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

Chapter 36
1998 May

1998 May 1

MT&T Implements Rate Reductions
for Large Customers

7500 Lines or More

Ottawa, 31 March 1998 — CRTC Telecom Order 98-304:
On 25 February 1998, Maritime Tel & Tel Limited filed an application for approval of tariff revisions to General Tariff Item 780, Centrex Business Service, to introduce volume discount to large customers with 7,500 Centrex lines or more.
File No.: Tariff Notice 691
In light of the foregoing, the Commission orders that: The proposed tariff revisions to become effective on 1 May 1998 are approved.

1998 May 1

Sydney Radio Stations Sold

CJCB AM 1270 kHz

Sydney radio stations CJCB AM and CKPE FM have been sold, with the ownership being transferred to the Maritime Broadcasting System (MBS) on this day. MBS, based in Halifax, bought the stations from Fundy Cable Limited, of Saint John, New Brunswick. Programming of both stations will be supervised by newly-appointed operations manager Dan Barton, who has been a morning DJ at CHER 950 AM, another Sydney radio station which is managed by MBS. MBS executive vice-president Garry Barker said CJCB and CKPE will be automated between 6pm and 6am, beginning 29 June. That means a local DJ will add his or her voice to a computer which holds digitized copies of music and advertising spots. Local newscasts will be scaled back, Barker added. The longest newscast of the day will be five minutes long, and sportscasts will be shortened to 90 seconds. There will be no news on K-94 FM at 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 2pm.
[Excerpted from The Cape Breton Post, 24 June 1998]

1998 May 2

Nova Scotia Power Transmission System
Has High Reliability

In a letter to the editor published in the Halifax Daily News this day, Stephanie Ryan, Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, wrote: "From 1990 to 1996, both number and the length of electric power outages has gone down. Our regulator, The Utility and Review Board, states 'Nova Scotia Power has the best reliability record in the Maritimes.' According to a 1996 Canadian Electricity Association / Natural Resources Canada report (the most recent information available), our transmission system has the best reliability in the entire country. We know that statistics may not provide much comfort when the severity of this past winter is at the top of everyone's mind. We have learned from the November storm and applied what we learned in subsequent storms. The important thing to note is we are continuing to improve..."

1998 May 4

Visual Call Waiting

CRTC Telecom Order 98-407 approved an application by Maritime Tel & Tel Limited for tariff revisions to General Tariff Item 1600, Enhanced Local Services, introducing Visual Call Waiting and Visual Call Waiting Deluxe, these changes to become effective on 4 May 1998.

1998 May 7

Gibraltar, Romania and Syria Added

On this day, the CRTC approved proposed tariff revisions, effective today, to add Gibraltar, Romania and Syria to existing country groupings, to modify the current rates for Greece and Russia and to introduce DS-1 rates for both countries. This decision applied to all the Stentor companies, including Maritime Tel & Tel in Nova Scotia.
[Source: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/TELECOM/ORDER/1998/O98441_0.TXT ]

1998 May 7

Prince of Fundy Half-Price Ferry Fares


"As a resident of Nova Scotia, getting to the U.S.A. and back aboard the Scotia Prince has never been more affordable. Buy a round-trip ticket for less than half the regular fare, including vehicles."
Ferry Fares
Round Trip
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia - Portland, Maine

May 7 - June 30, 1998
Sept. 8 - Oct. 24, 1998
You Pay
Passengers U$120 C$70 C$95
Vehicles U$160 C$80 C$128
Overnight cabins are available on the return sail
at substantial savings, starting at C$20.

Federal departure tax: C$4 per person

Operator: Prince of Fundy Cruises, Ltd.,
Portland, Maine

Ship Registry: Panama

To Qualify: You may return to Nova Scotia any scheduled sailing day except Friday or Saturday. When you dock in Portland, you'll be free to explore Maine or New England with your own car. The ferry terminal is only 20 minutes from L.L. Bean in Freeport, or minutes to Portland's professional baseball team. Under two hours to Boston with direct access to Maine Turnpike from terminal.

[Advertisements in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 16 April 1998 and
the Kentville Advertiser, 12 May 1998]

The Prince http://www.princeoffundy.com/ sails nightly at 9pm (Maine time) from Portland, Maine, the southern most departure point of the state, to Yarmouth arriving in Nova Scotia at 9am (Nova Scotia time) and departing again at 10am (Nova Scotia time) arriving back in Portland at 8pm (Maine time). The voyage takes 11 hours each way.

Daily Departures May 7 - October 25, 1998
From Portland - 9pm (Maine time)
From Yarmouth - 10am (Nova Scotia time)

No Sailing from Portland:
May 10, 12, 14, 19, 26
June 2, 9
September 8, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13, 18, 20, 22, 25

No Sailing from Yarmouth:
May 7, 11, 13, 15, 20, 27
June 3, 10
September 9, 16, 23, 30
October 7, 14, 19, 21, 23

1998 May 8

Bravo Channel Gets More Advertising Time

On this day, the CRTC approved the application by CHUM Limited, licensee of the national cable television specialty programming undertaking known as Bravo, to amend condition of licence no. 5 by increasing from 8 to 12 minutes the advertising material allowed during each clock hour. Consequently, the amended condition of licence reads as follows: 2. The Commission notes that this amended condition of licence is consistent with the condition of licence concerning advertising which has been imposed on several other specialty programming undertakings.


1998 May 9

Cost of Hard Drive Data Storage
Falls Below 6¢ per Megabyte

Future Shop, Halifax, in a full-page advertisement in The Daily News on this day, offers for sale Seagate 6.4-gigabyte hard drives, for use in personal computers, at $329.99 each. After 15% retail sales tax is added, this price is 5.93¢ per megabyte. "Limited quantity, no rainchecks."
Historical notes about Cost of Hard Drives

1998 May 12

iSTAR Ups The Ante

$29.95 a month for 175 hours of Internet access a month
and ten megabytes of personal web space and two email accounts

On this day, iSTAR Internet Inc. "A Division of PSINet Limited" sent the following by email to all its customers in Nova Scotia and elsewhere.

iSTAR internet, Canada's premier residential Internet service, is pleased to announce our new web site at http://www.istar.ca/. Our goal is to create an informative site where you can find out about special promotions, new service offerings and our award-winning on-line support. We invite you to take the time to visit the site and let us know what you think by sending your comments to marketing@istar.ca.

