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

Chapter 69
2000 October 22-31

2000 October 22

Dartmouth Company Finds Opportunity in Serbia

When Brian Penney arrives at work in war-torn Serbia tomorrow, he'll be carrying more than his lunch. On his shoulders will be the hopes for a new start for the town of Pancevo in Serbia. He will also carry the hopes of a small Dartmouth company anxious to prove its potential to some very patient investors.

Penney is project manager for a three-person team from Phase Remediation Inc., sent to Serbia to begin the cleanup of a mercury spill caused by the NATO bombing campaign last year.

He is employing technology introduced in 1994 to Brian Lowe, president and founder of the Phase Group of Companies. For Lowe, the chance to clean up in Serbia could be the tip of a larger opportunity he has pursued since he formed Phase. "It's doesn't happen overnight and it has taken a great deal of perseverance," Lowe said.

For the next three weeks, Penney and his crew will have the mobile KMS Concentrator chewing through soil surrounding a bombed-out chlorine plant that spewed mercury when it was hit.

Penney, a native of Little Bras d'Or, says he feels no apprehension about working in Serbia despite the recent political turmoil. "It's probably the best it's been in the last two or three years. There's no better time to go than right now," the veteran traveller said.

The story of how Penney landed in Serbia begins with an 18-year-old gypsy who got tired of travelling. Company founder Lowe came to Halifax from Newfoundland at age 14, brought in tow following another transfer of his bank-manager father. Four years later, in 1971, the young man decided to "get off" the transfer train and enrolled at Saint Mary's University. He worked construction four days a week and went to school the other three. There was also a car, his own apartment and girlfriend Jane, who became his wife and mother of their four children.

But with 16 of the 20 credits needed to complete his degree in the bag, Lowe left forever. "As much as I probably should have (completed my degree) ... I just never had the desire to finish the other four," he said. "University is good but practical experience plays well also."

In 1984, he set up his own business, Atlantic Pipeline Services, in partnership with John Lindsay Sr. That was followed in short order by two businesses focused on industrial cleanup and emergency response.

After a successful two-year effort in the late '80s to open a hazardous waste depot in Debert, Lowe sold his businesses to Laidlaw Environmental, one of the industry's dominant players.

Lowe stayed with the new owners until 1994, when he was first introduced to the concentrator technology now being used in Serbia by the provincial Department of the Environment. The low-energy machine had been developed for the local mining industry, but some bright light at the department thought it might have applications in environment cleanup.

Intrigued, Lowe contacted inventor Michael Kuryluk and landed the commercialization rights. Six years later, success is tantalizingly close. "We think in 2001 we're going to land some major contracts and we'll finally see the fruits of our labour," Lowe said. Once revenues and earnings are up, Lowe wants Phase to go public within two to three years.

Phase was brought into the Serbia project by a European company working through the Swiss Disaster Relief Fund, which is paying for the cleanup under the auspices of the UN.

Web Site Brought Opportunity

The Swiss fund found Phase through its website and shipped a small sample of the heavily contaminated soil to Dartmouth. Four others companies were given the same test, but Phase beat them all.

Now its staff and equipment are at the site to run a test batch of 20 tonnes of soil. If, over the next three weeks, Phase can reproduce the results it achieved at its Dartmouth lab, it will get the contract to process the entire 25,000-tonne load.

Even as the company nears the pinnacle, Lowe is quick to give credit where credit is due. He is effusive in his praise for Lindsay, who backed him in his first ventures and is chairman of Phase's board of directors.

Lowe is doing the same for another Cape Bretoner, North Sydney native Mike Ryan who has both competed and partnered with Lowe in various companies. "I guess in a way I'm Mike's mentor, just like Mr. Lindsay's mine."

[The Halifax Sunday Daily News, 22 October 2000]

Phase Remediation Inc. is the parent company of The Phase Group Of Companies

The Kuryluk Mineral Separator(KMS)
  • Phase Remediation Incorporated [RJSC ID#2413719], was incorporated on 18 January 1995. As of 27 December 2000, it has its registered office at 1959 Upper Water Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the company's directors are:
  • John W. Lindsay, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Chairman
  • Brian E. Lowe, Halifax, Nova Scotia; President
  • Tobias Norwood, Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Source: Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies [RJSC]

  • 2000 October 24

    Gates Buys Into Canadian National Railway

    Microsoft Mogul Now One of Largest Shareholders in CNR
    at $476,486,400

    Bill Gates has purchased 5.15% of CN's shares, worth nearly $500,000,000. The acquisition makes Mr. Gates one of the largest individual owners of the railway's stock. According to documents filed with U.S. securities regulators on 31 October, Mr. Gates owned 9,926,800 shares of the railway company as of 24 October, that were bought through his private investment firm, Cascade Investment LLC. At the close of business on 31 October, CN Rail shares were priced at C$48.00 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, up $1.10 from the previous day, and up $14.75 from the 52-week low of $33.25. At $48.00 each, Mr. Gates' 9,926,800 shares were worth C$476,486,400.
    [The National Post, 1 November 2000]

    2000 October 25

    Blue Rocks Woman Creates Web Site Dedicated to Lost Fishermen

    3,583 names so far

    BLUE ROCKS, Lunenburg County — The author of a web site listing the names of nearly 10,000 lost fishermen and other mariners admits her work can be a bit depressing.

