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

Chapter 43
1999 April - June

1999 April

CB&CNSR Motive Power

On the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway, GP7u 2160, still wearing Georgia Southwestern paint and lettering, was coupled to GP9 5967 in Stellarton in early April and being used for switching. The MLW/Alco dead line has been divided into two portions. RS18 3716, C630s 2003, 2016, 2034, RS18 3627, C630 2032 are in one group and in the second group C630 2028 still in CN colors, RS18 3675, C630s 2029, 2039 and 2035. The second group may well be scrapped. GP50 3108 was in the Sydney shop awaiting derailment repairs. There was a large pile of traction motors piled at the front of the shop likely out of the second group of MLWs. GP18 4700 was performing switching duties GP7u 2176 still had its exhaust stacks capped from last fall. Whenever RS18 3842 fails the 2176 may well be activated. We suspect the 3842 is the last ex-CN RS18 in service anywhere in Canada. The remaining GP50s and CN GP40-2[W]s seem to be calling Port Hawkesbury home these days, where there was a pile of imported coal at Auld's Cove on the west side of Canso Strait. GP50 5007 along with Pte. St. Charles built van 2000 were moving the coal from the Auld's Cove wharf to the Tupper power plant. CN GP40-2 9615 has been leased to CB&CNSR.
Source: Canada Calling, May 1999

1999 April

Faculty of Engineering Microcomputer Lab
Dalhousie University, Halifax

The Faculty of Engineering Microcomputer Lab (FEML) is located at DalTech, on Dalhousie's Sexton Campus. It's purpose is to provide access to engineering specific software, as well as general purpose software, for Students and Faculty in the Faculty of Engineering. The FEML is managed by Academic Computing Services - Sexton Campus, part of University Computing and Information Services. The lab has been evolving for approximately six years and will continue to evolve as new technology becomes available and old equipment is retired. The FEML started out with 24 486 computers running DOS in C300 and now consists of three main areas with 85 workstations, all running Windows '98.

Room C300:
25   Pentium 133 MHz personal computers:
96MB RAM, 1.2 GB hard drive, 17-inch Monitor

Room B316A:
36   Pentium 166/200 MHz personal computers:
64MB RAM, 3 GB hard drive, 17-inch Monitor
2   Hewlett Packard LaserJet 4000 Printers

24   Pentium 120 MHz personal computers:
16MB RAM, 850 MB hard drive, 14-inch Monitor

ENG-SRV1 (file server): Pentium 200 MHz
256MB RAM, 21GB disk space, Netware 4.11

The lab areas mentioned above are open 24 hours, and are monitored in part by lab assistants and by video surveillance equipment. In order to use the systems a user account on the file server, ENG-SRV1, is required. These accounts are available only to Faculty of Engineering Students and Faculty.

Printing is available to all the workstations through the printers in B316A at a charge of 5¢ per page. This charge may vary with cost of supplies. Users must purchase "print credits" in $5 lots from the DalTech HelpDesk in Room B103. These credits are magnetically encoded on a plastic card. Credits are deducted automatically by the print server for every page printed.

Until recently, Windows 3.1 was supported on the ENG-SRV1 file server. This is no longer the case. If you were running Windows, or any applications no longer listed below, from the file server you should take steps to upgrade your software, operating system and perhaps your hardware.

Software Currently Available on FEML Win'98 Workstations: Source: Faculty of Engineering Microcomputer Lab
Dalhousie University Information Technology Update, Spring 1999 (V11 N2)

1999 April 1

Halterm Orders Post-Panamax Cranes

Mr. Pat Morin, President of Halterm Limited, Halifax, today announced that Halterm has placed a firm order for two new post-panamax ship gantry cranes with the Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC) of China. "The Board of Directors approved these crane acquisitions last November" said Mr. Morin "and the order has been placed with ZPMC, following four months of extensive planning and bid evaluation". Mr. Morin also confirmed that the cranes will be delivered and in place by April of 2000. ZPMC cranes are already in wide use on the west coast of Canada and the United States. ZPMC is one of the leading suppliers of post-panamax cranes in the world today with over 100 cranes sold worldwide. In addition to the two ship gantry cranes, ZPMC will also be supplying Halterm with two rubber tired yard gantry cranes which will provide necessary terminal support for expanded ship gantry operations. "This is a very pivotal point in Halterm's overall development", said Mr. Morin. "We are now firmly positioned to better serve our existing customers whose business has expanded significantly over the past ten years". Halterm's container volume has grown from 135,000 lifts in 1990 to over 165,000 lifts in 1998. "Further", he added, "these new cranes are much higher and faster than our existing cranes and this will lead to much quicker vessel turnaround times". With the addition of these two new cranes, Halterm will have a total of six ship gantry cranes. "This obviously gives us the capacity for even further business growth and we will actively be seeking new business" added Mr. Morin. "Equally importantly", said Morin, "these new post-panamax cranes give Halterm and the Port of Halifax the capacity to service the increasingly large post-panamax container vessels being deployed by major international shipping lines". The trend towards these larger sized vessels, which now have the capacity to carry up to 6000 twenty-foot containers, continues to grow worldwide. "This is a critical step toward making Halterm a world-class container terminal and Halifax a world class container port", said Mr. Morin. Halterm was established in 1969 as Atlantic Canada's first container terminal operator. It is now the region's largest container terminal operator handling 165,000 containers annually and employing 250 workers. A Canadian owned and operated company, Halterm's business interest is focussed exclusively on its operations in the Port of Halifax.
Source: Canada NewsWire

1999 April 5

Political Websites

At 5:00pm on 5 April 1999, I found this information:
At the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party Caucus Website http://www.ndpcaucus.ns.ca/ndphp.html there was a link "Number of Visits to the NDP Home Page". This link pointed toward
http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/cgi-bin/urlstats?Politics/NSNewDemocrat/ndphp.html which displayed the following:
Number of visits to URLs that match
This month: 10
Last month: 93

1999 April 9

CHNS CanCon Requirement Relaxed

Flexibility to broadcast a lower level
of Canadian popular music for "oldies" radio stations

An "oldies" radio station is defined as a station where at least 90% of musical selections that it broadcasts are selections released before 1 January 1981.

CRTC Decision 99-83, 9 April 1999
In Public Notice CRTC 1998-132, the Commission announced amendments to the Radio Regulations, 1986 that require commercial radio stations to broadcast a minimum level of 35% of Canadian popular music both over the broadcast week and between 6:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday. Radio stations whose formats are based on the presentation of older music could request flexibility to broadcast a lower level of this music. The condition of licence set out below will allow the stations listed in the appendix to broadcast a minimum level of 30% of Canadian musical selections.

The licence amendment

1.   Consistent with the policy outlined in Public Notice 1998-132, the Commission approves the applications by the licensees listed below, to amend their broadcasting licences by adding the following condition of licence: For purposes of this condition the terms "broadcast week", "content category" and "musical selection" shall have the meaning set out in section 2 of the Radio Regulations, 1986.