More good news — Are you currently on our $29.95 package? We've got great news for you! We've revamped that product so that you are now entitled to 175 hours of Internet access a month, with 10 megabytes personal web space and 2 email accounts. Now called the Ideal Plus package, your $29.95 account has been automatically upgraded to this new level of service free of charge. We're also announcing a new Ideal package for $22.95 that includes 75 hours of Internet access a month, 5 megabytes web space and 1 email account. Check out the web site at www.istar.ca for more information and then call 1-888-GO-iSTAR to sign up today.

1998 May 12

Math Project Discovers Surprising Facts

On this day, two grade 12 students from Digby Regional High School found some surprising results when they did a survey of drivers in Digby, as part of a Math Statistics project for teacher Richard Ross. With the help of RCMP constables Cliff Thompson and Chris Thibaudeau, the students observed vehicles on Warwick Street heading downtown between 8:30 and 9:30am, on a normal mid-month morning. They logged details about driving speed, seatbelt use, vehicle inspection stickers, and vehicle registration. At one checkpoint, near the corner of King Street, 275 vehicles went by. The speed of each one was measured, with speeds recorded in a range from 36 km/h to 77 km/h. There were 104 on or below the speed limit of 50 km/h, and 171 over the speed limit.

At the other checkpoint, further along the road beside the Needs Convenience Store, 318 vehicles passed in the one hour. Only 84 of these had more than one person in it. Four vehicles had expired inspection stickers, six had no registration, and there were 28 passengers without seatbelts. The count of people without seatbelts was probably low, because for part of the hour there was a lineup at the checkpoint and people had time to buckle up before they were observed. In their report, the students wrote: "The number of people who had no registration was incredible. The fact that six people were actually driving with no registration is unbelievable." No one was charged during this exercise.

[Excerpted from the Digby Courier, 10 June 1998]

1998 May 12

Liquids Fractionation Plant
Planned for Point Tupper

Sable Offshore Energy Incorporated (SOE) and Statia Terminals Canada Incorporated, announced this day that they have signed a "statement of intent" for a long-term lease for part of Statia's property at the Point Tupper Industrial Area near Port Hawkesbury. SOE will build a natural gas liquids fractionation plant, with propane and butane storage tanks, and rail and truck loading facilities at the site. The facility is estimated to cost about $50,000,000. "This is the last location required for the Sable project's key facilities," SOE president and general manager John Brannan said. "We now have all the pieces in place to get us where we want to be at the end of 1999 — having natural gas flowing to markets in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England."

Statia's president Paul Crissman said, "Statia's primary business, since startup at Point Tupper in 1993, has been to provide storage, blending, processing, and bunkering services for our customer's products. Our relationship with SOE will provide Statia with a new dimension to its business. Statia will provide 500,000 barrels 80 megalitres or 80,000 cubic metres of dedicated tankage as well as access to dock facilities for the condensate produced in the fractionation process. Statia purchased and completely renovated the former refinery facilities at the Strait of Canso, anticipating the development of oil and gas properties in eastern Canada. These developments are coming to fruition, and we are focused on offering our facilities to all of the projects whether onshore or offshore."

The Point Tupper Fractionation Plant is planned to process an average of about 20,000 barrels 3,200,000 litres a day of natural gas liquids, which will arrive at the plant through a pipeline from the Goldboro Gas Processing Facility in Guysborough County. While natural gas liquids (NGL) volumes will vary according to the source (well location) and production rates, the Point Tupper plant is expected to produce about 10,500 barrels 1,670,000 litres a day of condensate (light oil), about 6,250 barrels 990,000 litres a day of propane, and about 3,250 barrels 540,000 litres a day of butane.

Propane, butane, and condensate will be sold in international markets and to Nova Scotian bulk distributors.

[Excerpted from the Antigonish Casket, 20 May 1998.]

In the history of measurements, the barrel is one of the more interesting units, having almost as many variations as the bushel.  There are many various interpretations of a barrel, in size or quantity of liquid held, depending on what century and what geographic region and what liquid (beer, vinegar, wine, petroleum, etc.) is under discussion.  We will not go into that long and tangled story here.  For our purpose, it is enough to state that, in the latter half of the twentieth century, when oil or petroleum is the commodity, a barrel means 42 U.S. gallons (liquid measure) [and the U.S. gallon (liquid measure) is the modern name for the ancient British measure known as Queen Anne's Wine Gallon].

1 U.S. gallon (liquid) = 0.8594 U.S. gallon (dry)
1 U.S. gallon (liquid) = 231 cubic inches
1 U.S. gallon (liquid) = 3785.4 cubic centimetres
1 U.S. gallon (liquid) = 3.7854 litres
1 U.S. gallon (liquid) = 0.003 7854 cubic metres
1 barrel (petroleum) = 159 litres (very nearly)
1 barrel (petroleum) = 0.159 cubic metres (very nearly)
1 cubic metre = 6.289 barrels (petroleum)
1 megalitre = 6,289 barrels (petroleum)

1998 May 12

Street Light Tax Rate

At the 1998 Annual Meeting of the Village Commission of Chester, held this day, the property tax rate to pay for street lights in the Village of Chester was set at 2.3¢ per $100 of assessment, applicable to tax bills for the coming year.
Source: mintues of the meeting, found online at

1998 May 16   9:12am

Rawhide Live From Halifax

The most recognizable voice in Canadian radio

"For those folks who might like to recreate a slice of life as they once knew it," there is an option available in Halifax this morning that might be appealing.

