History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation

Chapter 25
1994 January - December

Formal education is still organised according to subject categories that were set in stone in the nineteenth century...

Schools thus have entrenched hierarchies of knowledge and power, as well as stringent control over the content and form of communication within the school, and educational practices which compartmentalise the universe of knowledge.

Libraries display many of these same characteristics. Like schools, they display an essentially one-way flow of information.

The roles of the participants in cyberspace are much more fluid than in either schools or libraries. Most are both seekers of information and actual or potential sources of information. As seekers of information we are not bound by pre-defined hierarchies, they are free to search out and organise information according to personal and idiosyncratic schema...

Engaged in Triumphant Retreat? Public Libraries and the Social Impact of the Internet, by Jennifer Cram, Manager, Library Services, Queensland Department of Education, Brisbane, Australia.

1994 January

For e-mail, 1993 was the year of the Internet

The Halifax Daily News sponsored
on-line e-mail discussion groups

The comic strip Dilbert featured the Internet ID
of its creator in every cartoon

It was the year that students at Park View Education Centre
in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, began to communicate with students
and experts around the globe via Internet e-mail

By Jim Carroll
Co-Author, Canadian Internet Handbook

The article below, by Jim Carroll (jcarroll@jimcarroll.com) was originally written for the January 1994 issue of Computing Canada, to mark the dominating effect that Internet e-mail had on global e-mail during 1993. This article is Copyright(c) 1993-94 J.A. Carroll Consulting, and may be freely distributed throughout the Internet, corporate e-mail systems or other systems via e-mail, as long as this header remains intact. This article may not be reprinted for publication in print or other media without permission of the author.

In writing this column on the last day of 1993, I thought long and hard about what should be considered to be the e-mail event of the year. Should it be the continued growth of LAN based e-mail? Should it be the continued expansion of e-mail within corporate Canada? Should it be the emergence of workflow, electronic forms and mail-enabled applications? Should it be radio based e-mail?

No...the choice was simple. The one item that seemed to be having the greatest effect on e-mail throughout the world and across Canada was the Internet.

It was the year that the Internet e-mail IDs president@whitehouse.gov and vice-president@whitehouse.gov were widely publicized. The comic strip Dilbert featured the Internet ID of its creator in every cartoon scotta@aol.com. Famous authors such as Stephen King and Douglas Adams were spotted on the Internet, and began to converse with regular people via e-mail.

It was the year that you couldn't pick up a magazine or newspaper and not read about the Internet. Magazines such as Time and NewsWeek got involved, while the Globe and Mail and Financial Post began to profile the network. Journalists from publications such as Forbes and The Economist were seen exploring the Internet and communicating with others via Internet e-mail. Interactive journalism was born.

It was the year that the Canadian media began to participate, with newspapers such as the Halifax Daily News, the Ottawa Citizen and the Vancouver Sun beginning to list Internet e-mail IDs within their masthead or within particular columns. The Ottawa Citizen encouraged readers to submit letters to the editor via Internet e-mail — and submit they did! When Brian Mulroney resigned, the Citizen was able to print a number of letters to the editor immediately the next day, which were sent to the newspaper via the National Capital Free-Net, which has links to the Internet. The Halifax Daily News sponsored a number of on-line e-mail discussion groups concerning columns written within the paper, and discovered that Nova Scotians from across North America were participating.

It was the year that television began to discover the benefits of establish contact with their viewers. Astute watchers of the TV show Front Page Challenge have noticed that the credits now list an Internet ID for the show Front_Page_Challenge@mindlink.bc.ca. The NBC Nightly News got into the act, publicizing it's Internet address nightly@nbc.com during several of its late December newscasts. The first day, it received over 1200 messages from viewers. It was the year that a DJ at MTV began to communicate with his viewers via Internet e-mail.

It was the year that Internet e-mail made its way into a substantial number of Fortune 500 companies in Canada....often because of a need for computer staff to communicate with vendors such as Sun, Oracle, Sybase and other high tech companies. The result was that LAN based e-mail vendors really began to notice the Internet, with gateways to the Internet from cc:Mail and MSMail being the hot-sellers throughout the year.

It was the year that the Internet solidified itself as the backbone to a global interconnected e-mail network. Prodigy, a joint venture of IBM and Sears began to permit its one million users to send and receive e-mail to the Internet. Services such as Compuserve and America On-Line, which provided a gateway to the Internet throughout the year, saw substantial growth in message volume. In Canada, Worldlinx indicated that e-mail to the Internet from it's Envoy/iNet e-mail system (now renamed TheNet:Mail. ...ugggh!) would be available in early 1994.

It was the year that the Internet became THE method for bypassing the publication ban in the Karla Homolka trial. Internet e-mail played no small role, as electronic versions of the infamous Washington Post article and transcripts of news shows flowed through electronic mailboxes across the nation.

It was the year that the NDP became the first major Canadian political party registered on the Internet. Perhaps we will see jean.chretien@government.ca appear on the network some time soon, giving us a Canadian leader who is as technologically adept as his American counterparts?

