History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation
2000 May 10-31
Index with links to the other chapters
2000 May 10
CN Officially Transfers Private Photo Collection to Canadian People
Special ceremony to include unveiling of new Internet photo gallery
OTTAWA, May 8 /CNW/ — On May 10, 2000, Canadian National Railway will officially donate to the Canadian people, CN Images of Canada, the company's photo collection of more than one million images chronicling nearly 150 years of Canadian history and technology. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, will receive the collection on behalf of the people of Canada, at a ceremony at the Canada Science and Technology Museum (formerly the National Museum of Science and Technology). The Governor General of Canada, along with a group of school children, will participate in the public unveiling of a new "virtual" photo gallery on the Web, showcasing 550 CN Images of Canada photos. Most of the images have never been seen by the public and the collection has been designated "of outstanding significance and national importance" by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.
- WHAT: A ceremony marking the donation of the CN collection and the launch of the CN Images of Canada virtual photo gallery.
- WHO: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada
The Honourable David Collenette, Minister of Transport
The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage
Mr. Paul M. Tellier, President and Chief Executive Officer, CN
Dr. Virender Handa, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, CSTMC
- WHEN: Wednesday, May 10th, from 11:00am to 12:00 noon.
- WHERE: Locomotive Hall, Canada Science and Technology Museum, 1867 St. Laurent Blvd., Ottawa
Historic CN Photograph Collection website at
Source:– Media release carried on Canada News Wire
Remarkably, this release — which included a lot of detail, such as|
names of celebrities, and where they should go and when they should
be there — never quite got around to mentioning the URL of this new
website, which was the main point of the whole exercise.
The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
Media Advisory – CN to officially transfer
private photo collection to Canadian people
Archived: 2001 July 29
Archived: 2002 January 30
These links were accessed and found to be valid on 8 August 2007.
2000 May 10
Medical Helicopter Landing Site at Hubbards
If the price is right and the property is available, Chester Municipal public works manager Bruce Forest said Hubbards Exit 6 will join a growing list of medical helicopter landing sites popping up all over the province. Mr. Forest said Chester Municipal Council has granted him permission to pursue setting up an air medical transport (AMT) landing site beside Exit 6.
He said the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS), a not-for-profit charity which manages the province's AMT program, pinpointed the exit as an ideal spot for on-site evacuations. He attributes this to the exit's proximity to Highway #103 and the long distance between Exit 6's neighbouring exits — 31 km between East River Exit 7 and Hammonds Plains Exit 5. "If, for any reason, evacuations couldn't take place along the road, an air evacuation system would cut down the response time to get a patient back to hospital," Mr. Forest said. John Roderick, STARS general manager, said AMT began to respond to accidents on scene in August 1999 for precisely that purpose.
Fifty-eight injury-causing accidents have occurred on the 103 Highway between Exit 5 and Exit 7 in the past five years. With these accidents, there's about a 30-minute drive to the nearest regional hospital in Bridgewater or Halifax. Mr. Roderick said the helicopter can meet an ambulance on site and make this trip in only ten minutes. Wherein STARS responds only to life threatening situations or situations which can cause long-term disability, he said these minutes count.
Though medical helicopters can make on-site landings on the highway during the day, he said pilots are flying blind at night, and cannot see poles or wires when making a landing. He said this is why STARS has been trying to encourage community groups to establish landing zones in their areas. He said there are about 60 of these landing sites under development in Nova Scotia today. Last year, between 10 to 15 landings were made at these sites, he estimated.
Mr. Forest said before one of these sites can be built by the Hubbards exit, land ownership has to be established. To build a landing area, he said 110 feet by 110 feet 33m by 33m of land with a 12-degree angle of approach will have to be cleared in the wooded area beside the exit. There, he said, ten three-foot-high traffic pylons with reflective tape direct pilots where to land.
Mr. Roderick said the only complaints he has heard about the helicopter landing sites have come from Halifax citizens concerned about the landing pad being built atop of the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. He said there have been no complaints from South Shore communities like Blandford, where a helicopter site has already been established. "It's a matter of a life being saved," Mr. Roderick said.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 10 May 2000]
2000 May 10
Cape Breton Car Dealer
Jaguar Dealership for Cape Breton
Shop known for clean floors, classical music
Jeff Tanner, who has died aged 67, was an eccentric Englishman who ran a British car dealership on Cape Breton Island where he refused to work on anything but European cars, though he did once agree to repair a friend's Toyota four-wheel drive.
Jeff Tanner was the Jaguar dealer for Cape Breton, but he only ever sold one.
His big sellers through the late 1960s and into the late 1980s were the little Minis and smaller Austin cars. When British Leyland split up, he started dealing in Saabs, but gave up that dealership when General Motors took over the company.
The name of his garage was Eurocar, and he worked there with two other mechanics. There was no grease on the floor, the walls were painted white and every tool was always put away. Only classical music was allowed; the constant radio noise of most shops was banned.
Living in one of the poorer parts of Canada, Jeff Tanner knew his customers might balk at the high cost of new car parts, so he would look for used parts and machine a suitable replacement himself if he had to. His philosophy was that anything could be fixed.
The son af a naval officer, Jeremy Hugh Tanner was born on March 30th, 1933, at Whitehaven in the Lake District in England. Almost as soon as he could talk, he changed his name to Jeff and stuck with it the rest of his life. Young Jeff was a rebellious youth who went to several private schools, and then went on to the College of Aeronautical Engineering in London. Before graduating, he went to work for an American photographer. He came to admire German cameras and travelled to Germany to pick up some equipment. On his return to England, he discovered that the duty was 200%, but a customs agent told him he could get around it by going to Canada for six months and coming back with used equipment.
And so Jeff came to Canada, working in mines in Northern Ontario, where he made what he thought was a lot of money. On a trip back to England, he took a course in deep-sea diving, and returned to Canada to work on the Seal Island Bridge in Cape Breton in 1959. But he was lonely, and he sent for his girlfriend, Christine Ferriere, a French student who had been a friend of his sister's; they married on her arrival.
The winter of 1959-60 was bleak, and ice blocked the underwater construction work on the bridge. The Tanners were impressed by the locals, in particular by a grocer who carried them over the winter without ever mentioning a growing bill. Jeff Tanner liked the temperate climate and the sea, and the couple settled permanently in Cape Breton in the early 1960s. Tanner had thought there would be a need for his underwater construction skills, but he hadn't counted on the permanent recession in Cape Breton. Instead, he started his garage in Westmount, just across the bay from Sydney.
Though he embraced life in Canada and would get cross if his children teased him about his British habits, Jeff Tanner was in many ways a textbook English stoic. He took up sea kayaking and became so adept he went on a solo trip along the coast of Labrador in 1988. For six weeks he kayaked and survived on his own.
Back in Cape Breton, he lived a quiet life, but was different and stood out. He was fond of old British sports cars. Once he found a rusted Triumph TR3 sitting by the side of the road; he bought the car for next to nothing and restored it himself. Though he owned a car dealership, Jeff Tanner was not a great salesman, and he hated haggling. One time a local businessman spotted a car on the lot priced at $7,900. "What's your real price?" demanded the businessman. "Eight thousand, nine hundred dollars," said Tanner, and he went back to his shop.
