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

Chapter 70
2000 November 1-12

2000 November 1

Appreciation to the People of Massachusetts
Halifax Explosion, December 1917

Nova Scotia Legislature
Resolution No. 2948

From Page 7800, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 1 November 2000:

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia has sent a Christmas tree to Boston every year since the Halifax Explosion to express their gratitude for the assistance provided by the people of Massachusetts to the City of Halifax following the 1917 disaster; and

Whereas a representative from the City of Boston travelled to Nova Scotia to view six prospective trees selected by Pat Murphy, an extension specialist with the Department of Natural Resources; and

Whereas this year, a 50 foot white spruce was selected from a site in Lunenburg County, owned by George and Pauline Himmelman of Amherst, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize George and Pauline Himmelman for their contribution to the legacy of the cooperation, compassion and humanity that annually lets the people of Halifax, and indeed all of Nova Scotia, say thank you to our friends in Massachusetts for their rush to our side during our darkest hour.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Source: Nova Scotia Hansard, 1 November 2000, page 7800

Petite Riviere tree becomes Boston's annual Christmas gift

Wind and rain didn't dampen the spirits of those who came to see Nova Scotia's annual gift to Boston. Petite Riviere residents George and Pauline Himmelman donated the tree which was found on their land earlier this year and felled October 19th. "I was pleased they picked a tree here. I really didn't think it would happen and then it happened," Mr. Himmelman said. "I'm glad to be able to give the tree to the city of Boston because of what Boston did for the city of Halifax in the 1917 explosion."

Nova Scotia has given Boston a tree for nearly three decades in appreciation of their generosity during the disaster.

Most come from Lunenburg County

Most of those trees have come from Lunenburg County. The tree has to be 50 years old and 50 feet 15 metres high. This year's tree was one of six candidates for the annual gift.

Pat Murphy, a Christmas tree specialist for Western Nova Scotia came across the tree during a Sunday drive through Green Bay. "I happened to see something that looked appealing to me and got a better look at it on the way up and I said the next time I come down here on business I'd be looking at it again," Mr. Murphy said. "It looked like a good candidate tree for Boston."

He explained the thickness of the tree all the way up and around and its accessibility set it aside from the other candidates. He said some of the other five candidates could eventually be Boston Christmas trees if they stay healthy.

Mark Sanford of Nova Scotia Power was in charge of cutting the tree down because of how close it was to the power lines. Many, including George Himmelman, who donated the tree and is holding the umbrella, take one final look at the Boston Christmas tree before it was cut down on October 19 and loaded by crane on a flatbed truck. "It's a forester's dream to be a part of this," Mr. Sanford said. "I guess it's because it's part of the industry and part of what we do." He added a lot of people wouldn't consider Christmas trees a large part of the forestry industry, but in this area they certainly are. "Working in the woods and working with trees, a project of this magnitude is not something you get to do every day," he said. "I certainly enjoyed it."

He had to climb the tree, make sure the chain was attached so it could be lowered safely and flat without damaging it. Mr. Himmelman said seeing the tree being let down gently was a "gorgeous" sight. A lot of public bystanders came out to see the tree, which was located close to the road. "Sometimes we don't have a tree this close to a main public road and of course if you're in the woods people don't tend to come out and watch," Mr. Murphy said. "This gives us a bit higher profile place."

Forestry students from the Lunenburg Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College got to help out with the project on October 18th with the preparation work. Mr. Murphy explained working on this project gives them a sense of accomplishment. "For a student who doesn't have very much work experience it's good exposure. It gets them up to speed on things that sometimes in the forestry business you don't know what you're going to do."

Mr. Himmelman says this will add to his family heritage. The property the tree is located on has been in the Himmelman family for generations. "It's something that you'll have to keep," he said.

On December 2, he plans on going to Boston to see the tree as it is lit up. "I want to be able to sit at the lighting front-row centre," he said.

[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 25 October 2000]

Giant Nova Scotia Christmas Tree Sent to Boston

Each year Nova Scotia sends a large Christmas tree to the city of Boston which is erected at the Prudential Centre and serves as the focus of a huge ceremony and celebration. This year marks the 29th year that we have sent this large gift to our southern cousins. The reason for this unusual tradition is to show our enduring gratitude for the incredible help that was received from the people of Massachusetts, and in particular Boston, after the horrific Halifax explosion of 1917...

[The Truro Daily News, 30 December 2000]

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Boston

2 December 2000

A Nova Scotia Christmas tree took centre stage at the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, December 2nd, at the Prudential Centre in Boston, Massachusetts. "Nova Scotians have never forgotten Boston's generosity and compassion at a devastating time in our province's history," said Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm. "This gift of thanks enables all of us to show our appreciation and captures the true spirit of the season. It's a tradition we're pleased to share with each new generation."

The tradition started 29 years ago, when the province of Nova Scotia offered one of its native evergreens to the people of Boston as a gift of thanks for their help after the 1917 Halifax explosion. On December 6, 1917, a French freighter full of munitions and a Norwegian vessel collided in Halifax Harbor causing a gigantic blast that leveled the city, killed and injured thousands of people and left thousands more homeless. That same day, Bostonians rushed a special train to Halifax loaded with medical supplies, doctors and nurses. Much of the money for the aid came from donations made by ordinary citizens.

Prudential Insurance Company of America sponsors what has become Boston's signature holiday event. Adorned with some 18,000 electric lights, this year's 50-foot 15 m white spruce came from Pauline and George Himmelman in Petite Rivere, Lunenburg County. Television station WHDH channel 7, the Boston affiliate of the NBC network, broadcast a half-hour special program during the tree-lighting ceremony. Nova Scotia music and dance was featured during the televised special.

[The Inverness Oran, 6 December 2000]

2000 November 1

They Mean it This Time:
Register or Kiss Your .ca Goodbye

OTTAWA — Maybe they're thinking of Halloween. Or Christmas shopping. Whatever the distraction, so few companies have re-registered their .ca Internet domain names that the new registration authority has extended the registration deadline.

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority said yesterday it has deferred the operational transfer of the .ca registry until Dec. 1. The agreement will allow existing .ca domain name holders more time to re-register their domain names with CIRA.

Under an agreement signed last spring, CIRA takes over management of the .ca domain names from the University of British Columbia, which ran it voluntarily. Anyone who already has a .ca domain name must re-register that name with CIRA or risk losing the rights to that name and ending up with a Web address that doesn't work.

CIRA had originally set today as the deadline for re-registration. But lots of people ignored the deadline; as of Monday, 37,000 out of 98,000 expected re-registrants of existing .ca domain names had not applied to re-register, said Maureen Cubberley, the chairwoman of CIRA's Board. Hence the one-month extension. "Failure to re-register will result in a Web site or e-mail address being inaccessible through that domain name after Nov. 30, 2000," CIRA warned.

Existing .ca domain names will be reserved until January 31, 2001. If an existing .ca name isn't re-registered by then, the owner loses the rights to that name and it's up for grabs.

CIRA has a toll-free number (1-877-860-1411) to answer questions about domain name registration.

Applications for new .ca domain names will still begin to be processed on November 8.

