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

Chapter 28
1997 January - June

The literature on hypertext presents a series of stark contrasts between the worlds of print and electronic publishing.

The two are fundamentally different technologies which possess very different properties.

Modern print culture — the complex of technologies, social roles, and economic structures that define the production and consumption of the written word — has its origins in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The printed work is stable, static and linear. A newspaper article or book offers a single path for readers to follow, defined by a single author. Reading is an essentially passive and private activity: unlike participants in oral culture, readers are isolated from one another. Printed works are also physically isolated from one another, each its own separate world.

Hypertext is a late 20th-century invention drawing on the ideas of engineers Vannevar Bush and Theodore Nelson. Hypertext began as electronic versions of conventional texts.

Unlike printed works, whose fixity defines them as forever finished and whole, electronic texts are infinitely malleable: they can be updated, reedited, or completely rewritten at any time by their creators. Electronic texts do not have page numbers, title pages, or any of the markers that give books their shape and order ... A reader may enter a work through a search engine, by browsing a hierarchical tree, or by selecting from a table of contents.

Readers proceeding in this manner are less likely to begin at the beginning of a work and read through to the end. Indeed, because they can be accessed at any point, hypertexts do not even have beginnings and ends. Likewise, they do not have clear narrative threads. Readers are guided through hypertexts not by an author's interests, but by their own: they choose links that interest them and pass over links that seem less promising. The trail of links a reader chooses to follow becomes more important than the original work.

Authors cannot define what a reader will encounter, but can only offer possibilities to be accepted or rejected. It is the reader who chooses what path to take, and whether even to take the same path twice ...

Hypertext thus threatens conventional pedagogy.

Traditional teaching, like traditional writing, is linear and top-down. Lectures are exercises in the delivery of canonical bodies of knowledge, while seminars are intellectual plays directed by academic authorities, and both are directed by god-like (or author-like) professors.

Hypertext does not lend itself to such teaching methods. It requires a more egalitarian and sophisticated pedagogy, in which the distinction between professors and students, indeed between "central" and "peripheral" works, is rendered irrelevant...

Hypertext, the Next Generation: A Review and Research Agenda by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

1997 January

National Award for Mine Engineer

Point Aconi - Prince Mine engineer Wayne LeBlanc was the recipient of the 1996 Coal Award by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) for his outstanding contribution to the coal industry of Canada. LeBlanc, from Cheticamp, travelled to Edmonton, Alberta, to receive the award. He has worked for 25 years in the coal industry both in engineering and operations. His engineering experience has involved designing for the development of new mines, preparation for the closure of old mines. His specialty in mining engineering is mine ventilation and methane drainage and utilization. LeBlanc has held the administrative responsibility of mine rescue operations for 20 years and was instrumental in the implementation of self-contained, self-rescuer program in Devco operations. Some highlights of his career have been his close association with the handling of mine fires and explosions. He was also director of mine rescue operations during the Westray rescue attempts of May, 1992. "I'm proud of this award, It is certainly an honourable thing to be recognized by your peers. This award is like many others in that there are always others equally as deserving. "It is unfortunate that some of the highlights of my career deal with disasters, but that is the nature of the industry," LeBlanc said. LeBlanc has served as judge at dozens of mine rescue competitions and wrote five technical papers which were presented to the Mining Society of Nova Scotia and the CIM. "You learn to take things as they come and major changes and reorganization . We will be smaller but hopefully stronger," LeBlanc said. Prince Mines General Manager Fred Howard said LeBlanc has been a real asset to the workings at Prince. "We can all take a lesson from his dedication to his fellow workers. We've had the pleasure and good fortunate to have him working with us at Prince," Howard said.
[The Cape Breton Post]

1997 January

CBC Television Transmitters
in Nova Scotia

This is a list of all television transmitters operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Nova Scotia at this time. The first column shows the call sign assigned to the transmitter, the second column shows the geographical location of the transmitter, the third column "CH" shows the TV channel the transmitter broadcasts on, the fourth column shows the "ERP" (Effective Radiated Power) in watts, and the last column "TOWER" shows the height in feet metres of the tower supporting the transmitter antenna. There are two "root" call signs, CBHT and CBIT; they carry identical programs but different commercials; both are fed from the Halifax station.
CBC Television Transmitters
Operating in Nova Scotia
January 1997

feet m
CBHT Halifax (Geizer's Hill) 3 56,000 680 207
CBHT 1 Liverpool 12 970 483 147
CBHT 2 Shelburne 7 8,400 276 84
CBHT 3 Yarmouth 11 15,700 568 173
CBHT 4 Sheet Harbour 11 9,070 265 81
CBHT 5 New Glasgow 4 479 250 76
CBHT 6 Middleton 8 17,200 346 105
CBHT 7 Digby 52 3,140 350 107
CBHT 8 Truro 55 5,500 285 87
CBHT 9 Caledonia 2 226 120 37
CBHT 10 Weymouth 24 100 * 215 66
CBHT 11 Mulgrave 12 129,000 500 152
CBHT 12 Lochaber 33 100 * 70 21
CBHT 13 Goshen 2 8.9 * 70 21
CBHT 14 Aspen 5 95 410 125
CBHT 15 Country Harbour Mines 6 8.9 * 350 107
CBHT 16 Sherbrooke 4 8.9 * 70 21
CBHT 17 Sunny Brae 6 8.9 * 70 21
CBHT 18 Blue Mountain 5 8.9 * 70 21
CBHT 19 Garden of Eden 17 100 * 70 21
CBIT Sydney 5 54,000 400 122
CBIT 2 Cheticamp 2 2,470 356 109
CBIT 3 Pleasant Bay 8 8.9 * 50 15
CBIT 4 Mabou 10 8.9 * 65 20
CBIT 5 Margaree 11 10 70 21
CBIT 6 North East Margaree 13 8.9 * 70 21
CBIT 15 Ingonish 2 8.9 * 70 21
CBIT 16 Dingwall 12 48 70 21
CBIT 17 Bay St. Lawrence 13 8.9 * 90 27
CBIT 18 Whycocomagh 10 8.9 * 70 21
CBIT 19 Inverness 8 730 200 61
CBIT 20 Middle River 11 10 * 100 30

