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

Chapter 50
2000 January 1-15

2000 January 1

Hansard Online
in the Twentieth Century

Nova Scotia House of Assembly: Hansard
Archived Debates and Proceedings
in the 1990s

Nova Scotia House of Assembly: Hansard
Fifty-Sixth General Assembly, 4th Session
1996 March 28 to 1997 April 10

Archived: 1998 January 28

Archived: 1998 June 26

Nova Scotia House of Assembly: Hansard
Fifty-Sixth General Assembly, 5th Session
1997 April 10 to 1997 November 20

Archived: 1998 January 28

Archived: 1998 June 26

Nova Scotia House of Assembly: Hansard
Fifty-Sixth General Assembly, 6th Session
1997 November 20 to 1997 December 12

Archived: 1998 January 28

Archived: 1998 June 26

Nova Scotia House of Assembly: Hansard
Fifty-Seventh General Assembly, First Session
1998 May 21 to 1999 June 17

Archived: 1998 June 26

Archived: 1998 October 02

Nova Scotia House of Assembly: Hansard
Fifty-Eighth General Assembly, First Session
1999 August 20 to 2000 June 28

Archived: 2000 August 17

Archived: 2001 June 20

2000 January 1

Municipal Websites

Known official websites operated by
Nova Scotia villages, towns, cities, and counties

as of 1 January 2000
  1. Amherst   Town of Amherst

  2. Annapolis   Annapolis County
    Email:   admin@annapoliscounty.ns.ca

  3. Antigonish   Municipality of the County of Antigonish
    Email:   munisource@munisource.org?subject=AntigonishCounty

  4. Argyle   Municipality of the District of Argyle
    Email:   argyle@istar.ca

  5. Barrington   Municipality of the District of Barrington
    Email:   munbar@glinx.com

  6. Berwick   Town of Berwick
    Email:   general@town.berwick.ns.ca

  7. Bible Hill   Village of Bible Hill
    Email:   bible.hill@ns.sympatico.ca

  8. Bridgewater   Town of Bridgewater
    Email:   admin@town.bridgewater.ns.ca

  9. Cape Breton   Cape Breton Regional Municipality
    Email:   cbrm@highlander.cbnet.ns.ca

  10. Chester   Municipality of the District of Chester

  11. Clare   Municipality of the District of Clare
    Email:   council@municipality.clare.ns.ca

  12. Cumberland   Municipality of the County of Cumberland
    Email:   pm@cumberlandcounty.ns.ca

  13. Digby   Municipality of the District of Digby

  14. East Hants   Municipality of the District of East Hants

  15. Greenwood   Village Commission of Greenwood

  16. Guysborough   Guysborough County
    This website is operated by the Guysborough County Regional Development Authority.
    Email:   gordonlm@gcrda.ns.ca

  17. Halifax   Halifax Regional Municipality
    Email:   webmaster@region.halifax.ns.ca

  18. Hants   Hants County
    This website is operated by the Hants Regional Development Authority.
    Email:   hantsrda@fox.nstn.ca

  19. Hantsport   Town of Hantsport
    Email:   hantsport@istar.ca

  20. Inverness   Municipality of the County of Inverness
    Email:   admin@InvernessMunicipality.com

  21. Kentville   Town of Kentville
    Email:   info@town.kentville.ns.ca

  22. Kings   Municipality of the County of Kings
    Email:   info@county.kings.ns.ca

  23. Kingston   Village of Kingston
    Email:   kingsvil@glinx.com

  24. Lunenburg   Town of Lunenburg
    Email:   luntown@auracom.com

  25. Mahone Bay   Town of Mahone Bay
    This website is sponsored by the Mahone Bay Business Association

  26. New Glasgow   Town of New Glasgow
    Email:   river@north.nsis.com

  27. New Minas   Village of New Minas
    Email:   village.newminas@ns.sympatico.ca

  28. Parrsboro   Town of Parrsboro

  29. Pictou   Municipality of the County of Pictou

  30. Port Hawkesbury   Town of Port Hawkesbury

  31. Richmond   Municipality of the County of Richmond
    Email:   munisource@munisource.org?subject=RichmondCounty

  32. River John   Village of River John
    Email:   rjcap@nsngp.library.ns.ca

  33. Shelburne   Town of Shelburne
    Email:   tnshelb@auracom.com

  34. Tatamagouche   Village of Tatamagouche

  35. Truro   Town of Truro

  36. Windsor   Town of Windsor
    Email:   windsrns@atcon.com

  37. Wolfville   Town of Wolfville
    The status of this website is unclear, it may or may not be controlled by the Town of Wolfville.

  38. Yarmouth   Town of Yarmouth
    Email:   yarmouth@fox.nstn.ca

Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities
List of members:
AM   Town of Amherst
AR   Town of Annapolis Royal
AS   Town of Antigonish
BE   Town of Berwick
BR   Town of Bridgetown
BW   Town of Bridgewater
CA   Town of Canso
CH   Town of Clark's Harbour
DG   Town of Digby
HP   Town of Hantsport
KE   Town of Kentville
LO   Town of Lockeport
LN   Town of Lunenburg
MB   Town of Mahone Bay
MI   Town of Middleton
MU   Town of Mulgrave
NG   Town of New Glasgow
OX   Town of Oxford
PA   Town of Parrsboro
PC   Town of Pictou
PH   Town of Port Hawkesbury
SB   Town of Shelburne
SP   Town of Springhill
SL   Town of Stellarton
SW   Town of Stewiacke
TN   Town of Trenton
TU   Town of Truro
WE   Town of Westville
WI   Town of Windsor
WO   Town of Wolfville
YR   Town of Yarmouth
AP   Municipality of the County of Annapolis
AT   Municipality of the County of Antigonish
AY   Municipality of the District of Argyle
BA   Municipality of the District of Barrington
CB   Cape Breton Regional Municipality
CT   Municipality of the District of Chester
CL   Municipality of the District of Clare
CO   Municipality of the County of Colchester
CU   Municipality of the County of Cumberland
DI   Municipality of the District of Digby
GU   Municipality of the District of Guysborough
HX   Halifax Regional Municipality
EH   Municipality of the District of East Hants
WH   Municipality of the District of West Hants
IN   Municipality of the County of Inverness
KI   Municipality of the County of Kings
LU   Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
PI   Municipality of the County of Pictou
QU   Region of Queens Municipality
RI   Municipality of the County of Richmond
SH   Municipality of the District of Shelburne
SM   Municipality of the District of St. Mary's
VI   Municipality of the County of Victoria
YA   Municipality of the District of Yarmouth

Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, list of members
Standard Set of Municipalities by Name and Associated Codes

2000 January 1

Current Canadian Content Policy for Cable Television

The CRTC has determined that it would not be in the interest of the Canadian broadcasting system to permit cable systems to distribute non-Canadian pay television movie channels and specialty programming services that could be considered directly competitive with licensed Canadian pay television and specialty services. For that reason, pay movie channels and certain specialty programming services originating in the United States, such as
    The Disney Channel
    MTV and
are not approved for cable distribution in Canada.

However, the CRTC has identified a list of non-Canadian specialty services, including certain United States originated satellite services and United States "superstations", that are permitted carriage on cable television systems on a discretionary, user-pay basis. These include
    The Nashville Network
    The Learning Channel
    Arts & Entertainment Network
    CNN Headline News
    CNBC/Financial News Network
    WSBK and

The CRTC requires that United States satellite services be sold to Canadian cable television subscribers in discretionary packages with Canadian pay television services or with Canadian specialty services.

Each non-Canadian specialty service must be linked with one Canadian pay television service provided that the number of video channels distributing Canadian programming services must exceed the number of video channels on the system of any cable licensee distributing non-Canadian programming services.

Shaw Communications Inc. Annual Information Form, 18 January 2000
at http://www.sedar.com/

2000 January 1

Restrictions on Non-Canadian Ownership and Control
in AM and FM Radio, and Television

The legal requirements relating to Canadian ownership and control of broadcasting undertakings are embodied in a statutory Order from the Governor in Council (that is, the federal Cabinet) to the CRTC. The Order is issued under the authority contained in the Broadcasting Act. Under the Order, non-Canadians are permitted to own and control, directly or indirectly, up to one-third of the voting shares and one-third of the votes of a holding company which has a subsidiary operating company licensed under the Broadcasting Act.