    So why does someone with no particular connection to the fishery continue to spend hours every week adding to the already long columns of names or answering inquiries from people whose relatives were lost at sea? "It's a good question, really," says Blue Rocks resident Sheevaun Nelson, creator of the site at www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/7527.

    The self-proclaimed "lifelong researcher," former journalist and family historian began the all-consuming project about four years ago following the unveiling of the Fishermen's Memorial and Tribute on the Lunenburg waterfront.

    Prior to that, she'd been attending the community's annual Seamen's Memorial Service since moving to the area from Toronto in 1992, and had "been in contact with a lot of people whose ancestors came from here over the years via the internet. "I realized there was a real database here (and) nothing else like it on the web," says Ms Nelson, who began her work by first copying the names from the Lunenburg memorial. She then moved on to a memorial in the Town of Shelburne.

    On the way home from that excursion, she stopped at the Queens County Museum where she learned of a memorial to the Gloucester schooner Clare F. Friend in the Old Brooklyn Cemetery. Museum curator Linda Rafuse also sent her a list from the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony at Port Medway.

    "And that's how it went. It just kept branching," says Ms Nelson, who soon learned of memorials in Yarmouth and Argyle Sound. She also began Blue Rocks resident Sheevaun Nelson studies the names engraved on the Lunenburg Fishermen's Memorial. The monument's 1996 unveiling inspired her to begin a web site of the names of lost fishermen. working with the curators of the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, to whom she credits "tremendous help." Contacts in other provinces, notably in Newfoundland, keep her up to date on events there and she's also in regular communication with Gloucester-based researcher Roberta Sheedy, whose web page formed much of the basis for the recently unveiled Fishermen's Memorial Cenotaph in that community. In fact, it was Ms Nelson who got Ms Sheedy started. "I had posted my URL to a mailing list and was contacted by a person from down there who said she'd always wanted to do something like this," Ms Nelson recalls. "So I nagged her for weeks to do it."

    The Gloucester memorial lists some 5,300 names; that compares to just over 600 on the Lunenburg monument. But according to Ms Nelson, for every name that is listed on a memorial, there are likely dozens more. She points to her own list for fishermen lost from Nova Scotia. As of our interview there were 3,583 names, of which only 1,415 are recorded on memorials.

    And the names continue to come in, she says, via e-mail, telephone calls, even old-fashioned letters. She also welcomes supplementary information, such as newspaper clippings, vessel and personal photographs, and not only on marine tragedies.

    In fact, the site, which includes a variety of both historical and personal accounts of various fisheries, from the Grand Banks schooner fleets to sealing and whaling, as well as sections on seafaring lore, even rum running, serves as more of a tribute to the fishing way of life.

    "In many ways it's a co-operative effort," says the 61-year-old grandmother of five, who notes that particularly in relation to the rolls of lost mariners "so many people have done research over the years that it's often just a matter of adding."

    Still, that adding takes time and Ms Nelson often wishes she had more of it. "This is something that will never be done and that's the horror, but I'd like to think that someone will keep it going," she says. In the meantime, anyone with uncopywrited material on lost men, vessels or the fishery in general is encouraged to contact her either via e-mail at cdconsul@fox.nstn.ca or by mail at R.R.1 Lunenburg, BOJ 2CO.

    [The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 25 October 2000]

    Sheevaun Nelson 's website — This page is dedicated to Atlantic Canada fishermen and mariners lost at sea, their families and survivors. And to all those from the US East Coast and other countries who were also lost at sea...

    Seafarers Memorial — The International Maritime Organization has chosen British sculptor Mr. Michael Sandle to create a memorial to the world's seafarers at the Organization's riverside headquarters on the Albert Embankment in London. IMO Secretary-General announced the winner on World Maritime Day, 28 September 2000. The unveiling of the completed work is scheduled for World Maritime Day 2001.