On September 18, CIRA opened up the rules for .ca domain name registrations. To obtain a .ca domain name you are no longer required to have a federally incorporated company. That is expected to prompt a flood of "cyber squatters" — people who will sign up for .ca domain names in the hope that businesses who want those names will pay big to buy them. Open rules for .com domain name registration have already created a hot market for cyber squatters hoping to make a fast buck from businesses.

Meanwhile, three companies who claimed to be victims of cyber squatters got satisfaction yesterday. A panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization granted Canadian Tire Corporation the right to two domain names, "ecanadiantire.com" and "e-canadiantire.com," held by an Edmonton company.

The panel agreed with Canadian Tire's allegation that 849075 Alberta Limited, carrying on business as Par5Systems, acquired rights to the domain names "primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain names registrations to Canadian Tire."

General Motors Corp. also won the rights to the domain name "corvette.com" yesterday in a dispute arbitrated by a WIPO panel. GM argued successfully that the owner, John Turnbow of Sacramento, California, had attempted to sell the address, pointing to a notice posted on the site that announced that "the only purpose of this page is to announce the availability of the domain name for anyone interested in making an attractive and substantial offer to buy or lease the name."

Turnbow contended he planned to start a Web site for Corvette enthusiasts.

In a third ruling, Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft of Germany, won the domain name "bmw.org" from a company called Loophole in Milpatas, California.

[National Post, 1 November 2000]

New Cutoff Date to Re-Register dot-ca Internet Domains

58,000 delinquent owners now have until December 1st

Canada's regulator of Internet domain names has decided not to pull the plug today after all on as many as 58,000 dot-ca — short for dot-Canada — Internet domains whose owners have failed to meet the original deadline for re-registering them.

CIRA — the Canadian Internet Registration Authority — said yesterday that the delinquent owners now have until December 1st instead of November 1st to refile for the domain names, an exercise that is part of a broader process of revamping the whole dot-ca system.

Only about 40,000 owners of the approximately 98,000 dot-cas currently in existence had re-registered them with CIRA as of mid-day yesterday. "Somewhat to our surprise, the rate of re-registrations has been far less than we anticipated," said Glenn Bloom, the agency's vice-chairman.

CIRA is in the process of taking over responsibility for the dot-ca domain from the University of British Columbia, where a group of volunteer workers have been running the system since it was introduced in 1987. Once the transition is complete, CIRA's international counterpart, ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Nunbers — will cease directing Internet and e-mail traffic destined for dot-ca destinations through UBC's computer system. Instead, it will do so through CIRA's.

The change was scheduled to take place today, and the result would have been that those among the 58,000 dot-cas noy yet re-registered that actually lead to active Web sites would have become inaccessible. However, Mr. Bloom said, CIRA decided that although neither it nor UBC has the facilities to determine which of the delinquent dot-cas are actually operational, the potential for disruption would have been too great. "Our principal objective is to ensure a smooth transition to the new regime," he said.

In an agreement finalized yesterday morning, UBC has agreed to continue operating the registry until December 1st, "to ensure that many sites will not go down (today)."

Delinquent owners who fail to meet the new deadline will see their websites go down at that time, although CIRA will continue to reserve their domain names — should they decide to re-register them after all — until January 31st, 2001. At that time, domain names still unclaimed will be available first-come first-served, to any dot-ca applicant.

CIRA initially said it would levy an additional $20 charge against delinquent owners who re-registered only during this final grace period, but Mr. Bloom said this plan has been abandoned. "There was some difficulty with the penalty," he said, but did not elaborate.

The stay of execution for existing dot-ca holders comes a week after CIRA delayed the planned start date for processing applications for new dot-cas to November 8th from today.

[The Globe and Mail, 1 November 2000]

2000 November 1

Mounties Get Computers in Their Cars

Lunenburg County Mounties now have a new weapon in the fight against crime, but this one stays in their cars. Officers from the Bridgewater, Chester and Lunenburg detachments recently underwent training on a new computer system. With the terminals installed in their cruisers, they're now on the road with the latest information at their fingertips.

CIIDS, which stands for computerized integrated information and dispatch system, has been in use for some time in other parts of Nova Scotia, including Halifax County and Cape Breton. The system is being adopted across the province as MTT's cellular digital package data network becomes available.

Within the larger computer system is the patrol unit component known as ROADS, which stands for remote office and dispatch system. That improves officer safety, cuts back on paperwork and generally allows for more efficient police work. "What you see in the cars is exactly what's generated in the office. Although the format is somewhat different, the information is the same," explains Cpl. Roger Waite of the RCMP informatics division in Halifax.

When a person calls in a complaint, someone in the office enters it at a CIIDS workstation and posts it. That information then travels to a dispatch centre in Halifax where it is assigned to a car back in this area. An electronic copy of the file is sent to that car's computer terminal.

Once an officer sees the complainant, further information is entered on the computer system. That data is then available to any authorized person anywhere checking on the file. "Whatever the member did, whatever the member said, whatever files or attachments were generated, you can look at it here in Bridgewater. If you're really interested, you could be sitting in the Baddeck detachment and look at it. Everybody's got access to this information," Cpl. Waite says.

That ability becomes particularly useful when a number of officers are working on one file. "For example, if Lunenburg had a major event, cars could come from Bridgewater and Chester as well to assist in that file. Whatever the members do, whoever they spoke to, whatever information they gathered, it all gets attached to that file and sent back to the server. Even though they don't talk directly to the primary investigator, they're contributing to the file. It's all done electronically," Cpl. Waite explains.

That means all information becomes available to all involved quickly and it cuts down on the time required to compare notes. Without the computer system, each officer would have to make handwritten notes and speak with the lead investigators to pass on details.

The mobile units are also connected to police information systems. That provides officers with the details they need without checking back with dispatchers to check licence plates and other information, which in turn means fewer delays for routine matters at busy times. "With this complete integration, members basically have their office on the road," Cpl. Waite says.

Another advantage stems from that fact. Because officers will have to spend less time at their desks, visibility improves.

About 60 to 70 per cent of calls are minor matters where officers attend and talk to people, create and complete a file. With the new system that's a one-time entry. "Members come in at the end of their shift, they don't have a lot of paperwork to do, they just hang up their keys because everything's been done electronically," the corporal says.

Officer safety is another feature. If an officer queries someone with a history of violence, the information comes back with a red flag. The dispatch centre also knows the officer has made that query should problems arise.

Addresses can be flagged with anything from officer safety concerns to toxic storage information.

The system features car-to-car and car-to-office messaging. That, too, means fewer radio transmissions meaning information is kept secure when that's desirable. People can't hear details over their scanners.

A bulletin board feature keeps officers up to date on what is happening in the region. That's already proved useful in Halifax County where an officer was able to set up a road-block and stop a suspect after learning about an armed robbery via his car computer.

Mounties on duty are able to monitor assigned cases in their area and respond to assist other officers if they feel they should. "If I need to go, then I have all the details when I go," Cpl. Waite says. "It's this constant communication, things that you don't ask for, you just set it up and it keeps coming."

The system will eventually have tactical plans built in so officers responding to particular crimes can follow the required steps if they aren't certain. That could be useful with uncommon events such as disasters or for Mounties fairly new to the job. In the event of an emergency, officers can simply abandon the computer system and revert to their radios. Electronic files can be updated later.