2.   The Commission reminds the licensees that they must specify, on music lists provided to the Commission, the year of release for all musical selections broadcast. Source: CRTC website at

1999 April 10

Cape Breton Firm Creates CD-ROM for Ontario Museum

After an extensive search to find the perfect partner to create a historical CD-ROM, an Ontario museum selected a local firm. Old Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ont., opted for Fitzgerald Studio in Sydney to help them produce A Fur Trade Odyssey interactive CD-ROM. Peter Boyle, corporate development officer at the museum, said previous CD-ROMs created by Fitzgerald Studio, such as Fortress of Louisbourg and Alexander Graham Bell, were good indicators the Cape Breton firm had a strong background in Canadian history. Also, the initiatives were successful which showed strong marketing abilities. Owen Fitzgerald, owner of the company, described the CD-ROM as being an absorbing cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary exploration of the fur trade with Old Fort William as the centerpiece. When using the CD-ROM, users will learn about some of Canada's early explorers and the important contributions of Canada's native people to the fur trade enterprise.
[Cape Breton Post, 10 April 1999]

1999 April 15

Motion-Capture Animation Technology

Virtual Media Productions Company, of Sydney, has been working for four years to establish itself in the highly competitive market of computer generated animation, and is now equipped with motion capture technology which enables the company to produce higher quality character animation for television and film. "We are really excited about the opportunities this presents," says Shawn Green, who along with Sean Coyle are the company's founders. A rapidly advancing cutting-edge technique in the animation business, motion capture uses live action performers outfitted with sensors that track every movement. The sensor readings are fed into a computer, which uses highly sophisticated software to apply the movements to the animated character. There was a time such work would take weeks for an animator to complete, but motion capture reduces the time to hours and produces more satisfactory movements of animated characters. Green and Coyle were on hand today at the company's location at Sydney's Silicon Island for an open house where the technology was demonstrated. Coyle said this latest development in the company's history will enable the firm to provide professional motion capture services to the world animation market.
[Cape Breton Post, 16 April 1999]

1999 April 19

Sydney Airport Fee Increased

Airport improvement fees paid by departing passengers at Sydney Airport will increase from $8 to $10 starting April 19, to finance improvements to the 30-year-old terminal. The increase puts Sydney Airport on par with virtually all other airports in Canada which charge departing passengers $10 for their airport improvement fee, noted Vince MacLean, chairman of the Sydney Airport Authority. Funds raised by the fee likely will go toward improvements of the terminal building, he said. Capital improvements to the terminal would be funded on a 50/50 basis by the authority and federal government, which paid 90 per cent of the costs of improvements to the runway and apron. "The $8 wasn+t providing enough revenue," he said. The authority has said it expected to take in about $400,000 annually from the $8 airport improvement fee.
[Cape Breton Post, 6 April 1999]

1999 April 20

New Logo For MT&T

An old company in Nova Scotia is sporting a new look today. Maritime Telegraph and Telephone company (MT&T) has a new logo and new slogan that will soon be pasted over all its vehicles, phone booths and even employees. As well, the company initials will be simply MTT (without the ampersand). The official announcement came yesterday afternoon in Halifax from president Colin Latham while vice presidents fanned out across the province to inform employees. Murray Souter, vice president of consumer services, said the new look will remain even when the planned merger between Atlantic Canada's four telephone companies is complete. The new regional company will be known as AtlanticCo [later changed to Aliant]. MTT services both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. There are some 200 employees in Cape Breton and 2,800 across Nova Scotia. The company is worth about $1,200,000,000.
Cape Breton Post, 20 April 1999
MTT Media release dated 19 April 1999

Historical notes: MT&T

1999 April 22

Fifth Lane Slated for Busy Intersection

30,000 vehicles each day

The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation is drawing plans for a turning lane at the busy Kings Road - Keltic Drive intersection in Sydney River. Kings Road is a main traffic artery into Sydney. "When the rush to get into the new SuperStore settles down the intersection should function better," said Cape Breton County area manager Barb Baillie. Traffic lights were modified to accommodate a four-way intersection with the opening last week of the Atlantic SuperStore. The opening slowed traffic movement through the intersection that handles more than 30,000 vehicles daily. Baillie said engineers are now drafting plans for a fifth lane to be built on the Kings Road approaches and traffic lights will be installed with turning indicators to allow easier access to the store. She expects the work will be completed by summer.
[Cape Breton Post, 22 April 1999]

Contract awarded for intersection improvements

Cape Breton West MLA Russell MacKinnon announced Municipal Ready Mix was awarded a contract August 4th, to add a lane to the busy intersection of Keltic Drive and Kings Road in Sydney River, near the Atlantic SuperStore. The $712,643 project will include the added lane and improvements to the road approaching the growing commercial sector. MacKinnon said residents concerned about the intersection's ability to accommodate the increase in traffic volume helped spark the project.
[Cape Breton Post, 20 August 1999]

1999 April 24

New Electrical Conductor Installed

Things turned out well for Donkin residents who were expecting to live a day without electric power on Saturday, April 24th. Stacy Lewis, spokesperson for Nova Scotia Power (NSP), said they had a planned ten-hour power outage for residents of the area while new high tension power line conductors were being installed, but the work ended up being completed in about seven hours. "We had twenty crews working on this from Cape Breton and other areas, including Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton. With so many crews the work was able to completed in a much shorter period." The work included 3.5 kilometres of ACSR conductors (wires) installed to replace old copper wires. ACSR (aluminum conductor steel reinforced) is a special wire often used in high-voltage power transmission lines. ACSR consists of a single strand of steel, surrounded by six strands of aluminum. The aluminum provides high electrical conductivity (low resistance) but is not strong enough for this service; the single strand of high-strength steel is strong enough to carry the weight of the aluminum but has too much electrical resistance to be used alone. This combination of steel and aluminum has been widely used for electrical power purposes since the 1940s, because it costs less than the equivalent copper wire.
[Cape Breton Post, 26 April 1999, and other sources.]