In addition, up to one-fifth of the voting shares and one-fifth of the votes of the operating licensee company may be owned and controlled, directly or indirectly, by non-Canadians.

The Order also provides that the chief executive officer and 80% of the members of the board of directors of the operating company must be Canadian and that the holding company and its directors are prohibited from exercising any control or influence over the programming decisions of a subsidiary operating company.

There are no restrictions on the number of non-voting shares that may be held by non-Canadians at either the holding company or licensee operating company level.

The CRTC retains the discretion under the Order to determine as a question of fact whether a given licensee is controlled by non-Canadians.

Shaw Communications Inc. Annual Information Form, 18 January 2000
at http://www.sedar.com/

2000 January 1

Nova Scotia Bookstores with Websites

Known websites operated by Nova Scotia bookstores
as of 1 January 2000

Au Havre   Cheticamp

Cape Breton Catalogue, Breton Books & Music   Wreck Cove
    http://www.capebretonsmagazine.com/home.html (Jan. 2000)
    http://www.capebretonbooks.com/home.html (Dec. 2001)
Email:   speclink@atcon.com

Carousel Bookstore   527 King Street, Bridgewater
Email:   mail@carouselbookstore.com

CD-Academia Book Company   Dartmouth
Email:   infocd@cd-books.com

John W. Doull   Halifax
Email:   service@doullbooks.com

Good Cheer Publishing   (Leon Cole) Hubbards
Email:   feedback@goodcheer.com

Maritime Campus Store   Halifax
Email:   majoint@istar.ca

New World Publishing   Halifax
Email:   nwp@istar.ca

Nimbus Publishing   Halifax
Email:   dsoucoup@nimbs.ns.ca

Nova Scotia Government Bookstore   Halifax
Email:   lynchcd@gov.ns.ca

Pottersfield Press   (Lesley Choyce) East Lawrencetown

Roseway Publishing Company Ltd.   Lockeport
Email:   ktudor@atcon.com

Roswell Books   Halifax
Email:   sales@roswell.com

Seaside Book and Stamp   Halifax
Email:   gtucker@fox.nstn.ca

Woozles   Halifax
Email:   frontdesk@woozles.com

2000 January 1

Lights on Macdonald Bridge

Massive crowds gathered on both sides of Halifax Harbour last night to see the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge shine in its newly installed spotlights. Tens of thousands of people huddled in the cold as fireworks illuminated the icy waters. When the smoke cleared, the bridge's freshly painted green towers shone through the darkness. "Suspension bridges are rather pretty structures, and this really makes ours stand out," said Larry Doane, chairman of the Bridge Commission. "This bridge is a very important icon in the city of Halifax, and I think lighting it up is imaginative and welcomed by the population." Doane said the project, which cost the commission $600,000, saw the installation of about 350 spotlights. The commission chose to light the Macdonald bridge instead of the MacKay because it has a more attractive construction and is closer to the main population, Doane explained.
[Halifax Sunday Daily News, 2 January 2000]

Angus Lewis Macdonald was Premier of Nova Scotia
5 September 1933 to 10 July 1940,
and again 8 September 1945 to 13 April 1954.

2000 January 1

iCraveTV.com Plans to Show Canadian TV in the U.S.A.

iCraveTV.com Inc., a website that has riled the U.S. National Football League by showing games on the Internet, plans to offer Canadian television to viewers all over the United States as early as next month, William Craig, chief executive officer of the company, said yesterday. Mr. Craig is betting that U.S. laws that regulate the showing of U.S. television over the Internet won't apply if the company shows only Canadian programming. He figures a website that offers Canadian programs will attract advertisers. "This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone involved," Mr. Craig said. "Canadian programs could be seen in a brand new market."

iCraveTV.com now relays both Canadian and U.S. television signals over the Internet, but asks viewers to certify that the are watching only from within Canada. Although iCraveTV.com's website is on the Internet, and thus is available to anyone anywhere in the world who has an Internet connection and suitable siftware in his/her computer, Mr. Craig says only Canadians are supposed to use it. To download a broadcast, a user must first enter his/her telephone area code. Mr. Craig says he does this not for legal reasons but to ensure the site is not overwhelmed by users from around the world. One day, he says, the service may be global. It carries advertising visible below the television picture. The Internet isn't regulated in Canada, but lawyers representing the NFL and trade associations representing Canadian broadcasters and producers have been maintaining that iCraveTV.com's website violates copyright laws in both countries. They've threatened to sue, but iCraveTV.com hasn't received any legal notices so far, Mr. Craig said. The CRTC decided in May 1999 that it wouldn't get involved in telling websites what they can and can't display, saying that would stifle growth.

iCraveTV.com, based in Toronto, is owned by TVRadioNow Corporation, which was incorporated in Nova Scotia as an unlimited liability company on 29 September 1999. The company's registered office is at 1959 Upper Water Street in Halifax. The company offers to pay copyright fees to Canadian broadcasters for transmitting their programs, but legally doesn't need their approval, Mr. Craig said. iCraveTV.com charges advertisers $20 to $50 for each thousand "impressions," a term which refers to how many times users visit an individual page of a website. Advertisements can appear at the top of the website page, or at the bottom of the tiny television "screen" which occupies about one-quarter of the computer monitor screen area. iCraveTV.com's website was visited about 60,000,000 times in December, Mr. Craig said.

National Post, 1 January 2000
The Globe and Mail, 11 December 1999

The iCraveTV.com website at
Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB)
CAB press release, 3 December 1999
Canada's broadcasters tell iCraveTV.com to cease and desist
CAB: Radio's Role on The Information Highway
(As of 3 January 2000, the CAB's website contains nothing
about Television's Role on The Information Highway.)

The Future of Television

Log on to iCraveTV.com and you will see a primitive version of the future of television. Last November, Toronto native William Craig launched iCraveTV.com, the first website in the world that allows Internet surfers to watch TV stations. Not just the menu of stations offered by your local cable TV company or satellite service, but pretty much any station going. Currently there are 17 stations to choose from, and no TV receiver required. And the reach is around the world — anywhere the Internet goes (with a fast enough feed, at least 56 kilobytes per second and preferably more).

To say broadcasters and producers are peeved at Mr. Craig is an understatement. They have nicknamed his venture iStealTV.com. This powerful group is claiming he is no better than a pirate, because he is taking television signals and giving them away without permission. Broadcasters have threatened to sue, saying his Internet venture violates copyright and trademark laws. The stakes are huge, and this is shaping up to become one of the most-watched legal fights in Canadian broadcast history.

But Mr. Craig is on the right track. Like it or not, the Internet is the future of television. Watching TV on the Internet is now a quick route to a migraine. The images are pretty fuzzy, and the picture is often small. But these are temporary limitations. It will be worth watching how established broadcasters and cable firms deal with the Internet. TV as we know it likely will be altered forever.

[Excerpted from The Globe and Mail, 11 & 17 December 1999]

iCraveTV.com Finds Ally in Salter Street

Internet startup iCraveTV.com won a powerful ally yesterday when Salter Street Films Limited became the first Canadian production company to agree to work with — rather than fight — the controversial company. The upstart company has raised the ire of the broadcast and production industries by beaming television signals onto the Internet without permission. But Salter said yesterday that its rivals have over-reacted to iCraveTV.com. "Our feeling is the Internet is doing what we expected it to do, which is to blow apart the traditional models in our business," said Catherine Tait of Halifax, president and CEO of Salter Street Films. "The issue is, are we horrified and outraged? No, because breaking new ground is key to staking out a role in the Internet. The outrage around piracy is overstated. They (iCraveTV.com) just did something that was fairly obvious." Salter Street Films is a Nova Scotia company, and produces several shows including the popular This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Salter is considered to be ahead of the industry learning curve on Internet matters. For example, it operates a website called q1234.com that broadcasts quarterly company conference calls on the Internet. Q1234.com is a division of Salter New Media Limited. Salter New Media Limited is a partnership of Salter Street Films and MTT.

Ms. Tait said Salter's support of iCraveTV.com is guarded. For example, Salter feels the rights of the broadcasters who have paid for a program should be respected. Salter plans to talk to iCraveTV.com about the possibility of broadcasting certain shows that aren't under licence, such as films in its extensive library. Ian Mccallum, vice-president of corporate sales and development at iCraveTV.com, said that while he has spoken to a number of producers in the past week, Salter has been the most receptive.

