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

Chapter 46
1999 October

1999 October

Plan to Recreate Famous Scene From $100 Bill

A Lunenburg group is hoping to make some money by recreating the famous harbour scene that long graced the Canadian $100 bill. In October, three Lunenburg-based ships, Bluenose II, Picton Castle and Theresa E. Connor, will be placed at the wharves of Adams and Knickle Ltd. where they will be photographed as part of a fundraiser for tall ship activities in the port. "It should look a lot like that famous scene," says Alan Creaser, one of several people involved in the venture. Bluenose II will be docked on the western extreme, where the schooner Lila B. Boutilier was originally docked, with the white-hulled Picton in the centre and Theresa Connor on the right. $100 bill Mr. Creaser says the group, which also includes Senator Wilfred Moore, chairman of the Bluenose II Preservation Trust, Picton Castle Captain Dan Moreland and Jim Tupper, manager of the Fisheries Museum, plans to have pictures, postcards and posters made up, the proceeds of which will go to events such as a proposed parade of sail to mark the town's 250th birthday in 2003. "We thought it was a really neat idea," says the businessman, who was sitting with Captain Moreland when the two thought of the project. "We were looking at Mike Ricks' poster (of that scene) when it just occurred to us, we had the ships to recreate it." The scene was removed from the $100 bill in 1986.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 15 September 1999]

Photograph Delayed

Excerpt from an email dated 18 November 1999:
We had planned to have the photograph taken this fall but Picton Castle was unavailable then. Word is that in the spring the vessels will be positioned and photographed.

1999 October

Preserving One of Canada's Oldest Structures

Millennium Project

As a Millennium Project, the Historic Restoration Society of Annapolis County, in partnership with corporate and private partners and the Canada Millennium Partnership Program, will restore the Sinclair Inn in Annapolis Royal, one of the oldest structures in Canada, believed to date back to 1710. The project will restore the building, create an interpretive centre and make the structure itself into a museum. During the 1780s the inn was created by joining two early 18th century houses. Now it will stand as a chronology of construction techniques since the late 1700s. Visitors will see the actual construction additions and changes that have been carried out over the last 300 years. The Canada Millennium Partnership Program will provide $43,537 toward the estimated total project cost of $174,915.

Reference: Canadian Millennium Events http://www.millennium.gc.ca/
Warning: This is an incredibly slow site. The entry page begins with a 244k graphic! I recommend you begin at

1999 October

CB&CNS Motive Power

News from the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway indicates that former Indiana Ohio Railway GP50 3102 has been relettered CBNS and renumbered 5002. This is the last GP50 on the CB&CNSR that had to be done. GP50's 5002, 5007, 5009 and 5008 delivered thirty-one coal hoppers to Nova Scotia Power in Trenton, Nova Scotia, on 16 October 1999. Although the smaller GP9s are the normal power for this train with shutdown of Cape Breton Development Corporation's coal mining operations (Devco) it is likely the deliveries with the larger road power will become a common sight as loads are increased to compensate for the Devco closure. Devco and all of its mines were recently placed for sale.
Source: Canada Calling, November 1999

1999 October 2

Province Celebrates Lighthouse Day

For the first time in what is hoped will be an annual event, Lighthouse Day is being celebrated in Nova Scotia on this day, Saturday, October 2nd, 1999. Various museums and community groups across Nova Scotia will be offering events and activities to celebrate Lighthouse Day in an effort to draw attention to issues affecting lighthouses, including preservation. This date is a significant one in Nova Scotia. On 2 October 1758, legislation was passed to build Sambro Lighthouse near Halifax, now the oldest surviving lighthouse in North America. In 1968, the Nova Scotia Museum acquired the lighthouse lens when the Sambro light was in the process of being electrified. When the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, opened its doors in January 1982, the Sambro lens became a centrepiece and remains a popular attraction to this day.
Source: Government Media Release 19991001005, 1 October 1999

1999 October 2

CD: Ships and Seafarers of Atlantic Canada

The Ships and Seafarers of Atlantic Canada CD was available for lookups at the Boston States Migration Workshop and Genealogy Fair, October 2nd. The CD covered: Source: Email message on the Lunen-Links Internet discussion list:
Date: 15 Sep 99 09:20:09 EDT
To: LUNEN-LINKS-L@rootsweb.com
Subject: [LL] Ships and Seafarers of Atlantic Canada CD

Boston States Migration Workshop and Genealogy Fair
9:00am - 5:00pm Saturday, October 2, 1999
Location: Charles River Museum of Industry
Waltham, Massachusetts