1999 April 29

Vogue Movie Theatre Closed

Sydney's last family-owned movie house

Time and a changing marketplace appear to have caught up with the stately old Vogue Theatre, Sydney's last family-owned movie house. Owner Ardath Dockwrey, whose late father D.P. MacDonald built the Vogue 61 years ago, confirmed two days ago that the Charlotte Street theatre will close today, at least until mid-June and perhaps forever. "It isn't easy to be looking at closing a family business your father started so long ago and I'm very sorry it's happening, for both myself and the staff," she told the Cape Breton Post. She described the decision taken after years of declining attendance in the face of competition from multi-screen theatres as "a sign of the times." Dockwrey said there's been some talk of the Vogue becoming a community cultural centre, noting "it would certainly lend itself to that and if anyone is interested in purchasing it now would be the time." Meanwhile, she said, the theatre could resume operation with two promising movie bookings in June or July but noted, "we'll just have to see about that. Everything is up in the air right now."
[Cape Breton Post, 29 April 1999]

1999 May 2

Valley Garbage System Website Starts Up

On this day, the Valley Waste-Resource Management website was started up on the Internet, at http://www.vwrm.com/main.html. The Annapolis Valley Region, comprised of approximately 81,000 residents and 30,000 households, includes Annapolis and Kings Counties, and the Towns of Berwick, Bridgetown, Kentville, Middleton, and Wolfville. After July 5, 1999 citizens in these areas are asked to sort waste-resources in to three categories: recyclables, compostables and residual waste. All three streams of waste-resources will be collected on the same day, once every two weeks. Collection services include up to four bags of garbage, four bags of recyclables, and one green cart.
[Source: http://www.vwrm.com/ ]

1999 May 5

CPAC Support Companies

On this day, at the CPAC (Canadian Public Affairs Channel) website, I found a list of members of CPAC. CPAC is a "consortium of over 100 Canadian cable companies which pay more than $5 million a year to fund the channel. Each company supplies CPAC to its subscribers at no cost whatsoever." The list of consortium members included the following Nova Scotia companies: [Source: http://www.cpac.ca/english/support.html ]

1999 May 5

Gasoline Prices Volatile

Gasoline prices were volatile in Sydney Wednesday, May 5th, giving consumers savings at some pumps. Full serve prices of 53.9¢ per litre and self-serve of 51.9¢ were on tap at two Ultramar stations in Sydney managed by Brian Martin. The company follows a Value Plus policy of matching the lowest price in a market zone, he noted. "We do a price survey every day." Martin noted the price — which is dictated by company market representatives based on the local surveys — will go up if the low in the marketplace went higher. Gas prices of 53.9¢ per litre full serve and 51.9¢ self-serve at Paul Ratchford's Irving on King's Road Wednesday morning were up to 59.9¢ per litre full serve and 57.9¢ per litre self-serve by mid-afternoon. Ratchford said his prices are also dictated by company officials. Like other gasoline companies, Irving prices are market driven, said regional manager John DeCourcey. Company agents in each marketplace watch the competition closely and Irving adjusts the price to match. Lower prices at the pump are absorbed by Irving; not the dealer, who gets the same profit margin, says Ratchford.
[Cape Breton Post, 6 May 1999]

1999 May 6

Cabinet Approves New Board of Directors for Sysco

Includes first steelworker ever to serve on the board

Sysco has a new Board of Directors chaired by Teresa MacNeil of Johnstown, a former head of the St. Francis Xavier University Extension Department who served as acting president as well as a director of Devco in the 1980s. Economic Development Minister Manning MacDonald told the Cape Breton Post the Board approved by cabinet Thursday May 6th also includes John Kingston, Area 6 representative of the United Steel Workers of America and the first steelworker ever to serve on the Board. Sydney businessman Wayne Weatherbee, who served on the Board as a steel union nominee during the joint operating period with Minmetals of China, was also named to the new Board. Another appointee is John Strasser, a highly regarded metallurgist and former Sysco president who oversaw the switch to electric arc steelmaking before moving on to CN (Canadian National Railway) and most recently to his own consulting business. J. Allan Henderson, a Sydney businessman who ran twice for the Liberals in Cape Breton-The Lakes, was also named to the Board. MacDonald, the only holdover from the old Board which petered out after the collapse of the Minmetals deal, will continue to serve as the province's representative. Sysco's acting president Jim Rudderham will serve as secretary of the Board though he is not a member.
[Cape Breton Post, 7 May 1999]

Board Chair Tours Sysco

Newly-appointed Sysco chairperson Teresa MacNeil took a four-hour tour of the plant this week before chairing her first meeting of the board in Halifax Wednesday. She described the meeting as an orientation session, with presentations from managing director Joost Grubben of the Hoogovens-Sydney Management Team and Ian Thompson of Hoogovens Technical Services. The meeting made history in the sense that John Kingston of the steelworkers union took his seat as the first-ever union board representative in the plant's hundred years of operation.
[Cape Breton Post, 21 May 1999]

1999 May 7

Island Music Industry Featured on the Web

Launch ceremony held at Silicon Island

With the click of a mouse, Cape Breton+s most technically advanced and complete Website focusing on the island's music industry hit the global marketplace Friday May 7th. Dedicated to prompting the island's music and culture, Cape Breton Music Online offers everything from an artist directory and biographies to music previews, an interactive events calendar and online shopping. "The Website is designed to be a resource for musicians, fans and visitors and it aims to raise awareness, provide education and preserve Cape Breton music in all its varied forms," explained Ralph Dillon, general manager of Cape Breton Music Online Inc. The launch was held at Silicon Island, Cape Breton's collection of information technology companies. Federal Senator Sr. Peggy Butts and provincial Minister of Economic Development and Tourism Manning MacDonald did the official honours of clicking on the site. The site was developed by Chatsubo, one of the Silicon companies. Island singer-songwriter Leon Dubinsky, vice chair of the CBMO board, said for years island musicians have had to reach out to the world to have their talents recognized.
[Cape Breton Post, 8 May 1999]
Also see Cape Breton Music Online http://www.cbmusic.com/

1999 May 10

Access Communications Incorporated

Access Communications Incorporated provides cable television service to the majority of the Halifax Regional Municipality, as well as Wolfville, New Minas, Kentville and Digby in Nova Scotia and Sussex in New Brunswick. As well, Access is a 45% shareholder in Halifax Cablevision and its subsidiaries in the Nova Scotia communities of Liverpool, Shelburne, Lockeport and Yarmouth. Charles V. Keating is the Chairman of the Board of Access Communications.

Branches Customers
Dartmouth & Eastern Shore, N.S. 36,838
Bedford & Lower Sackville, N.S. 18,650
New Minas, N.S. 7,600
Digby, N.S. 2,563
Sussex, N.B. 2,400
Mount Uniacke, N.S. 841
Sandy Cove, N.S. 177
Freeport, N.S. 118
Westport, N.S. 107
Tiverton, N.S. 84

ACCESS Communications Inc. employs more than 100 full and part-time positions throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
[Source: http://accesscable.com/CompanyProfile.html ]

