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

Chapter 75
2001 January 1-21

2001 January 1


First Day of the
New Millennium

2001 January 1

Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company
Goes Out of Business

After 90 Years as Nova Scotia's Biggest Telephone Company

Aliant Bondholders Approve Amalgamation of Subsidiaries

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, Dec. 22 — At meetings held in Toronto on December 15, 2000, the bondholders of NewTel Communications Inc., Island Telecom Inc. and Maritime Tel & Tel Ltd. approved changes to their trust indentures which will allow for the amalgamation of Aliant Telecom Inc. with certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries including those three companies and NBTel Inc.

Amalgamation Effective 1 January 2001

Under the amalgamation, these subsidiaries will legally begin to operate under the Aliant Telecom name. Aliant Telecom will continue to use existing brand names — MTT, NB Tel, Island Tel and NewTel in their respective provincial markets. The reorganization will be completed on January 1, 2001.

The rationale for the amalgamation is to align the legal structures of the telecom business of Aliant to reflect the actual operational practices, which have developed since the merger of the parent companies in June of 1999. Approval from the bondholders means Aliant can now proceed with the amalgamation which will streamline accounting, financial and cash management processes as well as tax, legal and regulatory filings.

Dominion Bond Rating Service has confirmed that Aliant Telecom will now have an "A" rating on all of its secured and unsecured debt. The recently merged Standard & Poor's and Canadian Bond Rating Service have confirmed that Aliant Telecom will now have an "A" rating on its unsecured debt. The secured debt of the former Maritime Tel & Tel Ltd. will be rated "AA-"; and the secured debt of the former NewTel Communications Inc. and Island Telecom Inc. will be rated "A+".

Aliant Inc. press release, 22 December 2000

Aliant Board Approves Amalgamation

6 November 1999

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, Nov. 6 — Aliant Telecom Inc.'s Board of Directors has approved an amalgamation with certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries including NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc., Island Telecom Inc. and Maritime Tel & Tel Ltd. pursuant to provisions of the Canada Business Corporations Act. The reorganization will be completed on January 1, 2001, subject to the approval of certain bondholders for some of the individual subsidiaries. Meetings with bondholders will be held in Toronto in December.

The rationale for the proposed amalgamation is to align the legal structures of the telecom business of Aliant to reflect the actual operational practices, which have existed since the merger of the parent companies in June of 1999. If approved, this amalgamation will streamline accounting, financial and cash management processes as well as tax, legal and regulatory filings.

Provided bondholders approve, this amalgamation will mean these subsidiaries will legally begin to operate under the Aliant Telecom name. Aliant Telecom will continue to use existing brand names — MTT, NB Tel, Island Tel and NewTel — in their respective provincial markets.

Aliant Inc. press release, 6 November 2000

2001 January 1

Postage Goes Up to 47¢

On this day, the postage for a first-class letter increased by one cent to 47¢.

In recent times, the first-class letter rate within Canada has been:
• 43¢ beginning   1 Jan 1993   (49¢ to USA, then 50¢ in Dec. 1994)
• 45¢ beginning   1 Aug 1995   (52¢ to USA)
• 46¢ beginning   1 Jan 1999   (55¢ to USA)
• 47¢ beginning   1 Jan 2001   (60¢ to USA)
• 48¢ beginning 14 Jan 2002   (65¢ to USA)
• 49¢ beginning 12 Jan 2004   (80¢ to USA)
• 50¢ beginning 17 Jan 2005   (85¢ to USA)
• 51¢ beginning 16 Jan 2006   (89¢ to USA)

2001 January 1

Free Public Access to Electronic Journals

The Government of Canada is providing free access to the scientific and technical electronic journals published by the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information's NRC Research Press. As of January 1, 2001, these 14 journals are free to anyone with a Canadian IP (Internet Protocol) address. The journals can be accessed at

Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Published since 1929, this bimonthly journal explores every aspect of general biochemistry, and includes up-to-date coverage of experimental research into cellular and molecular biology, review articles on topics of current interest, and notes, contributed by recognized international experts. Special issues each year are dedicated to expanding new areas of research in biochemistry and cell biology. Papers are published electronically within 6 weeks of acceptance...

