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

Chapter 52
2000 February 1-15

2000 February

Passenger Rail Service
Halifax - Sydney

A passenger train will run between Halifax and Sydney in 2000. Called the Bras d'Or, the seasonal train will run eastbound every Tuesday and westbound every Wednesday starting 9 May 2000 through to 15 October. On Tuesday, the train leaves Halifax at 7:30am and arrives in Sydney around 6:00 the same afternoon. "There is a two-hour stopover in Port Hawkesbury, for refreshments," VIA Rail spokesperson Julie Durocher says. The ten hour trip includes on-board entertainment, a sky-line car with a dome, breakfast and lunch, beverages, a guided tour, and off-train activities and photo opportunities. The train also features a lounge area with a selection of local wines and ales. The train returns to Halifax on Wednesday, with reversed departure and arrival times. "We are selling this as a one-way trip so people can do what they want," Durocher says. The return trip also stops in Port Hawkesbury. The one-way ticket costs $210.00 plus tax. The excursion train is targeted at tourists, she says, and is a joint project between VIA Rail, the Nova Scotia Marketing Agency, Enterprise Cape Breton, and Tourism Cape Breton. Durocher says if the season's operation is successful, the company intends to continue it. "I heard somebody say it is the best new tourism project in Atlantic Canada."
[Inverness Oran, 2 February 2000]

Mayor Praises Spinoff Benefits
of New Passenger Train

The mayor of Port Hawkesbury says the Halifax to Sydney train trip being launched this summer should serve as a boom for local business. From May until October, a VIA train will run once a week from Halifax to Sydney and return. The only stop along the way is a two-hour pause at Port Hawkesbury. Port Hawkesbury Mayor Billy Joe MacLean says the train will bring many tourists into Port Hawkesbury throughout the summer and businesses located near the town's waterfront should benefit. "Where we'll have a train full of people unloading at the waterfront from that train, it increases the business activity along the waterfront and gives tourists an opportunity to enjoy our hospitality and, at the same time, spend some money" he said. MacLean noted he participated in one of the trial trips which took place last fall. "I think its extremely positive for the town" he said. MacLean noted throughout the trip, information on local attractions was also provided to travellers. For that trial run, Port Hawkesbury's recreation department arranged for entertainment and other activities at The Creamery on the town's waterfront. Among the attractions there were dancers and musicians, the calibre of which MacLean is quick to boast.
[Cape Breton Post, 16 February 2000]

Orangedale Hoping for Passenger Trains Again

A group of Whycocomagh residents is hoping to hear the Orangedale whistle blow in their community once again, providing operators of the new tourist train can be persuaded to schedule a stop on its once-weekly Sydney to Halifax run. Four residents met with Nova Scotia Tourism and Culture Minister Rodney MacDonald earlier this month to see if the train might be able to make a stop at the Railway Museum in Orangedale. The tourist train, named Bras d'Or, is a project between Via Rail and the provincial tourism marketing agency ECBC and Tourism Cape Breton. The Bras d'Or will seat 186 passengers and feature three long-haul coach cars and a panoramic dome and lounge car. The train is expected to make the 294-km trip from Halifax in ten hours. Operating between May and October, it will leave Halifax at 8:00am, arrive in Sydney at 6:00pm, and depart for Halifax the following day at 8:00am. The trip includes a stop in Port Hawkesbury and Martin Boston, a volunteer with the Railway Museum in Orangedale, thinks it makes sense for the train to spend a portion of that time at the former Canadian National Railway station.
[Cape Breton Post, 24 February 2000]

2000 February

Radio Acadia Relaunched
Now Broadcasting on the Internet

Began transmitting in November 1929

An old institution at Acadia University, which had been dormant for several years, has been revived. In February 2000, with the backing of the Acadia Students' Union, RadioAcadia was relaunched on the Internet through Acadia's campus computer server. The move followed a year during which station manager Aaron Cooper had operated an online (Internet) station from his dorm room. Last year's Acadia Students' Union president Stu Langille made the issue part of his successful election campaign.

Cooper said the Students' Union decided to take RadioAcadia online because it was a good fit with the wired campus concept, the Acadia Advantage program, which provides laptop computers for all students, and Internet access from their rooms.

Internet radio is not licensed by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), but RadioAcadia attempts to follow CRTC guidelines.

Anyone in the world can log on to the station's website at www.radioacadia.org but the broadcasts can be heard only on campus. RadioAcadia is working on expanding audio access to all Internet users.

The move to Internet radio is the latest incarnation for the campus radio station, which celebrates its 71st anniversary this year. The station began transmitting from a studio located in the uppermost rooms of University Hall in November 1929. It was an AM (amplitude modulated) station, sending out its analog signal in the form of electromagnetic waves radiated through space, and could be heard as far away as California and the Carribbean on a good night. With the inauguration of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1936, the station ceased operation until after the Second World War.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the station produced a number of shows for the Annapolis Valley Radio network and the CBC. In the early 1970s, the station was transmitting an AM signal at 790 kHz, using call letters CKIC, over the air and via "carrier current" technology which used the University's electric power distribution system to reach some campus buildings.

