognized the potential financial impact that such an increase might have on stations outside the Saint John market, in particular those in the Annapolis Valley. The Commission noted in this regard that, although the licensee did not propose to solicit local advertising in the areas it did not currently serve, it still had intended to accept advertising from these areas and also to solicit national advertising.
Based on all of the foregoing, the Commission was not convinced that there was any compelling reason to approve the proposed increase in CHSJ's power, and the application was denied.
—Source: CRTC Decision 90-994
See: CRTC Decision 93-199
See: CRTC Decision 96-418
The "contours" were the signal strength contours, measured in millivolts per metre. The concept of signal contours applies to over-the-air transmissions, not to coaxial cable or optical fibre cable systems. The Wallace and area system distributed television signals by broadcasting from a low-power transmitter that was designed to be received only by subscribers who paid to rent a special receiving device from the "cable" company. Such systems were commonly called "wireless cable", a technically contradictory phrase.
In the matter of proposed tariff of pilotage charges published by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority in the Canada Gazette Part 1 on December 23, 1989, pages 5453-5463; and the notices of objection filed by the Shipping Federation of Canada; the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission; Blue Peter Steamships Limited; the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador; and the Canadian Salt Company Limited... The proposal was originally forecast to generate an additional $500,000 in revenue, but this was revised upward during the investigation to $538,000...
The National Transportation Agency, having carefully investigated the present tariff proposal, recommends to the Atlantic Pilotage Authority that:
• 1. the proposed rate increases at Halifax... Bras d'Or, Canso, and Sydney... not be implemented as such increases are prejudicial to the public interest...
• 3. the proposed rate increases at... Pugwash be implemented as such are not prejudicial to the public interest...
—Source: National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 534-W-1990
CRTC Decision 90-1116 approved the application by Chamcook Communications Limited (Chamcook) to amend the licence to carry on its television broadcast receiving operation at Chamcook, New Brunswick, for the purpose of distributing U.S. television signals, via microwave, to affiliated cable television systems in the Maritime provinces, by allowing for the use of a fibre optic system for the distribution of U.S. television signals WMED-TV (PBS) Calais, WLBZ-TV (NBC) Bangor, Maine, and its rebroadcasting station W57AQ Calais, Maine, to be delivered by Chamcook. The Commission also approved Chamcook's proposal to change the service by deleting the reception and distribution of WVII-TV (ABC) and WABI-TV (CBS) Bangor, Maine.
The Commission also approved Chamcook's proposals on behalf of the licensees listed below to this decision, to change the authorized distribution of their broadcasting receiving undertakings, by adding and/or deleting U.S. television signals, received via microwave, as part of the basic service; by deleting from the basic service the distribution of WTVS (PBS) Detroit, Michigan, received via satellite from the CANCOM network; and by allowing the licensees to distribute, at their option, the U.S. television signals, received via satellite from the CANCOM network, as part of the basic service.
Chamcook indicated that these changes were needed because the provincial telephone companies (telcos) planned to phase out their microwave network by the end of 1993 and to replace it, in part, with a limited fibre-optic system which would only be able to accommodate the nine major communities within Chamcook's network. These nine systems proposed to take the NBC and PBS signals from the new fibre optic system and the ABC and CBS signals from CANCOM. Since it would be cost-prohibitive for them to tap into the new fibre-optics system at their own expense, the remaining 18 smaller member systems proposed to receive all four U.S. signals from CANCOM. The Commission noted that these systems would be able to convert to the CANCOM signals without incurring any cost increases to themselves or to their subscribers. Chamcook contended that the current proposals were the optimum solution which would accomplish improved technical quality, ensure long-term price stability and create an immediate benefit for subscribers, with no increase in signal rates until 1993. Chamcook also claimed that the CANCOM package would still be more economical for the smaller systems after 1993, compared to the high costs estimated for fibre-optic delivery.