Canadian Geotechnical Journal

Published since 1963, this bimonthly journal is one of three leading geotechnical publications with an international authorship and circulation. Topics include foundations, excavations, soil properties, dams, embankments, slopes, new developments in geohydrology, rock engineering, geochemistry, waste management and contaminant transport, frozen soil, ice and snow, offshore soils, and geostatistics...

Canadian Journal of Botany

Published since 1929, this monthly journal ranks high amongst the world's most respected botanical publications. It publishes comprehensive research by internationally recognized botanists in all segments of plant science, including cell and molecular biology, ecology, mycology and plant pathology, phycology, physiology and biochemistry, structure and development, systematics, phytogeography, and paleobotany...

Canadian Journal of Chemistry

Published since 1929, this monthly journal publishes outstanding research articles and comprehensive reviews by international contributors in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical-theoretical chemistry. Articles on electrochemistry, surface chemistry, theoretical chemistry, bio-synthesis, physical organic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and nuclear magnetic resonance also appear. Review articles are contributed, from time to time, by recognized scientists from around the world...

Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering

Published since 1973, this bimonthly journal is the official publication of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. It has attracted an international subscribership from over 48 countries because it publishes articles in the engineering fields of structure, construction, mechanics, materials, transportation, computer applications, hydrotechnical and environmental engineering...

Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences

Published since 1963, this monthly journal is one of the most respected earth science publications in the world. It is recognized for its wide-ranging coverage of research in geophysics, economic geology, paleontology, biostratigraphy, Quaternary geoscience, structural geology, tectonics, sedimentology, mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, stratigraphy, and glacial geology...

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. The Journal has been ranked by ISI as one of the top three journals in its field for the past decade. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems, to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science...

Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Published since 1971, this monthly journal has been ranked by ISI as one of the top forest science research journals in the past decade. The Journal features articles, over 65% by international scientists, in silviculture, forest mensuration, harvesting, vegetation management, tree physiology, ecophysiology, dendrochronology, forest ecology, forest fire ecology, forest soil biology, biotechnology, forest genetics, tree improvement, forest entomology and pathology, pollution effects, global change impacts, forest practices effects on biodiversity and sustainability, and forest economics...

Canadian Journal of Microbiology

Published since 1954, this monthly journal publishes contributions by recognized scientists world-wide and has an international readership in more than 58 countries. Journal topics include applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism, and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology...

Canadian Journal of Physics

Published since 1929, this monthly journal publishes research and review articles, rapid communications, and thematic issues on atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter, elementary particles and nuclear physics, gases, fluid dynamics and plasmas, electromagnetism and optics, mathematical physics, and interdisciplinary, classical and applied physics, and physics education...

Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology

Published since 1929, this monthly journal is a leading international research publication that reports current research in all aspects of physiology, nutrition, pharmacology and toxicology, contributed by recognized experts and scientists with special areas of expertise. It publishes symposium reviews and award lectures, and on occasion dedicates entire issues to subjects of special interest...

Canadian Journal of Zoology

Published since 1929, this monthly journal is Canada's best known publication in the broad field of zoology. It has achieved international prominence due to contributions by respected scientists in the areas of behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution...

Environmental Reviews

Published since 1993, this quarterly journal presents authoritative reviews on a wide range of environmental science topics, with emphasis on the effects on and response of both natural and man-made ecosystems to anthropogenic stress. Specific topics include climatic change, harvesting impacts, air pollution, ozone, acid rain, pesticide use, lake acidification, marine pollution, ecology of oil spills, biological control, food chain biomagnification, rehabilitation of polluted aquatic systems, erosion, agroforestry, and bio-indicators of environmental stress...