It was the year that students at Park View Education Centre in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia and River Oaks Public School in Oakville Ontario, began to communicate with students and experts around the globe via Internet e-mail. It was the year that SchoolNet was established in Canada, an initiative that will try to link schools throughout Canada to the Internet... and to Internet e-mail.

It was the year that Internet IDs began to appear on business cards.

It was the year that the Electronic Messaging Association began to recognize that nobody was using X.400 addressing in e-mail because nobody understood it. It began to realize that everyone was using the Internet, and established plans to provide a solution to the complicated X.400 addressing scheme by the year 2000... with a suggested solution that looks suspiciously like an Internet e-mail ID.

When it comes to e-mail... it was the year of the Internet.

Jim Carroll, C.A., is the co-author with Rick Broadhead, of the national #1 bestseller, the Canadian Internet Handbook. He can be reached through Internet e-mail by sending a message to jcarroll@jimcarroll.com.
Source:   http://www.jimcarroll.com/articles/03.htm
The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
For E-mail, it was the Year of the Internet

Archived: 1998 February 15

Archived: 1998 May 15

Archived: 1999 February 3

Archived: 1999 October 9

Archived: 2000 May 21

Jim Carroll's Home Page   http://www.jimcarroll.com/

1994 January

Devco Railway Statistics

        Cape Breton Development Corporation
                  DEVCO Railway

                              1987      1994

       Miles of track           88        86
       Locomotives              16        13
       Cars                    635       635
Source: http://www.webpraxis.ab.ca/vrr/library/html/canrlwys.htm

Reference: Railways of Canada by Lotz, J. and McKenzie, K.
Bison Books Ltd., London, U.K.   1994
ISBN 0886654793

1994 January 15

The Day Photographic Film Died

Stephen Johnson is an internationally recognized digital photography pioneer and his photographs are in many collections and museums throughout the world.  Johnson was part of the digital revolution from its earliest days, working with Leaf Systems, Foveon, Kodak, Apple, Epson, Hewlett-Packard and Adobe Systems as those companies designed and developed early model electronic and digital photography equipment and imaging programs.  In January of 1994, Mike Collette, formerly of Leaf Systems, had constructed a 140 MB digital scanning back for 4x5 cameras and asked Johnson if he would like to try it.  The two went to Golden Gate Park and Coit Tower in San Francisco and took photos of that same area with a film back and then with Collette's digital scanning back.  Johnson described the experience thusly: "I took a loop to the film, then zoomed in on the digital file.  The difference was hard to believe.  That photograph completely floored me.  January 15, 1994 was the last day I took film seriously as a recording medium.  For me, this was the death of film; it was not a material I could stomach using ever again.  From that point on, when I had the choice between film or high-end digital, I was going to pick digital without any doubt whatsoever."
— Stephen Johnson, On Digital Photography, O'reilly Media, Inc. Sebastopol, California, 2006, page 44.

1994 February 9

Utility Lines Crossing Railway Tracks

Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company:
Railways should not be an obstacle

...MT&T and Island Tel... submit that it is in the interest of public policy and community development that the crossing of railway lines be facilitated, as set out by the Board in A. Demers, Laprairie v. Grand Trunk Railway Co., (1920), 31, C.R.C. 297, which reads at page 299:

In going through the territory of any village, town or city railways should not be an obstacle to the expansion of the residential districts on either side of the track, because such an expansion is to everybody's advantage, railway companies included. The crossing over and under railway tracks of wires and pipes needed for the ever-increasing forward movement, should be facilitated as far as possible.

Therefore, MT&T and Island Tel submit that by prescribing a standard master agreement, the Agency would be assisting in community development by allowing the efficient expansion of telecommunications services in areas where a railway crossing is involved. Furthermore, without a standard master agreement, every proposal made for a telecommunications line to cross a railway could possibly be subject to a ruling by the Agency if agreement cannot be reached between the parties, especially on the issue of whether payments need to be made to the railway company as was established in Order No. 1989-R-296. Going through this process each time would increase inefficiency and expense to all parties involved...

National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 56-R-1994

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 56-R-1994

Archived: 1997 August 3

Archived: 1999 February 2

Archived: 1999 April 23

Archived: 1999 November 4

Archived: 2000 June 23

Archived: 2000 October 6

Archived: 2001 January 10

1994 March

Nova Scotia Electronic Highway Study

The Nova Scotia Electronic Highway Study, subtitled An Action Plan To Seize Opportunities In The Electronic Marketplace, was delivered this month to the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Communications by NGL Nordicity Group Ltd. (Coopers & Lybrand)

"We recommend that the first step in the Action Plan is to establish an institutional basis, led by a champion for renewal, for development of a common vision and to promote the development of the Province's knowledge infrastructure.  It is appropriate for the Premier to provide the leadership to ensure that all Nova Scotians can have equity of access on the electronic highway and compete effectively in pursuit of new opportunities that are arising in the information economy.  We recommend the establishment of The Premier's Council on the Electronic Marketplace.  This Council would have twelve members and be chaired by the Premier.  Three other members would be Cabinet Ministers and the eight other members would be opinion leaders from the community who would help shape and promote the vision and provide advice and counsel on implementing the Action Plan."

