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

Chapter 49
1999 December 16-31

1999 December 17

Kings County EMO Ready for Y2K Bug

The dreaded Y2K bug may be the "biggest and most expensive non-event ever," says Kings County's emergency measures manager. "There might be some minor glitches, but no more than that," Mike Ennis said in a report to the Kings Municipal Council. Mr. Ennis, a former RCMP staff sergeant, said RCMP detachments in New Minas, Berwick, and Kingston are year-2000 compliant. In the event of an emergency, they have electric generators and contingency plans for a command centre. An inventory of all the county's fire, ambulance, and hospital services has been completed, Mr. Ennis said. "Emergency measures organizations in Kentville, Berwick, and Wolfville have confirmed they are Y2K-ready." Mr. Ennis said local amateur radio clubs have volunteered to help emergency providers in the event of a major power failure. Richard Harvey, Kings County's Y2K committee chairman, said developing protocols and reviewing computer systems has been a "humungous undertaking by staff."
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 17 December 1999]

1999 December 17

Radio Free Cow Bay
on the Air Over Christmas

CKEP on air around the clock
from Dec. 17, 1999 to Jan. 2, 2000

Easy-listening radio fans are getting a special Christmas treat. Tony Beech and Paul Marr, two DJs popular in the golden days of CFDR, have returned to the airwaves for a few weeks. The veteran announcers are volunteering some shifts through December on K106 FM, working temporarily from two tiny rooms in Eastern Passage. Broadcasting in stereo at 106.9 MHz, the station is exempt from CRTC regulations because it operates as a special-events community service, with only 50 watts of power and no advertising. "Let's bring radio back to the way it was!" says Wayne Harrett, the station's owner and operator. He launched K106 last summer, with a 10-day broadcast around Eastern Passage - Cow Bay Summer Carnival days. It sparked a petition of 1,100 names lobbying the station to get a non-profit community-radio licence and run full time. Harrett and a board of directors under the name Seaside Broadcasting have applied, and hope to get a CRTC hearing by springtime.

After being back on the air the past two weekends, K106 kicks in today, Friday, December 17th, with around-the-clock broadcasts until January 2nd. "People were hesitant at first because they thought it would just be a rinky-dink little station, but they're surprised by the programming and all the announcers," says Harrett, 38. A radio buff since boyhood, when he'd stay up late to scan through the dial, Harrett is thrilled to pursue his dream while helping local charities. "I have always wanted to be a radio broadcaster but I have a minor cleft palate, so this allows me to do some shifts. I have not had one negative comment ... It's all been positive," he says.

K106's basic equipment includes a transmitter, CD player, minidisc player, 12-channel mixer and computer system. Once the CRTC decided the station met the special-events criteria — the Shearwater Air Show and the East Coast Music Awards have had similar exemptions — Industry Canada inspectors tested the set-up and helped with technical queries. The only problem is the station's reach. People have picked it up as far away as the airport and downtown Halifax, but the signal is strongest in Eastern Passage and Cole Harbour.

Halifax Daily News, 16 December 1999
and the K106 FM Netsite
On The Air in Atlantic Canada
    http://members.xoom.com /coast/

CKEP is for Eastern Passage.

Cole Harbour Community Radio Society

CRTC Notice of Public Hearing 1999-14

The CRTC will hold a public hearing commencing on 6 March 2000, at the Hotel Beausejour, 750 Main Street, Moncton, New Brunswick, to consider several matters, including the following:

Application number 199916326 by Cole Harbour Community Radio Society, 160 Salmon River Road, Westphal, Nova Scotia, for a broadcasting licence to carry on an English-language low power FM (type B) community radio programming undertaking at Cole Harbour. The new station would operate on frequency 106.9 MHz (channel 295LP) with an effective radiated power of 50 watts.
Source: CRTC website at

Cole Harbour District High School plans to launch a radio station later in 2000. It filed an application with the CRTC in December 1999. A hearing is tentatively set for March in Moncton. Organizers have started raising the $140,000 needed to set up and operate an FM station in the Halifax Regional School Board's Bell Building. The school board's continuing education department is offering a radio course to help train volunteers for CHCN, the Cole Harbour Community Network.
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 8 January 2000]

Cole Harbour Air

As you may or may not have heard, Cole Harbour High is hoping to start broadcasting a radio station as soon as possible, Yeah! We are currently in the process of fundraising and will be applying to the Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC) for a permit to broadcast. The station, to be broadcast from the Forest Hills Parkway, will reach all of the communities served by Cole Harbour High. On September 11, the students of Applied Broadcast Journalism (ABJ) attended a workshop with Roy Teal, a former executive with MT&T, and Lloyd Smith, the technical director of Atlantic Airwaves Inc. (AAI). Staff and community members were also in attendance. With their help, the ABJ students worked on a proposed vision statement for the radio station: Lloyd Smith outlined the necessary steps for applying to the CRTC for the broadcast license. The group also considered the physical space needs of Cole Harbour Air. Plans call for four 115-square foot rooms: a Talk studio for News and Information hosts and guests, a Production studio, and a combination library and news gathering/writing room. We are looking at a 9 to 11 month period from our license application until we+re ready to hold Grand Opening celebrations. Cole Harbour Air is a Millenium Project of CHDHS, with a planned launch date of January 1, 2000. So everyone hold their breath until our application goes through! Mr. Mike Whitehouse is the Interim Chairperson of the Cole Harbour Air Millenium Project.

Source: Cava Chronicle, October 1998
Cava Chronicle is a newsletter published by students at the Cole Harbour District High School

1999 December 17

Mantua Bridge Reopens

The Mantua bridge in western Hants County reopened to traffic today after repairs by Transportation and Public Works' steel bridge crew. The bridge, which carries the Avondale Road over an arm of the St. Croix River, was taken out of service on December 11th after a connection plate on a vertical hanger snapped. Department engineers believe the connection plate failed under the stress of an overweight vehicle. The bridge crew took advantage of the opportunity to replace all of the hangers to ensure the bridge was fit for traffic up to its 28-tonne load capacity. Repairs cost approximately $5,000. Peter Adams, a senior engineer with Transportation and PublicWorks, said commercial drivers should ensure they don't exceed posted weight limits on bridges. Posted restrictions show the safe maximum load a bridge can carry. "Weight limits are posted for public safety," said Mr. Adams. "A standard two axle truck, loaded with gravel or fuel, weighs about 28 tonnes. Gambling with posted limits can be a dangerous choice for the driver on the bridge and any motorist who might be following." Adams said there is always a safe alternative route for any vehicle to travel.
Government Media Release 19991217006   17 December 1999

1999 December 17

MTT Mobility Expands Digital Cellular Coverage
to Pictou County

MTT Mobility today announced the expansion of its digital cellular service area to Pictou County. Digital customers can now take advantage of the benefits of digital technology from Metro Halifax through to Truro and Pictou County. Digital technology provides ellular phone users with better call privacy, superior voice clarity and longer battery life. In addition to service enhancements, digital cellular service includes free caller ID and provides feature options like InforMe Messaging, which allows customers to receive email, headline news, stock quotes and more directly to their digital cellular phone. "Digital technology is the way of the future," says Roxanne Fairweather, President, MTT Mobility. Last year MTT Mobility's Digital PCS service was launched to provide digital coverage from Metro Halifax to Truro. The current expansion means digital coverage will now be available in a continuous line between Halifax and Pictou County. Service outside the digital coverage area is provided seamlessly to Digital PCS customers through MTT Mobility's extensive analog network. "We are very excited to be introducing digital service to the people in Pictou County," adds Fairweather. MTT is Nova Scotia's largest telecommunications provider. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aliant Inc.
MTT media release distributed by Canada Newswire

Reference: MTT website at http://www.mtt.ca/

1999 December 20

MTT Applies for License to Offer
Interactive Television Services

High-resolution digital television coming to HRM

Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company (MTT) announced today it has filed an application with the CRTC for a license to distribute interactive television services in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The license will allow MTT to offer a new, high-resolution digital television service (DTV) to customers in the metro Halifax area using an upgraded version of the broadband system currently used for MTT's Mpowered service. DTV will provide customers the next generation in interactive television services, including a full programming line-up with digital picture and CD-quality sound, an interactive programming guide, e-mail capability and high-speed Internet access. It is expected to be available for metro Halifax residents in late 2000, with plans to expand to other areas of the HRM in the following year. "MTT has always been a leader in offering Nova Scotians leading edge telecommunications services but delivering DTV puts us firmly into the entertainment industry," said Wendy Paquette, President, MTT. "This is an exciting development for our customers, who will soon have choice in their television service, and for MTT as we diversify into a growth company for the 21st century by meeting the needs of our customers. Eventually, MTT can become the single source for all their electronic communication needs, including telephone, e-mail, Internet and interactive television." MTT (Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company) is Nova Scotia's largest telecommunications provider. MTT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aliant Inc.
MTT media release distributed by Canada Newswire

Reference: MTT website at http://www.mtt.ca/

1999 December 20

Canadian, Burlington Rail
Rivals China, Russia Lines

Railway Track From Halifax to Gulf of Mexico
Under One Owner

A Major Presence in Four of the Largest Ports in the World:
Los Angeles/Long Beach, Seattle/Tacoma, Vancouver and Halifax

Canadian National Railway Co., Canada's largest railroad, and
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the second-largest U.S. rail line,
announced today they plan to combine
under a new holding company located in Montreal

The Canadian National Railway Co. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation are to merge to create North America's largest rail network, linking California to Nova Scotia and New Orleans to Vancouver. The combined railroad, with 50,000 miles of track that stretch from Halifax to the Gulf of Mexico and to the U.S. and Canadian West Coasts, would be by far the largest railroad in North America and would rival the giant rail systems in Russia and China in size.