Apart from British cars and Saabs, he also sold Peugeots and the British motorcycle BSA, before it went out of business. Jeff Tanner loved to read. Television lasted for three weeks at the Tanner household before he sent it back. History and the aircraft of the Second World War were his favourites, but his tastes were universal. He enjoyed conversation and would often put his work aside to have long talks with customers. For several years, he hosted a program of classical music on a local radio station.
Jeff Tanner exercised and kept fit but suffered a mild stroke last November. He was back at work within a week, but had another stroke during preventive surgery. While in the hospital he worked on ways to improve his wheelchair and suggested a fix for the heating system. He married Christiane Ferriere, who survives him. They had three children.
[National Post, 10 May 2000]
2000 May 10
Ten feet per hour in Milwaukee
Great Lakes Schooner Calls on Scotia Trawler Caulkers
They said it couldn't be done but a Scotia Trawler crew of three, from Lunenburg, recently caulked 4,200 feet 1.3km of seams in three weeks.
Ralph Anderson, Steven Mosher and Ronnie Walters were called on to rescue the Wisconsin Lake Schooner Education Association. The volunteer organization is set up in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. It studied four Great Lake schooners before settling on a set of plans for an overall 130 foot vessel, the Dennis Sullivan. Five or six American shipwrights led the work of scores of volunteers taking about five years or 900 thousand man hours to date. Their first duty was to transform a ferry terminal into a complex suitable to house such a venture. The goal was to re-create some of their lake heritage, ending up with a training ship.
Steven believed it would be a good opportunity for them to go to a new place and "build on our reputation." Ralph agreed, saying it would be a good learning experience.
They left home at 5am, arrived at their destination then put in a four-hour workday. Not bad after travelling 15 hours. "We were sent down to do the job," Steven says. "We taught a
couple of young people but we didn't have much time to teach. Our main goal was to get the job completed and return home." They worked 12-hour days and took one day off in 21. "After two weeks," he says, "we were getting tired, it was a big change." He's used to hearing peepers at night. The sounds of a "pretty active city" left no room for tranquility.
The process of caulking follows traditional methods. A beetle or caulking mallet, caulking irons and a good supply of cotton and oakum are essential in the finishing stages of wooden boatbuilding. First, the oakum is spun, eight to ten pounds about four kg takes about an hour and a half. "Depending on the size of the seam, that'll last four to six hours."
A double line of cotton is followed by oakum, it's all forced back into the seam then followed by more oakum. On average, each man caulked about ten feet about three m an hour. They finished all but nine missing planks and the deck which wasn't complete. And may get a call back for both.
Tour guides fielded most of the questions although the Nova Scotians did answer a few, as well, they were popular with photographers. The tired trio returned home April 24th at 8pm. Ralph put in a part day on Tuesday, Steven went back to work Wednesday and Ronnie made it in Thursday. Marine manager Allan Altass says the crew will soon head back to Pictou for finishing the Hector. The 10-year project is expected to be launched September 16th.
Capt. Mark Crutcher of the Wisconsin Lake Schooner Education Association was impressed with the men from Scotia Trawler. He told Mr. Altass they've never seen such hard-working guys in their lives.
[Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 10 May 2000]
Wisconsin Lake Schooner Education Association website
September 8, 2000 —The Commissioning Ceremony of the S/V Denis Sullivan, the first Tall Ship to be launched in Wisconsin in over 100 years...
Construction of the S/V Denis Sullivan
S/V Denis Sullivan sail plan
S/V Denis Sullivan hull plan
Wisconsin Lake Schooner Education Association educational programs
- Scotia Trawler Equipment Limited [RJSC ID#1678695] has its main office at Battery Point, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The company's directors, as of 16 June 2000, were:
- H.E. Demone, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; Vice-President
- J.L. Mosher, Hermans Island, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia; President
- K.L. Nelson, Maders Cove, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
Source: Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies [RJSC]
Also see: National Sea Products Limited [RJSC ID#2115591]
2000 May 12
Western Valley Awarded Smart Communities Project
Only one in Nova Scotia
- The Western Valley Development Authority works with the people and businesses of Annapolis and Digby Counties and the District of Clare in Nova Scotia. The local governments involved are:
- Municipality of Annapolis County
- Town of Annapolis Royal
- Town of Bridgetown
- Municipality of the District of Clare
- Municipality of the District of Digby
- Town of Digby
- Town of Middleton
- Bear River First Nation
Smart Communities Selection Committee Announces
OTTAWA, Ontario, May 11, 2000 — John MacDonald, Chair of the Smart Communities Selection Committee today announced Canada's 12 Smart Communities Demonstration Projects. These communities will become world leaders in the integration of information and communication technologies into community life — in areas such as health care, education, training and business. There will be one Smart Community from each province, one from the North and one Aboriginal community.
Twelve Smart Communities Demonstration Projects
"The overall quality of business plans made choosing among them difficult," said Mr. MacDonald. "I am confident that these demonstration projects have enormous vision for the future that involves the use of information and communication technologies, and will inspire innovation in other Canadian communities."
The twelve Smart Communities were chosen from an original pool of 129 communities that submitted letters of intent. This number was reduced by the Selection Committee to 46 communities which submitted comprehensive business plans detailing the strategic, operational and financial aspects of the proposed projects.
Experts from a range of fields made up the National Selection Committee, which evaluated the letters of intent and business plans against selection criteria in five strategic areas: community engagement, organization, smart services, infrastructure and results. Each of the 12 selected Smart Communities will enter into a contribution agreement process with Industry Canada to provide up to $5,000,000 per community in matching funding. The $60,000,000 Smart Communities program was announced in 1999 under the Connecting Canadians initiative, which aims to make Canada the most connected nation in the world.
Industry Canada news release, 11 May 2000
Smart Communities Selection Committee Announces 12 Smart Communities Demonstration Projects
Canada's Smart Communities Demonstration Projects
Nova Scotia — Western Valley Smart Community
New High-tech Designation Awarded to Western Valley
Bridgetown — The western Annapolis Valley, suffering for years from economic malaise, may be on the brink of a new era with Thursday's announcement that the area will become one of 12 Smart Communities in Canada, say development and municipal officials. "We are delighted, and know that this project will have a profound impact on the region's future," Janet Larkman, executive-director of the Western Valley Development Authority, said Thursday from Ottawa. She was in the capital city for the official announcement, made by Industry Minister John Manley.
The Valley group was chosen from a shortlist of three Nova Scotia communities. The others were from Cape Breton and Halifax.
The announcement puts Annapolis and Digby counties on the leading edge of innovation worldwide, said Ms. Larkman. "We are really looking forward to getting this Smart Community demonstration project underway ... The federal government's contribution, along with all our partners, will make the western Valley one of the most connected regions by the end of 2000."
The 12 communities were chosen from 129. The number was reduced by a national selection committee to 46 communities, all of which had to submit comprehensive business plans. A community was chosen from each of the 10 provinces, along with one from Northern Canada and an aboriginal community.
Each of the 12 communities will now enter into an agreement with Industry Canada, under which they will receive $5,000,000. Each community must match that funding. The $60,000,000 program was announced by the federal government last year, with the aim of making Canada the most technologically connected nation in the world.
The $5,000,000 federal contribution is just a beginning, say municipal politicians. The program will eventually provide national and international business opportunities for Canadian companies that develop and deliver high-tech applications and services.