1999 May 14

Local Coal Versus Natural Gas

New Gas-Fired Power Plants Planned
for Tuft's Cove and Port Hawkesbury

Cape Breton coal must contend with more immediate pressures than competition from natural gas if it is to survive, a socioeconomic study suggests. The Gardner Pinfold study reviewed the potential effects natural gas may have on the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Gas will have a hard time displacing coal and oil at today's prices by using it in a conventional thermal generating station like Tuft's Cove, in Dartmouth, the study says. The coal industry must reduce production costs in relation to cheaper imported coal, it says. Other competition may come from importing electricity with the advent of deregulation, industrial generation and tighter emission controls over the burning of fossil fuels forcing the power corporation to continue to keep its costs down, the report notes. It also explores Nova Scotia Power's options in the future once the existing coal fired plants need to be replaced. That includes a proposed fuel-efficient 300 megawatt gas-fired combined cycle plant for Tuft's Cove to be in service in 2004. Stora Enso, the coated paper mill in Port Hawkesbury, is reported to be considering a 250 MW gas-fired combined cycle electric generating plant to meet its own needs by mid-2003. NSPI, Devco's lone customer, will reduce its demand for coal to about 2,800,000 tonnes in 2000 and possibly to 2,300,000 tonnes with the Tuft's Cove and Stora expansion, it said. Devco has a contract to supply the power company with 1,900,000 tonnes annually, a contract that will come up for negotiation next year. The study suggests as long as Devco is able to sell coal over and above the contract minimum to NSPI at competitive prices, then at no time does gas itself cause any more than a 100,000 tonne drop in coal production. That should happen in 2004 with a full recovery within a year.
[Cape Breton Post, 14 May 1999]

Also see Gardner Pinfold Consulting Economists

1999 May 18

Scottish Parliament Convened in Edinburgh
First time since 1707

Resolution no. 2755
page 3290, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 18 May 1999:

MR. SPEAKER (Hon. Ronald Russell): The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

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

Whereas six days ago a Scottish Parliament convened in Edinburgh for the first time since 1707; and

Whereas this week Her Majesty has officially appointed Donald Dewar of the Labour Party as the First Minister of Scotland; and

Whereas our province was given the name of New Scotland in the 17th Century before the Act of Union temporarily suspended any form of self-rule for Scotland;

Therefore be it resolved this House send congratulations from New Scotland to the presiding officer, First Minister and members of the Scottish Parliament on the historic occasion of the restoration of a Parliament in Edinburgh to participate in the Government of Scotland and that Mr. Speaker convey this resolution to the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, I would seek waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried. I will convey that personally.

Nova Scotia legislature, Hansard, 18 May 1999, page 5810     http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/C56/57_1_h99may18/i99may18.htm#[Page%205810]

1999 May 19

Cape Breton Tourist Train
Planned for 2000

On this day, Canadian Press reported that VIA Rail will operate a once-a-week tourist train, to be known as the "Bras d'Or," in Nova Scotia between Halifax and Sydney, next year.  The plan was welcomed by Cape Bretoners who have been lobbying for restoration of regular passenger service since it was stopped in January 1990.  The train will accomodate up to 186 passengers in three long-haul coaches and a dome and lounge car.  It will make the 294-kilometre trip in ten hours, including stops at points of interest.  A one-way ticket will cost $210.
[From the July-August 1999 issue of Branchline, a railway news and history magazine, published eleven times each year (monthly, July and August combined) by the Bytown Railway Society, Ottawa.]

1999 May 21

MTT To Be Merged With Three Other Phone Companies

At its Annual and Special General Meeting of shareholders held on 19 May 1999, the shareholders of Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company, Limited (MTT) voted overwhelmingly in favour of participating in a merger with the other three Atlantic Canada provincial telecommunications companies, Bruncor Inc, of New Brunswick, Island Telecom Inc. of Prince Edward Island, and NewTel Enterprises Limited of Newfoundland. MTT's participation in the merger is to be effected by way of an Arrangement Agreement between MTT and AtlanticCo (the temporary working name of the merged company, later replaced by the permanent name Aliant). MTT has received a Final Order from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia sanctioning MTT's participation in the merger.
MTT Media release dated 21 May 1999

Historical notes: MT&T

1999 May 28

Cost of Hard Drive Data Storage
Falls Below 3¢ per Megabyte

Future Shop, 208 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax, in an colour advertisement in the Nova Scotia edition of the National Post on this day, offers for sale a Maxtor 10.0 gigabyte hard drive priced below 3¢ per megabyte. The store price was $249.99 plus 15% HST (sales tax) for a cost to the purchaser of $287.49, yielding a cost of 2.88¢ per megabyte. The drive was described as UDMA (ultra direct memory access) 3.5 inch 8.9 cm form factor, 33 megabytes per second transfer rate, 9 ms access time. This item was again offered, at the same price, in the Future Shop flyer distributed in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 10 June 1999.
Historical notes about Cost of Hard Drives

1999 May 29

Harvard Students to Study Local Company

A local software company will be scrutinized this fall by students at the prestigious Harvard School of Business, Boston, Massachusetts. A multimedia team and researchers from Harvard University were in Cape Breton this week interviewing staff at TIM Dealer Services Inc., a Dartmouth-based company with a plant in the Northside Industrial Park in North Sydney, Cape Breton Island. TIM stands for Total Information Management. The university staff are preparing a business operation case study for students, focusing on the relationship between a large corporation and a small software developer. For decades, the Harvard Business School has used case studies of actual companies for educational purposes.
[Cape Breton Post, 29 May 1999]

TIM Dealer Services Inc. website at
Harvard Business School (HBS) website at
HBS executive education programs

1999 May 29

Marine Atlantic Sells Abegweit

The Marine Atlantic passenger ferries Abegweit and Vacationland — laid up at Sydport for the past two years — will soon be heading back to sea. Spokesman Ted Bartlett told the Cape Breton Post that Abegweit was sold last week to Accrual Investment Inc., a company based in Houston, Texas. Meanwhile, said Bartlett, "we+re in the final stages of negotiations for the sale of Vacationland and expect it will be finished within the next two weeks." He said the New Brunswick government is negotiating to buy Vacationland for use on its ferry service to Grand Manan. The ferries were taken out of service on the New Brunswick-P.E.I. run on 31 May 1997, the day the Confederation Bridge opened for regular traffic. Abegweit was put on the market for a price of $8,000,000 and Vacationland for $2,500,000. The asking prices were based on initial appraisals of the condition of the vessels and assuming there was a ready market, but the price dropped as sale talks dragged on.