It would have a major presence in four of the largest ports in the world — Los Angeles/Long Beach, Seattle/Tacoma, Vancouver and Halifax — and would become the largest hauler of grain from the U.S. Midwest and the Canadian plains. The companies have an equity market capitalization of about $19,000,000,000 as of the market close Friday, and combined annual revenues of $12,500,000,000, or about $34,000,000 a day.

The deal is structured to avoid regulatory entanglements in Canada, but must be approved by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. While the companies avoided calling the deal a merger, the two rail lines will be owned by a holding company, and it is clear that they will be controlled from Canada. BNSF Chairman Robert D. Krebs would become non-executive chairman of the holding company, North American Railways, and CN President Paul M. Tellier would become president and chief executive of both North American Railways and CN.

The new 15-member Board of Directors would consist of six current CN board members, six current BNSF board members and three new members, including Laurent Beaudoin, the chairman of Bombardier Inc. of Montreal, one of the world's largest manufacturers of transportation equipment. The Board would have a majority of Canadian residents. Krebs and Tellier said in an interview that there will be a slight lowering of employment, well within the rate of attrition, and no employees will be transferred between the two countries. BNSF would continue to be headquartered in Fort Worth and CN in Montreal, and there would be no centralized dispatching and operations center, although the two companies would coordinate operations. Tellier said everyone is aware of the potential for international misunderstandings, and therefore the two companies would even continue to paint their locomotives in current colors and continue to operate by their current names. "We have to be sensitive to the regional dimension of this," he said.

[Washington Post, 20 December 1999]
[London Times, 21 December 1999]

Merger Scuttled

On 20 July 2000, Canadian National Railway Company and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation announced that their boards of directors have formally decided to cancel the merger plans. The two companies announced their decision publicly about a week after a United States appeals court upheld a 15-month moratorium on railway mergers put in place last March by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, the regulator which must approve railway mergers affecting U.S. railways. Since the proposed merger could not begin the hearings procedure before mid-June 2001, at the earliest, a regulatory decision on the CN - BNSF combination would be unlikely before late 2002, according to executives of the companies. This long delay meant the benefits of the proposed merger would be postponed so long that the companies prefer to scrap the proposal.
[Halifax Daily News, 21 July 2000]

1999 December 20

Hank Snow Dies

Hank Snow, whose gaudy rhinestone suits and million-selling hit song "I'm Movin' On" made him a country music legend for more than forty years, died today. He was 85. Snow died shortly after 12:15am at his Nashville home, said his son, Jimmy Snow. The cause of death was likely heart failure, but an autopsy will be performed, he said. Snow, known as "the singing ranger" because of his flamboyant cowboy attire, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1979.

He was born Clarence Eugene Snow in Brooklyn, near Liverpool, Nova Scotia, on May 9, 1914. Leaving home at age 12, he became a cabin boy on a freighter for four years. As a teen-ager, he used $30 in earnings from a two-week stint unloading salt from a ship to buy his first guitar. His style was heavily influenced by the U.S. country singer Jimmie Rodgers. His self-penned "I'm Movin' On" was on the country music charts for almost a year in 1950, including 21 weeks at No. 1. Other hits, many of which he wrote, included "I Don't Hurt Anymore," "Golden Rocket," "Music Makin' Mama From Memphis," "Rhumba Boogie" and the humorous "I've Been Everywhere," with lyrics that string together a multitude of place names.

His heyday was between 1950 and 1965, but he performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry until the mid-1990s. He recorded more than 40 songs that were in the top 10 of the country music charts and sold an estimated 70,000,000 records. He made several concert tours overseas to perform for American troops, becoming one of country music's top ambassadors.

He was only in his 20s when he became a leading country performer in his native Canada. He was signed to a record contract in 1934, and his 45-year relationship with RCA, from then until 1979, was said to be a record. He continued singing regularly on the Grand Ole Opry into his 80s. In August 1996, when he returned to the Opry stage after a seven-months absence due to ill health, he got a standing ovation. "We have always been one big family here," he told the audience. "Everybody on the Opry came up and said how glad they were to see me back." He said in February 1992 that his career had been full. "I've had about 140 albums released, and I've done everything I wanted to do."

Portland Oregonian, 20 December 1999

London Times, 20 December 1999

Hank Snow Hits

Hank Snow: The Wreck Of The Old 97 2:23

Hank Snow: My Nova Scotian Home 2:31

Hank Snow: I've Been Everywhere 2:43

Hank Snow: Nobody's Child 3:22

Hank Snow: Address Unknown 3:54

Hank Snow & Anita Carter: No Letter Today 2:41

Hank Snow & Anita Carter: I Dreamed of an Old Love Affair 2:51

Hank Snow & Anita Carter: When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again 2:40

Hank Snow & Anita Carter: Down The Trail Of Aching Hearts 2:16

Hank Snow & Anita Carter: Mockin Bird Hill 2:01

Hank Snow: Music Makin' Mama From Memphis 2:30

Hank Snow: When mexican Joe met Jolie Blon 2:20

Hank Snow: The Blind Boys Prayer 4:31

Hank Snow: I Don't Hurt Anymore 3:01

Hank Snow: A Fool Such As I 2:49

Hank Snow: Miller's Cave 2:40

Hank Snow: Hello Love 2:50

Hank Snow: Old Shep 3:35

Hank Snow: Little Buddy 3:20

Hank Snow: The Last Ride 2:37

Hank Snow: Black Diamond 2:54

Hank Snow: Blind Boy's Dog 3:01

Hank Snow: You Pass Me By 2:47

Chet Atkins & Hank Snow: Wheels 2:34

Chet Atkins & Hank Snow: Difficult 2:26

Chet Atkins & Hank Snow: Poison Love 2:59

Chet Atkins & Hank Snow: I Saw The Light 2:09

Chet Atkins & Hank Snow: Under The Double Eagle 2:34

Chet Atkins & Hank Snow: Limbo Rock 2:17

Hank Snow with Chet Atkins: Reminiscing 2:17

Hank Snow talks about Jimmie Rodgers 2:34

Hank Snow: Squid Jiggin Grounds 3:15

Hank Snow: I've Got a Tangled Mind 2:38

Hank Snow: The Soldier's Last Letter 3:08

Hank Snow: Country Music Hall Of Fame 4:43

Reference: Acadia Broadcasting Limited launches Hank FM, christens new North Street location Lighthouse Publishing Company, 3 August 2010

Hank Snow
Hank Snow Country Music Centre

Hank Snow

1999 December 21

Valley Regional Hospital Y2K Ready

The Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville has used the unlikely threat of a computer meltdown as an exercise in emergency preparedness. Clinical site manager Patti Dexter-Peck said recently that contingency planning staff at the Western Regional Health Board decided to look beyond the possibility of a computer chip malfunction. "We took it a step further and looked at all of our emergency planning for whatever might happen," she noted. "It was a good exercise. We looked at things like being on generator power for an extended period of time."

Dexter-Peck, who will be working January 1st, said all systems have been tested in the event of ice storms or other weather phenomenon. The Western Board staff has inspected some 4,000 pieces of equipment. According to Doug Shinyei, the health care system is completely Y2K ready. "This does not mean that our work is finished. Staff will be monitoring systems and supplies just for good measure and planning for the New Year's Eve rollover period." The Board has a toll-free telephone number in place for any residents of the region with questions or comments. The inquiry line is 1-877-864-2704.

Acadia University Making Plans for Y2K

Acadia University in Wolfville has also been taking action to prepare for any eventuality. Spokesperson Tania Williams says students have been encouraged to move anything from their residence rooms that might be affected by an extended power interruption. The residences are closed from December 18 to January 8. Each university department has developed a year 2000 contingency plan and a number of essential personnel will be on campus January 1st.

[Kentville Advertiser, 21 December 1999]

1999 December 22

Marine Atlantic Authorized to Obtain Another Ferry

Transport Minister David Collenette today announced that he has asked Marine Atlantic Inc. to negotiate the procurement of a vessel to address the pressure on the current fleet's capacity. "Marine Atlantic's current capacity is insufficient to deal with the forecast growth in traffic, particularly for the peak season," said Mr. Collenette. "Following its initial search for an available vessel, I have asked Marine Atlantic to proceed with the next step — to procure a vessel within the limits set out in the corporation's 2000-2004 Corporate Plan."