At the Lord Nelson Hotel, at the corner of Spring Garden Road and South Park Street in Halifax, "veteran radio listeners can catch a glimpse of Ol' Rawhide, the guy who came galloping out of western Ontario fifty years ago to forge a new identity and become the most recognizable voice in Canadian radio.

Max Ferguson was a young CBC staff announcer from London, Ontario" who was transferred to CBH in Halifax, and "who didn't want his friends to recognize his voice on western music programs. So he invented Rawhide... Max is back in the city this weekend, part of a promotions campaign by the CBC to make more people aware of Radio Two (Classics and Beyond), the new network that replaced CBC Stereo last fall..."

The Rawhide Show, live from the Lord Nelson Hotel, signed on at 9:12 am for about 80 minutes of music and repartee, for what turned out to be the last broadcast from Halifax of an institution treasured by many Nova Scotians for five decades. In Nova Scotia, CBC Radio Two is available from three FM transmitters: 102.7 MHz in Halifax, 93.3 MHz in Middleton, and 105.1 MHz in Sydney.

[The quotes are from Pat Connolly's column "Memory Lane is Beckoning" in the Halifax Daily News, 16 May 1998]

1998 May 17

Change in Definition of
Subscriber Drop Wire

On 16 April 1998, Maritime Tel & Tel Limited filed an application with the CRTC to amend the definition of "Subscriber Drop Wire" and to remove the exception in respect of "subscriber drop wire" that is no longer necessary. CRTC Telecom Order 98-458 approved the proposed revisions to become effective on 17 May 1998.

1998 May 19

Elimination of Locomotive Whistles
at Elm Avenue Crossing

Town of Wolfville
Traffic Advisory
Please be advised that
starting May 19, 1998,
trains travelling through
the Town of Wolfville
will no longer blow their
whistle at the Elm Avenue
railway crossing, as
operational warning lights
and advance warning signs
are now in place.

Motorists and pedestrians
are advised to use caution
when approaching this
railway crossing.

Town of Wolfville
Windsor & Hantsport Railway

[Paid notice in the Kentville Advertiser, 15 May 1998]

This change was made in response to a three-year-old conflict between the Windsor & Hantsport Railway's need to operate trains at times suitable to their business requirements, and the Atlantic Theatre Festival's need for quiet during its summer theatre productions. The Festival operates in the old Acadia University hockey rink, which is located in downtown Wolfville close to the railway's main line. The theatre is about 100 metres west of the Elm Avenue crossing. The problem has been that trains approaching the crossing have been blowing the standard warnings when approaching the crossing, and these loud horn signals have disturbed theatre audiences during performances. The crossing warning, required by law, is long-long-short-long. The Windsor & Hantsport Railway usually operates one freight train each way five days a week. These trains often pass through Wolfville in the early evening, first westbound, and about an hour later eastbound, after doing the necessary switching at Greenwich (Port Williams) and New Minas sidings. Trains travelling in both directions have been blowing the usual crossing warnings as they approach the Elm Avenue crossing, but the eastbound train has been the most serious problem for the Atlantic Theatre Festival, because it has to blow the warning while it is passing the theatre only twenty metres from the rear wall.

It has not been feasible for the railway to run these trains at other times, because of operational requirements — including when the CNR delivers cars to the W&HR interchange at Windsor Junction, and the fact that the railway's customers prefer the switching to be done after regular business hours. The railway management has always been sensitive to community relations, and has tried to reach an accomodation with the Festival. Last fall, electric warning signals were installed at the Elm Avenue crossing, and the legal paperwork has now been completed to allow the railway to operate trains over this crossing without blowing the usual crossing warnings. These trains travel at a slow speed because this is a congested area, and, without the horn, the sound of the train should not disturb theatre audiences.

The equipment installed at the Elm Avenue crossing was donated by Canadian Pacific Railway; it was previously installed in Kentville at the Cornwallis Street crossing of the old main line of the Dominion Atlantic Railway. The last train departed Kentville on 16 September 1993, and this track was officially abandoned the following month.

1998 May 19

CallNet Extends Offer for Fonorola

Until Midnight, 29 May 1998

CallNet Enterprises Incorporated has extended the deadline of its $1,650,000,000 takeover bid for Fonorola Incorporated, giving shareholders of that Montreal-based long-distance telephone company until midnight on Friday, May 29, to tender their shares. The offer had previously been scheduled to expire at midnight on May 19, 1998. CallNet owns 100% of Sprint Canada Inc., and an 11% interest in Microcell Telecommunications Inc. With headquarters in Toronto, Sprint Canada operates 18 offices and employs more than 2,000 Canadians across the country. CallNet, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sprint Canada Inc., is the largest alternative long distance competitor to the Stentor group. Over the next two years, CallNet expects to become a full service telecommunications company offering a wide range of products, including long distance, local, data, Internet and mobile services. At the recent CallNet annual meeting, Juri Koor, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of CallNet, said: "Last year, we achieved an 11% share of the annual C$8,600,000,000 long-distance and data services market. In two years time, CallNet will compete in a Canadian telecom market worth C$27,000,000,000 annually, which is three times the size of our current addressable market."

Veto Power

In another development, Investors Group Incorporated has emerged as a pivotal player in determining the outcome of CallNet's bid. Although the bid had been set to expire at midnight last night, its fate was likely determined last Friday in Winnipeg during meetings between CallNet boss Juri Koor and Investors Group managers. Investors Group, a Winnipeg-based mutual fund giant, is one of three institutional investors that, combined, own enough of Fonorola's stock to block CallNet's proposed takeover. Two-thirds of Fonorola's shares must be tendered for Toronto-based CallNet to win. Slightly more than one-third — 34% — is held by the three major shareholders: London-based RIT Capital Partners PLC, a unit controlled by Lord Jacob Rothschild of Europe's famous banking family; New York-based banking giant Citicorp; and Investors Group.