All of these transmitters broadcast in the NTSC (officially the National Television Standards Committee, but often irreverantly interpreted as Never The Same Colour, a reference to the notorious inability of the NTSC system to reproduce accurate colours at the receiving end, in contrast to the PAL system) format, originated in the 1940s. This is an analogue format, with each frame composed of 525 horizontal scan lines. There is no compression; that is, each frame is transmitted complete, as a totally new frame, even if it is a still scene unchanged from the previous frame. To reduce flicker, each frame is divided into two fields, with one field composed of the odd-numbered scan lines, and the other field the even-numbered scan lines. The transmission rate is 60 fields per second, making 30 frames per second (compared to the movie rate of 24 frames per second). The video is transmitted as an AM (amplitude modulated) signal, and the audio is transmitted as an FM (frequency modulated) signal, with both the AM and FM carriers being embedded within the channel.

[This information is included here for historical reasons. As this is written, in 1997, the NTSC system is taken for granted, and the technical details are easily available. But the NTSC format is expected to disappear within the next ten years, to be replaced by a digital format. By, say, 2040, NTSC will be ancient and nearly-forgotten history, and this footnote will then contain rare technical details of a long-vanished system (in much the same way that, in 1997, the series-circuit electric street lighting system with its remarkable floating-core transformers, almost universally used for lighting streets in the 1940s and 1950s, is now long gone, only a few retirees remember it in operation, and its technical details — such as adjusting the circuit current by changing the core counterweights — are extremely difficult to track down).]

1997 January 20

Seaside Cable TV
Glace Bay

CRTC Decision 97-23, approved the application by Seaside Cable T.V. (1984) Limited, serving Glace Bay and surrounding areas, to delete
  WXYZ-TV (ABC) Detroit, Michigan
  WDIV (NBC) Detroit,
  WTVS (PBS) Detroit, and
  WTOL-TV (CBS) Toledo, Ohio,
and to add
  WHDH (NBC) Boston, Massachusetts
  WGBH-TV (PBS) Boston,
  WBZ-TV (CBS) Boston, and
  WCVB-TV (ABC) Boston,
received via satellite, as part of the basic service.

1997 January 30

Cable TV Service in Ingonish, Victoria County

CRTC Decision 97-36 approved an application by Blair Williams and Glenn Warren, on behalf of a company to be incorporated, to acquire the assets of the cable television system serving Ingonish and surrounding areas from North Victoria Satellite T.V. Limited, and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of this undertaking. The price of the transaction was $60,000. The Commission also approved the applicant's request to delete the currently authorized signals of:
  CITV-TV (CTV) Edmonton, Alberta;
  CHAN-TV (CTV) Vancouver;
  CHCH-TV (IND) Hamilton;
  WTBS (IND) Atlanta, Georgia;
  The Nashville Network (TNN);
  Cable Public Affairs Channel Inc. (CPAC); and
  The Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN);
and to add the distribution of
  WUHF-TV (FOX) Rochester, New York and
  The Sports Network (TSN).

The Commission noted that the system will no longer use channels 17, 31, 25, 41 and 21 for the distribution of services. The licensee was authorized to distribute, in encrypted mode, the following programming services:
  The Sports Network (TSN);
  WXYZ-TV (ABC) Detroit, Michigan;
  WDIV (NBC) Detroit;
  WTOL-TV (CBS) Toledo, Ohio;
  WTVS (PBS) Detroit; and
  WUHF-TV (FOX ) Rochester, New York.
The licensee was authorized to distribute these services on channels 15, 19, 23, 29, 35 and 39, each with a transmitter power of 20 watts.

1997 January 31

CHUM Limited

In its Decision 97-39, dated 31 January 1997, the CRTC noted that "CHUM Limited (CHUM) is effectively controlled by Allan Waters of Toronto. CHUM owns CITY-TV Toronto, CKVR-TV Barrie, the Atlantic regional satellite network programming undertaking ASN, CJCH-TV Halifax, and three other English-language television undertakings in the Maritimes. CHUM also exercises effective control of undertakings providing educational television services in Calgary and Edmonton, owns numerous radio stations across Canada, and either holds licences for, controls, or has significant ownership interests in, eight specialty television services."

1997 February 19

Direct To Home Satellite Television
Coming to Nova Scotia

NEWS RELEASE — Halifax, Nova Scotia (Wednesday, February 19, 1997) — Star Choice Television Network, Canada's first direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service, is coming to Halifax, March 31, 1997. Jeremy and Pamela Forster, proprietors of Hobby Corner Satellite announced today that Star Choice will be available at Hobby Corner beginning in March. "We are delighted that a Canadian digital DTH satellite television service is now broadcasting in Canada," said Mrs. Forster. "We have a live demonstration system in our store now. The sound and picture quality is superb." Star Choice uses digital technology which delivers laser disc-quality video and compact disc-quality audio everywhere in Canada. "For people who live in rural and outlying areas, this is a major step forward. With Star Choice, everyone in the country gets the same service, the same quality."

Star Choice will feature the very best in Canadian and approved U.S. programming including premiere movies, news, sports, children's programming and top-rated networks. In addition, Star Choice will offer continuous CD-quality, commercial-free music. Programme packages, beginning at $19.99 will be attractive and flexible. "You can even design your own package with Star Choice, so that you are only purchasing those channels you really want to watch," said Mrs. Forster. Beginning in March, while Star Choice phases in its programming, the company is making a special introductory offer of "Sneak Preview" programming which will include a premium-quality line-up for $19.99.

To receive Star Choice Television, a Star Choice Subscriber will purchase a 60 cm 24 inch satellite receiver dish, a television set-top receiver and an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) universal remote control pad. This equipment has a suggested retail price of $899. "Star Choice has achieved in six months what other companies have been unable to do in the last two years," said Mrs. Forster. "They are first to the marketplace, with a high-quality product, and promise to offer cutting-edge technology and superior service for years to come."

