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

Chapter 58
2000 May 1-9

2000 May

Canadian Cities With the Most Wired Homes

Households with at least one member
regularly using the Internet from home

Wired Homes
in Canadian Cities

City %
Ottawa (excluding Hull) 36.2
Calgary 34.8
Victoria 34.5
Halifax 33.8
Vancouver 31.6
London 29.0
Toronto 27.7
Edmonton 27.0
Hamilton 26.8
Kitchener-Waterloo 25.9
[The Globe and Mail, 31 May 2000]

2000 May

Harbour Ferry To Celebrate 248 Years of Service

When most early morning commuters in Canada are dashing out the door to catch the bus or hop on the subway, 6,000 Nova Scotians are wending their way down to Halifax Harbour. From here, most of them will board a ferry that will land them, 15 minutes later, in either downtown Halifax or across the harbour in downtown Dartmouth. In the summer months they will be joined by 4,000 torists.

North America's Oldest

The Halifax-Dartmouth ferry — the oldest salt-water ferry in North America — celebrates its 248th birthday this year, says Robin Boudreau, manager and public relations associate with Metro Transit Services in Halifax. It will celebrate by doing what it has always done — chugging quietly along.

The first ferry service, established in 1752, relied on a large rowboat and a canvas sail to transport residents between Dartmouth and the larger city across the harbour. The rowboat was later replaced by horses used to power a paddle wheel. Then the horses were, in turn, replaced by the modern miracle of steam. Today, there are two ferries powered by diesel engines, that can carry 400 passengers and assorted dogs, strollers, umbrellas, and ball gear across the harbour in about the same time it takes to drive from one city to the other across one of the bridges. Another newer ferry performs a regular 15-minute run between Halifax and Woodside, a south Dartmouth suburb.

The ferry service, which costs $1.65 each way, is part of the Halifax Metropolitan transit system. For commuters that means they can catch a bus in west-end Halifax to downtown and ride across on the ferry to connect with another bus in Dartmouth — all on the same transit ticket. But the ferry is much more than a means of conveyance. It is history and romance and salt air rolled onto one compact package. On sultry summer days passengers gather on the top deck in the open air, hanging over rails, trying to catch a few rays as the sun bounces off the water.

The ferry service also attracts its fair share of attention from directors of everything from music videos to major motion pictures. Recently, the director of Writer's Block, starring Frasier's Kelsey Grammer, used the ferry in promos for the movie. As usual, the ferry did what it does best, chugged quietly along.

[National Post, 23 May 2000]

2000 May 1

Digital Radio in Canada
Recent Developments

Digital Radio Roll-Out (DRRI) Inc.
Marketing Digital Broadcast Radio in Canada

DRRI Press Release
For Immediate Release: May 1st, 2000

Digital Radio Roll-Out (DRRI) Inc. is pleased to announce Hennessy & Bray Communications as its Agency of Record. The national marketing assignment includes responsibility for public/press/industry relations, creative, media planning and buying, and website management.

Mandated to launch and market Digital Radio in Canada, DRRI is a joint initiative funded by President of DRRI, Duff Roman, says "we're very pleased to add experts of the calibre of Roy Hennessy and David Bray to our team". Having recently launched in Toronto, Montreal, and Windsor, DRRI is currently preparing its Vancouver debut. The marketing of this stunning new technology will enter a critical phase over the next couple of years as digital receivers become widely available.

Hennessy & Bray Communications President Roy Hennessy has extensive radio experience, having managed stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg. Senior Vice President David Bray, an acknowledged radio authority with over 15 years of agency experience, is a regular columnist/contributor to Broadcaster, Marketing, Strategy, Southam newspapers, RPM, and Record. He served as Chairman of the BBM Task Force which developed groundbreaking qualitative / product usage / lifestyle radio research. On the creative front, Hennessy & Bray have won numerous national and international creative awards since the agency's inception five and a half years ago. Alain Vinet will be covering the francophone market on behalf of H&B. Alain brings a solid base of radio experience in the areas of sales, research and public relations. Over the last decade he has worked with Radiomutuel, Radio Plus and BBM.

David Garforth, Executive Director, DRRI, (514) 697-8363
Email: dgarforth@sympatico.ca

Vancouver DAB announcement
Canada Now A World Leader In Digital Radio

For Immediate Release: May 5th, 2000

With the Vancouver launch, Digital Audio Broadcasting is now available to approximately 35% of Canadians, establishing this country as a world leader in the field. DAB is the technology of choice currently available to approximately 350 million people worldwide.

On Thursday, May 11th at 5:30pm, a star-studded press conference will be hosted by Vancouver's morning radio teams. The featured musical performer will be Tal Bachman, who has recently been burning up North American charts. Also in attendance will be an "A" list of local celebrities. The event will take place at the Regal Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 801 West Georgia, Vancouver, British Columbia.

A panel of experts will give a brief presentation on DAB and answer questions with regard to this groundbreaking technology. There will also be demonstrations of the new receivers and a discussion of what digital will mean to stations, artists, and listeners.

The Vancouver launch closely follows on the heels of those conducted in Toronto, Montreal and Windsor giving DAB significant coverage across the nation. This initiative is being driven by Digital Radio Roll-Out (DRRI) Inc., a joint initiative of private and public broadcasters with the support of the Canadian government.

DAB, based on Eureka 147 technology, has numerous advantages over both current analogue transmission and the more recent audio streaming via the world wide web. "Digital" offers both outstanding CD quality sound and portability. It will lead to host of data display services for the consumer including geographic positioning, traffic and weather information, advertising supplements, song credits and a good deal more. All the while the listener is treated to interference-free reception. DAB's "point to multi-point" capabilities serve to illustrate the Web's "point to point" limitations and afford digital radio stations the opportunity to play to a much wider audience.

For more information, contact Hennessy & Bray Communications.