[Acadia University Alumni Bulletin, volume 85, number 1, Fall 2000]

Acadia University Student Radio, Wolfville   Winamp
(Broadcasting on the Internet to on-campus locations only)

The staff in December 2000

Kevin Madison — Station Manager <shoju_@hotmail.com>
Paul Snooks — Program Manager <030234s@acadiau.ca>
Trevor Palmquist — Info Manager <043827p@acadiau.ca>
Carter Chassion — Production Manager <048865c@acadiau.ca>

Sunday, 19 November 2000

This is a quick update on what's been happening the last few days at Radio Acadia. On Thursday night, the encoder computer's hard drive decided it did not need its program files anymore. So, it erased all of them. Carter (the production manager) and I (Snooks) worked Friday and Saturday to wipe the hard drive, re-install Win98, and set up the encoder programs again. It took quite awhile, and there are still a few things to do, but its done. So, programs can take place again starting today (Sunday). This means our ICQ list of over 400 people is gone. We don't have you (the listener) on our list anymore, however, you still have us. So, we need you to send us messages, so we can re-join you to the list. Anyway, it's all up and running again thanks to Carter, so everyone shake his hand when you see him, or buy him a beer.

2000 February

Harvard Case Study
of Nova Scotia High-Tech Company

HBS's First OnLine Case Study

When 300 senior executives from multi-million dollar companies in 30 countries gather this year at the Harvard Business School (HBS) for the nine-week Advanced Management Program (AMP), one of their studies will be TIM Dealer Services Inc., a software company in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia that specializes in management systems for the automotive industry. TIM, which stands for Total Information Management, recently signed a contract with Ford Motor Company of Canada to supply dealerships across the country with a new software system that will enable then to do everything from analyze their customer base to their productivity trends.

AMP candidates typically have 15 or more years of management experience and a significant background in general management. They work in companies with annual revenues in excess of $100 million, represent widely diverse industries, and come from more than 30 countries across all continents. They include top corporate executives, managing directors of major business units, and senior executives poised to take on significant corporate leadership positions. The fee for the Advanced Management Program is US$44,000, which covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals

TIM beat out ADP and Reynolds & Reynolds, the world's two largest suppliers of management systems for the auto industry. "We had 300 dealers in Canada who were basically out of business unless we had TIM. We decided we needed to do something quickly. We went is search of a company that was smart and that was fast," says Bobbie Gaunt, president of Ford Canada.

The Harvard execs will learn about TIM from two industry analysts in Canada, review case material and visit its competitors' websites. The executives, attending advanced courses at the prestigious Harvard Business School of Administration, will be eyeing TIM Dealer Services Inc. as part of the school's first online case study. "It's exposure to a different audience. We're a small company in Atlantic Canada that has an opportunity to go all the way," said Richard MacDonald, TIM president and CEO, who co-founded the company with Pierre Cote in 1987.

TIM serves as an example of a company in the critical period between being small and entrepreneurial and becoming a major player, says Melissa Dailey, the Harvard researcher who helped prepare the case study. She works for the business school's F. Warren McFarlan, a senior associate dean and management professor specializing in the use of information technology. The professor got interested in TIM after the software company's advisory board chairman, Donald Cleveland — a Harvard Business School graduate — pitched the idea to the university a couple of years ago. "They were quite intrigued by it," Mr. Cleveland said, referring to the multimedia case study. "The one that grasped the idea immediately was F. Warren McFarlan." In fact, the professor felt the automated systems TIM produces could be applied to several industries, including the airline sector, Mr. Cleveland said. The TIM case study will include a series of video vignettes, and minimal text, and will be available on Harvard's internal Net system. Business school alumni will also be able to access it, Mr. Cleveland said.

F. Warren McFarlan, Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration, is Senior Associate Dean and Director of External Relations. He has been instrumental in introducing management information systems materials to all major HBS programs. His current research examines how information technology is transforming channels of distribution, organizational structure, and service levels. His specific focus is on the management steps to ensure success, with an emphasis on outsourcing issues. Professor McFarlan is the coauthor of a recent book, Corporate Information Systems Management: The Issues Facing Senior Executives (4th edition), as well as "How to Manage an IT Outsourcing Alliance," an article which appeared in Sloan Management Review. He is also a member of several corporate boards and nonprofit boards.

The Harvard Business students will consider various issues: Can Ford Canada afford to take a risk on a small company? Where should TIM go in the future? The 85 employees who work for TIM are eager to hear the answers. "The benefit of having senior executives' input is very helpful to us. This is not a one-way learning experience," says Richard MacDonald, chief executive of the 13-year-old company, based in Dartmouth with a plant in the Northside Industrial Park in North Sydney, Cape Breton Island. A multimedia team and researchers from the Harvard Business School were in Cape Breton in May 1999, interviewing staff at North Sydney location, preparing a business operation case study for students, focusing on the relationship between a large corporation and a small software developer. For decades, the Harvard Business School has used case studies of actual companies for educational purposes.

The primary form of instruction at Harvard Business School is the case study method, which encourages participants to assume the roles of the managers involved as they analyze and discuss the management challenges presented. Participants learn that solutions or outcomes are seldom evident, and that managers often must make quick decisions based on limited information... All case studies are written and selected to encourage in-depth examination of the critical issues addressed in each course. A single case, for example, might include operating policies, accounting methods, marketing strategies, and management styles. Cases also involve a vast range of organizations — manufacturing companies, federal government agencies, nonprofit organizations, major financial institutions, and others. To give added dimension to case preparation and analysis, some cases are supplemented with both video and materials on the Internet. The case method is supplemented by the AMP applied-learning approach, which draws upon the specific challenges of each participant's own situation. Through the use of a daily diary, participants capture the "take-home" value of each session and apply the new perspectives and skills they've acquired to meet their individual objectives. The learning environment is further enhanced by team projects, videos, lectures, small-group discussions, and visits by top executives from leading corporations...