[The Globe and Mail, 17 December 1999]

Salter Street Films Limited's website at
Salter Street's Q1234 website at

2000 January 1

Highway Deaths by County

Of the 97 fatalities in 1999, 72 were occupants of vehicles, 13 were pedestrians and 7 were motorcyclists. Four cyclists and one all-terrain-vehicle driver were also killed. The number of deaths linked to alcohol was 22, which is 22 per cent of the total. The total death count was the highest since 1996 but is still better than the 199 of 20 years ago.
[Halifax Sunday Herald, 30 April 2000]

2000 January 1

Boredom Biggest Problem for Y2K Watchers

It was a yawner of a New Year for hundreds of emergency workers and Y2K troubleshooters who rode shotgun on the Y2K rollover at midnight last night. Peace, rather than the predicted chaos of computer glitches, reigned as Nova Scotia welcomed 2000. There were no power failures related to computer problems, New Year revellers were drunk but not too disorderly, and information technology systems across the province did not crash. "We're bored out of our tree," said Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman Judy Pal, about an hour into the new year. The police force had 105 officers on the street last night and early this morning, about three times as many as last New Year's Eve. By 2:00am, police had logged about 85 calls, mostly for noise and liquor violations. "We've had no problems at all," said Stacey Lewis, spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Power. Hundreds of military personnel on duty or on call last night, in case of emergency, also had it very quiet. Because things went so well last night, Emergency Measures personnel closed shop and went home early, about 1:00am. Hospitals and ambulance services also reported no problems.
[Excerpted from the Halifax Daily News, 1 January 2000]

Y2K Bug Has No Bite

The year 2000, born on the other side of the planet nearly two-thirds of a day before it reached the eastern tip of Canada, dawned catastrophe-free in region after region of a watchful world. As of early this morning, no planes had fallen from the sky, no nuclear reactors melted down, no power grids collapsed. Computer glitches were scarce, terrorists seemed to take the night off and Armageddon failed to begin. Civilization, such as it is, survived... In Nova Scotia, the only Y2K-related power failure occurred on the eastern shore, where a rural resident blew out his power line as he welcomed the new year with a traditional shotgun blast...
[The Globe and Mail, 1 January 2000]

Good News About Y2K, No Mishaps

Computer techies and government workers breather a sigh of relief after the clock struck midnight and all was well. The Y2K rollover seemed to pass without a hitch, meaning many of those on call could get into the festive spirit after months of preparing for the worst. The Halifax Regional Municipality specialists remained at city hall until 6:00am on New Year's Day, to ensure computer systems continued working properly. RCMP in Nova Scotia sent a short message to the force's national headquarters shortly after 12:15am, saying: "No incidents to report at this time." For New Year's Eve, the department had set up an emergency operations centre at the province's Halifax headquarters. It was one of several government and emergency-services centres set up in case of any trouble. Twelve members tracked hourly updates from the RCMP's 911 dispatch centres across Nova Scotia, looking for any suspicious activity or possible Y2K-related disasters. Nova Scotia Power reported that the only Y2K-related power outage occurred in Guysborough County, when an over-zealous reveller went outside his house to fire his gun in celebration and managed to shoot the electrical meter feeding power into his house. Emergency services organizations reported nothing unusual. The rescue co-ordination centre in Halifax had a very quiet night and the telephone system passed into 2000 without a hitch. And it was all systems go at the Halifax International Airport. "Everything is up and running — there were no problems at all," duty manager Art Ives said. Extra staff were on hand, but there was no work for them.

Government departments will continue testing their systems until the work week resumes. "It's not a business day and it won't be until Tuesday, January 4th, when folks come in to renew driver's licences and that whole range of services the government offers, but there's nothing at this stage to indicate that there's anything to be concerned about," said Jean Perkins, the federal-provincial liaison officer stationed at an Emergency Measures Organization bunker in Dartmouth that operated from 7:30am Friday, New Year's Eve, until 6:00am Saturday, New Year's Day. Three levels of government monitored Y2K's approach all day, and the quiet night was welcome. But officials said the dire predictions of disaster did serve as a wake-up call. "It's Nova Scotia in the winter. The lights go off, things ice up. Things happen in the winter in Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians should be prepared for an emergency at any time of year, especially in winter," Mr. Perkins said.

[Excerpted from the Halifax Sunday Herald, 2 January 2000]


All is still quiet on the Y2K front. "Nothing has come up that surprised us; we didn't think it would," Barry Manuel, the Halifax Regional Municipality's Emergency Measures Organization co-ordinator, said yesterday. "At 12:01 we had lights and power, and everything was fine." The city has had a team working for the last two years to make sure everything would run smoothly as the highly-anticipated date approached. There were no computer-bug-related power outages, and information-technology systems across the province did not crash. Police spokeswoman Judy Pal said New Year's Eve was "pretty much like a normal Friday night.'' Hundreds of military personnel on duty or on call also had a silent night. A lot of time and effort was spent on Y2K, and while nothing dramatic happened, it did give municipalities and the province a chance to update emergency plans. Hospitals and ambulance service also reported no problems. Technology and Science Minister Jane Purves said the only thing the Y2K bug damaged were her party plans. "The Y2K bug ruined my New Year's Eve," said Purves, who had been on call in case of emergency. "I waited at home for a call that never came, so CBC had another all-day viewer." Purves said there were no problems reported by government departments and agencies, and thanks to a lot of hard work, the transition was smooth. The province had developed comprehensive contingency plans to ensure essential services would be maintained in case of computer failures.
[Halifax Sunday Daily News, 2 January 2000]

No Sign of Y2K Problems in Cape Breton

Y2K? Everything went A-okay. No planes fell from the sky, the lights stayed on and banking machines continued to dish out money. Hospital, police, and emergency measure officials report a smooth transition into the new century. Bob MacVay, communications co-ordinator for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said everyone was well prepared — and then some. "There were no glitches at all, but we have been preparing for this the past year, so there shouldn't have been any." MacVay said there were no Y2K problems reported with police, fire or ambulance. He said they actually pushed computer dates ahead beforehand, to ensure they would respond properly.
[Cape Breton Post, 3 January 2000]

2000 January 4

Smooth Sailing for Marine Atlantic

It was smooth sailing for Marine Atlantic this holiday season both on the water and on shore with no Y2K glitches. North Sydney terminal manager Len Rhyno said traffic was heavy out of North Sydney until December 23rd, with people heading home to Newfoundland for the holidays. "Traffic has been light the past few days out of North Sydney and heavy coming out of Port aux Basques as people return to work and school." Monday, January 3rd, during the 11:30am crossing from Port aux Basques there were 210 cars and 600 passengers. The evening sailing out of Port aux Basques had 250 vehicles and 800 passengers. Today's 11:30am sailing out of Port aux Basques had 60 cars and 200 passengers. The evening sailings had 250 vehicles and 700 passengers. Wednesdays' 11:30am sailing has reservations for 150 cars and 500 passengers. "The evening sailings out of Port aux Basques were heavier than the morning sailings. When the traffic was heavy we took the usual 25 commercial vehicles and on slower sailings we could take more commercial traffic." Marine Atlantic ran a couple of extra sailings out of both ports over the holidays of combined commercial and car traffic. Rhyno said their vessels had to contend with some wind conditions but didn't result in any delays.
[Cape Breton Post, 4 January 2000]

2000 January 5

185,000 Desktop Computers

Canada's federal government closed its Year 2000 monitoring and co-ordination centre on Wednesday, January 5th. The centre had been on 24-hour alert since December 29th. The government said it corrected more than 100,000,000 lines of computer code and more than 40,000 systems in 4,000 buildings, to weed out Y2K bugs. It made 185,000 desktop computers and 1,450 Internet-based systems Y2K ready. "This work involved... office equipment, laboratory equipment, all the way to embedded systems in ships at sea."
[National Post, 7 January 2000]

2000 January 6

Schools and Universities Okay

Nova Scotia schools and universities appear to have made the grade on Y2K. Education officials say none of the technological glitches they were prepared for has materialized in the first four days of 2000. Students have only a few days left in a Christmas break that began and finishes a week later than usual in case computers malfunctioned on the first day of 2000. "It's not much different here than most other places. Not much happened," John Sherwood, head of technology at Dalhousie University, said Tuesday. "Not much happened, but a lot of that was because of a whole lot of preparation. There were a lot of people involved." Officials at Acadia, Saint Mary's, Mount Saint Vincent and St. Francis Xavier also reported no Y2K-related problems with their physical plant or computer networks. That means students should be able to register for courses, pay tuition and check their marks as usual when they head back to class Monday. An Education Department spokesman said students at elementary and high schools also seem to be headed back on schedule, based on reports from the boards. "So far, the report is: no problems. We're expecting everything is Y2K compliant," Dan Davis said.
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 6 January 2000]

