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

Chapter 40
1998 September - October




1998 September

MT&T Extends
Digital Cellular Service to Truro

In September 1998, MT&T Mobility, a subsidiary of MT&T, extended the coverage of it's digital cellular telephone service to cover the territory between Halifax and Truro. With the completion of this expansion, MT&T's digital cellular service is now available to more than 60% of the cellular users in Nova Scotia. The service was launched in May 1998 in the Halifax metropolitan area, serving about 50% of cellular users in Nova Scotia. "With digital, your cellular battery will last longer, you will benefit from enhanced security and privacy, and when in digital coverage areas, you'll have call dispaly available on your portable telephone."
[Source: MT&T Mobility bill stuffer, sent out with October 1998 bills.]


1998 September

Nine Wave Riders

Environment Canada has nine wave riders placed off the east coast of Canada, including one at the mouth of Halifax Harbour. These are special buoys equipped with motion sensors to measure wave height. They monitor waves continually, and report data once an hour via satellite. This data is used by meteoroligists in preparing weather forecasts. The wave height usually quoted for ocean waves is called the significant wave height. It is defined as the average height from the trough to the crest of the highest one-third of the waves, and is close to what an experienced observer would visually judge to be the predominant wave height.
[Excerpted from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 19 September 1998]
Map showing buoy locations
    http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/can.html

Reports of current weather conditions at
  1. 44137, East Scotia Slope buoy   41° 35' 42" N, 60° 00' 30" W
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44137.html
  2. 44138, SW Grand Banks buoy   44° 15' 30" N, 53° 37' 24" W
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44138.html
  3. 44139, Banqureau buoy   44° 07' 36" N, 57° 38' 18" W
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44139.html
  4. 44140, Tail of the Bank buoy  
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44140.html
  5. 44141, Laurentian Fan buoy   42° 04' 00" N, 56° 09' 06" W
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44141.html
  6. 44142, La Have Bank buoy   42° 26' 42" N, 64° 06' 00" W
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44142.html
  7. 44153, Hibernia buoy  
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44153.html
  8. 44251,   South of Trepassey, Newfoundland, approx. 53° W, 47° N
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44251.html
  9. 44255,   Newfoundland south coast, approx. 57° W, 49° N
        http://www.nws.fsu.edu/buoy/id/44255.html



1998 September 1

MT&T Expands
Cellular Digital Packet Data Network

On this day, MT&T Mobility, a subsidiary of MT&T, expanded it's "state of the art" cellular digital packet data (CDPD) network throughout the Halifax Regional Municiaplity (HRM) which covers the same territory as what used to be known as Halifax County. The Halifax Regional Police became the first big customer in the Halifax area to sign up for MT&T's CDPD service, which provides police officers with a "high speed, secure dispatch and messaging system which enables remote access to police databases. Officers will be equipped with intelligent laptops in their vehicles to discreetly send messages to other officers at a crime scene or have fast access to mission-critical information. With CDPD, routine police functions like running a check on a license plate" or retrieving details about a suspect's record can be done at the touch of a few buttons. "This will translate into improved public safety and security for all of us."
[Source: MT&T Mobility bill stuffer, sent out with October 1998 bills.]


1998 September 1

Irving Oil Service Stations

List of all Irving Oil service stations operating in Nova Scotia as of 1 September 1998.


1998 September 1

CKDU-FM Licence Renewed
for Five Years

CRTC Decision 98-160, issued 5 June 1998, renewed the broadcasting licence for the Dalhousie University campus radio station CKDU-FM Halifax, 97.5 MHz, from 1 September 1998 to 31 August 2005. Certain conditions were attached to the renewed licence. Some of these conditions were:

6.   The Commission notes the alternative programming mix to be offered including the weekday news magazine program with an emphasis on local events and communities.  Specialized spoken word programs will feature broadcasts dealing with student life, health, the arts, the environment as well as third-language programming.  In the area of Canadian talent development, the station will continue to promote and broadcast new music by local and Canadian artists.

7.   It is a condition of licence that the licensee retain full control over all decisions concerning the management and programming of this station and that representatives of the student body, faculty, alumni or administration representatives of the university or college with which the station is associated, considered together, form the majority of the board of directors. In addition, the Commission reminds the licensee that, in accordance with the requirements of the Direction to the CRTC (Ineligibility of Non-Canadians) P.C. 1997-486, the chief executive officer and not less than 80 per cent of the members of the board of directors must be Canadians ordinarily resident in Canada.

8.   In accordance with Public Notice CRTC 1993-38 dated 19 April 1993 entitled Policies for Local Programming on Commercial Radio Stations and Advertising on Campus Stations, the Commission authorizes the licensee, by condition of licence, to broadcast no more than 504 minutes of advertising per broadcast week, with a maximum of 4 minutes in any one hour. Of the weekly total of 504 minutes, a maximum of 126 minutes may be conventional advertising. The remainder of advertising broadcast must conform to the definition of restricted advertising set out in Public Notice CRTC 1993-38, dated 19 April 1993, "Policies for Local Programming on Commercial Radio Stations and Advertising on Campus Stations."

The complete text of the decision is available at
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/BCASTING/DECISION/1998/D98160_0.TXT


1998 September 2, 11:59pm

Air Canada Cancels All Flights
Because of Pilots' Strike

Air Canada cancelled "all flights for the next 48 hours" and stated that "cancellations for each subsequent 48 hours will be advised on a daily basis." Air Canada customers travelling on codeshare flights operated by Air Canada's "partner airlines, United Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Korean Air, and Royal Jordanian" were not affected by the strike. "Air Canada's regional airlines, Air BC, Air Ontario, Air Alliance, and Air Nova" continued to perate on their scheduled routes, with some adjustments being made to their schedules.
[Source: Air Canada's full-page advertisement in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 3 September 1998]

The Air Canada shutdown began officially just 88 minutes after Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean a couple of kilometres east of East Ironbound Island, on Nova Scotia's south shore. This close timing was coincidental; there was no connection between the two events.



1998 September 3

No Survivors
from Swissair MD-11 Crash
in Atlantic Ocean near Ironbound Island

Canada's All-Time Second-Worst Airline Disaster


Zurich, September 3, 1998, 16:50 — Some 12 hours after Swissair's flight SR 111 crashed into the sea off the Nova Scotia coast, it is clear that none of the aircraft's 215 passengers and 14 crew survived.

The aircraft had left JFK New York at 20:18 (local time) and should have arrived in Geneva at 09:30 this morning. The flight was piloted by an experienced cockpit crew: Captain Urs Zimmermann (age 50) and First Officer Stephan Loew (age 36) were both instructors with considerable MD-11 experience. The crew reported problems with the flight to Moncton air traffic control centre shortly after takeoff, and initially considered diverting to Boston. The situation appears to have deteriorated rapidly, however, prompting the crew to head for the smaller but closer airport at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Before they were able to initiate their approach, the aircraft crashed into the sea, some 7 to 10 minutes short of the Halifax International Airport.

Efforts are currently being made to locate the aircraft's flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which contain records of the flight and cockpit conversations of the previous 30 minutes. Until these are found, no statements about the details of the accident can be made. The aircraft concerned — registration HB-IWF — joined the Swissair fleet on 5 August 1991. It underwent a major overhaul in 1996, and received its latest one-day "A" Check on 10 August of this year. A list of the nationalities of the passengers has now been issued, and is attached to this bulletin.

Swissair's management and personnel are shocked and deeply saddened at this tragic loss. [Source: Swissair press release 030998-1730, published on the Swissair website.]

Delta Air Lines: Sorrow, Sympathy for Victims, Support for Swissair Efforts – Fifty-three of the passengers were traveling on Delta tickets, and one crew member was a Delta employee.
[Source: http://delta-air.com/gateway/about/press/index.html ]




Transcript of last radio contact between Swissair 111 and Canadian air traffic control
Direct approach to Halifax could not have been flown

Maritime Forces Atlantic, Official website for crash investigation




Memorial, Swissair Flight 111
Bayswater, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia

Memorial, Swissair Flight 111
Whalesback, Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia




1998 September 3

Telephone Exchange Overloaded

In the late afternoon of this day, Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company issued a public appeal to its subscribers connected to the 823 exchange, French Village in Halifax County, that they not make any telephone calls except those required by an emergency. All telephone circuits to and from Peggy's Cove and vicinity pass through the 823 exchange. MT&T said this unusual request was made because of serious overloading of the telephone circuits by a great many calls associated with the Swissair Flight 111 crash near Peggy's Cove, both by search and rescue operations and local and international news organizations.

The 228 Blandford exchange also experienced very heavy traffic, both for search and rescue, and news inquiries. The 228 exchange handles the telephone circuits to Blandford, Bayswater, Little Tancook Island, Great Tancook Island, and East Ironbound Island. All of these place names appeared repeatedly in news reports on Reuters, CNN, CBC Newsworld, CBS, ABC, NBC, and other radio and television stations around the world.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, and the Mail-Star, the next day, 4 September, carried a story "Crash Triggers World Media Frenzy" describing the circumstances that raised the traffic through the 823 exchange to extraordinary levels. When the Swissair passenger jet plunged into the Atlantic near Audrey O'Leary's home in Peggy's Cove, it was a phone call from a United States news organization that alerted her to the disaster. "The first I knew of the accident was a call from CNN," [Cable News Network, Atlanta, Georgia] said the owner of Peggy's Cove Bed & Breakfast. "Up until that point I hadn't heard anything." This phone call went through the 823 exchange. Since that first phone call Wednesday night [the wee hours of 3 September] Mrs. O'Leary and other residents of the small village have experienced an onslaught of media attention from around the world. "People have called from all over. We had a call from the BBC in London, we had a call from Good Morning America and dozens of newspapers, radio, and television stations."