M.V. Abegweit was built by Saint John Shipbuilding & Drydock, Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1982. It is a roll-on/roll-off ferry designed to carry passengers, road vehicles and railway cars.
Classification: Lloyd's 100A/Train ferry, ICC Class 1A super
Service speed: 12 knots
Gross registered tonnage: 13,482
Displacement: 9,627
Length 122.4 m, breadth 21.5 m, loaded draft 6.2 m
Passenger capacity: 974
Vehicle capacity: 250 automobiles or 40 tractor trailers or 20 railway cars
Crew: 34
Main engines: 6 Ruston Diesels, 16-cyl, 3,760 BHP (horsepower) each
Auxiliary engines: 4 Ruston Diesels, two 2,820 hp and two 1,880 hp

M.V. Vacationland was built at the Port Weller Drydocks, St. Catherines, Ontario, in 1971. It is a roll-on/roll-off ferry designed to carry passengers and vehicles.
Classification: Lloyd's III
Service speed: 12 knots
Gross registered tonnage: 3,037
Displacement: 3,998
Length 99.1 m, breadth 20.9 m, loaded draft 5.0 m
Passenger capacity: 485
Vehicle capacity: 155 automobiles or 16 tractor trailers
Crew: 23
Main engines: 2 Ruston Diesels, 16-cyl, 3,625 BHP (horsepower) each
Auxiliary engines: 2 Paxman, 480 hp each

Cape Breton Post, 29 May 1999, and

1999 May 31

Traffic Lights Tested for Y2K Problems

Without this work, some lights may have
switched to flashing red and yellow
or may have simply stopped working,
creating traffic safety hazards

Department of Transportation and Public Works' traffic signal specialists have taken the Y2K bug out of provincially operated traffic signals. Making this one of the province's Y2K milestones, traffic signals will be working as intended, cycling through the proper green, yellow and red sequence. Without this upgrade, the lights may have switched to flashing red and yellow, or may have simply stopped working, forcing motorists to use all signalized intersections as four-way stops. Neither option is appealing to travellers and is a safety concern. The Department is leaving nothing to chance, however, and will store extra stop signs at field offices in case of need.

Provincial traffic signals are located at sites such as: Halifax's Lacewood Avenue leading to Bayer's Lake Industrial Park; New Minas; Greenwood; Sydney's Mayflower Mall; Bible Hill; Yarmouth; the Dartmouth Parclo and many more. These lights are not to be confused with traffic signals within municipal jurisdiction.

"We have reprogrammed, tested and retested all of the provincial lights. That's sixty sets and they are all compliant," said Dave Phelps, co-ordinator of signals and lighting. "We tested each set for two potential glitches within the upcoming calendar year." Staff tested their upgrading work by setting internal clocks ahead to 31 December 1999, and watched the clocks roll successfully into the year 2000. Then, because 2000 is also a leap year, the clocks were set ahead to 28 February 2000, and watched carefully as the test date 29 February came and went without problem. "We have made sincere efforts to meet the challenges of the year 2000," said Clifford Huskilson, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. "This is one of the ways the department is bringing road safety into the year 2000." As with every large organization preparing for year 2000, Transportation and Public Works has been working diligently over the last twelve months to meet the department's self-imposed compliance date of 15 June 1999. "I'm confident in our efforts to ensure the department's traffic lights are ready for the millennium," said Minister Huskilson.

Source: http://www.gov.ns.ca/news/details.asp?id=19990531003

"Watched carefully as the test date
29 February came and went"

Over the last year or so, several people have asked me why Y2K reports keep repeating that stuff about having to check your system to see if it recognizes that 2000 is a leap year and thus February has a 29th day.  They say: "The leap year rule says that leap years are those divisible by four — and 2000 is divisible by four so it is a leap year, same as 1996 and 1992 and 1988 were leap years.  Why is there a problem about 2000 being a leap year?"

The problem is this: The leap year rule is not just a simple "divide by four and if it divides evenly it is a leap year."  That is one part of the leap year rule, but there are two exceptions.

The complete leap year rule is this:
(1)  A year is a leap year if it is divisible by four,
(2)  except if it is divisible by 100 it is not a leap year,
(3)  except if it is divisible by 400 it is a leap year

The years 1900 and 1800 were not leap years, even though they were divisible by 4.  Similarly, the years 2100 and 2200 will not be leap years.

Since 1800, 1900, and 2100 are not leap years, why is 2000 a leap year?

2000 is a leap year because part (3) of the leap year rule kicks in.  February 29th, 2000 is a very special day.  It exists because of a rule that comes into effect only once every 400 years.  The first time this rule operated was on February 29th, 1600.  February 29th, 2000 will be only the second time this rule has ever come into effect.  You will have to wait another 400 years, until February 29th, 2400, to see the next time it operates.

1999 May 31

Aliant Incorporated

Effective this day, Bruncor Incorporated, Island Telecom Incorporated, Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited, and NewTel Enterprises Limited were combined to form Aliant Incorporated. The four companies have been operating telephone systems in the four Atlantic Provinces for decades: Bruncor in New Brunswick, Island Telecom in Prince Edward Island, MT&T in Nova Scotia, and NewTel in Newfoundland.
Source: Aliant's website at http://www.aliant.ca/

Historical notes: MT&T

1999 June 1

Record Traffic on Newfoundland Ferry

Marine Atlantic officials are trying to figure out reasons for the increased bookings on the Gulf ferry service to Newfoundland from North Sydney, Nova Scotia. "We are running at five per cent or more ahead of last year," said Marine Atlantic spokesman Ted Bartlett Monday. They drew record numbers of people during Cabot celebrations in 1997 and expected the numbers to ease in 1998. But the ferry service carried 444,000 people in 1998, that's 25,000 more than their previous record year. The company is getting increasing pressure to replace the 21-year-old container ship Atlantic Freighter purchased thirteen years ago. It is near the end of it's useful life, he said. Bartlett said both commercial and passenger traffic keeps growing. The numbers of commercial vehicles have grown not only in numbers but size of each unit. "They are using up greater deck space." Bartlett said a replacement ferry would be compatible with the existing terminals in North Sydney, Port aux Basques and Argentia." It would be similar in size to the Freighter, but with the bi-level, roll-on roll-off loading capability it would be able to make one and one-half trips a day. The company has hired an outside consulting firm to prepare a proposal to the Minister of Transport. They expect to have a vessel configuration and recommendation ready for the minister by the end of summer. The Gulf ferry service peak traffic period is from mid-July to late August.
[Cape Breton Post, 1 June 1999]

1999 June 1

A.G. Bell Museum

The Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck will be open 9:00am to 6:00pm during the month of June; 8:30am to 7:30pm July 1 to August 31; 8:30am to 6:00pm September 1 to October 15 and 9:00am to 5:00pm October 16 to May 31. One of the highlights for this year is the 90th anniversary of the flight of the Silver Dart, a milestone in Canada's aviation history which will take place in August. Over the past number of years the museum has undergone significant redevelopment and the entire site is wheelchair assessable. There is an increased parking area for motor coaches with level access to the building.
[Cape Breton Post, 28 April 1999]

1999 June 2

UCCB Students Going to France
for Virtual Reality Competition

Three University College of Cape Breton (UCCB) students will leave Cape Breton Wednesday, June 2nd, to compete in a Virtual Reality Competition in Paris, France. Chris Fedora of Sydney River, a first-year engineering student, together with Erin MacNeil of Sydney Forks and Harry Doyle of Sydney, second-year computer science students, will compete in the Virtual Reality Sport category of the Laval Technopole competition. "We're extremely excited for them," said Hubert Chiasson, Dean of the School of Science and Technology. "It's an amazing opportunity." The students study at UCCB, but worked on their entry in their spare time. The students entered their concept for a new virtual reality sport in the "ideas" sector of the competition. They are the only Canadian team in their category and one of only two Canadian teams entered in the competition. The other team is from L'Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and is entered in the Virtual Robot Challenge. Chris Fedora, a member of the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, received word of the competition from the President of the CFES association. "I requested the name of the contact person in France, pursued the registration, and now we're going over to the competition," said Fedora.
Cape Breton Post, 31 May 1999, and