2000 January 6

Canada's Earliest Aerial Photograph

1883 aerial photo is earliest known, taken in Canada

The earliest known photograph looking down on Canada made an appearance at Halifax City Hall today. The air force gave Mayor Walter Fitzgerald a framed print of an aerial picture of Halifax taken in 1883 from a balloon. It seems to be an image of a barracks near the Citadel, either on the north side near the present police headquarters or on the south side near the Garrison Grounds. "I think that's one of the wonderful things about it," said Col. Mike Hache, Maritime Air Component Commander Atlantic. "Perhaps its an indication of what the Citadel looked like" a hundred years ago. The photo was taken by Captain E. Elsdale of the Royal Engineers, and was found last year in Ottawa by air force researchers. Elsdale used a tethered balloon, fitted with a plate camera operated by clockwork, pioneering a technology that would be used during the Boer War at the turn of the century. After 117 years of change, it is difficult to tell exactly what part of the city is depicted in the photo, but Hache said it makes sense that the grassy area is the Citadel, the then-27-year-old fort where Elsdale would have worked. The Air Force gave the print to Halifax Regional Municipality to mark its own 75th anniversary and the city's 250th. Mayor Fitzgerald promised to hang it in City Hall.
[Halifax Daily News, 7 January 2000]

Oldest Aerial Photo Identified

Canada's oldest known aerial photograph is a shot of barracks buildings that used to stand on the north side of the Halifax Citadel, a Parks Canada official says. The 1883 photo shows the area now occupied by the Halifax Regional Police headquarters and the Centennial Pool, said Ron McDonald, local cultural resource manager for Parks Canada. "All of that was a sort of military complex that was there until the 1950s," McDonald said. An oblique view of the same buildings can be seen in a 19th-century drawing of the city that's on the cover of a 2000 calendar of the city's north end. The buildings include the old Glacis and Pavilion barracks built by the British Army at the end of Gottingen Street just south of Cogswell. The upper part of the photograph shows the slope leading up to the fort, McDonald said. The buildings went up around 1860, when Halifax was one of the British Army's primary bases, garrisoned with more than 2,000 soldiers, he said. The British and later Canadian armies continued to use the structures until after the Second World War.
[Halifax Daily News, 8 January 2000]

2000 January 6

Post's Century Review Slated for CD-ROM

A 100-page edition of the Cape Breton Post highlighting the top stories of the century will soon make its way to CD-ROM. "It was one of the most sought after editions in the history of our paper," managing editor Fred Jackson said today. A computer disc copy of the stories and pictures that made the news in Cape Breton over 100 years will be available in the spring. The Cape Breton Post is partnering with an industry leader in multimedia production, Owen Fitzgerald, and multimedia students at Marconi Campus, Nova Scotia Community College. "The solution to our economic difficulties is in our young people. We need to give them the opportunity to show their talent and provide them with the necessary resources and heap all the praise on them they deserve," Fitzgerald said. He has produced CD-ROMs on the history of Alexander Graham Bell and Fortress Louisbourg. The CD-ROM project was started on the initiative of Fitzgerald who called Post publisher Roger Brown to offer congratulations and insist it be published in digital form.
[Cape Breton Post, 7 January 2000]

2000 January 7

Old Christmas Day

The children of John and Wanda Huk get to celebrate Christmas twice, at the beginning and end of each year.  The Huks are first generation Eastern Europeans. John can trace his roots to the Ukraine and Wanda to Poland, their parents emigrated to Cape Breton near the turn of the century to work in the steel mills.  Although the family has maintained the tradition of observing the Orthodox Christmas by the Julian calendar (Old Christmas, January 7th), Huk said the family also celebrates the Gregorian Christmas December 25th.  The Huks, who live at 79 West Street, Sydney, are dedicated historians of the Ukrainian community in Sydney. John has even published a book Strangers in the Land: The Ukrainian Presence in Cape Breton. He figures there are about 1,500 Ukrainian families in Cape Breton, but only about 75-100 families now belong to the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Church in Whitney Pier.  "We are so isolated, we are the only church left east of Montreal," he said.  In fact, their last three priests were brought here from behind the former Iron Curtain and could speak not a word of English.  Huk is worried the church will continue to lose its members as they struggle with the cultural differences that exist between the east and west.
[Cape Breton Post, 5 January 2000]

Q: Why doesn't the Ukranian Church celebrate Christmas on December 25th, like the Protestants and Catholics do?

A: The Ukranian Church does celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

The real question is: When does December 25th occur?

We use a calendar to keep track of the days of the week, and the various annual holidays.  The modern calendar, used by all Canadians for civil purposes (business, schools, newspapers, transportation and broadcasting schedules, etc.) and for legal purposes (dating documents, etc.) is the Gregorian Calendar, which came into effect in September 1752.  Before that, the Julian Calendar was the calendar used for civil and legal purposes.

Okay, that's for civil and legal purposes.  What about religious purposes?  When the changeover from Julian to Gregorian took place in 1752, the Anglican Church was required by law to switch to the Gregorian Calendar (that was actually written into the law).  The other Protestant churches made the change in September 1752 or soon after.  The Catholic Church had been operating on the Gregorian Calendar since October 1582.  That is, most religions adopted the Gregorian Calendar for figuring when religious holidays occur.

However, some churches, including the Ukranian Church, decided to stay with the traditional Julian calendar, which had been used for figuring religious holidays for more than a thousand years.  To this day, these churches use the Julian Calendar for that purpose.

The Julian Calendar is still running, along with the Gregorian Calendar.  The only difference between them is the Leap Year Rule.  The Julian Calendar operates with 100 leap years every 400 years, while the Gregiorian Calendar operates with 97 leap years every 400 years.  That is, there is a cumulative difference of three days every 400 years.  To say the same thing another way: The Gregorian Calendar runs slightly faster than the Julian Calendar — on average, the difference is 10 minutes 48 seconds a year.

In October 1752, there was an eleven-day difference between the two calendars.  That's why eleven days were omitted from the legal and civil calendar in September 1752, to adjust from the Julian to the Gregorian.  The difference between the two calendars remained at eleven days until 1800, which was a leap year in the Julian but not in the Gregorian — this increased the difference to twelve days.  In 1900, the difference increased to thirteen days; it will remain at thirteen days until 2100.

In 1999-2000, the difference between the two calendars was thirteen days, with the Gregorian Calendar running ahead of the Julian.  Christmas Day occurs on December 25th in both calendars.  Thirteen days after December 25th is January 7th.  When the Julian Calendar arrives at December 25, the Gregorian Calendar has arrived at January 7.  So two churches, both celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 (according to their own calendars) mark the occasion thirteen days apart.

In 2100, the difference will increase to fourteen days, and after that the Ukranian Christmas Day will be celebrated on January 8th according to the Gregorian calendar.

2000 January 7

Cape Breton Has Excellent Internet Connections: Paquette

MTT has spent $20,000,000 in upgrading and improving links to the information highway into Cape Breton, Wendy Paquette, president of MTT, told a joint meeting of the Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade and University College of Cape Breton. Her personal wish for Atlantic Canadians is for them to enhance the way they look at themselves by choosing to reclaim their rightful place as economic leaders. Cape Breton has a unique and vibrant culture, a fiercely independent people, but are hindered by mixed emotions about themselves. The region's lifestyle is marketable and is one of the reasons why the four phone companies have amalgamated to grow the knowledge economy. MTT faced the same challenge to stand still and watch their business die or embrace change and turn it to our favour. It resulted in the creation of Aliant, an amalgamation of the four Atlantic phone companies into a $3,000,000,000 organization, the largest publicly traded company in Atlantic Canada. Paquette said Cape Breton has the most advanced communication infrastructure in the world, the equivalent of what is available in downtown Halifax. Few areas in the country have Mpowered, high speed Internet service.
[Cape Breton Post, 8 January 2000]

2000 January 7

Ice Plugs Sable Gas Pipe

Sable gas production has been brought to a standstill as crews grapple with an ice plug in the undersea pipeline. Officials ordered the shutdown early in the morning of Friday, January 7th, and it is expected to last for at least several days. It's the second stoppage since gas started flowing to New England customers New Year's Eve. The first incident occurred about 4:00am Tuesday, January 4th, when a leak was discovered on the main production platform, forcing the evacuation of 38 workers to another section of the Thebaud platform. That same day, Sable president and general manager John Brannan had said there were no problems. The leak shut down production for 48 hours while the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board and Sable officials investigated. No one was hurt during the incident.