Star Choice was based in Toronto, and was owned by Star Choice Communications Inc. of Fredericton, New Brunswick, whose chairman and CEO was Mr. Brian Neill. In July 1997, Star Choice was the only company operating a DTH satellite system in Canada. Earlier, three other companies, AlphaStar, HomeStar, and Power DirecTV, had obtained licenses from the CRTC to establish and operate DTH (direct to home) satellite services in Canada. AlphaStar went bankrupt early in 1997, and Montreal-based Power DirecTV decided not to proceed, citing too many regulatory restrictions. Some months previously, Shaw Communications' HomeStar had merged with Star Choice Communications Inc., which would result in Star Choice Communications Inc. being more than 50% owned, and thus controlled, by Shaw Communications Inc. of Calgary. Here's the list of stations available in Nova Scotia through Star Choice, as of August 1997.

1997 March 5

Sale of CHER Sydney

CRTC Decision 97-95 approved the application by Bras d'Or Broadcasting Limited of Sydney, to acquire the assets of CHER Sydney from Peat Marwick Thorne, Inc., Receiver and Manager / Trustee of Radio Cape Breton Limited, in bankruptcy, and for a broadcasting licence to continue the operation of this undertaking. The purchase price to be paid was $80,000. The Commission noted the important benefit associated with this transaction, that being the maintenance and revitalisation of an alternative third local service for Sydney.

1997 March 31

MT&T Gains Additional Revenue
$700,000 in Three Months
from "Always On" Services

Revenues from enhanced optional services grew at a rate of about 12% in 1997 compared to1996. This growth was driven by the introduction of new services such as TalkMail and by new billing options such as Always On. Always On, which MT&T didn't have a year ago, generated over $700,000 during the first quarter of 1997.
[Source: Comments delivered 29 April 1997 by Ron Smith, MT&T Vice President Finance and Corporate Services, to financial analysts after release of financial results for first quarter 1997.]

"Always On" Services

Always On is a group of Call Minder features that are always available to all MT&T residential customers. There is a 35¢ charge for each use, up to a maximum of $7.00 per month; except there is no charge for Call Block and Call Trace. There is no requirement to formally subscribe to any of these services — MT&T has installed them and they can be used at any time by any telephone customer (except those on party lines, or with rotary-dial phones, or a few other restrictions that apply only to a small minority of customers). The above is only a brief summary of the various "smart telephone" options available at this time in Nova Scotia. For more information, refer to any MT&T phone directory.
[Source: MT&T Telephone Directories, 1997]
Historical Notes about Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company

1997 March 31

MT&T Holds 83% of Long Distance Market

MT&T estimated that it had about an 83% share of the long distance market (long distance calls originating in Nova Scotia) at 31 March 1997, compared to 84% at 31 December 1996.
[Source: Comments delivered 29 April 1997 by Ron Smith, MT&T Vice President Finance and Corporate Services, to financial analysts after release of financial results for first quarter 1997.]

1997 April

OnLine Map of New Section of Hwy 104

Map of New Section of Hwy 104 Salt Springs to Alma, Pictou County, now under construction.

1997 April 1

Apple River Bridge Collapses

On this day the Apple River Bridge, on Shulie Road between Advocate and Joggins in Cumberland County, collapsed after being struck by a tractor trailer. The Department of Transportation and Public Works installed a temporary one lane bridge which opened for traffic on 2 May.
Sources: a radio report and a Government Press Release

1997 April 2

First Cabinet Minister with a Personal WWW Site

Alan Mitchell, first elected to the Legislature in 1993, was sworn in today as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nova Scotia, by Lieutenant Governor James J. Kinley. Mr. Mitchell is the first Cabinet Minister in Nova Scotia to have his own personal home page on the World Wide Web. It began running at http://Fox.nstn.ca/~amitchel/ eight months ago, on 25 July 1996.

Other cabinet ministers have had brief pages within the government's web site, which were associated with the office of a Member of the Executive Council, but none have previously had a personal home page site.

On 9 August 2001, a remnant of this website was still available at

1997 April 4

Ice Traps Four Vessels

Joseph and Clara Smallwood (4,597-dwt ferry built in 1989, operated by Marine Atlantic Inc.) became stuck in ice 4 April off Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers, including the Pierre Radisson-class River Icebreaker C.C.G.S. Des Groseilliers, worked to free the vessel, with 204 passengers aboard. After 36 hours, the ferry finally arrived at North Sydney the afternoon of 5 April. A few hours later, it sailed back to Newfoundland with about 260 passengers but leaving 174 trailers and eight vehicles for the next ferry. It was accompanied by two icebreakers. Ice also trapped Caribou (3,662-dwt ferry built in 1985, operated by Marine Atlantic Inc.), carrying 282 passengers; an oil tanker; and a coast guard icebreaker. The same icebreakers that freed Joseph and Clara Smallwood also were able to bring the other three trapped vessels out of the ice 5 April. Caribou arrived at Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, that night and sailed again about 2200. Ice conditions off Nova Scotia were exacerbated by high northeast winds, which packed ice in the area for three or four days. In order to secure a spot in the next ferry, truckers normally must pay double rates, but due to the ice problems, Marine Atlantic waived this provision temporarily.
Source: Transport On Line (an Internet website based in Russia, which in 1997 carried world-wide transportation news items, but in 2001 is no longer available)

[C.C.G.S. — Canadian Coast Guard Ship]

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Transport On Line
World Maritime News, 11 April 1997

Archived: 2000 August 17

Archived: 2002 September 01

Archived: 2003 July 02

Archived: 2006 September 13

1997 April 17

The New Copyright Act
Radio Station Operating Methods

In the olden days, music was aired from 78 rpm records...
Some of you may even remember 45 rpm records...

In testimony given this day before the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, during discussion of Bill C-32 (to amend the Copyright Act) the phrase "hard drive" occurs eight times. This testimony was given by Elmer Hildebrand, president and chief executive officer of Golden West Broadcasting of Altona, Manitoba, but it is equally applicable at this time to many radio stations in Nova Scotia. The following are excerpts from the complete transcript, which is available at http://www.parl.gc.ca/english/senate/com-e/tran-e/16ev-e.htm

...This bill will affect us economically, as well as affect our programming, at a time when there is extraordinarily rapid change in the world of radio broadcasting...