In response to Bangor Communications' request that Chamcook delay substitution of the signals until the expiry of its delivery contract with the telcos, the applicant pointed out that several cable systems, such as Glace Bay, Yarmouth and Windsor, had an immediate need to upgrade their back-haul facilities in order to improve the signal quality of the microwaved signals. Chamcook further argued that it would be too costly to install new facilities, particularly in view of the fact that they would become redundant when the systems converted to CANCOM signals. Moreover, Chamcook stated that it could not risk extending use of its microwave system without inviting serious technical problems and added that, at the time of the most recent renewal, the telcos had been reluctant to extend their past contract beyond the 1991 expiry date.
The Commission acknowledged the interventions submitted by the CTV Television Network Ltd., the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, as well as the Atlantic Television System and the Atlantic Satellite Network, which were both divisions of CHUM Limited. These intervenors expressed concerns regarding the expansion of CANCOM's role in importing distant U.S. signals by Canadian satellite and the consequent potential impact on Canadian broadcasters. The Commission commented that it had examined carefully all of the evidence submitted by the applicant and the intervenors and was satisfied that the proposals adequately met the criteria set out in Public Notice CRTC 1985-60 and that, under the particular circumstances of these cases, approval of these applications represented the most cost efficient and technically reliable means of providing high quality U.S. signals to the Maritime provinces concerned. Furthermore, the Commission noted that Chamcook would continue to offer two Maine signals to nearly 70% of the total Maritime subscriber base.
The following cable television systems in Nova Scotia were affected by this ruling:
• Able Cablevision Limited, Liverpool
• Antigonish Cablevision Limited, Antigonish
• Central Cable Television Limited, Amherst
• Central Cable Television Limited, Bridgewater
• Dartmouth Cable TV Limited, Dartmouth
• Dartmouth Cable TV Limited, Digby
• Eastern Cablevision Limited, Truro
• Halifax Cablevision Limited, Halifax
• Kings Kable Limited, Kentville
• K-Right Communications Limited, Sydney
• K-Right Communications Limited, Windsor
• Shaw Cablesystems (N.S.) Limited, New Glasgow
• Mid-Valley Cablevision Limited, Kingston
• Seaside Cable T.V. (1984) Limited, Glace Bay
• Shaw Cablesystems (N.S.) Limited, Bedford
• Strait of Canso Cable T.V. Limited, Port Hawkesbury
• Viking Cable T.V. Limited, Yarmouth
—Source: CRTC Decision 90-1116
CRTC Decision 90-1167 contained some information about the current ownership and corporate structure of Shaw Cablesystems Ltd. (Shaw), a public company controlled by members of the Shaw family of Edmonton, Alberta and Woodridge, Ontario who, collectively, owned 60.52% of the total issued voting shares. Through a number of wholly-owned subsidiaries, Shaw operated five radio stations in Alberta and one radio station in Ontario. Shaw was also the country's fourth largest cable operator by revenues, with operations in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
—Source: CRTC Decision 90-1167
CRTC Decision 90-1140, dated 21 December 1990, renewed the broadcast licence of the Tatamagouche cable system, owned and operated by North Nova Cable Limited, from 1 January 1991 to 31 August 1995. Decision 90-1136, dated 19 December 1990, had approved the application to be relieved of the requirement to distribute the priority regional service CJCB-TV-2 (CTV) Antigonish; the Commission noted that the licensee proposed to distribute instead CTV affiliate CKCW-TV-1 Charlottetown, because it provided a better quality and more reliable signal in Tatamagouche, Cumberland County.
—Source: CRTC Decision 90-1140
Related Documents, CRTC Public Notices:
1984-94 dated 15 April 1984
1985-58 dated 20 March 1985
1986-177 dated 23 July 1986
1989-27 dated 6 April 1989
Circular No. 363 dated 13 July 1989
In CRTC Public Notice 1990-95 dated 18 October 1990, the Commission issued for public comment a proposed policy for local television programming. This proposal grew out of the Commission's ongoing review of its regulations and policies with respect to Canadian programming.