Production restarted Thursday, only to be halted the next day. The subsea pipeline, 220 kilometres long and 66 centimetres in diameter, became plugged with ice about 17 kilometres from the platform during the start-up phase. There were two pigs in the line, which push and clear liquids between the offshore and onshore sites. They are of special importance in clearing the liquids that collect in the low parts of the pipeline; "pigs" is the common term for the clearing equipment. Natural gas liquids in the line formed an "ice" plug and pressure on both sides of the pipe must be relieved to melt the plug. It could be five or six days before engineers are able to clear the blockage from the pipe. The "ice" consisting mostly of a mixture of water with propane and butane, solidified under the reduced pressure that followed the first stoppage of production.

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 8 January 2000]
[Halifax Daily News, 8 January 2000]

2000 January 8

Two Large Power Plants Short of Fuel

The Lingan and Point Aconi plants generate 785 megawatts
of Nova Scotia Power's total capacity of 2,200 megawatts

Nova Scotia's power utility secured a court injunction in Sydney Friday, January 7th, to restrict illegally striking Cape Breton miners from interrupting operations at two coal-fired generating stations. Supreme Court Justice Frank Edwards granted the order after reviewing affidavits from two Nova Scotia Power Inc. executives who claimed that one-half of the company's electric power requirement is being jeopardized by protesting miners blocking access to the plants in Point Aconi and Lingan. "In normal operations of the company, we retain approximately six to eight weeks of fuel reserves. At present, in Cape Breton, that is not the case because of the current situation," said James Taylor, the company's director of plant operations. In fact, company lawyer James Campbell told the court that as of Thursday, fuel reserves at the Point Aconi plant were down to only a four-day supply. He said coal deliveries were needed in order to avoid other disruptions associated with the winter months. "The activities of the protesters have disrupted the operation of NSP's facilities and have the potential of causing very significant problems," he said.
[Cape Breton Post, 8 January 2000]

2000 January 10

About Twenty Days' Coal Supply

CBC Interviews James Taylor
Director of Plant Operations
Nova Scotia Power Incorporated

CBH-FM Radio, Halifax
Program: Maritime Noon
12:22pm January 10th, 2000

Well, usually this time of year, snow storms and blizzards have people worried about being left in the dark. But today, thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers have something new to worry about - the Cape Breton coal miner. In addition to shutting down Devco with an illegal strike, the miners are also picketing two power generating plants. The plants run on coal and the miners are trying to restrict the movement of coal while the mines are shut down. Since last week, miners have been blocking shipments to plants and that has officials at Nova Scotia Power worried that their coal supply might run out and that would be bad news since the two plants supply fifty percent of Nova Scotia's electricity. James Taylor is Director of Plant Operations with Nova Scotia Power and we have reached him in Sydney. Hello, Mr. Taylor.

JAMES TAYLOR, Director of Plant Operations, NSPI
Hello, Costas, how are you today?

Not too bad. How much coal do you have left right now in terms of weeks of supply?

Well, our current coal inventory at Lingan we have approximately two and a half weeks supply as of midnight last night. And at Point Aconi, approximately three weeks supply.

Normally at this time of year about how much inventory would you have on hand for Lingan and Point Aconi?

At Lingan and Point Aconi and at all of our generating stations we normally stock about eight weeks supply. And ah – the additional inventory we have been carry at the Victoria Junction storage facility, and there's three hundred thousand tonnes of coal there that we purchased and have stored at that facility. So that combined with Lingan and Point Aconi had made up the six to eight weeks supply for those stations.

Now, how likely is it that you might actually run out of coal?

Well, currently the protesters continue the blockade of coal deliveries to our generating stations. So on each day it brings us that much closer to not having any coal on the ground. And in addition, the reserves that we carry are really more or less an insurance policy for other contingencies that may happen.

Such as?

Such as interruptions in the coal delivery supply chain, whether that be by rail or by truck. There could be icy roads, there could breakdowns or interruptions in the ship deliveries. Given that the current situation with CBDC is that they are not producing any coal, we are having to import coal and ah – the logistics around that there are many contingencies that could happen. So we've basically been eating into our insurance policy. And as we do that, the risk of losing electricity supply, not only in two and a half week's time, but also in the future months until we get into the summer time, also is there.

Where have you been importing the coal from?

We have been importing coal from both the U.S. and South America.

Now what exactly have the demonstrators been doing to restrict the flow of coal to the two power plants?

Well, on January 5th, the protesters effectively stopped the transfer of coal from Point Aconi to Lingan. We were transferring some of the coal we had there that is a little bit harder to burn at Point Aconi over to Lingan. And that was the first action; the trucks were not allowed to leave Point Aconi. So we've had to dump the coal back on the pile and ah..they let the empty trucks out. On January 7th, we received an injunction from the Supreme Court to clarify that this was illegal and ah – on January 7th, we attempted to move coal from Lingan to Point Aconi, and they also protested that action. And on the advice of the RCMP, we stopped that delivery from happening.

What was the specific advice from the RCMP about that situation?

That ah – it was stirring up the emotions and making the situation even more volatile.

So it was being considered a provocative act for you to move the coal from one plant to another?

It seemed to be (inaudible) it, yes.

Now what are you going to do about that?

Well, our situation – we continue to work very hard with the RCMP to reach a peaceful agreement with the protestors so that we can commence once again to re-establish normal operation at our plants and to deliver coal. So, ah, but we also have an obligation to provide electricity to the customers in Nova Scotia and have been balancing those two necessities over the last period of time. But as the situation gets more crucial for us, we will have to ship coal into our plants.

Now again, if the RCMP have already told you that that was provocative a few days ago, what might change, what might allow you to transfer coal the way you want to or need to?

Well, the RCMP continue to work very hard with the protestors to establish relationships and to clarify the situation for them on the consequences of these acts.

Which might be?

Well, there are both criminal and civil consequences for, like, their actions are illegal and so they both – they face both criminal and civil prosecutions.

So if crunch time really comes, your coal supply starts to run out, what might you have to do?

Well, we have to first of all re-establish truck deliveries to our generating facilities and very shortly after that, re-establish the rail delivery to our Lingan generating station. The normal delivery of coal to Lingan – and the only way that we can keep up with the fuel burn at Lingan is by having the rail delivery re-established. So those two things have to happen.

Just finally, you have both large commercial electricity users and domestic users, what's the priority, who would feel the chop first?

Well, in the rate structure in Nova Scotia there is a rate class that is the interruptible rate class, and those customers would be advised that there is a possibility because we are unable to produce enough electricity that we may not be able to continue to supply them.

Those are the industrial users?

Those are industrial users yes.

Such as?

Well, there is many businesses on the interruptible rate class, but many of the larger users in the province of Nova Scotia.

Alright, Mr. Taylor, thank you very much.

You're welcome, Costas.

Bye now.


James Taylor is Director of Plant Operations with Nova Scotia Power. We'd like to hear your thoughts on this story. Call our answering machine 1-800-565-5463.

Nova Scotia Power website at

NSPI Fuel Supplies at Dangerously Low Levels

NSPI Press Release: Inventories of coal available to Nova Scotia Power's generating plants at Lingan and Point Aconi have dropped to dangerously low levels, says James Taylor, Nova Scotia Power Inc.'s Director of Plant Operations. "We now have less than 125,000 tonnes of coal available to us. Every day without coal deliveries increases the risk of a service disruption. At current rates of consumption, our supplies will be exhausted by the end of the month. But in the event of severe weather or in the event of operating difficulties at other generating plants, the impacts could be felt much sooner." The Lingan and Point Aconi plants generate about one-half of the electricity used by NSPI's 430,000 customers.