1999 October 4

Maritime Museum Launches New Website

Surf. Navigate. Launch. These words are meaningful to seafarers, and to people who use the World Wide Web. For the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, both meanings apply, more than ever before. The museum is setting sail today, October 4th, on a new voyage over the cyber-sea with the launch of a completely redesigned website. The museum initially plotted a course on the World Wide Web in 1996 with a modest one-page site. While some revisions and links were added over the years to the original site, visitors will now find an exciting new look, interactive components and a wealth of new information at the new site, which uses a variety of intriguing images to enable the visitor to get a better sense of the museum's collection. The new site also helps the museum work toward the goal of making Nova Scotia's marine heritage accessible to the world. The site is easier to navigate with more links to special information, such as renting space at the museum, answers to some of the most commonly asked marine history questions including references to Titanic, and the latest books, prints, music and unusual gift ideas available in the museum shop. A public computer terminal will be established at the museum's information desk later in the week to allow visitors to surf the new pages. Another exciting addition to the site is an interactive signal flag game where visitors can learn to code and decode ships' messages. As well, the museum's website will offer a complete list of events, including new exhibits and workshops, programs and contacts. The site launched today is Phase 1 in a two-part process. Phase 2 will comprise further additions and enhancements to the site, with a completion date of March 2000.
Source: Government Media Release 19991004006, October 4, 1999

Also see: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's website at

1999 October 5

VIA Rail Runs First Test Train
to Cape Breton

During October 1999, VIA Rail operated a test train between Halifax and Sydney. Between Halifax and Truro, the train operated over the Canadian National Railway track, and between Truro and Sydney over track owned and maintained by the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway. The plan is to operate a weekly passenger train known as The Bras d'Or between May and October 2000, leaving Halifax at 8:00am, arriving Sydney at 6:00pm and departing for Halifax at 8:00am the next day. Three long-haul coach cars and a panoramic dome and lounge car will make the 294 km trip from Halifax in ten hours, including a stop at Port Hawkesbury, (but the Hawkesbury stop will not be for passengers to begin or end their journey). The train will have a capacity of 186 passengers and cost $210 for an all inclusive package designed by travel industry wholesalers. Duchesne said the dry runs are to test things like the track condition, travel time and food service quality. The first test run eastbound departed from the Halifax railway station at 8:02am on October 5th. The locomotive was F40PH-2 6430, with coach 8102, Skyline 8506, and Dome-Observation-Sleeper car "Evangeline Park". Regrettably, the train's return journey the next day was significantly delayed when a truck with an excess-height load of construction equipment dislodged a bridge near Havre Boucher. A second test run operated eastbound October 13th, returning the next day.
Cape Breton Post, 1 October 1999, and
Page 25, Branchline, November 1999. Branchline is a monthly newsmagazine published by the Bytown Railway Society, Ottawa, Ontario.

The plan to operate a weekly passenger train for tourism is being welcomed by locals who've been lobbying for restoration of regular passenger service since it was cut by VIA a decade ago. "I'm sure it will be a success," said Charlie Palmer, a member of the board of the Silver Dart Railway Society, a group that's developed a plan to run a regular service using older rolling stock refurbished by local tradesmen. Dave King, a retired Marine Atlantic employee who has collected thousands of names on a petition for restoration of the passenger service, agrees. "I'm just hoping this will open up a chance to get the service back," he told the Cape Breton Post. VIA public affairs adviser Malcolm Andrews said the company has no plans for anything beyond the tourism-related initiative, undertaken in conjunction with the provincial marketing agency, Tourism Cape Breton and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.
[Cape Breton Post, 20 May 1999]

1999 October 6

Gasoline Boycott

A 9.4 cm × 8.0 cm display advertisement, headed by the official seal of the Town of Yarmouth, appeared in the Yarmouth Vanguard on 21 September 1999. It read:
The Council of the Town of
Yarmouth encourages all citizens
to boycott all gasoline stations in
the Town of Yarmouth on
Wednesday, October 6th, 1999,
and to avoid the use of gas-
powered vehicles on that day.
Yarmouth Town Council

Two weeks earlier The Vanguard reported that "Yarmouth Town Council is calling upon the citizens of Yarmouth to park their cars in protest" over high gasoline prices and hopes other municipal units across Nova Scotia will join the boycott as well. The Council passed a motion at a recent meeting to "initiate, support, and encourage a boycott" of gasoline stations for one day, Wednesday, October 6th, to send the petroleum industry a message. "Councillor Martin Pink is incensed at the way gas prices in this province have been jumping around this summer and at a recent council meeting he proposed the boycott as a way of demonstrating the strength of public dissatisfaction over gas prices that shoot up and down like a yo-yo." For instance, in preparation for a recent trip, filling the tank in Yarmouth cost 63.9¢ per litre for regular gasoline. In Halifax, the price was 71.9¢ per litre. Back in the Annapolis Valley the same day, the price was 59.9¢ per litre. As part of the Council's motion, Mayor Charles Crosby has written to the other municipal councils across Nova Scotia inviting them to join with Yarmouth in this call for a one-day boycott. In his letter the mayor writes: "We ... encourage you to advertise a boycott of gas purchases and consumption and not to purchase gasoline or use gas-powered vehicles on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 1999."