[National Post, 23 February 2000]
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 29 May 1999]
[Cape Breton Post, 29 May 1999]

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

2000 February

Rail Trail Meetings Scheduled
in Chester Municipality

Gold River Bridge to be discussed

Organizers of the proposed District of Chester Trail Project are hosting three public trail development meetings over the next three weeks in communities situated along the region's abandoned rail line. Inclement weather forced organizers to reschedule two of the meetings. The February 1st Chester Basin Royal Canadian Legion meeting is proceeding as scheduled. Meetings will also be held at the East Chester Recreation Hall February 7th, and Western Shore and District Fire Hall February 15th. The sessions begin 7:30pm. The first part of each meeting will discuss how trails are developed and what community groups should expect if they decide to sponsor a section of the proposed trail. The municipality expects existing or proposed community groups will take over the trail development project if the public decides to proceed. Mrs. Taylor says the municipal recreation department will help access grants and bring community groups "through the maze that is government today." Consultants with Gordon Ratcliffe & Associates, a company contracted by the municipality and provincial government to study the abandoned rail line, will present their findings. The consultants will provide some preliminary cost estimates and describe the physical challenges, such as the state of the Gold River bridge, residents may have to contend with if the development proceeds.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 2 February 2000]

Gold River Bridge

2000 February 1

CAP Sites

CAP sites in Annapolis and Digby counties
Nova Scotia
as of 1 February 2000

Annapolis Royal Community Access Site
    Arts Place, Annapolis Royal
Email:   arac@ns.sympatico.ca

Bear River Community Access Site
    Oakdene Center, Bear River

Email:   oakdene@glinks.com

Centrelea Community Access Site
    Britex Building, Centrelea
Email:   trottier@ns.sympatico.ca

Cornwallis Community Access Site
    Community Center, Cornwallis

Email:   capcom@ns.sympatico.ca

Digby Community Access Site
    Isaiah W. Wilson Memorial Library, Digby
Email:   digby@nshpl.Library.ns.ca

Digby Island Community Access Sites
    Jim Outhouse
Email:   islands.cap2@ns.sympatico.ca

Lawrencetown Community Access Site
    Community Learning Center, Lawrencetown

Email:   carcap@glinks.com

Milford Community Access Site
    Milford and Area Community Hall,
    Milford, Annapolis County

Email:   fred.carriere@ns.sympatico.ca
Email:   milford@ns.sympatico.ca

Paradise Community Access Site
    Revolving Door, Paradise

Email:   redoor@glinks.com

Sandy Cove Community Access Site
    Sandy Cove School
Email:   dcap@staff.ednet.ca

Smith Cove Community Access Site
    Smith Cove Fire Department

Email:   burnzee85@hotmail.com

Weymouth Community Access Site
    Western Counties Regional Library, Weymouth

Email:   weymouth@nsy.library.ns.ca

Western Valley Development Authority website at

2000 February 1

NSP Burns Boatload of Coal a Week

Nova Scotia Power is burning a boatload of coal a week at its two Cape Breton generating plants. Three ships are due at Sydney on three successive days, February 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The pier is capable of handling 50,000 tonnes of coal in three days. The Devco international pier and transportation system is now being used by NSP to unload the coal and move it to the plants. Devco has not produced coal since July 1999 in spite of the fact it has a contract with the power company to deliver 1,900,000 tonnes a year.
[Cape Breton Post, 1 February 2000]

2000 February 2

The Business of Learning

Company turns education into big business

A Sydney-based high tech company with a market value of $91,000,000 is making a name for itself. The business of learning is paying dividends for a Nova Scotia company with deep roots in Cape Breton. Knowledge House, a one-stop shop for education training software development and the systems to run them, believes it is at the cutting edge of the new methods of educating people.

The company's subsidiary, Silicon Island Art and Innovation Centre, does software and systems development. Cape Breton members of the senior management team include Donnie Snow, Ken MacLeod, Rollie MacInnis, Michelle Gallant, Calvin Wadden, Ray Courtney and Gerard MacInnis. The rate of modernization and change in a technology-rich learning environment puts Nova Scotia at the top in North America. The province and the federal government have come up with an information economy initiative that has allowed this development to occur. There are about 400 schools in the province who are technology rich. Of that number Knowledge House will be involved in providing the technology, networks, personal computers and software development for 210 schools.

Knowledge House Inc. was founded in 1984 and has been a public company since 1988. Knowledge House common shares were listed on the Montreal Exchange in October 1988, and traded there until last December. On 6 December 1999, Knowledge House shares — along with several other publicly-traded Nova Scotia companies — were moved to the Toronto Stock Exchange as part of the major realignment of the Canadian stock exchanges which went into effect then. Knowledge House shares now trade on the TSE under the symbol KHI. On 17 December 1999, the company had 12,798,228 shares outstanding. On 2 February 2000 the shares closed at $7.15 (up from $4.00 on 30 November 1999). At the price of $7.15 each, those 12,798,228 shares had a total value (market capitalization) of $91,507,330.

Cape Breton Post, 2 February 2000
and http://www.khinvestor.com/pages/financials.html

The Knowledge House Inc. website at

The Silicon Island Art and Innovation Centre website at

Knowledge House to Provide Information Technology
to Fifteen Public Schools in Nova Scotia

Contract Worth About $32,000,000 Over 20 Years

News release dated 13 December 1999

Knowledge House Inc. has entered into an agreement to provide information technology and other services to 15 public schools being constructed in Nova Scotia. Knowledge House, through its wholly owned subsidiary, MicroNet Information Systems Limited ("Knowledge House"), has entered into an agreement with 3024489 Nova Scotia Ltd. (the" Developer") a wholly owned subsidiary of Ashford Investments Inc. The Developer will construct and operate 15 schools for the Province of Nova Scotia for a period of twenty years. The agreement provides that Knowledge House will deliver information technology solutions and services for the 15 schools under construction by PCL/Meridian the general contractor for the Developer. Knowledge House will provide technology design, procurement, installation and readiness to meet the information technology design requirements established by the Department of Education (Nova Scotia), as well as procurement and installation of furnishings and fixtures for the 15 schools.