Published since 1957, this is an international cytogenetics bimonthly journal which publishes reports in the fields of population, evolutionary and developmental genetics, mutagenesis, genetics and cytogenetics of animals, plants and fungi. Reports are based on the most advanced techniques available. Associate editors in Australia, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, U.K., and U.S.A. receive and handle manuscripts directly facilitating the rapid processing of papers...

2001 January 3

Memories of 1970s Television

Bangor Offered Folksy Glimpse of U.S. Glamour
for Nova Scotia TV Viewers

Goofy small-station personalities big hits
in 1970s, '80s Atlantic Canada

If the name Eddy Driscoll doesn't ring a bell, maybe this will: One ringy-dingy. Two ringy-dingies.

Anyone who watched cable TV in Atlantic Canada in the 1970s and '80s might recall the New England-accented Driscoll dressed as a robot, a cowboy or even a woman, handing out paltry amounts of cash over the phone during breaks in the afternoon Great Money Movie.

Community groups in places called Brewer and Dover-Foxcroft could submit public service announcements and Driscoll promised "We'll put 'em on foh yah."

Driscoll was an on-air personality with WLBZ-TV in Bangor, Maine, and an unwitting influence on millions of Canadians.

While the world was under the spell of Hollywood, Atlantic Canada was taking its cultural cues from Bangor.

Only Five TV Channels Available

The only cable package available at the time brought the total number of English-language stations on the tube to five. All three imports were broadcast out of Bangor, a distant city of fewer than 35,000.

"Cable was new, and it was the first real view we had into the United States," says Brian White, 34, who watched his share of Maine TV as a kid. "I wouldn't say it was the big city, but it was America."

The characters seem absurd in hindsight, Dalhousie University history professor Michael Cross says, but Bangor TV would have made sense to Nova Scotians at the time.

In the 1970s, our province's biggest cultural exports were Hank Snow and Carroll Baker, and Don Messer's Jubilee had only recently gone off the air. Halifax was smaller and quieter than it is today, and Bangor offered down-home familiarity with a taste of U.S. glamour.

Cross recalls that when his son was seven or eight, he asked to go on a road trip to the capital of TV-land. "He was crushingly disappointed when we got there," Cross says. "He expected it to be much bigger, much more happening there."

Pilgrimages south across the bumpy Airline Route from Calais (pronounced callous), Maine to Bangor became common when the TV audience was saturated with U.S. commercials. Cross recalls that bus tours embarked for monster bingo games, and it seemed everyone went there on shopping excursions.

Ultra low-budget variety show

The traffic went both ways. Driscoll took a publicity tour of New Brunswick and Dick Stacey of the ultra low-budget variety show Stacey's Country Jamboree travelled to Nova Scotia on a talent search.

The tie was severed in 1990 when Atlantic cable companies switched to feeds from Detroit. After complaints mounted that Detroit news was too violent, the companies switched again, but chose Boston over Bangor. "We've outgrown Bangor, but we're not yet in Detroit," Cross says.

[The Halifax Daily News, 3 January 2001]

Nova Scotian Exodus Spelled End
for Stacey's Country Jamboree

Brian White remembers that when he was allowed to stay up late on the weekend, it was more often to watch Stacey's Country Jamboree than to see the John Belushi-era Saturday Night Live. It wasn't that his family was into country music; Stacey just offered more laughs.

Dick Stacey was a Bangor, Maine, showman and businessman who hosted what must have been one of the most entertaining variety shows in the history of television.

"Saturday Night Live was trying to invent characters like this," White says. "These were real people, but they were characters who couldn't be manufactured."

Guests of uneven talent would sing, pluck and yodel on Stacey's spartan stage. White remembers the big celebrity seemed to be an elderly woman named Jenny who sang On The Wings of a Snow White Dove every week. There was one time when Stacey and a friend listened to a record player on air.

The host would also use the show to promote his motel and fuel mart, which featured full service. "See these hands? These hands smell like gas," Stacey would say, holding up his stinky paws.