[Yarmouth Vanguard, 7 & 21 September 1999]

Councillor Opposes Gasoline Boycott

The councillor who represents the Whycocomagh area on the Inverness Municipal Council is concerned what calls for provincial gasoline price regulation could mean for his community. Whycocomagh regularly enjoys gasoline prices lower than other communities in Nova Scotia.

With gasoline prices soaring throughout the province, several municipalities have joined the call for regulation of gasoline prices in Nova Scotia. But Duart MacAulay is concerned that if maximum prices are officially established for gasoline, in practice these will also become minimum prices. "I know in doing that they would control the high end, but do they control the low point too?" MacAulay asked. He noted the gasoline market in the Whycocomagh area is very competitive, and local residents and visitors enjoy relatively low prices. "We tend to like it that way," MacAulay said. As an example, he suggested the province might choose to regulate gasoline prices at 60¢ per litre. "That's cheaper than the rest of the province, but it's now selling for 57.9¢ in Whycocomagh," he said.

Councillor Gloria LeBlanc noted that that advantage is not enjoyed in other areas of the county. In areas where there is only one gas station, consumers are at the mercy of the gasoline retailers, she said. MacAulay agreed, saying that if he represented one of these areas he likely would support price regulation. "If I was living in Belle Cote," he might support regulation, "but I'm not."

Inverness Municipal Council considered a call from Yarmouth Town Council to boycott all gasoline retailers for one day. LeBlanc suggested council should postpone deciding whether to support a boycott until the issue can be discussed at a meeting of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. MacAulay said he cannot support a boycott of any business in the county. "I don't think we have the authority to boycott a business paying taxes," he said.

[Cape Breton Post, 20 September 1999]

Lunenburg Won't Support Gasoline Boycott

Lunenburg town councillors will not support a proposed boycott designed to bring attention to the problem of rising gasoline costs in the province. However, councillors say they will add their voice to those calling for more regulations on gas pricing. The rejected plan, put forward by the Town of Yarmouth, asked municipalities to boycott all gas stations as well as the use of gas-powered vehicles October 6th. "I'm not sure that gas stations are the source of the problem," said Mayor Laurence Mawhinney.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 6 October 1999]

1999 October 6

Nova Scotia's Natural Heritage
Website Launched

Discovering Nova Scotia's Natural Heritage The Maritimes are rich in flora, fauna and culture found nowhere else in the world. We invite you to explore this site and to discover Nova Scotia's natural heritage for yourself, courtesy of shunpiking Magazine and the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History....

This website was launched at a ceremony in Halifax on 6 October 1999. Senator Willie Moore was there, representing the federal Department of Industry. The provincial Department of Education was represented by Michael Jeffery, Director of Learning Resources and Technology. Both departments supported the development of this website.
[Halifax Daily News, 7 October 1999]

1999 October 6

Digital Radio Arrives in Canada

First digital radio receivers reach stores

On this day, the first commercially available digital radio receiver was unveiled at a gala ceremony in Toronto. The digital tuner, model GEX-P900DAB manufactured by Pioneer Electronics, carries an initial shelf price of $999, although, as with other high-tech audio-video toys of the past, it will likely drop fairly quickly. The sets are only available in the Toronto area for now, but are expected to go on sale later this month in Vancouver and Montreal, the two other markets where AM and FM broadcasters are already simulcasting a digital signal. DAB signals are transmitted over the so-called L Band (1452 to 1492 MHz), which is divided into pods that can carry five stations each, using audio compression. "Today, the future of radio is clear," declared Duff Roman, a former radio disc jockey and now president of Digital Radio Rollout, Inc., an industry task force charged with ensuring the smooth implementation of the new technology. "My two-year-old daughter is never going to know any other kind of radio. This is it." Digital radio promises a signal free of interference and distortion, and capable of delivering sound quality over the air that matches that of compact discs.

While guests downed wine and hors d'oeuvres, the atrium of the CBC Centre, scene of the launch, was filled with the booming chords of a new track by the Philosopher Kings, originating from CHUM Radio, one of 19 Toronto stations transmitting digital signals from the nearby CN Tower. Roman noted that Canadians are the first in the hemisphere to experience digital radio. U.S. broadcasters are ahead of Canada in the conversion to digital TV, but behind in radio. The Americans have opted for a different technology while Canada sided with Europe and most of the rest of the world. Roman played down any concerns about incompatibility at the Canada-U.S. border.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) granted licences to nineteen Toronto stations in May 1998, and twelve Vancouver stations and nine Montreal stations by the fall of 1998. Since 1994, a fluctuating consortium of public and private broadcasters in Toronto has been running test signals from the CN Tower, and officially began broadcasting in digital on 3 December 1998.

Digital signals will eventually replace AM and FM, although, unlike the conversion from analog TV, there is no specific target date for shutting down the old transmitters. Meanwhile, Michael McCabe, president of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, says the industry doesn't know yet when stations will be able to turn an actual profit on their new digital licences. He concedes it will be a loss leader at first, but that the initial financial outlay is relatively low compared to TV. A digital transmitter costs only about $40,000 and a considerable saving will be achieved eventually by the lower power required — about 800 watts, compared to the thousands for AM or FM signals.