Another Extension, Until Midnight, 8 June 1998

Friday, 29 May 1998 — CallNet Enterprises announced late today that it had extended its offer for Fonorola to June 8. It's the second time CallNet has granted a ten-day extension to its bid for Fonorola, a rapidly expanding rival in Canada's $8-billion long distance telephone market. Fonorola's shares jumped 50¢ to close at $66.75 today on the Toronto stock market. CallNet's shares fell 40¢ to $26.90. CallNet is the Toronto-based parent of Sprint Canada, Canada's second-largest alternative long distance telephone carrier. Halifax-based AT&T Canada Long Distance Services is number 1 and Montreal-based Fonorola is number 3. Combined, Call-Net's Sprint and Fonorola have 1,350,000 customers. The Stentor alliance of Bell Canada and the other regional phone companies, which held monopoly positions until 1992, currently holds about 70% of the market.

[Excerpted from The Globe and Mail, 20 May 1998, and
CallNet press releases dated 13 and 19 May 1998.]

Yet Another Extension, Until Midnight, 18 June 1998

CallNet Enterprises Inc. has extended its $1,600,000,000 offer, made seven weeks ago, to buy rival long-distance telephone company Fonorola Inc., until midnight on 18 June 1998. CallNet has again chosen to make the bid extension the minimum ten days allowed by law. Jan Peeters, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Fonorola, has disclosed that he is considering bids from three additional companies — two Canadian and one foreign — other than CallNet. One of the Canadian bidders is Telus Corporation of Calgary. Industry analysts say that the foreign bidder for Fonorola is likely to be one of these four: GTE Corporation of Stamford, Connecticut ("GTE" derives from General Telephone and Electronics, the operating company's name for many years); WorldCom Incorporated of Jackson, Mississippi; and BT PLC and Cable & Wireless PLC, both of Great Britain ("PLC" is believed to mean Private Limited Company).
[Excerpted from The Globe and Mail, 9 June 1998]
Historical Notes about CallNet and Fonorola

1998 May 21

CRTC Toll-Free Telephone Number


On this day, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission launched its new Toll-Free Telephone Line. Anyone can now call the CRTC toll-free from anywhere in Canada. Additional details can be found at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/news/9805e.htm.

The new toll-free number supplements the existing regional CRTC phone numbers:
City               Telephone           TDD              Fax 
Halifax (902) 426-7997 (902) 426-6997 (902) 426-2721
Montreal (514) 283-6607 (514) 283-8316 (514) 283-3689
Ottawa-Hull (819) 997-2429 (819) 994-0423 (819) 994-0218
Winnipeg (204) 983-6306 (204) 983-8274 (204) 983-6317
Vancouver (604) 666-2111 (604) 666-0778 (604) 666-8322

1998 May 21

Internet Mentioned in Speech From the Throne

"In the past three years a community-access program has led to the establishment of 109 public Internet sites across small town and rural Nova Scotia."

That sentence appeared in the Speech From the Throne, delivered this day, 21 May 1998, by Lieutenant-Governor John James Kinley at the opening of the First Session of the 57th General Assembly of the Nova Scotia Legislature. This was the only mention of "Internet" in the Speech.

There was no mention of the Year 2000 computer software problem, that affects many provincial government operations. A keyword search for "computer" turned up three mentions: Complete text of the Speech From the Throne

I find it interesting that Premier MacLellan's government thought the CAP (Community Access Project) program to be of sufficient importance to be mentioned in the Speech From the Throne, but, as of mid-August 1998, there's no list of those 109 sites available anywhere on the government's website (or anywhere else on the Internet).  That list is being treated as if it was some kind of secret.

The only government media release during the first seven months of 1998, on CAP sites, was 54 New Community Access Sites for Nova Scotia dated 20 January 1998, available at http://www.gov.ns.ca/news/details.asp?id=19980120005.  At the bottom of that release there was a "Note To Editors:  For a list of the successful proposals from Nova Scotia please call 904-424-4492 or e-mail: rossng@gov.ns.ca".  This referred only to the 54 CAP sites which were the subject of this release.  What about the whole 109?

I find it astonishing that nobody in government has thought of posting this list for everyone to see (not just editors).  I infer that they still have not got the message — that the government website is an ideal place to use for dissemination of information.  Put it in the Speech From the Throne (as if it was a worthy accomplishment), but not in the website!  The only list is available To Editors only, and then only by special request.  Very odd.

1998 May 21

The Only Transcontinental Railroad

CN is Canada's largest railroad, and the only transcontinental railroad in North America. We reach from Halifax, on the Atlantic, to Vancouver and Prince Rupert, on the Pacific.  We're looking forward to becoming a north-south transcontinental railroad as well... Our second initiative involves Illinois Central (IC), CN, and the Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR) Company.  We have signed a 15-year marketing alliance that uses the KCSR network to extend our customers' reach to Kansas City and Dallas, and to extend the reach of their customers to Memphis and beyond.  It also gives shippers access to Mexico's largest rail system, "Grupo TFM."  We can now offer single-transaction and single-price service from Canada to Mexico... These are win-win agreements for customers of all three railroads.  They give shippers more competitive options and extend market reach.  What do these initiatives mean for Memphis?  Direct rail access to three coasts: to Asia through CN's new intermodal facilities in Vancouver; to Europe through the deep-water port of Halifax; and South America through New Orleans and Gulfport...