"It's fantastic news," Digby County Warden David Irvine said Thursday. "It opens up unbelievable opportunities for our area." The region suffered serious economic blows in the past decade, with the closure of the Cornwallis military training base, the downturn in the fishery and decline of other traditional industries. Cornwallis Park has been successful in attracting many new businesses in recent years. "But we really needed some niche to hang future development on, and I think this should be it," said Mr. Irvine. "It'll enhance and provide local employment," said Annapolis County Warden Peter Terauds. "This is a real victory."
By using information and communications technology to link people and organizations, the project will "put us on an equal footing with any major city in the world," Ms. Larkman said. "We'll be able to compete in the world market."
The bid by the Western Valley Development Authority involves an upgrade of high-speed telecommunications networks that will support a wide range of economic development opportunities.
At the project's core is a high-speed telecommunications network, converging cable, telephone, electrical and satellite systems. In an effort to link residents within the 5,600-square-kilometre region, the project will provide e-mail addresses and Web sites to all households, community groups and businesses.
In addition, 100 communication kiosks will be installed in public buildings and businesses. There will also be digital community radio, video conferencing facilities and construction of a "Smart Building" for high-tech firms.
The project will "fast-track the region's economic growth by as much as ten years," said project manager Tom Porter.
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 12 May 2000]
Industry Canada press release, 11 May 2000
Halifax Herald story, 12 May 2000
WVDA press release, 11 May 2000
Go To: Western Valley Development Authority website
2000 May 12
Maritimes Proposes Reduction in Pipeline Pressure
Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline has proposed more testing and a reduction in pressure in its efforts to get an operating permit for a natural gas lateral line to Point Tupper.
In a draft plan it and Sable Offshore Energy Inc. sent to the National Energy Board on April 17th, Maritimes said it would be prepared to drop the gas pipeline's standard operating pressure by 20 per cent for up to two years.
By that time, Maritimes said it hopes to have developed an "intelligent internal inspection tool" that could determine the condition of the pipe. The NEB has refused a permit for the 56-kilometre lateral because of safety concerns over the pipe used in construction. A number of sections failed pressure tests and others had walls thinner than allowed by Canadian standards.
The gas pipeline is in the same trench as one carrying natural gas liquids to a processing plant in Point Tupper. That line is operating under a permit granted by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, but since it was built with the same pipe the NEB said it likely has similar defects.
3 Lengths Failed of 71 Tested
Sable has volunteered to temporarily drop the maximum operating pressure in the liquids line by 20 per cent, but spokeswoman Cynthia Langlands said current pressures in the line are already less than half of the proposed new maximum because of lower natural gas liquids production levels. Between March 22nd and April 2nd, Maritimes and Sable subjected 71 sections of unused pipe to ultrasonic testing. Three sections failed and one was deemed incapable of withstanding pressure tests that had been done on the installed pipeline. A statistical analysis of the data, estimated between 3,231 and 3,578 of the lateral's 3,590 sections should meet code. [To put it another way, this analysis predicts there are from 12 to 359 defective lengths of pipe in the completed and buried lateral.]
Maritimes also proposes to dig up and examine another twelve sections of installed pipe that technicians think may be faulty.
A Halifax-based regulatory consultant has written Premier John Hamm regarding these results. He said the premier must shut the liquids line down before there is a serious accident. Paul Vandall said such a rupture could lead to another disaster of Westray proportions. He also proposed the province hand over responsibility for the liquids line to the NEB, which he says is technically superior to the URB. Maritimes spokeswoman Krista Jenkins said the company is still working with Sable and the NEB on a final plan and declined comment on the draft document.
[Halifax Daily News, 12 May 2000]
This is one more example of the media's scruplous avoidance|
of any suggestion of burdening the public with unnecessary
"...Maritimes said it would be prepared to drop the gas
pipeline's standard operating pressure by 20 per cent...",
but there's no mention of what the "standard operating
pressure" is. In this discussion, the operating pressure of
the pipeline is an important factor, yet that number is
Why are the media (newspapers and television both)
so reluctant to provide such basic information?
The only answer I've heard is — the public isn't interested.
I believe what they really mean is — the reporters and
editors are themselves uncomfortable with technical details,
and they rationalize their own feeling of inadequacy by
foisting it on their readers or viewers.
My information is that this gas pipeline was designed
for a standard operating pressure of 6900 kPa (kilopascals)
1000 psi (pounds per square inch).
There now. That wasn't all that tough, was it? How many
readers do you suppose would have cancelled their subscriptions
if that information had been tucked into the story?
2000 May 13
Devco Fined $29,100 for Exposing Miners to Radiation for Years
It boggles the mind, judge says
Sydney — A $29,100 fine imposed Friday on Devco for knowingly exposing dozens of workers to radiation for more than three years didn't ease workers' fear for their lives.
Judge David Ryan, ignoring the Crown's advice to assess a $12,500 fine for Devco's earlier guilty pleas on seven charges under the Atomic Energy Control Act, upped the penalty and chastised the Crown-owned coal-mining company for its failure to protect workers.
"This type of (radioactive) instrument is not benign but inherently dangerous," the soft-spoken judge said in Sydney provincial court. "If it's not used under the conditions of its licence, and there's a considerable number of restrictions, (officials) would revoke the licence. But that didn't happen.
"It boggles the mind."
One worker was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer and another has radioactive "hot spots" on one hand caused by routinely picking up the radioactive device that kept falling on the floor at Phalen colliery in New Waterford.
About 46 Devco employees were exposed to radiation.
Worker Forbes Harding, who has a dysfunctional hand, said Devco, adding insult to his injury, is fighting his claim, which the Workers' Compensation Board had approved.
"I wish (the judge) knew other circumstances around this that weren't portrayed in the court today, like when exposure really started taking place, which was in 1987," Mr. Harding said. That was a year after Devco received its licence to operate two devices on top of the coal shoots [chutes] at the Prince and Phalen mines. Inside a lead box was a small disc and a radioactive instrument the size of a pinky finger designed to signal coal blockages. The shutter door on the lead box broke and daily vibrations repeatedly popped the radioactive device, containing cesium 137, out onto the floor.
Despite routine testing by Atomic Energy Control Board inspectors, the broken latch on the box was never detected. Devco did not test the instrument at all, Crown attorney Timothy McLaughlin said. "It's changed my whole life," Mr. Harding said. "It blows my mind how this could happen.
"These people you trusted all your life, who you've worked with for more than 25 years, then realize how something like this could be allowed to happen. "Training should have been (done) back in 1987. We slipped through the cracks for 12 years."
Devco pleaded guilty to the following seven offences and has 90 days to pay the specified fines, which total $29,100:
Four other charges dating to 1987 were dropped last fall.
- failing to ensure proper training, $5,800;
- failing to ensure authorized people fixed the radioactive instrument, $5,800;
- failing to limit Mr. Harding's exposure to radiation, $5,800;
- failing to post names of authorized handlers of the device, $2,925;
- failing to keep records, $2,925;
- failing to test the instrument every year, $2,925; and
- failing to use a gamma survey meter to ensure the device was closed, $2,925.
Some exposures equivalent to someone having 40,000 X-rays in a year
Hughie MacArthur, the Devco union's safety officer, said the union may appeal or launch a civil suit as some workers were exposed to extreme levels of radiation. Some exposures were the equivalent of someone having 40,000 X-rays in a year.
"I'm pleased the judge recognized the severity of it by giving the maximum fines," Mr. MacArthur said.
"The (reason) we're disappointed is that some of the charges were dropped. It was very disheartening."
Exposed worker Lawrence MacLeod fears for his health. "People who were exposed further back have been left out of the picture," he said. "I didn't know I was being exposed. "I'm an innocent victim, I suppose. We all were."