Each broadcast station is allocated about 300 kilobits of radio frequency spectrum for off-air DAB. Stations will use between 190-230 kilobits for high quality audio signals. Approximately 20-30 kilobits of spectrum remain for other uses. This is the 'Program Associated Data' or PAD information, which in the first generation of receivers provides a 16×2 character text read-out line, which can identify the station, the current song title, artist, recording label, etc. In subsequent generations of DAB, this PAD information can be received on small full-colour monitors. Listeners could surf Websites, send and receive e-mail, log into the Global Positioning System, track traffic problems, find out events and activities in their city or neighbourhood, and even order tickets and coupons. And while stations will be simulcasting their current AM and FM signals on the DAB frequencies, the licenses granted by the CRTC also approved 14 hours per week per station of 'other, non-simulcast programming'. These experimental hours are where the definitions of radio will undergo stretch-and-squeeze, and where station creative staff get to play. A station might use its 14 experimental hours to program several channels of related, commercial-free music; for example, a country station might program separate radio channels for these hours featuring a single country music singer. Another station might offer a live pay-audio concert. An adult contemporary station might subdivide its time into contemporary classical, jazz, blues and soft rock offerings. Combine this kind of experimental audio programming with radio-related visuals on a full-colour screen and you'll understand why CHUM's VP Duff Roman no longer has 'a concept of a shape for radio anymore.'

Halifax Sunday Herald, 10 October 1999
DAB: Selling the Future, Broadcast Dialogue, October, 1999
Digital Radio Boots Up, ROB Magazine, March 1999

1999 October 6

EastLink Reinstates PBS-D on Its Halifax Cable System

Dan McKeen, Director of Marketing & New Business Development for EastLink, announced today that EastLink Cable Systems will reinstate PBS-Detroit on its Halifax lineup. "We recently discontinued PBS-Detroit to accommodate the addition of the five new services mandated by the CRTC", said Mr. McKeen. EastLink recently added Canadian Learning Television, Star, the Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network, Treehouse, and Report on Business Television to their Halifax lineup. "To make room on our Halifax lineup for the addition of these services, we made the decision to drop one of our two PBS channels. Much of the programming carried on PBS-Detroit is also carried on PBS-Boston, so we chose to discontinue PBS-Detroit. Some of our subscribers let us know that they wanted both. The message was clear; our subscribers wanted PBS-Detroit back. We are a customer-focussed service provider, so it was incumbent on us to find a way to offer both PBS services." To accommodate the reinstatement of PBS-Detroit, EastLink will be make the following changes to their Halifax lineup effective Oct. 6, 1999: With these changes, PBS-Detroit moves back to EastLink's Quality-Pak, channels 33-40.
Source: http://www.eastlink.ca/press04.html

EastLink website at http://www.eastlink.ca/
WTVS Detroit Public Television website at http://www.wtvs.org/

1999 October 6

Province Prepared for Y2K: Purves

Crucial services provided by the Nova Scotia government are essentially ready for Y2K, says Jane Purves, Minister Responsible for the Technology and Science Secretariat. "Teams from across government have been working for some time and reports on work completed so far leave us confident vital services will continue to operate in the new year," Purves said. In 1998, a Year 2000 Project Office was established within the Technology and Science Secretariat to support the efforts of departments and to monitor overall progress. The Nova Scotia government identified 99 high-priority services. Departments have reported that 71 are now Y2K ready, and another 25 will be ready this month. In the case of the remaining three, experts have been retained and work is under way. Details are posted on the Nova Scotia government year 2000 website at http://www.gov.ns.ca/y2k/. This site is revised monthly and anyone interested can obtain updates. People in Nova Scotia who do not use the Internet can get the information by calling 1-800-363-8989.
[Cape Breton Post, 8 October 1999]
[Also: http://www.gov.ns.ca/news/details.asp?id=19991006005 ]

1999 October 7

Pipeline Lateral to Tufts Cove Approved

Environment Minister Ron Russell granted provincial approval today to Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline to construct and operate a natural gas pipeline lateral from the main pipeline near Rocklin, Pictou County, to Tufts Cove in Halifax Regional Municipality. The Halifax Lateral will consist of approximately 124 kilometres 77 miles of 324 millimetres 12 inch outside diameter pipeline from a point near Stellarton, Nova Scotia on the M&NP mainline to the delivery point at the Tufts Cove generating station in the Halifax Regional Municipality. It includes associated metering, control and pressure regulation facilities. The estimated cost of the project is $77,800,000 and the planned in-service date is 1 November 2000. The only customer now committed to buy natural gas from this lateral is the Tufts Cove generating plant owned and operated by Nova Scotia Power Inc. This lateral will feed into Sempra's gas distribution system in Halifax and Dartmouth beginning in 2000 or 2001, and later through the Annapolis Valley and along the South Shore.