RADIO-L : an Internet discussion of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)

ICS comment, written 7:15pm, 6 May 2000:
I find it interesting that the "Hennessy & Bray Communications...
assignment includes responsibility for... website management"
but there is no mention of any website anywhere in these two
press releases. Several search engines report nothing on the Internet
about Hennessy & Bray Communications or Digital Radio Roll-Out Inc.
And a search of Canada News Wire http://www.newswire.ca/
archived releases for the last ten days turned up nothing related to
digital broadcasting or Digital Radio Roll-Out Inc. or Hennessy
& Bray Communications. Very odd.

Internet Resources for More Information on Digital Radio

Canadian Digital Radio developments

Unique Broadband Systems is a Canadian developer and manufacturer of broadband wireless solutions focusing on three areas: COFDM based High-Speed Mobile Solutions (DAB, SDARS and Mobile Internet), Wireless Video, Voice & Data Systems (MMDS, MVDS, LMDS, LMCS), as well as Passive Components...

Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, products include QAM modulators and demodulators...

MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System), MVDS (Microwave Video Distribution System)

LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution Services), LMCS (Local Multipoint Communications Systems)

Digital Video Broadcast, professional encoding and decoding products

Hughes Network Systems (HNS) today announced the signing of a development and supply agreement with Unique Broadband Systems (UBS) of Markham, Ontario, for prototype equipment delivery, design implementation services and supply of significant modules of the terrestrial repeater to HNS. UBS is one of HNS' subcontractors building out XM Satellite Radio's infrastructure.
Source: Hughes Network Systems press release, 22 March 2000

XM Satellite Radio website

What is XM Radio? ...100 brand-new radio channels from coast-to-coast...

How XM Radio works

Satellite radio is on its way...offering radio its first real competition in 80 years...

XM Radio will create up to 100 channels of digital-quality music, news, sports, talk and children's programming that will be broadcast to XM Radio's customers through two state-of-the-art Hughes high-powered HS-702 satellites for coast-to-coast coverage. The terrestrial repeaters will augment XM Radio's satellite system by re-transmitting its signals in dense urban areas where the satellites' signals may be shadowed by tall buildings and other obstructions. Technology will include the use of COFDM (Code Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex), which is a superior modulation technique for the delivery of high quality audio, video and data. This modulation technique allows a moving vehicle to receive quality service at highway speeds.
Source: Hughes Network Systems press release, 22 March 2000

Hughes Network Systems press release archive

Sirius Satellite Radio website

Canada Now A World Leader In Digital Radio?
Supporting Details

Sender: "Discussion of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)" <radio-l@tc.umn.edu>
From: David Garforth <dgarforth@sympatico.ca>
Date: 10 May 2000
Subject: Re: Vancouver DAB announcement

The following is in response to the message from
Dr. Anton J. Kuchelmeister, Munich, Germany [RADIO-L   08 May 2000]

The list of digital radio stations in Canada now, is as follows: Pioneer, Clarion, and Kenwood are selling automobile receivers and ARCAN is selling home receivers. A number of radio stations are adding data services to their signal providing the listener with information on the music being played, the artist, label, etc.
David Garforth, Executive Director
Digital Radio Roll-Out (DRRI) Inc

Kenwood Communications Corporation websites

Clarion Corporation websites

Pioneer Electronics websites

Digital Audio Broadcasting resources website at

2000 May 1

Dot Coms: The Supply is Drying Up

has been taken

So many companies and individuals have registered three-letter Internet domain names ending with dot-com (such as ics.com) that there are now none left. Four-letter domain names (such as post.com) are about to follow suit.

What does this mean for the information age? Very little, says John Sherwood, executive director of the Computing and Information Services department at Dalhousie University in Halifax. "When the domain name system was developed, people tried to be terse. But you can rarely have a meaningful name in three letters. The trend now is toward names that are not so cryptic, and they are generally longer."

Those longer dot-com names are being snapped up with increasing speed. There are 3,450,000 possible four-letter number and hyphen combinations, and they are all expected to be assigned within the next few months.

The run on dot-coms is a clear indication of how prevalent the World Wide Web is in modern society, says Jim Carroll, an Internet analyst based in Toronto. That means there is a nearly-insatiable demand for domain names. In December 1999, regulations governing domain name registration were changed to allow for longer domain names, from a maximum of 25 characters to 67. Mr. Carroll immediately went online to register the name "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". He was ten minutes too late. The name had already been assigned.

Who owns a name is a thorny issue in the dot-com world. If the name supercalifragilisticexpialidocious isn't assigned to Walt Disney, the entertainment company that produced the movie Mary Poppins and trademarked the long-named tune (and it isn't), there could be a lawsuit in the making. "It's an issue of trademark," says Mr. Carroll. "Clearly there is a situation out there. We have a limited number of names. The only ones getting rich are the lawyers."

In anticipation of continued demand for domain names of all sizes and configurations, ICANN, the global organization responsible for regulating the Internet address registration process, is planning to introduce new dot names, such as .store or .firm. This will significantly expand the number of possibilities for names. Most likely, however, many companies will simply register their name under all possible options.

[National Post, 1 May 2000]

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

FAQ: New generic top-level domain names

Network Solutions: the dot-com people

The National Post said there are 3,450,000
possible four-letter number and hyphen combinations,
but I'm unable to confirm that calculation.

If the Post meant there would be just four characters
including the hyphen (xxxx or -xxx or x-xx or xx-x or xxx-)
this makes 1,866,240 possible combinations
(36 × 36 × 36 × 36) + (36 × 36 × 36 × 4).
(26 letters, not 52, because upper- and lower-case are indistinguishable in URLs.)

If the Post meant there would be four characters
with the possible insertion of a hypen between
any two (xxxx or x-xxx or xx-xx or xxx-x)
this makes 6,718,464 possible combinations
(36 × 36 × 36 × 36 × 4).