    2000 October 26

    Federal General Election
    On The Internet

    Election date: 27 November 2000

    Federal Party Campaign Websites

    Liberal Party of Canada

    Canadian Alliance Party of Canada

    Progressive-Conservative Party of Canada

    New Democratic Party of Canada

    Bloc Quebecois

    Comments about Party Campaign Websites

    Liberal Party of Canada
    Written 5:00am Thursday 26 October 2000: I spent an hour looking around this website. Found no mention of the Internet or digital or information technology anywhere in the platform pages.
    — ICS

    26 October 2000
    Liberal Candidates in Nova Scotia
    As of 6:00pm 26 October 2000, four candidates nominated.
    Bras d'Or-Cape Breton  
    Dartmouth Bernie Boudreau

    No email address given.
    Campaign website
    under construction.
    Halifax West Geoff Regan

    No email address given.
    Campaign website
    under construction.
    Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore  
    South Shore Derek Wells

    No email address given.
    Campaign website
    under construction.
    West Nova Robert Thibault

    No email address given.
    Campaign website
    under construction.
    Note: It is not possible to provide links to, or even to report the URLs of
    these candidates' websites because they are part of the "deep web"
    — embedded in a database that cannot be accessed by an ordinary URL.
    To look at any candidate's website you have to go to the Liberal Party's
    website and work your way through. One important disadvantage of this
    design decision is that individual candidates are unable to state their
    website URLs in their campaign advertising or signs or leaflets.

    Progressive-Conservative Party of Canada
    Written 6:00am Thursday 26 October 2000:
    Looked for platform statements about the Internet.
    Found them at http://www.pcparty.ca/policy/
    Section 1C. The Knowledge Based Economy
    "Internet" appears 16 times
    "information technology" appears 10 times
    "digital" appears 4 times
    "telecommunications" appears 3 times
    — ICS

    26 October 2000
    Progressive Conservative Candidates in Nova Scotia
    As of 6:00pm 26 October 2000, four candidates nominated.
    Bras d'Or-Cape Breton  
    Cumberland-Colchester Bill Casey
    Halifax West  
    Kings-Hants Scott Brison
    Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough Peter MacKay
    P. MacKay campaign website
    Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore  
    South Shore Gerald Keddy
    G. Keddy campaign website
    G. Keddy campaign video online 3:20
    West Nova  

    New Democratic Party of Canada
    Written 4:00am Friday 27 October 2000:
    Looked for platform statements about the Internet
    at http://www.ndp.ca/issues/. Found nothing.
    — ICS

    26 October 2000
    NDP Candidates in Nova Scotia
    As of 6:00pm 26 October 2000, eight candidates nominated.
    Bras d'Or-Cape Breton Michelle Dockrill
    Cumberland-Colchester Jim Harpell
    Dartmouth Wendy Lill
    Halifax Alexa McDonough
    Halifax West Gordon Earle
    Kings-Hants Kaye Johnson
    Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Peter Stoffer
    South Shore  
    Sydney-Victoria Peter Mancini
    West Nova  
    Note: There is no email address or website mentioned for any of these candidates.

    Canadian Alliance Party of Canada
    Written 3:00am Friday 27 October 2000:
    Looked for platform statements about the Internet
    at http://www.canadianalliance.ca/platform_en.txt.
    Found nothing about the Internet, other than a
    passing mention in the paragraph about privatizing the CBC.
    — ICS

    26 October 2000
    Canadian Alliance Candidates in Nova Scotia
    As of 6:00pm 26 October 2000, two candidates nominated.
    Bras d'Or-Cape Breton  
    Halifax West  
    Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Bill Stevens
    South Shore  
    West Nova Mike Donaldson
    Note: There is no email address or website mentioned for either of these candidates.

    2000 October 26

    Electronic Documents to get Legal Status

    Nova Scotia Act to Recognize
    Doing Business On-Line

    Doing business online made the first step toward the legal stamp of approval by the province of Nova Scotia on Thursday, October 26th, with the introduction of the Electronic Commerce Act. The legislation will recognize the validity of electronic transactions, removing any uncertainty around online signatures, said Justice Minister Michael Baker. Most other provinces have already implementaed the change. The move is part of a national Commercial Law Strategy that aims to make Canada a better and easier place to do business. The Act does not apply to wills, trusts, or powers of attorney when dealing with a person's financial affairs or personal care.
    [The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 28 October 2000]

    Introduction of Bill No. 61
    by Hon. Michael Baker

    Hansard — Nova Scotia House of Assembly, 26 October, page 7390
        http://www.gov.ns.ca/legi/hansard/han58-1/h00oct26.htm#[Page 7390]

    Bill No. 61
    An Act to Facilitate Electronic Commerce

    Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

    1   This Act may be cited as the Electronic Commerce Act.

    2   In this Act,
    (a) "electronic" includes created, recorded, transmitted or stored in digital form or in other intangible form by electronic, magnetic or optical means or by any other means that has capabilities for creation, recording, transmission or storage similar to those means;
    (b) "electronic signature" means information in electronic form that a person has created or adopted in order to sign a document and that is in, attached to or associated with the document; ...