A joint federal-provincial review of the Halifax Lateral Pipeline Project was conducted earlier this year. As part of the process, National Energy Board hearings were held in May, and a comprehensive study report was released for public consultation in September. "Our department participated in recent hearings on the pipeline lateral, and we've reviewed the public input," said Mr. Russell. "I am satisfied that the conditions set out in the approval will address any concerns the public may have. I myself am satisfied that all the necessary steps are in place to ensure environmental protection."

The approval comes with some 28 conditions attached, ranging from requirements for wetland protection to providing the necessary plans to ensure the protection of water supply, archaeological sites, watercourses and unique species of flora and fauna. As part of an environmental protection plan, the company must provide and update a number of items, including comprehensive and site-specific erosion and sedimentation control plans, details of construction methods, schedules and timing of in-stream work. Prior to construction activity, the company is required to obtain additional approvals under the Nova Scotia Activities Designation Regulations. The approval also requires that public consultation be carried out prior to construction so that the public, stakeholders, interest groups, First Nations, landowners and government regulatory agencies are fully apprised of construction and operation-related activities. The joint federal-provincial environment assessment process was established through an agreement between the Nova Scotia minister of the environment and the National Energy Board. The procedures are described by the federal Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the National Energy Board Act. The chair of the National Energy Board and the Nova Scotia Minister of the Environment each have decision-making powers with respect to the project.

A lateral pipeline, made of high-strength, coated steel pipe, is used to move large quantities of natural gas from the main transmission pipeline to local distribution companies and/or large industrial and commercial customers. Local distribution companies transport natural gas to residential, industrial and commercial users through much smaller, lower pressure pipelines. Natural gas flowing from higher to lower pressure is the basic principle of any natural gas delivery system. The gas pressure in both mainline and lateral transmission pipelines typically ranges from 1440 to 500 pounds per square inch 9800 to 3400 kPa. Once in service, the pipeline will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Government Media Release, October 7, 1999

National Energy Board approves the Halifax Lateral Pipeline Project

Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline Management Limited


Sempra Atlantic Gas Incorporated


Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate


The Nova Scotia Pipeline Act

1999 October 12

New Website for Cape Breton Regional Library

The Cape Breton Regional Library launched its new website on this day.
Cape Breton Regional Library website at

Library computers for public use

Computers are available at all thirteen branches of the Cape Breton Regional Library for public access to the internet and to word processing software. You will need to have a current Cape Breton Regional Library borrower's card. After registration for computer use, the card will be stamped authorizing computer use. We will hold your library card while you use the computer. Computers are available for use during regular library hours. Occasionally, a technical problem may occur. If this happens, bookings may be cancelled without notice. When reserving and using library computers: [Source: http://www.cbrl.ns.ca/Shared/computer.htm ]

1999 October 13

Costly Crosswalk Crackdown

Digby RCMP say they are going to crack down on drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in town crosswalks. Corp. Gordon Haye said the RCMP will be issuing tickets to people who do not comply. Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is one of the most common driver faults, he said, and drivers risk a fine of $165.00. There are other driving infractions that can be expensive. Driving on the sidewalk will result in a fine of $165.00, coasting in neutral gear will attract a fine of $78.75, and driving over a fire hose is also a $78.75 offence.

Jaywalking Ticket is $67.25

There are laws which apply to pedestrians. Pedestrians who cross the street outside of crosswalks, or walk out in traffic, can be fined $67.25. Hitchhiking while in a roadway can bring a fine of $67.25. Failure to walk on the left side of the highway, so you are facing traffic, is subject to a fine of $67.25.

Fine of $67.25 for Unbitted Horse

People who use more traditional forms of transportation are not exempt from tickets for unlawful behaviour, Haye said. Leaving a horse unattended can cost you $67.25. Riding an unbitted horse also can result in a $67.25 ticket.

[Digby Courier, 13 October 1999]

1999 October 13

Southwestern Schools Will Have Longer Break
in Case of Y2K Glitches

The Southwest Regional School Board has decided that students will get an extra long break at Christmas as a result of the Y2K computer problem, but the Board says no major problems are expected. Students will be home a few extra days to allow time for school board staff to ensure the glitches are out of the system and that everything's running smoothly, but no problems are expected. This applies to all of the Board's 67 schools which now have an enrollment of 18,629 students, in Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens and Lunenburg Counties. The Christmas break this year will begin Thursday December 23rd, and the teachers and students are scheduled to be back on Monday January 10th. Communications officer for the Southwest Regional School Board, Barbara Johnson, says the Board is following a recommendation made by the provincial Department of Education. The Department suggested that school boards try to leave some extra time in the new year to make sure pumps, furnaces and other operations are running normally. The Board is pretty comfortable with the issue and they've been investigating things such as alarms, furnaces and pumps and don't expect there to be problems.