...You cannot put music on the radio in most of these stations unless you ... first put it on your hard drive...

...Our radio station music library contains tens of thousands of music selections. I have brought for the committee a computer print out of our music library. There are two or three inches of single-spaced paper here that I should like to leave with the committee. It shows the music which we have in our music library. We take the music from the library and we put on to computer that music which we want to use in the next season or the next cycles. If we need to dump this whole process every 30 days and redo it over and over, this is non-productive. In the olden days, music was aired from 78 rpms. It was then aired from 33-1/3 recordings — some of you may even remember 45 rpm records. We then went to LPs, then to tape or digital audio tape and then CDs. How we transfer the music selection on to computer hard drives for airing should not be of any concern to anyone simply because that is an internal housekeeping process. We are already paying for the broadcast of all this music...

...A meaningful transfer format exception is critical so that broadcasters can modernize their plants and keep their operations competitive without incurring additional copyright fees for technical, non-commercial reproductions of music that occur in the course of day-to-day broadcasting. About one-half of Canada's radio stations have adopted computer-based music systems. It is expected that all broadcasters will eventually adopt this new technology. In order to use music on air, broadcasters with computer-based operations regularly transfer CDs and tapes to their stations' computer hard drives or servers. This is not a revenue-generating activity; it is a matter of housekeeping. It is a matter of operational efficiency that has become necessary for stations to survive and to remain competitive. Radio broadcasters already pay $22 million a year for the right to broadcast songs...

...It is patently ridiculous. Under the bill as proposed, every 30 days I would need to throw everything off my hard drive or servers and reactivate it again. It is sort of like pouring water out of a glass into a pitcher and then pouring it back into a glass. We have not made any progress. It has been totally useless work. This kind of Draconian bureaucratic work might make a lot of sense in Ottawa or other cities, but in Altona common sense says this is not the way to go. It is time consuming, expensive, and serves no purpose. As you know, we are in more of a computer era than ever before. Just like transfers among computer programs do not affect further fees, this kind of procedural process at radio stations should not be subject to extra charges. Other format transfers are permitted by Canadian copyright law. There is already a de facto format transfer exception that allows the owners of computer programs to make copies. This is not something that we think should isolate broadcasters so they would have to pay twice for this transfer...

...We have already paid for this music. We cannot get it on the air unless we go through this mechanical step because, for economic reasons, we have gone to hard drives in half our stations, soon to be most of them. In order to put it on the air, we have to put it into our operating system. We paid for the music and they want us to pay again. The first time you would have paid to put it on the air for a period of 30 days. No. We would pay to put it on for the whole year. We pay 3.2 per cent in radio and 2.1 per cent in television of our gross revenue to SOCAN, the collective for performing rights. That money pays for all uses of that music throughout the year, except if we need to rerecord it either to delay it for time shifting purposes or to get it on to our operating system. The bill proposes that those uses are exempt, unless the other fellows set up a collective to collect money from us to do those things. Then, as I say, we have the privilege of paying again. If we play that music live or the CD comes in the door and we put it on the air as a CD, we have paid for it in our 3.2 per cent of our gross revenue. However, as soon as you record it on to your operating system for the purposes of playing, because that is the way your station runs, you will have to pay extra under this bill. You will have to make an agreement, get a licence and pay extra....

1997 April 23

General Tariffs for Optical Fibre

CRTC Telecom Decision 97-7 required, among other things, that:

¶34. Bell, BC TEL, MTS, TCI and TCEI were to file General Tariffs for optical fibre within 90 days of the date of this Decision. The General Tariffs were to apply to local facilities and were to be subject to the availability of facilities. Rates were to be based on distance and were to recover cost.

¶37. Island Tel, MT&;T, NBTel and NewTel were not required to file General Tariffs at this time, but were directed to identify the services for which optical fibre has been provided, either as a stand-alone facility or as part of a bundled special tariff, within 30 days of the date of this Decision.

1997 April 23

Strait of Canso
Superport Corporation

Health Minister David Dingwall, on behalf of Transport Minister David Anderson, today announced federal funding of up to $300,000 to permit the Strait of Canso Superport Corporation (SCSC) to carry out the due diligence process, which must be undertaken prior to the transfer of the port facilities at Port Hawkesbury and Mulgrave. On 29 October 1996, Transport Canada and SCSC signed a letter of intent to transfer the ports to local control. As part of the transfer process, SCSC must complete the due diligence process, which includes evaluating divestiture information, conducting a feasibility study, and formulating a business plan. The Strait of Canso ports are two of more than 200 Regional/Local ports across Canada. The National Marine Policy, announced in December 1995, calls for Regional/Local ports to be transferred to other interests over a six-year period.
[Department of Transport press release]

1997 April 24

All Public Libraries Connected

Nova Scotia is the first province to have all its public libraries plugged into the information highway, Education Minister Robbie Harrison noted today as he marked Information Rights Week, April 21-27, 1997.

"From Clark's Harbour to Ingonish, we are providing public access to the Internet and the wealth of information it contains," he said.

Established in 1994 by the Canadian Library Association, Information Rights Week is intended to raise public awareness and provide information on issues such as the Internet, protection of privacy and access to government information.

"The emergence of the Internet and other high-speed telecommunications networks is changing the way we think and the way we learn," said Mr. Harrison. "More than ever, we need to ensure all Nova Scotians have universal access to information."

Connecting public libraries to the Internet is one way the Department of Education and Culture is providing access to information. All 75 libraries in the province offer public access to the Internet through the department's wide-area network, EDnet.

Libraries aren't the only ones taking advantage of the EDnet connection; 152 schools use EDnet and more schools are preparing to hook up. The goal is to have all schools in Nova Scotia connected to the Internet by the year 2000.

Last year, Nova Scotia invested $3,000,000 in computer systems, printers and software for 46 junior high schools across the province. As well, more than 2,100 used computers were donated to schools, libraries and communities by various groups in the public and private sectors.

"We have many accomplishments to be proud of, but we still have much to do," said Mr. Harrison. "The new Information Age demands that we stay on the cutting edge of technology if we want to provide equal access for everyone."