As one example of this intensive coverage — and how it generated unprecedented telephone traffic through the 823 exchange — at 12:04am ADT, Friday, 4 September, Jack Harper reported live by telephone from Peggy's Cove to WCVB Channel 5 Boston. WCVB was running frequent promos informing its viewers that Harper would be reporting live by telephone from Peggy's Cove to each news broadcast throughout Friday.

There was also extraordinary telephone traffic into Halifax. The Chronicle-Herald "received calls from around the world, including The New York Times, The Times of London, Reuters, Newsweek, the London Telegraph, and CNN, along with radio and television stations from Chicago, Washington, Johannesburg, and Greece." The crash occurred at 10:31pm. By 3:30am, CBC Newsworld was covering the event non-stop, mostly live from Peggy's Cove, and much of Newsworld's coverage was carried around the world by CNN. By daylight many American networks had reporters in Peggy's Cove to cover the disaster, including CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS. News crews from Japan, Switzerland, and Germany also arrived within 12 to 18 hours of the crash.



1998 September 3

Record Traffic at
Halifax Herald Website

Traffic to the Halifax Herald Ltd. website on this day was "unprecedented," as Internet users sought information on the tragic crash of Swissair Flight 111. Between 70 and 80 requests per second — from around the world — were logged, and the newspaper's technical staff put a second server online to help meet the demand.
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 4 September 1998]


1998 September 5, Saturday

Ferguson's Finale

Today, Max Ferguson, aka Old Rawhide, signed off for the last time, after 52 years on the CBC. The last show began at 9:11 and ended at 10:34, with a break 10:00 - 10:05 for the news. His last words spoken on the air on his own show were the intro of the last piece of music: "This is wild, happy music. Twelve Scots that put on middle-east dress and with eastern drums, managed to dig up all the old Scottish jigs and schottisches. Here they are to take us out, with a jig in six-eight time called McGuire's Jig."

[Lots more can be found in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 3 September 1998; the Halifax Daily News, 20 August 1998; and The Globe and Mail, 5 September 1998.]


1998 September 14

Air Canada Strike Ends

The twelve-day strike by pilots at Air Canada ended today, Monday, with the reinstatement of some flights in the early afternoon. Today's Air Canada service at Halifax International Airport consisted of two return flights between Halifax and Toronto. Tomorrow, Tuesday, this is expected to increase to four, plus all flights from Europe to Canada and some flights from Canada to Europe. "On Wednesday September 16, most of Air Canada's North American schedule will be operating, as well as all European flights and those between Canada and Japan, and Korea. By Thursday September 17, the entire network should be fully operational."
[Air Canada advertisement in The Globe and Mail, 15 September 1998, and other sources.]


1998 September 18

Stentor Alliance Fractures

It's Time for a Proper Funeral


The Stentor alliance, set up six years ago to help Canada's former telephone monopolies meet the challenge of new competitors, was effectively gutted this day as two departments were dissolved, a move that affected a majority of Stentor's 1,800 employees. The alliance announced a major restructuring that includes transferring 1,000 employees back to its member companies within three months. These changes will pretty well eliminate several of Stentor's most important functions, such as marketing and product development. "The emperor is dead, so let's bury the sucker," said Eamon Hoey, a telecommunications consultant and president of Hoey Associates Inc. He said its major weakness was that each member had its own agenda. Stentor's restructuring means its members have abandoned their agreement not to compete against each other and walked away from efforts to offer a common package of services to customers. Stentor will continue to manage and maintain the national network that links the Stentor partners, which include BC Tel (British Columbia), Telus (Alberta), SaskTel (Saskatchewan), Manitoba Telecom, Bell Canada (Ontario and Quebec), Island Telecom (Prince Edward Island), Maritime Telegraph & Telephone (Nova Scotia), NB Tel (New Brunswick), NewTel Communications (Newfoundland), QuebecTel (eastern Quebec), and NorthwesTel (North West Territories). The intense and fast-moving competitive forces now jostling each other in Canada's telephone industry put too much stress on Stentor, formed in 1992 as the third incarnation of an alliance that originated in 1931 as the TransCanada Telephone System.

MT&T announced today that the company fully supports the decision of the Stentor alliance to restructure the way it operates, starting 1 January  1999. "At the end of the day, this change is all about customers," said Murray MacIsaac, Vice-President, Major Customers. "Our President and CEO, Colin Latham, is currently chair of the Stentor Council of CEOs and was instrumental in helping Stentor with this restructuring because he believes it will help all the alliance companies, including MT&T, meet our customers' needs. MT&T is and will continue to be a strong member of the Stentor alliance of Canadian telecommunications companies."

The writing on the wall, forecasting Stentor's demise, became visible last March, when George Petty, President and CEO of Edmonton-based Telus Corp., Canada's third-largest telephone company, said he was discussing a merger with AT&T Canada Long Distance Services, a deal that would have put Telus, a Stentor partner, in direct competition with Stentor, because AT&T Canada LDS at that time was Stentor's largest long distance competitor. Those discussions collapsed in late April, but nobody thought Mr. Petty had given up his hope, which even he describes as "audacious," to make Telus a much more powerful, even dominant, player in the telecommunications wars of the near future.

That Stentor's dissolution was imminent became obvious in May 1998, with Bell's announcement of it's new national network, which will do what Stentor was supposed to do — offer a single source of supply for large business customers with operations requiring large-scale data services in geographic locations in several provinces, which no single provincial company could provide. The new high-speed, national, fibre-optic service will be operated by a new national telephone company, referred to as "Natco" for now. Natco's permanent name will be announced by Bell at the launch of the national network which was expected sometime in October 1998, but on 18 September Bell said the system will be delayed until early 1999 because more time is needed to get into full operation the fibre-optic lines Bell bought from Fonorola a few weeks before Fonorola was gobbled up last June by Sprint Canada.

This delay will allow additional time for discussions with various Stentor members which now are faced with a decision with important implications for each company's future. Each Stentor company will have to decide if they want to jump on the Bell bandwagon or go in separate directions. What Telus will do is anybody's guess. Some observers think that BC Tel will go along with Natco's plans, mainly because BC Tel is controlled by GTE of Stamford, Connecticut; GTE currently is deep in merger negotiations with Bell Atlantic (one of the Baby Bells formed in the United States in the 1980s on the breakup of AT&T) and may want to minimize peripheral distractions.

It is a sure bet that the four Atlantic Provinces telephone companies — MT&T, Island Tel, NB Tel, and NewTel — will participate in Natco's new national network, because Bell Canada controls all four. Since the 1960s Bell has owned a majority of the shares in each of MT&T, NB Tel, and NewTel, and MT&T has controlled Island Tel since 1910. There is no significant indication that Manitoba Telecom and SaskTel have plans to snub Natco.

It now appears that Bell's new national network will be adopted by most of the partners in the collapsing Stentor alliance, with the important exception of Alberta's Telus. But, without Telus, it is difficult to see how Stentor could survive, given the serious internal stresses induced by the fierce competitive pressures of the late 1990s. This has been the outlook since March 1998, and with each passing month it has jelled into a more definitive shape.

MT&T is "excited" about Bell Canada's plan to launch a new national company to provide high speed data and internet services to business customers over a national broadband network. Colin Latham, President and CEO, MT&T, said : "We've confirmed that we'll be able to sell our own emerging services, like Mpowered, nationally and internationally through the new company. MT&T is now in the communications, information, transactions and entertainment business and we have some of the lowest costs in the Canadian telecommunications industry. We congratulate Bell Canada for this action." The new company intends to use MT&T's telecom network as its service backbone in Nova Scotia. "No wonder," said Latham, "because MT&T has one of the most modern digital and fibre based networks in the world."

[Excerpted from The Globe and Mail, 12 & 19 September 1998; the Halifax Chronicle-Herald and the Halifax Daily News, both of 19 September 1998; MT&T media releases dated 22 April 1998 and 18 September 1998; with additional information from Pa Bell: The Meteoric Rise of Bell Canada Enterprises (book) by Lawrence Surtees, Random House, 1992, ISBN 0394221427.]


1998 September 21

Live on Six Channels,
President Clinton's Testimony

This morning, the videotape of President Clinton's grand jury testimony was released to the public, and was immediately broadcast by several television networks. In Canning, Nova Scotia, the tape ran continuously (no commercial breaks) from 10:25am until 2:40pm on six channels. My viewing choices were as follows: CNN, CBC, and NBC ran simultaneously with the feed from Capitol Hill in Washington, with no delay other than the unavoidable half-second or so required for the round-trip through a satellite.  CBS was running on an eleven-second delay. ABC was running on a six-second delay.  CJON, which was taking its feed from ABC, also ran on a six-second delay.  It is not known what the reason was for using these brief delays; the usual purpose of inserting a few seconds of delay time in transmissions is to make it possible to bleep out objectionable words, but no such deletions were made in these transmissions.