[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 1 November 2000]

2000 November 2

East LaHave Wharf Demolished

EAST LAHAVE, Lunenburg County — Efforts to save the wharf in East LaHave have failed. Lobster fisherman Chris Banfield watched last week as crew began removing the wharf he's used for more than 13 years. He has been negotiating with the Department of Transportation and Public Works for more than four years in an effort to save the wharf.

"They're tearing this out because I didn't agree with their conditions," he said. Mr. Banfield said he would buy the wharf if the province fixed it up, or he would spend the money to repair it if the province gave it to him. According to Mr. Banfield, the department agreed to let him fix it up, but said he could not buy the wharf. The department did not want to surrender control of the wharf area because it was so close to the ferry loading ramp.

"The department felt they couldn't sell it or long-term lease it to anybody because it was so close to their existing operation it might hamper their ability to operate the ferry at some point in the future and obviously that's their highest priority," said Lunenburg MLA Michael Baker who was also involved with the negotiations. "Certainly I was sorry to see it go," he said. "But the real problem that we're running into all across rural Nova Scotia now, and East LaHave would be no different, is that the federal government has stopped putting money into wharves and really the provincial government never had the funding to do that, even in good times."

It would have cost about $60,000 to repair the wharf. That doesn't include the cost of ongoing maintenance. It's going to cost about $20,000 to remove it. That's expected to be complete by the end of the week. "This is totally unreasonable. This is a waste of taxpayers' money. It wouldn't have cost them a cent if they had given me the wharf," said Mr. Banfield, who'll now have to find another place to load and unload equipment. "Obviously I'll have to travel further away and find a wharf if that's possible. Come lobster season that's hard."

But Mr. Banfield isn't the only one in the community concerned about the issue. Lunenburg municipal councillor Don Zwicker, who has also been working to save the wharf, said it's a huge loss to the community. The decision to remove the wharf counters efforts to stimulate the local economy, he said. It is the only public wharf on the east side of the river. "It's a really sad event," he said. "We talk about having infrastructure programs and these sorts of things and here we have the provincial government tearing out our infrastructure and I think that's a sad testimony." "We are losing a piece of our infrastructure and there will not be any opportunity for one to go back," he added. "It's something that has served the community over the years and with some repairs it could have continued to serve the community."

That's particularly frustrating because the provincial government spent money to repair the wharf on the other side of the river, said Mr. Zwicker. "I saw no reason why that couldn't have been done on this side," he said. "It just seems as though the province wanted it tore out. They were unwilling to sell it. They were unwilling to lease it. They were unwilling to come into any negotiations that were meaningful with the person who wanted to do that."

But Aubrey Martell, the department's area manager for Lunenburg and Queens counties, said they considered other options, such as tendering and repairing the wharf, before deciding to remove it. "Many avenues were pursued to look at alternatives before we would take the wharf out and none were able to come about," he said. "The only feasible option left to us was to remove the wharf."

"The wharf was surplus to our requirements and over the past decade fell into a state of disrepair to the point that the wharf was condemned," he added. Last year Mr. Banfield signed a waiver relieving the department of any responsibility if he was injured while using the wharf. As for repairs in LaHave, the department chose to maintain that wharf because the ferry is kept on the west side of the river. "It just seemed to make sense," he said.

[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 8 November 2000]

2000 November 3-8

E-Mail Dispute in the Legislature

Nova Scotia Legislature
Resolution No. 3047

From Page 8043, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 3 November 2000:

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas next week the Law Amendments Committee will more than likely be meeting to consider bills from this House that have gone through second reading; and

Whereas at present, citizens, more often than not, make submissions to the committee by appearing in person before the committee here at Province House; and

Whereas through the assistance of the federal Liberal Government, rural communities throughout Nova Scotia have Community Access Programs whereby local residents have access to computers and the Internet;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Law Amendments Committee to allow citizens from across Nova Scotia to make submissions to the committee via the Internet, thus giving all Nova Scotians the opportunity to contribute to the law-making process.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

Source: Nova Scotia Hansard, 3 November 2000, page 8043

E-Mail Dispute in the Legislature

From Page 8079, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 3 November 2000:

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: I am pleased to rise and offer a few interventions on second reading of Bill No. 62. The disappointing thing for me, earlier today is the fact that the government which holds itself out as being open and responsive to the needs of Nova Scotians and wanting to consult and communicate with people before decisions are made on any matters of public policy, would reject such a proposal that was put before the House here this morning that would help to make Bill No. 62 — with its flaws and all the warts that it may bring with it — a better piece of legislation by turning a deaf ear to the opportunity for people to communicate with the Law Amendments Committee through these community access sites across Nova Scotia.

224 CAP sites in Nova Scotia

We have some 224 CAP sites — computer access sites — throughout Nova Scotia that would allow people who cannot afford to come to Halifax, who can afford to barely buy enough groceries let alone travel such a long distance to make a presentation before the Law Amendments Committee. The government, on numerous occasions, suggested that — at least they have made a pretty noble effort to convince people that — they are listening to the people of Nova Scotia on such issues as this Bill No. 62 regarding community services reform.

In fact, the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank yesterday suggested that all the stakeholders were consulted before this piece of legislation was brought before the House and yet if you talk to the social workers who are the front-line workers responsible for providing many of the facets of this particular initiative, they were not consulted. It is written right into the process that they will be consulted sometime in July of the year 2001, after the regulations are put in place.

Well, so much for consultation before the fact. After the fact it is easy. All you are doing is you are somewhat of a fundamentalist. You are telling people, this is the way it is and, if you don't like it, the burden of proof is on you to show that everything that has been done is all wrong. That defeats the whole purpose of providing an open and consultative process in making Bill No. 62 the best possible piece of legislation that the government proclaims that it wants to have before the House.

So I am very disappointed that the government would close the window of opportunity for Nova Scotians to be able to communicate to the government, to the Law Amendments Committee, via the Internet or e-mails or whatever other communiques would be readily available to them at the local community level to be able to offer some very constructive and worthwhile proposals...

Source: Nova Scotia Hansard, 3 November 2000, page 8079

E-Mail Dispute in the Legislature

Nova Scotia Legislature
Resolution No. 3123

From Page 8242, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 7 November 2000:

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on Friday, November 3rd, I tabled a resolution asking the House to support submissions to the Law Amendments Committee via the Internet; and

Whereas several members on the government side of the House, including the Government House Leader, said no when requested to waive notice and pass the resolution without debate; and

Whereas by denying passage without debate, government members have denied Nova Scotians their democratic right to present their views on government policy;

Therefore be it resolved that the government reassess their position on this matter and join with members on this side of the House to allow submissions to the Law Amendments Committee via the Internet.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice and passage without debate.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

Source: Nova Scotia Hansard, 7 November 2000, page 8242

E-Mail Dispute in the Legislature

8 November 2000

Nova Scotia Legislature
Resolution No. 3156

From Page 8380, Hansard's report of proceedings
in the Nova Scotia Legislature
on 8 November 2000:

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas yesterday I tabled a resolution asking the government to reassess its decision not to allow waiver of notice to allow submissions to the Law Amendments Committee via e-mail over the Internet; and

Whereas the member for Halifax Bedford Basin said no when the request for wavier was made by the Speaker; and

Whereas the member for Halifax Bedford Basin, who claims to be just an ordinary Nova Scotian, has denied her fellow ordinary Nova Scotians the opportunity to express their views on government legislation;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Halifax Bedford Basin and all her colleagues on the government side of the House, reconsider their position and join with members on this side of the House to allow submissions to the Law Amendments Committee via e-mail over the Internet.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver.