Source: N.S. Government press release, 24 April 1997

1997 April 25

Sale of CKTO-FM and CKCL Truro

CRTC Decision 97-170 approved the application by 502260 N.B. Inc. to acquire from Radio Atlantic (CKCL) Ltd. the assets of CKTO-FM and CKCL Truro, and for broadcasting licences to continue the operation of these undertakings. Approval was also given for acquisition of CKBC Bathurst, New Brunswick. The Commission noted that this transaction constituted a change in control from the Eddy family to a group composed of three individuals. Previously, the stations were owned by Radio Atlantic Holdings Ltd., and ultimately controlled by the Eddy family through Force Holdings Limited. The then-current president and part owner of Radio Atlantic (CKCL) Ltd. and Radio Atlantic (CKBC) Ltd., John Eddy, was to remain part owner of the stations through Radio Atlantic (CFNB) Ltd. Accordingly, there would be substantial continuity in the management and orientation of these stations. The purchase price relating to this transaction was $1,395,000, which included the purchase of the assets of CKTO-FM and CKCL Truro, Nova Scotia, and CKBC Bathurst, New Brunswick. The Commission noted that the applicant proposed to spend, over the next five years, $173,000 on behalf of CKBC and $358,000 on behalf of CKTO-FM and CKCL. These expenditures were to include technical upgrades and equipment purchases.

1997 May 1

Rate Increase for Local Telephone Service

On this day, there was an increase of $2.00 per month in the rate charged for local telephone service, for all residential customers in Nova Scotia. This was the second in a series of three increases in local telephone rates in Nova Scotia, which were a direct result of the decision to eliminate the monopoly — that is, to introduce competition — in long distance telephone service. The first stage was a $2.00 increase on 1 May 1996; the third stage was scheduled to take effect on 1 January 1998. On each bill, customers were charged the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) of 15% on the total cost of local service.

In 1996, the CRTC approved and MT&T announced a series of three local rate increases to be spread over two years. These increases were intended to bring local telephone rates up to match the cost of providing this service on a province-wide basis. For many years, local telephone service had been "cross-subsidized" by long distance service. That is, there had been a policy of undercharging for local telephone service to obtain as many customer connections as possible, and the revenue lost by this undercharging was recovered by overcharging for long distance. Stated another way, long distance users were subsidizing local customers. This worked reasonably well while all telephone services were supplied by a monopoly company, but when competition was permitted in long distance service the cross-subsidy put MT&T, the former monopoly telephone company, at a serious disadvantage in the long distance market. If MT&T had to charge extra for its long distance service, to cover losses in local services, other long distance phone companies would find it much easier to lure away MT&T's long distance customers. That was the reason the CRTC decided that the rate charged for local telephone service would have to be adjusted to cover the cost of providing this local service.

Historical Notes about Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company

1997 May 9

Bear River CAP Website in Operation

Bear River straddles the boundary between Annapolis and Digby counties, in Nova Scotia. The following are milestones in the history of the Bear River Community Access Project: Source:
History of Bear River CAP Site

1997 May 12

Truck Regulations Changed

Don Downe, Minister of Transportation and Public Works, announced today that Nova Scotia has modified some key vehicle weight and dimension regulations to fall in line with trucking standards in the other Maritime provinces. "The trucking industry is a big winner with harmonization," said Mr. Downe. "These changes eliminate the hassle of adjusting loads and equipment at the border because of different regulations in different provinces." Nova Scotia's truck size and weight limits now conform with fundamental regulations in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

The changes include: "This is a significant achievement," says Mr. Downe. "It's the result of hard work, consultation and co-operation between my department, Business and Consumer Services and the trucking industry. We sat down, we talked it over, and we made it happen." Added Sandy Jolly, minister of business and consumer services: "The mandate of my department is to make government simpler for Nova Scotians. This is another step toward that goal." The changes take effect at midnight tonight.
Government Press Release:

1997 May 15

Truro Weekly Record
Ceases Publication

The 17 May 1997 issue of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald reported that Colchester County's "only weekly newspaper has folded.  The final edition of The Weekly Record was printed earlier this week, and the staff were told Thursday," May 15th, of the newspaper's demise.  "The paper hit the stands 18 years ago after four Truro businessmen formed Gordon Publishing."  The last owner was Jim MacNeill of Montague, P.E.I., who bought the paper from Advocate Publishing in Pictou four years ago.

1997 May 22

Internet Telephone Call Manager

On this day, Maritime Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited (MT&T) and InfoInterActive Incorporated (IIA) announced that they had signed a letter of intent to formalize a working relationship between the two companies and an ownership interest by MT&T in IIA. The agreement followed successful technology and market trials in Halifax of IIA's flagship product, Internet Call Manager (ICM). InfoInterActive's website http://www.interactive.ca/ provided additional details.

Internet Call Manager was a new telephone service that allowed Internet users to connect to the Internet without the worry of missing calls due to a busy phone line and offered a significant saving compared to the cost of a second phone line. With ICM, customers with a single phone line could monitor their calls while on the Internet by way of a pop-up window with the calling party's Caller-ID (both name and number). There were four call handling options — ignore the call, acknowledge the call with a short greeting, transfer the call to another number (such as a private cellular telephone), or accept the call. If the customer also subscribed to a voice messaging service, such as MT&T Call Answer, ignored calls were handled by this service in the usual way. There was no need for the customer to subscribe to telephone-oriented call management services like Call Display or Call Waiting, no additional hardware is required and no additional software to be purchased.