[ICS (webmaster) comment:  Unfortunately, this was never done.  Now, in June 1998, more than four years have gone by since this report was delivered to the government of Nova Scotia.  During those 51 wasted months, no premier and no cabinet minister has shown any inclination to implement this recommendation, which, if heeded, could have produced important benefits for Nova Scotians.  This deep lethargy and blinkered vision on the part of our political leaders is most regrettable, and has converted what was, in 1994, a promising head start in the new electronic world, into what is, in 1998, a position well back in the pack and losing ground every week.  There is no indication whatever that any of our current political leaders has read this recommendation, or is even aware of the existence of the Nova Scotia Electronic Highway Study.

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Nova Scotia Electronic Highway Study
An Action Plan To Seize Opportunities In The Electronic Marketplace

Archived: 1998 December 02

Archived: 1999 November 10

Archived: 2000 August 17

Archived: 2001 July 02

Archived: 2002 August 21

Archived: 2005 October 23

1994 April 29

Pilotage Charges

National Transportation Agency
Decision No. 195-W-1994

IN THE MATTER OF proposed tariff of pilotage charges published by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority in the Canada Gazette Part 1 edition of February 27, 1993, pages 564-573; and the notices of objection filed by the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Communications; The Shipping Federation of Canada; Kent Line Limited; the Halifax Board of Trade; the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission; the Canadian Shipowners Association; the Saint John Port Corporation; and the Halifax Shipping Association; and
IN THE MATTER OF an intervention filed by the Halifax Port Corporation.


...the Atlantic Pilotage Authority (hereinafter the Authority) published a proposed amendment to the Atlantic Pilotage Tariff Regulations in the Canada Gazette Part 1 edition of February 27, 1993. This tariff proposal provides for a 7 percent across-the-board increase for all compulsory pilotage areas to be implemented as soon as possible and a subsequent 8 percent across-the-board increase one year later.

Pursuant to subsection 34(2) of the Pilotage Act, nine notices of objection to the proposed tariff amendment were filed with the National Transportation Agency of Canada (hereinafter the Agency) between March 16, 1993 and March 29, 1993 by the following parties: ...Pursuant to the Pilotage Act, the Authority has the objective to establish, operate, maintain and administer in the interests of safety an efficient pilotage service. In carrying out this mandate, the Authority is required to prescribe pilotage charges which are to be fair and reasonable and consistent with providing a revenue, together with any revenue from other sources, sufficient to permit the Authority to operate on a self-sustaining financial basis...

...With respect to the ports of Halifax and Saint John, the Report observed that the addition of a sixth pilot at Saint John was reasonable from the viewpoint of pilot workload but that if traffic declined, pilot strength could probably be brought back to five. At the port of Halifax, the Report noted that there was a need for a certain degree of flexibility which justified eleven pilots but should traffic decline further, the complement of pilots could likely be reduced to ten pilots...

National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 195-W-1994

1994 June 1

MT&T Reorganized

The public sometimes confuses two different companies with similar names: Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited, and Maritime Tel & Tel Limited. These are two separate companies. Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited is the holding company — that is, it is the overall owner. Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited has several operating subsidiaries: Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, The Island Telephone Company Limited, MT&T Mobility Incorporated, MT&T Leasing Incorporated, MT&T Technologies Incorporated, and MT&T Holdings Incorporated.

This arrangement came into effect on 1 June 1994, when Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited (MT&T) was reorganized, whereby all of the assets and liabilities of the telecommunications business were transferred to Maritime Tel & Tel Limited and MT&T Holdings Incorporated, both of which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of MT&T.
[MT&T 1995 Annual Report]
Historical Notes about MT&T

On 15 June 1998, the name of the Island Telephone Company Limited was changed to Island Telecom Incorporated. This company started under the name of The Prince Edward Island Telephone Company, which had been operating a public telephone service on Prince Edward Island since 10 April 1885. Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company bought a large number of shares of Prince Edward Island Telephone Company on 28 June 1910, and has controlled the company ever since. Prince Edward Island has shared area code 902 with Nova Scotia ever since the North American area codes were first assigned in 1947.

1994 August 22

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway

The Canadian Labour Relations Board ruled that the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway is a provincially incorporated enterprise and not a federal undertaking. In a defeat for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, the Board declared the subsidiary of publicly-traded RailTex Inc. of San Antonio, Texas, is not bound by federal successor rights provisions, which would have compelled it to recognize collective agreements of Canadian National Railway Company, the former owner of the line, for affected employees. CN sold the 400 km railway line between Sydney and Truro to RailTex last October for $20,000,000. The CB&CNSR is non-union and employs about fifty people. CN employed 115 unionized workers on the line before the sale. A union spokesman said the Board's ruling will be appealed, but Mark Westerfield, CB&CNSR's general manager, said Friday [19 August] the ruling appears to offer few avenues for appeal and will help smooth the way for conversion to shortline operation of more railway lines in Canada, except in Ontario and British Columbia. Those two provinces have enacted legislation requiring provincially incorporated enterprises to honour existing collective agreements when acquired assets are moved from federal to provincial jurisdiction.
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 22 August 1994]

CB&CNSR website (1997)

CB&CNSR website (1999)

The Railway Association of Canada's website (January 2000)

The Growth of Shortline Railways in Canada

Atlantic Provinces Transportation Commission website (January 2000)

Trains Canada website (January 2000)

1994 August 23

Low-Sulphur Diesel Fuel

Irving Oil Limited reported it was the first Canadian oil company to market a new low-sulphur diesel fuel in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. The new diesel fuel had a sulphur content of 0.05% (one part in 2000) compared to the industry standard of 0.25% (one part in 400) for regular diesel, according to an Irving press release. This 80% reduction in sulphur content reduces pollution emissions from diesel engines, which are commonly used in large trucks and busses, and in a few passenger automobiles.