[Excerpts from notes for remarks by Paul. M. Tellier, president and chief executive officer, Canadian National Railway Company, at a special joint meeting of the International Business Council, UNIPORT, Memphis Traffic Club, Memphis World Trade Club, and Council of Logistics Management, coordinated by the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Memphis, Tennessee, 21 May 1998.  The CN corporate strategy described by Mr. Tellier may well have profound effects in Nova Scotia's economy.]
Complete text

1998 May 21

CJLS Limited
Change of Ownership

CJLS Yarmouth
CJLS-FM Barrington
CJLS-FM-1 New Tusket

On this day, the CRTC announced that it has approved, by Letter of Authority A98-0059 dated 14 May 1998, a change in the effective control of Radio CJLS Limited, licensee of radio programming undertaking CJLS Yarmouth and its transmitters CJLS-FM Barrington and CJLS-FM-1 New Tusket through the transfer of all the securities held by M.L. Trask Holdings Ltd., a company wholly owned by Michael L. Trask, to a holding company to be equally owned by Gerard H. Boudreau, A. Christopher R. Perry and Ray Zinck. The holding company and Radio CJLS Limited will amalgamate following closing and continue under the name of Radio CJLS Limited with Messrs. Boudreau, Perry and Zinck each directly holding 33.33%.
[Source: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/BCASTING/NOTICE/1998/P9854_0.txt ]

1998 May 26

More Than 100 CAP Sites

There are now more than 100 Community Access Program (CAP) sites in existence in Nova Scotia. On this day, a meeting was held at the Wallace Elementary School in Wallace, Cumberland County, to bring together site representatives from Cumberland, Colchester, and Pictou Counties. CREDA Technology Coordinator Corinne Burke said the purpose of the meeting was to bring forth concerns and ideas about the future of the sites. "The basic objective of the CAP initiative was to educate rural communities about things like e-mail and the Internet," she said. Among the 44 people in attendance at the meeting were representatives from schools, colleges, and libraries — places that host CAP sites. Guest speaker was Robert Proctor, the Technology and Program Manager for Strait East Nova Community Enterprise Network. One of the major points raised at the meeting was the desire to establish more sites in Cumberland County. So far there are five in the county — one each in Amherst, Northport, Wallace, and Parrsboro, and one for the county.
[Excerpted from the Amherst Citizen, 6 June 1998.]
[ CREDA: Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association]

Nova Scotia CAP sites

1998 May 27

Halifax Metro Urban Transit Strike

At 12:01am on this day, Metro Transit's 425 unionized bus drivers, ferry operators, and mechanics began the public transit system's first strike since 1980. By 2:00am, when the last bus completed its Tuesday night run, all the workers, members of Local 508 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, were off the job. The strike halted all buses and the harbour ferries.
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 28 May 1998]
Public Transit in Halifax - Dartmouth 1866 - 1998
Notice regarding transit workers' strike June 1998

1998 May 27

Appointments to VIA Rail
Board of Directors

Federal Transport Minister David Collenette today announced the appointment of Jacqueline Boutet of Montreal, Alan Chapple of Toronto and Barbara Kane of Halifax to the board of directors at VIA Rail Canada Inc. VIA Rail Canada Inc., a Crown corporation, was created in 1977 to operate Canada's national passenger rail service. The board of directors is responsible for the management of the business activities and other affairs of the corporation.

Ms. Boutet currently serves on the board of directors at the Hong Kong Bank of Canada, Cogeco Inc. and Zurich Life Insurance Company of Canada. She is also the governor of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Order of Canada. Mr. Chapple has served as chairman and CEO of Industrial Ecology Corporation since 1995. He served as chairman and CEO of The Altech Group between 1992 and 1995, and as chairman of Armbro Enterprises Inc. between 1987 and 1992. Mr. Chapple has an MBA and a BA in civil engineering from the University of Toronto. He is currently a voting member of the International Standards Organization Environmental Committee and a member of the CSA Technical Committee on Environmental Management Systems.

Ms. Barbara Kane, of Halifax, is currently a sales and marketing manager for Nova Scotia Crystal. She has served as a public relations consultant between 1996 and 1997; public relations manager for Labatt Brewing U.K. between 1987 and 1996, sales and marketing agent for Labatt's International in London between 1984 and 1987; district sales manager for Eastern Provincial Airways between 1979 and 1983; and district sales manager and account executive for New Brunswick Tourism between 1972 and 1978. She studied at Mount Saint Vincent University in Bedford, N.S., and at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. Ms. Kane is currently a member of the Ontario Travel industry Association and the Atlantic Canada Marketing Board.

[Department of Transport press release]

1998 May 28

Fastest Ferry
in North America

First Revenue Trip

On this day, the fastest car ferry in North America made its first revenue run, arriving at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, at 1:30pm after a 2-hour-30-minute trip from Bar Harbor, Maine, with 667 paying passengers and 103 vehicles on board.  The return trip was made later the same day.  The ferry, named "The Cat", was built in Australia, and has a capacity of 900 people, 240 cars, and 4 buses.  It cruises at 90 km/h 48.5 knots or 56 miles per hour, powered by four engines 9,500 horsepower 7,100 kilowatts each, pumping water through four water jets.  Unlike traditional ships, the Cat's wave piercing hulls don't ride on top of the waves.  They cut through them.  This innovative catamaran design incorporates a patented, computerized ride-control system, which uses a digital monitoring and stabilizing network to ensure a smooth ride in all sea conditions.  The ferry will operate seven days a week until 30 October.  Two round trips are scheduled daily during the summer season from 20 June to 13 October, with one round trip daily at other times.

Bay Ferries 1998 Schedule
The Cat
between Bar Harbor, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


ET means Eastern Time (Maine time)
AT means Atlantic Time (Nova Scotia time)

28 May - 19 June
1998 Spring Schedule

One round trip each day
seven days a week

Departs: Arrives:
Bar Harbor 10:00am ET Yarmouth 1:30pm AT
Yarmouth 3:00pm AT Bar Harbor 4:30pm ET

20 June - 13 October
1998 Summer Schedule

Two round trips each day
seven days a week

Departs: Arrives:
Bar Harbor 8:00am ET Yarmouth 11:30am AT
Yarmouth 12:30pm AT Bar Harbor 2:00pm ET
Bar Harbor 3:00pm ET Yarmouth 6:30pm AT
Yarmouth 7:30pm AT Bar Harbor 9:00pm ET

14 October - 30 October
1998 Fall Schedule

One round trip each day
seven days a week

Departs: Arrives:
Bar Harbor 10:00am ET Yarmouth 1:00pm AT
Yarmouth 3:00pm AT Bar Harbor 4:30pm ET

The Cat first arrived in Yarmouth on 20 May, after travelling from Tasmania, through the Panama Canal, and northward on the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of North America. On this trip, The Cat carried a crew of only 15, including three captains, Captain Ken Smith, senior master, Dave Doucette and Oral Hamilton, who will split time commanding the vessel. A full crew was on board when The Cat entered regular service.