Marine Atlantic Inc. is a federal Crown corporation that operates a ferry service between the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and mainland Canada. This transportation service is legally required under the terms by which Newfoundland joined Canada. It is operated by Marine Atlantic under contract with Transport Canada. In November 1999, Marine Atlantic submitted a report to the government recommending additional capacity on the corporation's ferry service between North Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland. The corporation currently offers passenger services on two superferries, the MV Smallwood and the MV Caribou. It also operates one freight vessel, the MV Atlantic Freighter. Over the past three years, Marine Atlantic has experienced significant growth in traffic levels, with the majority of ferry crossings operating at full capacity. There is concern that the corporation's current fleet is insufficient given the high proportion of "at-capacity sailings" and the lack of a suitable backup vessel. This additional vessel capacity should address the constitutional requirement for traffic offering and provide sufficient cabin space to address the service concerns of users. Minister Collenette has asked Marine Atlantic to report back to Transport Canada on specific procurement options as soon as possible.

The Minister also announced the appointment of Captain Sidney J. Hynes of Mount Pearl, Nfld., as the new Chair of Marine Atlantic Inc., effective 19 December 1999. Captain Hynes graduated from the St. John's Marine Institute's Nautical Science Program in 1981, and received his certification from Transport Canada as a Master Mariner in the same year. He is currently the President and CEO of Canship Ltd., of St. John's, Newfoundland, a position he has held since 1985. Captain Hynes has been very active in Eastern Canada's marine industry, serving on the boards of directors for Penney Ugland Inc. and Marystown Shipyard. "I would also like to thank Moya Cahill for her years of service and dedication, and her continuing involvement with Marine Atlantic," added Mr. Collenette. Ms. Cahill was first appointed as chair of the board of directors of Marine Atlantic in 1996.

Canada Newswire
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 23 December 1999]

Reference: Marine Atlantic Inc.'s website at http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/

1999 December 22

Fluoride Meeting Planned

Citizens of the Town of Bridgewater who are for or against the fluoridation of the town's planned new water system will have a chance to get more information on the subject and state their views at a public meeting scheduled for January 13th. The meeting, to help decide whether fluoride should be added at the new water treatment plant as an agent to prevent tooth decay, will be held at the Wandlyn Inn at 7:00pm. On hand to provide scientific background will be toxicologist Barry Thomas, PhD, a senior scientific advisor to Health Canada, and Dr. Richard Gould, Nova Scotia's Western Regional medical health officer. Town engineer Harland Wyand said Dr. Thomas "is aware of the advantages and disadvantages." The meeting will try to "highlight the issues of both sides," he said. There will be a question and answer period. Mayor Ernie Bolivar said "anyone who feels strongly one way or the other, the Public Service Commission would like to hear from you." The town has made no decision on whether to add fluoride to the water or not, said town manager Ken Smith. "They're studying the issue." A decision is needed for completion of the facility design.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 22 December 1999]

1999 December 23   9:10:43am

Y2K Confidence Builder

The Municipality of the County of Cumberland has an official website at http://www.cumberlandcounty.ns.ca/, with a link "Year 2000 Countdown". At this moment, the Cumberland County Countdown displays the following:

443 days 22 hours 49 minutes 17 seconds
left before Year 2000

This is a remarkably large error. At this moment, the correct count is

8 days 14 hours 49 minutes 17 seconds
left before Year 2000

This is not the best way to build confidence that this municipal organization is on top of the Y2K problem.

1999 December 23

Civil Servants Watching for Millennium Bug

Many Nova Scotian civil servants on millennium bug patrol will have to postpone their New Year's Eve champagne. Transportation and Public Works spokesman Chris Welner said yesterday that department staff will begin combing provincial government buildings looking for Y2K problems even before revellers have finished their last refrain of Auld Lang Syne. "We'll actually be checking those as close to the stroke of midnight as we can on January 1st," Welner said. "We have trade crews who will be checking all the provincial buildings that we have responsibility for to make sure the systems are still working — the ventilation systems, the heating systems."

The Technology and Science Secretariat is co-ordinating a similar effort to have cyber-gurus make certain the government's computer systems are still working after 12:00:01am January 1st. Meanwhile, public works crews will be checking to make sure lighting systems, furnaces, fire alarms, sprinklers and elevators still work. "Y2K has been a very interesting thing for the whole department," Welner said. "We've looked at everything from traffic lights to snowplow systems." In case things go awry, district managers have purchased generators to supplement those the department already owned. "All major, and some minor, bases have been equipped with emergency generators," Welner said. "We have fifteen area offices and dozens of smaller winter operations based around the province, so there are generators at virtually every base. "Those would power things like gasoline pumps, emergency lights, and radios for communications." As well, the department has a number of private tradespeople on call, in case extra help is needed.

But Welner is counting on a smooth transition to the new year. "Hopefully it'll be a slow day at the office," he said.

[Halifax Daily News, 24 December 1999]

1999 December 23

Y2K Generators

"11 in stock"

A 15 × 13 cm display advertisement in the Guysborough County Journal, offers eleven 5000-watt Coleman generators for sale for $979.99 each (plus 15% HST sales tax), at the Canadian Tire store in Antigonish. At the top of the ad is a large "2000" with three December 1999 calendar pages: 29, 30, 31.
[Guysborough County Journal, 23 December 1999]

1999 December 23

Aliant Inc. Responds to BCE Inc. Offer
to Buy Majority of Aliant Common Shares

Aliant Inc. worth $3,174,832,400 on Dec. 31st, 1999

Charlottetown, Halifax, Saint John, St. John's — Dec. 23
The Board of Directors of Aliant Inc. announced today that it will not be making a recommendation to shareholders as to whether to accept or reject BCE Inc.'s offer of $27.50 per share in its bid to increase ownership in Aliant. Stephen Wetmore, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aliant, stated, "Our Company's response to this offer from BCE can be described as neutral. It is important that shareholders make their own decisions on whether to accept or reject this offer after carefully considering the Board's report in its entirety." The Director's Circular will be mailed to Aliant shareholders this evening. On 17 December, Aliant confirmed that BCE Inc. had increased the price offered for Aliant shares to $27.50 per share, in cash, which is an increase of 50¢ per share over the earlier announced offer of $27.00 per share. Scotia Capital's valuation determined the fair market value of Aliant's shares to be between $28.50 and $34.00. The offer is to purchase a minimum of 13,348,462 and a maximum of 15,800,000 common shares of Aliant Inc. The offer expires at close of business on 21 January 2000 unless withdrawn or extended. The offer is subject to the usual conditions, including receipt of all required regulatory approvals, as well as BCE and Bell Canada together achieving an ownership position of not less than 51% of Aliant's common shares. BCE Inc. and its subsidiary Bell Canada Inc. now hold approximately 52,540,265 of the 127,054,282 Common Shares of Aliant, representing approximately 41.4% of the aggregate number of outstanding Common Shares. Aliant Inc. was formed in May 1999 by combining four regional telephone companies: Bruncor (New Brunswick), Island Telecom Inc. (Prince Edward Island), Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company (Nova Scotia), and NewTel Enterprises Limited (Newfoundland).

Aliant shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AIT. On 31 December 1999, Aliant shares closed at $25.00 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ["Closed" means this was the price paid for Aliant shares on the last trade (sale) of the day, and, in this case, the last trade of the year.] There were 126,993,296 Aliant shares issued. At $25.00 each, the market value of the company at the close of trading on 31 December was $3,174,832,400.