As part of this agreement, MT&T took an investment position in InfoInterActive. MT&T acquired 250,000 common shares for resources contributed under the venture and 125,000 share purchase warrants, exercisable until 1 April 1999 at prices between $1.25 and 60¢ per warrant. The patent-pending ICM technology had been on offer to MT&T's Sympatico Internet Service customers in Halifax since 31 March 1997. "It was an immediate success," says Phil Hartling, MT&T Marketing Director for Consumer Service. "When we asked our customers in late 1996 what the single most desired improvement to our Sympatico Internet Service would be, this was it." Technical performance and customer feetback have been measured during this trial, which was to end on 27 June 1997, but MT&T decided to commit to a permanent service offering based on results to date

The MT&T service was offered in two varieties at prices of $4.99 and $9.99 per month, substantially less than the cost of a second phone line. The first included basic calling name and number information and the ability to acknowledge the call. The complete version added the call control capability and included MT&T's Call Answer voice messaging service. The ICM service offering was to be expanded to include all Internet Service Provider customers, and was to be made available across the province over the next six months. On 10 June 1997, IIA's "visual call waiting" service for Internet users became available in most Bell Canada territory in Ontario and Quebec. By September 1997, it was available to most users in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia

Industry watchers gave ICM high marks. Jim Carroll, one of Canada's leading authorities on the Internet said, "IIA is a good example of the type of small but aggressive and innovative company we are seeing emerge in the Canadian Internet marketplace. And a product like Internet Call Manager is exactly the type of thing that can make a mark on the world stage — it's innovative, it's unique, and it's imaginative — it has all the things that an Internet product needs today to be noticed within the global Internet community." The Ottawa Sun's review of the service: "They (IIA) have discovered, perfected and are marketing one of the most innovative solutions I've ever seen."

ICM was to be offered for sale by local telephone service providers, Internet service providers, and directly to the public by InfoInterActive. MT&T is a telecommunications company serving over 900,000 customers in the province of Nova Scotia. Its shares are traded on the Montreal and Toronto Stock Exchanges. IIA's shares are traded on the Alberta Stock Exchange. IIA specializes in the development and management of a variety of network based enhanced services utilizing telephony, Internet, and wireless data technologies. The Company provides its services from its advanced communication facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
[Excerpted from three Press Releases]
Historical Notes about Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company

1997 May 23

Tancook Island Television System Limited,
Sheet Harbour Cable Limited,
Prospect Bay Cable Company Limited, and
St. Margaret's Bay Cable Company Limited

Public Notices 1997-70, 1997-71, 1997-72, and 1997-73, all dated 30 May 1997, announced that the CRTC had approved, by Letters of Authority A97-0056, A97-0057, A97-0058, and A97-0059, all dated 23 May 1997, the transfer of control of the following cable television companies:

Tancook Island Television System Limited, licensee of the cable distribution undertaking serving Blandford and Blue Rocks, in Lunenburg County,

Sheet Harbour Cable Limited, licensee of the cable distribution undertaking serving Sheet Harbour and surrounding area, Halifax County,

Prospect Bay Cable Company Limited, licensee of the cable distribution undertaking serving Prospect, Shad Bay, Bayside, Whites Lake, Hatchet Lake, and Terrence Bay, in Halifax County, and

St. Margaret's Bay Cable Company Limited, licensee of the cable distribution undertaking serving Head of St. Margaret's Bay and surrounding area, in Halifax County.

The transfer of control of the first three of these licensees was done through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares held by Donald P. Keddy to 3003977 Nova Scotia Limited. In the case of St. Margaret's Bay Cable Company Limited, the transfer of control was done through the transfer of all of the issued and outstanding shares of the licensee held by Donald P. Keddy and 10% held by 2148182 N.S. Limited.

These shares, of all four companies, were transferred to 3003977 Nova Scotia Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Glasgow Cable Limited, a company owned by John L. Bragg. Following the transaction, 3003977 Nova Scotia Limited was to amalgamate with Tancook Island Television System Limited, Sheet Harbour Cable Limited, Prospect Bay Cable Company Limited, and St. Margaret's Bay Cable Company Limited.

1997 May 26

Launch of NcompasS
and Province-Wide Library Card

On this day, the Honourable Robbie Harrison, Minister of Education and Culture, officially launched the province-wide library card and NcompasS, the automated library system and electronic network linking all regional libraries across Nova Scotia. In a ceremony at the Wolfville Memorial Library, well attended by about 75 people, the Minister spoke of the significance of a single library card for Nova Scotians and NcompasS. Minister Harrison also applauded the name NcompasS indicating our ties to the sea and the need for navigational tools on the water and on the Information Highway. The Minister was presented with the first province-wide library card, which he used to launch the automated system by borrowing a book about the Annapolis Valley, signed out to him on the system. Beginning with Wolfville and eventually encompassing all 75 libraries and the 13 mobile branches in the province, this card will then allow Nova Scotians to borrow from any public library in the province. The NcompasS system will connect the holdings of all 75 public libraries in the province through the Internet. Housed on EDnet, the Department of Education and Culture's wide-area network, NcompasS will give Nova Scotians easy access to information resources anywhere in the province. As well, NcompasS users will be able to access the catalogues of schools, universities and colleges, putting more information at our fingertips than ever before.
The Disseminator, Nova Scotia Provincial Library electronic newsletter
V4 N5, May 1997

1997 May 27

Automatic Road Analyser

Transportation and Public Works Minister Don Downe this day introduced Nova Scotia's newest high-tech addition in road analysis technology. The Automatic Road Analyser (ARAN) was on display at an open house for the news media, public and Transportation and Public Works staff beginning at 1:00pm at Purdy's Wharf, Halifax. "The ARAN is going to make our road maintenance program better," said Mr. Downe. "This vehicle gives us a comprehensive analysis of everything from pavement rutting to signage and paint markings. It will be a valuable tool in keeping our roads and highways in better shape." Mr. Downe's announcement continued: "The ARAN is a state-of-the-art pavement management system. It uses some of the latest technical advances to measure and analyse pavement conditions. Data is collected at highway speeds to evaluate rutting, roughness, curves, pavement condition, signage and road width. The vehicle itself is a van equipped with computers for collecting data. Pavement rut measurements are recorded by ultrasonic sensors mounted from a bar across the front of the vehicle. Riding comfort is gauged by monitoring its axle movements. Video cameras on the front and rear of the vehicle provide a visual record of the road network. Together, these components provide a more complete database than previously available in Nova Scotia. The Automatic Road Analyser has been used by more than 75 agencies in 18 countries and has received international recognition for its effectiveness. The ARAN will evaluate Nova Scotia's 100 series highway system this summer. Evaluation of secondary routes will begin next year."
Excerpted from a Government Press Release:

1997 May 31

One-Day Radio Station

CRTC Decision 97-140, dated 15 April 1997, approved the application by Richard S. Creamer of Halifax, for a broadcasting licence for a English-language FM radio programming undertaking at Halifax, on the frequency 93.9 MHz, channel 230LP, with an effective radiated power of 25 watts, to broadcast non-commercial programming associated with the "March for Jesus" on 31 May 1997. The licence was in effect only for the duration of the event on 31 May 1997.