I can't think of any interpretation that produces
3,450,000 possible combinations, or any reasonable
approximation to that number.

2000 May 1   8:59:47pm ADT

GPS Signal Degradation Removed

Global positioning devices used to navigate boats, fly planes or find missing skiers and hikers will be given pinpoint accuracy previously available only to the military under an order U.S. President Bill Clinton signed on this day. Until now, civilians using a U.S.-built network of satellites for navigation got a deliberately degraded signal — a less accurate reading — than the military out of fear that potential enemies could use the system to target missiles.

At 9:00pm (Nova Scotia time) last night, the United States stopped degrading the signal for civilian users, but can still selectively block the improved Global Positioning System over any given region at will, Clinton administration officials said. The military will still use an encrypted, highly accurate version of the system for guiding precision weaponry such as the missiles used in the Persian Gulf War and last year's Balkan air strikes. The system, known as GPS, is used by more than four million people.

"Police, firemen, emergency crews will now be able to respond more accurately to exactly where help is needed," said Neal Lane, the White House science adviser. The change will make satellite navigation devices people already own ten times more accurate, Lane said, and will not require the purchase of new machines. The difference will mean satellite navigation can be used to track a missing person to an area about the size of a tennis court. Until now, the area of intense search would have been more like a football field.

[Halifax Daily News, 2 May 2000]

The nominal GPS Operational Constellation consists of 24 satellites that orbit the Earth in 12 hours. There are often more than 24 operational satellites as new ones are launched to replace older satellites. The satellite orbits repeat almost the same ground track (as Earth turns beneath them) once each day. The orbit altitude is such that the satellites repeat the same track and configuration over any point approximately each 24 hours (four minutes earlier each day). There are six orbital planes (with nominally four SVs in each), equally spaced (60 degrees apart), and inclined at about 55 degrees with respect to the equatorial plane. This constellation provides the user with between five and eight SVs visible from any point on Earth.
Source:   http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/gcraft/notes/gps/gps.html

"...four minutes earlier each day..."

Q:   Why four minutes earlier each day?

A:   As almost everyone knows, the Earth does not turn on its axis once every 24 hours. The time taken by the Earth to turn once is actually
23 hours 56 minutes 4.1 seconds
which is about four minutes less than 24 hours. The GPS satellites repeat the same track and configuration over any point on Earth, once each revolution of the Earth, as the Earth turns on its axis. Thus, the GPS system is designed so that the satellites repeat the same track and configuration over any point in 23 hours 56 minutes 4.1 seconds.

The calculation is done like this:
calculation of Earth rotation time

24 hours is the time taken by the Earth to turn once on its axis (Sun overhead to Sun overhead). This is the apparent rotational time of the Earth.

365.2422 is the number of days — that is, the number of times the Earth turns on its axis (Sun overhead to Sun overhead) — in one year — that is, during one trip around the Sun.

365.2422 + 1   =   366.2422 is the number of times the Earth turns on its axis (star overhead to star overhead) in one year — that is, during one trip around the Sun.

23 hours 56 minutes 4.1 seconds is the time taken by the Earth to turn once on its axis (star overhead to star overhead). This is the true rotational time of the Earth, as measured against a fixed background.

"Siderial day" is the name astronomers use to refer to the rotational time of the Earth, as measured against the fixed background of the distant stars.
One siderial day   =   23h 56m 04s.098904
Source: page 76, Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Ephemeris and the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, prepared jointly by the Nautical Almanac Offices of the United Kingdom and the United States of America, published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1961.

The White House
May 1, 2000

Statement by the President Regarding
the United States decision to stop degrading
Global Positioning System accuracy

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 1, 2000

Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States will stop the intentional degradation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. We call this degradation feature Selective Availability (SA). This will mean that civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to ten times more accurately than they do now. GPS is a dual-use, satellite-based system that provides accurate location and timing data to users worldwide. My March 1996 Presidential Decision Directive included in the goals for GPS to:
(1) encourage acceptance and integration of GPS into peaceful civil, commercial and scientific applications worldwide; and
(2) to encourage private sector investment in and use of U.S. GPS technologies and services.
To meet these goals, I committed the U.S. to discontinuing the use of SA by 2006 with an annual assessment of its continued use beginning this year.

The decision to discontinue SA is the latest measure in an on-going effort to make GPS more responsive to civil and commercial users worldwide. Last year, Vice President Gore announced our plans to modernize GPS by adding two new civilian signals to enhance the civil and commercial service. This initiative is on-track and the budget further advances modernization by incorporating some of the new features on up to 18 additional satellites that are already awaiting launch or are in production. We will continue to provide all of these capabilities to worldwide users free of charge.

My decision to discontinue SA was based upon a recommendation by the Secretary of Defense in coordination with the Departments of State, Transportation, Commerce, the Director of Central Intelligence, and other Executive Branch Departments and Agencies. They realized that worldwide transportation safety, scientific, and commercial interests could best be served by discontinuation of SA. Along with our commitment to enhance GPS for peaceful applications, my administration is committed to preserving fully the military utility of GPS. The decision to discontinue SA is coupled with our continuing efforts to upgrade the military utility of our systems that use GPS, and is supported by threat assessments which conclude that setting SA to zero at this time would have minimal impact on national security. Additionally, we have demonstrated the capability to selectively deny GPS signals on a regional basis when our national security is threatened. This regional approach to denying navigation services is consistent with the 1996 plan to discontinue the degradation of civil and commercial GPS service globally through the SA technique.

Originally developed by the Department of Defense as a military system, GPS has become a global utility. It benefits users around the world in many different applications, including air, road, marine, and rail navigation, telecommunications, emergency response, oil exploration, mining, and many more. Civilian users will realize a dramatic improvement in GPS accuracy with the discontinuation of SA. For example, emergency teams responding to a cry for help can now determine what side of the highway they must respond to, thereby saving precious minutes. This increase in accuracy will allow new GPS applications to emerge and continue to enhance the lives of people around the world.