Knowledge House expects revenues from the contract of approximately $17,600,000 for the first year plus additional annual amounts of approximately $750,000 for 20 years for maintenance and updating of technology in the schools. Approximately 60% of the revenues to Knowledge House in the first year are expected to be related to technology, and the balance of 40% will be related to furniture, fixtures and equipment. IBM Canada Limited, a business partner of Knowledge House, is the primary supplier of computer hardware to meet the technology requirements as agreed to by the Department of Education and the Developer under the agreement. The transaction confirms the focus of Knowledge House on the effective utilization of technology in the learning process. Knowledge House is committed to providing schools with information technology solutions which support and advance the learning process and allow students and educators to participate fully in a global knowledge economy. Over the last year, Knowledge House has been actively engaged in providing complete information technology infrastructure solutions to support the evolving needs of Nova Scotia students and educators. In addition to the 15 schools to be supplied under the agreement with Ashford Investments, Knowledge House will have provided technology solutions and services on a smaller scale to approximately 185 new and existing schools by the end of the year 2000 as part of an agreement directly with N.S. Department of Education.

Knowledge House press release, 13 December 1999

2000 February 2

Trail Improved Along Abandoned Railway Line
New Germany to Springfield

The Central Nova ATV Club recently upgraded a 20 kilometre stretch of abandoned railway between New Germany and Springfield in Lunenburg and Annapolis counties. Club members, with support from the community, did some grading and ditching, filled in holes and installed a couple of culverts. One washout, which spanned the width of the trail, required a 30cm culvert. The Central Nova ATV Club has devoted time, energy and money into improving local trails for all users. "It makes it better for everyone," said the club's director of trails Corey Robar. "We support the idea of shared-use trails." In fact, that's how the group got started. The Central Nova ATV Club formed in 1998 to address controversy between local snowmobilers and ATV (all-terrain vehicle) owners. Members agreed to sign an agreement with the Crossburn Snowmobilers Club guiding trail use during the winter months. "It restricts ATV use on the trails when conditions are favourable for snowmobiling or grooming," said Mr. Robar. The club was the first, and as far as he knows, is still the only club in the province to reach such an agreement. "This way there's some respect for each other." But ATVers and snowmobilers aren't the only ones who benefit from trail improvement projects. All users, including hikers and horseback riders, benefit from upgrades, he said. "Organization and co-operation equals satisfaction for everybody," said Mr. Robar. "If everybody respects everybody, everybody gets along." The club, a member of the provincial ATV association and Nova Scotia Trails Federation, is part of a growing sport here and in many other provinces. A company in Newfoundland, for example, offers a province-wide tour on the abandoned railway. There were more than 4,000 new machines sold in Nova Scotia last year. The club, which now has more than 100 members, recently bought 25 metres on the Centennial Trail.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 2 February 2000] Source: Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies [RJSC]

2000 February 2

Calendar Curiosity


Today is a day like no other, at least not since late August in the ninth century. It is the first date in more than a thousand years in which every digit is an even number: 2/2/2000. That hasn't happened since 28/8/888. There will be eight more days like it this month, as early as the day after tomorrow, 4/2/2000.
[Halifax Daily News, 3 February 2000]
[Cape Breton Post, 3 February 2000]

2000 February 2

Bad Weather Delays Coal Deliveries

Mother Nature has stepped in to eliminate a possible confrontation between Nova Scotia Power and the United Mine Workers union over deliveries of imported coal. NSP spokesperson Joanne Gerrish said Wednesday bad weather has had the effect of spreading out the arrivals of three coal boats that were due in the next three days. Instead one coal carrier with 55,000 tonnes arrived Wednesday night (February 2nd) and will be unloaded at Devco's international pier in Sydney before the next one arrives. The vessel due Friday night (February 4th) also will have 55,000 tonnes and will be unloaded over the weekend. The third ship due this week will now arrive Sunday (February 6th) with 30,000 tonnes and will be directed to the coal unloading berth at Auld's Cove on the west side of Canso Strait. The coal is destined for NSP generating stations in Lingan and Point Aconi. The power plants burn 49,000 tonnes a week at this time of the year, about as much as one ship carries. The union opposed a plan by the power company to use the Sysco pier — instead of Devco's international pier — to unload one of the vessels, which had been scheduled to arrive in Sydney harbour before the previous boat had completed unloading at the Devco pier, thus creating a need for dock space to unload two vessels simultaneously at Sydney.
[Cape Breton Post, 3 February 2000]

2000 February 4   12:00 noon

RadioAcadia Relaunches in Cyberspace

New Internet Radio Station

Rebirth after station off air for several years

Being a radio station manager wasn't on the agenda when Aaron Cooper enrolled at Acadia University, but the third-year student now does just that — online. With the backing of the Acadia Student Union, RadioAcadia was launched at noon on February 4th as Mr. Cooper and volunteer DJs tapped into the campus server to provide students with their own voice. News, sports, campus updates and a variety of music are part the new Internet service. Students can also log on to the Web site to take part in polls and surveys, get information on DJs and look at program scheduling. The online radio station has its own dating show and offers a forum for debate, and chat rooms aren't too far off.