Prior to the strike by coal miners, Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) had a six to eight week supply of coal or about 450,000 tonnes. Of the 450,000 tonnes, 150,000 tonnes of coal were inside the plant gates at Lingan and Point Aconi. The balance of the coal was stored at the Victoria Junction coal preparation facility, a site owned by the Cape Breton Development Corporation. Since January 2, striking miners have prevented the movement of any coal from Victoria Junction and they have blockaded NSPI's two generating plants. Because of these actions, the amount of coal available for use in the Cape Breton plants has dropped to less than 125,000 tonnes. "We're running dangerously low on fuel. It's essential that we re-establish our coal supply this week. If we were driving our car, we'd have about one-eighth of a tank left and we've still got a long road ahead of us. We're at risk of not being able to continue."

NSPI has placed full-page ads in Halifax and Sydney newspapers to advise customers of the risk of service interruptions. "We believe we have a responsibility to advise our customers of what could happen in the event we cannot move coal very soon."

Nova Scotia Power website at

Nova Scotia Power: January 2000, Coal Inventory, Lingan and Aconi
As of January 12th, 2000. Figures for later dates are extrapolated based on unstated assumptions.
Nova Scotia Power website at

Background about NSPI's Coal Supply

Nova Scotia Power (NSPI) has had a coal contract with CBDC (Devco) since 1978.

Current coal inventories, as of 12 January 2000

Excerpted and adapted from the Nova Scotia Power website at

CBC Interviews Alison Gillan
Manager, Public Affairs, Nova Scotia Power Incorporated

CBH-FM Radio, Halifax
Program: Mainstreet
4:00pm January 12th, 2000

When you opened your morning paper this morning, you may have noticed full page ads from Nova Scotia Power. The utility says its coal supply at the generating plants in Cape Breton is dangerously low because of the strike by miners, and it must get coal into the plants as soon as possible. Allison Gillan is with Nova Scotia Power. She spoke with reporter Sean Hirtle earlier today.

ALLISON GILLAN, Manager, Public Affairs, NSPI
What we want is to make sure that people appreciate that this is a very real situation for our customers and that were managing our electricity supply as best we can but were also planning for contingencies. On any given day something that could happen that would cause us not to be able to generate from any particular station and we allow for those eventualities as part of our business and that never affects customers. What we have is a situation here where were not in full control of our entire generating system. So our ability to manage those systems is greatly reduced. So what we want customers to understand is, that were working hard to take care of the electricity supply for them, but, there are things that are influencing our business which could have an ultimate effect on them. And while were trying to minimize that right now, its a very real situation. Nova Scotians can use up to 2000 megawatts of power on an average winter day. Our capacity is roughly 2200 megawatts. So on any given day, we are working hard at all of our stations to ensure that were able to meet the demands of Nova Scotia customers for electricity.

SEAN HIRTLE, Reporter:
That's a very small sounding margin.

It is a very small sounding margin. And we manage our system very closely to take care of our customers in that way. Now we have some flexibility because we have an existing arrangement with New Brunswick that allows us to go purchase and sell power between our two companies. The most that you can purchase from New Brunswick is 300 megawatts. So that would be the extent of our flexibility in terms of New Brunswick. When somebody asks if our two plants in Cape Breton stop producing can we just buy from New Brunswick, those two plants generate 785 megawatts of power, the most we can buy is 300. So very clearly, there's a shortfall. There's not enough to buy to make up for what we should be producing on our own for Nova Scotians. Without these two plants, it would be very difficult to meet the needs of our customers.

There is a coal supply, um, theres a pile in in ah, Auld's Cove, how much is there?

Right now there's approximately 56,000 tonnes on the ground at Auld's Cove. There's an additional 300,000 tonnes of our coal on the ground at Victoria Junction in Cape Breton.

How long would those supplies say, in Auld's Cove, last?

Well Auld's Cove also supplies two of our other generating stations, so normally, we would not be using coal from Auld's Cove to supply Lingan and Point Aconi. What we are doing is bringing our coal supply into the International pier in Sydney, and moving that coal from that location by truck and by rail to Point Aconi and Lingan. So normally we would not be working through Auld's Cove, we would be working through the International pier. That fuel supply isn't enough to keep those two stations running. We need to re-establish our supplies in Industrial Cape Breton.

When will you do that?

We feel that its critical that we re-establish our fuel supply this week.

You, you've had an injunction, since last week. What is the thinking about not simply just getting that coal in, back then, or, this morning, or, whenever.

We've been very conscious of the volatility of the situation, and, our concern has been for public safety, for the safety of our employees, for any truck drivers involved, and for the safety of protesters. But we have a very clear obligation to provide electricity to Nova Scotians. What we've been doing since the injunction is in place, is trying to balance those two things. Public safety versus our ability to meet our customers needs. As time has moved on, we are now at a critical point where we need to have coal supplied to those stations to serve our customers. We are planning for other contingencies, but it is our hope that a peaceful end to the blockade would be the best resolution.

Not to belabour, just so that I'm definitive here, this week though is the, a definite that coal has to get in?

We need to re-establish our fuel supply to those two stations this week, immediately, we want to do that by truck. But shortly after that we need to have the rail system put back in place. The volume of coal that gets burned, particularly at Lingan generating station, its hard to keep up with that volume by truck. We really need the rail system back in place. But this week is critical for fuel supply.

Thank you

Thanks very much.

Nova Scotia Power website at

Ms. Gillian: "Auld's Cove also supplies two of our other generating stations, so normally, we would not be using coal from Auld's Cove to supply Lingan and Point Aconi."

The two other generating stations, dependent on the Auld's Cove coal stockpile, are the Point Tupper Generating Station in Point Tupper, and the Trenton Generating Station in Trenton. Both of these plants burn coal to boil water to make high-pressure steam to generate electricity, and this coal is brought from Auld's Cove to the generating plants by the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway.

No Coal Deliveries for Eleven Days
January 2nd to 12th

No coal has been delivered to the two NSPI generating plants in Point Aconi and Lingan since an illegal strike began January 2nd at Prince Mine in Point Aconi before spreading to all Devco operations in industrial Cape Breton the next day. The two generating plants are running on reserves of coal that could be used up in less than three weeks, affecting power supplies to more than 400,000 customers in Nova Scotia. An injunction against anyone disrupting the shipments was granted in Supreme Court in Sydney, January 7th, but Devco has been unable to ship coal between the two sites or unload imported coal at the International Piers in Sydney.
[Cape Breton Post, 13 January 2000]

2000 January 11

Sable Gas Information Availability Improved

If there are any more snags in the Sable natural gas project, Nova Scotians are likely to find out sooner. The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board said today it's now going to post more regular offshore updates on its Web site. "We're aiming for Thursday (January 13th) to start putting on our Web site a description of the activities," said Jim Dickey, chief executive officer of the board, which represents the federal and provincial governments. "We're going to add another section in (the website). If there are occurrences that take place, that might be of interest to the public in terms of a shutdown."

Although news of the increased Web site postings surfaced a few days after a gas leak and a production shutdown at Sable, Mr. Dickey said the updates do not stem from those two incidents. "All we're doing is expanding a bit," Mr. Dickey said of the changes. "We've been thinking about it for some time any way in our system so... this is really not in light of that." Early last Tuesday morning, January 4th, 38 workers were evacuated from one section of the main gas-processing platform offshore after a gas leak was signalled. Production was shut down for 48 hours while the petroleum board and Sable investigated.

Then, work on the line related to the shutdown from the first incident led to the halt of gas flow Friday. Production hasn't resumed, and crews are still trying to eliminate an ice plug that developed about 17 kilometres from the Thebaud production platform. Sable Offshore Energy crews were still working on the problem Tuesday, said a spokeswoman from Sable. Gas might not flow again before the end of the week. While provincial officials said they didn't find out about the leak soon enough, Mr. Dickey said his board was notified within a half-hour of the incident. "We have an on call person. We were notified immediately. We got our first call at 4:30am." But Premier John Hamm and Economic Development Minister Gordon Balser apparently weren't notified as quickly, and Mr. Hamm wants that addressed. The premier didn't lay blame with the board or Sable gas operators. "The governments felt they didn't get the information they needed," Mr. Dickey said. Mr. Balser wasn't briefed on the leak until last Friday, January 7th, and expressed concern about the delay. But he attributed it to the newness of the operation.

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 12 January 2000]

Canada - Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board website at

"We're going to add another section in (the website).
If there are occurrences that take place, that might be
of interest to the public in terms of a shutdown."

If anyone should ever want a specific reference to
to illustrate the meaning of laconic, no better example
can be found than this section of the CNSOPB website.
Brevity is the main characteristic. It is obvious that the
CNSOPB is being very careful not to overburden
the public with excessive detail.