That is, there was no bleeping out that I saw, or heard of, and I was watching, as usual, with two screens, one tuned continuously to CNN and the other used for surfing the channels to see how the different news organizations were handling the situation.



1998 September 25

National PC Party
Leadership Contest



What Was the Internet Presence of Each Candidate?

First ballot 24 October 1998


On this day, I looked at the website operated by each of the five candidates for the leadership of the national Progressive Conservative Party, to see what each website offered to the viewers.

29 September 1998 was the last day on which a citizen could become a member of the party in time to be eligible to vote in the leadership election. Interestingly, this important deadline was clearly stated in only two of these websites; in the other three, this information was missing altogether, or was tucked away in such an obscure corner that I could not find it.

Disclaimer: I am not a participant in this election, and am not favouring any candidate over any other. My interest is in reporting how each candidate used the WWW to communicate with the people who would be voting for a new leader, and what each candidate's ideas might be on the uses of modern information technology to improve the democratic process after he was elected as leader. Unfortunately, none of these candidates demonstrated any grasp of this. [That's why I'm not a participant — in 1998 I could not support any of these deeply inadequate views of the citizen's role in the process of governance.]






Joe Clark   http://www.joeclark.ca/
Lots of slow-downloading graphics, but sparse on informative content.  For example, it took 92 seconds to download the entry page, and all it contained was an eighteen-word welcome message (delivered as a 54-kilobyte graphic), with two links for the viewer to choose English or French.  There was no text-only option for the viewer with a slow connection.  An example of sparse information is lack of a clear statement about the deadline for joining the party, and the cost of membership; after twenty minutes spent looking through this website for that most basic information, I had not found it.  There was no policy statement laying out the candidate's views on the use of electronic information technology to enhance the democratic process.  There was no hint of an invitation to citizens to offer suggestions, and nothing to indicate that citizens' views would be accepted for consideration.




Hugh Segal   http://www.hughsegal.ca/
22 seconds to download the entry page.  The graphics were of moderate size and downloaded in a reasonable time, but there was no text-only option for the viewer who might want it.  At the top of the first English page <http://www.hughsegal.ca/EN/default.asp> there was a clear statement of the basics: "In order to vote for the new leader you must be a member of the PC Party of Canada.  Deadline for membership is September 29.  Cost is $10 per adult, $5 Youth (14-25 yrs)."  Segal's website was the only one to provide this information.

In "Hugh's Discussion Papers: Momentum for Change for the Next Millennium" <http://www.hughsegal.ca/EN/discussion/speech_list.asp?transcript=en45.txt> contained this: "Canadians are demanding an even greater say in how important decisions are being made... It is important for those who seek positions of leadership in Canada to have an open-mind to new, progressive ideas for improving government.  We must have the courage to preserve the best of our system while improving it at the same time.  The purpose of this discussion paper is to challenge some conventional wisdom, to promote an open debate about systemic changes, and to offer some provocative suggestions for Canadians to consider on how we might govern ourselves better... The Government should operate in a transparent and open manner."  Those are welcome views, and I applaud such clear statements — not made by any other candidate — on this vitally important aspect of governance as we approach the new millennium.  However, a computer search found that the word "Internet" did not appear anywhere in this paper.  Neither did "information."  Nor "technology."  Nor "access."  There was no policy statement laying out the candidate's views on the use of electronic information technology to enhance the democratic process.

There was a statement that sounded like an invitation to citizens to offer suggestions.  "Your views, reactions, and ideas are appreciated and welcomed."  But I found no mention of how this was to be accomplished.  There was no e-mail discussion forum that I could find.  There was no file that collected and summarized citizens' views, reactions, and ideas, and made them available for all to see.  There was no specific way for a suggestion or comment to be sent in.
Next day, by accident, I found this feedback arrangement.  It was very cleverly hidden off-screen.  This off-screen section can be found by going to
http://www.hughsegal.ca/EN/GetInteractive/default_get_interactive.html
and scrolling to the right, to uncover what is hidden there.  You will find three links "Your Thoughts," "FAQs," and "Join Us."

I have no idea why they felt it was appropriate to hide this important feature so carefully.

There is a webpage
http://www.hughsegal.ca/EN/GetInteractive/your_thoughts.html
"Your Thoughts — This page is all yours.  Yours to express your thoughts about the Hugh Segal campaign, the PC leadership selection, this website or anything else of interest.  You can even ask Hugh and his campaign team a question.  However, due to the volume of responses — we can't post everyone's thoughts or answer all your questions, but we'll try our best.  Send us your thoughts to thoughts@hughsegal.ca and be sure to tell us your name and where you're from.  Then come back again soon to check it out."

Unfortunately, that's all there is.  They say they "can't post everyone's thoughts or answer all your questions, but we'll try our best," but they have not posted anyone's thoughts.  They have not answered any questions.

That part is blank.  Apparently they were highly successful in hiding the links that led into this webpage.  It appears that nobody found this feature.

Is this a smart way to design a webpage?


The word "Internet" does appear in "Hugh's Discussion Papers: Modernizing Party Communications"
http://www.hughsegal.ca/EN/discussion/speech_list.asp?transcript=en46.txt
This is the only appearance of "Internet" that I could find in any of the five candidates' websites.

There is a peculiar error that occurs repeatedly in Mr. Segal's "Discussion Papers":  Wherever an apostrophe should appear, instead there is a question mark.  For example, the phrase "identify what doesn't work" displays as "identify what doesn?t work."  This error is consistent throughout.  Not a big deal, but indicative of sloppiness somewhere.




Brian Pallister   http://www.brianpallister.ca/
57 seconds to download the entry page. There was no text-only option for the viewer with a slow connection. At the bottom of the first English page
http://www.brianpallister.ca/Welcome.htm
there was a clear statement of the deadline: "You have until Tuesday, September 29, 1998 to purchase a membership in order to be eligible to vote in this leadership process." No mention of the cost.

The Principles & Policy section of this website contained these statements: "Government must be open and accountable ... The status quo is not an option. The same old politics will yield the same old results." There was no explanation of what might have been mean by "Government must be open..." At
http://www.brianpallister.ca/platform27.htm
there was this: "Reports, hearings, and recommendations would all be made public" but there was no explanation of what Mr. Pallister means by this. For all we know, he might mean the placement of exactly one copy on a shelf in some obscure and unidentified government office, to which any citizen has access if he/she has the persistence to find out where it is located, and then is willing to travel from his/her home anywhere in Canada to look at that one copy. That may seem like an extreme interpretation, but that is precisely what many politicians mean when they say a document will be, or has been, "made public." There was no indication that Mr. Pallister might support publication of government documents on the Internet.

The Principles & Policy section was highly fragmented. It was broken up into 32 (yes, 32) separate webpage files, each with about one hundred words. To read the whole section, the viewer had to download each of these 32 files, each of which had a 42k graphic at the top. Each time I went to the next page, it took 50 to 65 seconds to download the graphic, before I could see the text. What Mr. Pallister had in mind when he approved this inane website organization is not clear.

There was no policy statement laying out the candidate's views on the use of electronic information technology to enhance the democratic process. There was no hint of an invitation to citizens to offer suggestions, and nothing to indicate that citizens' views would be accepted for consideration.




Michael Fortier   http://www.michaelfortier.mont-royal.qc.ca/
25 seconds to download the entry page. There was no text-only option for the viewer with a slow connection. No mention that I could find, anywhere in this website, about what an interested citizen had to do, and when, to have a vote in this leadership election. There was no policy statement laying out the candidate's views on the use of electronic information technology to enhance the democratic process. There was no hint of an invitation to citizens to offer suggestions, and nothing to indicate that citizens' views would be accepted for consideration. Mr. Fortier was the only candidate to mention the Year 2000 computer problem, aka Y2K or the Millennium Bug, which seems likely to have very serious effects on government operations in the next few months.




David Orchard   http://www.davidorchard.com/
This website insisted on my accepting a cookie before it would let me even look at the entry page.  The cookie was pushed at me twenty times, and each time I refused it.  It became clear that the website manager was determined that nobody would be permitted to view any part of this site unless they accepted the cookie.  That cookie was timed to persist until 23 August 2010.  What inane stupidity.  In my view, a cookie from a website like this, intended solely to further the campaign of a candidate in an election only one month away, would be overly persistent if it was timed to expire in six months.  For this website to insist that I accept a cookie that would lurk in my hard drive for twelve years, before I could see the site, is obtuse beyond comprehension.  I conclude Mr. Orchard has no interest in or control over what is being done by the technicians who control his website.  And he wants to be Prime Minister?

Mr. Segal's website tried to send me a cookie, but was gracious about it.  That cookie appeared just once, and when I refused it that was the end of it.  Access to Mr. Segal's website was not contingent upon acceptance of a cookie.


1998 September 28

Sprint Scraps Unlimited Savings Plan

Flat Rate Brings Extraordinary Increase in Network Traffic

They called it The Most, but a bold, unprecedented move to offer long-distance callers unlimited evening and weekend service for a flat, monthly fee of $20 proved to be Too Much for Sprint Canada.