Atlantic Canada cable companies
switched to Detroit stations in 1990

WVII-TV promotions manager Jean Hardin said Stacey's show didn't survive the loss when Atlantic Canada cable television operators switched to Detroit stations in 1990. Canadian viewers made up the backbone of Stacey's audience toward the end of his run.

Hardin said there was a reunion show in the early 1990s, but the station has lost contact with Stacey, who sold his hotel and gas station and rolled out of town like a tumbleweed.

Eddy Driscoll, the personality from rival WLBZ-TV, is living in southern Maine but is in poor health, says long-time colleague Paul Salisbury.

Driscoll was a joker with vaudeville sensibilities, says Salisbury, now the station's senior news photographer. Driscoll would try to make the crew laugh with off-colour jokes, while they would try to knock him off balance. Once they started to dismantle his set on live TV. "He was a great, great person to work with," Salisbury said. "He was crazy. He would go along with anything."

Dalhousie University professor Michael Cross said the characters on Maine TV must have had an influence on viewers here. "It's bound to affect people. But most of us have had so many waves of other cultural forms splash over us since that, it's pretty hard to get a sense of what the lingering impact is."

[The Halifax Daily News, 3 January 2001]

Stacey's Country Jamboree

By Terry Hussey

"There were no rehearsals, and auditions were unheard of. The only thing you had to be to be on Stacey's Country Jamboree was to be sincere and sober," said Charlie Tenan to the Milbridge historians, talking about the popular local TV talent show from the 1970s.

The real origin of the Country Jamboree was in Milbridge, Maine, when local merchant Bob Whitten initiated the show in the late 1950s. Whitten was the owner of a Ben Franklin store on Main Street, where the Milbridge Market is today. According to Tenan, Whitten had a falling out with the Franklin chain and changed the name of his store to Frankenstein's. It was Whitten's Frankenstein Store that sponsored the Country Jamboree.

$75 for two hours of air time

"Bob bought two hours of air time [on TV channel 7 in Bangor] for $75," said Tenan. Then he invited his friend Tenan to MC the show. "What would I do?" asked Tenan.

"I don't care what you do," said Whitten. "Just have a good time." And thus began Tenan's 30 year career as host of the show. Others took over occasionally for short periods, but the show was largely Tenan's.

The format was relaxed and unrehearsed. Anyone who played a guitar or sang could come to the studio and perform on the air. "We were just doing what a lot of people were doing in their own homes," said Tenan. "People loved it."

"It was all done live, and sometimes we made mistakes, but people loved us anyway. Made us more human. Most of the people were pretty good at what they did, but a few were 'less than talented,' " according to Tenan. But that was OK too. The show aired late at night, every Saturday night, and became a local legend Downeast.

Tenan's job was to keep the show moving at a good pace, and to make everyone feel comfortable. He had to keep talking to smooth out the rough places. He had to be able to think fast, respond to any possible situation, and never lose his cool. "We couldn't prepare," said Tenan. "We never knew who was coming."

"Performers would walk in the studio and feel like they knew everybody up front. They felt like we should know them, because they knew us," he said.

"A lot of people don't know about all the other things Bob Whitten did," said Tenan. Whitten was also the owner of Minot Film Exchange, the largest provider of education films in the United States at that time. You would be amazed at the number of films he mailed around the country."

Tenan said that Whitten owned the original film copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin and Leave Her to Heaven. Whitten and Charlie Smith would take his films all over eastern Maine, showing them in town halls and theaters. They used carbon arc projectors to show the films.

Tenan said that Whitten told him that "One night the film we were showing was terrible. We weren't very proud of it. When we put the last reel on the projectors, we showed the janitor how to turn it off, grabbed the cash box and ran out the door."

Whitten showed films in Milbridge at the old roller rink, which was then located where the municipal safety complex is today. Later he converted it to the opera house. And he held dances at the rink. Most of the old timers in the room had fond memories of attending those dances.

"Each time a new station manager came into WAII, the first thing they would say was that they were going to cancel the Jamboree. And then he would take a look at the Nielsen ratings. We could outrank the big network late shows every time, so they left us alone," said Tenan.