The ferry has two passenger levels, five parking ramps, airline-style seating, four passenger lounges, a cafeteria, duty-free shop, casino, sun deck, arcade, and numerous TV entertainment screens. It was designed and built by Incat of Hobart, Tasmania.

[Excerpted from
the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 19 & 30 May 1998;
the Halifax Daily News, 29 May 1998;
the Liverpool Advance, 20 May 1998;
the Yarmouth Vanguard, 26 May 1998;
the ferry company's website http://www.peisland.com/ferries/me-ns1.htm;
and http://www.gov.ns.ca/ecor/pubs/qr/9801/stories/cat.html This Cat Can Fly.]

View the CAT (RealVideo)
28.8 modem
56k modem
(These videos were still available online in August 2002.)

Maine Declares '98 The Year of The Cat

"A ship from the 21st Century"

On 21 May 1998, in Augusta, Maine Governor Angus S. King signed a proclamation declaring 1998 to be "The Year of The Cat". The proclamation read as follows:

WHEREAS, throughout history Maine and our Canadian Maritime neighbours have shared a unique history of reliance which is mirrored today in our shared tourism partnership; and

WHEREAS, for almost the last half of the twentieth century the ferry service between Bar Harbor, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, has served as the jewel in the crown of the ferries that ply the waters along the coast of Maine; and

WHEREAS, the commitment of Bay Ferries Limited and its President C. Mitchell McLean to continue, upgrade, and expand this service will have a positive effect on tourism, Maine's second most important industry, not only in Bar Harbor and Yarmouth but throughout all of Maine and Nova Scotia; and

WHEREAS, with the arrival of The Cat, the fastest car ferry in North America, to our shores we are one step closer to the development of one of the most sophisticated Marine Highway Systems and Intermodal Transportation Systems in North America, which when completed will allow for continued growth of tourism, easy access to all areas of Maine and non-congested movement of visitors and residents alike;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANGUS S. KING JR., Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim 1998 as THE YEAR OF THE CAT in the State of Maine, and urge all citizens and visitors to join in celebrating the arrival of The Cat, a ship from the 21st Century and a vital link for the continued growth of tourism here in Maine and Nova Scotia into the next Millennium.

[The Yarmouth (N.S.) Vanguard, 9 June 1998]

1998 May 28

Hugh Segal Website
Sloooowly Emerging

On this day, as part of the process for selecting a new national leader for the Progressive Conservative Party, a website supporting the potential candidacy of Hugh Segal appeared on the Internet. Sort of. On this day, a WWW page appeared that includes this: "Thanks for visiting http://www.hughsegal.ca/ — the future official site of the draft Hugh Segal Campaign. We are collecting names and requests in the event that Hugh Segal declares his official candidacy."
[Thanks to Pierre Bourque http://www.bourque.org/, whose report was the first news that reached me, of the existence of this site.]

As far as I know, this is only the second time in history that any candidate, or credible potential candidate, for the position of a national leader of any Canadian political party has had a website (or a page that may turn into a website) for the purpose of promoting his/her candidacy.

The first website for the purpose of promoting a candidate for a national leadership, was the Joe Clark site at http://www.blackeye.com/joeclark/home/home.htm which was launched on the Net on 12 March 1998.

1998 May 28

Legislature Discusses
Price of Apple Computers

Ms. Eileen O'Connell: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. As you know and as the minister certainly knows, there is a P3 middle school to be built in East Hants, and the Chignecto School Board recently negotiated a deal with Apple Computer for 30 laptops for this new middle school. Now the board was not allowed to complete the deal, which would have seen the computers purchased at a reduced price. Instead they were forced to pay through the private consortium about $500 more per laptop. So my question for the Minister of Education is this. Why is it acceptable to this Minister of Education that this school board was forced to pay a $500 mark-up on each laptop, taking $15,000 directly out of the classroom?

See the Hansard report of this discussion, beginning at the above paragraph.

1998 May 29

Internet Call Manager

When you're using your only phone line to surf the Net, that line is completely tied up. Call Waiting won't help, and if you have voice mail, you won't know about any messages until you get off the line. Did you know that approximately one third of all calls placed to households with Internet service receive a busy signal because someone is on the Internet at the time? That means you're missing a third of your incoming calls right now. You might want to consider a service from Halifax-based InfoInterActive Incorporated. Internet Call Manager, a Nova Scotia product, is the brainchild of Bill McMullin and Donald Chisholm of Bedford. It is aimed at businesses or households with a single telephone line, brings a call-waiting / call-display type service to the personal computer. If you are on the Internet, InfoInterActive sends the name and number of the caller directly to you across the Internet right onto your screen. Internet Call Manager (ICM) monitors your telephone line when it is busy connected to the Internet. ICM makes arrangements with your local telephone company to forward busy calls to ICM's equipment. If you receive a call while on the Internet, the call forwards temporarily to the ICM server. The ICM server collects the Caller-ID information and then sends it across the Internet to your screen. A "popup" window shows the caller-ID information on your screen and you can select from a number of call control features (depending on which version of ICM you are using). While the "popup" window is showing the caller information, you have time to select one of the call control features to manage the call. While all this is happening, the caller simply hears the ringing signal. If you choose to ignore the call — or if you do nothing — the call is handed back to the telephone company just as if you were not on the Internet. The user has the option of taking the call or sending a message to the caller. The call can also be transferred to a wireless telephone or another phone line. InfoInterActive has been offering this service since March 1997. The Company currently offers four versions of Internet Call Manager. More than one may be available in your area, but at least one is available in every area of North America. The four versions are: Internet Call Manager Classic, Internet Call Manager Plus, Internet Call Manager Deluxe, and Internet Call Manager Direct; the details of each are described at http://www.internetcallmanager.com/Description/WhatAbout.html, or at http://www.internetcallmanager.com/CustomerCare/Services.html. Pricing starts at $3.33 a month, going up to $5.00 on 1 June. For a free one-month trial, go to the company's website http://www.internetcallmanager.com/.