The alternative long-distance company decided today to scale back its wildly popular discount plan after an avalanche of complaints about constant busy signals on a clogged telephone network. The change becomes effective on 5 October. The flat-rate pricing scheme, introduced in July 1998 and copied by most of Sprint's competitors, has led to an unexpectedly-large increase in telephone usage, for marathon chats or long Internet sessions. A small number of customers have been hogging the lines — racking up thousands of minutes in talk time each month — and clogging the network to the point where other customers cannot get a call through. About 5% of Sprint's customers are the source of about 30% of the system traffic load. "We have to get the network congestion under control," said Philip Bates, president and chief operating officer of Sprint Canada. "We've seen a change in the way Canadians are using their long distance. The calling volumes have increased and there's been congestion right across the country." On CBC's As It Happens interview show on Radio One, on 28 September, Bates said he's heard of one Toronto caller who, five days a week, routinely relays Howard Stern's morning radio show to relatives in Vancouver by dialling the call when the show begins at 6:00am on CILQ-FM in Toronto, then laying the telephone on the table in front of the radio and leaving it.

As of next Monday, 5 October, Sprint callers will be limited to a maximum of 800 minutes (13 1/3 hours) a month for calls made inside Canada during off-peak hours. Any calls made above that limit will cost 10¢ a minute. Bates noted that less than 5% of Sprint's customers are billed for more than 13 hours (780 minutes) in long distance calls every month. On CBC's As It Happens Bates was asked how many customers would 5% represent. Bates' reply was that Sprint does not release statistics about how many customers it has, and giving a number for that 5% would be the same as telling how many customers Sprint has in total. Under persistent questioning, he went on to say that Sprint has about one million customers in Canada, and the 5% would be around 50,000 customers.

Lis Angus, a telecommunications consultant based in Ajax, Ont., said Sprint Canada is suffering from its own success. "They did encourage people to make a lot of calls and to keep talking," she said. "Some people are making more calls than Sprint gambled on."

Earlier reports confirm there have been network traffic jams in most parts of the country, and Sprint isn't the only long-distance company hearing complaints about busy signals. The problem has become particularly acute in rural parts of Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. In his regular editorial commentary at 6:55pm each evening, near the end of the supper-hour television news, Bruce Graham, news director at the Global television station in Halifax, twice last week commented adversely on Sprint's overload problems. At his home near Windsor, Nova Scotia, Graham uses Sprint as his long-distance carrier, and last week was having persistent problems getting a dial tone from Sprint.

Even the country's largest telephone company, Bell Canada, has said it is expanding its network capacity after experiencing "minor, isolated cases" of electronic gridlock in Ontario and Quebec. "There's been an extraordinary increase in the load on our networks," said a Bell spokesman. "Nothing like this has ever been seen before."

Still, Sprint is the only long-distance seller that has decided to alter its rates to reduce calling volume. The problem for Sprint is that it doesn't own its entire network backbone, unlike AT&T Canada LDS, Sprint's main rival in the alternative long distance market. AT&T plans to keep its existing flat-rate long-distance plan. "We don't see a need to impose any limitations on our customers," said Eva Innes, an AT&T Canada LDS spokeswoman. "We own our own network." And Bell Canada has decided not to follow Sprint's lead; Bell will keep its First Rate long-distance plan introduced last February, said Don Hogarth, a Bell Canada spokesman.

Sprint Canada Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of CallNet Enterprises Incorporated, is Canada's largest alternative [non-Stentor] long-distance telecommunications company, offering voice, data and online services across the country. With headquarters in Toronto, Sprint Canada operates in 53 locations and employs about 2,900 people. CallNet owns 100% of Sprint Canada Inc., Call-Net (UK) Inc., Fonorola Corp., and an 11% interest in Microcell Telecommunications Inc. In 1993 (when the CRTC made the decision to open the Canadian long-distance telephone market to competition) CallNet made a deal with Sprint Communications Company of the United States, in which Sprint (USA) got 25% ownership of CallNet in the form of CallNet class B (non-voting) shares, and CallNet got the right to use the Sprint name, along with use of Sprint's technology and marketing expertise. The common shares and class B non-voting shares of CallNet Enterprises Inc. trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Montreal Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols CN and CN.B respectively. The class B non-voting shares also trade on the NASDAQ stock market under the symbol CNEBF.

Details of the new rate: These rates were to apply to all direct-dialled calls from home, but only for voice conversations. Sprint had a rule that this plan was not to be used for Internet connections or faxes, but it was unclear how this rule was to be enforced.

To cushion adverse reaction to this change, Sprint also said it's launching a new plan allowing users to make up to 500 minutes in long-distance calls to the United States during off-peak hours for $30 a month.

Sources:
The Globe and Mail, 28 & 29 September 1998
the Halifax Daily News, 29 September 1998
Canadian Press <http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/980928/n092848.html>
Canada NewsWire <http://www.newswire.ca/releases/September1998/28/c6659.html>


1998 September 30

Star Choice Satellite Television
Adding 8 New Video Channels

Brian Neill, chairman of Star Choice Communications Inc., announced today a new fall programming line-up that will provide Star Choice customers with an additional 8 video and 30 audio channels. Over the next 30 days, Star Choice plans to introduce new programming that will include CTV SportsNet and MuchMoreMusic nationally, MovieMax 2 in Western Canada, Asian Television Network in Eastern Canada, and Canal Indigo 2, an additional French language Pay Per View channel. Star Choice also plans to add Galaxie Music, providing subscribers with an additional 30 CD-quality audio channels. Mr. Neill also announced today that Star Choice has surpassed the 120,000-subscriber mark. As Star Choices' customer base grows, it has needed more employees. Star Choice recently announced that it has plans to hire an additional 114 new employees for a total of 220 at its national 24-hour Customer Care Call Centre.

On 18 August 1998, Star Choice announced that it had entered into an option agreement with WIC Western International Communications Ltd. (WIC) to purchase all the issued and outstanding shares of 3498409 Canada Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of WIC) for an undisclosed amount. Under the original agreement, Star Choice could exercise the option at any time up to 25 September 1998; that deadline was later extended to 31 December 1999 or 30 days prior to the closing date established under the Telesat Agreement, whichever is earlier. The sole asset of 3498409 Canada Inc. was an interest in a Transponder Purchase and Operating Services Agreement with Telesat Canada for the purchase of 15 transponders on Telesat's high powered DBS satellite which had been scheduled for launch in September, 1998.

The Nimiq satellite launch delay was recently announced by the manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The Nimiq satellite is now expected to be operational in the summer of 1999. Star Choice expects to fulfill its short-term business plan, which includes the addition of eight new television channels over the next 30 days despite the Nimiq satellite launch delay.

Star Choice Communications Inc., is one of Canada's two providers of DTH services. When these additional channels have been added, Star Choice will carry a total of 174 video and audio channels, with 131 available in the west and 148 in Ontario. There have been persistent difficulties in getting from Star Choice a lsit of exactly what is available in Nova Scotia, but it is known that not all of the channels available in Ontario are available to subscribers in Nova Scotia.

[Sources: The Globe and Mail, 1 October 1998; and Canada NewsWire <http://www.newswire.ca/releases/September1998/30/c7467.html>]


1998 September 30

MT&T High-Speed Internet Service

MT&T's high-speed internet connection service, named "Mpowered PC," is now available throughout most of Halifax Regional Municipality, parts of the Annapolis Valley, Bridgewater, New Glasgow, Yarmouth, Antigonish, Sydney and Truro, according to the company's website. The service was launched in Halifax-Dartmouth in April 1998, and was expanded to other regions over the following months. It became available in Kentville-New Minas in July, and in New Glasgow in late August 1998.

"Mpowered PC" uses RADSL (Rate Adaptive Digital Subscriber Line) technology. This technology modifies its transmission speed depending on the state of the physical phone line so actual speed between two different customer connects may differ. This technology is also dependent on the length of the local cable loop, which is the distance from the customer's home to the telephone switching office. Data transmission rates in the Mpowered PC environment can vary from 1 to 7 megabits per second (Mb/s) downstream (to the subscriber), and up to 1.5 Mb/s upstream (from the subscriber). MT&T says it attempts to provide all customers with at least 3 Mb/s.

The Mpowered PC system enables a customer with only one telephone line to have a telephone conversation at the same time as the Internet connection is operating (in contrast to the usual arrangement in which the phone line can be used either for a telephone conversation or for Internet use, but not both at the same time). RADSL uses frequency ranges for transmission higher than those used for voice transmission. This allows the technology to piggyback on top of the existing phone line, allowing you to chat with a friend on the phone while using a computer to browse the Net. Typical telephone services (Call Answer, Call Waiting, etc.) are not affected. The Internet connection is always on, that is, there is no need to dial-in to an ISP modem and establish a working connection before downloading your e-mail or looking at a website. To enable your equipment to operate with the Mpowered PC technology, at the time of installation a company technician installs an EtherNet card in your computer, with an external ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) modem. The external ADSL modem connects to your computer via the EtherNet card.

For residential customers who are also MT&T long distance customers, the cost is $45 per month (plus 15% sales tax). There is an additional one-time installation and set-up charge.

[Sources: MT&T's website at
http://www.mtt.ca/OnTheLeadingEdge/Mpowered/FAQ/
and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 22 August 1998.]