When Mr. Cooper came to Acadia, there hadn't been a campus station for several years, and he saw this as a major lack. Last year he operated an online station from his dorm room, and student union presidential hopeful Stu Langille used the idea in his election campaign last year. Mr. Langille won the election, and last summer planning began for a campus-wide online station.

Mr. Cooper said the student union decided to go with an online station because it fits with the Acadia Advantage program, in which has all students have laptop computers and there's Internet access in every room. "Students can wake up in the morning and tune in with the click of a button," he said. Online radio requires no CRTC licensing and isn't regulated. But Mr. Cooper said RadioAcadia follows CRTC guidelines. "We want to be a respectable station." Anyone can log on to the station's Web site (www.radioacadia.org), but the broadcasts can only be heard on campus. Mr. Cooper said he is looking at setting up a server with MTT that would expand reception. Along with 30 DJs, Mr. Cooper has four staff members. The students donate their time. "They're an excellent staff," Mr. Cooper said. "I think they're the best we could have found. The feedback has been very good, and we're very proud of this radio station."

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 24 February 2000]

RadioAcadia website at

RadioAcadia broadcast schedule

Radio Acadia is ON AIR

To listen, follow these instructions below:

To listen to Radio Acadia, first you need to download some sort of an MP3 player. Two of the more popular players can be found at www.winamp.com and www.sonique.com.

Instructions for listening to RadioAcadia using Winamp:
  1. Open Winamp.
  2. Press Control-L, this should open up a box where you type in the address of the station you want to listen to.
  3. If ON CAMPUS type in radioacadia.acadiau.ca:8000 (max 1000 users).
  4. Sorry, OFF CAMPUS is OFFLINE right now.

Instructions for listening to RadioAcadia using Sonique:
  1. Open Sonique.
  2. Select the playlist editor.
  3. Select the add option.
  4. In the line that says "Enter URL:" type in the address of the station you want to listen to.
  5. If ON CAMPUS type in radioacadia.acadiau.ca:8000 (max 1000 users).
  6. Sorry, OFF CAMPUS is OFFLINE right now.
  7. Play the station!
Source:   http://www.radioacadia.org/ListenIn.html

2000 February 4

Sharp Rise in Price of Heating Fuel

The price of heating oil in January 2000 was about 45.8¢ per litre, compared to about 28.8¢ during January 1999, according to Imperial Oil spokesperson Fran Calnan, Dartmouth. This increased price was due in part to the increased cost of crude oil on the world market, and in part to the winter this year being colder than last year. Dr. Peter Dyne of the Consumers' Association of Canada said this sort of price increase "is not too far out of whack" with the general rule of thumb in the pricing of heating oil — one cent a litre for each one dollar per barrel increase in the cost of crude oil. He pointed out that the international price of crude oil has increased sharply from a low of about $10 a barrel in the autumn of 1998 to where it is now, about $28 per barrel. In January 1998 heating oil cost about 33.8¢ per litre.
[Kentville Advertiser, 4 February 2000]

2000 February 4

Canadian Railway Atlas Now Available on CD

The first CD-ROM edition of the Canadian Railway Atlas has been produced by The Railway Association of Canada. It is based on information provided by the railways and reflects developments in the industry up to the autumn of 1999. The main menu has six sections: There are two search engines, one for railway stations and the other for searching by railway. The station index takes users into the Atlas. The railway index takes them to the map of North America where the railway under search will be highlighted. Related pages are linked by tabs which allow users to move from one page to another when they are tracing the route of a rail line. The screens are searchable, "clickable" and are linked to the appropriate maps in the Atlas. There is a navigational system at the bottom of the screen which allows the user to move to different parts of the index or exercise their choice of returning to the main page by clicking on the "home" icon at the bottom right.

The CD-ROM has been configured to operate on either PC or Macintosh computers. Orders for the CD can be placed with the Railway Association of Canada at rac@railcan.ca for $25 Canadian, or $20 U.S., which includes taxes and shipping charges. It complements last year's publication of the RAC's railway atlas and wall map. The association now has 51 member railways, representing virtually all freight and passenger rail operations in Canada.

Railway Association of Canada news release dated 4 Feb. 2000

2000 February 4

RailTex Bought by RailAmerica

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway
included in the sale

RailAmerica Inc. completed its US$325,000,000 acquisition of RailTex Inc. on this day. RailTex, based in San Antonio, Texas, is now a wholly owned operating subsidiary of RailAmerica, based in Boca Raton, Florida. This makes RailAmerica the world's largest shortline operator by dint of owning or having equity interests in fifty railroads operating over 12,500 miles of rail lines in four countries on three continents. In North America alone RailAmerica has created nine major operating regions to offer rail service to more than 1,100 rail customers. Approximately 2,700 people are employed worldwide in the expanded system, which includes 515 locomotives and more than 8,200 freight cars. RailTex owns and operates 26 shortline railways, including the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway in Nova Scotia. CB&CNS owns and operates the railway between Truro and Sydney, 245 miles 394 km. CB&CNS moves about 500 carloads a week.
Sources and references:
RailAmerica press releases, 11 Jan. and 4 Feb. 2000

The Railroad Week in Review, The Blanchard Company, Philadelphia PA

RailTex Inc. website at

Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway website at

RailAmerica Inc. website at

History of RailAmerica Inc.