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

Source: Nova Scotia Hansard, 8 November 2000, page 8380

The Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Halifax - Bedford Basin was Mary Ann McGrath.

2000 November 6

MacKenzie Bus Garage Demolished

BRIDGEWATER — The MacKenzie Bus garage became a thing of the past on November 6th. The demolition of the garage, located on the corner of Victoria Road and York Street in Bridgewater since 1949, was the last physical commitment MacKenzie Bus Lines had to pay off their creditors.
Going - going - going - gone
The building was a Second World War aircraft hangar brought to Bridgewater in sections by flatbed truck from the Annapolis Valley in 1949. That's when it was purchased by MacKenzie Bus Lines.

Over the past three years MacKenzie Bus Lines president Darrin Parker has worked to pay off the creditors for the company. The building and three acres of real estate around it have been for sale and still are for sale.

They made an attempt to turn the building, which was structurally sound, into a five-unit, 2,000 square foot condo. "The task of doing that was prohibitive," Mr. Parker said. He explained since then there have been dozens of interested parties, such as truck companies, who wanted to buy it and use it for a garage, but Bridgewater Town Council prohibits any commercial use of that building.

"That lot and the area around it is still zoned commercial, however we were told point blank that they will not permit any commercial use of that area," Mr. Parker says. Permission has to be obtained from council before anyone is allowed to change the use of that area. "They will not permit a change of use from a bus garage to any other type of operation," Mr. Parker said.

[The Bridgewater Bulletin, 8 November 2000]

2000 November 7

Federal General Election
On The Internet

Nominations closed: 5:00pm 6 November 2000
Election date: 27 November 2000

This is the first federal election campaign in Canadian history in which a majority of voters will be Internet users.
Vancouver Sun, Monday, 30 October 2000

Like me, a growing number of electors hungry for details about the various political parties, their policies, and their slate of candidates, will look to the Internet for key election-related information, opinion, and debate. In anticipation of this increased attention, political parties have shined up their online act, public advocacy groups have joined the fray, and the voters themselves, many of whom use the Internet as a logical extension of their daily lives, are accessing a full array of political material on the Net...
— Pierre Bourque, Monday, 23 October 2000 12:34pm EDT

An estimated 60 per cent of Canadian adults now have some sort of access to the Internet, compared with just 15 per cent in 1997, when the country last went to the polls. And the parties have obviously taken notice, although how much it will matter in the end to this election is an open question. What is clear is that politicians can no longer afford to skimp on their Web sites...
— Jeff Gray, The Globe and Mail, 24 October 2000

Most political parties' websites are banal, offering up little more than brochure ware...
— Susan Bourette, The Globe and Mail, 30 October 2000

Federal Party Campaign Websites

Liberal Party of Canada

(Both URLs point to the same site.)

Canadian Alliance Party of Canada

Progressive-Conservative Party of Canada

New Democratic Party of Canada

Other Registered Political Parties
(listed alphabetically)
all of these URLs were valid as of 6 November 2000

Bloc Quebecois

Canadian Action Party

Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Communist Party of Canada

Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
Registered for elections purposes as the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

Green Party of Canada

Libertarian Party of Canada

Marijuana Party

Natural Law Party

Rest of Canada (ROC) Party

Socialist Party of Canada

Fringe Parties Fight Hard for Recognition — You won't find promises to legalize pot, increase meditation, or end free trade in the platforms of the main parties during this election race, but several political parties scattered on the fringe of the campaign are calling for those and other unlikely chages. Aside from the five major political parties vying for votes on November 27th there are also ten lesser-known groups hoping to play a role in the campaign. They might not have the money or widespread backing to compete with the mainstream parties, but they argue they've got alternative ideas on their side ... Parties must endorse at least fifty candidates by November 6th to be officially registered and appear on election ballots. Most small parties are scrambling to meet that requirement ... None of these small parties expects to elect many members of parliament, but they're confident they can win enough votes to send a message to Ottawa that Canadians care about more than tax cuts and debt reduction...
— The Halifax Daily News, 4 November 2000

Candidates Nominated in Nova Scotia

Liberal Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Liberal Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidates nominated in all eleven ridings.
Bras d'Or-Cape Breton Rodger Cuzner
No email address given.   Campaign website undeveloped.
Cumberland-Colchester Dianne Brushett
Rudimentary campaign website in operation.
Dartmouth Bernie Boudreau
No email address given.   Primitive (one short page) campaign website in operation.
Halifax Kevin Little
Rudimentary campaign website in operation.
Halifax West Geoff Regan
No email address given.   Primitive (one short page) campaign website in operation.
Kings-Hants Claude O'Hara
C. O'Hara campaign website
      http://www.ohara-liberal.org/ (regular version)
      http://www.ohara-liberal.org/maintext.html (text-only version)
As of November 8th, this is the best, by far, of the campaign websites of the eleven Liberal candidates running in Nova Scotia.
Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough Raymond Mason
No email address given.   Primitive (one short page) campaign website in operation.
Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Bruce Stephen
No email address given.   Primitive (one short page) campaign website in operation.
South Shore Derek Wells
Rudimentary campaign website in operation.
Sydney-Victoria Mark Eyking
No email address given.   Primitive (one short page) campaign website in operation.
West Nova Robert Thibault
No email address given.   Primitive (one short page) campaign website in operation.
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.
Comment by ICS:
There is a serious design defect in thse "primitive (one short page) campaign websites". The one short page in each case is a biography of the candidate, but only part of this biography is accessible to the viewer. When you click on the link — the candidate's name — pointing to the campaign website, this activates a javascript:openWindow command which opens a pop-up window. This pop-up window contains the biographical text. The window is too small to display the entire text and there is no vertical scroll bar, so there is no way for the viewer to see the text extending beyond the bottom of the window. The mouse wheel, normally used for scrolling down in a webpage, has no effect in these windows. You can drag the borders to enlarge the window area, but even when the window is enlarged to the maximum some of the text remains inaccessible. This is the way these candidates' websites (webpages?) work on my system, a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion 8665C computer bought new six weeks ago, Pentium3 500MHz with 128 megabytes RAM running Windows 98 SE, with MS Internet Explorer 5.50 browser — a reasonably up-to-date system on which any political website should (most do) display properly. With their main website containing such serious deficiencies just three weeks before a general election, it appears the federal Liberal Party has nobody minding the store — a clear indication the Party leaders have no knowledge of or interest in the Internet as a campaign tool.

Mr. O'Hara's Kings-Hants campaign website at http://www.ohara-liberal.org/ is a separate website — set up on a hosting service separate from the Liberal Party's website — with an ordinary URL which can be stated in campaign advertising. This website does not suffer from the deficiencies of the federal Liberal Party's website.