1994 September 1

Three-Year Licence Renewal for CIEZ-FM

Reduced term due to station's lapse,
noncompliance with regulatory requirement

CRTC Decision 94-44, dated 16 February 1994, renewed the broadcasting licence from 1 September 1994 to 31 August 1997, for CIEZ-FM Halifax, 96.5 MHz, owned and operated by Sun Radio Limited (the licensee), and broadcasting from studios at 1550 Bedford Highway, Bedford. The three-year term was chosen to enable the Commission to assess at an early date the licensee's compliance with the Radio Regulations and the FM policy. Subsections 8(5) and 8(6) of the regulations required each licensee to retain, for a period of at least four weeks from the date of broadcast, and furnish to the Commission upon request "a clear and intelligible tape recording or other exact copy of all matter broadcast". In this regard, the Commission had requested the station's logger tapes of the programming broadcast on 5 May 1992. The licensee advised the Commission that tapes of the programming requested could not be submitted to the Commission because no recordings had been made that day due to human error. The licensee subsequently indicated that it had put into practice measures designed to ensure that its logger tape equipment was being operated correctly at all times. The Commission "viewed with great concern" the licensee's failure to comply with this regulatory requirement. It intended to monitor the licensee's performance during the new licence term, and directed the licensee to take all necessary measures to ensure that the regulations were adhered to at all times.

As a part of this application, the licensee had also requested an amendment to the licence for CIEZ-FM, to reduce the level of instrumental selections from a minimum of 35% to less than 35%. This request was approved. The Commission noted that this approval had the effect of removing any requirement for the broadcast of a minimum level of instrumental music. The licensee stated in the application that the evolving musical tastes of the 35-64 age group, declining production of popular easy-listening instrumental music, and concern for the financial health of CIEZ-FM were factors which prompted this request for amendment. The Commission noted that, under the existing regulations, this decision had the effect that the minimum amount of Canadian content in popular music that must be broadcast on CIEZ-FM each week was increased to 30% from the current level of 20%.

CRTC Decision 94-44

1994 September 4

Area Code Now Required for
All Long Distance Telephone Calls

Except neighbouring exchanges

People making long distance telephone calls had to modify their method of direct-dialling, at least for some of their calls. Starting this day, the area code must be included when dialling all long distance calls. Formerly, long distance calls made to a telephone within the same area code required only the digit "1" (one) followed by the last seven digits — that is, "1" followed by the local number. When the area code was omitted, the telephone system assumed the destination area code was the same as that of the source telephone.

The structure of a telephone number was (and in 1998 still is) AAA-EEE-LLLL, where "AAA" represents the three-digit area code, "EEE" represents the three-digit exchange number within the area code, and "LLLL" represents the four-digit line number within the exchange. When a customer's first dialled digit is "1" (one), the system recognises this as identifying a long-distance call, that is, the destination is not within the local exchange and not within the nearby free-calling exchanges. This use of the initial "1" to identify a long-distance call requires that all area codes "AAA" and all exchange numbers "EEE" can not have "1" as the first digit. Similarly, no area code or exchange number can have "0" (zero) as the first digit, because, in many telephone systems, you dial "0" to get the operator for a collect call, or a person to person call, or for operator-assisted or automated credit card calls.

To enable the telephone system to distinguish between a three-digit area code "AAA" and a three-digit exchange number "EEE", the second digit was subject to a restriction. For exchange numbers, the second digit could be any digit "2" to "9" inclusive, but not "0" (zero) or "1" (one). For area codes, the second digit had to be either "0" or "1". Thus, the second digit clearly identified whether the first three-digit group was an area code or an exchange number. This allowed customers to omit the area code — when the destination telephone was in the same area code — without confusing the telephone system.

That method of assigning area codes and exchange numbers had the effect of substantially reducing the number of available area codes and exchange numbers.

What I have been calling the "exchange number" (three digits) is now officially called Central Switching Office Designation or CSOD. What I have been calling the "line number" (the last four digits of any phone number) are now officially called the Subscriber Line Identifier or SLID.

While there are one thousand three-digit numbers available when no restrictions apply ("000" to "999"), limiting the exchange numbers to those without the second digit "0" or "1" reduced the number of available exchange numbers to eight hundred; and this was further reduced to six hundred forty by the requirement that no exchange number could have a first digit of "0" or "1". That is, the former allocation system limited the number of exchanges within any one area code to a maximum of six hundred forty.

The number of area codes available was reduced by two basic requirements. For all three-digit area codes, the second digit had to be either "0" or "1", and the first digit could never be "0" or "1". Thus, there were only one hundred sixty area codes available, to cover all of the USA and Canada.