The Commission received a total of 24 submissions in response to the public notice. The majority of comments (16) were submitted by licensees or their associations and all but one expressed strong support for the proposed policy. Baton Broadcasting Inc. was not in favour of the Commission's proposal that licensees must fulfil quantitative commitments accepted as benefits of ownership transactions with respect to categories of local programming. The Children's Broadcast Institute and Primedia Productions Ltd. also expressed support. The Canadian Association of the Deaf requested that captioning be made an obligation for all local programming. Opposing the proposed policy were: ACTRA (national and Saskatchewan branch); NABET and its counterpart in Quebec, SNTC; the employee's union of CFCM-CKMI-TV (Quebec); the producers' association of Tele-Capitale; the Association Cooperative d'Economie Familiale (ACEF); and the Regional Municipality of Jacques-Cartier. ACTRA, NABET and SNTC favoured strict quantitative commitments for local non-news programming in order to ensure employment opportunities. All of the submissions received from within the province of Quebec expressed concern that, without quantitative requirements, most non-news programming would originate from Montreal. Six of the comments suggested that assessment of the performance of broadcasters under the new policy would be too subjective. Two requested that "local programming" be defined.
The Commission has carefully considered all of the comments received, particularly those which opposed the proposed policy, and has concluded that the anticipated benefits to the Canadian broadcasting system, the production industry, and the creative community warrant confirmation of the policy, essentially as proposed.
With respect to programming commitments by program category, accepted as benefits in an ownership transaction, the Commission will expect licensees to fulfil these obligations without variance within the time frame set out in the licensing decisions. Since most of the individual station licences that were renewed a little more than a year ago contained expectations or conditions of licence with respect to captioning, the Commission considers that the appropriate time to evaluate and review this matter will be at the time of licence renewal.
It is the statutory obligation of all broadcasters to provide programming of high standard, using predominantly Canadian creative and other resources. It follows, therefore, that the central objective for all television broadcasters must be participation in the production and distribution of Canadian programming. As a consequence, the Commission's regulations require all television licensees to achieve certain minimum quantitative requirements with respect to Canadian programs.
While each television licensee must ensure that it meets the Canadian content requirements set out in the regulations, it also has a special responsibility to serve the public residing within the particular geographic area it is licensed to serve. Licensees should do so through programs directed towards local concerns as well as through the provision of programs of regional, national or international interest.
This concept of local reflection is founded on the principle that the right to use the public airwaves entails a responsibility to those members of the Canadian public resident in a licensee's service area. The Commission, therefore, will continue to evaluate how television licensees meet the needs and reflect the interests of their local audiences.
The Commission recognizes that, in order for the broadcasting system as a whole to produce a critical mass of attractive Canadian programming, whether designed for local, regional or national audiences, broadcasters require flexibility to pool resources through co-operative ventures, co-productions and other imaginative partnership arrangements. Canadian broadcasters, producers, investors and funding agencies need to co-operate, in the most effective and efficient manner possible, to produce high quality programming, particularly entertainment programming.
Broadcasters can play a variety of roles in contributing to quality Canadian programming. Some licensees, on their own or with local independent producers, are capable of producing excellent programming in various categories to meet community needs. Others can best make use of their resources and the talent present in their communities by producing programs in co-operation with other broadcasters. The Commission encourages each licensee to undertake as much original programming as its circumstances permit. In addition, the Commission recognizes that the acquisition of good Canadian programming contributes to the Canadian broadcasting system. A strong domestic market will, in turn, be a great advantage to the Canadian production industry.
As stated above, reflecting local communities and meeting the needs of local audiences remains the particular responsibility of each television licensee. The Commission will continue to require applicants for television licences to describe how their program schedules reflect the needs and concerns of the communities they serve. At renewal, licensees will be evaluated on how successfully local needs have been met. In making this evaluation the Commission will take into account the comments of individual viewers and representative community groups. Should the Commission determine that licensees have failed to respond to legitimate community needs, appropriate action — including precise conditions of licence — may be taken on a case-by-case basis.
With this proposed new emphasis on licensees' overall performance with respect to local reflection, the Commission no longer requires television licensees to make quantitative commitments to local programming in categories other than news. Consequently, the definitions of a local program set out in CRTC Public Notices 1985-58, 1986-177 and 1989-27 will no longer apply as of 1 September 1991, the implementation date of this policy.