Progressive-Conservative Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Progressive Conservative Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidates nominated in all eleven ridings.
Bras d'Or-Cape Breton Alfie McLeod
A. McLeod campaign website (all three URLs point to the same site)
There is no link to this website in the official PC Party candidates list. The website contact info does not mention an email address.
Cumberland-Colchester Bill Casey
No campaign website mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.
Dartmouth Tom McInnis
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.
Halifax Paul Fitzgibbons
No campaign website mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.
Halifax West Charles Cirtwill
No campaign website is mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.
Kings-Hants Scott Brison
S. Brison campaign website
There is no link to this website in the official PC Party candidates list.
Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough Peter MacKay
P. MacKay campaign website
There is no link to this website in the official PC Party candidates list.
Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Wade Marshall
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.
South Shore Gerald Keddy
G. Keddy campaign website
G. Keddy campaign video online 3:20
There is no link to this website in the official PC Party candidates list.
Sydney-Victoria Anna Curtis-Steele
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.
West Nova Mark Muise
No campaign website mentioned in the official PC Party candidates list.

Note: As of 11:00am November 9th, there were no links to any of these
candidates' campaign websites in the official PC Party candidates list
at http://www.pcparty.ca/election2001-e/nsridings.asp.

New Democratic Party of Canada

7 November 2000
NDP Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidates nominated in all eleven ridings.
Bras d'Or-Cape Breton Michelle Dockrill
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.
Cumberland-Colchester Jim Harpell
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.
Dartmouth Wendy Lill
W. Lill campaign website
This is a textbook example of an obnoxious website, designed mainly to show off the technical skills of the site designer, with much more attention given to glitz and tinsel than to content that a citizen might find useful in making a voting decision.
Halifax Alexa McDonough
A. McDonough campaign website
Halifax West Gordon Earle
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.
Kings-Hants Kaye Johnson
K. Johnson campaign website
Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough Wendy Panagopolus
W. Panagopolus campaign website
There is no link to this website in the official NDP candidates list. The website does not mention an email address.
Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Peter Stoffer
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.
South Shore Bill Zimmerman
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.
Sydney-Victoria Peter Mancini
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.
West Nova Phil Roberts
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official NDP candidates list.

Note: As of 11:00am November 9th, above is the latest
information available in the official NDP candidates list
at http://www.ndp.ca/candidates/#novascotia.

Comment: Only four NDP candidates in Nova Scotia have a campaign website. Contrast this with the 34 NDP candidates running in British Columbia — as of November 6th, all 34 of them have campaign websites in operation:









Canadian Alliance Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Canadian Alliance Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidates nominated in all eleven ridings.
Bras d'Or-Cape Breton John Currie
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Cumberland-Colchester Bryden Ryan
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Dartmouth Jordi Morgan
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Halifax Amery Boyer
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Halifax West Hilda Stevens
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Kings-Hants Gerry Fulton
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough Harvey Henderson
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Bill Stevens
B. Stevens biography (PDF, requires proprietary reader software)
No campaign website (other than the brief bio) is mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
South Shore Evan Walters
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
Sydney-Victoria Rod Farrell
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.
West Nova Mike Donaldson
No email address given, and no campaign website mentioned in the official Alliance candidates list.

Note: As of 5:00pm November 6th, above is the latest
information available in the official Alliance candidates list
at http://www.canadianalliance.ca/campaign/candidates.html.

Comment: No Alliance candidate in Nova Scotia has a campaign website. Contrast this poor showing with the 26 Alliance candidates running in Alberta — as of November 6th, 18 of them have their own campaign websites in operation (and they're pretty good websites):
    http://www.petergoldring.ca/     http://www.petergoldring.com/
Note that all of these are stand-alone sites, not embedded in a party website.

Green Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Green Party Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidate nominated in one riding.
Halifax Michael Oddy
M. Oddy campaign website

Marijuana Party

7 November 2000
Marijuana Party Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidates nominated in three ridings.
Halifax Mike Patriquen
Kings-Hants Jim King
Sackville-Musquodoboit Valley-Eastern Shore Melanie Patriquen
Note: No known candidates campaign websites.

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Marxist-Leninist Party Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidates nominated in three ridings.
Dartmouth Charles Spurr
Halifax Kevin Corkill
Halifax West Tony Seed
T. Seed interview
Note: No known email addresses or candidates campaign websites.

Communist Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Communist Party Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidate nominated in one riding.
Kings-Hants Jake MacDonald
Note: No known candidate campaign website.

Natural Law Party of Canada

7 November 2000
Natural Law Party Candidates in Nova Scotia
Candidate nominated in one riding.
Kings-Hants Richard Hennigar
Note: No known candidate campaign website.

Independent Candidates

7 November 2000
Independent Candidates in Nova Scotia
Independent candidates nominated in two ridings.
Kings-Hants Kenneth MacEachern
Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough Darryl Gallivan
Note: No known email addresses or candidates campaign websites.

Caught in a tangled Web

OTTAWA — Tracking down details about your federal candidates through the Web is tedious, frustrating and sometimes impossible, a trial run by a Star panel of experts has found.

That's mainly because neither the political parties nor Elections Canada are making good use of the Web's key strengths — the capacity to sort and tailor information.

The frustration starts with a key piece of individual information — the federal riding where a voter lives. Unless you already know your riding or the name and party affiliation of a local federal candidate, disappointment looms as soon as you browse the cyber-election world...

"The most important question for a lot of people is going to be what riding do I live in?" says Silvia Presenza, a lawyer and crisis communications consultant. A former Liberal political aide at Queen's Park, Toronto, Presenza pointed out that a simple way of finding your constituency — by typing in your postal code — is buried deep in another federal Web site. But Elections Canada and the main political parties don't even acknowledge this service, much less link to it.

Presenza is keeping an eye on the election campaign in cyberspace for The Star, along with Mike Custode, a Toronto graphic artist and Web site designer, and Paul Attallah, a communications professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. Last week they looked at how the main political parties are showcasing candidates on party Web sites and at the Elections Canada website where the official list of 1,808 candidates is posted.

They agreed no one was taking advantage of the Web's potential. Links from the party home pages to Web sites of individual candidates were spotty, contact information was inconsistent and interactive features non-existent.

"The Liberals don't have telephone numbers or addresses for many of the candidate campaign offices. I can't be bothered e-mailing to the Web site and waiting to hear back for information that should be there," Custode said...

Attallah said the political parties have not thought enough about the wider capabilities of the Web for visitors checking out local candidates. "They could be capturing people's e-mail addresses and then targeting them with really effective campaign information that was tailored to the riding and to the policy areas that people visited on the Web site," he said.

All three experts said the biggest hurdle — and a wholly unnecessary one — was the lack of a simple way for people to discover what riding they live in.

The Elections Canada Web site has searchable constituency maps but it takes five mouse clicks to reach a downtown Toronto riding which displays only major thoroughfares. The map must then be downloaded in a special Adobe Acrobat format before it can be enlarged. "It's simply not user-friendly," says Presenza.

And the constituency map hassle is also unnecessary. The House of Commons Web site already delivers the name of any federal constituency, needing only a postal code. An Elections Canada spokesperson said this service wasn't included on the official elections Web site because it wasn't accurate enough.