1998 October

ISP Prices

What are the prevailing prices charged by Internet Service Providers these days in Nova Scotia? Here's one answer, for Auracom East, "offering you inexpensive, high-speed Internet access from New Glasgow to Cheticamp and all the areas in between:" * Non-prime time is from midnight to 7:00am every day
[Source: http://www.antigonish.net/auracomeast.htm ]


1998 October 1

Teleglobe Monopoly Ends

On this day, Canada's international telecommunications services market was opened to full competition, with the CRTC announcement of the last major building block needed to establish full competition in the Canadian telecommunications market (Telecom Decision CRTC 98-17). Telecommunications giant Teleglobe lost its monopoly on overseas telephone calls originating in Canada. Until today, Canadian telephone and data transmissions had to go through the Teleglobe network, one of the largest in the world with submarine cable and satellite feeds linking more than 240 countries. In 1995, chairman and chief executive officer Charles Sirois asked the CRTC to abolish Teleglobe+s monopoly. Although other companies are now free to carry long-distance calls out of Canada, none of Teleglobe+s competitors is currently equipped to do so. There is no immediate competition for Teleglobe, as competitors remain wired into U.S. networks to serve overseas clients.

The CRTC has now eliminated all routing restrictions for Canadian traffic, allowing carriers to route calls through the United States for Canada-Canada calls (for example, from Calgary to Halifax via the USA) and Canada-overseas calls (from Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Sydney, Australia, via the USA). This change is expected to provide lower-cost routes for competing telephone companies and, ultimately, for consumers.

[Source: <http://www.newswire.ca/releases/October1998/01/c0108.html>]


1998 October 1

Town Joins With Michelin to Complete Rails to Trails Project

A partnership between the Town of Bridgewater and its largest employer will turn rail into trail. Michelin Tire will contribute $80,000 towards the cost of the town's $206,000 Rails to Trails project. Expected to be complete by August 1999, the nature trail will follow the old railway line from the bottom of Silver's Hill on LaHave Street across the LaHave River bridge and back to Starr Street.

"It's the upgrade of the bridge that's really the project," said town engineer Harland Wyand. It will be sandblasted, painted and repaired before it's turned into a boardwalk. There will be shelters and picnic areas on and at both sides of the bridge. There will be a stairway leading from a parking lot on King Street to the bridge, providing easier access. The area over King Street will be caged.

"The enhancement of the bridge as part of the rails to trails project represents both a reminder of our heritage linked to the LaHave River and a vision of our future," said Mayor Ernie Bolivar, thanking Michelin for their contribution to the project. "We are proud to be able to share this memorial event with Michelin as it provides an opportunity for us to publicly acknowledge the positive role that Michelin plays in the Town of Bridgewater. This is an exciting project which will provide Bridgewater with a unique and beautiful walking nature trail for our citizens and visitors alike."

Local plant manager Francis Gillis announced Michelin's commitment to the project October 1st at a dinner celebrating Bibendum's 100th anniversary. The Michelin man's anniversary was celebrated at 75 plants around the world last week. Babies born at South Shore Regional Hospital on October 2nd received a gift package.

"Michelin has been in Bridgewater for close to 30 years and we have always felt very much a part of the community," he said. "It is with great pleasure that we make this donation, knowing that the nature trail will provide many hours of healthy enjoyment for everyone in the area."

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 7 October 1998]


1998 October 6

Road Salt $13.20 per Ton
Port Hawkesbury

It was moved by Councillor Anderson, and seconded by Deputy Mayor MacDougall to award the tender for Port Hawkesbury's road salt requirements to the low tenderer, R.B. MacDougall, for the tendered amount of $13.20 per ton (noting that last year's amount was $12.84 per ton).
Source: Port Hawkesbury Town Council minutes, October 6, 1998
http://www.munisource.org/porthawkesbury/minutes/min1098.htm


1998 October 7

Bridgewater Town Council Accepts Salt Tender

Bridgewater Town Council endorsed the recommendation of the town engineer in regards to this winter's road salt hauling project. The engineer told council that he believed the price was reasonable and "people can withdraw" from the contract "without any penalty," said Harland Wyand. The engineering department recommended the tender by awarded to R & R Weagle Enterprises. They made a bid of $24,069.50.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 7 October 1998]


1998 October 7

Commuter Shuttle Service Defended

To the editor:
In light of the recent articles concerning the fate of public scheduled passenger transportation services in the South Shore, and the negative publicity surrounding the increasingly more popular van shuttle services, I felt it was necessary to speak on my company's behalf. Although I partly agree with what is perhaps over-regulation of the bus service industry, I am irked by the bad publicity that van services are receiving of late. It is true — smaller van shuttles are not as closely regulated and can run their business with little government interference. It is unfair, however, to lump all shuttle services into one category. Not all shuttle services are created equal. Even though Try Town Transit is not mandated to operate under strict guidelines, we do follow our own code of ethics to ensure our operation is safe and reliable. We chose to adhere to these guidelines. As any reputable company would, we want to be recognized as a leader in our field. Try Town Transit operates using a 1998, eight passenger van. The drivers have clean driving records, are required to take a medical, and properly licensed to carry passengers. The van is fully insured to carry passengers, governed by taxi bylaws. The service operates on a schedule and, although the shuttle runs only on demand, the schedule is maintained even if only one passenger requests service. The service is very specialized, often door to door, and an affordable means of travel between communities and in to Halifax. Our goal is to provide a safe, affordable, convenient means of travel. We strive to earn our customer's long-term loyalty by providing outstanding personalized service; a service as unique as the needs of our customers.
Kerri Roche, Owner
Try Town Transit, Bridgewater

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 7 October 1998]


1998 October 7

Remember MacKenzie Bus Line

To the editor:
It is important to recognize the staff and management of MacKenzie Bus Line for their service to the residents of the South Shore during the past 65 years. They have helped to ensure that their passengers and cargo have been delivered safely to their destination. I would like to acknowledge the work of the retirees and current employees. We will continue to support them as the MacKenzie tradition ends and DRL operations begin. I have written Mr. Roberts, general manager of DRL, to encourage and strongly support the continued employment of the experienced qualified staff of MacKenzie Bus Line.
Don Downe, MLA, Lunenburg West

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 7 October 1998]


1998 October 7

Thompson's Transfer Has Closed its Hebbville Truck Terminal

"There just wasn't enough business to justify keeping it open," said president and former owner Graham Thompson. He sold the company, the last freight terminal in the Bridgewater area, to Cabano Kingsway just over a year ago.

The terminal officially closed September 25th, leaving eleven employees, including office staff and drivers, at least temporarily unemployed. The company's regional operations manager Michel Faubert said many of those employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another branch.

"Eventually we will be in need of drivers and they will be the first ones to be called in," he said. "Unfortunately we had to close for economical reasons, but those drivers were good drivers and the terminal managers or drivers will be asked to join in where the work is."

In 1971, a year after buying South Shore Transport in Liverpool, Mr. Thompson built the Hebbville terminal to handle freight arriving by railroad from Montreal and Toronto. Then, the railroad became obsolete and major customers including Atlantic Wholesalers and TRA in Liverpool shut their doors. In recent years, the terminal has been operating with only about 25 per cent of its former volume, said Mr. Graham.

"Just gradually our retail freight business there had been eroded, to where there was no justification for keeping the terminal open," he said. "We, like all other companies, just can't afford to keep terminals open for that little bit of volume."

Cabano Kingsway, based in Montreal, has nine other Thompson's Transfer terminals in the Maritimes; five of them in Nova Scotia. The company will service this area from a base in Middleton.

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 7 October 1998]


1998 October 14

Public Accounts Committee
Discusses Y2K

The following brief discussion, of the possibility of maybe scheduling some hearings on the Year 2000 computer problem in provincial government operations, took place on 14 October 1998, during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee of the Nova Scotia Legislature:

MR. FRASER: Mr. Chairman, Y2K preparedness, I look at that as one that has got to be ready.  There is a closure date on that one.  Obviously, you know, if we flip pages on the calendar, we get closer and closer and while others are important on an ongoing basis, I think this one is one that, if we leave it until sometime next year and maybe next fall, we're way past time to deal with something like that.  So there should be some priority if we're going to, in fact, look at that one.  If we're not, that's fine.  Let's put it off the list.

MR. CHAIRMAN: I am a little concerned about the nature of what's emerging here.  We had a long list and I thought, well, we were hoping we might get some agreement maybe on two or three that we might try and organize meetings on, but Mr. Fage?

MR. FAGE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  On the Y2K one, we had an update on that in the previous session before a number of members, members of the public came from, I believe that occurred when, Roy, our Y2K update, when did we do that?  Probably February of this year, February or March or was it June?

MR. ROY SALMON: In that time-frame, yes.

MR. FAGE: I see that we could possibly do another update and that one wouldn't be a big time commitment...

Source: Standing committee on public accounts October 14, 1998 http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/committees/committee_hansard/C7/pa981014

Mr. Howard Epstein, MLA, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
Mr. Hyland Fraser, MLA, Deputy Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
Mr. Ernest Fage, MLA, Member, Public Accounts Committee
Mr. Roy Salmon, Auditor General

ICS comment:
When reading that exchange, I get no feeling that these MLAs had any real sense of urgency about the Millennium Bug and how it might adversely affect provincial government operations. Of course, there was no hurry — on this day, counting weekends and holidays, there were 444 days remaining before 1 January 2000.

By the way, a report of "our Y2K update, when did we do that? Probably February of this year, February or March or was it June?" will be found in this History, under date 11 February 1998.


444 days remaining before 1 January 2000.