Source:   White House press release, 1 May 2000

8:59:47pm ADT

President Clinton's statement:   ...the United States will stop the
intentional degradation of the GPS signals... at midnight tonight.

"Midnight tonight" here means 8:59:47pm ADT.

"Midnight tonight" means midnight by the GPS system clock,
which runs thirteen seconds ahead of UTC, the time system used
by almost everyone on Earth.

Your household clocks, your watch, the clocks used by
governments and businesses and radio and television broadcasting,
all run on UTC time, — with a suitable time zone offset.
The offset is -0300 hours for Atlantic Daylight Time.
The offset is -0400 hours for Atlantic Standard Time.
For Newfoundland Daylight Time the offset is -0230 hours.
A zero offset — UTC itself — corresponds closely to what used
to be known as Greenwich Mean Time.

GPS has been ahead of UTC by thirteen seconds since 1 January 1999.
(For a full explanation of where this thirteen-second difference came
from, see Where Did That 13 Seconds Come From? in this History under
date 21 August 1999.)

UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time. (Which, in English, one would think should produce
the acronym CUT, but UTC was adopted by international agreement. The reason is deeply embedded
in the long acrimonious history of nine centuries of squabbling between certain European nations.)

What is UTC? by NASA

International Earth Rotation Service

UTC Coordinated Universal Time

Definition of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

World Time Scales

U.S. Naval Observatory Time Service The Official Source
of Time for the Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS Timing Operations

U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center

UTC Time Conversion

UTC - GMT Conversion

What is Universal Time?

Dr. Lane has already announced the President's decision to increase the accuracy of the GPS signal available to the public. Air Force Space Command will implement this decision by commanding GPS to stop the intentional degradation of the accuracy of the public signal by setting selective availability to zero effective at midnight Greenwich Mean Time — less than six hours from now...

Source:   Talking Points for the Honorable Arthur L. Money,
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence
Press Conference on Selective Availability Discontinuance, May 1, 2000   2:08pm EDT

The White House
May 1, 2000

President Clinton:
Improving the Civilian Global Positioning System (GPS)

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 1, 2000

"The decision to discontinue Selective Availability is the latest measure in an ongoing effort to make GPS more responsive to civil and commercial users worldwide. — This increase in accuracy will allow new GPS applications to emerge and continue to enhance the lives of people around the world."
President Bill Clinton
May 1, 2000

GPS is a critical technology for individuals and businesses
around the globe

GPS is a dual-use system, providing highly accurate positioning and timing data for both military and civilian users. There are more than 4 million GPS users world wide, and the market for GPS applications is expected to double in the next three years, from $8 billion to over $16 billion. Some of these applications include: air, road, rail, and marine navigation, precision agriculture and mining, oil exploration, environmental research and management, telecommunications, electronic data transfer, construction, recreation and emergency response.

GPS is the global standard

GPS has always been the dominant standard satellite navigation system thanks to the U.S. policy of making both the signal and the receiver design specification available to the public completely free of charge.

New technologies enhance the national security
of the United States

The U.S. previously employed a technique called Selective Availability (SA) to globally degrade the civilian GPS signal. New technologies demonstrated by the military enable the U.S. to degrade the GPS signal on a regional basis. GPS users worldwide would not be affected by regional, security-motivated, GPS degradations, and businesses reliant on GPS could continue to operate at peak efficiency.

GPS's improved signal will bring instant benefits
to millions of GPS users

It's rare that someone can press a button and make something you already own worth more, but that's exactly what's happening today. As of midnight tonight, all the people who've bought GPS receivers for boats, cars, or recreation will find that they are ten times more accurate.

The technology that makes this extraordinary technology possible grows directly from our past research investments in basic physics, mathematics, and engineering supported from NSF, DARPA, NIST and other Federal agencies over a period of decades. GPS works because of super reliable atomic clocks — no mechanical device could come close. These clocks resulted from Nobel-prize winning physics, and creative engineering that managed to package devices which once filled large physics laboratories into a compact, reliable, space-worthy device. The improved, non-degraded signal will increase civilian accuracy by an order of magnitude, and have immediate implications in areas such as:

Car Navigation:   Previously, a GPS-based car navigation could give the location of the vehicle to within a hundred metres. This was a problem, for example, in areas where multiple highways run in parallel, because the degraded signal made it difficult to determine which one the car was on. Terminating SA will eliminate such problems, leading to greater consumer confidence in the technology and higher adoption rates. It will also simplify the design of many systems (e.g., eliminate certain map matching software), thereby lowering their retail cost.

Enhanced 911:   The FCC will soon require that all new cellular phones be equipped with more accurate location determination technology to improve responses to emergency 911 calls. Removing SA will boost the accuracy of GPS to such a degree that it could become the method of choice for implementing the 911 requirement. A GPS-based solution might be simpler and more economical than alternative techniques such as radio tower triangulation, leading to lower consumer costs.

Hiking, Camping, and Hunting:   GPS is already popular among outdoor enthusiasts, but the degraded accuracy has not allowed them to precisely pin-point their location or the location of items (such as game) left behind for later recovery. With 20 metre accuracy or better, hikers, campers, and hunters should be able to navigate their way through unmarked wilderness terrain with increased confidence and safety. Moreover, users will find that the accuracy of GPS exceeds the resolution of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographical quad maps.

Boating and Fishing:   Recreational boaters will enjoy safer, more accurate navigation around sandbars, rocks, and other obstacles. Anglers will be able to more precisely locate their favorite spot on a lake or river. Lobsterers will be able to find and recover their traps more quickly and efficiently.