Historical notes about the CB&CNS Railway

2000 February 4

Record Container Traffic in 1999

Patricia McDermott, the Halifax Port Authority's vice-president of marketing, said today that the port handled 462,766 containers in 1999, a new record. It was an 8.8% increase over the 1998 total of 425,435. The previous high was 1997, when the port handled 459,176 containers. Ms. McDermott said an increase of up to 15% in U.S. Midwest container traffic was leading the charge. Final figures have been projected at 75,000 containers, up from 65,000 in 1998. Containerized cargo tonnage was 3,765,201 tonnes last year, a 9% increase over the 3,455,096 tonnes in 1998. Total port tonnage last year was 14,018,831, an increase of 6.4% over the 13,173,353 tonnes recorded in 1998. The record year was 1987, with 15,800,000 tonnes. Bulk cargo last year increased by 5.6% to 9,823,126 tonnes from 9,301,099 tonnes in 1998, while break bulk cargo was up 12.2% to 189,885 tonnes, compared with 169,243 tonnes in 1998. The tonnage of main commodities of forest products, sulfides and rubber had all increased. Ms. McDermott said the increase was a reflection of rising world trade. She said the port's traditional carriers had more business last year and most were planning to increase vessel sizes. Hapag-Lloyd, the port's top container line last year in both tonnage and number of containers moved, announced this week it is replacing seven vessels in Pacific Atlantic Express service with seven larger vessels, all with a capacity of 4,600 to 4,800 20-foot equivalent containers .
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 5 February 2000]

2000 February 5

Esso Eliminating Storage Facilities in Smaller Towns

Esso fuel storage tanks across Nova Scotia are falling like bowling pins in the wake of the company's pilot program to restructure its national home-heating fuel business. Bulk tanks in up to 15 communities from St. Peters to Pubnico have been demolished and replaced by six large storage facilities in Halifax, Dartmouth, Amherst, Sydney, Port Hawkesbury and Digby. Most of the independent Esso Home Comfort agents who operated in the smaller communities have also disappeared. Consolidation takes advantage of new technology, larger trucks and centralized ordering systems to enhance customer service, said Richard O'Farrell, an Esso spokesman in Toronto. Agents wanting to invest in the centralized storage and delivery facilities would also have to buy bigger trucks, he said, adding he was unable to give a precise figure. Precise scheduling would allow trucks to make scores of commercial and residential deliveries in one trip. Esso agents and customers across Canada can expect to follow the lead in Nova Scotia, the company's testing ground for New Vision.
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 5 February 2000]

2000 February 5

Natural Gas Pipeline Through Chester
Likely to be Installed
Along the Abandoned H&SW Railway Line

The Chester Municipal Council and local proponents of developing the region's abandoned railway line as recreational trails hope they will find out soon if Sempra Atlantic Natural Gas is going to use the right-of-way of the old Halifax and South Western Railway as a South Shore natural gas line conduit. Allen Webber, warden of Chester Municipality, said although an official decision hasn't been made, the scenario is "likely." An initial meeting with Sempra officials has been held, he said, and another will be scheduled this month. He said Aspotogan Trails Association members, who are planning to go to tender soon on developing the rail line between Hubbards and East River, are particularly concerned about the timing of the development. In the balance of the municipality, he said, even if residents decide to develop the trail, construction is still a long way off. He added he expects construction costs would be reduced significantly if the two groups work together.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 9 February 2000]

2000 February 8

iCraveTV.com Hit With Injunction

U.S. Judge Shuts Down Canadian Website

Several motion picture studios and TV networks, along with two United States professional sports leagues, successfully persuaded a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, judge Tuesday to prohibit a Canadian website from transmitting live broadcasts into the United States over the Internet. U.S. District Judge Donald Ziegler said in a preliminary injunction that the Toronto-based iCraveTV.com may not put on its website programs that are intercepted from television stations in New York and Canada if U.S. viewers can see them. The broadcasts stopped after Ziegler issued a temporary restraining order on January 28th. Andrew Schwartz, iCrave's attorney, argued Tuesday, February 8th, that it was willing to keep the restraining order in place until it satisfied officials that security systems met "industry standards" for ensuring that people outside Canada were not viewing the programming. The plaintiffs — the U.S. National Football League, the U.S. National Basketball Association, ten motion picture studios and four television networks — said that wasn't good enough. They cited a lack of trust in iCraveTV's founder, William Craig, and argued that any access was unacceptable. "These are our crown jewels at stake here," said Greg Jordan, a lawyer representing the Motion Picture Association of America. Although there had been talk of a settlement between the parties, no agreement had been reached by Tuesday's hearing. Lawyers for the entertainment and sports companies said there was no settlement.

Even though iCraveTV is based in Canada, the lawsuit was filed in Pittsburgh because Craig registered the Web site's domain name in the suburb of Sewickley, where he lived before moving north of the border. The website caught the attention of entertainment and sports industry heavyweights almost immediately after it was launched in November 1999. The premise was that, under Canadian law, iCraveTV could capture programming — including NFL games and television sitcoms and dramas — from stations in Toronto and Buffalo, NY, and rebroadcast them live over the Internet. Craig has maintained that Canadian law allows such use. He has said it was never his intention that the broadcasts would be picked up by viewers using computers in the United States. But the plaintiffs said Craig's security was inadequate to the task — so much so that it seemed to them iCraveTV was soliciting American viewers and advertising dollars. Ian McCallum, a vice president for iCraveTV, said Tuesday security measures will eventually screen out practically all U.S. users and will meet industry standards. But he acknowledged it may be impossible to keep out everyone including "hackers." 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 plaintiffs see this action as a test case against copyright infringements via the Internet and a battle over control of their programming, which in turn commands huge sums of money from advertisers. Before it was turned off, viewers to the iCraveTV would see advertisements sold by the site in a frame surrounding the live broadcast. Jack Valenti, president and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association, called Tuesday's order another milestone "in our battle to stop this kind of cyberspace theft." Schwartz asked that the judge, in granting the preliminary injunction, allow iCraveTV to go back on the air if it put in place security adequate to screen out most, if not all, American viewers. Ziegler refused, saying he will revisit the issue in three months. Jordan said the website managers must be sure that no U.S. computers are accessing iCraveTV before it returns. "It's really going to be up to them," he said. "They're going to have to decide how to comply with that order. If they decide to (offer live broadcasts), it's at their peril."