1998 October 21

MT&T Introduces Flat-Rate Long Distance

On this day, Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company introduced a new rate for long-distance calls made by its residential and cellular customers. MT&T "Freedom Time" gives residential and cellular customers unlimited long-distance calling anywhere in Canada evenings and weekends combined with 200 minutes of long-distance calling during weekday peak periods, for the flat rate of $25 per month for each service. "MT&T Freedom Time gives customers a complete solution," says Wendy Paquette, President and COO, MT&T Mobility. "They have the choice whether to use MT&T Freedom Time to call from home or from their cell phone, or both." According to MT&T, this is the first time any telephone company has offered the same rate plan to residential and cellular customers. Customers could sign up for the new MT&T Freedom Time rate plan starting Wednesday, October 20th, by calling 1-800-528-3661 or by signing up on MT&T's website at www.mtt.ca. Subscribers to this MT&T Freedom Time received unlimited calling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until 31 December 1998. On 1 January 1999, the daytime calling under this plan will be capped at 200 minutes a month. Off-peak (evenings 6:00pm to 8:00am, and weekends 6:00pm Friday to 8:00am Monday) will continue to have unlimited calling time.
[Chronicle-Herald and Daily News, both of 21 October 1998, and the MT&T website http://www.mtt.ca/]

ICS comment:
In the Chronicle-Herald's story reporting the introduction of the new rate, Murray Souter, MT&T's vice president of consumer services, was quoted as saying "People in Nova Scotia are tired of complicated rate plans." In my opinion, this new Freedom Time plan announcement is itself an excellent example of what telephone customers are tired of, namely, obfuscation by telephone companies. I found the plan itself to be fairly complicated, by the time you waded through enough fine print to figure out just what the rate really is and how it works. I got the impression MT&T went to some length to make the details obscure. For example, in the MT&T press release announcing this plan, the 200-minute cap on daytime calling was not mentioned until the last sentence of a six-paragraph release. Of course, the last sentence is the part most likely to be cut off when the release is trimmed to fit the media space available. The release was worded in a way that I believe many readers could easily misinterpret, and miss the fact that there would be a charge of $25 a month for a residential user, and a separate charge of $25 a month for the same person using a cellular phone. In the full-page ad in Daily News, announcing this new rate, there was a line of very fine print at the bottom. In 1.4 millimetre type: "Cellular airtime charges apply Certain cellular rate plans only. Call for details." I found nothing in the MT&T website which described the details. For example, nowhere in the website was there a mention of what times of day would be counted as daytime calling.



1998 October 22

NSP to Import More U.S. Coal

Coal Shortage Shuts Down Generating Plant

Devco's continuing production problems at its collieries has cost it $20,000,000 in lost coal sales and temporarily shut down Point Aconi generating station in Cape Breton. Imported coal will be used to fire the province's coal-fired generating stations for the foreseeable future. Thirteen people will be laid off at the Point Aconi station in an effort to conserve its dwindling coal inventory. Devco and Nova Scotia Power (NSP) jointly announced Thursday, 2nd October, the power company will import 400,000 tonnes of coal to meet its generating requirements this winter. The coal company has been out of production from both its mining operations since late July and is unable to meet coal commitments to its lone customer. Coal trains will be moving over the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway main line, carrying imported coal from Auld's Cove on the west side of the Strait of Canso, to Sydney where the coal cars are transferred to the Devco Railway for delivery to the Lingan generating station. Ongoing problems on the working walls at both Prince Mine in Point Aconi and Phalen in Lingan have caused major layoffs as Devco Railway attempts to ease its cash flow.
[Cape Breton Post, 23 October 1998]


1998 October 22

Atlantic Digital Media Festival

Cape Breton Island's growing reputation as a hotbed for new media and technology development is drawing large crowds to the second Atlantic Digital Media Festival and Awards (ADMF) at the Inverary Inn, Baddeck. On October 22nd, more than 200 people signed up for the festival. The event was established last year to celebrate the achievements and the creative talents of new media producers in Atlantic Canada. This year the festival has attracted representatives from Disney and Dreamworks, two major names in the fields of new media and multimedia. The Cape Breton-based festival organizers have seized on an opportunity to enhance the island's presence and growing influence in the area of new media and technology, said ECBC vice-president Keith Brown. Both Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency have contributed to the event.
[Cape Breton Post, 23 October 1998]


Atlantic Digital Media Festival

Organizer Bill Faulkner, president of the Sydney multimedia alliance MEDIAfusion, summed up this past weekend's Atlantic Digital Media Festival and Awards (ADMF) with one word "magical." The three-day event, held at Baddeck's Inverary Inn, featured workshops, talkshops and even a storytelling session and culminated with an awards ceremony and gala masquerade ball Saturday night. "All the delegates who attended told us how wonderful it was; the resource people from across the globe were extremely impressed with the work they saw and we had excellent feedback from some of the top international industry leaders," Faulkner said. The ADMF is not only good for the Atlantic multimedia industry, it's good for Cape Breton, Faulkner noted.

This was the second year for the festival, which doubled in size from the previous year. The ADMF was designed to stimulate the growth of Atlantic Canada's multimedia industry by recognizing the skills and creativity of those involved. This year's festival attracted more than 270 delegates from across North America — including representatives from The Walt Disney Company and DreamWorks, as well as from Germany and Brazil.

[Cape Breton Post, 26 October 1998]


1998 October 23

All-Day Secret Meeting
of Government Officials
to Discuss Y2K

A "secret meeting (was) held all day Friday, October 23rd, between senior policy analysts within the (Nova Scotia) government to discuss the potentially dangerous situation" which may arise because of the computer problem commonly called the Millennium Bug, or Y2K.

Sources:
Hansard, 26 October 1998, page 2666
http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/C56/57_1_h98oct26/i98oct26.htm#[Page%202666]
and Hansard, 29 October 1998, page 296
http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/C56/57_1_h98oct29/i98oct29.htm#[Page%202969]


435 days remaining before 1 January 2000.



1998 October 24

Air Atlantic Ceases Operation

A chapter in aviation history closed this afternoon when the last Air Atlantic jet flew out of Halifax. When Flight 486 to St. John's took off at 4:30pm, it was the end of a twelve-year partnership between the regional carrier and Canadian Airlines International. Air Atlantic was under contract as a feeder airline for CAI. For the last three years, Air Atlantic had been owned by IMP Group International, based in Waverley, Halifax County. The reason given for the shutdown of Air Atlantic was the inability of Air Atlantic and CAI to agree on the terms of a new contract. The size of aircraft Air Atlantic was allowed to operate was a major point of disagreement between the two airlines, and in the end was the deal-breaker, said Stephen Plummer, president of Air Atlantic. In August 1998, Air Atlantic's fleet consisted of four Dash 8 aircraft, three British Aerospace model 146 jets, and five Jetstream planes. Air Atlantic wanted to acquire more jet aircraft and expand its routes to larger cities, but CAI would not permit that. Air Atlantic viewed this blocking of its growth as unacceptable.

Air Atlantic was started in 1986 by Newfoundland businessman Craig Dobbin; it was the first airline formed after the deregulation of Canada's airline industry. Air Atlantic, successor to Newfoundland's Eastern Provincial Airways, began with a $35,000,000 investment and 70 employees. Canadian Pacific owned 20% of the shares. Mr. Dobbin said Air Atlantic attracted top-notch staff, including Keith Miller, Air Alantic's first president and former president of Eastern Provincial; Neal Jackman, who succeeded Mr. Miller as president, and Captain Benny Rivard, vice-president of operations. Air Atlantic's first revenue flight took off on 28 February 1986. "Captain Rivard set the standard that allowed Air Atlantic to operate without a major incident in twelve years," Mr Dobbin said. He also praised Harry Steele, former owner of Eastern Provincial, whose choice of personnel at that airline "proved Newfoundlanders were super-confident in the aviation industry." Several Eastern Provincial staff wound up at Air Atlantic and its later competitor, Air Nova. Mr. Dobbin controlled Air Atlantic for several years, until it ran into financial trouble and received court protection from creditors in May 1994. It owed $64,200,000 to more than 650 creditors, including British Aerospace. The company was restructured and was reconstituted as Air Atlantic (1995) Limited, controlled by British Aerospace.

After Air Atlantic's final flight on the regular passenger schedule, its routes were taken over the next morning, 25 October, by Inter-Canadien of Montreal, which was the dominant carrier in the province of Quebec, with connecting flights to Ontario and Labrador. Inter-Canadien took over service to markets previously served by Air Atlantic: Charlo, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, and Saint John, in New Brunswick; Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island; Deer Lake, Gander, Stephenville, and St. John's, in Newfoundland; Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia; and Montreal, Ottawa, and Boston. IMP's chairman Ken Rowe said most of Air Atlantic's 500 pilots, flight attendants, ground workers, and ticket agents, had been hired by Inter-Canadien.