Increased Adoption of GPS Time:   In addition to more accurate position information, the accuracy of the time data broadcast by GPS will improve to within 40 nanoseconds. Such precision may encourage adoption of GPS as a preferred means of acquiring Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and for synchronizing everything from electrical power grids and cellular phone towers to telecommunications networks and the Internet. For example, with higher precision timing, a company can stream more data through a fibre optic cable by tightening the space between data packets. Using GPS to accomplish this is far less costly than maintaining private atomic clock equipment.

Additional information about GPS and the Selective Availability decision is available online at the Interagency GPS Executive Board web site:

Source:   White House press release, 1 May 2000

Also: White House fact sheet

With the degraded signal, the following were
the positioning accuracies the GPS system delivered

Civil users worldwide use the SPS without charge or restrictions. Most receivers are capable of receiving and using the SPS signal. The SPS accuracy was intentionally degraded by the United States Department of Defence, by the use of "Selective Availability." Source:   Global Positioning System Overview

Comparison of Positions With and Without Selective Availability

[with degradation]

May 1, 2000
Degraded signal

[without degradation]

May 2, 2000
Degradation removed

Click either image for full size view.

The images compare the accuracy of GPS with and without selective availability (SA). Each plot shows the positional scatter of 6.5 hours of data (0730 to 1400 UTC) taken at one of the Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) operated by the U.S. Coast Guard at Hartsville, Tennessee. On May 2, 2000, SA was absent. The plots show that SA causes 95% of the points to fall within a radius of 44.2 metres. Without SA, 95% of the points fall within a radius of 4.1 metres.
Source:   Data from U.S. National Geodetic Survey

The International GPS Service

GPS Resource Library

GPS: Navstar Global Positioning System Joint Program Office

United States Naval Observatory GPS Timing Operations

GPS Update SpaceDaily

Simplified representation of the nominal GPS constellation

GPS World OnLine magazine

The New GPS Accuracy: What the U.S. Military Isn't Saying On Monday, May 1st, the White House announced that the Global Positioning System (GPS) – the satellite transmissions used to pinpoint the location of aircraft, sea and land vehicles and even people worldwide – would become doubly accurate for the average person.  Monday night marked the removal of selective availability (SA), a process that altered the signals received by civilian GPS users, making positioning accurate only to within 100 metres, while the military still had access to the undegraded signal accurate to within 20 or 30 metres.  The "unscrambling" is being hailed as a big step forward for rescue operations and aviation safety.  It sounds like a great advance – but it's not exactly what it appears.  Differential GPS – corrected GPS signals accurate to within one to three metres – has always been available to the public.  In fact, civilian users are likely to still require the corrected signals, SA or no SA.  But the decision to allow an undegraded signal to be received indiscriminately implies that the United States military has found new, secret ways to overcome use of the GPS by hostile forces...

2000 May 1

Con-Way Canada Express Expands Operations
to Five More Provinces

Including Halifax and Truro in Nova Scotia

TORONTO, MAY 1 /Canada News Wire/ — Con-Way Canada Express, Canada's newest national less-than-truckload commercial freight carrier, has announced it is expanding its operations into five more provinces as part of its overall plan to build a more comprehensive service network throughout Canada. For the past eight years, Con-Way has operated in Canada as Con-Way Central Express and provided service to Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. In January 2000, Con-Way Canada Express was established as an operating entity to meet the growing demand for LTL (less than truckload lot) freight service within Canada and throughout North America.

Con-Way Canada Express, a Canadian-based subsidiary and operating unit of Con-Way Central Express (CCX), will now have 27 service locations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Con-Way Canada Express will be managed from its new headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario.

As part of CNF Inc., Con-Way was named by Fortune magazine in 1998 and in 1999 as the "Most Admired Trucking Company in America". This honor, based on FORTUNE's survey of 10,000 executives, included such measurements as quality of service, quality of management, financial performance, innovativeness, and social responsibility. Across North America, Con-Way has built a reputation as the premier less-than-truckload contract freight carrier.

Con-Way Central Express began operations in Canada in October, 1992, with service centers in Toronto, London, Windsor, Niagara Falls and Ottawa. In 1996, service centers were added in Windsor, Hamilton, Barrie, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Trois Rivieres and Sherbrooke. In 1998, CCX added service centers in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and North Bay. This current expansion by Con-Way Canada Express adds service centers in Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Truro, Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Saskatoon.

Con-Way Canada Express is an operating unit of Con-Way Central Express, which is a component company of Con-Way Transportation Services, a $1,900,000,000 transportation company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that provides time-definite and day-definite freight delivery services for commercial and industrial businesses. Within the CON-WAY family of companies are regional less-than-truckload carriers Con-Way Central Express, Con-Way Southern Express and Con-Way Western Express; Con-Way Truckload Services, providing multi-modal, full-truckload shipping; Con-Way NOW, an expedited carrier specializing in emergency shipment service; and Con-Way Integrated Services, a contract supply chain execution service provider. CON-WAY is a subsidiary of Palo Alto, California-based CNF, a $5,600,000,000 management company of global supply chain services with businesses in regional trucking, air freight, ocean freight, customs brokerage, global logistics management and trailer manufacturing. CNF shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CNF.

Media release carried on Canada News Wire

[Canada NewsWire charges a standard $125 for each 100-word release (extra words cost extra)]
Con-Way Canada Express website at

2000 May 2

Local Museum Buys Cabinet from Titanic

Very, very, rare

Treasure used for years as family medicine chest

The world's largest collection of wooden Titanic artifacts just got a little larger. A solid mahogany cabinet from the Titanic has been bought for $80,000 by the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in downtown Halifax. "You can well imagine how excited the museum is to acquire such a fine piece," said Gerry Lunn, curator of visitor services, yesterday. "We're excited because having this item complements the other fine pieces we have that come from Maritime families."
Titanic cabinet

The small cabinet, about thirty centimetres tall and sixty centimetres wide, is the only intact piece of cabinetry known to have survived the vessel's sinking in 1912. "There's nothing else like it in the whole world," said Dan Conlin, curator of marine history. "Finding an intact piece is very, very, rare."