Also see:
University College of Cape Breton
Chris Fedora <cfedora@hotmail.com>
Co-President, Second Year Mechanical Engineering
Laval Virtual 2000
Collection of Virtual Reality links

Resolution no. 3295
page 6858, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 8 June 1999:


MR. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:
    Whereas three students from the University College of Cape Breton left for France to compete in a unique international virtual reality conference; and
    Whereas Erin MacNeil, Harry Doyle and Chris Fedora are all members of one of two Canadian teams participating in the competition; and
    Whereas calling themselves, BeCreative, the trio invented a new virtual sport which they will outline, demonstrate and promote during the 30 hour competition;
    Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the imagination of this three-member team and extend best wishes on their showing at the conference in France.
    Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.
    Is it agreed?
    It is agreed.
    Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.
    The motion is carried.

Nova Scotia legislature, Hansard, 8 June 1999, page 6858     http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/C56/57_1_h99jun08/i99jun08.htm#[Page%206858]

Three UCCB Students Win International Award

Three students from University College of Cape Breton (UCCB) won the top prize in the sport category of the Laval International Virtual Reality Competition in Laval, France. Chris Fedora of Sydney River, a first-year engineering student, together with Erin MacNeil of Sydney Forks and Harry Doyle of Sydney, second-year computer science students, worked on their entry in their spare time. The students earned a $15,000 software prize package, an invitation to next year's competition, and the attention of Japanese game producers. The students will make a presentation 10:00am today in the Royal Bank Lecture Theatre, UCCB.
[Cape Breton Post, 11 June 1999]

UCCB Students Unveil Winning Entry

Four University College of Cape Breton (UCCB) students converted their idea for a virtual reality game into a winning entry at an international event in France. First-year engineering students Chris Fedora and Clayton D'Orsay, teamed with second-year computer science atudents Erin MacNeil and Harry Doyle to form the UCCB Creative Group. Although D'Orsay couldn't attend the virtual reality competition in Laval, France, the Cape Breton contingent's concept for a new virtual reality game, Iris, captured the prize for most creative entry in the sport category. Unfortunately, the cellular phones the team earned for their efforts can't be used in North America, but they are content with the experience they gained. "It's something we'll always remember," MacNeil, the only female in the competition, said. The group came up with the idea for a game that treats male and female competitors equally after playing a game of Pictionary. The two-team, four-players-to-a-team sport is played in a cylinder that spins around. Points are scored by throwing a disc-like object through a goal that changes size, much like a camera's iris.
[Cape Breton Post, 12 June 1999]

1999 June 5

New Ross CAP Site Launched

Today marked the launch of the Community Access Program (CAP) project at New Ross, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, an initiative supporting public access for local residents to the information highway and to the Internet. Two CAP sites, one located in New Ross Consolidated School, the other at Ross Farm Museum, have resulted from partnership support from Industry Canada's CAP, the Southwestern Regional School Board and the New Ross District Museum Society. On behalf of John Manley, Minister of Industry, Senator Al Graham, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, extended his congratulations to the latest community to be connected to the Internet by CAP.
Source: Industry Canada media release dated 5 June 1999
Also see
New Ross Community Access Program website at
New Ross Consolidated School website at

1999 June 5

Baddeck Government Wharf Sold

The first community organization in the Atlantic Provinces to own a government wharf since Transport Canada decided to transfer ownership of regional and local ports to interested parties can be found in Baddeck. The Baddeck Area Business and Tourism Association (BABTA) was officially handed the deed to the Baddeck Government Wharf, during a special ceremony held at the docking facility Saturday, June 5th. The deal includes almost a hectare of property, including the surrounding waterlot, plus a $275,000 contribution from the National Marine Policy's Divestiture Fund. Greg Ross, chairman of BABTA, said the group comprised of about 90 business and community-minded representatives, will manage the wharf for two years, then turn the facility over to a community-based group. The group's reason for securing ownership from the government was to ensure the local public and tourists from across the globe will continue to have access to the Bras d'Or Lakes from the community of Baddeck. "It would be a shame if visitors and the community were deprived of the opportunity to use this facility," said Ross. But getting ownership wasn't an easy task for the group. Although they were the only party that showed interest in the government wharf when Transport Canada announced their intentions, they ran into some legal difficulties.
[Cape Breton Post, 7 June 1999]

1999 June 14

Natural Gas Pipelines Laid Across Strait of Canso

Another milestone for the Sable Offshore Energy Project was reached on Friday, June 4, 1999 with the successful completion of dual natural gas pipelines across the Strait of Canso. Construction contractors Venture Utility Contractors Ltd. and Pentzien Canada Inc. (V&P) of Nova Scotia successfully pulled the dual eight inch pipelines across the one and a half kilometre strait at a depth of 50 metres or 180 feet. The dual lines were first assembled by welding individual pipe lengths together. They were then coated with concrete, and tested. They were pulled across the Strait with a 300 ton winch. Over the next eight weeks, 130,000 tons of rock armour will be placed over the lines for protection from ship anchors. The total cost of the crossing is $9,000,000. One of the pipelines installed will carry 20,000 barrels per day [3,200,000 litres per day] of natural gas liquids (NGL) from Sable's Goldboro Natural Gas Plant to its Fractionation Plant at Point Tupper. The other line is a lateral being built on behalf of Maritime and Northeast Pipeline for distribution of natural gas to Cape Breton. Sable Offshore Energy Inc. is owned by Mobil Canada (50.8%), Shell Canada Limited (31.3%), Imperial Oil Resources (9.0%), Nova Scotia Resources (8.4%), and Mosbacher Operating Limited (0.5%).
Sable Offshore Energy Incorporated
News Release, June 14/99, Pipeline Crosses The Strait Of Canso

Pressure testing of the liquids pipe was completed about 2 December 1999.

1999 June 15

200 Days To the Triple Zero

Only 200 days remain until January 1, 2000.

1999 June 17

Political Websites

[Written: 4:00pm - 6:30pm, 17 June 1999]
Today, I looked around the WWW to see what is the current state of the websites operated by the three main political parties in Nova Scotia. This survey was triggered by the defeat of the Nova Scotia government this afternoon, which means there will be a provincial general election within the next few weeks. This defeat and subsequent election has been anticipated for months, and all political parties have had ample opportunity to set up websites. Thus the present state of their websites is an excellent indicator of the present state of awareness of our politicians of the rapidly-developing Internet and its present and future influence within our political process.