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 13 May 2000]
2000 May 13
Nova Scotia Refinery Faces Hurdle
Sulphur-content regulations increase Imperial's costs
Environment Minister David Anderson's decision to impose an interim step in the effort to reduce the sulphur content of gasoline is just another challenge for the Dartmouth oil refinery to overcome, its manager said this week.
Regulations approved last June require that sulphur in gasoline be cut from 350 parts per million (ppm) to 150 ppm by January 1st, 2002, and 30 ppm by January 1st, 2005.
But the oil industry says it can't reach the 150 ppm goal because of technological problems and high costs. Instead, the oil industry preferred cutting sulphur to 30 ppm by July 1st, 2003, while dropping the mid-point target. Anderson said no.
Forced to spend money to little purpose
Tim Stoner, manager of Imperial Oil Ltd.'s Dartmouth refinery, said to get to the interim step "we would end up spending money unnecessarily and ... it would be what we call wasted or sunk costs that wouldn't help get to 30." That fact the industry didn't get the "flexibility" it was looking for is a significant issue for Dartmouth, one of the smallest refineries in the country, Stoner said. "We're committing to meeting the regulations of the land, and if there's an interim step in there, we're going to have find alternate ways of supplying that level of gasoline," he said.
Stoner said the refinery could seek low-sulphur crude oil to process or bring low-sulphur gasoline it could blend with its own refined product to reach the 150 ppm mark.
The decision by the minister "doesn't help us."
"For the last few years, Dartmouth refinery — given its size — has been cost-challenged to make sure we're competitive in all the areas of our production," he said. If Dartmouth has to pay a premium for blend stock to help it get to 150, "that's a cost we're going to have to absorb, and it's obviously going to take us further away from where we want to be on the competitive side." "The employees here have faced challenges like these in the past, and we're up for it again. It just creates a lot of extra work for us, unfortunately," Stoner said.
Irving refinery is already compliant
In contrast, Irving Oil's Saint John's refinery — the largest in the country — welcomed the minister's decision. Irving has just completed a $1,000,000,000 upgrade at the facility and is already capable of producing low-sulphur gasoline.
Sulphur dioxide generated by vehicle engines has been linked to bronchitis in children, as well as asthma and premature deaths. Sulphur in gasoline is responsible for one per cent of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere, and one to two per cent of smog, according to Environment Canada.
[Halifax Daily News, 13 May 2000]
Feds' Snit Could Raise Gasoline Prices
by John McLeod — Money editor
Instead of getting their knickers in knots over what's likely to be a short-lived four-cent hike in retail gasoline prices in metro Halifax just before the May long weekend, the folks who rail against any rise in gasoline prices should be paying attention to what Ottawa has done that could raise prices by ten cents a litre down the road. This past week, Environment Minister David Anderson pulled the plug on negotiations between Canadian oil refining companies, his department and Health Canada over plans to reduce the amount of sulphur allowed in fuel.
Worse, the refiners insist what ticked off the environment minister — whose "frankly, I am disappointed" missive came out of the blue for them — was not intransigence on their part, but a bureaucratic mixup between the two federal departments.
The background to this story is that the feds want the amount of sulphur — which is found in high amounts in Canadian petroleum and causes pollution when gasoline is burned — reduced to 30 parts per million. Originally they proposed requiring it in two stages: to 150 ppm by 2002 and the 30 ppm goal by 2005.
The country's two largest refiners, Imperial Oil and Petro-Canada, insisted they couldn't change their equipment in time for the 2002 stage, but offered to go the whole way in a single step by 2004.
Health Canada offered a single-step reduction by 2003 as an option for companies that couldn't meet the original schedule. The industry wrote back to agree, only to have Anderson throw a snit because he and his officials were never talking about an optional deal and thought the Health Canada offer was for all refiners to meet the new 2003 deadline.
"We were always only talking about two companies following the 2003 target," explains Bill Simpkins, vice-president of the Canadian Petroleum Producers Institute. "It certainly was nowhere in any of the discussions that this (single schedule) would apply to everyone. "How could we at all decipher what might have been in (Anderson's) mind when we were negotiating something entirely different?"
The environment minister now says the original two-stage sulphur reduction schedule will apply, even though the two largest refiners in the country say they cannot meet the 2002 reduction target. CPPI officials say this probably will mean that Imperial Oil and Petro-Canada will have to import huge amounts of U.S. gasoline, which is lower in sulphur, for a couple of years until they can upgrade the Canadian refineries. The cost of bringing in thousands of tanker-truckloads of U.S. gasoline a day could, CPPI people warn, obviously raise the price of gasoline at the pumps. Moreover, it would reduce the amount of wholesale-priced gasoline available to independent retailers — who rely on surplus supplies from the major refiners — and might, says the head of the association representing independents, raise the retail price of gas by as much as ten cents a litre.
Here in Nova Scotia, it also could threaten the very existence of Imperial Oil's refinery in Eastern Passage, near Dartmouth. It is the smallest Imperial refinery in the country, and the oil giant could well decide it might not be worth the cost of an upgrade.
Industry officials say they will continue to push for a compromise solution.
[Halifax Sunday Daily News, 14 May 2000]
2000 May 13
CRTC Grants Licence to Radio Station CHCN
Cole Harbour District High School FM stereo radio station
Hip-hop beats will soon be heard over the airwaves throughout Cole Harbour, Eastern Passage and the Prestons, eastern suburbs of Dartmouth. The rhythm-driven music will be part of the format of CHCN, the Cole Harbour District High School community radio station that received regulatory approval Tuesday, May 9th, from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
Under terms of the licensing agreement, the new FM stereo station must provide community access to the airwaves and offer diverse programming reflecting the needs and interests of the area it's licensed to serve. Broadcasting is to begin October 24th. The CRTC ruled programming must also include music by new and local talent not broadcast by commercial stations, local information and spoken-word programming focusing on health and social concerns, cultural diversity and youth-oriented issues, and school features.
The commission noted that all Nova Scotia MLAs supported the school's application.
The CRTC said CHCN spawned from an understanding shared by students, teachers, parents and others that the station could help teach communication skills and bridge serious rifts within local communities. In late 1996, two brawls between black and white students at Cole Harbour High drew national attention. The station was recommended as a tool to help ease that tension. The school will receive an accolade today from the League of Peaceful Schools, a network of schools that offer various anti-violence programs. Cole Harbour High will become only the fourth high school in the province to join the league. The ceremony will be held at the school during the league's first provincial conference.
Teacher Mike Whitehouse said it is believed CHCN will be the only high school community radio station in Canada. Its philosophy is Building Bridges Among Cultures and Communities. The private sector, not the Halifax regional school board, will fund the station, Mr. Whitehouse said. Corporate partners will include MTT and Nautel Ltd., a St. Margarets Bay firm producing radio transmitters. The school received a $10,000 cheque Wednesday from the McConnell Foundation of Montreal. Like New Office Furnishing has donated used furniture.
Mr. Whitehouse said the station's $100,000 annual budget will be raised through corporate contributions and a major fund-raising drive. Startup costs will be about $140,000, he said. The non-profit Cole Harbour Community Radio Society, made up of volunteers and students, will run CHCN, Mr. Whitehouse said. "We already have 50 volunteers from five communities working on the project," he said. "We still need more."