[Excerpted from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 20, 21, & 22 Aug. 1998 and 24 Oct. 1998;
the Halifax Daily News, 22 Aug. 1998 and 24 & 25 Oct. 1998; and
the Halifax Sunday Herald, 18 October 1998]


1998 October 24

Baddeck CAP Sites Begin Operating

Residents of Baddeck now have public access to the Internet via two Community Access Program (CAP) sites which opened in the community on this day. The sites, in the Baddeck Public Library and the Baddeck Academy, are the result of partnership support from Industry Canada, the Strait East Nova Scotia Community Enterprise Network, the Cape Breton Regional Library and the community. Through CAP, the federal government aims to establish up to 10,000 Internet access sites in remote, rural and urban settings by the end of the fiscal year 2000-2001. The program is a key component of the Canadian Strategy for the Information Highway, which helps create jobs, growth and other benefits associated with the development of information technology.
[Cape Breton Post, 26 October 1998]


1998 October 26

Government Forsees Possible
Y2K Power Outages
and Other Emergencies

Nova Scotia Government Making Secret Plans
to Meet "Widespread Power Outages
and Other Emergencies on January 1, 2000"

From Page 2666, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 26 October 1998:


THE SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1311


MR. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas it has been revealed that the RCMP has cancelled leave for their 16,000 officers located across Canada between mid-November, 1999, and late March, 2000, due to the potential impact of the millennium computer bug crisis; and

Whereas a recent Canadian Press story stated that Canada is not prepared for the millennium bug and that supplies of electricity, water and gas are vulnerable as of January 1, 2000; and

Whereas senior executives and policy analysts from within the Nova Scotia Government met secretly to go over contingency plans in the event of widespread power outages and other emergencies on January 1, 2000;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier detail what progress, if any, is being done to combat the millennium bug computer crisis.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice.
Is it agreed?
I hear several Noes.
The notice is tabled.

[Source: Hansard, 26 October 1998, page 2666
http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/hansard/han57-1/h98oct26.htm#[Page 2666] ]

ICS Comment:
It would be interesting to know the names and party affiliations of the MLAs who blocked this request for information — those who said "No" to the request for waiver of notice — on this day, when, counting weekends and holidays, there were just 432 days remaining before 1 January 2000.


432 days remaining before 1 January 2000.



1998 October 27

New Daily Newspaper Begins Publication

On this day, the first edition of the National Post the new national daily newspaper published by Southam Inc., was on the newstands in metro Halifax-Dartmouth. The National Post's Atlantic Edition is printed in Dartmouth (as is the Halifax Daily News, also owned by Southam). "Canada's newest national daily newspaper, National Post, is brought to you six days a week by a team of journalists working out of the National Post newsroom in Don Mills, Ontario. We aim to offer a spirited addition to the national conversation: Canadian and international news and commentary, and a fresh, intelligent and lively view of Canada and the world."

Reference:
The National Post website
    http://www.nationalpost.com/



1998 October 27

Y2K Hits Front Page of The Globe and Mail

Today, the Year 2000 computer problem, also known as Y2K or the Millennium Bug, hit the front page of The Globe and Mail. The front page main headline, three columns wide and above the fold, read:

Army Fears Civil Chaos
from Millennium Bug

Huge deployment would deal with
fallout from computer failures


This was the second time The Globe and Mail had placed the Year 2000 computer problem at the top of its front page. As early as 4 February 1998, the headline at the top of page A1 read:
Year 2000 Crackdown Urged
Ignoring computer problem should mean
no loans or insurance, business group says



1998 October 28

More Y2K Bafflegab and Stonewalling
from the Nova Scotia Government

From Page 2874, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 28 October 1998:


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

Y2K PROBLEM - READINESS

MR. PETER DELEFES: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Culture and the Minister responsible for the Technology and Science Secretariat. We all know that the millennium bug is coming. In fact, there are a little over 400 days until January 1, 2000. There is a growing concern everywhere about whether the public infrastructure will continue to function after January 1, 2000. My question for the minister is simply this. Is our government ready?

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, we have made repeated commitments in this House and in the public that essential public service is the responsibility of this government. Each department is working through the risk management, management and technical decisions to ensure that Nova Scotians receive the essential services that are necessary and that steps are taken to correct whatever problems exist.

MR. DELEFES: I thank the minister for his response. I am not the only person concerned about whether this government is, in fact prepared for the millennium bug. We are hearing from a number of people, inside and outside of government, telling us that there are going to be some very serious problems, Mr. Speaker. Another person who is concerned and very concerned is the Auditor General. My question is will the minister confirm that the Auditor General is investigating the government's year 2000 preparations and when is the minister expecting his report?

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, the members opposite know full well that the Auditor General undertakes the auditing of functions of government. We have listed as a risk element in terms of the financial auditing of this province the potential risk of the Y2K problem. We have each department with their own management team and IT personnel working not only within their department but with their client group and of course the Auditor General is looking at a function of government, a management and technical function, just as he is looking at many other operations of government.

MR. DELEFES: I am not clear from the minister's response as to when, in fact, the report will be coming. However, the minister knows that our caucus office has filed a Freedom of Information request to try to get the real story as to whether or not the government is ready for the millennium bug. Our office and his are working together on this matter and I understand that a response has been promised by the end of November. The only problem, Mr. Speaker, is it seems unlikely that this House will be sitting until the end of November, so will the minister please tell this House, while he still can, which government systems run the greatest risk of failure.

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I heard the word fear-mongering, actually from the Opposition members. Part of the problem is that when the Freedom of Information requests are made of each and every department, tying up the hands of each and every person on the management team to find information on an extensive fishing trip by the members opposite, who then would like to reassure the people of this province that those very managers who are attempting to work out the solutions within the departments are, in fact, doing their job. Once again you have an example of the left hand of the NDP saying one thing and the right hand of the NDP doing something quite different.

[Source: Hansard, 28 October 1998, page 2874
http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/C56/57_1_h98oct28/i98oct28.htm#[Page%202874] ]

430 days remaining before 1 January 2000.


In my dictionary:
stonewall verb, intransitive
to engage in debate or use other parliamentary
tactics for the purpose of consuming time and
thus obstructing procedure of business



1998 October 29

Still More Y2K Bafflegab and Stonewalling
from the Nova Scotia Government

Government Shenanigans in the Legislature

From Page 2968, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 29 October 1998:


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

Y2K PROBLEM: FUNDING - COMMITMENT

MR. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. I could not help but notice yesterday when the question was asked regarding the millennium bug problem that there was no answer and that the minister who was responding was more interested in hurling insults than he was in directing an answer to the question. The question I have for the Premier is how much money has been committed by the government to address this very serious problem since it affects not only every Nova Scotian, but every Canadian and every department within every government in this country?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer this question to the honourable Minister responsible for the Technology and Science Secretariat. (Interruptions)

HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I am trying to speak. I am somewhat overwhelmed by all the congratulatory remarks from across the House. The member opposite talks about hurling insults. Was it not two days ago that he criticized the opening of a new business in his area and just today read a resolution in support of it? Is that what the member opposite is suggesting?

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I did not criticize the business opening, I merely indicated that the funding would have to go toward paying a bill. In any event, my second supplementary question would be to the Premier. Would the Premier confirm to me, with time running out, that the Department of Health has already given over to the fact that not everything can be fixed? Is it true that X-ray machines and ultrasounds, for example, will not be ready for the turn of the century when the millennium bug comes into effect and that officials in the Department of Health are just at this point concentrating on life saving mechanisms?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer this question to the honourable Minister responsible for the Technology and Science Secretariat.

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I heard the comment about whether he is for or against the Shaw Group, I did not hear that. We said over and over again that essential services of this province from department to department, out in the private sector, in the communities, people are taking steps to ensure that essential services are protected and provided for at the turn of the century.

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary is for the Premier. Would the Premier provide details to this House this afternoon concerning the secret meeting held all day Friday, October 23rd, between senior policy analysts within the government to discuss the potentially dangerous situation, keeping in mind that the military and the RCMP nation-wide have cancelled leave? What measures have been put in place to ensure that we do not have a crisis?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer this question to the honourable Minister responsible for the Technology and Science Secretariat.

MR. HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, we have indicated that each department has a management structure for dealing with the risk management analysis and the corrective steps necessary to ensure that essential services are looked after and that the government does its part. We will be pleased to provide the member opposite with any and all detail as that work progresses.

MR. SPEAKER: We only have about ten seconds left so we will consider the Question Period finished for today.

[Source: Hansard, 29 October 1998, page 2968
http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/hansard/han57-1/h98oct29.htm#[Page 2968] ]

ICS Comment (written Friday evening, 30 October 1998):
Seems to me there is a clanging dissonance between what Mr. Harrison says will be done, and what actually happens.

Referring to the Millennium Bug situation, Mr. Harrison said: "We will be pleased to provide the member opposite with any and all detail as that work progresses," which sounds great. Just what we need. Then we remember the government's continuing refusal to tell the Legislature (and thus the people of Nova Scotia) anything whatever about what is being done — and not being done — about the Year 2000 computer problem within the provincial and municipal governments.

Equally remarkable is the complete silence of all provincial media about this continuing government stonewall about Y2K. As far as I know — and I've been looking for it — there has been not a whisper in the newspapers or the electronic media about these numerous Hansard reports of persistent government dodging and weaving in response to repeated questioning on the floor of the Legislature.

Repeated questioning? Yes.
Persistent dodging? Yes.
See reports in this History under dates
  • 1997 Nov 27
  • 1998 Feb 11
  • 1998 Jun 19
  • 1998 Jun 30
  • 1998 Jul 10
  • 1998 Oct 23
  • 1998 Oct 26
  • 1998 Oct 28
  • 1998 Oct 29 (immediately above)


429 days remaining before 1 January 2000.


In my dictionary:
shenanigan noun (origin unknown)
(1)  an often devious trick used especially to divert  attention for an underhand purpose; deception, strategem, fast one.
(2)  tricky or questionable practices or conduct; humbug, fakery.