Source: Canada NewsWire releases

Reference: Aliant's website at http://www.aliant.ca/

BCE's offer of $27.50 a share to increase its stake in Aliant to 53% from 41.4% is below the range of value for Aliant shares established by Scotia Capital Inc. for a special committee of Aliant's Board of Directors.
[National Post, 8 January 2000]

The Directors of Aliant Inc., as of 22 December 1999, are:
        Held       Name                Position with Aliant 

       1,880   Miller H. Ayre          Director
       3,622   J. Charles Caty         Director
      65,138   Lino J. Celeste         Director and Chairman
       1,667   Robert P. Dexter, Q.C.  Director
      16,092   Ivan E. H. Duvar        Director
       5,726   Albert E. Hickman       Director
      26,331   Edward Reevey           Director
           0   Randall J. Reynolds     Director
         400   Alan K. Scales, Q.C.    Director
           0   C. Wesley M. Scott      Director
      40,507   Donald C. R. Sobey      Director
         542   Stephen G. Wetmore      Director, President & CEO
         783   Charles W. White, Q.C.  Director

The Senior Officers of Aliant Inc., as of 22 December 1999, are:
        Held       Name                Position with Aliant 

      10,681   Colin Latham            Executive Vice President
                                   and President Telecommunications
      25,062   Gerald L. Pond          Executive Vice President
                                   and President Information Technology and Emerging Business
       1,170   Robert H. Benson        Executive Vice President
                                   and Chief Financial Officer
      14,931   William H. Steeves      Vice President, Corporate Services
Source: SEDAR   http://www.sedar.com/
Brief biographies of Aliant's officers are available at

1999 December 24

CRTC Launches New Website

Today, December 24th, 1999, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has launched our redesigned web site at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/. We hope our users will appreciate new hot keys that will take them directly to the information they most often need. Please note that construction will be on-going for the next couple of weeks. We welcome your comments on the new site and any suggestions you have for further improvements.
Source: CRTC website, What's New file at

1999 December 27

Y2K Fear Sparks Firewood Frenzy

Woodcutters enjoy sales boom as people stock backup fuel

The technological trip wire known as the Y2K bug has proven to be a boon to one small segment of the local economy — woodcutters. Fears of the coming computer catastrophe have fuelled a boost in firewood sales, with at least one long-time dealer enjoying a 20% boost in sales, in large measure because of the Y2K scare. "We've been extremely busy," said Richard Meagher, owner of Good Wood Fuel. "We cut about 25 or 30% more wood getting ready for this." M.J. Laing, owner of Home Hardwood, wouldn't discount the Y2K bug as a motivating factor, but she thinks most people burn wood for simpler reasons. "Occasionally, people will joke about it, but I would say, on the whole, not too many people have made note of it when they're ordering, " she said.
[Halifax Daily News, 27 December 1999]

1999 December 27

Cape Breton Regional Police Ready for Y2K

All police leave cancelled
40 extra officers to be on duty

If anyone is contemplating mischievous or criminal activity New Year's Eve, they may want to reconsider. Chief Edgar MacLeod of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service says on top of their regular patrols they will have upwards of 40 additional police officers on duty during the evening. "Fair warning, the regional police will be ready," he said. Police and RCMP both stated that although they don't anticipate anything occurring with the Y2K bug, a contingency plan has been put in place by both forces to ensure if anything does happen, they will be ready. One step taken by both policing agencies was the cancellation of any leave during the period leading up to New Year's and after. MacLeod said the extra officers on duty New Year Eve will include members of the Emergency Response Team and Public Safety Unit (crowd control). "Rather than having them on call and trying to bring them in from scattered all over, they will be working. That gives us a rapid response if the need arises." MacLeod said these officers will not be sitting around waiting, but will be out on patrol. An officer in each division has been assigned to monitor nothing but alarm calls and every manager within the police force will be available, accessible by cell phone.
[Cape Breton Post, 27 December 1999]

1999 December 28

Ferry Traffic Near Capacity

Marine Atlantic officials expect heavy demand for their ferry service to and from Newfoundland to continue until early in the new year. Len Rhyno, terminal manager at Marine Atlantic's North Sydney office, says business has been brisk since December 17th, with capacity bookings of 600-700 passengers and 250 cars traveling to Port aux Basques most nights. Commercial traffic accounted for the balance of space on the evening crossing and was also heavy during the day, he said. "We had big numbers up to December 24th with full vessels and a busy week," Rhyno said. "We handled it. Sure, we had waiting lists, but we got people out either on that trip or the following trip." Frank Doyle, assistant terminal manager in North Sydney, pointed out Port aux Basques now handled the large volume of passengers leaving after the holiday weekend. He said 600 to 900 passengers will be crossing over from Newfoundland each night until New Year's Day. "We have 700 to 800 passengers booked out of Port aux Basques on Monday (December 27th), 600 on Tuesday (28th), and 600 on Wednesday (29th). Then on Saturday (January 1st) it picks up again and we expect anywhere from 600 to 900 passengers coming to North Sydney. From Saturday to Monday it should be busy."
[Cape Breton Post, 28 December 1999]

1999 December 28

eBay Will Shut Down During Rollover

eBay turnover approximates US$8,000,000 an hour

Internet's largest auction website taking no chances

A few days before The Rollover, the eBay website http://www.ebay.com/index.html was displaying this announcement:

"The eBay system will be unavailable from 23:00 PST, Friday, December 31, 1999 to 03:00 PST, Saturday, January 1, 2000. During this downtime, we will perform routine maintenance on the database and make one last Y2K-related check. We have tried to minimize the disruption to your trading activity over New Year's Eve. However, these two maintenance times are important to preparing for the New Millennium. As always, we appreciate your understanding."
Source: http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml

And what is eBay?

eBay is the world's first and biggest person-to-person online trading community, with more than 7,700,000 registered users at this time. Founded in 1995, eBay has developed an efficient trading (auction) site on the Web that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At 3:00am AST on 29 December, eBay had 2,430,479 items for sale in 2,978 categories.

eBay members add nearly 400,000 items to the site daily in more than 2,200 categories, including: automobiles; antiques; books, movies and music; coins and stamps; collectibles; computers; dolls and figures; jewelry and gemstones; photo and electronics; pottery and glass; sports memorabilia and toys. The December 27th issue of Time included an article titled: The eBay Revolution: How the Online Auctioneer Triggered a Revolution of its Own: Auction sites are one of the hottest corners of cyberspace right now. eBay is the dominant player in the online-auction world, with 7,700,000 registered users bidding on some 3,000,000 items, everything from new ovens to used microscopes.

One of the items now listed for sale on eBay, is
Item #225033485
Historic Buildings Western Nova Scotia (Book)
with a reserve (minimum) bid of US$9.00. The current status of the bidding can be seen at http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=225033485.
Bidding ends at 01/02/00 03:31:01 PST.

Another of the items now listed for sale on eBay, is
Item #225205505
Rule and Misrule of the English in America
(a rare book) by Thomas Chandler Haliburton, Windsor, Nova Scotia
First Edition, New York, 1851, 3/4 leather and marbled boards, 379 pp.
with a bid of US$9.95. The current status of the bidding can be seen at http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=225205505.
Bidding ends at 12/30/99 15:35:48 PST.

This item sold for US$9.95; there was only one bid.

1999 December 29

South Shore Regional Hospital Staff
Prepare for Y2K Rollover

Extra security personnel on duty

Administration will join the medical staff at South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater this New Year's Eve. Acting general manager Philip Langford and clinical site manager Bonnie Eagle will be among the administrative staff who will spend the hours leading up to and following the rollover to the year 2000 at a semi-district command centre set up in the hospital. Colleagues at regional hospitals in Kentville and Yarmouth will man similar sites. "Basically, that's to flow information back and forth in case there's a suspected problem," said Mr. Langford. The command centres will allow staff to make a co-ordinated effort to address any potential problems. "So we can be sure that we have everything in a row. To ensure that if something does occur, the proper contingency plans are rolled out."

Staff will also receive reports about any problems experienced in other health care systems around the world as the date changes from 1999 to 2000. They will remain in the hospital from 8:30pm December 31st to 2:30am January 1st. "The fact is we expect the six-hour period will basically be to confirm that nothing happened," said Mr. Langford. "We've done so much testing and replaced so much equipment from a Y2K perspective that if something should occur it's not likely to be internal. Unless there's a glitch nobody's looking for, we're not expecting to really have a particular problem."

While administrative staff monitor the rollover to the year 2000, it will be business as usual in the rest of the hospital. However, there will be an extra nurse on duty in the emergency room and the heads of Family Medicine and the Emergency Department as well as chief of staff Dr. Gregory McNally will also be available. "We're not planning as if any crisis will develop more than any other normal day of the week," said Dr. McNally. However, the hospital has also compiled a list of doctors and other medical staff who are available in the event of a Y2K or any emergency. There will also be extra security personnel on duty New Year's Eve.

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 29 December 1999]

1999 December 29

SWRSB Prepares for Y2K

School bus fuel tanks to be topped up before midnight

All schools closed for several extra days

In south-western Nova Scotia, students won't return to school until January 10th this year, several days later than the usual schedule. The Southwest Regional School Board changed its Christmas break to allow a few extra days to fix any problems associated with the rollover to the Year 2000 without disrupting students and staff. Even though many areas have been investigated and confirmed to be Y2K compliant, the board has developed contingency plans should systems malfunction.

The school board's new payroll system and software are Y2K compliant. Older workstations will be manually reset in the new year. Plans have been under way to ensure maintenance of school records in schools which have non-compliant computer equipment. Board technicians have been visiting schools to assist staff backup data, provide instruction in setting the correct date and installing a software "patch" so the computer can read it, and installing new administrative software and servers in some schools. In transportation, bus garage alarm systems, communications equipment and bus engines are compliant. There will be a test run of all vehicles on January 6th and 7th, and bus drivers have been asked to fill the fuel tanks just before the break in case of fuel deficiencies. All building heating control systems have been checked and all schools in the region are Y2K complaint. Manufacturers have confirmed compliance of all mechanical and security systems and elevators. Internal systems will be tested January 4th, and electricians and plumbers are on standby.