The station will initially broadcast from 7:00am to 10:30pm Monday to Friday from the Gordon Bell building. "It's our hope other schools will set up production centres and have their own shows," Mr. Whitehouse said. "All they will need is a PC (personal computer) and software, a microphone and a telephone line."
The station's antenna will be on the Clearnet tower on Mount Edward Road — the highest point of land in Dartmouth. DJ Earlando Simmonds, a Grade 11 student from North Preston, said he will spin discs and also search for local talent to perform. "I'll be just keeping my ears open," he said. Staffer Nick Boutilier, another Grade 11 student, said: "I hope everyone is going to realize that if you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want."
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 13 May 2000]
2000 May 17
Old Horton High Being Sold on Internet
Bidding starts at $525,000
The old Horton High School building, located on the boundary between New Minas and Greenwich in Kings County, is on the cyberspace auction block. Bidding starts at $525,000 on the World Wide Web. Halifax businessman Bill Mont bought the building for $200,000 from the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board in 1999, after the school moved to a new building in Greenwich, just west of Wolfville. "It's just another way of reaching people," said Mr. Mont of his online auction. "It's the way of the future, there's no question about it. The future is the Internet."
The building and several hectares of land were assessed at $6,900,000 two years ago. Mr. Mont decided to sell about two months ago after zoning problems prevented him from carrying out his business plans, and maintenance expenses on the 60-room building mounted. "It's expensive to hold it," he said, referring to the cost of electricity, heat, taxes, security, and insurance. Bids are being taken at
Mr. Mont has used the Internet before, with some luck. "I've played with a few things on the Internet and finally I sold something." Encouraged by that success, he decided to put the school building on the block. He won't know the result until after bidding closes Friday, May 19th. Meanwhile, the For Sale signs are still posted around the building and a real estate agent has taken some prospective buyers through the building. The $525,000 reserve listed on the auction website doesn't necessarily reflect the price if the building is sold through conventional means, Mr. Mont said. "We're flexible."
Bidding opened at at 2:45pm Friday, May 5th, and will close at at 2:00pm Friday, May 19th. At 3:30pm, Wednesday, May 17th, the auction website reported no bids had been entered so far. (Of course, this is not unusual in Internet auctions — many bidders hold back until the last few hours, or even the last few minutes.)
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 17 May 2000, and the Bargoon website.]
The Bargoon website
Bargoon.com is produced by Salter New Media, an affiliate of Salter Street Films Limited in association with MT&T Holdings Inc., an Aliant company. Salter New Media focuses on the creation of original, branded content for the Internet. Salter New Media products include Q1234.com, InvestorCanada.com, and Bargoon.com.
Salter Street Films website
Update, May 19th, 2000 1:30pm: — So far, there have been no bids entered in the website. The bidding closing date has been extended to Friday, June 02, 2000 at 12:00am. (Does this "12:00am" mean 12:00 noon or 12:00 midnight, I wonder. This ambiguous usage has become widespread in trivial contexts such as newspaper TV guides, but I would have thought that, in an important matter — an auction of an item worth more than a half-million dollars — the seller would have been more careful to be clear about the closing time.)
Update, January 6th, 2008 — The building found no buyers at this time, or for several years after. In early 2007, the property was sold to a housing developer, and the building was demolished in November 2007.
2000 May 18
Salter Street Films ups New Media stake
Salter Street Films Ltd. has acquired 1,212,667 common shares of Salter New Media Ltd., or 96.8 per cent of the outstanding common shares of Salter New Media that it did not already own. The transaction brings Salter Street Films' ownership of the company's common shares to 98 per cent. Salter Street previously owned 791,667 common shares, or 38.7 per cent, of Salter New Media. "Bringing Salter New Media's assets back into Salter Street Films allows us to focus on the Webcasting properties, Q1234.com and InvestorCanada.com, that have both demonstrated promise in the marketplace," said Catherine Tait, president and chief operating officer of Salter Street Films. In exchange for each Salter New Media common share, Salter Street issued one subordinate voting share in Salter Street Films, increasing the number of issued and outstanding shares of Salter Street Films Ltd. to 8,338,839.
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 19 May 2000]
Salter Street Films buys most of Salter New Media
Salter Street Films Ltd., of 1668 Barrington Street, Halifax, is buying a bigger piece of one of its subsidiaries. The film and television production house has acquired an additional 1,200,000 common shares of Salter New Media Ltd. This represents 96.8 per cent of the outstanding common shares of Salter New Media that it did not already own. The transaction brings Salter Street's ownership of the company's common shares to 98 per cent. Before the transaction, Salter Street owned about one-third of the shares.
Until now, a large portion of Salter New Media had been owned by MT&T Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of MTT, owned by Aliant. Salter Street president Catherine Tait said the reacquisition will allow the parent company to "focus on the Webcasting properties ... that have demonstrated promise in the marketplace, and to develop other content sites."
Salter New Media operates Q1234.com, Canada's first Internet broadcaster of quarterly earnings calls; InvestorCanada.com, a Webcaster of interviews with leading fund managers and financial experts; and Bargoon.com, North America's first local online auctionhouse. As of March 31, 2000, the company had net assets of more than $3,600,000, including cash of about $3,000,000. Last October, Salter New Media shut 22online.com, a daily satirical news site, and Triple-Bypass.com, a hip-hop music and culture site. The company said the sites failed to meet advertising-revenue targets. In exchange for each Salter New Media common share, Salter Street issued one subordinate voting share in Salter Street Films, increasing the number of its issued and outstanding shares to more than 8,300,000.
In 1999, Salter Street's revenues hit $49,700,000, up from $34,700,000 in 1998. Net income was up, at $4,200,000, and earnings per share also increased. Those margins, however, were enhanced by investment income that cannot be expected again, company officials told shareholders. At its recent annual meeting, Salter Street executives told shareholders to expect less revenue growth this year.
This year's projections are for revenues of $50,800,000 and net income of $2,600,000.
[Halifax Daily News, 19 May 2000]
Salter Street Films documents in the SEDAR website at
2000 May 19
Invitation — Be Among The First
HALIFAX, May 19 /CNW/ — EastLink, a Nova Scotia-based group of companies offering a range of communications and entertainment services to business and residential customers across the Maritimes, continues its growth with the official launch of EastLink Digital Cable on May 26th. Join us as we celebrate the Halifax launch and announce our 2000 roll-out schedule for markets throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
To Experience EastLink Digital Cable
- What: Media Preview: An opportunity to pose questions and experience EastLink Digital Cable first-hand. The media preview will be immediately followed by a three-day Open House for members of the general public.
- When: Friday, May 26 at 11:00 a.m. — Open House to follow at 12 noon.
- Where: Dalhousie University Student Union Building, Green Room, 6136 University Avenue, Halifax, NS.
- Who: Dan McKeen, Co-Chief Executive Officer; Ian Lezama, Director of Marketing; Peter McNeil, Product Manager, Cable Services
2000 May 20
Kentville Installs Webcam
Apple Blossom Parade Viewable World-Wide
The Apple Blossom parade will be seen internationally this year; Kentville is broadcasting it live on the Internet. The town has set up a video camera connected to the Internet — a webcam — at the intersection of Cornwallis and Main Streets, with the historic Cornwallis Inn in the background. At intervals of a few seconds, the camera automatically takes a still shot of the intersection. This still is immediately made available to anyone on the Internet who chooses to look at it. How quickly the image changes depends on the viewer's modem speed and type of Internet hookup.