    6   Information shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely by reason that it is in electronic form.

    7   (1) Nothing in this Act requires a person to use or accept information in electronic form, but a person's consent to do so may be inferred from the person's conduct.
    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the consent of the Government to accept information in electronic form may not be inferred by its conduct but must be expressed by communication accessible to the public or to those likely to communicate with it for particular purposes.

    8   A requirement under the law of the Province that information be in writing is satisfied by information in electronic form if the information is accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference.

    9   (1) A requirement under the law of the Province for a person to provide information in writing to another person is satisfied by the provision of the information in an electronic document
    (a) if the electronic document that is provided to the other person is accessible by the other person and capable of being retained by the other person so as to be usable for subsequent reference; ...

    13   An electronic document is deemed not to be capable of being retained if the person providing the electronic document inhibits the printing or storage of the electronic document by the recipient. ...

    20   In this Part, "electronic agent" means a computer program or any electronic means used to initiate an action or to respond to electronic documents or actions in whole or in part without review by a natural person at the time of the response or action. ...

    22   A contract may be formed by the interaction of an electronic agent and a natural person or by the interaction of electronic agents.

    23   An electronic document made by a natural person with the electronic agent of another person has no legal effect and is not enforceable if the natural person made a material error in the document and
    (a) the electronic agent did not provide the natural person with an opportunity to prevent or correct the error;
    (b) the natural person notifies the other person of the error as soon as practicable after the natural person learns of the error and indicates that the natural person made an error in the electronic document;
    (c) the natural person takes reasonable steps, including steps that conform to the other person's instructions to return the consideration received, if any, as a result of the error or, where instructed to do so, to destroy the consideration; and
    (d) the natural person has not used or received any material benefit or value from the consideration, if any, received from the other person. ...

    Full text of Bill No. 61

    Bill No. 61 — Electronic Commerce Act
    Second Reading

    27 October 2000

    MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

    HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to rise with respect to this bill...

    The Electronic Commerce Act is a bill, the principle of which is to allow electronic records to be more fully used in legal matters. It is a matter of updating the law to make it consistent with the law in many other provinces in this country. The world has changed over the last number of years. Electronic records are a routine part of government and commerce. Nova Scotia needs to move in with the rest of the world to make Nova Scotia a friendly place to do business and to allow Nova Scotians to compete in an international world market place.

    Mr. Speaker, this bill is a bill that has been developed as part of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada...

    I should also say, Mr. Speaker, with respect to this bill — I noted from reading the bill, myself, earlier — is that there are a number of fairly technical provisions in the bill, some of which I know are a little obtuse to say the best, and if members opposite at some point feel that they wish some further information with respect to a particular provision of the bill, I can assure the members opposite that we would be glad to do this, because I don't think this is the kind of legislation that ought to create controversy in the House. The idea, I think, of all members on all sides of the House is to try to make sure that Nova Scotia's legal environment is as welcoming to people as possible.

    I believe the principle of the bill is good, but if people have some concerns about the actual meaning of particular provisions, I wish to make the offer to members opposite that we would be glad to provide that information to them. In point of fact, I had one member opposite who requested information from the department and I can assure that member that we will make that information available to them.

    So with that, Mr. Speaker, I will move second reading of the Electronic Commerce Act.

    MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

    MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker ... we live in a different age than we did even a few years ago. I know that I use the electronic modes all the time now, and I can think of when I first came to this House, a few years ago feeling that I was quite advanced in that I managed to buy a second-hand electronic typewriter which had a correction ribbon. Then, of course, you end up getting fax machines and computers, and now we are into electronic mail and flipping documents and all those things back, and the old telephone now is a thing of the past in many regards that you don't have to rely on playing telephone tag. I agree with the need to modernize and to bring us in line, and to give some legal credibility or legal standing to certain kinds of documents and the ability to use electronic mail.

    Maybe these items are covered in the legislation, but I just want to bring up a couple of issues, a couple of concerns that I have and, as I say, these may well be covered so I may be raising something that is totally unnecessary. I have, as do others, the ability to electronically put my signature on a document that I send over the wire; I could put the minister's signature on a letter too, if I wished. If I wished to be fraudulent and deceitful, I could put anybody's signature because it is a very easy matter to scan something, whether it be the full name or the signature, import that scanned image as a graphic into your computer, including letterhead, put it there and then send it electronically. There are people much wiser than I who know how these systems all work who could even hide where documents come from or even somehow — I don't know how they do it — but they can make it look like it is coming from one source when in reality it isn't.

    My question is, if the documents are to have legal standing, how do we assure that the signatures, if any appear in those documents, are in fact legitimate legal signatures? Maybe that is covered, and if it is, that is great, because I think that a hard copy should follow. You can start things and do things by means of e-mail and so on, but I think that if something is going to have a legal standing, we have to make sure that we do have the hard copy. I think the minister across the floor is indicating that that is, in fact, addressed in the legislation...

    MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

    MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker ... CMIB, no stranger to anybody in this room here, has found that Nova Scotians have really led the nation, the second highest in Canada for use of the Internet. In fact, 73 per cent of Nova Scotians have access and use the Internet on a normal basis, the second largest number anywhere in Canada. Yet, when it comes to the issue of e-business, only 26 per cent are actually connected in that way. So we are below the national average. Here is a great economic opportunity for us...

    I want to say that this is not a new initiative by any stretch of the imagination. I remember the information highway debates in this Legislature and in our Cabinet and in our caucus; the Liberal Government has worked very hard over the years to move us to the forefront of that initiative, and what we are doing right now is building on the foundation that the previous Liberal Government brought forward to this province.

    I remember, for example, the Joint Stocks Registry and being able to access that, other than going to the office and going to the facility — whether you are a law firm or whatever — to register your company. That was a major event; it was a major event when the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia brought in technology, and yet we take it for granted today. It was a major hurdle to be overcome; we were still back in the old days where we wanted to lug everybody to Halifax to do business and then they had to drive home, costing the consumer more money, slowing down productivity, and slowing down efficiencies. This is a time to embellish new technology so that not only from a legal point of view, but from an economic point of view, from a business point of view, we can all benefit.

    In closing, I remember talking to a Christmas tree producer and I talked to an individual who rents cottages, and they are now doing business on the Internet; they are selling their wares on the electronic highway and they are doing it in a very effective way. So it doesn't mean that it is only for certain areas that these business transactions can take place, they can cover a whole waterfront of opportunity...

    MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

    MR. BRIAN BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker ... The most basic Internet application, of course, is the e-mail. I think most Nova Scotians are familiar with the e-mail system, but business is using the Internet more and more, the market, not only their services, but also the items which they sell...

    We need competitiveness in this market place and I believe this bill is moving this forward in that direction. For instance, you know, large scale firms, it includes the manufacturers, wholesalers, mini franchises, they all use the Internet to purchase both services and items for their business. Regionally, small business is growing strongly all over this province as well as in other parts of the country similar to British Columbia. British Columbia is leading the country with 74 per cent of the business and it is followed by Alberta and Ontario.

    However, in Nova Scotia there is a high Internet penetration rate of approximately 73 per cent; e-mail is 26 per cent, and that is below the national average. I would suggest, because this government didn't move quicker on this legislation, that is why we are at that low point. I would indicate that in Quebec, after a very virtual start into this area, the gap with the rest of the province has been closed, 59 per cent of Quebec companies now use the Internet and are connected to the Internet, and 25 per cent are using the e-business approaches, which is the best way, they find, to buy, sell or maintain a web presence. Small firms, of course, are using the Internet because of the basic advantages of speed, convenience and reduced transaction costs to enter new markets...

    A recent study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that 73 per cent of all Nova Scotians had access to the Internet. That was the second highest in Canada. The e-mail business, however, is only 26 per cent and is well below the national average. That is why in this initiative hopefully is a good thing for the province...

    MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

    MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Bill No. 61, the Electronic Commerce Act is certainly a piece of legislation that our caucus will be supporting ... We should start by an appreciation of the origins of this bill. It is important that we think about the origins of the bill and how other jurisdictions have dealt with it for some reasons that I will point out in a moment. It started out drafted as a model form of legislation through the United Nations. In 1996, the United Nations actually produced a model law on electronic commerce. This was a project that was undertaken internationally because the governments involved recognized that this had now become such a prevalent mode of communication and of commercial interaction, not only within nations but around the world, that something had to be done in order to regulate it.

    This isn't much of a gap in time, much of a lag, between 1996 when the first uniform Act was produced by way of study at the United Nations to now, four years later, that we in our province are proposing to adopt it. It is not instantaneous speed, it doesn't compare to the speed of the Internet itself, but it is not unreasonable. Interestingly, Singapore was the first government to adopt legislation dealing with electronic commerce based upon the United Nations model law. Since Singapore did that a few years ago, the United States has followed suit...

    To focus just on what happened in Canada, there exists in Canada also a body that was able to deal with uniform laws. The entity is known as the Uniform Law Conference of Canada. It operates out of the general umbrella and good offices of the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta and it produced a model law on electronic commerce suited to the Canadian constitutional and legal circumstances. What has happened since it did that is that, and this was only I think a year or so ago, several provinces have adopted laws based on the Uniform Law Conference model.

    Our bill, Bill No. 61, is interesting because it is virtually word for word what it is that the Uniform Law Conference proposed, which is fine. Other provinces have done different things. Manitoba, for example, this year in enacting its legislation added in a variety of extra features that had to do with consumer protection. This is likewise a feature of the Ontario legislation, Bill No. 88 in that Legislature, which has just been adopted last week. They, too, saw fit to add to the bill extensive provisions dealing with consumer protection. So we are not alone in this. We are not the first province, we are not the first nation to have engaged with electronic commerce...