[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 29 December 1999]

1999 December 29, 30, 31

HRM Runs Y2K Ads

A 18 × 12 cm display advertisement, paid by the Halifax Regional Municipality, appeared in the Halifax Daily News, 29 December:

Halifax Regional Municipality
We're ready for Y2K...

Halifax Regional Municipality is Y2K Ready...and we're waiting for the new millennium.

We anticipate that all HRM services will continue to operate on a "business as usual" basis before, during and after January 1st, 2000.

Citizens interested in obtaining current information on Y2K-related issues during the roll-over period are invited to call:

HRM Public Information Line at 490-4000 between 7:00 p.m. December 31, 1999 until 2:00 a.m. January 1, 2000 or:

Visit HRM's website: www.region.halifax.ns.ca

The same ad appeared in all Halifax daily newspapers, the Chronicle-Herald, the Mail-Star, and the Daily News, for three days, 29, 30, and 31 December, 1999

A visit was made to the HRM website http://www.region.halifax.ns.ca/ at 5:00pm 30 December 1999, to see what was there. In the entry page there was a link "Dec. 31 - Jan. 1 updates" which pointed to the Updates Page at http://www.region.halifax.ns.ca/y2k/y2k.txt. This page contained the following:
The Municipality now has plans in place to monitor and test critical 
services during the "roll over".  The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) 
in the Eric Spicer Building (previously the Dartmouth Police Headquarters) 
will be open and used as a centre to coordinate roll over activities.

On December 31st, Y2K Operations Staff will be monitoring the transition 
via satellite, starting in New Zealand and watching the progression 
through North America.  This Will allow us to be prepared to respond if 
difficulties are experienced in other countries.

When the calendar change occurs here, staff from critical services will 
be monitoring their own technology and will be brepared to act on problems 
in the unlikely events that we encounter difficulties.

Y2K Operations Staff at the Eric Spicer Building will be in touch with 
staff from other public service providers so that we will have current 
and accurate information at all times. 


Call our Y2K Support Representatives at 490-4000. They will be available 
during the evening of December 31st to help answer any questions you have.

                         Happy New Year!
        Y2K Updates: December 31, 1999 - January 1, 2000      
Please scroll down to the bottom for the most recent live updates


DATETIME — 30-DEC -1999 3:18 pm
UPDATE — This is a test.
Source: http://www.region.halifax.ns.ca/y2k/y2k.txt

1999 December 30

Lunenburg County Police Forces Ready
for the Stroke of Midnight

No vacations allowed over the New Year

Bridgewater RCMP have installed a generator

Y2K problems or not, the police in Lunenburg County are ready for New Year's Eve. The three RCMP detachments and the two town forces report they have staff in place to work through the turn of the century and contingency plans ready if more help is needed. In the Towns of Bridgewater and Mahone Bay, which operate their own police forces, additional officers will be working on New Year's Eve. "We do not anticipate any problems, however, to ensure that we observe due diligence, we are having half our staff on that night," says Chief Brent Crowhurst. "There will be an extra two patrolmen on, so there will be a total of five persons working through the New Year's Eve into New Year's Day, just in the event there's a problem. "The reason we don't have more than that is we need relief staff. If there were a problem, we have to have people that are fresh and ready to go to work the next day," he added.

This New Year will see major differences in crime protection in Bridgewater. No vacations were allowed within the department over the New Year. "We've got a full crew on and we've got six members on call Friday evening (Dec. 31st), Saturday all day (Jan. 1st), Saturday night, Sunday all day (Jan. 2nd), Sunday night and Monday, besides our regular shifts," says Acting Chief Shirlen Seamone. As shifts change, different officers will rotate to being on call just in case of serious problems. "We just don't have to worry about the town office part here. If something happens that some of the stores go down or telephones or whatever, we've got all our backup power here and at our radio tower so the fire department and ourselves have radio communications," the acting chief says. "We feel that if anything does happen we're going to get a lot of panic calls from residents," he adds. "We've established that we are Y2K compatible, but there's so many spin-offs that we have to look after like the electric. They say they're ready, but if you get some glitch from electric you're going to have a lot of panicked people around," Chief Seamone said.

A similar situation exists with the RCMP across the province. No leave was permitted for the New Year. Local detachments say they'll know where all their officers are at all times in case backup help is needed. The Bridgewater RCMP detachment installed a new generator in case of emergency. A regular shift plus additional officers will be working New Year's Eve. They also have a contingency plan in place for the rest of the weekend. "Y2K is a concern, but overall one concern I have is that there's probably going to be a little more partying than usual. We're just gearing up for that possibility, but we're hoping, too, that most people will behave," says Staff Sgt. Ed Walsh.

As part of the contingency plan, detachments in Lunenburg and Chester will use the Bridgewater cells for prisoners. The Mounties also know where to find such things as available fuel in the event that gas pumps cease functioning. As the smallest force in the county, Lunenburg detachment commander Sgt. Frank Kingston doesn't have extra staff working as the clock strikes midnight. But plans are in place if more help is needed. "We have contingency plans in place in the event of anything unusual," Sgt. Kingston says. "All members of the detachment will be available to report for duty should they be required." In the Municipality of Chester, the usual compliment of officers will be working on New Year's Eve. Chester detachment commander Sgt. Rod Douthwright says everything is in place in case more people have to be called in to work. "It's business as usual. If we have to get in touch with someone who is off, then we get in touch with them," he says. Bridgewater RCMP Staff Sgt. Ed Walsh is one of the many police officers who will be working as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve. Police agencies across the county say they are ready for the turn of the century.

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 29 December 1999]

1999 December 31

Taxi Business Doubles on New Year's Eve

Most taxi customers are unaware that taxi business will more than double on New Year's Eve, according to Tom Hawco, who lately has been doing the dispatching at City Wide Taxi in Sydney. On New Year's Eve, "we will have about fifty cars on the road and they will put in around 2,000 calls during a 12-hour shift that will begin at about 6pm," Hawco said. They don't take reservations late at night because people don't show up when they are supposed to. He also suggests it will be difficult to get a cab after midnight Friday and people should plan ahead. "Try to leave 15 minutes before the dance is over so there is a good chance you will get a cab right away."
[Cape Breton Post, 28 December 1999]

1999 December 31

Reservists on Y2K Standby

Operation ABACUS

Pumps, generators and vehicles ready
at Lunenburg Municipal Industrial Park

New Year's Eve will see about twenty members of the Airfield Engineering Flight Lunenburg County staying close to their telephones. They will be on 48-hours standby notice to go anywhere in Canada should they be needed as a last resort to help civilian agencies deal with any situations that could arise as a result of any Y2K computer problems. The local reservists, who are tradespeople such as plumbers, masons, electricians, heavy equipment operators and water purification technicians, would be part of the Canadian Forces operation ABACUS, which has been planned to minimize the impact of Y2K problems on essential services and public order. Since most towns and municipalities have a fair number of workers, they would try to handle any problems first, said Capt. George Pankiw, flight commander of the military unit based in Oakhill, Lunenburg County. The local reservists would be called in only to respond to situations and emergencies when all other areas have been exhausted, he said. The unit would not, on its own, be able to assist local municipal or provincial agencies without the proper government authority. "Requests would have to go through the provincial government to Ottawa," where the decision would be made on whether to deploy the reservists, he said.

Still, pumps, generators and vehicles at the engineering flight, in the Lunenburg Municipal Industrial Park, have been put into top working order. Members of the unit have been issued kits which include cold weather gear such a Balaclavas, heavy mitts, socks and mukluks. One of those on standby locally, is Cpl. Douglas Nauss, a heavy equipment operator. He recently completed a seven-month heavy equipment course at Gander, Newfoundland. and took further courses at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. He's also been given survival training. "I can't do what I normally do on New Year's Eve," he said in an interview. "I have to stay within an hour's distance of the area. They have to be able to reach us."