Halifax Daily News, 11 February 2000, and

2000 February 10

Trail Proposed Along Abandoned Rail Line
Mahone Bay to Lunenburg

People either interested or concerned about a proposal to develop a new multi-use trail along the former railway line running between Mahone Bay and Lunenburg are encouraged to attend a public meeting Thursday night, February 10th, at the Lunenburg fire hall beginning at 7:00pm. In November 1999, a new organization known as the Bay to Bay Trail Association was formed to pursue the development of a recreational trail along the roughly 10-km route. "It's a little bit different than most of the trails that have been developed so far," says member Jenny Ernst, in that those trails, for the most part based in and around towns, are primarily aimed at walkers. "This is a more hard-core, distance kind of thing that would be of interest to bikers, horseback riders or people who want to do some honest-to-goodness hiking," says Mrs. Ernst. "It's fairly straight, not particularly scenic, but still a refreshing healthy walk."

To date, approximately a dozen people have signed up for the organization, formed at the urging of riding enthusiast Carlo Testa. Mrs. Ernst says she, her daughter and Mr. Testa have ridden horses along the former railway bed for the past year and a half. "However, sections were starting to get really overgrown." Concerned, they contacted the Department of Natural Resources to see what they could do to trim the brush back and were promptly told they couldn't really do anything. Instead, the three were encouraged to get in touch with the co-ordinator of local rails to trails initiatives and soon found themselves seated in last fall's trail development workshop. Formation of an official association followed.

Mrs. Ernst notes that while the province owns the former rail lines, officials with Natural Resources, which administers these lands together with the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission, prefers to have communities and community associations determine their usage. For their part, members of the Bay to Bay group clearly favour a multi-use trail with as little regulation as possible, but Mrs. Ernst says they also recognize the rights of adjacent landowners and concerns that may arise in terms of issues such as noise. She says the February 10th meeting will serve two purposes. "One is to have anybody who's vaguely interested in taking part in it come along." The other is to air concerns.

[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 2 February 2000] Reference:
Trails Nova Scotia website at http://www.trails.gov.ns.ca/

2000 February 10

ITI Education Corporation
Quarterly Revenue $10,100,000

HALIFAX, February 10, 2000 —
February enrollments for ITI Education Corporation activities throughout North America generated revenue of $10,100,000, representing a 10% increase over the same period in 1999. Revenue for the November 1999 and February 2000 quarterly intakes keeps ITI on track to meet its 2000 revenue objective of 70% revenue growth over fiscal 1999. ITI currently operates campuses in Halifax, Moncton, Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Calgary, Vancouver and Denver. Plans for fiscal 2000 include the opening of campuses in Portland, Oregon in May and Seattle, Washington in August. Over the next four years, ITI plans to have 25 campuses across North America, graduating more than 10,000 e-business professionals annually.

About ITI Education Corporation

ITI Education Corporation, through ITI Information Technology Institute, is a North American leader in e-business education. ITI equips university graduates from a wide range of disciplines with the technical and professional skills required to excel as e-business professionals. ITI is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ITK. Of the Company's 400 employees across North America, 170 work in Halifax. Torstar Corporation holds 39% of the Company's shares (Torstar is a large publishing company, which includes the Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, and Harlequin Enterprises, the world's largest publisher of romance fiction).

Halifax Daily News, 11 Feb 2000 and 13 Apr 2000
and ITI Education Corporation news release, 10 Feb 2000

ITI Education Corporation website at http://www.iti.com/

ITI Information Technology Institute
Announces Seattle School

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA December 14, 1999 /CNW/
ITI Information Technology Institute announced today that it will open a school in Seattle, Washington in 2000. ITI Seattle will be the third school to open in the U.S. in just twelve months. The Seattle school, located at 601 108th Street, 3 Bellevue Center, Bellevue, Washington, will open in May 2000 with classes commencing in August. ITI Seattle will offer ITI's nine-month, postgraduate Applied Information Technology (AIT) program to more than 400 students each year. "We are very pleased to announce that Seattle will be home to our third U.S. school," stated Richard Franklin, ITI's president and chief operating officer. "We currently have a number of ITI graduates working in Seattle with leading organizations like Microsoft, Volt Services Group, CSC and BF Goodrich. With the estimated number of unfilled IT positions in Washington growing to 60,000 over the next three years, there is enormous demand for the type of skilled e-business professionals that ITI produces. ITI works with industry leaders from around the world to develop a curriculum that meets today's market needs," Franklin said. "Our curriculum is updated every 90 days, and as a result many of our students have positions waiting for them before they even complete the nine-month program."

In addition to the new Seattle location, ITI operates schools in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Moncton, New Brunswick; Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Denver, Colorado. ITI Portland begins classes in May 2000. ITI Education Corporation, through ITI Information Technology Institute, is a North American leader in postgraduate information technology education.