    Members of this House will probably recall that a year ago we were debating amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. At the time, in debate, I drew the attention of the Minister of Justice to the existence of a federal piece of legislation. A year ago today I pointed out — that is on October 27, 1999 — Bill C-6, which had just been passed by the House of Commons. This was a federal bill known as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. What that bill does — and this is a federal piece of legislation now in effect — is it offers privacy protection in situations in which the information is being transmitted electronically. This is fine, this should happen, but you know what? That is federal jurisdiction, and it is not provincial jurisdiction. There is nothing in our legislation in Nova Scotia that clearly deals with this situation.

    I pointed out to the minister, Clause 30 of Bill C-6, which was a very unusual provision, and here is what it said, "Unless a province passes appropriate equivalent legislation to deal with similar matters within its jurisdiction within a period of three years, then the federal legislation will apply." Well, it is a year later, the minister has had fair notice. He had notice because he knew of the federal legislation, presumably. If he didn't, he certainly should know of it because I drew it to his attention a year ago, and I draw it to his attention, again, now.

    So the question is, what is Nova Scotia proposing to do about this? Is Nova Scotia proposing to go with the federal legislation and accept federal intrusion into our jurisdiction in this way? If that is the preferred approach of this government, perhaps they ought to articulate it. I don't find it such an appropriate way to go. I flag this issue because, again, we had the opportunity a year ago, when we were dealing with freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation, to engage on the issue of privacy in electronic communications...

    Nova Scotia Hansard, 27 October 2000

    2000 October 26

    Dot-ca Domain Deadline Causing Chaos

    November 1 Re-Registration Deadline Looming

    Registrars scramble as volume overloads CIRA servers

    OTTAWA — If you have a .ca website and you haven't re-registered it with the new agency in charge, do not panic — you still have a few days before the deadline. But do not wait until the last minute, registrars warn.

    The rush to re-register .ca domain names before the November 1st deadline already has registrars scrambling to keep up with the volume. And that means lots of delays and failed attempts.

    "Due to high volume, the CIRA [Canadian Internet Registration Authority] database servers may be overloaded. If you experience difficulties, please try back later," reads the warning that some businesses are encountering when trying to make sure their .ca domain names — the common address used to reach their Web sites — still work on November 2nd.

    On September 18th, CIRA changed the rules for .ca domain name registrations. To obtain a .ca domain name, you are no longer required to have a federally incorporated company. But CIRA requires that all .ca holders re-register their domain by November 1st; if they don't, their Web sites may not work the next day. And if the names are not re-registered by January 31st, 2001, the owners may lose the rights to that domain name. That could spell disaster for businesses whose customers expect to find them at their customary Web addresses.

    CIRA said yesterday that due to the high level of re-registration requests, it has decided to open the registry in two phases. Starting November 1st, re-registration requests will be processed by the system. The names that are not re-registered before then will become inactive. On November 8th, CIRA will begin processing new .ca requests in its system. This delay will allow CIRA to process all the re-registration requests in an orderly fashion before the flood gates open.

    CIRA has about 25,000 domain names re-registered out of roughly 100,000 registered under the old rules. Domain holders need to use a certified registrar and pay about $50 to maintain the rights to their domain names. But re-registering is not as easy as it sounds.

    "I tried for three or four weeks, off and on ... I must have tried twenty times to do it," said Brian Archer, CEO of Aurora Technologies Inc. of Vancouver. "I kept getting this message back saying 'unable to process, please try again later.' " Mr. Archer said he finally went to his office around 7am Monday morning to try and get someone on a help desk at Look Communications, his registrar, to walk him through the process. "I waited almost twenty minutes. I read the paper, ate a muffin and I waited," he said. Finally, he got someone on the line who helped him successfully re-register. "I'm now a happy .ca domain owner, but on the weekend I was getting crankier and crankier by the minute."

    CIRA's registration process was shut down for part of the weekend because it was installing new servers. "We were down for about 18 hours in total," said Bernard Turcotte, CIRA's director of operations.

    [The National Post, 26 October 2000]

    2000 October 27

    Cost of Hard Drive Data Storage
    Falls Below $8.00 per Gigabyte

    1.40 Megabytes for One Cent

    PC Medic, 50 Akerley Boulevard, Burnside Industrial Park, Dartmouth, and 2760 Robie Street, Halifax, in a two-page three-colour display advertisement in the Halifax Daily News on this day, offered for sale Maxtor 5400 rpm 40.9 gigabyte hard drives priced below $8.00 per gigabyte. The store price was stated as $254.00 plus 15% HST, yielding a cost of $7.14 per gigabyte — that is, for one cent you get 1.40 megabytes of excellent storage capacity.
    Historical notes about Cost of Hard Drives

    PCmedic website

    2000 October 28

    Management Shakeup at CHUM

    CJCH radio in Halifax

    CHUM Limited has restructured its senior management, giving the sons of Allan Waters, the company's aging president, more power and providing the family owned television and radio broadcaster with a succession plan. While analysts said the management changes and succession plan are inevitable and desirable, given that Mr. Waters is close to 80 years old, it doesn't mean CHUM couldn't be sold.