[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 29 December 1999]

The largest nationwide domestic operation ever

The Defence Department said its Y2K operation, ABACUS, "was the largest nationwide domestic operation ever prepared by the Department and the Canadian Forces." During the early critical hours of 2000 more than 2,500 personnel were deployed across the country and about 25,000 regular and reserve staff were ready if needed. In addition, more than 4,000 Canadian Forces personnel played a supporting role in international missions, the Department said in a statement on January 6th. The Department said it is phasing out its Year 2000 operations and returning staff to regular duties.
[National Post, 7 January 2000]

1999 December 31

Mahone Bay Officials on Standby

Town officials will be on standby in Mahone Bay this New Year's Eve. Like many municipal units, the town's clerk Kyle Hiltz and other members of the Emergency Measures Organization committee will be available in case of any problems associated with Y2K. "There's eight to ten key people that would be first alerted to any type of situation," said Mr. Hiltz. "We're on standby." The EMO committee, formed as part of the town's emergency preparedness plan, also includes town officials, law enforcement officers and firefighters. "We'll be keeping our eye on various town operations," he said, pointing to the town's electric utility and the water system as examples. "We'll be in contact with one another." Under the plan, Mr. Hiltz is the manager of the emergency operations centre that would be set up at town's fire hall. "My direct role in the event of an ice storm, a flood or Y2K concerns, as part of the emergency preparedness plan would be to provide administrative management to the EOC group," he said. While his standby status means Mr. Hiltz has to stay close to home, he can still enjoy millennium celebrations with friends. His wife, however, a manager at the Izaak Walton Killam-Grace Hospital in Halifax, is on duty.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 29 December 1999]

1999 December 31

Premier and Cabinet Ministers on Y2K Alert

Premier John Hamm and at least four of his senior cabinet ministers will be on standby in Halifax on New Year's Eve, just in case the Y2K bug crashes the party. A quorum of cabinet ministers must be ready as the clock strikes midnight Friday December 31st, in case emergency measures are required, said Jamie Muir, minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization. "There has to be someone to carry on the government," Mr. Muir said. "If, by some long shot, something should happen, then there would be people available to make the necessary decisions." As head of emergency preparedness for Nova Scotia, Mr. Muir has the power to invoke sweeping measures to maintain public safety and security. Joining Mr. Muir and Mr, Hamm for an alcohol-free New Year's are Finance Minister Neil LeBlanc, Jane Purves in her role as minister in charge of Science and Technology, and possibly Ron Russell, the new transportation minister. Mr. Muir said Justice Minister Michael Baker and Lieutenant-Governor James Kinley are also expected to be in Halifax on New Year's Eve.

In an emergency, Mr. Muir and the others will go to the second-floor Emergency Operations Centre at the Dartmouth police station, said Mike Lester, director of the Emergency Measures Organization. The secure communications facility will also have municipal and federal emergency preparedness officials on hand, Mr. Lester said. But Nova Scotia will have an eight-hour head start on any potential problems with the province's telecommunications network. "New Zealand has the exact same telephone system as Nova Scotia," Mr. Muir said. "So we'll have the eight hours (between midnight in New Zealand and midnight in Nova Scotia) to prepare for any problems."

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 30 December 1999]

Mr. Muir was misinformed (or perhaps misquoted) about
the time difference between New Zealand and Nova Scotia.
New Zealand time (GMT + 12h) is sixteen hours ahead
of Nova Scotia time (GMT - 4h).

1999 December 31

Extra Paramedics on Ambulance Duty

Civil disobedience anticipated

There will be some extra paramedics on duty this New Year's Eve on Nova Scotia's South Shore. Emergency Medical Care, the company that provides ambulance service in Nova Scotia, has put extra paramedics and ambulances on duty for the rollover to the year 2000. "Every vehicle that we have is going to be fully stocked," said Marc Tremblay, the paramedic supervisor for this area. "We're staffing up like that all across the province."

That means there will be 22 paramedics on duty between Tantallon and Liverpool and two more on call in case of an emergency. There will be one additional ambulance in both Bridgewater and Chester for what is always a busy night for paramedics. "We are anticipating civil disobedience," said Mr. Tremblay. "Also we would be remiss if we didn't prepare for any Y2K problems as well."

John May will be on duty in Bridgewater. A paramedic for twelve years, he's ready for a busy night. "Of course we don't want it to be busy, but statistically and historically we will have some calls that night," he said. Those calls will range from falls and fights to accidents and cardiac arrests. "We'll be prepared." Mr. May chose to work New Year's Eve, but took Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off so he could spend it with his family. For those in emergency health services, holidays are often working days.

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 29 December 1999]

1999 December 31

CBRM is Y2K Ready

Officials with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality maintain they are ready for Y2K. Representatives from the municipality have met with local agencies and are comfortable that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent service disruptions related to the calendar roll-over. The CBRM along with police and military and emergency measures have have contingency plans in place.
[Cape Breton Post, 31 December 1999]

1999 December 31

Cape Breton Separitism Reawakening

Cape Breton gasoline tax pays entire highway budget
for all Nova Scotia

The province of Cape Breton? It sounds promising to Sydney businessman Scott MacLean and, he believes, a growing number of Cape Bretoners weary of our waning economic conditions and frustrated by the policies of provincial governments in Halifax. "It has resurfaced and it's growing," said MacLean on Thursday, December 30th, the same day on which he aired the idea of making Cape Breton a separate province in a letter to the editor of the Cape Breton Post. "I haven't heard a negative comment yet."

Provincial status for Cape Breton holds all kinds of economic promise to MacLean, who refers just as an example to a study by the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade showing the island pays more in gasoline tax than the budget of the entire Nova Scotia Transportation Department. "If it's not (economically feasible), I'll change my mind. Prove me wrong. That's all I'm asking," he said Thursday. His plans include a meeting in Baddeck in February to discuss the economic feasibility of provincial status for Cape Breton which will include a history lesson on the separation movement and, hopefully, participation by the island's Mi'kmaq community. Baddeck was chosen because its central location would mean travel equally for all participants and because it sends the message separation isn't an urban idea.

The history of Cape Breton's days as a separate colony and its annexation to Nova Scotia will also be on the agenda of a meeting of the Devco pensioners in January, MacLean noted. Following some research and discussion of the economic factors of provincial status for Cape Breton in the days ahead, a plebiscite should be held to take the pulse of the people, he suggested. He hopes the plebiscite would be done in time to set the tone of the municipal elections in October, 2000. "It's a long and involved process but the first point is to get the feel of the people and 2000 is a good year to do that." Newspaper ads about the issue of a separate Cape Breton will also raise the issue in the coming days, he said. MacLean stressed he doesn't want to lead a political movement. "I have no leadership ambitions," he said. "But I'm hearing enough about it to say let's be a catalyst. Let's get it out there."

Historian Robert Morgan, who MacLean hoped to tap for his Baddeck meeting, was doubtful about the possibility of provincial status for Cape Breton, given the necessity of a change to the Canadian constitution. However, Morgan, of the Beaton Institute at the University College of Cape Breton, argued Cape Breton should have greater autonomy within Nova Scotia to make its own economic decisions, He raised as one possibility the notion of one municipal-like government for all of the Cape Breton with more sweeping powers.

The British government suggested a separate arrangement for Cape Breton when it was annexed to Nova Scotia back in 1820 but it was rejected by the lieutenant governor of the day, he noted. Cape Breton has a long history of movements seeking independence from Halifax, said Morgan.

[Cape Breton Post, 31 December 1999]

1999 December 31   8:30pm

Sable Gas Starts Flowing
to Boston

High quality, sweet natural gas

Gas flows could be double the expected rates

One of the most significant events in Nova Scotia's history occurred this evening without being noticed by the media or the public. About 8:30pm on Friday, December 31st, the first natural gas from the Sable Offshore Energy Project flowed through the sales meter at Goldboro, Nova Scotia, into the Nova Scotia: 1999, First Gas 1,051 kilometre Maritimes & Northeast pipeline which takes the gas to customers in the Maritimes and Northeastern United States. Sable gas first flowed at the offshore Thebaud Central Processing platform on 18 December 1999. Once that facility was commissioned (put into regular operation), the gas flowed through the 200-kilometre subsea pipeline to the gas plant at Goldboro, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Within 24 hours of the arrival of Sable gas at Goldboro, the required testing and commissioning work was completed at the Goldboro plant and at 8:30pm gas was released into the pipeline to flow toward the connection with the existing North American pipeline network at Dracut, Massachusetts.

For the first time in over twenty years, a major new natural gas supply basin in North America has been brought to market. Initial production at the plant was about 110,000,000 cubic feet per day. Over the next few weeks, Sable's production rate will ramp up to more than 400,000,000 cubic feet per day as six wells are brought on stream at the Thebaud, Venture and North Triumph fields. Production is expected to increase to more than 500,000,000 cubic feet per day by next winter, when other lateral gas lines in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are completed. In the near future, the Point Tupper Lateral pipeline will be commissioned for delivering gas to three large industrial customers at Tupper: Stora Enso, Canadian Gypsum Company, and the SOE Fractionation Plant.

Official news of the huge energy project and pipeline being operational came four days after the first gas was shipped. The first mention in newspapers came in the editions published on Wednesday, January 5th. In Halifax, John Brannan, President and General Manager of Sable Offshore Energy Inc., said the public announcement was made on Tuesday, January 4th, 2000, the first business day of the New Year. With the New Year's celebrations and the concern over the Y2K celebrations dominating the news, officials with both the pipeline and production consortia waited until Tuesday the 4th to make the announcement that offshore gas was finally on its way to market.

Recent tests on the Sable Offshore Energy Project wells drilled to date, ranging from 50,000,000 to 100,000,000 cubic feet per day, indicate that Sable's wells are some of the best producers in Canadian history. The tests also show that Sable is poised to exceed its target daily production of natural gas. "These test results are very positive and far surpass what we had hoped for at the beginning of the project. These wells are world-class producers of high quality, sweet natural gas," said Mr. Brannan.