Source: ITI Information Technology Institute news release

Education Financial Services Inc.announcement
5 January 2000

National Bank of Canada has purchased from ITI's wholly owned subsidiary, Education Financial Services Inc. (EFSI) a loan portfolio with principal and accrued interest of approximately $11,400,000 from EFSI's total loan portfolio of approximately $12,000,000. EFSI was created to assist students to finance their education at ITI Information Techology Institutes. The parties previously announced on December 6, 1999 their intention to proceed with this transaction. Net proceeds to ITI, after deducting a discount of 6.25% and expenses of the transfer, are approximately $10,600,000 and will significantly improve ITI's working capital position. The proceeds from the sale of the student loan portfolio will be used by ITI to finance the expansion of new schools in the United States in the year 2000.
ITI Education Corporation material change report, 5 Jan. 2000

2000 February 13

Obsolete Government Website

"up-to-date information" is 30 months old

On 13 February 2000, I looked at the website http://www.lardoise.ednet.ns.ca/nscac/ maintained by the Nova Scotia Community Access Committee (NSCAC).

"The NSCAC acts as a catalyst and coordination body for provincial initiatives that involve the equitable provision of access to information and technology. The following is provided for the convenience of individuals who are seeking to understand the present level of development of Community Access initiatives within Nova Scotia. Check out our newsletter to find out up-to-date information on the Committee."

Near the top of the webpage, there was this note:
Site last updated on July 24, 1997.

This information is more than thirty months old!

At http://www.lardoise.ednet.ns.ca/nscac/cacnews3.html there was this information: This list is also years out of date. It is from Volume 1, Number 1, May 1997 (the most recent issue available) of the newsletter of the Nova Scotia Community Access Committee.

Nova Scotia Community Access Committee website at

Nova Scotia Community Access Committee newsletter at

2000 February 13

iCraveTV Shut Down Temporarily

But there is "no question" that television signals
will be broadcast over the Internet

iCraveTV is the first raindrop in a great storm

Heavyweights in the entertainment and sports industries brought their power to bear against a Canadian Internet startup site, winning the first round and shutting it down. But the fight isn't over yet. Ten motion picture studios, four TV networks, the NFL and the NBA banded together to get an injunction last week keeping iCraveTV from rebroadcasting their shows into the United States. It remains to be seen if that will stop other Web sites from going ahead.

"iCraveTV was the hole in the dike," said Michael Shamos, who worked with the plaintiffs and is co-director of the Institute for eCommerce at Carnegie Mellon. "Pirating will become a bigger business." That prediction has industry leaders worried they could lose control over copyrighted materials, potentially cheapening them, and compromising the deals they make with advertisers and local stations. It is enough for them to declare war on copyright violators, said Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. "iCrave is the first sighting on the horizon," Valenti said. "We could not allow them to go forward."

But some Internet experts and copyright lawyers suggest that they will anyway, that computer whizzes like sorting out seemingly airtight problems. Robert McAughan, an intellectual properties lawyer in Houston, said the Internet was so vast, that even if copyright infringement was stopped in one place, it would emerge somewhere else.

The case against iCraveTV — which opened in Toronto in November, surrounding a live feed of programming from television stations in Canada and Buffalo, New York, with ads it sold — will not be the last, McAughan predicted. "It's the potential first drop in a great storm," he said. In iCraveTV's case, owner Bill Craig believes Canadian law allows him to capture television signals and rebroadcast them within that country. But the Web site's security system was so lax, the entertainment and sports companies were convinced Craig wanted to attract American viewers. Even though Canadian law allows for rebroadcasts, broadcasters there are suing Craig, too. They say the exception is meant for cable television outlets only, and that it requires the signal go out unaltered.

The Canadian Association of Broadcaster's case considers Craig's ads and the compression of the signal to qualify as alterations. "There are significant issues at play here," said Ken Goldstein, president of Communications Management Inc. in Ottawa. "There is no question the Internet will become a media for the broadcast of television signals." iCraveTV, he said, is "an example of how to do the new thing the wrong way." The right way, he suggested, might be seen at Yahoo's broadcast.com, which moves signals after reaching agreements with the sources.


2000 February 14

Trail Speed Limit Set

A speed limit for all terrain vehicles using Bridgewater's Centennial Trail will be set at ten kilometres per hour, unless otherwise posted. The speed limit was included in rules and regulations for multiple uses of the trail that were approved by Town Council today. It was also specified that a motorized vehicle should be slowed down to five kilometres an hour when a pedestrian, or any other slow moving trail user, is encountered. A five kilometre per hour speed limit is also to be in place for vehicles travelling across the former CN Rail bridge over the LaHave River. Motorized traffic such as all terrain vehicles and snowmobile are to be allowed on the trail for a year-long trial period. "If it doesn't work, we'll change it," said Councillor Richard Lord. Bridgewater's Centennial Trail is located along the right-of-way of the abandoned Halifax & South Western Railway.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 23 February 2000]

2000 February 15

Crude Oil Prices, National Companies Blamed
for Cost of Cape Breton Gasoline

The rising cost of crude oil (now above US$30.00 a barrel for the first time since 1991) and the ability of national oil companies to dictate market prices are being blamed for bloating gasoline prices at Cape Breton pumps. The price of a fill-up climbed in most markets this week, with several local service stations charging close to 73 cents per litre for regular unleaded gasoline. And the vast majority of Cape Breton Island stations are expected to follow suit. James Chiasson, owner of Cheticamp Irving where regular gas at the full-service station was selling for 69.9 cents per litre Tuesday, explained the oil company's local supervisor dictates rates leaving local dealers little choice except to raise the price at the pumps. He was expecting to do just that after hearing of a five cent per litre increase at a nearby competitor. "We just heard the Esso station is up to 72.9 (cents per litre)," he said. "We never got the call yet but it's just a matter of time. When one goes up we hear from Irving within the day, so I guess tomorrow morning we'll all be at 74.9 (cents per litre)."
[Cape Breton Post, 16 February 2000]

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