The Commission reiterates that the changes set out in this public notice do not apply to any quantitative programming commitments accepted by the Commission as benefits in relation to an ownership transaction. In such cases, the Commission will continue to define a local program according to the criteria set out in CRTC Public Notice 1989-27.
Changes regarding the reporting requirements of television licensees are set out in the Appendix to this Public Notice.
With regard to locally-based creative talent, the Commission continues to expect licensees to search out and develop talented individuals such as performers, writers, directors and producers. In some cases, these individuals may be showcased in programs produced by the station or by local independent producers. In other circumstances, the local broadcaster may choose to develop and promote local talent in co-operation with other broadcasters, networks or specialty programming services. However if this responsibility is discharged, the Commission will continue to expect local licensees to demonstrate that they actively develop, support and reflect local talent in as many ways as possible.
The Commission is confident that this new approach to local programming will benefit the public, the broadcasting system, the production industry and the creative community. This policy enunciates a renewed commitment to local reflection, without artificial quantitative measures in non-news programming. The Commission is satisfied that the industry will have more flexibility to provide Canadians with a wide range of Canadian programming of the highest possible quality.
Allan J. Darling
This policy will come into effect on 1 September 1991. As of that date, the definitions of a local program found in CRTC Public Notices 1985-58, 1986-177 and 1989-27 will no longer apply, except in regard to commitments already accepted by the Commission as benefits of an ownership transaction.
The Commission requires licensees to meet their minimum quantitative commitments in respect of the average, weekly hours of original Category 1 (news) programming as recorded on the most recent Schedule I on file with the Commission.
The Commission expects all licensees to ensure that the programming they offer reflects the varied needs and concerns of the communities they serve, as generally described in their most recent licence renewal application and consistent with the principles set out in this policy.
2. Promise of Performance
The Commission will issue revised application forms reflecting this policy. Applicants for licence renewal will be required to outline their plans for Canadian programming reflecting the particular needs of their communities. Such programming may be produced or acquired by the licensee. Applicants will also be required to outline their plans for co-operative programming and programs co-produced with Canadian independent producers.
In a revised Question 11 of Part II of the application for a new television licence or for the renewal of such licence, applicants will be required to commit to a minimum average weekly quantity of station-produced news programming (Category 1).
3. Program Logs and Annual Returns
Applicable changes will be made as required.
—Source: CRTC Public Notice 1991-22
CRTC Decision 91-141 renewed the broadcast licences held by Bass River Cable Services Limited, from 1 September 1991 to 31 August 1995, to operate cable television systems to serve the communities of Great Village and Glenholme; Maitland and Selma; and Masstown, all in Colchester County.
CRTC Decision 91-141
CRTC Decision 91-152 approved the applications by Rush Communications Limited for authority to acquire the assets, from Joseph Shannon, of the cable television systems serving the communities of Eskasoni, Mabou, West Arichat and Whycocomagh, all on Cape Breton Island, and the issuance of broadcasting licences for these operations.
The Commission noted that this transaction would not result in any change of control since Rush is wholly owned and controlled by Joseph Shannon.
CRTC Decision 91-152
As of February 2013, several hours of videotape are known|
to exist, which document the removal of this railway track.
Wednesday was a fine morning, with strong, low early morning|
sunlight. Videotape exists showing the switching moves
to assemble the train in the Mahone Bay yard prior to final
departure, and the whole train passing the video camera at
three locations: departing Mahone Bay yard; at Oakland Lake,
cresting the stiff grade up from the Mush-a-Mush River bridge;
and crossing the Martins River bridge.
In the matter of proposed tariff of pilotage charges published by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority in the Canada Gazette Part I on August 3, 1991, pages 2547-2557; and the notices of objection filed by the Halifax Shipping Association; the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission; and Puddister Trading Company Limited... The review of the financial results for the ports in the compulsory areas revealed that the Authority continues to incur large losses on operations in the Cape Breton and St. John's districts. In the Cape Breton district, the losses on operations are incurred at Canso and Sydney while operations at Bras d'Or remain profitable. The Authority continues to use 6 pilots in this district and has high unit pilot boat costs compared to other major ports. The 1989/1990 investigation questioned the hiring of a 6th pilot in this district when services had been provided previously by 5 pilots. The Authority has not provided any explanation of the pilot strength in this district nor any indication that it has addressed the question of high pilot boat costs. As a result, there is still an unresolved question of economic efficiency in the Cape Breton district and for this reason the rate increase does not appear justified. The 1992 forecast for the Cape Breton district shows a loss on operations of $140,000. Without the tariff increase, the loss would be about $193,000 in this district...