"That week is kind of giving us a window in case something unexpected happens," Ms. Johnson says. It also gives them the chance to test run buses and other operations such as payroll, and it ensures students won't be in the schools in case of power interruptions. As for the actual computers, the staff isn't too concerned about problems. "Luckily enough we don't have major software packages. A lot of ours is just purchased off the shelf and also, of course, our schools are not networked and that sort of thing so it's not a huge concern for us," she says. The board and schools should have certificates to verify Y2K compatibility, but Ms. Johnson says the schools should be safe. In most cases the computers are used as data processing, and some are pretty old, so if they do go down it's not a huge issue. The newer units they've gotten, through technology recycling, are fairly good Ms Johnson says, and they're relatively new so they should be compliant. "From what I'm told the possibilities that stand-alone computers, even if they are older, they'll probably be okay. There's more of a concern over older computers that are networked."

[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 13 & 20 October 1999,
and http://www.ednet.ns.ca/educ/boards/southwest/facts.html ]

1999 October 16 to 20

Ferries Working to Reduce Backlog

Marine Atlantic ferries Smallwood and Atlantic Freighter were on a load and go basis Monday, October 18th, as they tried to eliminate a backlog of freight traffic which resulted from the high winds late last week. Gulf service manager Peter MacInnis said Smallwood was scheduled to leave Port aux Basques at 11:30am Monday but because of the delays left from the opposite port in North Sydney at 10:00am. "Even when there are delays traffic still comes in so it does take time to catch up. It is a fact of life that we have adverse weather conditions this time of year and we do the best we can to clear the backlogs." Caribou is presently in dry dock in Halifax and is expected back in service the end of the month. On Saturday night, October 16th, every available nook and cranny in the North Sydney parking lot was filled as the ferry management tried to find space for 140 drop trailers, 100 tractor trailers, approximately 148 cars, and 60 drop trailers that were coming off the ferry from Port aux Basques. By Wednesday afternoon the Marine Atlantic officials could look outside the terminal offices at a parking lot empty of live traffic.

Over the last few days, back-to-back storms meant that for the second time in three days crossings were delayed more than 12 hours. "It has been a rough couple of days but we did finally clear the backlog and moved all the live traffic with the afternoon sailing of Smallwood Wednesday," said North Sydney terminal manager Len Rhyno. He said both Smallwood and Atlantic Freighter, when they could sail, were on a load and go basis since Friday, October 15th. "Just when it looked like we were going to get the traffic cleared up we got hit with another storm on Sunday. With commercial traffic continuing to come in we were farther in the hole and couldn't get caught up." he said. Atlantic Freighter was back on schedule Wednesday and Rhyno expects Smallwood will be back on her regular schedule by Sunday.

MacInnis said the two super ferries will be back in service by 21 November. The Christmas schedule which will see the ferries depart at 11:30am. and 11:30pm. from both North Sydney and Port aux Basques comes into effect 15 December.

[Cape Breton Post, 19 & 21 October 1999]

1999 October 18

Lingan Generating Station
Marks 20 Years of Operation

The coal-fired Lingan Generating Station on Lingan Bay, near New Waterford, began operation on 1 November 1979. Just before a special ceremony on Monday, October 18th, 1999, to mark the 20th anniversary of the facility, plant manager Red Conrad and the plant's original manager, Brian Beckwith, spoke with the Cape Breton Post about what the Lingan Generating Station has meant to Cape Breton. "This plant has always been the flagship for generation in Nova Scotia Power," says Conrad. It now supplies 44 percent of Nova Scotia's electrical energy. "In 1997, the Lingan Generating Station produced a record 4,455,000 megawatt-hours of electrical energy and we expect to set a new record in the year 2000."
[Cape Breton Post, 19 October 1999]

1999 October 20

Chester Millennium Photos

Chester Municipal Council has ordered 100 aerial photographs of the Municipality of Chester to establish a permanent record of the municipality at the beginning of the new millennium. Photographer Len Wagg is providing the service for only $750. Mr. Wagg is a pilot and has been contracted by other Nova Scotia municipalities. He presented a slide show of his works, most of which came from the Parrsboro area. Council also wants the photographs placed on CD-ROM at an estimated cost of $150. The photographs can also be used for tourism posters and pamphlets and for electrical grid, roads and planning purposes. Not-for-profit and charitable organizations as well as homeowners may be interested in purchasing the photographs. Mr. Wagg said he only wants royalties if a particular photograph is used for commercial purposes. A charitable organization raising funds with a photograph or photographs would not be considered a commercial purpose, he said. The municipality will own the rights to the photographs. As for the low cost, Mr. Wagg said he simply wants to establish a record of the province at the turn of the century. He said he wasn't able to find many good photographs at the turn of this century other than numerous photographs of people standing beside their house or farm animal. "It's not a big moneymaking venture. I just want to do this."
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 20 October 1999]