In an informal test by The Star, the postal code service delivered the correct federal constituency ten times in a row. But it was stumped once, offering three possible constituencies for a postal code on Butter Road, a rural lane near Hamilton. The Elections Canada solution? Frustrated Web users should instead telephone the toll-free VOTE INFO line at 1-800-463-6868. They'll type your postal code into that data base.

To identify your federal constituency using a postal code, go to www.parl.gc.ca. — the Parliamentary Web site. Click language preference, click on Senators and Members, scroll down to House of Commons Current and click, scroll half-way down the next page and click on Find your MP using your postal code. Then enter the postal code.

[The Toronto Star, 12 November 2000]

2000 November 7

Courthouse Ownership Settled

Disputed for 108 Years

LUNENBURG — A long-standing dispute that's caused all manner of difficulties between the Town and Municipality of Lunenburg for more than 100 years finally ended last week.

With the simple act of putting pen to paper, Warden Jack Wentzell agreed to cede any claim the municipality might have over any part of the Lunenburg Courthouse in return for some town-owned lands adjacent to the otherwise municipally-owned Sawpit Wharf. A 40 × 60-foot parcel on Blockhouse Hill, once site of a small county-run jail, will also change hands, falling back to the town.

While seemingly straightforward enough, Lunenburg Mayor Laurence Mawhinney said the agreement marked the conclusion of what in many ways has been an ongoing feud between the two municipalities. "Feelings were still very strong when I first came on council" in 1979, said the mayor. However, the apparent source of the feud dates back to the end of the previous century.

At the time, the then Lunenburg Courthouse, today St. John's Parish hall, was in need of repair but the municipality instead voted to build a new facility at Bridgewater. Angered by this decision, Lunenburg built its own courthouse, the present-day town hall, in 1893. An act requiring that court sittings be divided between the two sites was also passed in that year by the Nova Scotia legislature.

However, the ownership of the building was often questioned, most notably following a fire there on Valentine's Day, 1931. "It appears there was some disagreement over the proceeds of the insurance claims," said Mayor Mawhinney. And certainly, from that day forward, the municipality has consistently laid claim to the second-floor court rooms.

The resulting arrangement, which basically saw the town owning and maintaining the four-storey building, except for the interior of the second floor, has led to all kinds of bizarre situations, including the installation of two furnaces in the building, one to heat the Municipality's space and the other to heat the Town's space. It's also caused a lot of bad feelings, noted the mayor, which undoubtedly spilled over into negotiations on other issues. "It's been a very deep and divisive thing for many years."

Still, time does appear to heal all wounds, said the politicians, who earlier this year began negotiations to finally settle the issue. "It's really a good deal for both of us," said Warden Wentzell, who while he admits he's not sure he ever entirely understood the root of the disagreement, was happy to put it to rest. "We had no interest in the building any longer and where it's located in the Town of Lunenburg, naturally, they're the ones who should have ownership. Besides, we traded for property that can be beneficial to us."

The land, alongside the Sawpit Wharf, will most likely be used for recreational purposes, said the warden, although he stressed there are no immediate plans. A lease has also been drawn up that will allow the Lunenburg and District Fire Department to continue doing training on part of the site; something which again benefits both towns, he said.

Mayor Mawhinney said owning the entire courthouse building will make it easier for the town as it strives to operate and maintain the aging brick structure, which to date is still active as a justice facility. However, he said the new arrangement would also provide some flexibility should other opportunities arise. For instance, in the past, when groups or individuals had approached the town about renting the facility, they had to be referred elsewhere. "And people could never understand why," said the mayor. That dilemma will end shortly when official deeds to the traded properties are signed and completed.

[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 15 November 2000]

ICS comment:
Thus ends one of the most fascinating bits of Lunenburg County trivia I know of.  I first heard of this situation in 1969, and somewhere I have an old file with several ancient typewritten pages, dating to the 1930s, which provide some details of the year-by-year operation of the divided building.  One of the long-term problems was the division of janitorial costs — labour and supplies — which, if I recall correctly, for the rooms were divided according to floor area, and for the common areas such as hallways and stairwells were split fifty-fifty.  I don't know how the electric bill was handled.  Over the years there were lots of problems that produced hot arguments, such as the division of the cost of roof maintenance and replacement, snow removal, exterior painting, and so on.  There's plenty of great material there for a book, or at least a long article.

2000 November 8

Picton Castle Sets Sail for Round-the-World Voyage

Picton Castle sails out of Lunenburg harbour
With a fair wind filling her lower sails,
on November 8th the barque Picton Castle
headed down Lunenburg Bay en route to
an 18-month, 'round-the-world adventure.
[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 15 November 2000]

Lunenburg, Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands,
Pitcairn Island, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji,
Vanuatu, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea, Bali,
Seychelles, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Cape Town, St. Helena,
Cape Verde Islands, Grenada, Saint Vincent,
Martinique, Anguilla, Bermuda, Lunenburg

The barque Picton Castle was completely overhauled and outfitted for tropical ocean voyaging as a training ship in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, during a two million dollar refit in 1996-97. The ship is registered in Avatiu, Rarotonga Cook Islands, headquarters for her South Pacific voyages. The current voyage will take Picton Castle sailors to 47 ports of call in 22 countries.

The Voyages of the Barque Picton Castle

Picton Castle South of Bermuda

Two weeks after Picton Castle sailed out of Lunenburg, Bermuda is behind her and the crew has stored their winter gear and are wearing shorts and T-shirts.  They have caught Mahi-Mahi fish which all have enjoyed, particuarly Chibley the cat.  They will pass through the Windward Strait and stop at San Blas before entering the Panama Canal in early December.
[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 22 November 2000]

The Windward Passage or Strait, about 80 km wide, between Cuba and Haiti, connects the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.  It provides a direct route from the eastern seaboard of North America to the Panama Canal.

Picton Castle in Pacific Ocean

Picton Castle entered the Panama Canal December 7th at 5:30am amidst warm rain. They travelled in company with a small cruise ship and a few large sports fishermen.  They were through by 3:00pm.  As a precaution, Chibley the cat was locked up during the passage.  One may remember that she missed the ship (AWOL) in Halifax during Tall Ships 2000, and they had to go back and get her after the Sail Past.  Let us recall the San Blas visit – No one aboard, except Captain Dan, has experienced anything like this before.  They were greeted by the natives, the Kuna people, approaching the anchorage by dugout canoes with these colourfully dressed people ready to trade their molas and other island crafts.  They call their islands Kunayela.  It will be a lasting memory.  Denis, the chef, continues to outdo himself with home-made blueberry and bran muffins, lasagna and garlic bread for lunch and roast beef, tofu and fried rice, broccoli and chocolate cheese cake pudding for supper.  The crew is not complaining.  Chibley the cat has caught a few flying fish.
[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 13 & 20 December 2000]

Nova Scotia's most famous sea cat

Feline assigned dock watch after going AWOL at Halifax
SouthShoreNow.ca, 2000 August 02
Susan Corkum-Greek, Lighthouse staff

LUNENBURG – Nova Scotia's most famous sea cat didn't get to do much carousing during a brief three-day stopover in her home port of Lunenburg last week. 

Instead, Chibbly, the world-voyaging tabby adopted by the crew of the Picton Castle about three years ago, was confined to ship and dock as punishment for going AWOL in Halifax during Tall Ships.