The Sable Offshore natural gas project has the potential to produce at a rate that is twice what was originally expected, said a spokesman for one of the members of the consortium behind the huge East Coast project. The consortium said on January 4th that the flow rates have "far surpassed" their original expectations. Ken Miller, vice-president in charge of frontier operations for Mobil Oil Canada Limited, said in an interview with The Globe and Mail that each well is producing as much as 100,000,000 cubic feet a day, while the original expectations were that the individual wells would flow at between 50,000,000 and 60,000,000 cubic feet a day. "It's very good news for us from a deliverability point of view," Mr. Miller said. "These are excellent quality reservoirs and they have some of the highest production rates in Canadian history," he said. The MNE pipeline now has an initial peak day contracted flow of 530,000 MMBTU per day [530,000,000,000 BTU per day 560 TJ (terajoules) per day]. This flow level will be reached in the autumn of 2000, once the Halifax and Saint John Lateral pipeline projects are completed.

Natural gas is a light form of fossil fuel. It is derived from hydrocarbons produced thousands and millions of years ago when plant and animal materials were buried beneath layers of soil and rock. Over time, heat and pressure combined to transform this mass into fossil fuels. To produce what is known as "sales quality gas," raw gas is sent to a processing plant (Goldboro) where ethane, propane, butane and other hydrocarbons are removed. Once processed, natural gas consists predominantly of methane, the lightest hydrocarbon. In fact, natural gas is lighter than air. It will rise and disperse into the atmosphere if released.

Over the last 23 months the Sable Offshore Energy Project has built three offshore processing platforms, two onshore processing plants, over 300 km of subsea pipelines, and a 60-km onshore pipeline. "This new infrastructure represents a foundation for a new industry in this province," said Mr. Brannan. "There is no question that future looks very bright and exciting for the oil and gas industry in this region."

Ownership of Sable Offshore Energy Incorporated:
50.8%   by Mobil Canada (a wholly-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil)
31.3%   by Shell Canada Limited
9.0%   by Imperial Oil Resources Limited
8.4%   by Nova Scotia Resources Limited, and
0.5%   by Mosbacher Operating Limited.

Ownership of Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline Limited Partnership:
37.5%   by Westcoast Energy Inc.
37.5%   by Duke Energy
12.5%   by Mobil Oil Canada
12.5%   by Nova Scotia Power Holdings Inc. (Renamed Emera Inc. in summer 2000)
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Limited Partnership is a Limited Partnership incorporated under the laws of New Brunswick. It owns the pipeline system extending from Goldboro, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, to the international border between Canada and the United States where it interconnects with Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C.

Sable Offshore Energy and Maritimes and Northeastern Pipeline LP are both based in Halifax.

Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 5 January 2000
Halifax Daily News, 5 January 2000
Cape Breton Post, 5 January 2000
The Globe and Mail, 5 January 2000
The Guysborough County Journal, 6 January 2000
Sable Offshore Energy Incorporated (SOEP)
News Release: SOEP Delivers Gas To Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline
Overview of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC (U.S.A.) project
Description of the pipelaying process
Duke Energy Corporation
Duke Energy Board of Directors, names and biographies
Duke Energy subsidiary: Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline
Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline gas tariff (rates)

During 1998 and 1999, the quarterly average price of natural gas, sold in the United States by Duke Energy Corporation, was in the range of about US$1.90 to US$2.20 per MMBTU.
Source: http://www.duke-energy.com/

In the report week Wednesday 26 December 2007 to Thursday 3 January 2008, natural gas spot and futures prices increased as frigid temperatures in much of the United States increased demand for space heating.  During the report week, the Henry Hub spot price increased $0.90 to US$7.84 per MMBTU.
Source: United States Government, Department of Energy (DOE)

There are two separate companies with similar names:
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC (Limited Liability Company)
    on the U.S. side of the border, and
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LP (Limited Partnership)
    on the Canadian side of the border.
Both are controlled by Duke Energy.

The facilities owned by Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC consist of two segments:
(1) a pipeline system wholly owned by Maritimes & Northeast which extends from a point near Woodland, Maine, at the international border between Canada and the United States to Westbrook, Maine and
(2) a pipeline jointly owned with the Portland Natural Gas Transmission System which extends from Westbrook, Maine, through New Hampshire to a terminus near Dracut, Massachusetts.

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC interconnects at the international border with Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline Limited Partnership, a pipeline system that connects to a plant at Goldboro, Nova Scotia, and transports natural gas from the Sable Offshore Energy Project through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for delivery to customers in Canada and to Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC at the international border between Canada and the United States.

Measurements used in the Natural Gas business


[Excerpted and adapted from General Terms and Conditions of the Gas Tariff filed with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline LLC. The section numbers shown below match the corresponding section numbers in the MNE Gas Tariff.]

The information below was posted in this website early in 2000.
At that time it was obtained from

In February 2003, it was found that the original source had vanished
and that the same (with minor editing) measurement definitions were
now available at the webpages noted below.

The section numbers in 2003 are the same as those in the 2000 source.

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.3   British thermal unit or BTU means the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one avoirdupois pound of pure water from 58.5° Fahrenheit to 59.5° Fahrenheit at a constant pressure of 14.73 dry psia (pounds per square inch absolute).

Section 1.4   BTU Conversion Factor means the following formula which Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline will use to convert the International System energy unit "joule" into "BTU" of natural gas for business purposes.
The BTU Conversion Factor is
1 BTU   =   1055.056 J
Which is read, or spelled out, as:
one British thermal unit is equal to 1055.056 joules

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.9   Cubic Foot means the volume of gas which occupies one cubic foot of space, measured according to Boyle's and Charles' Laws for the measurement of gas under varying pressures.
    See Section 14.1 (b) below.

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.13   Dekatherm or DTH means the quantity of heat energy which is equivalent to 1,000,000 British Thermal Units. One "dekatherm" of gas means the quantity of gas which contains one dekatherm of heat energy. One dekatherm equals one MMBTU.

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.17   Joule is the name of the unit of energy in the SI (metric) system. One joule is equal to the work done by a force of one newton with a displacement of one metre in the direction of the force. [This is the usual definiton, found in any high school Physics textbook.]

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.26   Mcf means one thousand cubic feet of gas.
Long ago, in a universe far away, there was a huge empire. It was
so large that many believed it included the whole world — certainly
the whole known world. We call it the Roman Empire. The Romans
had a number system in which numbers were represented by letters.
Many of us have heard of that system:
V means five, X means ten, D means fifty,
C means one hundred, and M means one thousand.

The term Mcf, which appears frequently in the legal
documentation (contracts, price schedules, bills, etc.) of the
Maritimes and Northeastern Pipeline companies, is derived
directly from that ancient Roman numeral system,
in which M means one thousand.

"cf" means "cubic foot" or "cubic feet";
and "M" means one thousand,
thus "Mcf" means "one thousand cubic feet."

Which leads to the next usage, "MMcf" which means
one thousand thousand cubic feet, or one million cubic feet.

One has to be careful to distinguish
the ancient usage M meaning one thousand from
the modern usage M meaning one million (the standard metric prefix).

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.27   Mcf Conversion Factor means the following formula which will be used to convert International System "m3" into "Mcf" of natural gas.

The Conversion Factor is
one cubic metre   =   35.31467 cubic feet
1 Mcf   =   28.31684 m3

Section 1.28   MMBTU means one million BTU. One MMBTU equals one dekatherm.

Section 1.29   MMBTU Conversion Factor means the following formula used to convert International System "gigajoules" into "MMBTUs" of natural gas.
The Conversion Factor is
1 MMBTU   =   1.055056 GJ
Which is read or spelled as:
one million BTU is equal to 1.055056 gigajoules

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 1.44   Total Heating Value means the number of British Thermal Units produced by the complete combustion with air, of one dry cubic feet of gas at a constant pressure of 14.73 psia, and a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit when the products of combustion are cooled to the initial temperature, and the water formed by combustion is condensed to the liquid state.

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 14.1 (a)   The unit of measurement shall be one DTH. The number of DTHs delivered shall be determined by multiplying the number of cubic feet of gas received or delivered by the total heating value of such gas, in dekatherms per cubic foot, and by dividing the product by one million.

Section 14.1 (b)   The unit of quantity for the purpose of measurement shall be one cubic foot of gas at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, at a pressure of thirty-three hundredths pounds per square inch (0.33 psi) gauge and an atmospheric pressure of 14.40 psi, resulting in an absolute pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch.

Section 14.1 (c)   The unit of weight for the purpose of measurement shall be one pound mass of gas.
ICS Commentary (written 7 January 2000):
Those of us old enough to remember the now-abandoned Imperial system of measurements, will recall that one of the delights of that system was the fact that it was in fact two systems of measure, both named the "Imperial" system. The two systems were similar, even interchangeable, in many ways, but there was one major difference which significantly affected any statement or calculation which involved mass or weight. This difference was based on an ancient ambiguity — does the unit known as the "pound" measure mass or weight? There were two alternatives, depending on how you defined the meaning of the "pound."