On 6 May 1998, InfoInterActive received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office indicating that a patent would be granted on the Internet Call Manager technology. The service was launched in Canada by MT&T and in the USA by Cincinnati Bell. InfoInterActive also has signed a letter of intent with Regional Bell Operating Company, one of the largest telephone companies in the USA. On 8 June 1998, InfoInterActive announced it will sell 972,763 equity "units" at $2.57 each. Each unit consists of one common share of InfoInterActive plus a half-share purchase warrant. Each full warrant entitles the holder to purchase on common share of InfoInterActive at $5.00 per share. The warrants expire two years after issuance. The shares and warrants are restricted from trading for one year from issuance.

On 25 May 1998, InfoInterActive Inc. announced financial results for the three months ended 31 March 1998. The Company reported sales in the first quarter of $61,410 up from $26,486 in the same period last year. Further revenues of $102,445 from subscription payments were deferred to future periods. The Company reported a loss of $317,186 or 3¢ per share, compared to $170,315 or 2¢ per share during the same period last year.

[Excerpted from The Globe and Mail, 29 May 1998,
the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 10 June 1998,
the Digby Courier, 10 June 1998,
InfoInterActive's website http://www.internetcallmanager.com/,
and press releases dated 19 and 25 May 1998.]

1998 May 29

$62,100,000 for Computers and Technology

Spread over three years

A $62,100,000 investment in Nova Scotia's schools, universities and communities will put thousands of new computers and technological links at the fingertips of students, teachers, businesses and community members across Nova Scotia, according to an announcement made this day at Dalhousie University in Halifax by Premier Russell MacLellan and John Manley, federal Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. They were joined by Senator Al Graham, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, Manning MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Robbie Harrison, Minister of Education and Culture, as well as education, business and community representatives. "This is the single largest injection of technology in Nova Scotia's history," said Premier MacLellan. "Communities from Neils Harbour to Yarmouth will benefit from increased access to information technology. This project will help business in every part of the province to compete in new markets, lead to a highly trained workforce and create opportunities for all Nova Scotians."

The Information Economy Initiative is a three-year federal-provincial project under the Economic Diversification Agreement designed to stimulate economic development and learning in every corner of the province. The three main components include technology in schools, projects at three of Nova Scotia's information technology-focused universities, and increased technology for community economic development. Nova Scotia's schools are receiving a $35,300,000 technology boost. Over three years, the program will provide thousands of computers and hundreds of local area networks in schools and communities across the province. Schools will also develop partnerships with local communities and business organizations to ensure computer access and to support communities in gaining technology skills. Professional development for teachers and technical support for schools are also part of the package. Other elements include curriculum software development and an enhanced technology recycling program.

"The federal government is committed to making Canada the most connected nation in the world," said Mr. Manley. "This project not only connects Nova Scotians, but it also provides new opportunities for learning, interacting, transacting new business, and developing the province's social and economic potential."

An investment of $19,000,000 is being made in information technology development at Nova Scotia universities. This initially will involve Dalhousie, Acadia and the University College of Cape Breton, with plans to eventually link all universities and colleges. Projects include a high-speed research network and increased information technology infrastructure, centres of excellence for IT (Information Technology) training, and support for business/industry partnership programs. The project also gives all Nova Scotians access to the Internet and information technology, thanks to a $6,800,000 investment in community access programs. Industry Canada's Community Access Program (CAP) was created to bring public Internet access to rural Canadians. Up to 100 additional CAP sites will be added in communities across the province, opening the door to new partnerships to support local business, employment and on-line training. Additional funding will also be provided for the Strait East Nova Community Enterprise Network Smart Region project. "Communities in Nova Scotia appreciate the opportunities today's announcement will provide them," said project director John Ouellette. "We accept the challenges before us, and together with government and business, we will continue to use information technology to build and support sustainable, engaged and healthy communities."

The Canada/Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement on Economic Diversification is managed federally by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and provincially by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

[Source: Government press release 19980529001, available at

ICS (webmaster) comment:
This is a laudable project, but (like most press releases) there is a large serving of hokum.  For me, the hardest part to believe is "The federal government is committed to making Canada the most connected nation in the world."

Why is this tough to believe?  For starters, many of our political leaders – at least in Nova Scotia – have no idea what "connected" means, in this context.  None of the three leaders of Nova Scotia's political parties, Chisholm, Hamm, and MacLellan, have a personal website or personal e-mail address.  Same goes for the current and two previous Ministers of Technology.  This approaches the absurd, considering that the current Minister of Technology is also the Minister of Education.  Same goes for all the current members of the provincial cabinet.  As far as can be ascertained, none of these leaders have ever spent so much as a single hour, in a room by themselves, surfing the Internet.  Not one of them has bothered to spend an hour in an Internet question and answer session (like Boris Yeltsin did recently, and Tony Blair, to mention only two leaders who have taken an active interest in what the Internet is about).  And yet, these are the people who will be making the crucial decisions about information technology.

As the Halifax Daily News pointed out, on 31 May 1998, these provincial leaders are the same people who have so far refused to provide funding for the Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys to have computer access to QuickLaw, "a key resource for any lawyer."  QuickLaw is an online Internet resource for legal information, which is now considered indispensable by most lawyers.  In that item on page 16, The Daily News itself drew attention to the conrast between this refusal to provide essential technology aids to the Crown Attorneys, and the announcement to "spend $62 million on information technology."