1997 June

CBC Satellite Radio Service Goes Digital

The following announcement appeared on the CBC's Internet website, describing changes which affect the distribution of CBC radio signals in Nova Scotia: "CBC English Radio has moved satellite distribution of its CBC Radio and CBC Stereo services from analogue sub-carriers in the C-Band on Anik E-2 to digital sub-carriers in the Ku-Band on Anik E-1. The move was necessitated by the imminent transition of CBC Newsworld's satellite-to-cable distribution system to take advantage of Digital Video Compression technology. The broadcasting industry is moving to DVC to save money and use scarce satellite bandwith more efficiently. (CBC's radio signals "piggyback" on subcarriers of the Newsworld satellite video feed.) The move has an impact on some Canadians' ability to receive CBC Radio and/or CBC Stereo through a cable connection to their FM radio receivers. A number of Canadian cable companies pick up CBC Radio and/or CBC Stereo via satellite and then redistribute them on their cable systems ..."

1997 June 5

Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association
Establishes Website

On this day, Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association website began operation.  The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association was established in 1863.  The primary goals of the association were to promote Nova Scotia apples internationally, as well as to collect information on new varities, diseases, insects and other data to pass along to the growers.  The Fruit Growers' were leaders in establishing the Wolfville school of Horticulture in 1894 and the Kentville Experimental Farm in 1910...

Nova Scotia Fruit Growers' Association website at

1997 June 10

New Highway Named Cobequid Pass

The "Highway 104 Western Alignment" was officially named "Cobequid Pass." Don Downe, Minister of Transportation and Public Works, announced the new name today saying: "Cobequid Pass is a fitting reflection of the history and geography of this region. Cobequid has long been a proud Nova Scotian name." Cobequid is derived from a Mi'kmaq word Wakobetgitk, meaning "end of flowing or rushing water," a reference to the Bay of Fundy. The highway runs through the Cobequid Mountains. Mr. Downe thanked the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce and the project's Community Liaison Committee for gathering possible names for the highway. Cobequid was a frequent suggestion. A committee of people representing members of the public-private partnership building the highway made the selection, with the minister giving final approval.
Excerpted from a Government Press Release:

1997 June 11

Cobequid Pass Agreement Released

The Omnibus Agreement for the Cobequid Pass Highway 104 (formerly known as the Western Alignment Project) was released this day by the Department of Transportation and Public Works. A final court appeal by Atlantic Highways Corp. to bar disclosure of the agreement was dropped earlier in the week, clearing the way for its release. "We have supported the release of the Omnibus Agreement from the beginning," said Don Downe, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. "We are pleased to finally be able to show the public the details of this arrangement." The Omnibus Agreement outlined the basis of the building of the Highway 104 Western Alignment, "defining the players, their roles, and their obligations." Construction of the highway was then 75 per cent complete. It was scheduled to open in December 1997.
Excerpted from a Government Press Release:

1997 June 17

Speed Limits Increased

The maximum speed limit on three designated sections of Nova Scotia's 100 Series Highways was increased to 110 km/h on this day. Previously, the maximum legal speed on any provincial highway had been 100 km/h. These sections on which the increased speed was permissable, were chosen as being within the criteria established for the faster speeds; four lanes, wide median, supporting geometric design standards, and low accident rates. "Motorists have long been asking for the 110 posting on these faster divided highways," said Don Downe, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. "This change means, once the Cobequid Pass opens, we'll have express travel from Amherst to New Glasgow on Highway 104, and Truro to Miller Lake on Highway 102. It is good for business, commuters, and visitors." The sections of highway with posted changes to the speed limit were: Nova Scotia RCMP Superintendent, and Acting Commanding Officer, S. A. Duncan said officers have been canvassed in each area of the province and have no objection to increasing the speed to 110 km/h on these sections of our 100 series highways. Superintendent Duncan says, "The median speed along these stretches is in the 110 range, and the safest flow of speed is an even flow of traffic." Tom Haney, Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Safety Council said, "under controlled circumstances, such as a twinned highway engineered to handle a higher speed, the raising of the speed limit to 110 km/h poses no significant risk to the public." The new speed zone limits were effective Monday, June 23, 1997, only where the new 110 km/h signs were in place. The increased speed limit is legal in posted areas only.


There were specific criteria to consider when recommending a section of highway for the increased speed zone limit. In Nova Scotia, 100 series sections may be recommended for speed limit increases in locations where the following criteria were met: Sections with sharp, low speed turns, narrow or concrete medians do not meet the standard for the higher speed. Before speed limits were changed, a speed sample was collected, monitoring free flowing traffic for the average travel speed. On each of these recommended sections, samples showed that 85% of free flowing traffic was travelling at or near the 110 km/h mark.

Before Nova Scotia converted to the metric system in the 1970's, our highest speed zone was 65 mph 105 km/h. At that time, traffic advisors in Nova Scotia recommended the upper zone limit on 100 series highways be set at 110 km/h. But the world's energy crisis at that time was a concern, and the decision was made to implement a provincial maximum of 100 km/h, with an eye to reducing fuel consumption.
Excerpted from a Government Press Release:

1997 June 21

Fibre Optic Link

A full-page advertisement in this day's Halifax Chronicle-Herald announces the completion, by Fundy Telecom of Saint John, of the extension of their New Brunswick "fibre-optic network into Atlantic Canada's largest business centre, Metro Halifax". Over this link, Fundy telecom offers "high-speed private line data and voice services, and broadcast quality video transmission." Fundy Telecom is a division of Fundy Communications. Fundy President and CEO Bill Stanley said the link provides Nova Scotia businesses with access to a new, high-speed conduit for voice, video and data communications. "There is a new player in Nova Scotia, and our name is Fundy," Mr. Stanley said. "This is a new high water mark for telecommunications services. Over the past several years, we've invested considerable energies and resources into building one of the most advanced networks anywhere in North America." Mr. Stanley added, "With the Halifax connection now complete, we are able to provide businesses there with a full range of high-speed telecommunications. Many of these services will be offered in co-operation with the other members of the national cable consortium, vision.com, which includes ACCESS Cable in the Dartmouth-Bedford region." Last week, the company formally launched its Internet division in New Brunswick, providing subscribers, for the first time, with cable-modem access to cyberspace at 30 times the speed of traditional telephone systems.