The National Transportation Agency, having carefully investigated the present tariff proposal, recommends to the Atlantic Pilotage Authority that:
1. the proposed rate increase of 4.7 percent at Halifax... be implemented as such is not prejudicial to the public interest;
2. the proposed rate increase of 4.7 percent at Canso, Sydney, Bras d'Or... Pugwash... not be implemented as such is prejudicial to the public interest;
3. the proposed rate increase of 8 percent for all non-compulsory areas within the Atlantic region, excluding Newfoundland and Labrador, not be implemented as such is prejudicial to the public interest...
—Source: National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 194-W-1992
History is littered with examples of our blind faith in technology: unsinkable ships sinking, wind-resistant bridges collapsing, space shuttles exploding, unfocusable space telescopes and, now, the selection of a leader by the Nova Scotia Liberals.
One would have thought that choosing a leader was a simple process — a group of people get together and keep casting ballots until one of their number gets a majority of votes, than that person is declared leader. How is it possible that a group can congregate, cast ballots, but not select a leader?
The answer to this question lies in how the ballots are cast.
The process of casting a ballot consists of several steps. First, a person must be given a ballot with a list of candidates' names. Second, the person must select one of those names. Third, once all voters have cast their ballots, one or more people must tally the ballots to determine the ranking of the candidates. Fourth, the candidates' ranking must be announced.
Any process or problem that can be defined as a series of steps can be translated into a computer program. A balloting program could be written as follows:
1. Set each candidate's tally to zero.
2. Ask an eligible voter, who has not yet voted, who he/she wishes to vote for.
3. Increase the chosen candidate's tally by one.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all votes are cast.
5. Announce each candidate's tally.
Step 2 of the above program can be performed in a number of different ways. For example, the person casting a ballot may be given a sheet of paper on which they place a mark, the computer program would determine the candidate selected from the position of the mark on the paper. the approach taken by the Nova Scotia Liberals was to assign a telephone number to each candidate, and eligible voters would cast a ballot for a specific candidate by dialing the number associated with that candidate.
What could possibly go wrong with such a straightforward idea?
The telephone voting system consisted of two parts: a communication part (the telephone system) and a balloting part (a computer program in Montreal). The problem did not lie in the communication part — some people were able to cast their ballots, while others heard an “all circuits busy” message or a busy tone. The problem therefore lay somewhere inside the balloting part.
The balloting part worked — some of the time — as the CBC revealed when it played a recording of the cellular telephone message between an MT&T worker and the computer in Montreal.
The problem can best be explained by considering the steps of the balloting part. The balloting part was divided into two programs: a communication program that “talked” to a person casting a ballot for a particular candidate, and a tallying program that kept track of who had voted and the number of ballots cast for each candidate.
The communication program essentially consisted of the following steps:
1. Answer the telephone with the candidate's greeting (which gave the voter confirmation that he/she had dialled the correct telephone number).
2. Ask for the voter's personal identification number (PIN).
3. Pass this information to the tallying program.
4. Wait for the tallying program to respond — either “thanks for the vote” (which gave the voter confirmation that his/her vote had been accepted and counted) or “this PIN is invalid”.
5. Hang up the telephone.
6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 (until the time allocated for balloting has ended).
To stop people from tying up a particular candidate's telephone line, the communication program included a 30-second timer that started ticking as soon as a call was answered. If the timer expired, the communication program stopped what it was doing, disconnected the call, and returned to step 1 of the program.
The failure of the balloting part can be traced to steps 3 and 4 of the communication program. If the 30-second timer expired during these steps, the voter would have no indication of whether his/her ballot had been accepted and counted. Furthermore, this implied that the tallying program was unable to respond quickly enough (or that the timer had been set for too short a time).