You may object that these are provincial leaders, and it is the federal government which says it is committed to making Canada the most connected nation in the world.  True, but the provincial guys were only too happy to appear on the stage when the bucks were being spread around.  And, how many of the feds have personal websites, or have spent time surfing the Net, or have appeared on Internet Q&A sessions?  How many of Nova Scotia's eleven Members of Parliament have personal websites?  Their individual biography pages, prepared and placed online by the federal government, and indexed at http://www.parl.gc.ca/36/senmemb/house/members/prov_ns-e.htm give no hint of any involvement with the new connected world.

How can one take seriously a statement like "The federal government is committed to making Canada the most connected nation in the world" when our political leaders are so far behind the curve?

The following comment about this government announcement appeared the next day, on the Internet discussion list Electronic Democracy in Nova Scotia ns-politics@ccen.uccb.ns.ca.  I reproduce it here because I agree with it:

The Government announcement yesterday re: the ICT funding was okay as far as it went, but Nova Scotia will have to be a lot "smarter" (and much more generous) in how it invests its money remembering that we aren't just in competition with New Brunswick but also with Bar Harbour, Bangalore, and Barbados and most places in between.

What wasn't evident in the announcement yesterday was a sense that there was any strategic thinking/planning going on with respect to the development of the ICT sector in Nova Scotia – either in Halifax Metro or outside.  A bit of money here and a bit of money there, but how it all hung together in the face of increasingly ferocious international (not to speak of intranational) competition wasn't evident at all.

1998 May 29

Strait Region CAP Sites

Federal Industry Minister Views
St. Peter's and St. Joseph du Moine CAP sites

During his visit today to the Mulgrave Professional Development Centre, Hon. John Manley, federal Industry Minister, viewed demonstrations of two of the Strait Region's 37 Community Access Project (CAP) sites which are linked through the Strait Regional School Board's electronic and communications hub located at the Mulgrave Centre. Representatives of the Strait Regional School Board and its community development partner, SENCEN, were on hand to show Mr. Manley, his federal and provincial colleagues, as well as assembled guests from Antigonish, Guysborough, Richmond and Inverness counties, what has been accomplished to date. Representatives from the St. Peter's and St. Joseph du Moine CAP sites provided demonstrations of the work they are doing in the field of distance education and digital communications. The Mulgrave Professional Development Centre shares facilities with the Mulgrave Memorial Education Centre.
[Excerpted from a Strait Regional School Board press release available at http://www.ednet.ns.ca/educ/boards/sb-strait/news/manley.htm ]

1998 May 29

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway

The Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway, which owns and operates the former CN main line between Truro and Sydney, is expanding its Port Hawkesbury operations. Since the railway began operations in October 1993, it has had a two-person switch crew working five days a week at the Port Hawkesbury yard. Now, it is hiring a second switch crew for Hawkesbury. Each switch crew has two people, both qualified to work either as the locomotive driver or as the brakeman on the ground, and the two swap jobs at intervals. The railway is also considering putting another train on the Hawkesbury to Truro run. Peter Touesnard, the railway's general manager, told the Port Hawkesbury Reporter the launch of Stora's new paper mill, and the traffic generated by the Sable natural gas project, are the main reasons for the expansion.
[Excerpted from the Halifax Daily News, 31 May 1998]

In May 1998, the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway website was at http://www.sunnybeach.com/railtexsite/CBNS.htm
but in July 1999 it was at http://www.railtex.com/Roads/CBNS.htm

1998 May 31

Windsor & Hantsport Railway
Summer Passenger Train Schedule

On this day, the Windsor & Hantsport Railway operated the first four trains of its 1998 summer passenger excursion schedule. The railway will operate two round trips, Windsor - Wolfville - Windsor, each Sunday through September.

Windsor & Hantsport Railway
Passenger Train Schedule

Sundays, 31 May - 27 September 1998

Place Time
Dp Windsor 11:00 am
Ar Grand Pre 12:00 noon
Dp Grand Pre 12:15 pm
Ar Wolfville 12:30 pm
Dp Wolfville 1:30 pm
Ar Grand Pre 1:45 pm
Dp Grand Pre 2:00 pm
Ar Windsor 3:00 pm
Dp Windsor 3:30 pm
Ar Grand Pre 4:30 pm
Dp Grand Pre 4:45 pm
Ar Wolfville 5:00 pm
Dp Wolfville 5:15 pm
Ar Grand Pre 5:30 pm
Dp Grand Pre 5:45 pm
Ar Windsor 6:30 pm
Ar means Arrival
Dp means Departure

All trains will board at Windsor

Round Trip Ticket Prices
Windsor - Wolfville - Windsor

Adults $16
Sr/Jr $12
Child $8

Prices include H.S.T.
Entrance Fee to Grand Pre Park not included

For Reservations Call 902-798-5667
Reservations will be held up to one hour
prior to departure. Remaining tickets will
be released on a first come first serve basis.

For additional information call 902-798-5667,
or the Visitors Information Centres in
Windsor 902-798-2690
Hantsport 902-684-9302
Wolfville 902-542-7000

Getting there: Take Exit 6 from Highway 101. Follow Water Street heading south. Take the first right to the Windsor & Hantsport Railway office building beside the tracks. (This building was constructed in the early 1970s by the Dominion Atlantic Railway, as its Windsor Station, to replace the old Windsor Station which was demolished to make room for the Avon River Causeway and associated development.)

On this route, passengers get a good view of the Bay of Fundy at several locations. The times at which Bay of Fundy tides will be high and low, on each day the W&HR trains will run, are available at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3116/index.html.

[Sources: W&HR published schedule, May 1998, and
the Halifax Sunday Herald, 28 May 1998]

Evangeline Express Excursion Train Rides 1998


Windsor and Hantsport Railway, excursion passenger train 1998

Windsor and Hantsport Railway, excursion passenger train
photograph by Wayne Hines

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this website:

Evangeline Express
Excursion Train Rides

Archived: 1999 April 28

Archived: 2000 May 30

Archived: 2001 February 10

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