The cat, which was discovered to be missing sometime Sunday evening, was still not back when the vessel departed Pier 20 to participate in Monday's parade of sail.  However, early media reports that indicated the ship delayed leaving Halifax for three hours because of the cat are not completely accurate.

In truth, the vessel had to return to Halifax anyway to discharge a number of passengers, on board as part of a reception for the Nova Scotia Sea School.  Crew members took the opportunity to chase down a number of rumoured cat sightings and quickly learned that Chibbly had indeed been found by a woman named Janet Richard, who upon reading her collar tag contacted the Halifax SPCA.

In all the ship was delayed about an hour.

Asked what he thinks the cat was up to in Halifax, Picton Castle captain Daniel Moreland said he has no idea.

“She wasn't standing her watch.  She was goofing off, having altogether too much fun in Halifax, like all the rest of our Nova Scotian crew.”

For her misdeeds, the cat was assigned dock watch.  That means she was to be on or near the ship at all times.

“This is a first offence, so we're being fairly lenient,” said the captain, who noted the feline appeared to have “no contrition”.

“She's as obnoxious as ever,” he said.

The vessel and Chibbly sailed Thursday.

—  Source:

Chibbley, in Bergen, Norway, August 2008
Chibbley, photographed August 2008, in Bergen, Norway
—  Source: Chibbley is back! The Tall Ships Races Bergen 2008

Chibbley appears 7:30-8:30 in this video

2000 November 10

CinemaNow Launches Movie Streaming Site

CinemaNow Inc. has launched a near-DVD quality, pay-per-view system for streaming movies into personal computers from a vast library of Hollywood films. The California-based firm, backed by Canada's Lions Gate Entertainment Inc., yesterday launched the service at www.cinema now.com by offering Heaven's Burning, starring actor Russell Crowe of Gladiator fame. It is the first feature film with a major Hollywood star to premier on the Internet using secure streaming technology based on Microsoft Windows Media.

The pay-per-view is priced at US$2.99 and will allow viewers to watch the film an unlimited number of times over 48 hours. CinemaNow spokesman Aaron Henry said the firm would soon offer more pay-per-view selections from its library of more than 800 movies for which it has exclusive Internet distribution rights. While it is not expected that "millions of people will be sitting down to watch a movie on their computer, it shows the potential for the future, when films can be distributed from the Internet onto television," Mr. Henry said.

[The National Post, 10 November 2000]

CinemaNow website at   http://www.cinemanow.com/

2000 November 10

English loses its Web monopoly

For the first time, you can get a domain name
that uses oriental characters

The master keeper of dot-com names began accepting non-English characters late yesterday as the next step in making the World Wide Web truly global.

The move comes over the objections of some Internet engineers, who fear the move is premature and could lead to a fouling of their works and a segregation of Web sites.

VeriSign Global Registry Services, the company in charge of Internet domain names ending in .com, .net and .org, will initially accept Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters for those suffixes. Arabic and other languages could follow.

URLs go from 37 characters to 40,282

Web addresses are now limited to the 26 letters of the English alphabet, 10 numerals and a hyphen — 37 characters in all. The addition of Asian character sets brings the total to 40,282 and could boost Internet usage abroad. [The English alphabet letters count as 26 separate characters — not 52 — because many servers and routers are not case-sensitive.]

"The domain name is kind of the front door with the welcome sign on it," said James Woods, product manager at Tucows Inc. "With this welcome sign being in their own language, people will want to step through that door."

Web surfers whose keyboards are set for English characters will need to modify their computers' settings — adding character sets for other languages — to input non-English Internet addresses.

Many computers sold abroad are already set up to be able to create characters in those languages.

Tucows, Register.com and 22 other companies have been authorized to begin taking orders. Those names would then be submitted to VeriSign's database. Registrations began at 8:00pm Atlantic Standard Time — midnight UTC (Greenwich Mean Time).

Richard Forman, chief executive at Register.com, said an Asian company might want a site in a native language, while U.S. firms might want one in each language in which they do business.

Sites will not be able to use the new names for at least another month, and even then, the program is officially a test. VeriSign reserves the right to make changes or cancel registrations that are incompatible with future standards.

Critics cautioned that because the Internet still lacks standards for non-English characters, efforts like VeriSign's are premature.

Computers on the Internet that help users find Web sites were programmed with English in mind and the engineers who try to keep order on the Net say many of those machines will not understand new languages without software upgrades. They say tens of thousands of such machines, known as domain name servers, need to be updated.

Until that happens, Web surfers could be blocked from many sites, said Don Heath, president of the nonprofit Internet Society. The international task force crafting standards is not expected to reach agreement until at least next year.

Fred Baker, chairman of the Internet Engineering Task Force, agrees with an eventual need for foreign names, but he said companies ought to wait. "Getting this work done right is more important," he said, "than getting it done quickly."

Speculating frenzy

The expansion of Web addresses could also prompt a new round of hoarding, as speculators seek Chinese, Japanese and Korean equivalents of names like business.com, which sold last year for US$7,500,000.

A workshop will be held in Marina del Rey, California, next week in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees Net naming policies. Though ICANN officials earlier expressed concerns about proceeding without standards, the organization is officially taking a wait-and-see approach.

"There's a whole world out there that has really not been able to use the Web," said Doug Wolford, general manager of Network Solutions Inc., the registration arm of VeriSign. "Hundreds of millions of people have to use English to find their native language Web site. It's an absurdity, an artifact of history long outgrown." Govinda Leopold, chief executive of 1st Domain.Net registration company, said many Asians don't want to change their keyboards simply to type Web addresses in English.

The Internet, invented in the United States, adopted English as its official language, and specifically a character set known as ASCII. Computers sold abroad now use other character sets, and there are efforts to link them under one compatible group called Unicode. VeriSign is developing a system to automatically translate Unicode-based Asian characters into an ASCII string that looks like gibberish. So Web users can type a foreign character, though they must still type ".com" in English.

[The Halifax Daily News, 10 November 2000]

2000 November 10

ICANN Considering New Top-Level Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been considering expanding the number of top-level domain names available for forming Internet URLs (addresses). Over the last few months, ICANN has been accepting applications from companies — located anywhere on Earth — which are interested in administering one or more of the possible new domain names.

In early October 2000, ICANN received 44 valid proposals from companies and consortia seeking to become registries of new TLDs (Top-Level Domains). Each proposal was accompanied by a US$50,000 application fee. Many of the proposals offered multiple top-level domains, resulting in a pool of 191 options from which ICANN could choose.

After an initial review of the TLD applications, the ICANN evaluation team divided the application pool into categories in an attempt to make comparisons more meaningful. The team identified three broad categories — "general-purpose TLDs," "special-purpose TLDs" and "new services". After an initial review, the evaluation team concluded that the following applications merited further review:

General Purpose TLDs
    .fin   (financial)

Special Purpose Applications

New Services Applications
    .tel   (telephone)
    .dir   (directory)
    .yp   (yellow pages)

ICANN Report on New TLD Applications, released 9 November 2000

2000 November 10

ICANN Narrows New Domain Options

New Top-Level Domains Available for Use in About Six Months

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has zeroed in on ten new top-level domains (TLDs), pending a vote of its board of directors that is scheduled for next week.