There were, in effect, over 100 communication programs (one for each voting telephone line to Montreal) but only one tallying program, meaning that each communication program was forced to queue for its turn with the tallying program. Since computers do not perform operations instantaneously, the more communication programs (the more voting phone lines) there were, the longer each communication program had to wait for its tallying turn. If there were too many communication programs, the 30-second timer associated with each could expire while waiting in the tallying queue. When the timer expired, the voter had no indication whether their vote had been accepted and counted, with the result that voters who timed out would try again and again — which, of course, further overloaded the tallying program.
In the light of what we now know, could the problems that occurred during the voting process have been avoided? The answer is yes.
Any commercial computer program should be tested before it is released for use, to ensure that it meets certain standards. One test, for example, would be to check that the tallying program would reject voters supplying invalid PINs, or trying to vote with PINs that had already been processed. Sadly, it appears that no one at MT&T thought of the consequences of hundreds of calls being placed simultaneously. Had this been tested before the convention, MT&T could easily have modified the communication program to increase the timer setting, or reduced the number of incoming phone lines.
In many respects, the only mistake the Liberals made was their rush to embrace an untested technology. Fortunately, as humans usually learn from their mistakes, Nova Scotia's first attempt at "tele-democracy" may well become a common practice.
Sadly, for all that we learn from this exercise, you can be sure it won't be the last time our blind faith in technology is shaken.
Larry Hughes Ph.D. teaches computer science at Saint Mary's University in Halifax. One of his areas of research interest is computer communications.
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 16 June 1992]
ICS comment (written 19 January 2001, when this clipping was discovered in an old file and entered here):
For decades, I've taken an interest in a wide assortment of accidents and disasters which are commonly attributed to failures of technology. There are hundreds of well-documented studies of accidents and disasters — which are completely ignored by most historians and almost all educators, thus ensuring that lessons which could be learned from past failures must often be re-learned by each succeeding generation.
I disagree with Prof. Hughes about the basic problem here. I believe it is not so much a "blind faith in technology" as it is a pervasive ignorance about the history of technology, often combined with careless and/or incompetent management at the decision-making level. What may appear to be a blind faith is often just a lack of awareness of past experience. "Those who do not learn from history inevitably will have to re-live it" gets pretty close to the root cause.
Unfortunately, “that men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”
To learn from our mistakes, we must first acknowledge and understand them. We do not educate our succeeding generations about the many ways in which incompetence or carelessness can lead to disaster, and we should not be surprised when — having never heard of the collapse of the Tay Bridge on 29 December 1879 (which the official investigation attributed entirely to management's inattention to what was going on at the work site); or the Iroquois Theatre fire on 30 December 1903 (which the official investigation attributed mainly to management's lack of attention to safety practices that were elementary even by the primitive standards of the time); or the horrendous triple collision at Quintinshill on 22 May 1915 (officially attributed mainly to inattentive management); or the collision at Hinton, Alberta, on 8 February 1986 (which the investigating judge, in a scathing report, attributed largely to management's long-standing inattention to working conditions); or the collapse of the walkway at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City on 17 July 1981 (management inattention which allowed a contractor to make an important change in the structural design without checking it out with the engineering staff); or the collapse of the Hartford Civic Center Arena roof on 18 January 1978 (multiple reports by competent observers of serious problems with the space frame supporting the roof – construction photos taken during the lifting of the roof showed extensive deflection, as much as double the predicted amount – but nothing was done during the five years the building stood after construction was completed, until the total collapse in 1978) — today's managers of technology-using organizations do not supervise properly and embarrasing or disastrous failures follow. This is what happened in the Nova Scotia Liberal Party's dial-a-vote debacle.