New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia

"Welcome to the official web site of the Nova Scotia NDP." This website has been badly neglected. I followed all the links I could find and found nothing in this website more recent than March 1998. As of 17 June 1999, everything in the New Democratic Party website is more than fourteen months old.

New Democratic Caucus

"Welcome to the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party Caucus Web site." This entry page contains several links. One link is named Press Releases and points to
Clicking on this link produces an error message: "Error: We're sorry, but the file you requested was not found on this server. " Another link in the entry page is named Graphic Version and points to
Clicking on this link produces the same error message. Another link in the entry page is named New Democratic Party MLAs and points to
You got it. Clicking on this link produces the same error message.

It is painfully obvious that the New Democratic Party leadership has no idea what the Internet is about, and hasn't a clue how the new age of electronic information systems will affect the world we all live in. Yet the NDP wants us to vote them into office so they can make those vitally-important decisions that all governments must make every day, including important decisions about the future development of electronic information services in Nova Scotia.

Liberal Party of Nova Scotia

As of today, the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia has no presence on the Internet.

This absence is incredible, but seems to be true.  There is no link from the Liberal Caucus website to a Liberal Party website.  The Liberal Party of Canada's website contains links to other provincial Liberal Party websites, but none for Nova Scotia.  I tried seven search engines, and none found any mention of a website for the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, but did turn up references to Liberal Parties in other provinces.  It really is true:  the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia has no presence on the Internet.  Yet they want us to vote them into office so they can make those vitally-important decisions that all governments must make every day, including important decisions about the future development of electronic information services in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus

Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia

The entry webpage was last modified at 4:58pm today, 17 June 1999. (I looked at this page at 5:27pm.)
The Progressive Conservative Party's website is primitive, and displays no hint of any approach other than top-down. There is no trace of any understanding of the modern imperative that citizens be enabled to communicate effectively with anyone in the party. The information provided is sparse. Nonetheless, the plain fact is that this party does have a website, and it has been updated recently. The only MLA to have a personal website is a representative of this party. This puny effort places them at the forefront of all Nova Scotia political parties in their glacial adaptation to the rapidly-developing era of electronic information systems.

Progressive Conservative Caucus of Nova Scotia

"Progressive Conservative Caucus of Nova Scotia. Welcome from John Hamm, Leader, and the Progressive Conservative Caucus" Latest News Release Added Jun 16/99. Latest Speech Added Jun 17/99. The News Releases link points to
The latest news release in this webpage is dated June 16, 1999, and begins: "Cumberland South MLA, Murray Scott, states he feels that the provincial government owes it to the people of Cumberland County to consider this home to the new lottery office which is about to be announced. It is expected to create about 100 jobs..." No great significance, but at least the link works and the content is recent (in contrast to another party's website).

1999 June 19

Silver Dart Railway
to Negotiate for VIA Railliners

Planning to restore passenger train service between Sydney and Halifax

A Sydney-based company, Silver Dart Railway, has passed the first hurdle in restoring daily rail passenger service to and from Halifax. The company told a news conference at the Cape Bretoner Motel Friday it will begin negotiating with VIA Rail to purchase six railliners for the service they want to launch in one to two years. Although one unit will be used most days the other railliners will be used as back up as traffic grows. Passengers will pay $50 one way leaving Sydney in the morning returning at night. The Cape Bretoner Motel will be used as the railway station. They expect the railliner to make the trip in about seven hours.
[Cape Breton Post, 19 June 1999]

Also see:
Cape Breton Passenger Train: Feasibility Study
Transport 2000-Atlantic

A local economic development group, BCA Holdings, is the driving force behind Silver Dart Railways (named for Alexander Graham Bell's experimental aircraft). BCA is involved in a number of projects, including two local radio stations. Apparently they are a non-profit outfit that works to bring various stakeholders together with government money. The plan is to operate passenger rail service in Nova Scotia between Sydney and Halifax. To capture the segment of the market that hates travelling but must do so, the service will have to be as quick as competing buses. An automobile can make it in five to five and half hours. They will have to have sufficient equipment to handle the weekend college crowd, especially on holiday weekends. They will have to have spare equipment and to be as reliable as possible. Breakdowns and delays will damage their image. A lot will depend on what kind of deal they get from CB&CNSR and Canadian National Railway. There hasn't been a train between the two cities since Via pulled out of Cape Breton in January 1990. The local company, Silver Dart Railway, says it's convinced the service can be profitable. It's planning to raise nearly two million dollars from private investors to get it up and running. The fare would probably cost about C$50.00 one way, utilizing rail diesel cars currently stored in Montreal which would be refurbished in Cape Breton.
Source: Canada Calling, July 1999

Canada Calling is an online monthly news update of happenings in the Canadian railway community. It covers motive power, equipment purchases, economic news, and activities by different companies, all having to do with Canadian railways big and small.

BCA Holdings Limited, 66 Wentworth Street, Sydney has the following as directors: Gregory MacLeod, Sydney; Stephen Farrell, Sydney; James Kehoe, Sydney; John Currie, Sydney; John Eyking, Bras d'Or; Rev. Karen Ralph, Sydney Mines; Marlene Lovett, North Sydney; Pem Seville, Sydney; and Sister Marie Lawrence O`Keefe, Sydney. The officers are: John Eyking, President; Gregory MacLeod, Vice-President; Stephen Farrell, Secretary; and James Kehoe, Treasurer.
Source: Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies

1999 June 23

Nova Scotia Statutes
Available on CD

The public statutes of Nova Scotia, consolidated to May 20, 1999, are now available on compact disc (CD) in a searchable Folio Views® infobase from the Nova Scotia Government Bookstore. The CD contains all of the statutes in the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989 (including the unrevised statutes in volume 12 of the Revised Statutes) unless repealed and the public statutes subsequently in force and not repealed. The CD includes all amendments to these statutes in force as of May 20, 1999. (An earlier version of the CD contains these statutes consolidated to October 15, 1998.) The CD will be updated periodically. The frequency and pricing of the updates will depend upon demand. The CD is sold and licensed in two versions — a single-user version and a network version. The single-user version can be installed on any number of computers but can only be used on one computer at a time. The statutes cannot be copied to a hard drive; access to the statutes requires the CD to be in your computer's CD drive. The network version may only be installed on one computer or network server at a time but can be accessed by several users at the same time. The network version is licensed by the number of concurrent users, not the number of potential users.
      Single-user licence is $100.00 plus GST (shipping extra)
      Network licence is $250.00 for up to 10 concurrent users, plus $25.00 for each additional concurrent user (maximum of 127 concurrent users) plus GST (shipping extra).
[Source: http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/legc/cd-rom.htm ]

1999 June 25

Human Rights Commission Improved Website
Begins Operation

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has revamped its website to provide better access to information on human rights. The site includes a guide to the complaint process and fact sheets on what is protected under the Human Rights Act. Maureen Shebib, the Commission's acting executive director, says the site is an important tool for the Commission to explain its role and protections under the Human Rights Act. A link on the site provides answers to common questions about the Commission and the human rights investigation process. Other links are to recent news releases and board of inquiry decisions. The site also provides access to the Human Rights Act and the Commission's annual report.
Source: Government media release:

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission website at

1999 June 28

Political Websites Update

[Written: 5:30pm - 8:30pm, 28 June 1999]

Liberal Party of Nova Scotia


In the entry page, the Liberal website has this highly desirable feature:
Join our mailing list.
Enter your email address in
the box below to register.
List members receive regular email updates
on election coverage, events, policy and more.
I signed up; we'll see how well it works.
(As of 9:00pm July 7, nine days after I signed up for this Liberal Party email service, nothing had arrived.)