1998 October 29

South Shore Natural Gas Project Well Under Way

BRIDGEWATER — The first phase of the project to provide natural gas to the South Shore is completed, said members of the committee designed to investigate the issue at a meeting Thursday morning [October 29th]. This committee was selected in May. Its job is to ensure there will be natural gas delivered to the South Shore.

Phase One consisted of doing studies on the project and investigating the feasibility of bringing natural gas to the area. Len Perry was chosen by the committee as the consultant for the project. The committee sent out approximately 45 questionnaires to businesses about their interest in natural gas and received about 35 back. "It's been very meaningful for us," Mr. Perry said.

They've also conducted digs along the South Shore to test the soil. Three digs were done and the material seemed to be good for their needs. "It's become very apparent the material is very consistent throughout this region." Mr. Perry explained the committee's process to the group and discussed other groups that are involved in the natural gas project.

The regulatory authorities consist of the Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and the National Energy Board. These groups control how the gas will be distributed, who will distribute it and any other matters that will affect the delivery and distribution of natural gas throughout the province.

The potential distributors of gas on the South Shore that he's aware of are Scotia Advantage, Maritimes NRG, SaskEnergy and Sempra.

Mr. Perry said the first two groups have been very secretive with the committee about their plans for the distribution of gas in the area. In his opinion SaskEnergy has been the most helpful of the possible distributors, and the most aggressive. The committee has been working closely with SaskEnergy to develop a plan and to examine the feasibility of the project.

The Halifax line will run 121 km from Stellarton to Tuft's Cove. The line will be 12 inches 30 cm in diameter, which concerns a lot of people. "All the rural areas of Nova Scotia are sharing the same concern," said Jim Brown from the Regional Development Agency People are worried that the size of the transmission line won't be big enough to supply the rest of the province adequately.

Mr. Brown added that this is one example of how Southwest Nova Scotia was not considered when the plan to supply natural gas to the province was developed. Mr. Perry stressed that the entire South Shore must work together for this project to succeed. "We have to push this as a region."

Pricing Structures

Mr. Perry said there are two possible pricing structures for the gas. The postage stamp approach will mean uniform pricing for all customers. Rolled in tolling means the costs are aggregated. The price depends on the distance from the source. The further away, the higher the price. He said the postage stamp would be the best thing for people in this area.

Pipeline May Be Laid Along Abandoned Railway Rights Of Way

Phase Two will consist of talking to the Rails to Trails group about using the rail lines for gas lines as well. Mr. Perry said it seemed natural to him to tie the line in with the recreational use of the trails. They will also examine the possibility of running the line from Stewiacke to Windsor then across to the South Shore using the rail line most of the way.

During Phase Two, the committee will be looking for more money in order to see it through to the end, said Mr. Brown. The committee will be approaching the private sector with letters asking for financial support. The first phase was carried out with the province of Nova Scotia contributing 70 per cent, Human Resources Development Canada contributing 20 per cent and municipal units contributing 10 per cent. This phase is depending on the support of businesses that have an interest in seeing natural gas in the area.

The committee was a bit dismayed by the turnout for this meeting. Fewer than 20 people were in attendance. Around 70 people were at the original information session. "Hopefully, the turnout is not an indication of the interest," Mr. Brown said.

The cost comparison of natural gas to other utilities is cheaper, Mr. Perry said. However, depending on what system is in a house now it may cost money to convert and add heating ducts and change furnaces. That cost depends on the age and type of the furnace. Some can be converted, but many cannot.

Concern was expressed over supply. With gas going to Halifax and through New Brunswick to Maine people were worried that the line might get put in for nothing — that by the time it got here the supply would be drained.

Mr. Perry said there is at least eight to ten times the reserves than was originally thought. "I don't think supply is an issue."

The next move is to start with Phase 2. The lateral to Halifax pipeline hearings will run sometime in November, December or January. Until those are completed there likely won't be calls for developers in this area.

The committee will continue to work until that time so the South Shore won't be forgotten during this process. The committee realizes the importance of being seen until the pipeline is completed. Mr. Perry said they plan to remain active until the decision of the utility review board comes down.

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 4 November 1998]


1998 October 30

High Schools to be Wired

Computer clusters to enhance instruction will be installed in 275 high school classrooms in the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board beginning in February 1999. The school board underwrote the cost of wiring the classrooms in order to take advantage of the three year $3 million initiative offered by the federal and provincial governments. Archie MacEachern, director of research, planning and technology for the Cape Breton - Victoria School Board is participating in the Information Economy Initiative (IEI) Schools project. The program will focus on English with other clusters to be added in such high school program studies as science, math, geography and libraries. Junior high schools also will be connected to the IEI program.
[Cape Breton Post, 31 October 1998]


1998 October 31

Mackenzie Bus Line's Last Run

The life and times of the MacKenzie Bus Line

In 1933, Bernard MacKenzie took a chance and moved from his home of Stewiacke, Nova Scotia to Bridgewater. His motive was to operate a business of driving passengers from Bridgewater to Halifax and back. From this risk, MacKenzie Bus Line was born.

The Depression years were tough years to start a business, let alone travel the 75 miles to Halifax over rough gravel roads, with only one passenger to keep Mr. MacKenzie company. Some days he would make the lonely trek by himself.

Gradually, with patience and a little luck, fares slowly began to pick up and Mr. MacKenzie was able to begin a regular service. By 1935, he added another 21 passenger Reo bus to his run.

In 1938, Mr. MacKenzie's bus service included a route from Halifax to Peggy's Cove with a 12-passenger 1936 Dodge extended sedan. This route with its bad road conditions and the competition from taxis and private automobiles caused Mr. MacKenzie to temporarily suspend the extra service. It resumed in April 1940.

Another extra route was added to MacKenzie Bus Line in 1941, when Halifax to Hubbards was added.

The wartime had its effects on the bus line. Schedules had to be changed in 1942 to provide service to war workers. Additional evening trips had to be made during the war because of the heavy traffic demand from the establishment of training facilities at Lunenburg by the Norwegian Navy. Workers and service personnel were unable to find accommodations in Halifax so they used the MacKenzie Bus Line for transportation.

Large shipbuilding plants also opened in Bridgewater and Mahone Bay. This continued the need for extended bus routes during the 1940s. In 1944, another bus was added to the route and was the first of a number of MacKenzie Flxibles (made by the bus manufacturer which gained renown as the company whose name looked like a typographical error).

In July of 1950, the company purchased the Riverport Bus Service. This provided service between Bridgewater, Riverport and Lunenburg for seven years.

In 1954, MacKenzie had a route which also included Bridgewater, Crescent Beach and Petite Riviere. Throughout the decade Mr. MacKenzie continued to add routes and also provided an express service between Halifax and Shelburne.

Mr. MacKenzie died in November of 1954 leaving behind a successful and substantial fleet of motor coaches and 18 employees.

In 1956, the MacKenzie Bus Line was sold to A.J.I.L. MacLaren of Halifax. Douglas Parker, a long-time employee and the president of the company at Mr. MacKenzie's death, continued his position of manager. Mr. MacLaren operated the line until February 1959 when the company was sold again.

Just in time for the summer tours of Peggy's Cove in 1960, MacKenzie's first air-conditioned bus was purchased. It was the first in Nova Scotia. Many of the central and western Canadians were just beginning to realize the value of a bus tour of the Maritimes during this time. The air-conditioned bus increased the demand for these tours considerable.

In 1967, the company was handling inter-provincial packages and charter trips.

In 1969, one of MacKenzie's coaches, coach number 27, was chartered for a cross- Canada tour by Don Messer's Jubilee, one of Canada's most famous musical groups. The tour travelled the entire length of Canada and up into the Yukon Territories.

Gradually, MacKenzie Bus Line changed all its coaches to the aerodynamically designed MCI buses. Each seat had a control panel for adjustable reading lights, speaker and driver signal button. These coaches offered a panoramic view and the laminated windows with a grey tint and did not affect a passenger's photos taken on the many tours throughout the Maritimes and the United States. The ride was much smoother and the heating and air-conditioning systems were designed for North American weather extremes. These coaches were very different from Bernie MacKenzie's first vehicle — he was known as "Bernie" everywhere along the South Shore.

Unfortunately, like many of the industries in Bridgewater over the years, an end was in sight for MacKenzie Bus Line. In September of 1998, after serving the South Shore for 65 years, the company was forced to abandon its services. On October 31st, 1998, MacKenzie Bus Line made its last passenger run. DRL Coachlines, a Newfoundland company, began scheduled passenger service on the South Shore on November 1st, 1998.

[The Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 February 1999]
Also see http://www.lighthouse.ns.ca/feature/special14.html

The Flxible Corporation

The Flxible Company (1913-1996)

History of the Flxible Corporation
    http://www.flxibleowners.org/history.htm


Flxible Transit Coach Production Lists, 1953-1996
The Ohio Museum of Transportation
    http://www.omot.org/roster/FlxList/index.html


Flxible Buses: A Business/Economic History of The Company
The Flxible Company was founded in 1913 as a manufacturer of motorcycle side cars.  In 1924 it made its first bus and for the next 72 years Flxible was a builder of intercity and urban transit buses.  When Flxible filed for bankruptcy in 1996 it was the largest builder of transit buses in the U.S...
    http://www2.bw.edu/~rebert/vi.htm






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