In practice, the number of area codes and exchange numbers actually available was somewhat less than the above allocation rules indicate. For example, the above rules allow "800" as an area code, but there has never been an area code "800" — "800" was reserved for toll-free long distance calls; lately "888" has also been set aside for this purpose. Similarly, "900" was reserved for a special use. In theory, "911" could be used for an area code, but it was recognized that actually designating any region as area code "911" would be unwise. There are several other unavailable area codes. Area codes n00 (a three-digit number ending with two zeroes) are usually reserved for special services like 700, 800 or 900. In fact, these codes are not considered to be area codes as such, but Service Access Codes (SACs).

There has never been an exchange "555"; this has been reserved for general purpose use within each regional telephone company.  (This is the reason you always see "555-xxxx" selected for any fictional phone number on television or in the movies.  If a fiction writer needs a made-up phone number, any other choice of exchange number runs the risk of being someone's real phone number, and its appearance on TV can generate a lot of nuisance calls — especially if it is applied in a context suggesting a famous or notorious person — but any number "555-xxxx" is safe, because all such numbers are used only for business purposes within some telco or other, and no individual or small business will have to endure harassment.  There are occasional exceptions, such as Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder.)  There are other three-digit combinations that cannot be used for exchanges.  For example, the emergency number "911" cannot be used as an exchange number.  Neither can "411", which is widely used to reach directory assistance.  "611" is reserved for repair services, and "811" for business offices.  As far as I know, all three-digit combinations of the form "n11" are set aside for uses other than exchange numbers.

There is another restriction on the assignment of exchange numbers within any area code.  It's not a good idea to assign the home area code.  For example, it is highly unlikely that, in Nova Scotia, there will ever be an exchange "902", because our area code is "902".  If exchange "902" were to be installed within area "902", the telephone numbers would look this:  902-902-1234.  Local numbers would be 902-1234, which could cause confusion.

The original system of allocating area codes was decided upon in October 1947.  See http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives/archives/history/50th.anniversary.areacodes.  It was in October 1947 that area code 902 was assigned to the Maritime Provinces.  (In 2005, 902 still applies to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.)

Recently (in the 1990s and continuing into 2000 and beyond), North America has had a large increase in demand for telephone numbers, due mainly to the increased use of fax machines, cellular telephones, and modems.  In 1994, about 13,500 new telephone numbers were being installed each day.  A serious shortage of telephone numbers had developed in some regions, and it had become necessary to find additional area codes and exchange numbers to supply the requirements of customers.  That was the reason for this day's change in long distance dialling rules.

This change in dialling rules has made possible a major relaxation of the second digit allocation rules — there is now no second-digit restriction for exchanges, and all digits except "9" are permitted for area codes. Now, an exchange may have any digit "0" through "9" as its second digit. An area code may have any digit "0" through "8" as its second digit — all combinations with "9" as the middle digit are reserved for future expansion of the numbering plan. The first digit restriction remains in effect — the first digit of an area code can not be "0" or "1"; the same restriction still applies to the first digit of an exchange. Thus, from this day the number of available area codes has been increased from 160 to 720, at least in theory.

In practice, fewer than 720 area codes are available. All combinations with the second and third digits the same (such as "233", "577", "622", etc.) are reserved as "easily recognized" codes for non-geographic services such as existing "500", "800", "888", and "900" services. Certain other combinations are reserved, leaving about 600 possible area codes available for regular use in the present system.

For more information about how telephone numbers are assigned, see
How Area Codes Are Assigned

For additional information, see Linc Madison's Telephone Area Codes and Splits:
Why Not Use 8-digit Local Numbers?

Future Expansion of the National Area Numbering Plan

For more details about area code splits and overlays, and how they are carried out in practice, see
(NANP) North America Numbering Plan, Planning Letters

Also, after 4 September 1994 the number of exchanges available within any one area code has been increased from six hundred forty to eight hundred, less the specially reserved numbers such as "555", "911", "411", etc. The net effect has been to increase the number of available ten-digit phone numbers to about six times as many as before. This is expected to be sufficient for some considerable time to come.

By mid-1997, at least seventeen area codes were in use, which would not have been allowed under the old allocation rules: "250" for all British Columbia except the Vancouver metropolitan region; "867" for the Northwest Territories; "248" for Pontiac, Michigan; "330" for Akron, Ohio; "334" for Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama; "360" for Bellingham, Washington; "423" for Knoxville, Tennessee; "540" for Roanoke, Virginia; "541" for Eugene, Oregon; "573" for Jefferson City, Missouri; "770" for Griffin, Georgia; "765" for Lafayette, Indiana; "847" for Evanston, Illinois; "864" for Greenville, South Carolina; and, in Florida, "941" for Fort Myers, "954" for Fort Lauderdale, and "352" for Gainesville. All of these have, as their second digit, a number other than "0" or "1". In addition to these seventeen area codes, there are about twenty three-digit combinations that are named "country codes" but which function in exactly the same way as area codes — for example, "268" for Antigua, "441" for Bermuda, "876" for Jamaica, and "868" for Trinidad & Tobago; these reach locations in the Caribbean.