    "Given his age, it was just a matter of time before they got around to figuring out what what was going to happen to the company management-wise," said one analyst, who did not want to be named. "But that doesn't mean if the right deal came around that the family wouldn't sell out." However, the analyst added that making changes to the management team could also mean the Waters family could be "gearing up" to make its own acquisitions in a rapidly converging media world.

    The management appointments made this week would see Mr. Waters' sons, Jim and Ron Waters, each appointed executive vice-president. Both will sit on the company's newly created executive management committee. Fred Sherratt, former chief operating officer and executive vice-president, has retired his executive positions but will continue as a director of the corporation.

    "The time has come for Jim and Ron to take a greater role in the decisions affecting the corporation," said Allan Waters. Jim Waters will continue in his role as president of CHUM Group Radio, while Ron Waters has been appointed executive vice-president of CHUM.

    Jay Switzer, who had been serving as senior vice-president and general manager of CHUMCITY and senior vice-president of programming for CHUM television, has been appointed president of CHUM Television, the position previously held by Ron Waters. "I am looking forward to the additional input into senior management decisions affecting the corporation as a whole, which having Ron and Jim on the executive management committee will offer," said Allan Waters. He added his two sons "have assumed increasingly senior roles in the management of the corporation."

    Said the analyst: "It's hard to say whether CHUM is the target or the acquisitor, anything's possible."

    Allan Waters is a radio pioneer who bought Toronto's 1050kHz CHUM radio station in 1954 and turned it into a broadcasting empire. The present-day CHUM's stable of specialty TV channels includes Toronto's Citytv, MuchMusic, Bravo and CP24.

    It also has a network of radio stations, including CHUM AM and CHUM FM.

    Recently, CHUM has been singled out as a likely target in the consolidation of the media industry. The company plans to grow by launching more digital TV channels.

    The big question is whether the Waters family will sell, or whether CHUM will be a buyer. Manitoba-based Craig Broadcasting has been cited as one possible target. The speculation about CHUM pushed the company's thinly traded stock to an high of about $60 a share this fall — primarily due to takeover rumours. It has since dropped back slightly.

    The most obvious potential buyers of CHUM would be Torstar Corporation, which owns Canada's largest newspaper, The Toronto Star, and a number of other newspapers and publishing interests.

    Ted Rogers, a radio pioneer like Mr. Waters, is an obvious buyer, as is Corus Entertainment Inc., the spin-off of Shaw Communications Inc., which has interests in a number of specialty music stations.

    [The National Post, 28 October 2000]

    CHUM Limited

    CHUM Limited operates radio stations from coast to coast in Canada. In Halifax, the company operates
    CJCH-AM — News and Talk Radio aimed primarily at adults between 35 and 64, and
    C100-FM — Adult Contemporary, leaning toward women, 25 to 54.

    CJCH   C100   CFDR   CRFQ   CIEZ

    CHUM Group Radio has had positive results under the CRTC's local management agreement (LMA) policy which enables competitive broadcasters in the same market to achieve significant operational cost savings by integrating technical, sales, promotion, and administrative activities under one management. In Halifax, the company's CJCH-AM and C100-FM are partnered with NewCap's CFDR-AM and CRFQ-FM, and CIEZ-FM owned by Sun Radio Limited...

    CHUM Group Radio has gone on-line with the launch of the all new chumfm.com offering live streaming of artists' names, song titles and record labels as they're playing on the air. It's the same information that's displayed on digital radios. When the song changes on CHUM-FM, the website displays the CD cover with a link to chapters.ca, giving listeners/surfers the opportunity to buy the music they're hearing on CHUM-FM.

    CHUM Television's Specialty Channels: With nine specialty channels on the air — and applications for five others still awaiting consideration by the CRTC — CHUM is a major presence on the specialty landscape in Canada ...
    MuchMusic is entering its sixteenth year...
    Bravo!, NewStyleArtsChannel stands out in an extremely competitive specialty television landscape, as a firmly established and distinctive station, while maintaining and increasing audience share...
    Space, The Imagination Station is the most-watched entertainment-based specialty channel of the 29 Canadian specialties...