Mr. Conlin described the artifact as having classic cornices on top and bottom. The two doors have metal grille fronts, and an aged metal handle and latch. The only comparable piece is a drawer from a dressing table on display at Mariner's Museum in Virginia, he said.

The notation "Fist class baths, bridge dk. 401" is written in pencil across the back of the cabinet. This means it was in one of the first-class rooms on the bridge deck of the Titanic, which was hull number 401 in the shipyard during construction. Given the way the ship sank — it broke in half — museum staff have been able to narrow the exact location of the chest down to 19 cabins. More sleuthing by museum staff also uncovered the fact the cabinet was made by James Cobain, a carpenter in Belfast where Titanic was built.

Kept by Minia crewmember

The cabinet was recovered from the North Atlantic by crew from the cable ship Minia and was kept by Theodore Smith, one of the crew. His family made the cabinet their medicine chest, vividly illustrating how a Nova Scotian family integrated a piece of Titanic into their everyday lives, said Lunn. The museum acquired the artifact for $80,000 from descendants of Theodore Smith who wish to remain anonymous, said Lunn. The money came jointly from the Nova Scotia Museum Endowment Fund and the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

The museum plans to unveil it at an illustrated talk by Dan Conlin, curator of marine history, on Tuesday, May 16th. Conlin will speak on how museum sleuths were able to verify the piece is from Titanic, which sank in the early morning of 15 April 1912, with the loss of 1,503 lives.

Intact deck chair

The museum is believed to have the world's largest collection of wooden Titanic relics — including the only known intact deck chair, given to Rev. Henry W. Cunningham for his work with burial and memorial services and donated to the museum by his grandson.

Visitors can also see an ornately carved piece of oak panelling from the first-class lounge, that was duplicated in the blockbuster movie Titanic (it was the large wooden piece that Rose, played by Kate Winslet, clings to after the ship sinks). Other notable Titanic artifacts on display include a newell post face from the first-class staircase, balustrade moulding, also from a first-class staircase, and ornately carved wood trim from the second-class smoking room.

The museum also has a Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company log book, kept by a wireless operator at Cape Race, Newfoundland, who recorded Titanic's distress calls as they were received during the night of April 14-15, 1912.

[Halifax Daily News, 2 May 2000]
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 3 May 2000]
[National Post, 26 June 2000]
and http://infoculture.cbc.ca/archives/heritage/heritage_04292000_titanic.phtml

Reference: Dan Conlin's website at

2000 May 3

Famous Players Movie Tickets Up Fifty Cents
in Nova Scotia

The Famous Players movie theatre chain has increased its adult admission prices to $11.00 in all its megaplex cinemas across Canada, just in time for the season's expected blockbusters. That's a one dollar increase, making the adult admission at Famous Players' cinemas Canada's new all-time top price for going to the movies.

But moviegoers in Nova Scotia don't pay as much: ticket prices went up by 50 cents for adults on weekends, from $9.00 to $9.50, and for youths ages 14 to 17, from $7.25 to $7.75, at Park Lane and Penhorn cinemas. Admission prices through the week, and weekend matinees, also went up by 50 cents, from $5.75 to $6.25. It costs children and seniors $4.50 to take in a flick.

The $11.00 tab elsewhere comes into effect just before Friday's opening of Gladiator, anticipated to be the season's number one blockbuster, and just a year after Famous Players admission price hit $10.00. Barry Patterson, the chain's national spokesman, said the price rise is the result of increasing operating costs. He would not elaborate. Industry experts attribute steeply rising admission prices in Canada and the United States to the cost of financing megaplex, which cinema companies insist their patrons want because of the wider seats, raked seating, and curved screens.

[Halifax Daily News, Wednesday, 3 May 2000]

2000 May 3

Cape Breton Community Radio Society Incorporated

On this day, the Cape Breton Community Radio Society was incorporated.

2000 May 4

Water Treatment Plant Contract Awarded

A $7,146,754 contract for construction of a new treatment plant that will bring Bridgewater's drinking water supply up to or above new Health Canada standards was awarded May 4th. L & R Construction Limited, of Stewiacke, won the contract to build the plant, upgrade the Hebbs Lake pumping station and expand the Hebbville sewer line so it can accommodate all the clarified backwash water from the facility.

All that is needed before construction can begin is "a permit to construct" from the Nova Scotia Department of Environment. "Hopefully, they will give us their blessing and we can get on with it," said town engineer Harland Wyand. He said construction equipment will be on the Century Drive, Hebbville, site within three or four weeks of receipt of the environmental approval. It is expected that construction will take 82 weeks. "This would see completion of the water treatment plant around the first week of December 2001," Mr. Wyand said.

Awarding of the contract by the Bridgewater Public Service Commission came just hours after release of results of the latest round of water testing for the presence of the cancer-causing chemical trihalomethanes (THMs).

Bridgewater's water supply was found to have a THM level of 338.7 parts per billion, the highest among the 20 Nova Scotia municipalities tested in the environment survey. Although as recently as three or four years ago, THM levels of up to 350 parts per billion were considered to be acceptable, recent Canadian drinking water guidelines set a new standard of 100.

THMs, created when surface water containing leaves of other organics are treated with chlorine, have been linked to an increased incidence of bladder cancer. "The risk is very small," said Dr. John Scott, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer. Health Canada advises that a person would have to be exposed to high THM levels for at least 25 years or more to increase the chances of developing bladder cancer.

Richard Lord, chairman of the Public Service Commission, said "we all know that it is a problem. That's why we're spending $7 million to build the plant. We are going to have water that meets or exceeds all Canadian health standards." In the meantime, Dr. Scott said people can reduce THMs by using certified water treatment devices for THM removal or by using bottled water.