Excellent books are available which provide in-depth discussions of many kinds of technological failures:
* Wreck! Canada's Worst Railway Accidents by Hugh A. Halliday, Robin Brass Studio Inc., 1997, ISBN 1896941044
* Commission of Inquiry: Hinton Train Collision, Report of the Commissioner, the Honourable Mr. Justice Rene P. Foisy, December 1986, ISBN 0660122278, published by the Canadian Government Publishing Centre, Ottawa, 1986
* Construction Failure, by Jacob Feld and Kenneth L. Carper, 2nd edition, New York, Wiley, 1996, ISBN 0471574775
* Failure Mechanisms in Building Construction, by David H. Nicastro, Editor, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, ISBN 0784402833
* Red for Danger: A History of Railway Accidents and Railway Safety, by L.T.C. Rolt, 4th edition, David & Charles, London, 1982, ISBN 0715383620
* The High Girders: The Story of the Tay Bridge Disaster by John Prebble, Penguin Books, 1975
* Bridge Down, by George Mair, Stein and Day, New York, 1982
The following article gives insight into an important bridge collapse in which political influences were a major factor:
* Falling Down: The Collapse of a Bridge in Seoul, Korea... by Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, reprinted in The Globe and Mail, 23 November 1994
Enclosed you will find your new 8-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). Please destroy your old PIN from June 6th as it is no longer valid. This new number will allow you to vote for the Leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia on Saturday, June 20th. This PIN cannot be replaced! Please keep it in a secure location. Remember that a phone ballot is still a secret ballot. You are entitled to privacy when phoning. To vote, you will need this new PIN and access to Touch-Tone telephone service. [The voting system will not accept calls from hotels, coin phones, or rotary-dial phones. If you are unsure whether you have Touch-Tone Service, please call your local MT&T Business Office.]
Please follow these steps to vote:
1. Call the 900 service number for the candidate of your choice:
Don Downe 1-900-273-1397 John Drish 1-900-273-1205 George Hawkins 1-900-273-1014 Ken MacInnis 1-900-273-0372 John Savage 1-900-273-0186
2. The candidate will say his name and the following words — “to vote for me for Leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia, please enter your Personal Identification Number now.”
3. Enter the 8-digit Personal Identification Number assigned to you on the push buttons of your Touch Tone phone. (Please press keys firmly.)
4. You will hear “Thank you for your vote.”
5. Please hang up.
If, for any reason, the system does not accept your number, (i.e., if you enter your PIN incorrectly), you will be advised to “try again.”
If you call the 900 service number and hear a busy signal, please wait a few minutes and try again.
Listed below are the times for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ballots if required.
1st ballot 6:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2nd ballot 12:00 Noon - 3:00 PM 3rd ballot 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM 4th ballot 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Following each ballot, please listen to the radio or television for results. If news coverage is not available to you, results can also be received by calling 1-800-565-4393 approximately one-half hour (½ hr) after the close of the voting. The 900 service number for the candidate(s) who drop off the ballot will be disconnected. If you call one of these numbers, the system will tell you that the number you have phoned is not in service. You now can call the number for the next candidate of your choice.
Each time you reach a 900 service number during the voting process a fifty cent ($0.50) charge will be applied to your telephone bill.
If you need assistance regarding the vote, please contact the Nova Scotia Liberal Association at 1-800-565-4764 (toll free), from June 17th to June 20th.
If you are away from home on the 20th, you can still access the 900 service numbers to vote from anywhere in Atlantic Canada, the Province of Quebec, and the Ottawa region, area code 613.
Glen G. McDougall
Chief Electoral Officer
—Source: The official voting instructions, mailed to each registered voter a few days before June 20, the voting day. (Boldface type is shown here as it appeared in the original.)