    Source: CHUM Limited's 1999 Annual Report
  • CHUM Limited has its head office at 1331 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario. As of 31 August 1999, the company's directors were:
  • Allan Waters, Toronto, Ontario; President
  • J. Wesley Armstrong, Toronto, Ontario
  • Fred Sherratt, Toronto, Ontario; Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer
  • Lawrence W. Lamb, Ennismore, Ontario
  • Robert M. Sutherland, Toronto, Ontario; Partner, Fasken Campbell Godfrey
  • Taylor C. Baiden, Toronto, Ontario; VP Finance, Secretary, and Treasurer
  • James Waters, Toronto, Ontario; President CHUM Group Radio
  • Ronald Waters, Toronto, Ontario; President CHUM Television
  • Marjorie Waters, Toronto, Ontario
  • Sheryl Bourne, Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • C. Eric Verkade, Toronto, Ontario; Controller
  • Denis Havey, Toronto, Ontario; Assistant Controller
    Source: CHUM Ltd.'s 1999 Annual Report
  • References:
    SEDAR's corporate profile of CHUM Limited

    SEDAR's website

    CHUMFM.COM (This website is infested by cookies, dozens of them)

    2000 October 29   2:00am

    Daylight Saving Time Ends

    At 2:00am ADT today, Nova Scotia's clocks were set back one hour, to make the annual fall move from Atlantic Daylight Saving (not Savings) Time to Atlantic Standard Time.

    2000 October 30

    A Capitol idea: Remembering a legendary Halifax theatre

    The call from Cynthia Henry triggered memories.

    The Halifax woman has written a history of the Capitol Theatre, that venerable establishment in downtown Halifax that met a wrecking ball 26 years ago when Famous Players gave up on it as too big, and Maritime Tel and Tel decided to erect an office tower.

    Henry, a graduate of Dalhousie University's theatre school and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, was 14 at the time but heard wondrous stories of the 2,000 seat, ornate Capitol from her mother.

    "She talked about sitting in loge seats (in the balcony), extremely comfortable with different tapestry than other seats. She said it was a special night when you went to the Capitol," says Henry.

    My early memories of the Capitol are vivid: standing in awe of the gigantic suit of armour at the entrance, gazing with wonder at the magnificent murals high on the walls, cringing at the gargoyles in the corners, and running my fingers down the smooth tapestry ridges of the seats.

    As a young teen in the early 1950s, a large group of friends would go to the Capitol most Saturday afternoons. We'd sit in the balcony, munching popcorn, looking at adventure epics or romantic dramas on the large screen, and attempt, weakly, to make out with girls.

    Of course, Reveen was always an attraction who forced me to fight becoming hypnotized and making a fool of myself on stage.

    A very rich memory is the Atlantic Canada premiere of the movie Charly, starring Cliff Robertson, who won an Academy Award in the title role of a mentally challenged man.

    That 1969 event was the first major fund-raiser for my Canadian Progress Club chapter. I was so proud of my friend, and club member, Jack Yablon for having the chutzpah to invite Robertson, who came with his wife, actress Dina Merrill.

    Henry loves this story, her eyes flashing warmly as she talks of others who have shared their experiences with her. This vibrant woman has assembled a collection of old seats, murals, gargoyles, lanterns, chandeliers, the huge curtain from the front of the theatre, indoor marquee, photos, movie posters, and programs from the many events held at the Capitol.

    All of this will be on display daily, and free of charge, in Maritime Centre's main floor and B1 level from tomorrow through Nov. 12. "People have been helpful, from Murray Lynch (retired Famous Players district manager) to Bea Sampson (retired cashier)."

    Henry's curiosity about her mother's feeling for the theatre pushed her to do this project. "People volunteered artifacts for display, which was my first thought. Then I thought of a little book, which has turned into a coffee table book of 100 pages."

    She spent hours at the Nova Scotia Archives, poring through Halifax Mail microfilm, and later The Mail-Star, in which theatre ads appeared.

    She discovered Gone With the Wind, released in late 1939 in Atlanta, had its Halifax debut February 1940, on exactly the same night as New York and Toronto. "There were 2,000 people lined up in all their finery to enter the theatre. Thousands more stood across the street watching," she says. "The ads for this movie started a month before, instead of the usual new feature ad a couple of days early."

    She received tremendous support finding artifacts.

    "An usher, Jack Stevens, knew the armour was in a restaurant in Cape Breton, bought at auction. The owner was glad to loan it for this showing.

    "Theatre Arts Guild has the main curtain and tassels. Others have old theatre chairs. They've all been very helpful."

    Henry says she has "gotten a real sense of my own history. I saw how children helped collect frying pan fat to use in glycerin to make bombs in World War II. They were given treasured Capitol Theatre tickets in return."

    It was a time when people offered service, she says. "Women couldn't wait for a dashing usher to take them to their seat," she laughs.

    While she regrets the theatre is gone, she says the building is memorable but so is what went on inside. "We're celebrating local culture and local people who attended the theatre and enjoyed its ambiance."

    [The Halifax Mail-Star, 30 October 2000]

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