* (1) The pound was defined to be a measure of mass, and the corresponding unit of force was the "poundal".
* (2) The pound was defined to be a measure of force (weight), and the corresponding unit of mass was the "slug".

I'm not making this up. That's the way it was. If section 14.1(c) referred simply to "one pound of gas", without specifying whether the "pound mass" or the "pound force" was meant, the legal complications would be staggering.

Of course, this ambiguity is not an issue in the SI (metric) system, which uses the newton as the unit of force (weight), and the kilogram as the unit of mass.

Source [26 February 2003]:

Section 14.1 (d)   The average absolute atmospheric pressure shall be assumed to be 14.4 pounds per square inch.

Duke's Designs on Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline

It took one acquisition to transform the sleepy regional
U.S. utility Duke Energy into a giant. Now it's setting
its sights on Canada's newest pipeline projects

Source: The Financial Post, 28 February 1998

Duke Energy Corporation's rookie chairman Richard Priory can hardly sit still. The 52-year-old New Jersey native and former college professor has just been on the West Coast, trying to sell the "new Duke" to California analysts. "I must have hit the only nice day in San Francisco," he says, sitting in his paneled, third-floor office in one of the two most dour office buildings in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

Until recently, Duke was the sleepy southern power company no one had heard of. For 94 years, it was content simply to provide low-cost power, most recently of the nuclear kind, to the two million people in its monopoly region in the central Carolinas.

That was until June 1997. Just as Priory took over as chairman and chief executive, Duke completed its takeover of Houston-based natural gas pipeline giant PanEnergy Corp. in a share swap worth US$7,700,000,000. Suddenly, good old Duke was a major player in North America, taking on energy giants like NGC-Chevron Corp., Enron Corp. and Amoco Corp. Overnight, it doubled its assets to more than US$20,000,000,000 and tripled its annual operating revenue to more than US$12,000,000,000. It became one of the United States' biggest generators of electric power from nuclear energy, as well as the supplier of 12% of the country's natural gas.

Priory says it plans to remain one of the "big five" energy companies in North America by moving in on the turf tightly held by Canadian natural gas pipeline companies like Calgary's TransCanada PipeLines Limited and Nova Corporation, and Montreal's Gaz Metropolitain Inc.

If Priory gets his way, he will soon be butting heads with Hydro-Quebec, not only in the lucrative U.S. northeast where the war of energy titans is about to begin, but in Hydro-Quebec's own monopoly market. "We will be there in Canada once the barriers truly come down," he says of the lingering provincial laws that still make it difficult for outsiders to sell power inside Canada. Priory, a structural engineer by training, has a very clear strategy. Not only does Duke plan to be an "energy services company" — the latest buzzword for a growing wholesale energy market business — but it plans to have enough generation capacity to back up its marketing efforts.

"What we're looking for are more assets in the ground where we can actually produce the energy, not just trade and market it. We believe a trading and marketing company, coupled with a generating company, is the kind of asset base to be successful long term." To do that, Duke has been spending liberally. In the past six months alone, Priory has signed cheques for US$1,200,000,000, buying US$500,000,000 worth of power plants in California and a second plant in Connecticut.

Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline

Equally important, it has been trying to grab a piece of the two hottest gas plays in North America, both of which are in Canada.

It owns 37.5% of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline that will eventually ship up to four trillion cubic feet of Sable Island gas from Mobil Oil Canada's offshore Nova Scotia field to the Boston market.

There are two separate companies with similar names:
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLC (Limited Liability Company)
    on the U.S. side of the border, and
Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LP (Limited Partnership)
    on the Canadian side of the border.
Both are controlled by Duke Energy.

Duke also has a 9.8% stake in the proposed $3,700,000,000 Alliance Pipeline project. If approved by the National Energy Board, that pipeline will pump 1,300,000,000 cubic feet 37,000,000 cubic metres a day of Alberta and British Columbia gas into the Midwest United States, giving Duke more gas and natural gas liquids to process. "We're providing some competition to existing [Canadian] pipelines which have had a pretty good time over the years," Priory says.

It's all a far cry from the company started in 1904 by American Tobacco Company head and famed North Carolina magnate, James Buchanan "Buck" Duke (1856-1925). Duke Power began life as a hydroelectric utility designed to lure cotton mills from the Yankee North into the underdeveloped South. Today, as Duke Energy, it has market capitalization of about US$13,000,000,000 and considerable economic impact on the Carolinas. Duke Energy shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. With 22,000 employees, it is one of three main employers in the region after the South's two major banks, NationsBank and First Union. Virtually all Duke's electric power comes from three nuclear plants although the company boasts some coal-fired power as well, and serves about two million residential customers in North and South Carolina.

Despite its push to become a North American player, it also has some quirky throwbacks to its roots in the southern U.S. social and political structure. For example, the mayor of Charlotte, a city of 500,000, works at Duke as head of business development. Duke also stays in touch with average folks through its thriving retail network of 99 stores that sells appliances to those who cannot get conventional credit. "As long as they pay their power bills, they can get to buy from us," says company spokesman Randy Wheeless. The hottest items at the company stores? Big-screen TVs and satellite dishes.

But Duke's corporate diversity doesn't stop there. It has a commercial real estate division, a franchised water division, and operations in fibre optics and forestry. There's also Duke Engineering & Services, with expertise in nuclear and conventional electrical generation.

Still, the key to Duke's North American designs is the takeover of PanEnergy of Houston. With that deal, it gained stakes in four major midwestern and northeastern gas pipelines, giving it connections from the traditional U.S. gas basin in the Gulf of Mexico to the underdeveloped northeastern market. In particular, PanEnergy gave Duke 60,000 kilometres of gas pipeline, including the key Panhandle Eastern and Trunkline with a combined capacity of about 4,400,000,000 cubic feet 125,000,000 cubic metres a day. And, in separate deals with Mobil Oil Corp., it now has energy trading offices in Calgary, Houston and Salt Lake City as well as the Charlotte head office.

All the spending and positioning are designed with one thing in mind — to be a company that not only sells energy, but can generate it as well, something Priory says other marketers are only realizing now.

But a Canadian analyst, who asks not to be named, says companies like Duke are tripping over themselves to buy power generation to try to position themselves to be power marketers. "None of these companies with marketing have made any money, so ultimately the thing for investors is simply 'show me the money.' "

But power companies can be forgiven for broadening their operations. Deregulation is changing the way industries and consumers buy energy. Particularly in the U.S., electricity monopolies are fast coming to an end. Federal and state governments are pushing their former monopolies to open up their transmission systems and pipelines to other energy companies, giving consumers greater choice. But the transition isn't proving easy. Some states, especially those with low-cost power supplies like the Carolinas, are reluctant to see their companies become aggressive in farflung regions unless there are guarantees local residents will have secure power. "What they don't want to see is the low-cost power from here flowing to the high-cost areas like the U.S. northeast and California," says Priory.

He says Duke still plans to concentrate on providing electric power to its core market of two million customers — the source of about 54% of its revenue. Backing that is a pledge not to raise local power rates for at least the next four years. The company is also trying to position itself as being one of the few in North America that can actually provide the power it has pledged to deliver. Unlike most industries, the power business isn't based so much on the actual shipment of power, but the ability to do so when needed, usually during a weather crisis when normal sources aren't sufficient. "What we do is sell the output to three different companies, but usually only one actually needs it," Priory says. "So we sell to three but deliver to one."

With increasingly unusual North American weather patterns, thanks to phenomena such as El Nino, he says the new wave of energy marketers face even greater pressures to deliver on their promises. "It is important to have a backstop capability in case two companies need the power. You've got to be able to deliver." That is why Duke is still on a hunt for resources, not so much for new corporate mergers like PanEnergy, but for smaller acquisitions in such areas as gas storage, generation and pipelines. (Duke says, however, it's not interested in any of Ontario Hydro's nuclear reactors at the moment.)

Despite Priory's enthusiasm, most analysts say they are waiting for the company to start delivering on its promises, even though the stock is trading at US$56, close to its 52-week high. "We're just at the beginning of changes in the industry and I think quite a few of the strategies could be successful," says analyst Robin Diedrich with A.G. Edwards & Jones in Houston. "It is very promising in the long term but I don't think we are going to see any earnings contribution until 1999." For 1997, Priory says Duke will earn about US$2.51 a share, after including costs of the merger, when the new expanded company's first annual report comes out in the next several weeks. In 1996, it earned US$2.90. "We expect to do better than that in 1998," he says, adding Duke is looking for 8% to 10% earnings growth a year over the next five years.

Canadian analyst Winfried Fruehauf of Levesque Beaubien Inc. in Toronto is betting Duke can beat the others in the emerging North American market. "Duke is a company that is picking its niches very carefully," he says. "And that will give them a tremendous strategic advantage."

[Financial Post, 28 February 1998]

Duke Energy Corporation
History of Duke Energy Corporation
Duke Energy Board of Directors, names and biographies
Duke Energy subsidiary: Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline

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