Chester Municipal Council
October 14, 1999

        Present at the meeting at this time was Len Wagg, a photographer who had approached Council on photographing the Municipality from the air to have a document at the turn of the century. Mr. Wagg indicated to members of Council that he was combining his photographic and flying skills in order to produce such a document and explained by way of slide presentation some of the work which he had already completed on behalf of other Municipalities. He indicated the Municipality would own same when completed and any commercial sales he would expect to receive royalties but individually, other than that, it would be up to the Municipality for what purpose they would wish to use the pictures. It could be accommodated on CD ROM for an additional $150.00.
        Councillor Smith inquired whether non-profit organizations wishing to do a calendar would be able to use same for those purposes and he indicated in the affirmative providing that he would receive a credit. A copyright from him on the back would be sufficient. It was further agreed that we would need to have a letter of undertaking with regard to all of the promises agreed to for the use of the pictures. For $750.00 the Municipality would receive 100 pictures. There would be ten 8×10s [8×10 inches 20×25cm] and one 16x20 [16×20 inches 40×50cm] and it would require that persons would indicate to Mr. Wagg, on a map, what areas they would require photographed and for an additional $150.00 it could be available on CD. When asked how long this could take he indicated a couple of weeks now or we could do shots in the spring. Areas of interest appeared to be the road grid, the water resource and the tourist areas. It was thought to be best when the leaves were just going or coming.
        99-629 After discussion, it was MOVED by Councillor Smith, SECONDED by Deputy Warden Publicover the Municipality of the District of Chester enter into an agreement with Mr. Len Wagg to provide aerial photography of the Municipality at a cost of $750.00 for 100 pictures (ten 8x10s and one 16x20 to be included) and for an additional $150.00 scan all pictures on Compact Disc.
        Mr. Wagg requested that a map be provided to him and the areas requested be indicated on same. He also suggested that someone familiar with the area would accompany him for the shoot.
Source: Chester Municipal Council minutes, October 14, 1999

Chester Municipal Council
October 25, 1999

        Councillors asked Mr. Graham how the filming went on Sunday with regard to Mr. Wagg doing the shots for the Municipality at the turn of the century. Mr. Graham indicated 400 pictures were taken in a two hour period and there would be a one to two week waiting period for the negatives to come back and we would choose which photographs we would prefer at that time.
Source: Chester Municipal Council minutes, October 25, 1999

1999 October 20

Mahone Bay Buys Generator For Y2K

Mahone Bay Town Councillors have approved the purchase of a 5,000 watt generator to be used during emergencies. The generator, expected to cost about $4,000, was recommended as part of the emergency preparedness plan now being developed by the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO). While there has been a lot of concern expressed about Y2K, Councillor Don Mader, who is part of those discussions, said that is only one of many potential emergencies that are being addressed. "It would be the long-term EMO generator," said Town Clerk Kyle Hiltz. "I think we have to recommend it." While some councillors questioned whether a 5,000 watt generator could adequately meet the needs of the town, Mr. Hiltz said it would provide temporary heating or lighting in an emergency such as an ice storm while the town prepared to evacuate. However, he assured councillors he was aware of those concerns. The town already has a 1,200 watt generator that would be used at the water treatment plant to prevent contamination of the water supply.
[The Bridgewater Bulletin, 20 October 1999]

1999 October 21

Enfield Railway Crossing Improvements

Transport Minister David Collenette announced October 21, 1999 that the federal government will provide $2,123,200 to improve safety at 18 railway crossings across Canada, including one crossing in Nova Scotia: Highway 2 at Enfield has been allocated $86,000.
Source: Canada Calling, November 1999

1999 October 27

Silicon Island Digital Animation Company Hiring

Two hundred Cape Bretoners turned out on this day to apply for thirty jobs at a new digital animation company being established in Sydney. Helix Digital Inc., located at Silicon Island, is described in a company handout as a digital ink, paint and composing facility capable of handling half hour series work as well as commercials, specials and feature work. The information sheet says the Sydney firm and Halifax-based Helix Animation Inc. were formed from the merger of four Canadian production companies under the name Double Helix Studios. Richard Lorway, of Helix Digital Inc., told the Cape Breton Post the company was established with a mix of private and public funding but said under the terms of the funding agreement any announcement of the amounts involved will have to come from the contributing government bodies. Eileen Lannon Oldford, executive-director of the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority (CBCEDA), said her agency played a role as co-ordinator of the area's industry recruitment team.
[Cape Breton Post, 28 October 1999]