2000 January 11

Canadian History Not a Hot Subject for Teens

An impromptu quiz elicits a flurry of hands from 200 elementary students asked to identify the image of a famous Canadian projected on a screen. "Jim Carrey," says one boy correctly. But when a picture of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau appears, only about a dozen hands are raised by the children, seated on a school gym floor in St. John's, Nfld. "That's Jean Chretien," declares one girl confidently. It takes a couple more tries before the correct answer is found.

The quiz, which took place last November, was part of a promotions event for Millennium Minutes, a federal initiative in conjunction with the cable TV industry. The 60-second TV spots, scripted by youngsters, depict life across Canada and are to be broadcast on local and national channels later this year. It's a small attempt to unify what some critics say has become a fractured nation ignorant of its history.

Heated debates over native rights and separatism stem at least in part from the way we teach history to our children, says Barry Ogden, a social studies teacher in Saint John, N.B. Regional and ethnic differences have been exacerbated by a poor understanding of ourselves as a nation. "There's just so much ignorance about all of us and I blame it on ( the fact that) Canadian history is not mandatory in high school," he says. "If this was the United Sates it would be sacrilegious."

Unlike the U.S., Canada has no national ministry of education, leaving curricula up to the provinces to set. That means the subject is taught in ten different ways, says critic Jack Granatstein. "Canadian history is not a compulsory subject in four provinces in high school, which is amazing," says Granatstein, a former Canadian history professor and author of the book Who Killed Canadian History? "We must be the only country in the world that doesn't teach its own history to its own children. I think that's disastrous."

Disparities in teaching content mean a student in Nova Scotia might learn a lot about the Halifax Explosion but little about Metis leader Louis Riel, while a francophone in Quebec may learn about French founding fathers unheard of in British Columbia.

The result is that Canadians don't understand each other. "I don't know that you can say this means that whites and aboriginals fight, or Quebec and the rest of the country fight," says Granatstein, now director of the War Museum in Ottawa.

"But it does mean we don't know very much about our past. "How can a Canadian understand the Quebec situation today if he doesn't have some sense of French-English relations running all the way back?"

But Newfoundlander Kathy LeGrow says such regionalism does have its place. "Local information that is provided is useful in my opinion, because sometimes we don't even learn enough about where we're from," says LeGrow, president of the Canadian School Boards Association. "I'm from Newfoundland so I would be interested in my children being exposed to the history of Newfoundland," she says, adding that local history should be placed in a national context.

Gene Mercer, a Grade 10 student in Greenwich, Nova Scotia, says much of the Canadian history he's taken has been highly regionalized. "It was actually mostly centralized around the Acadians," says Mercer, 15, as he begins to list some of the history topics. "We did a bit of stuff on Louis Riel; we didn't do the gold rush or anything like that; we did a couple things on native groups; we did a bit on the ones that had gone extinct in Newfoundland... the Beothuks." A more comprehensive course won't be offered until Grade 12, says Mercer, an occasional newspaper reader, and that will be optional. "I really wouldn't like it if I was forced to take the course," says Mercer, whose university plans include a double major in computer engineering and genetics. "I don't think it would be fair that you would be forced to take Canadian history if you needed to take a science or something."

Gertie Gallon, a Grade 11 Fredericton student, says history is a difficult subject to find interesting and she wouldn't take it if she didn't have to. "I think we need to maybe learn more about what's going on in the world today, like current events," says Gallon, 16.

Attitudes like that don't surprise Granatstein. "You have a generation that's been raised without any sense of their country," he says. "One would expect that a voter, who might be called upon to make hard choices, would know what the British North America Act was, would know about patriation and the Charter and would have some sense of why Quebec is either happy or unhappy with these things. How else can you make any kind of informed decision?"

[Hamilton Spectator, 11 January 2000]

2000 January 13

Major Upgrade Planned for
Nova Scotia's Land Registration System

Nova Scotia's 250-year-old land registration system will soon get a major overhaul. The Department of Housing and Municipal Affairs today released a discussion paper titled Registry 2000: Land Records Reform. It recommends the ink-on-paper system, pretty much unchanged since 1749, be converted to electronic operation. It also proposes to make property registration easier in Nova Scotia, as well as guarantee title ownership to people who are buying properties — something the existing system doesn't do. Under the current system in Nova Scotia, every time a property changes hands or is mortgaged, a title search must be done. This search must look at the history of the property, going back 40 or 60 years or longer. This search must be done every time the property changes hands, no matter how many times it has been searched in the past. 250 years of recording documents by peoples' names rather than by land parcel has led to an inefficient system which is difficult to search, time-consuming, expensive, and prone to error. Under the proposed system, documents filed at the Registry of Deeds will be indexed to the unique location of the land parcel affected, through its Property Identification (PID) number. This will change the system from a name-based index to a parcel-based system. Approximately 75 percent of Nova Scotia's land is held in private ownership, unlike most other Canadian jurisdictions where the majority of land is held by the Crown. There are approximately 500,000 separate properties or parcels of land in Nova Scotia. Interests in many of these properties change frequently. More than 135,000 transactions affecting real property are registered in the provincial Registries of Deeds each year. In addition, there are numerous non-registered interests which affect real property such as statutory liens, municipal zoning, property tax obligations, and environmental liabilities.
Halifax Daily News, 14 January 2000
Kentville Advertiser, 21 January 2000
New Glasgow Evening News, 22 January 2000
Registry 2000: Land Records Reform
Registry 2000: FAQ file (Frequently Asked Questions)

Also: Nova Scotia's Geographical Names

2000 January 13   7:30pm

Coal Blockade Broken Temporarily
as Coal is Delivered to Generating Plants

Beginning on Thursday evening, January 13th, trucks began hauling coal to Nova Scotia Power's generating station at Point Aconi, Cape Breton County. The first of twenty trucks left Auld's Cove at 5:30pm for Point Aconi, a drive that takes about two hours. A complete round trip — loading, delivery and return to Auld's Cove at the west end of the Canso Causeway — takes a total of seven hours. Overnight Thursday about 1,350 tonnes of coal was delivered Thursday night by a convoy of about twenty trucks under RCMP escort. "The plants burn this amount of coal in about four and a half hours," utility official James Taylor said.

"We're still at a critical stage here," NSPI public affairs spokesperson Alison Gillan said. "Those trucks can deliver 85 tonnes of coal per hour. Point Aconi and Lingan use 300 tonnes per hour. This is a good first step but it's not a final or long-term solution. We remain very concerned about our situation and we must resume normal operation which means a full delivery schedule of coal both by truck and by rail as quickly as possible to ensure the supply of electricity to our customers," Ms. Gillan said. It is critical to haul as much coal to the generating plant as possible, she added. "Our generating stations at Point Aconi and Lingan have been illegally blockaded since January 5th, forcing us to burn our coal reserves. Because of this, it has resulted in an increased risk for our customers for the remainder of the winter." Gillan added it is extremely difficult to build up a coal reserve during the winter months, because the plants burn coal as fast as it can be delivered. "The colder weather means people use more electricity and another cold snap is expected," she said.

The federal government and Devco union leaders hammered out a consensus Thursday after two days of intense negotiations in Ottawa. The agreement, part of a 24-hour cooling-off period between Ottawa and Devco's four unions, allowed Nova Scotia Power plants in Lingan and Point Aconi to receive coal shipments for the first time since angry miners walked off the job January 2nd to protest the privatization and downsizing of their industry. Devco miners began the illegal strike in an effort to get Ottawa to negotiate a better pension and severance package than the $111,000,000 unilateral package announced by the federal government last January, at the same time the government announced it was getting out of the coal industry. Union officials and the Cape Breton Development Corporation will now enter a process of renegotiating the pension deal, which could ultimately wind up in the hands of an arbitrator.