Town planner Dave Wallace said the camera, set up recently by a Fredericton company that runs and promotes similar cameras in a variety of cities and towns, will allow former residents of the Annapolis Valley to see the parade again and give other people a chance to see it for the first time.
Kentville officials hope the camera will increase public interest in the town's website, and the town itself. "We're using it as an economic development tool," Mr. Wallace said. The town will monitor the number of online visitors to its website, with a view to expanding the project if it turns out to be a significant draw. Mr. Wallace said the town prides itself on being on the leading edge of technology in municipal government, and has received national recognition for its use of a geographic information system.
[Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 20 May 2000]
Town of Kentville's website
2000 May 23
Sysco Rolls Its Last Rail
Sysco has rolled its last steel rail, at least as a Crown corporation, Economic Development Minister Gordon Balser said on May 23rd. Sydney Steel Corp. filled its last rail order over the weekend and won't make other sales unless it is sold to a company that wants to remain in the market. But he wouldn't give any clue about who might buy the money-losing mill or whether rail building is in its plans. "Certainly, Sysco as it currently exists has reached a significant turning point," Balser said. The plant will continue to make forging blooms, used in making axles, but has now abandoned its main product. More than 500 of 700 workers have been laid off since last year. Balser said the Tory government is following through on its promise to close Sysco if it can't be sold. He said he has seen bids submitted for the plant, but wouldn't talk about them.
[Halifax Daily News, 24 May 2000]
2000 May 24
The Daily News Gets a New Look
Page Size Reduced Slightly
On this day, the Halifax Daily News reduced the size of its pages to 34.2 × 28.7 cm. Until now, the newspaper had been printed on pages measuring 37.2 × 28.7 cm. This change reduces the area of each page by about eight per cent, from 1067 cm2 to 981 cm2. "Starting today, we're adopting the same size and shape as most of Canada's tabloid-format newspapers, snipping just over an inch off the length of The Daily News. What hasn't changed, though, is the content; you'll still find all your favourite columnists, along with local news, entertainment, lifestyle and sports coverage."
"We're changing for two reasons. National advertisers have requested we adjust our page size to industry standards so that, as the saying goes, 'one size fits all'. Also, newsprint prices are on the rise. Prices jumped ten per cent in the last month alone. This size, which was adopted by many of Canada's newspapers several years ago, will recover a significant portion of the increase."
"Our new format boasts eye-catching new headline fonts, a more vertical style of layout, and streamlined graphics. We hope you like it, and remember, the format is all we've changed. We'll be working as hard as ever to keep you in touch with our community."
[Halifax Daily News, 24 May 2000]
2000 May 24
Publishers Test Electronic Waters
Traditional Book Publishers Quickly Adapting to E-Book Sales
Are the days of the printing press numbered?
Three book publishers announced electronic distribution ventures yesterday, a sign the industry is getting serious about making their books available digitally for personal computers and handheld devices. Time Warner Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and three giants of the book industry yesterday announced steps aimed at putting electronic libraries, containing the equivalent of hundreds of books, into consumers' hands.
Microsoft Maneuvering for Dominance in this Arena
Random House Inc. made best-selling author Michael Crichton's novel Timeline available for free on-line, but only to users of handheld computers with a Microsoft Corp. operating system. Also teaming up with Microsoft is Simon & Shuster Inc., which saw about half a million downloads when it released a short story, Riding the Bullet by Stephen King, on-line two months ago. Yesterday it released fifteen Star Trek titles, saying the books would appeal to the "early adopters" of technology.
Separately, Time Warner Inc. said it had formed an electronic publishing division, named iPublish.com. It will solicit manuscripts for books and shorter pieces at a website that the company plans to launch early next year. The site will also sell on-line versions of the books. Under the merger proposed for Time Warner and America OnLine Inc., iPublish will gain access to some powerful AOL ditribution channels, Lawrence Kirshbaum, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Trade Publishing, told a New York press conference.
Microsoft, meanwhile, said it is teaming with Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Bertelsmann AG, to give away downloads of Michael Crichton's latest novel Timeline to run on Microsoft's new Reader software. In a similar deal with Simon and Schuster, a division of Viacom Inc., Microsoft will participate in a giveaway of fifteen e-books based on the three Star Trek television series. The e-book titles are available for free download at barnesandnoble.com and offer much-needed content for users of Microsoft's Pocket PC.
Recent Developments are the Driving Force
Two recent developments are pushing the publishing industry to move toward on-line distribution, analysts say.
One is the success of Mr. King's electronic story Riding the Bullet, the first on-line release by a big-name author, which demonstrated there is a large market for e-books. The second is the growing on-line exchange — and piracy — of music, made easy by file-sharing programs such as Napster.
"I think the book industry is looking with horror at what's happening in the music industry," said analyst Dan O'Brien at Forrester Research. Publishers want to enter the digital arena early to avoid having consumers get accustomed to illegal on-line acquisition, as has happened with music, Mr. O'Brien said.
The new electronic books use encryption technology from Microsoft and Xerox aimed at preventing copying and printing. But Dick Brass, Microsoft's vice-president of technology, acknowledged at a news conference with Random House and Simon & Shuster in New York that "no copy protection technology is perfect."
How to Beat the Pirates
"We think the best way to beat piracy is to flood the market with a large number of well-priced products," Mr. Brass said.
At a separate news conference, the chief executive officer of Time Warner Trade Publishing, Laurence Kirshbaum, also said that encryption was not perfect. "But we believe that by creating a commercial marketplace, we can drive the hackers out."
Mr. King's e-book was also encrypted. But hackers quickly broke the code and posted freely copyable and printable versions on-line.
Timeline and the Star Trek books are available free at nesandnoble.com may be even more tempting targets for those wishing to demonstrate their computer skills since they can be read only on the two models of handheld computers that run Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.
Pocket PC is touted in ads as Microsoft's challenge to the popular, market-leading Palm handhelds, but only about 10,000 computers running the system have been sold in stores since their launch April 19th, according to market research group PC Data.
More than 10 times as many Palm computers were sold in the same period.
400,000 in 24 Hours
Barnesandnoble.com would not say how many people had downloaded Crichton's book by Tuesday afternoon but said it met with nowhere near the response as for King's book, which was downloaded 400,000 times in the first 24 hours. During that initial period, barnesandnoble.com reported that it averaged 2.5 requests for the story every second.
Microsoft said the reading software will be available for PCs this summer, and is considering making it available on other computers, such as the Macintosh and Palm, as well.
Crichton, speaking at a news conference, said a great appeal of electronic books for him is that many can fit into a single handheld computer. "I take a suitcase (of books) with me on vacation because I'm not sure of what I want to read," he said.
While the new handhelds have made electronic books portable, it is still unclear if consumers will take to reading from computer screens. Analysts say reference works and shorter pieces like magazine articles would make the transition better than full-length books like Crichton's Timeline, a hefty 450 pages. "Obviously the novel is a sexy way to build awareness, but I don't think that going to be the primary application for this technology," said analyst Aram Sinnreich at Jupiter Communications.
Publishers might have drawn the wrong conclusions from the success of King's book, which would be a modest 66 pages in printed form, O'Brien said. "It's one thing to bring along this short story and read it on your laptop on the plane. But are you really going to read a 600-page Stephen King tome on your laptop? I don't think so," O'Brien said.
Time Warner said its new division, iPublish, would be publishing shorter prose pieces and use the Internet not just for distribution but to democratize the publishing process. It will elicit opinions and feedback from readers as well as other writers on manuscripts that are submitted.