The necessity for the new long distance dialling rule can be demonstrated by the combination "867". In Nova Scotia, in mid-1997, "867" was used to identify the Antigonish Exchange, and, at the same time, "867" was the area code for the Northwest Territories. If I wanted to call someone in Antigonish from my home phone in Canning, using the pre-1994 dialling rule I could simply dial "1-867-nnnn", where "867-nnnn" was the local number I wanted in Antigonish. But in 1997, if I dialled a digit sequence that began "1-867-...", the telephone system had no way to figure out if I wanted "867" meaning Antigonish, or "867" meaning Northwest Territories. Pre-1994, there was no problem, because the second digit rule ("second digit" meaning the second digit after the initial "1" which gets entry to the direct-dial long distance equipment) made it easy to distinguish an exchange from an area code. After 4 September 1994, that has not been applicable.

In 1997, when I dial a sequence that begins with "1", I am transferred to the long distance equipment, and it assumes that the three digits which arrive immediately after the initial "1" are for an area code. In 1997, without using the long distance equipment (that is, without using the initial digit "1") I can reach only those telephones within my home exchange, "582" Canning, and those within certain nearby exchanges — "542" Wolfville, and "678" "679" "681" Kentville - New Minas. To call anyone outside "582" "542" "678" "679" "681", I must dial the initial "1" followed by the complete ten-digit AAA-EEE-LLLL sequence.

For more information about NANP (North American Numbering Plan) see:
North American Numbering Plan Administration

On 30 December 1998, the following item was distributed as a sidebar by the Associated Press:

Details about the Phone Numbering System

The North American Numbering Plan governs phone number assignments for the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The basic phone number has 10 digits, including the area code. Some areas require the dialing of "1" before the ten digits.

The Area Code: The first three digits. The United States has 205 area codes, plus special codes for toll-free and other calls. Canada has 20 and the Caribbean nations have 21. Before 1995, all area codes had a "0" (zero) or a "1" (one) in the middle digit in order to let phone equipment recognize the number as an area code. That restriction was lifted in 1995 because the industry was running out of combinations. The first digit of the area code is never a "0" or a "1".

The Prefix or Exchange: The middle three digits. These digits tell computer and switching equipment how to route a call to a specific central office within an area code. The numbers also help with billing, as two billing regions in one area code may not have the same prefix. Each area code has 792 prefix combinations. The first digit is never a "0" or a "1", and combinations that end in "11", such as 911, are reserved.

The Line Number: The last four digits. There are 10,000 combinations for each prefix, and these numbers route the call to the specific telephone user.

Should phone numbers be treated
as a scarce public resource
rather than private property?

The above sidebar was distributed as a supplement to this item:
2:07am ET 12/30/98
Area Code Crisis Ballooning
by Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press Writer
Washington (AP) — Coming soon to a telephone near you: more area codes. Across the country, the phone industry is running out of numbers faster than ever imagined, forcing the creation of new area codes that translate into confusion and costs for callers.

The growing need for new codes isn't the result of a growing demand for phone numbers. More at fault is the way that numbers are assigned, in blocks of 10,000, leaving many numbers unused. "You hear it's the cellular phones, faxes and modems wiping out area codes, but that's not quite accurate," said Ronald J. Binz of the Competition Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.

The rapid depletion of phone numbers is prompting federal officials to find more efficient ways to dole out numbers. The Federal Communications Commission is expected to propose new rules in the coming year.

California went from 13 area codes in early 1997 to the current 23 and is projected to have at least 39 by 2001. The Chicago area went from two codes to five in 1996 and is getting at least one more. Dallas and Houston, which got new codes less than two years ago, are each getting a third code in 1999.

There are two basic ways to add a code. Traditionally, a region is split into smaller sections, forcing some customers to change their area code completely. More common in recent years is the overlay method. Only new customers in the region get the new code, but that system forces everyone to dial 10 digits for local calls. Phones in the same neighborhood, or even the same house, can have different codes. Either way, business and residential customers must learn new dialing patterns, and many must upgrade equipment and reprint business cards, stationery and advertising.

"Five years ago, maybe, there was a very slow increase in the number of area codes being assigned," said Bruce Armstrong of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. "Then all of a sudden it started snowballing."

The system, which also covers Canada and the Caribbean, began with 78 area codes for the United States in 1947. Forty-eight codes were gradually added through 1994. Then it sped up: 14 more codes in 1995, 11 in 1996, 32 in 1997 and 22 in 1998. Industry officials project the need for 30 new codes a year unless changes are made.

Under the block system, created in the days of the telephone monopoly, competing local carriers require a block of numbers for every billing region they wish to serve. An area code may cover dozens or hundreds of such regions. If a carrier has only 100 customers in a given region, the remaining 9,900 numbers of the block are tied up. The amount of unusable numbers grows if a startup carrier serves several regions or if a region has several such carriers. "In a monopoly world, where there's essentially one provider, the system worked reasonably well," said Alan Hasselwander, chairman of the North American Numbering Council federal advisory panel.