|The 1996 Annual Report of Nova Scotia Power Incorporated contains the following statement: "On August 10, 1992, Nova Scotia Power Incorporated acquired the operating assets of Nova Scotia Power Corporation, a Crown Corporation which had generated, transmitted and distributed electricity in Nova Scotia since 1919." (This date differs by two days from that reported by The Chronicle-Herald.)|
|[Note (clarification) — The generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity "in Nova Scotia since 1919" — that is, the electricity produced by the Nova Scotia government (ignoring, as the 1996 Annual Report of Nova Scotia Power Incorporated chose to do, the electricity produced by private companies and by municipal governments) — was done by the Nova Scotia Power Commission, not by Nova Scotia Power Corporation. The Nova Scotia Power Commission existed for half a century before the Nova Scotia Power Corporation came on the scene. In 1973, the Nova Scotia Power Commission was legally and financially reorganized, and at that time the name was changed to Nova Scotia Power Corporation. [[“In 1973, the Government of Nova Scotia enacted amendments to the Power Commission Act, continued the Commission as the Nova Scotia Power Corporation and enacted many other changes...” —Source: Canada v. Nova Scotia Power Inc., 2003 Federal Court of Appeal, 33]] On 12 August 1992, the assets of Nova Scotia Power Corporation were sold lock, stock and barrel to Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, a new privately-owned electric utility company. The name Nova Scotia Power Incorporated was changed to Emera Inc. on 17 July 2000.]|
[The above quote is from the Asset Purchase Agreement, dated 11 February 1994, between Canadian Pacific Limited and The Dominion Atlantic Railway Company and The Windsor & Hantsport Railway Company, Limited.]Upon the cessation of operations by DAR in September 1994, the lease was taken over by the Windsor & Hantsport Railway, which now (2001) operates a freight train from Windsor to Windsor Junction and return, five days a week, over this track.
The Windsor Branch has been in the news in Nova Scotia, off and on, for a long time. In her History of the Dominion Atlantic Railway, published in October 1936, Marguerite Woodworth quotes an Order In Council passed in Ottawa on 22 October 1873: "On a report dated 21st October 1873, from the Honourable the Minister of Public Works stating that the Windsor & Annapolis Railway Company had failed to operate the railway known as the Windsor Branch mentioned in the Order In Council of 22nd September 1871, and to comply with the terms and conditions of that Order In Council, and now owe over $30,000 to the Government of Canada, and though repeatedly called upon to pay have failed to do so, and recommending that inasmuch as the said Company have failed to operate one of the railways between Halifax and Annapolis, the Government of Canada, known as "the authorities" by the said Order In Council, do proceed immediately to operate the railway between Halifax and Windsor."
See: Canadian National Railway
Notice of Discontinuance
5 February 2013
To support its position that CN was receiving massive amounts of subsidies, Halifax Grain Elevators Limited (HGEL) refers to Privy Council Order No. 1993-1603 dated July 22, 1993 which indicated that CN paid two dollars for the acquisition of the Canadian Government Railways (hereinafter the CGR) and the National Transcontinental Railway (hereinafter the NTR). HGEL is of the view that CN's contention that feed grain rates to Nova Scotia destinations were compensatory should be examined in the context of "... the federal government's gift of the Canadian Government Railways...".
Finally, HGEL submits that since approval for the sale of CGR to CN was not obtained pursuant to section 158 of the National Transportation Act, 1987, CN is operating over these lines unlawfully and without authority, and HGEL requests that the National Transportation Agency make this determination...
—Source: National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 471-R-1996
Historical notes about the CB&CNS Railway
Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway
British Columbia's Liberals let their fingers do the voting, and elected a new leader with the help of Nova Scotia telephone technology. Former Vancouver mayor Gordon Campbell took the first-ballot victory in the leadership race with 4,141 of those votes. Maritime Tel & Tel's televoting system performed well, processing 6,540 votes 'flawlessly,' said Don Farmer, MT&T's vice president of operations. Televoting has "only been done (in two places) in the world, in Nova Scotia and once in British Columbia," he said.
—Source: Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 13 Sep 1993
MT&T's televote system worked "flawlessly" in B.C.
NSPL Automation Implementation Schedule Dec 93 Full database conversion NSHPL Cataloguers start cataloguing online OPAC access by regions NSHPL meeting with Jane Beaumont Smart barcodes created Jan 94 New email installed in regions Email training in the regions Internet and OPAC training for regions Load Halifax City's database Re-organize NSHPL Tech. Serv Draft new procedure manuals for NSHPL: acquisitions, cataloguing, processing Mar 94 Stage III training (circ. and collection rotation) 1994 Barcode collection Print COM catalogue in house Load Dartmouth's database Electronic Bulletin Board designed Electronic Info Sheet started Stage IV training (serials management, acquisitions)Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Update:
NOTE 1: This was February 1994,
4½ years before Google was incorporated.