1997 June 24

Long-Distance Telephone Rates
Sprint Canada

A bill stuffer leaflet, enclosed with Sprint's bills during the summer of 1997, advertised the following long-distance telephone rates. These rates were applicable for calls originating in Nova Scotia (or anywhere else in Canada), regardless of the time of day or day of week. At this time, Sprint Canada, a subsidiary of Call-Net Enterprises Inc., was the second-largest long-distance telephone company in Canada.
Additional details, notes about Sprint Canada

Sprint Canada

Long Distance Telephone Service
June 1997

Rates below are per minute, and
apply for calls originating in Nova Scotia.
Rates effective June 24, 1997
and are subject to change without notice.

To switch to this
"by the minute" savings plan, call:
English: 1-800-708-7633
French 1-800-909-7633
Chinese 1-800-923-7633

Canada 15¢  
U.S.A 22¢  
Australia 55¢ 60¢
C.I.S. $1.36 $1.53
China $1.57 $1.74
Denmark 56¢ 61¢
Egypt $1.23 $1.26
France 45¢ 49¢
Germany 49¢ 65¢
Greece 91¢ 97¢
Hong Kong 46¢ 57¢
India 89¢ 97¢
Iran $1.94 $1.99
Italy 71¢ 77¢
Japan 75¢ 82¢
Mexico 91¢ 99¢
Netherlands 44¢ 48¢
New Zealand 59¢ 64¢
Pakistan $1.34 $1.39
Phillipines 88¢ 96¢
Poland 85¢ 91¢
Portugal 82¢ 86¢
Romania $1.26 $1.39
Saudi Arabia $1.68 $1.71
South Korea 99¢ $1.05
Switzerland 44¢ 48¢
Taiwan 62¢ 70¢
United Kingdom 36¢ 40¢
Vietnam $1.57 $1.65
Yugoslavia 98¢ $1.08

Note 1: C.I.S. means Commonwealth of Independent States (the region formerly known as Russia).
Note 2: In applying the rates above, the logged calling times were rounded up to the next highest whole minute, for billing purposes. For example, a call duration of four minutes and two seconds was billed as five minutes.

These simplified rates were introduced in response to surveys of telephone users, which tried to find out what people disliked most about telephone companies. One of the most common complaints was that phone company rates were far too complicated, with different rates depending on the time of day, also varying by weekday or Saturday or Sunday, and on top of those variations there were numerous special "plans" that offered varying percentage discounts for the one or two "most-called numbers" listed on each individual bill, or "family and friends" which offered fairly steep discounts but required both the originating and receiving numbers to have signed up with the same company, and on and on.

In addition, because of competitive pressures, many long-distance telephone companies introduced changes in their rates at intervals of only a few months.

And there were other variations which were less well-known, such as the method of rounding up the logged time for each call — most companies, including Sprint, rounded all call durations up to the next highest whole minute (but did not mention this in their advertising), but a few companies advertised that their billed times were rounded up to the next highest tenth of a minute, and there was some talk about a few "rate plans" which billed calls on the actual call duration timed to the nearest second.

Many users of long-distance services felt that it was far too difficult to try to figure out just which rate structure, or "plan", offered by which company, would be the best for their particular needs and usage patterns. In response to this complexity, Sprint introduced this plan, which charged just one rate per minute, regardless of time of day or day of week — the only variable in determining the billed cost per minute was the country in which the called telephone was located.

1997 June 30

DEVCO Railway License to Operate
Renewed for 15 Weeks

The Cape Breton Development Corporation applied to the Canadian Transportation Agency on behalf of Devco Railway for a certificate of fitness authorizing it to operate a railway in the province of Nova Scotia. Based on its initial review of the material filed, the Agency's preliminary finding is that there will be adequate third party liability insurance coverage, including self-insurance, for the proposed railway operation by Devco Railway. However, the Agency must undertake and complete a more detailed review prior to the issuance of a final certificate. Accordingly, the Agency will issue an interim certificate of fitness to Devco Railway authorizing it to operate a railway in the province of Nova Scotia until October 13, 1997, pending further review of this application.
National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 406-R-1997

1997 June 30

The Halifax Daily News Sold to Southam

On this day, the deal was finalized for Newfoundland Capital Corporation to sell the Halifax Daily News to Southam. At the time of the sale, The Halifax Daily News had about 160 full time and 60 part-time workers. It is printed in the Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, where its editorial and administrative offices are located.

The Daily News was founded as a weekly in 1974, in Sackville, Halifax County. The sale price was not disclosed, but the Globe and Mail later reported The Daily News was sold for $10,000,000 up front and ten annual instalments of $1,000,000 each. According to Southam, in November 1997 The Daily News had a daily circulation of 27,130 and a Sunday circulation of 44,630.

The Southam chain is controlled by media mogul Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc. Southam now has 33 daily newspapers, and is Canada's largest publisher of dailies, with an average daily circulation of 1,600,000, 32% of Canadian circulation.

[Excerpted from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 29 November 1997]

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

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia

Go To:   Nova Scotia History, Chapter One

Go To:   Nova Scotia in the War of 1812

Go To:   Nova Scotia Historical Biographies

Go To:   Proclamations: Land Grants in Nova Scotia 1757, '58, '59

Go To:   Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805, edited by Richard John Uniacke

Go To:   Home Page

Valid HTML 4.01 webpage

W3C HTML Validation Service

Valid CSS webpage

W3C CSS Validation Service

Latest update:   2011 May 18