As few as half the nearly 8 million number combinations for each area code are actually assigned before a new area code is requested. "We have 1.2 million people in Maine, and they could all have second lines, pagers, cellular phones and who knows what — and still not have all the numbers used up," said Phil Lindley of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. But because many of those numbers are tied up — and thousands more will remain unused as dozens of new carriers await certification — Maine is considering a second area code. One coastal island, for instance, needs an entire block of 10,000 to serve 50 customers.

Federal officials are looking into such changes as assigning numbers in smaller blocks and consolidating billing regions to reduce the need for blocks. Illinois and New York have ongoing tests for small-block assignments, and Colorado recently reduced the number of billing centers by 60 percent. These efforts can begin "to treat phone numbers as a scarce public resource rather than the private property of the phone companies," said Martin Cohen of the consumer group, Illinois Citizens Utility Board.

But revamping the system could require computer and wiring changes in the phone network and affect 911 emergency systems that use the incoming phone number to pinpoint location. The industry agrees a change is needed, but various segments — from longtime carriers to startup carriers — differ on how to do so.

1994 September 7

Air Atlantic Gets Extension
of Bankruptcy Protection

Air Atlantic was granted fifteen more days of protection from its creditors to allow the troubled airline to work out a restructuring plan to stay in business. The extension, which took effect this day, was granted by the Newfoundland Supreme Court. Last May, the airline applied for court protection from its creditors, owing more than $111,000,000 to various banks, insurance companies, and aircraft manufacturers and suppliers. Under the deal, unsecured creditors British Aerospace, Canada Life, and Confederation Life, would convert $50,000,000 in loans into Air Atlantic shares and take over control of the company. Air Atlantic was founded by Craig Dobbin in 1986 with a staff of 64 and two de Havilland Dash 7s. Dobbin has resigned as the airline's CEO but will remain as Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors, until the restructuring plan is approved by the court. He will continue to be a minority shareholder, with 16% of the company's shares. The airline's lawyer Tom Kendall said the fifteen days will be used to negotiate details of the restructuring proposal with Air Atlantic's remaining creditors — London Life Insurance, Commcorp Financial Services, Citibank Canada Leasing Inc., and the Royal Bank.
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 2 September 1994]

Air Atlantic Licence Suspended
25 January 1994

National Transportation Agency
Decision No. 37-A-1994

Under Licence No. 880674, Air Atlantic Ltd. was authorized to operate a scheduled international service on the route Halifax - Bangor/Portland - Montreal, being Route A.3 in Schedule II of the Air Transport Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America dated January 17, 1966, as amended by the Exchange of Notes dated May 8, 1974.

By Decision No. 78-A-1993 dated February 10, 1993, Licence No. 880674 was suspended pursuant to subsection 92(2) of the National Transportation Act, 1987, R.S.C., 1985, chapter 28 (3rd Supp.) (hereinafter the NTA, 1987).

Air Atlantic Ltd. (the Licensee) applied to the National Transportation Agency for a further suspension of Licence No. 880674. The application was received on January 12, 1994.

The Agency has reviewed the application and considers it appropriate to further suspend Licence No. 880674.

Licence No. 880674 is hereby suspended pursuant to subsection 92(2) of the NTA, 1987.

To reinstate the suspended service, the Licensee is hereby required to file an application by no later than January 25, 1995. When the Agency is satisfied, based upon material on file or from information specifically requested from the Licensee, that the Licensee has the qualifications necessary for the issuance of the licence, namely that it is, pursuant to section 89 of the NTA, 1987, eligible to hold the licence, is Canadian and holds a Canadian aviation document (operating certificate) and has filed a valid certificate of insurance, the Agency shall reinstate the suspended licence.

Alternatively, if no application is filed, the Licensee is required to show cause, by no later than January 25, 1995, why its licence should not be cancelled pursuant to subsection 92(1) of the NTA, 1987, as failure to meet any of the above requirements and to have filed a valid certificate of insurance would give reasonable grounds to the Agency to believe that, in respect of the service for which the licence is issued, the Licensee ceases to have the qualifications necessary for the issuance of the licence and/or has contravened section 98 of the NTA, 1987.

This Decision shall form part of Licence No. 880674 and shall remain affixed thereto as long as the said Decision is in force.

National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 37-A-1994

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 37-A-1994

Archived: 1999 January 28

Archived: 1999 April 23

Archived: 2000 August 24

Air Atlantic Licence Suspended
25 April 1994

National Transportation Agency
Decision No. 184-A-1994

Under Licence No. 880179, Air Atlantic Ltd. was authorized to operate a Class 2 Regular Specific Point domestic service using fixed wing aircraft in Groups D, E and F, serving the points St. John's, Gander, Deer Lake, Stephenville, Goose Bay, Churchill Falls and Wabush/Labrador City, Newfoundland; Sydney, Halifax and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton, New Brunswick; and Magdalen Islands and Montreal, Quebec.

Air Atlantic Ltd. applied to the National Transportation Agency for a further suspension of Licence No. 880179. The application was received on April 8, 1994.

By Decision No. 765-A-1992 dated December 17, 1992, Licence No. 880179 in respect of the authority to use fixed wing aircraft in Group E, inter alia, was suspended pursuant to subsection 75(2) of the National Transportation Act, 1987, R.S.C., 1985, chapter 28 (3rd Supp.) (hereinafter the NTA, 1987).