Chairman Lord said awarding of the water treatment plant contract was "a landmark. I've been on Town Council and the Public Service Commission for 16 years and one of the first issues was the quality of water for the Town of Bridgewater. "For a long time, we were able to say it was extremely healthy but the colour wasn't very attractive. The last couple of years, we've been made aware that we have to meet new health guidelines." He said the new plant will reduce THM levels very much below the 100 parts per billion limit. "We're also going to have bright clear water which will resolve a lot of complaints our citizens have had over the years. "I hope the public is pleased."

L & R Construction offered the lowest of six tenders received for the project. The firm is now nearing completion of a water treatment plant at New Glasgow. "They're co-operative. They're smart and they can do the work," said Mr. Wyand. He said there is a good potential for local firms to obtain sub-contracts on the project. "There would be a number of local sub-contractors involved." And, he said, "concrete and granular materials and this kind of stuff will all come locally." A lot of concrete will be required as the building is basically a concrete block, Mr. Wyand said. The successful tender price fits within the original budget. "The costs are very much in line," said Chairman Lord. "I'm really impressed how close those tenders are on a bid that size."

The Hebbville sewer extension, to run-off plant waste water and provide increased sewage capacity in that village, will account for about $303,677 of the cost. This cost is to be split three ways with the province paying $101,215, Lunenburg Municipality paying $134,960 and the Bridgewater Public Service Commission, $67,500.

Initial plans for the water treatment plant do not include the installation of equipment to add flouride to the water for the prevention of tooth decay in children. But the plant is designed to allow space for the equipment should it be wanted later, said commission member William Rhodenizer. Cost of flouride-adding equipment is estimated at about $20,000 and it would cost about $15,000 annually for the chemicals.

[Bridgewater Bulletin, 10 May 2000]

2000 May 5

CRTC Approves Acquisition of VOCM Radio Newfoundland Ltd.
by Newfoundland Capital Corporation Ltd., of Dartmouth

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA, May 5 /CNW/ — Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited announced today that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has approved Newfoundland Capital Corporation's purchase of all radio stations in Newfoundland owned by VOCM Radio Newfoundland Ltd.

VOCM Radio Newfoundland Ltd. is Newfoundland's pioneer commercial radio broadcaster, first on the air in 1936. VOCM Radio owns and operates
VOCM, St. John's
Magic 97, St. John's and Clarenville
CKVO, Clarenville
CHVO, Carbonear
CHCM, Marystown
CKGA, Gander
CKCM, Grand Falls
CKIM, Baie Verte

Harry Steele, Chairman of Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited has stated, "This acquisition will allow us to combine our resources and enhance service throughout Newfoundland and Labrador." VOCM Chairman and President, Joseph V. Butler, at the time the proposed acquisition was announced said, "We are very pleased to leave our radio stations to a very successful communications company. We believe this unsolicited offer and subsequent transaction with Newfoundland Capital will continue to keep VOCM Radio stations competitive and successful well into the next millennium. Newfoundland has an extremely positive economic future, and we are confident that VOCM Radio will continue to prosper and grow under the ownership of Newfoundland Capital Corporation." Newfoundland Capital shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NCC.A. Newfoundland Capital Corporation Limited has its main office at 745 Windmill Road, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It is a communications company engaged in radio and publishing and printing. It operates 24 radio stations across Canada and publishes 20 community newspapers and magazines, and operates the largest commercial printing business in Atlantic Canada

Media release carried on Canada News Wire

Newfoundland Capital Ups Nfld. Radio Stake

23 June 2000

Dartmouth-based Newfoundland Capital Corp. Ltd. says it plans to acquire the two-thirds remaining interest in Corner Brook-based Humber Valley Broadcasting Co. Ltd. "Given our past minority position in HVB (Humber Valley Broadcasting), we are well aware of the strength of these properties. They will complement our current radio holdings, allowing us to maintain and enhance... radio service in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador," Harry Steele, chairman and CEO of Newfoundland Capital, said in a news release.

Humber Valley Broadcasting operates CFCB-AM radio in Corner Brook along with five AM and four FM repeaters:
CFGN-AM, Channel Port aux Basques
CFLN-AM, Goose Bay
CFLW-AM, Wabush
CNFW-AM, Port au Choix
CFSX-AM, Stephenville
CFCV-FM, St. Andrew's
CFDL-FM, Deer Lake
CFLC-FM, Churchill Falls
CFNN-FM, St. Anthony

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 23 June 2000
and media release carried on Canada News Wire

Newfoundland Capital Corporation's website at

Newfoundland Capital Corporation documents in the SEDAR website at

2000 May 5

Point Aconi Test Site for New Fuel Blend

A mixture of petroleum coke and imported coal

A Nova Scotia Power electrical generating station in Cape Breton is the test site for a new fuel blend which is anticipated will produce a more efficient burn. Nova Scotia Power Inc. spokesperson Alison Gillan explained Friday, May 5th, that the testing of the new blend began last summer at the Point Aconi Power Generating Station on Boularderie Island. She said tests will continue until the fall. The company is burning a mixture of petroleum coke and coal imports from the United States and South America. She said coal from the nearby Prince Mine is not being used because when testing began, production at the mine was shut down as a result of development problems. Although production has since resumed, Gillan said it was decided not to add the Cape Breton coal in order to avoid adding another variable to the experiment.
[Cape Breton Post, 6 May 2000]

2000 May 9

Weekly Passenger Train to Sydney Begins Today

VIA Rail's newest passenger train, the Bras d'Or, is set to depart from Halifax today, to start a weekly service between Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia. Every Tuesday until October 17th, the train will depart Halifax at 07:30, will pause for one hour in Port Hawkesbury from 14:10 to 15:10, and will arrive in Sydney at 18:15. Every Wednesday from May 10th to October 18th, the train will leave Sydney at 07:30, will pause in Port Hawkesbury from 10:40 to 11:40, and will arrive back in Halifax at 18:15. Equipment from the Ocean, which does not depart from Halifax on Tuesday, will be used.
Source: Branchline, May 2000, page 15
Branchline is a monthly newsletter published by the Bytown Railway Society, Ottawa, Ontario.