"In the past, publishers have been dictators of taste," said Claire Zion, who will be the editorial director of iPublish. "For the first time, we'll be publishing things not that we think people will like but that we know is popular."
The Globe and Mail, 24 May 2000
The National Post, 24 May 2000
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 24 May 2000
and Associated Press, New York
There are at least five different (and mutually incompatible) e-book formats currently in use:
- Rocket E-Book (U$199, about C$300, at Barnes and Noble) The Rocket eBook is a portable device that allows you to download books and magazines, called RocketEditions, from the Internet. Among the Rocket eBook's advanced features is a storage capacity of up to 10 full-length books. You can annotate texts, search for words or phrases, look up words in the built-in dictionary, and bookmark pages. The Rocket eBook supports audio content as well...
- Microsoft Reader
- Glassbook (free of charge, but Chapters requires that you answer a nine-point questionnaire)
- Adobe PDF (free of charge, but cumbersome to use)
Electronic Book — Digital Capital: Harnessing the Power of Business Webs by Don Tapscott, Alex Lowy, David Ticoll. ISBN 1578514169. Available for download. RocketEditions can be downloaded only to the Rocket eBook device. After you have placed your order, you will receive an email with instructions on how to download your RocketEdition.
Chapters E-Books — Join the digital book revolution! Chapters.ca is pleased to offer you instant access to hundreds of digital titles. With digital books you get great features like searching and integrated links, plus there's no shipping charges and no waiting! You get your books right here, right now ... You will need the free Glassbook Reader to download and view any digital books in the Glassbook format
Riding the Bullet by Stephen King Our Price: Free!
Windows PC Users: Amazon.com has teamed up with Glassbook Inc. to bring you Riding the Bullet free of charge. To read the story, you'll need the Glassbook Reader installed on your computer. It's a free downloadable software program for reading high-fidelity electronic books on your laptop, notebook, or desktop PC. PC users, just follow the instructions below... Estimated download time at 56k: 22 minutes
Stephen King's Riding The Bullet — Free Download
Barnes and Noble E-Books
Alfred A. Knopf
Electronic Editions, University of California Press
UC Press is testing full-text books online. Currently these books are in the testing stage and free of charge. We will be adding titles and greater functionality shortly...
Esquire magazine is getting in on the eBook action by putting out its summer reading issue in eBook format. This special edition is available three weeks before you'll find the print version at newsstands. It includes three epic nonfiction disaster stories by Sean Flynn, Michael Paterniti, and Bucky McMahon, as well as the new war story by Tim O'Brien. As a bonus, exclusively in the eBook version, you'll get reviews of fifteen books (eBook and print) that you'll definitely want to add to your summer reading list.
2000 May 24
Large Pulp Shipment Sent from Bridgewater
A barge, carrying 1,500 cords of pulp wood from Bowater Mersey Paper Company lands in Nova Scotia, was towed away from the Bridgewater Marine Terminal on May 24th.
The hardwood, purchased by Georgia-Pacific Corp., is to be towed across the Bay of Fundy to the marine terminal at Bayside, New Brunswick. From there it will be trucked to a Georgia-Pacific pulp mill at Woodland, Maine.
Georgia-Pacific procurement manager Ernest Carle said at the Woodland plant the pulp would be de-barked and chipped to make pulp and paper. "One of the finished products will be copier paper," he said. Mr. Carle said the company shipped a smaller load of pulp out of Bridgewater about two years ago.
He said the company decided to purchase the Bowater pulp because its own supplies were in "short supply. Loggers go to work here six weeks earlier than they do in Maine or Southern New Brunswick," he said. So the Bowater pulp is to fill temporary demands until the logging season gets in full swing in Maine, he said.
Georgia-Pacific, which has headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of pulp, paper and building products. The company employs 890 people in its Maine operations. In Maine, the company has an intergrated pulp and paper mill, an orinented stand board plant and a sawmill. It manufactures hardwood kraft pulp, specialty papers, stud grade lumber and oriented stand board.
Rick Welsford, president of the Artificial Reef Society, which now owns the Bridgewater Marine Terminal, said the shipment was the first made under the group's administration. "This was, for us, one of the promises we made when we took over the wharf that we'd continue to make the facility open for commercial operators." He said the money the society receives because of the shipment will go towards maintaining the marine terminal.
The 250-foot barge was being towed by the tug boat Florence McKeil. The Riverport Cape Island fishing boat Tommy & Sisters helped in towing the barge around the former warship HMCS Fraser which is docked at the terminal as a floating museum.
A large crowd of onlookers watched from the dock and along King Street north as the fishing boat and tug manoeuvred the barge out of the narrow LaHave River channel at Bridgewater.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 31 May 2000]
2000 May 25
Hubbards Ceremony Marks Beginning of Rails To Trails Project
More than thirty people turned out for the Aspotogan Trails Association's "Turning the Sod" event held in Hubbards Thursday, May 25th, to express both support and concern for the group's trail project. Minister of Environment and local MLA John Chataway and Municipality of Chester Warden Allen Webber performed the ceremonial sod turning to commence the conversion of eleven kilometres of abandoned Halifax & South Western Railway right-of-way into a multi-purpose recreational trail.
Warden Webber also expressed support, saying he looked forward to the project's completion. But not all event attendees were supportive of trail developments. Hubbards resident Donna MacLean said she's not happy because the rail trail is right in her backyard. Her concerns include garbage dropped by trail users, noise from ATVs, and vandalism and breakins facilitated by easy access along the trail
Lynda Goddard said the community's opinion of the rails to trails project is important to the Aspotogan Trails Association. "We're very sensitive and very much aware of adjacent land owners' concerns," said the association member. Over the past three years, she said, the community-driven Aspotogan Trails Association has made every effort to involve community members in the trail project by, for example, holding public meetings and distributing newsletters detailing trail developments. Ms Goddard said the trail will be a positive addition to the communities it will serve. She said members plan to maintain the trail by forming a committee to monitor the eleven kilometres of trail for litter and vandalism. Also, she said, guidelines and rules will be put into effect for all trail users, for example a speed limit for ATVs.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 31 May 2000]
2000 May 25
Website finds help for children
Nova Scotia farmer co-ordinates Web 'library' for parents of troubled kids
A few days ago, Graham Johnston helped a woman find a residential centre to accommodate her out-of-control teenager.
She's in Arizona; he's in tiny Balmoral, near Tatamagouche, Colchester County, Nova Scotia.
Johnston is co-ordinator of the Balmoral Project, an Internet site on child and adolescent behaviour, a volunteer post that keeps him busy about 70 hours a week.
At The Balmoral Project visitors find links to nearly 500 sites — covering everything from runaways to attention-deficit disorder — and a free "searching service."
"We look at the Internet as a big library, but many families don't have the time or skills to find the right books," says Johnston, a farmer with a social-work degree. So a handful of volunteers researches requests like this one from a Sarnia, Ont. parent: "I have a 14 year-old daughter who has ADD, is oppositional, has a history of fighting and was expelled from school ... can you give me information on how useful Ritalin is in controlling ADD?"
Although not listed on its Web site, the Balmoral Project keeps a database of treatment facilities. That's how Johnston was able to help the Arizona woman, whose son was in a centre in Texas because they didn't know of any options in their own state. "She wrote back and said, 'I wish you were here — I'd give you a hug,'" he says.