1999 October 27

Queens County Planning Website Expansion

Queens Region is expanding its website. Tourism and development director Sara Napier said the $3,525 expansion will consist of detailed community and business information in addition to the tourism site. The website will focus on what Queens County has to offer visitors and people who may be relocating to the area, such as employment opportunities, real estate and contacts. The redesigned website will also include information about the Region of Queens. Napier said the website now receives about 8,000 hits a month. However, with the increased information available, she hopes the traffic to the site will increase dramatically. "The use of the Internet is expanding by leaps and bounds and we want to be a part of that," Napier said. The redesigned website will also give staff the ability to update information on upcoming festivals and other events, the business directory, and information on community groups and recreational facilities. In its 1999/2000 budget, Council had already allocated $1,800 to the website. The additional $1,725 will come from unbudgeted revenue for equipment and travel. W3 Internet Services Ltd. of Halifax, Zurich, and Geneva, has been commissioned to do the work.
Liverpool Advance, 27 October 1999
and http://www.tourism.queens.ns.ca/main.html
and http://www.w3internet.com/v3.html

1999 October 28

Mulgrave Y2K Ready

The Town of Mulgrave is ready for Y2K, chief administrative officer Sam Murray reported to the Town Council recently. Now it's time to bring residents up to speed. "Essentially what we're working on right now is a Y2K preparedness plan for local residents, just in case of power failure or water failure or whatever the case may be," says Murray, who sits on the Town's Emergency Measures committee. The Town hopes to make sure everyone knows what goods to have on hand and who to contact if problems arise after the rollover to the year 2000, or in any kind of emergency. The Emergency Measures committee will send out information and hold a public information session to present the preparedness plan, due to be completed by the end of November. "We've taken an inventory of everything that could potentially go wrong within the town, and we're satisfied from what we've examined that everything is in proper working order and should be when the year 2000 arrives. I'm confident that everything will be fine," Murray said.
[Guysborough County Journal, 28 October 1999]

1999 October 28-30

Atlantic Digital Media Festival

Delegates from around the globe were in Baddeck to celebrate the Atlantic Digital Media Festival and Awards. This was the third year for the festival, which was held Oct. 28-30 at the Inverary Resort. The keynote speaker at the festival was Douglas Trumbull, a filmmaker who has worked on such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Trumbull is a new media pioneer who was asked by Steven Spielberg to design the Back To the Future Ride at Universal Studios.

The awards competition showcases the best and most creative new media developers. The awards are presented as part of the festival. An international jury will review about 60 entries and in the past winning entries have used the awards to market their products or companies. Bill Faulkner, president of MEDIAfusion, a non-profit new media association, and host of the event, said the three-day affair is "rapidly becoming an international digital media festival." He added that with 300-350 delegates from Germany, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States and every province in Canada, the festival has more than doubled in size since it began in 1997. It was also held once previously in Baddeck. According to Faulkner, Baddeck's history of innovation, most notably with Alexander Graham Bell, provides a perfect setting to celebrate new media in Atlantic Canada while highlighting work done by developers in the area. He said that representatives from the Walt Disney Studio, DreamWorks and other new media producers were there. Several major organizations were partners in this year's festival, including Telefilm Canada, the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and SGI Canada as technology partner. Regional new media developers, film and video producers and key distributors and investors gathered in scenic Baddeck for networking and deal making.

Organizer J.D. MacCulloch promised things would be bigger and better at next year's festival. He said while the annual gathering of new media businesses wouldn't be called the Atlantic Digital Media Festival, the enormous success of the festival had spread worldwide and organizers would begin the new millennium with an international festival. According to MacCulloch, this year the festival attracted 125 entries, the most in its three years, and he said the level of competition has also increased significantly. MediaSpark, a Silicon Island-based information technology business won Best Atlantic Canadian Entry, Best Canadian Entry and Best Education, Information or Training-Disk-Based Show at the event with GoVenture, a CD-ROM that helps teach entrepreneurship by allowing the user to start a business in a virtual environment.

[Cape Breton Post, 7, 21, 29 & 30 Oct., 1 Nov. 1999]

1999 October 31   2:00am ADT or 1:00am AST

Daylight Saving Time Ends

On this day, at 2:00am, the clocks in Nova Scotia were set back one hour, to make the annual adjustment from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time. This change is specified in the Department of Municipal Afairs' Time Definitions Act, which states that, each year in Nova Scotia, clocks are set forward one hour at 2:00am on the first Sunday in April to make the change from AST to ADT, and they are set back one hour at 2:00am on the last Sunday in October to make the change from ADT to AST. This Act provides for these annual changes at a uniform time in each of the municipalities, towns, and cities, so that clocks in neighbouring locations are kept in step. In 1999, the change from ADT to AST occurred on October 31st, the latest possible date. Last year, in 1998, this change happened on October 25th, the earliest possible date for this change.
[Pictou Advocate, 27 October 1999]

No doubt you've heard this one:
Everyone knows that the shortest month of the year is February.
Q: What is the longest month of the year?

Discussion:  With only 28 or 29 days, February is unquestionably
the shortest month, but the longest possible month has 31 days.
There are seven months each with 31 days, and they are all
equally long.  There is no single longest month.

A: The longest month is October.  The months of January,
March, etc. each have 31 days, and are 744 hours in duration.
However, October gets one additional hour because of the annual
clock setback from Daylight Saving to Standard Time.

October is 745 hours long, and thus is the longest month of the year.

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