The Agency has reviewed the application and considers it appropriate to further suspend Licence No. 880179 in respect of the authority to use fixed wing aircraft in Group E.

Licence No. 880179 in respect of the authority to use fixed wing aircraft in Group E is hereby suspended pursuant to subsection 75(2) of the NTA, 1987.

To reinstate the suspended service, the Licensee is hereby required to file an application by no later than December 15, 1994. When the Agency is satisfied, based upon material on file or from information specifically requested from the Licensee, that the Licensee is Canadian, holds a Canadian aviation document (operating certificate) and has filed a valid certificate of insurance, the Agency shall reinstate that portion of the licence which is suspended.

Alternatively, if no application is filed, the Licensee is required to show cause, by no later than December 15, 1994, why its licence in respect of the authority to use fixed wing aircraft in Group E should not be cancelled pursuant to subsection 75(1) of the NTA, 1987, as failure to meet any of the above requirements would give reasonable grounds to the Agency to believe that, in respect of the service using fixed wing aircraft in Group E authorized under Licence No. 880179, the Licensee ceases to have the qualifications necessary for the issuance of the licence and/or has contravened section 98 of the NTA, 1987.

This Decision shall form part of Licence No. 880179 and shall remain affixed thereto as long as the said Decision is in force.

National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 184-A-1994

1994 October 1

Graduated Driver Licensing

Graduated driver's licensing was implemented on this day in Nova Scotia, in an effort to improve highway safety by providing a method which allows new drivers to become more experienced through the gradual removal of license conditions.

There are three stages to graduated driver's licensing (GDL): To obtain a learners (Class 7), a person must pass a vision test, a multiple choice test on rules of the road, and a test regarding highway signs. A doctor's certificate may also be required for some medical conditions. A learners' permit is valid for one year and is subject to the following conditions: For this purpose, an experienced driver is a holder of a minimum Class 5 licence. Persons with a Class 5N may not accompany a learner. The learner cannot take a driver's test unless he or she has held a learner's permit for at least six months. This time may be reduced to three months with the successful completion of a driver improvement course.

Once a learner has waited the required length of time, the driver's test may be arranged. Successful completion of the test results in a newly licensed driver's permit (Class 5N) being issued. This permit is subject to the following conditions for a minimum of two years: Failure by Class 5N drivers to comply with the two conditions marked ** can result, upon conviction, in fines of $107.50 and two points being assigned to their driving record. An accumulation of a total of six points against the record of a newly licensed driver within the first 24 months of being licensed will result in the suspension of that person's licence for six months. Upon completion of the six-month suspension, the two-year period begins again.

The holder of a class 5N licence may not upgrade to a higher class of licence. A newly licensed driver remains in the 5N category until completion of a driver improvement program or a defensive driving course. Unless a course is taken and a certificate is presented to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, a driver will remain in the 5N category indefinitely. Upon receipt of the required certificate, a Class 5 licence will be issued.

Graduated licensing has also been implemented for motorcycle operation with the following conditions Helmets are mandatory for operators of motorcycles. There are other conditions governing the operation of motorcycles, which may be obtained from local driver enhancement officers with the Department of Business and Consumer Services.

[Excerpted from The Cape Breton Post, 29 May 1998]

1994 November

220,000 Passengers Annually

More than 220,000 people travel each year on the passenger trains along the Halifax to Montreal main line railway, according to VIA Rail President Terry Ivany.
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 23 November 1994]

1994 November 28

WTOL-TV (CBS) Toledo Replaces WJBK-TV (CBS) Detroit

CRTC Decision 94-897 approved the replacement of WJBK-TV (CBS) Detroit, Michigan, with WTOL-TV (CBS) Toledo, Ohio, on the list of signals that Cancom is authorized to distribute to cable companies across Canada. WJBK-TV had announced that it would soon change its affiliation to the new FOX network. The CRTC's decision enabled Cancom to continue to provide CBS network service to its cable affiliates and their customers. This change affected the following Nova Scotia cable companies: Sources:
CRTC Public Notice 1994-145, 28 November 1994

CRTC Decision 94-897, 28 November 1994

CRTC Public Notice 1995-33-1, 13 March 1995

1994 December 31

91 Highway Deaths in 1994

During the calendar year 1994 (to midnight, 31 December 1994), there were 91 deaths on Nova Scotia highways, the result of 84 fatal accidents. This compares with 100 deaths in 88 fatal accidents in 1993 and 149 deaths in 119 fatal accidents in 1990. Annual figures over the past five years show that 1993 recorded the lowest number of fatal accidents and 1990 the highest. In 1994, there were 72 occupant fatalities, 84 in 1993, and 115 in 1990. Occupant fatalities include both drivers and passengers in the motor vehicle. There were no ATV (all-terrain vehicles) or snowmobile fatalities in 1994. Seven motorcycle fatalities were recorded in 1994 and in 1993, and nine in 1990. Two bicycle fatalities occurred in 1994, the same as 1993 and 1990. Ten pedestrian fatalities occurred in 1994, seven in 1993 and 21 in 1990 during the same time period.
Source: Nova Scotia Government press release, 9 January 1995

Go To:   History of Telegraph and Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia

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