The project began in April 1999, the brainchild of Patti McEwan — a licensed therapist in the field — as a way to "bring together information for families in rural Nova Scotia," Johnston says.
But the audience soon grew to international proportions, with the site now logging about 1,000 hits per week — from counsellors, teachers and lawyers as well as parents in all parts of the world.
"It's a unique page because it doesn't focus just on one disorder," says Johnston. "If Mom's at home at 10 o'clock and she's had it (with her child) ... it doesn't matter what the problem is, she'll find it here."
Because of the growth, organizers have had to rebuff requests from professionals in order to concentrate on families. But they're hoping to reverse that decision in the fall, after forming a board of directors and incorporating under the Societies Act. To that end, the Balmoral Project is looking for "people with ideas" to serve on its board, and volunteers willing to spend a couple of hours a week researching topics on the Internet.
Researchers — who do not contact families directly — can be "anyone who has the time and skills," says Johnston, who can be reached via email at email@example.com.
[Halifax Daily News, 25 May 2000]
The Balmoral Project: Child & Adolescent Behavioral Resources
The Balmoral Project: Child & Adolescent Behavioral Resources
The Premier World Wide Web Site
for Information and Resources on Child and Adolescent Behaviors
When we went on line in April, 1999 our purpose was to help young people with behavioral problems. We intended to point the way to the best information on the internet so we continuously search out and index resources for easy, one-stop access. We also offered to assist with free internet searches specific to family situations and community. We anticipated a few requests a month but the response overwhelmed us, averaging 1,000 hits a week (1,646 hits during the week of April 9, 2000). The response overwhelmed us and stretched our volunteer resources to the limit so to deal with our own crisis we scaled back our supports which are now offered as a priority to families. Time and resources permitting, services will expand to include all non-family requests.
The Balmoral Project is a non-profit, community effort and we are currently realigning our organizational structure under the Nova Scotia Societies Act. It has grown rapidly from a loose-knit group of community and internet volunteers to a service and support organization requiring structure and leadership to meet the expanding demands of the future.
2000 May 26
MTT Mobility Expands Digital Cellular Telephone Service
MTT Mobility, an Aliant company, today announced further expansion of its digital cellular network. New cellular sites have been constructed in Martock and Ellershouse in western Hants County, and at Blomidon, Coldbrook, and Kentville in Kings County, extending digital coverage from Mount Uniacke to Kentville. This project represents a total investment of $1,600,000 to expand the company's digital footprint in Nova Scotia. Digital phone conversations are more secure than analog, as digital signals cannot be decoded by traditional scanners. Digital cellular telephones deliver excellent voice clarity, longer battery life, and a variety of enhanced services such as call display, visual call waiting and message waiting indicator. Digital service also offers options which allow customers to receive email, headline news, and stock quotes directly to their digital cellular phone.
to Eastern Annapolis Valley
MTT first introduced digital cellular technology to Nova Scotia in June of 1998. With this expansion, customers will have access to the largest digital network in the Atlantic region. They will also be able to move seamlessly across Canada and North America due to an extensive network of both analog cellular and digital roaming partners. MTT is Nova Scotia's largest telecommunications provider, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aliant. Later this year, Aliant will also expand its digital network in New Brunswick, which now includes Moncton, to Saint John and Fredericton. Digital service will also be launched in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in 2000.
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 27 May 2000
MTT press release carried on Canada Newswire
MTT website at http://www.mtt.ca/
Aliant website at http://www.aliant.ca/
2000 May 27
Canada's Worst Toxic Waste Site
...Frederick Street is the residential street in Sydney, Nova Scotia, located cheek-by-jowl to the Sydney tar ponds, "the worst toxic waste site in Canada and arguably the worst in North America." Frederick Street tells the story of how this toxic goop — a legacy of a hundred years of steelmaking (and at least as many years of government indifference and neglect) — got there and stayed there; how it affected the health and lives of the people who lived around it; how some of those people finally fought back; and how they ultimately prevailed — sort of. The residents were moved; the goop remains...
[Excerpted from Stephen Kimber's review in the National Post, 27 May 2000 of the book Frederick Street: Life and Death on Canada's Love Canal by Maude Barlow with Elizabeth May, 2000, ISBN 0002000369, 288 pages.]
2000 May 29
International Lighthouse Conference
An international conference designed to preserve and promote the heritage and culture of lighthouses is to be held at White Point Beach Lodge in Queens County, May 29th to June 2nd. The five-day event, billed as an International Lighthouse Conference, will be the first conference of its kind to be held in Canada. Host for the conference will be the South Shore Tourism Association. Choice of the location for the event is appropriate as there are 32 lighthouses located along the South Shore, organizers say. Events to be held during the conference will include a trade show, a tour of lighthouses, stories of how lighthouses have been successfully maintained and a story-telling night featuring tales told by a lighthouse keeper. Speakers at the conference will include award-winning Nova Scotia author Silver Donald Cameron; Tim Harrison, the editor of Maine's Lighthouse Digest; Peter Williams, of Wales, U.K., publisher of Leading Lights and Chris Mills, who is a former lighthouse keeper who served in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 23 February 2000]
2000 May 31
Principal Hoping to Get More Users
More adults could be using computers and surfing the internet at Bridgewater High School. The Community Access Project (CAP) site at the school opened late in June 1999 with 25 computer terminals. While school students are using the computer lab, after hours computing has been limited. "It's used during afterschool hours by school-aged kids. It's underutilized by the adult population, in our opinion," says principal Carroll Publicover.
for Bridgewater High School CAP Site
Statistics indicate that well over half the homes in southwestern Nova Scotia are still without personal computers. While that figure might be lower in an urban centre like Bridgewater, not everyone in town enjoys computer access.
"The information age is requiring people to be conversant and knowledgeable in the area of computers and this is what
CAP's objective is," Mr. Publicover says. "So people who don't have them at home certainly should be taking advantage of coming in." The principal believes the lack of usage by ordinary citizens is a combination of people not knowing the computers are available and a hesitation to "go back" to school. "There is a reluctance, I think. People think back to their school days and they're not comfortable in the milieu," he says. "They may not realize that there are evening hours," he adds. "This turns into a community school every day at about six o'clock. There are adult classes here every night and the CAP site is just one of the rooms that they could access." On Monday and Wednesday nights, the site is available from 7:00 to 9:00pm. People can use the computers, search the internet, even have their own e-mail addresses. The site has offered classes in the past year on basic computer skills, internet access and building websites. If there is sufficient interest, similar courses can be done again. There is a supervisor in the CAP site in the evenings and, if people require additional help, technicians are available. "I have several staff members who are very good," Mr. Publicover says.
The CAP site is also open Monday to Friday from 3:00 to 5:00pm. During the summer, it will be available to the public all day and two evenings a week.
Officials are also trying to increase usage by relocating two of the terminals for the summer months. They are working on a proposal to move one computer to the library on King Street to help alleviate backlog there and another to the Bridgewater visitor information centre. The idea is to give tourists an opportunity to find the information they're looking for online. Through the summer, data would be gathered on use and reactions.
"With a view to understanding whether or not tourist information centres in the future might be able to be unmanned," Mr. Publicover says. "It could be that you could man your tourist information site with your usual summer employees part of the time, cut your hours down and have web access for an extended time." The proposal includes a grant application to hire two students to assist people with computer use. Officials expect to hear a decision on the proposal soon.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 31 May 2000]
Bridgewater Community Access Program
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