[Cape Breton Post, 14 & 15 January 2000]
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 14 January 2000]
[Halifax Daily News, 15 January 2000]

2000 January 13

Third Fatality in Eight Years

Maritime Steel and Foundries Limited
New Glasgow and Dartmouth

For the third time in eight years, a steelworker with Maritime Steel and Foundries Limited has died in an on-the-job industrial accident. [Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 14 January 2000]

2000 January 13

Last Card Catalogue Scrapped

Nova Scotia: Last card catalog taken away, January 2000 On this day, the last of the card catalogues was removed from Western Counties Regional Library headquarters, 405 Main Street, Yarmouth. This event closed a chapter in WCRL's history and marks the end of the transition to the new electronic way of carrying out day-to-day business at all libraries across the province and the country.
Source: The Disseminator
Nova Scotia Provincial Library electronic newsletter, vol. 7 nbr. 1, January 2000

Western Counties Regional Library website at
Western Counties Regional Library online catalog at

2000 January 14

Thrilling Sea Disasters Focus of Local Series

Halifax producers are scouring the globe
for lots of exciting footage

Fans of real-life emergency shows will be happy to hear about the latest prime time offering: High Seas Rescue. Even better is the news it's produced in Halifax, by Tri Media / Great North, the same folks who brought us TV biographies of Anna Leonowens, TV mogul Louis B. Mayer, Dartmouth's Broadway and Hollywood star Ruby Keeler and others. There's a $1,100,000 budget for the three-episode pilot, which will air this spring on the Discovery channel in Canada and The Learning Channel in the U.S. From its headquarters on Hollis Street in Halifax, a team of ten is busy scouring the globe for tension-filled footage of watery rescues, from coast guards, search-and-rescue people, TV stations, "and believe it or not, a lot of private video," says line producer Whitman Trecartin, a former NFB staffer. (Chuck Stewart is the series producer.) "We're looking for 'wow shots.' Like, 'hey, did you see that?' That's the big trick, to get the footage."

Boat disasters often occur hundreds of kilometres offshore, and news cameras usually arrive well after the fact, so some of the best stuff is coming from amateurs with home videocameras, responding to the show's notices on nautical websites. Production manager Andrea Murphy is amazed people even think to roll tape when huge swells are swamping their boats. "The last thing I'd be doing would be videotaping! I'd be tying myself to something," she laughs.

The shows will also include interviews with rescuers and survivors, details on the technology behind the rescue and re-enactments to portray the human drama. The first three instalments are called Nature's Wrath: Rescuers in Peril, When Fun Turns Deadly and Titanic Disasters: Freighters in Danger. Things are looking good for a full series, because the show is a coproduction with Great North's Alberta wing and GRB Entertainment in Los Angeles, which produces a similar show, Storm Warning, now in its third successful year. Halifax is the logical site for the new series, as a gateway to the hostile North Atlantic and proximity to offshore organizations. "We were able to convince them that this was the place to do it," says Trecartin.

[Halifax Daily News, 15 January 2000]

2000 January 14

Miners' Strike Ended

On Friday, January 14th, miners employed at the Cape Breton Development Corporation (Devco) voted overwhelmingly to end a two-week wildcat strike sparked by anger over a pension package they view as inadequate. The vote was 83% in favour of ending the strike. One effect of the vote is the resumption of normal coal deliveries to Nova Scotia Power's two generating plants at Lingan and Point Aconi. "We're very pleased to see a peaceful resolution," James Taylor, director of plant operations for Nova Scotia Power said. "We are working to rebuild coal reserves as quickly as possible."
[Halifax Daily News, 15 January 2000]
[National Post, 15 January 2000]

2000 January 14

Electric Power Sold to the United States

Nova Scotia Power Inc. has begun to supply electric power from its generating plants in Nova Scotia to consumers in the United States during the summer. The quantity sold has been small, but the mere fact that any at all was sold to the U.S.A. is unprecedented in the history of electric power in Nova Scotia. Murray Coolican, NSP vice-president, public affairs, told the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board during hearings in Halifax on 14 January: "We sold some power... to Quebec Hydro at the New Brunswick border, and then sold into the U.S. Exports into the United States are something relatively new for us... One of the positive things about (the Nova Scotia climate) not requiring air conditioning in the summer is that we do have excess capacity in the summer, while in the New England states that is a period of high demand because of the need for air conditioning."

In 1998, sales to the U.S. brought in $236,000, and in 1999 NSPI had sales of $1,780,000 to the U.S. NSP's annual revenues from all sources is about $750,000,000. "Any time that we have a surplus of generation, we would like to be able to export into the United States," Mr. Coolican said. "Obviously, our first priority is to our customers in Nova Scotia. We also have arrangements where we will sometimes export into New Brunswick."

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 15 January 2000]

NSPI Thinking About Buying New Brunswick Power

If New Brunswick Power's assets are put up for sale by the New Brunswick government, there is a possibility Nova Scotia Power could be a prime bidder. "I think they (NSP) were quite clearly interested," said Elizabeth Weir, who recently tabled a motion in the New Brunswick legislature asking the New Brunswick government to reveal its plan for the Crown-owned provincial electric utility, which has a heavy load of debt. If Conservative Premier Bernard Lord decides to sell off all or some of the utility's assets, Nova Scotia Power would likely want to get involved, said Ms. Weir, MLA and leader of the New Brunswick NDP. NSP's appearance at 1998 committee hearings on the future of New Brunswick Power said it all, she said. "That was a very clear signal."

Murray Collican, NSP vice-president of public affairs, said the Nova Scotia utility is closely watching the restructuring of NB Power. "We've been watching what they have been doing. We're interested in the restructuring," Mr. Coolican said last week.

Almost two years ago, at the New Brunswick government hearings into NB Power, a former NSP vice-president said NSP was very interested in NB Power's future. "Over the years, we have worked closely with New Brunswick Power to minimize cost while maintaining exemplary reliability and quality of supply, and we are willing to work even more closely to enhance the value of our existing assets and minimize costs to customers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick," Terry MacDonald told the committee.

An important consideration is the fact that all electric power exported from Nova Scotia to Maine or elsewhere in New England, must be carried over the high-voltage transmission lines owned and operated by New Brunswick Power. If these transmission lines, with or without associated generating plants, were to be put up for sale, the ultimate buyer would have a high degree of control over any plans to generate power in Nova Scotia for sale elsewhere.

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 19 January 2000]

2000 January 15

Musquodoboit Harbour CAP Site Opens

The Jeddore - Musquodoboit Community CAP Site officially opened on this day in the Musquodoboit Harbour Public Library. Thanks to the support of Industry Canada and the Nova Scotia Technology and Science Secretariat through the Community Access Program (CAP), the community of Musquodoboit will have additional access to the Internet, word processing and opportunities for training. The Musquodoboit Harbour Public Library will house two new computers in the library's newly arranged community information area. The nearby Centre by the Sea will house six new computers, and each location will provide training sessions.
The Disseminator, Nova Scotia Provincial Library electronic newsletter
v7 n1, January 2000

2000 January 15

Offshore Pipeline Blockage Cleared

The undersea pipeline carrying Sable natural gas to the mainland has been unplugged. "The hydrate (ice) has been dissolved," Cynthia Langlands, spokeswoman for Sable Offshore Energy Incorporated (SOE) said today. She said workers cleared the plug by depressurizing the pipeline and injecting glycol — which has an antifreeze effect — into the pipeline. "Over the next couple of days, we'll be starting production offshore." Production of natural gas from SOE's $3,000,000,000 project has been shut down since January 7th, when an "ice" plug developed in the 200 kilometre pipeline carrying gas from the Thebaud production platform near sable Island to SOE's gas processing plant at Goldboro, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. The plug formed when water and natural gas liquids (mainly propane and butane) froze in the pipe, which has a diameter of 66 centimetres 26 inches. The pipeline lies on the bottom of the sea, and the sea floor, with its natural humps and hollows, determines the pipeline profile. Fluids — which include natural gas liquids, water, and condensate — tend to collect in valleys (low points) in the pipe. Under normal operating conditions, with the projected full-capacity flow through the pipeline of 12,000,000 cubic metres of natural gas per day, these pools of condensed fluid remain liquid and are pushed through the pipe and cause no problem. In the circumstances of January 6-7, with the low flow rate, "they weren't being pushed through." These pools of collected liquid cooled, and then froze when pressure in the pipe was reduced as a result of an unplanned shutdown just before the plug formed. Ms. Langlands said it's "not uncommon" to have production fluctuations in the early stages of operation of major facilities like Sable. "This is a 25-year project and we are very much in the early stages of production," she said.
[Halifax Sunday Herald, 16 January 2000]
[Halifax Sunday Daily News, 16 January 2000]
[National Post, 17 January 2000]

Sable Offshore Energy Incorporated
Laying The Sable Gas Pipeline (requires the Quicktime 4 plug-in)
Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline and Liquids Facilities

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