On Friday, November 10th, ICANN staff released its analysis of the 191 top-level domains that interested parties have proposed in recent weeks. The report identifies ten top-level domains that are the strongest contenders, including: .biz, .web, .nom, .per, .i, .name, .co-op, .union, .air and .geo. Two other domains — .museum and .health — remain in the running, but the report has outlined significant concerns with these proposals.

ICANN Report on New TLD Applications, released 9 November 2000

Eliminated from the process were several proposals that would segregate Web content for children and adults with top-level domains including .kids and .xxx. ICANN also recommended against proposals for restricted commercial domains such as .fin for financial institutions, .travel for air transport companies and .pro for professionals.

In a surprise move, ICANN also eliminated proposals for telephony-related domains including .tel and .one in deference to a request from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU sent a letter to ICANN on November 1st asserting that the intersection between telephone numbering and the Domain Name System (DNS) is very complex and requires more technical analysis.

A sub-domain name under the .tel proposal might have taken the form john.smith.london.uk.tel which could be interpreted as a personal world-wide telephone number...
— http://www.icann.org/tlds/report/report-iiib3-09nov00.htm

Telcordia, VeriSign to Marry Telephone, 'Net Numbers
Tuesday, 26 September 2000 — Telcordia Technologies and VeriSign today will announce the first large-scale test of an emerging technology called Enum that integrates telephone numbers with Internet domain names. Enum lets an end user type a telephone number into his Web browser and pull up the corresponding e-mail address, URL or IP address. Developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force, Enum is considered a key enabling technology for the anticipated convergence of the public switched telephone network and the Internet. Enum-based services would allow one telephone number to serve as a single, universal point of contact for numerous communications devices...
— http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2000/0926telcordia.html

ICANN also ruled out a proposal from Novell for a .dir domain for directory services information, citing concerns that Novell's proposal did not consider directory systems from competing vendors.

At a press conference held Friday, ICANN's staff emphasized that its board of directors has the authority to overrule the staff's recommendations and choose whatever domains it prefers. The report was created by five ICANN staff members and eight outside advisors.

"We followed the board's instructions in reviewing these proposals, but they have the ultimate authority to take action on this," ICANN president Mike Roberts says.

At Least Four New Top-Level Domains to be Chosen Next Week

ICANN's board is expected to choose between four and 12 new top-level domains next week, with names under these domains becoming available in the second quarter of 2001.

ICANN observers criticized the report for failing to clarify the technical and financial criteria used to whittle down the proposals.

"ICANN does not give a standard to which technical applications should rise, yet they are shooting certain applications down for being without technical merit," says Mikki Barry, president of the Domain Name Rights Coalition.

"ICANN is supposed to be focusing on the technical issues of the Internet, not reviewing business models," Barry adds. "ICANN has proven that it can't keep its own finances in line. How can they tell another company that their funding is inadequate?"

$50,000 Application Fee

In early October 2000, ICANN received 44 valid proposals from companies and consortia seeking to become registries of new top-level domains. Each proposal was accompanied by a US$50,000 application fee. Many of the proposals offered multiple top-level domains, resulting in a pool of 191 options from which ICANN can choose.

ICANN's staff reviewed the technical, business and financial strength of the proposals, and the results of that review were posted on its Web site early Friday morning, November 10th.

For general-purpose domains, ICANN narrowed the 14 proposals down to seven finalists, all proposing .web and .biz. The two strongest proposals appear to be from: Afilias, a consortium of 19 domain name registrars including VeriSign's Network Solutions subsidiary; and KDD Internet Solutions, a Japanese telecom company that is teamed with Network Solutions. Network Solutions long held a monopoly for domain name registrations and currently is the sole registry for names in the .com, .net and .org domains and the number one registrar for names in these domains.

The heaviest competition is in the area of personal domains, where four proposals including .nom, .per, .i and .name are still pending.

For restricted domains, the three leading proposals are .co-op for cooperatives, .union for unions and .air for air transport companies.

The only domain offering a new Internet service that is still being considered is .geo, which would provide a home for geo-referenced information.

Critics like Barry are concerned that ICANN hasn't allowed enough time for people to review its 100-plus pages of findings prior to next week's vote.

Recently Elected At-Large Board Members Denied Vote

"ICANN should have given people at least 90 days to review this report," she says. Barry also objects to a recent revelation that ICANN will not allow its recently elected at-large board members to vote on the new top-level domains. Instead, the decision will be made by its current board of directors, including appointed chair Esther Dyson.

In other domain name news, several of the world's large domain name registrars this week began selling multilingual domain names, despite a recommendation from the Internet Society that this initiative be delayed because it will harm the stability of the Internet's DNS (domain name system).

VeriSign Global Registry Services now accepts domain names in Chinese, Japanese and Korean for the .com, .net and .org domains. VeriSign's Network Solutions subsidiary is among 22 registrars selling the names. Buyers are expected to be multinational corporations looking to retain their company and product names in Asian languages.

VeriSign officials moved forward with the multilingual test bed despite concerns from the Internet Society, which oversees the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Architecture Board. The Internet Society asked that the multilingual test bed be delayed until the Internet Engineering Task Force can develop a proposed standard for internationalized domain names.

Network World Fusion News

ICANN — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

ICANN Report on New TLD Applications, released 9 November 2000

ICANN Rules for Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy

ITU — The International Telecommunication Union, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international organization within which governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services. The ITU is the leading publisher of telecommunication technology, regulatory and standards information...

Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union

VeriSign Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), headquartered in Mountain View, California, is a leading provider of Internet trust services — including authentication, validation and payment — needed by Web sites, enterprises, and e-commerce service providers to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks...

Canadian company unlikely to get domains for kids, sex

11 November 2000

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is to open new lanes on the information highway next week, but it seems doubtful that a Toronto company will get a chance to build and operate one of those lanes.

ICANN, a not-for-profit organization based in Los Angeles, is to make some initial decisions by Thursday, November 16th, about new top-level domains, adding to the current crop, which includes .com, .net., and .org. It spent the last several weeks considering applications from more than 40 organizations around the world to set up and run new top-level domains. The market for top-level domains is estimated to be worth as much as US$5,000,000,000 a year.

ICM Registry Inc. of Toronto had applied to ICANN to set up and run two new domains: .kids and .xxx. The .kids domain would be restricted to child-friendly or family content, while the .xxx would be restricted to erotic sexual content.

But a report prepared for ICANN's board of directors recommended against the creation of the .kids and .xxx domains by either ICM or any of the three other firms that wanted to run such a domain. The report, released yesterday, said the applicants failed to provide adequate technical or business measures to promote child-friendly content. As for .xxx, ICANN said there seemed to be few benefits to having such a domain, particularly in light of its controversial nature.

"There appears to be a clear bias and unwillingness by ICANN to address the most significant concern on the Internet today: the safeguarding of children against harmful content," Jason Hendeles, president of ICM, told Interactive Week.

ICANN is responsible for co-ordinating some fundamental Internet operations, such as the system for finding and identifying Web sites.

[The National Post, 11 November 2000]

ICANN — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Interactive Week

ICANN Report Recommends Against Special Kids and Adults Domains

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