The following information was in the Candidates webpage at
"Liberal candidates are being nominated in ridings across the province. As the nominations become official, candidate biographies will be posted on the site to allow you to learn more about the Liberal team."

The Liberal Party website candidates list omits Kings North,
but Peter Hill was nominated as the Liberal candidate in
Kings North last Tuesday evening, six full days ago.
Is anyone minding the store (keeping this website updated)?

Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia


In the fine print (very tiny type) at the bottom of the entry page, there is this:
Do you have an e-mail address? Let us know and join
our email distribution list to receive announcements,
news and updates on our party's activities.
I signed up; we'll see how well it works.
(As of 9:00pm July 7, nine days after I signed up for this PC Party email service, nothing had arrived.)

At this time, the PC website provides very little information about the PC candidates. (Of course there's no hurry, after all there are still 29 days to the election.) In the Candidates webpage at
the only candidate information supplied is the names of candidates so far nominated. Just the name, no biographical or contact information for any candidate, with one exception:

There is a fascinating detail about this website. When you download the entry webpage
and look at the source code (View Source in browser drop menu) you find, near the top of the page, the following comment (which does not appear on-screen when the page is viewed normally). This comment contains fifteen identical lines. One of these lines is copied here:
<!-- Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Association Party Canada Tory provincial politics right wing right-wing John Hamm Donald Cameron Tery Donahoe John Buchanan John Stanfield (then fourteen repititions, fifteen times in all) -->
(Note: The spelling Tery Donahoe appears in the original fifteen comments.)

Higher up, you see
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Association, Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party, Canada, Tory, provincial, politics, right wing, right-wing, John Hamm, Donald Cameron, Tery Donahoe, John Buchanan, John Stanfield">

These are the keywords provided by the webpage author as "search engine food"; search engines use these keywords for indexing this webpage.
(Note: The spelling Tery Donahoe also appears in the keywords.)

<!-- Permission to read this program or portion thereof -->
<!-- is granted to the Internet community at large. -->
<!-- Permission to copy only if this copyright and header -->
<!-- remain intact and that proper credit appears on any -->
<!-- browsers accessing this accessing this document. -->

The fascinating detail is the appearance of those names from the distant past:
Donald Cameron, Terry Donahoe, John Buchanan. Why do these names appear in the 1999 PC website at all, let alone as index keywords?

This was still there on 7 July, and 15 September 1999.

New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia


The NDP does not have an email distribution list for voters to receive automatic updates of campaign information. (Both the Liberals and the Conservatives have this service available in their entry pages.)

In the Candidates webpage at
the information for some candidates consisted of the name only, while for other candidates there was a separate webpage with biographical information.

Nova Scotia Provincial Party


Today, 28 June 1999, the new Nova Scotia Provincial Party achieved official status by filing official nomination papers for ten candidates in the current election.

The NSPP has a webpage titled Code of Conduct for Candidates, at

The other parties have not posted any information about their codes of conduct; in fact it isn't clear that any of the others even have such a code.  This NSPP webpage is not yet completed, but at least they have allocated a page for this purpose and are working on it.

The NSPP has a Candidates webpage, at
but, as of today, no candidates are listed.

1999 June 28

Parties All Fishing For Votes
With Political Websites

All three of Nova Scotia's political parties are hoping their Internet websites get their message across to voters.  "It's the modern way to do politics," political scientist Agar Adamson wrote Sunday.  "As the Web grows, more and more people are getting their information from the Internet."  The big challenge, according to Prof. Adamson, is to make sure the webpage stays up to date.  "The party that doesn't keep it up is going to look like yesterday's breakfast."
Excerpted from the Chronicle-Herald, 28 June 1999

Note: The reference to "three" political parties was accurate at the time this newspaper went to press — about twelve hours before the NSPP obtained official status as a political party contesting this election.

1999 June 28

Circular No. 433
To all licensees of broadcasting undertakings
serving the Province of Nova Scotia

It is the broadcaster's duty to ensure that the public has adequate knowledge of the issues surrounding an election and the position of the parties and candidates. The broadcaster does not enjoy the position of a benevolent censor who is able to give the public only what it "should" know. Nor is it the broadcaster's role to decide in advance which candidates are "worthy" of broadcast time.

[Source: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/. Refer to the CRTC's website for the complete circular.]

1999 June 29

UCCB Radio Station Receives
National Excellence Award

CAPR planning to begin Internet broadcasts

CAPR Radio, the in-house voice of University College of Cape Breton, received the excellence award in the area of small radio stations, at the National Campus Community Radio Conference in Halifax. Station manager Bryce McNeil said the award was presented by the Standard Radio Inc., and the National Campus and Community Radio Association for its work toward securing an FM licence. It was one of five awards of the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCCRA) and with it comes a $2,000 prize. "It was given to us mainly for gaining autonomy from the Student Union in 1998," he said. CAPR became an independent entity in March 1998 and this month was incorporated. During the university term they broadcast 15 hours a week. McNeil said they are still working toward their FM licence and permission to broadcast in RealAudio on the Internet. The Prime Brook student just completed his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in communication. He has been involved in the station as a disc jockey and music director. Two months ago he was appointed station manager. McNeil plans to return to UCCB in the fall for post graduate studies. A lot of work needs to be done before they apply for a FM licence.
[Cape Breton Post, 29 June 1999]

1999 June 30


Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia has a new caboose on the property ex CN 77021 from the former CN Montreal Auxiliary.  On June 30, 1999 GP7u 2160 was the Stellarton switcher, GP18 was moving coal from Port Hawkesbury to the Nova Scotia Power plant at Point Tupper, and the last RS18 3842 was the Sydney switcher.  GP9 62 ex Indiana & Ohio 62 was parked at the back of the shop with mechanical problems.  GP7u 2176 was in the Sydney shop being worked on to take 62's place.  GP50 3108 that rolled on its side following a January derailment is back in service.  All C630's and the three remaining RS18s that are in the dead line are for sale.  Two parties are interested but if they are not sold they will be scrapped.
Source: Canada Calling, August 1999

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