Tourist Train Makes First Trip

PORT HAWKESBURY — The maiden run of the VIA Rail Bras d'Or tourist train pulled into the Port Hawkesbury train station Tuesday (May 9th), on the first of what will be many stops in the town this summer. About 130 people took the eleven-hour journey from Halifax to Sydney, which includes a one-hour stop at the Port Hawkesbury waterfront. The delegation — which was comprised of equal measures of tourists and dignitaries — were treated to local entertainment and hospitality during the stop at The Creamery. Paula Davis of the Port Hawkesbury Parks and Recreation Department noted the town has been planning for the twice-weekly visits for several months. Blaine MacQuarrie, who heads the committee which oversees the weekly summer Creamery ceilidh series, organized entertainment for the stopovers. Christena Keon Sirsly, VIA Rail's vice-president of marketing and information services, said response to the Bras d'Or run by tour operators is already encouraging.
[Cape Breton Post, 10 May 2000]

First Revenue Run in a Decade

Passenger Train at Sydney SYDNEY — A train carrying paying customers rolled into Sydney Tuesday for the first time in a decade. The Bras d'Or, Via Rail's new Halifax-to-Sydney passenger train, completed the first half of its inaugural run Tuesday night, easing in beside a newly-built platform on Kings Road with a steady rumble at 6:30pm. The train left Halifax on its first revenue run Tuesday morning and delivered its 100 passengers about eleven hours later, including a 45-minute stop in Port Hawkesbury. It was scheduled to leave Sydney to complete the second half of 294 km trip at 7:30am today. The Bras d'Or can seat 186 passengers in three long-haul coach cars and a lounge car with two panoramic domes.
[Cape Breton Post, 10 May 2000]

'All Aboard' Called for C.B. Tourist Train

Via Rail has a promising future in Nova Scotia, Transport Minister David Collenette said Tuesday in Halifax at the inaugural run of a seasonal train service to Sydney. The Bras d'Or, a tourism partnership among Via, the province, Tourism Cape Breton and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp., takes passengers on a ten-hour trip, with a one-hour stop in Port Hawkesbury. The once-a-week "rail cruise" leaves Halifax on Tuesday mornings and arrives in Sydney in the early evening, returning to Halifax on Wednesday. The service runs through October. Passengers will be treated to regional cuisine, stories and songs. On-board escorts will talk about the history of the region, with information reinforced with facts and points of interest. The trip includes breakfast and lunch, complimentary tea and coffee and a route map. One-way adult fare is $210 with discounts available for seniors, students, children and round-trip excursions. Nova Scotia Transportation Minister Ron Russell said the train will be a valuable tourist attraction. "I can bet dollars to doughnuts it is going to be packed every time it runs," he said. But Mr. Collenette should have brought more for the province, he said.

Trains Don't Interest Nova Scotia's Minister of Transportation

"I'd rather Mr. Collenette came down and announced a better air service, or do something for our national highway service, rather than cutting a ribbon to set a train off on its way to Sydney," Mr. Russell said.

Tuesday's run carried tourists and representatives of Via and the tourism industry. "The Bras d'Or will offer the tourist views that are not possible from highways or country roads," said Rod Morrison, Via's president and chief executive officer. "We believe this product has great potential to attract tourists to this region from all over the world and that by supplementing this experience with other products available in the region, visitors will surely come to know the people, culture and scenery that has made Nova Scotia's Cape Breton island a favourite destination." Mr. Collenette reiterated Ottawa's $400-million commitment over the next five years to bolster rail passenger service rail in Canada.

[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 10 May 2000]

VIA Launches Celtic Rail Cruise

Nova Scotia's $1-billion tourism industry has another product to sell, thanks to Via Rail Canada. On a day when the Halifax train station is normally deserted, Via rolled out the Bras d'Or, which it describes as a "Celtic rail cruise experience." It's a tourist train, designed to take 140 passengers on a leisurely 10-hour trip between Halifax and Sydney. What it is not is a restoration of the train service Via cut in 1990.

Still, federal Transportation Minister David Collenette told the gathered crowd the future looks promising for Via in Nova Scotia and across Canada. "The federal government has dedicated itself to passenger rail and its revitalization," he said. Some of the first people to take advantage of the product are train buffs such as Rev. Karl Calver from New Hampshire, who read about the Bras d'Or in Rail Travel News and just had to ride the new train. "I think it's great because it's economically good and ecologically good and it's scenic," he said prior to boarding.

The train will depart Halifax 7:30am on Tuesdays, stopping for one hour in Port Hawkesbury and arriving in Sydney at 6:15pm. It leaves Sydney on Wednesdays at 7:30am. The full-fare adult cost is $210 for a one-way ticket and there will be senior, children's and return-fare discounts. The Bras d'Or will feature live entertainment and a running commentary on the history of the communities found along the route. It is a partnership between Via, the province, Enterprise Cape Breton and several local tourism industry associations. Judith Cabrita, executive director of the Tourism Association of Nova Scotia, said the hope is that travellers will spend the week in Cape Breton before returning. The train's May-through-October schedule also helps to extend the tourist season beyond the traditional June to August months, Cabrita said. "This is a phenomenal new product we have in the marketplace, and will just sort of reopen that corridor and let people see rural Nova Scotia," she said.

[Halifax Daily News, 10 May 2000]

2000 May 9

Keith Martin Becomes a Candidate

On this day, Keith Martin announced his candidacy for the position of national leader of the new Canadian Alliance.
Keith Martin's leadership campaign website
Keith Martin's original MP website (includes all previous motions, legislation and articles)

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