Sponsored by Frankenstein

The show went on, sponsored by Frankenstein's, until Whitten's death. "Then the station tried to get me to get new sponsors, but I wasn't much of a salesman," said Tenan. The station kept enough sponsors to keep us on the air until one night in 1973 when Dick Stacey entered the picture. Stacey owned three gas stations. He said he would take the show for a 13 weeks trial period, and he kept it for ten years and 13 weeks," said Tenan.

Tenan said the show aired from a very small studio on the Farm Road in Bangor, a room not much larger than the Historical Society's meeting room. "And every week there were 100 or more people in the room, two cameras, and a band. I'd look out in the parking lot, and it would be full of $90,000 Winnebagos, people who drove a long way to see the show."

Stacey was often a performer on the show, but the host was still Tenan. "If you'd hear me sing, you'd know why I pump gas for a living," said Stacey. Stacey did most of the commercials too, a feature many listeners enjoyed almost as much as they did the music. Many of the same regular performers came back week after week, but Tenan was the only paid performer.

"We were like a big old family," said Tenan. "We really cared about each other."

Stacey put the show on cable, and we watched as it moved down the coast, through the Canadian Maritimes. "We started getting mail from New Brunswick, then Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and even Newfoundland. They knew us in every little town, all along the line. We had letters from all over."

All the way to Nova Scotia

"A couple of times we took the show on the road, all the way down to Nova Scotia. We filled a 2,000-seat auditorium in Dartmouth and played for a full house two nights in Saint John.

Faithful listeners soon got to know regulars like Wanda Harris, who went on to be the top female vocalist in Florida, and Perley Curtis, who today plays for Loretta Lynn. Jeff Simon started on the show when he was about 11 or 12 years old. He has his own band today. Donnie and Dwayne Nickerson started on the show, and today are touring with their own band.

On the Wings of a Snow White Dove

"Everybody remembers Jennie Shontell from Bucksport," said Tenan. Her trademark was her song, On the Wings of a Snow White Dove, one of her repertoire of about five songs that she could sing, according to Tenan.

Tenan showed the historians a film of the show, put together by Alan Grover of Channel Five News. It was made from the original show masters, and showed clips of many of the old stars.

Ended in 1983

"Of course as our ratings went up, the price for advertising went up too. Soon it was $70,000 for what Whitten had paid $75. The end finally came in 1983 when the production of the show was getting just too costly, and advertising was just too hard to come by," said Tenan.

"The group had a reunion in 1990 at Jordan's Snack Bar in Ellsworth, and it was wonderful," he said. "We were just like a family, and it was great to be together again."

Morrill Worcester tried to revive the show on cable a few years ago. He could send it from Maine to Alaska by satellite. "It worked for a while," Tenan said, "and we were still getting 35-40 phone calls every night we were on the air. There's still plenty of people who enjoy this kind of show."

"I did it for 30 years, and I loved it," said Tenan. "If my health allowed, I'd do it again tomorrow." Tenan is hoping to get a reunion group together next summer.

Milbridge, Maine, Historical Museum website

Dick Stacey pumped the gas himself

...Remember Dick Stacey from Maine, who proudly announced that Canadian money was accepted at par and that he pumped the gas himself at his establishment...

2001 January 8

Nova Scotia Learning Interchange Up and Running

Apple Computer is providing the engine, the storage
and the technical support at no cost to Nova Scotia

The only site outside of the USA


As part of their response to the Information Economy Initiative tendering process, corporations were asked to provide, not just the tendered equipment, software and services, but "Value Added Products". Apple Computer Inc. offered Nova Scotia an internet-based resource for teachers that would provide a collection of educational resources, lessons, timely information and a collaborative space.

The Nova Scotia Learning Interchange (NSLI), a clone of the successful Apple Learning Interchange, was donated to Mount Saint Vincent University's Department of Education with the mandate to get the service "up and running" to support educators across Nova Scotia. The NSLI is one of seven Apple Learning Interchange affiliate sites in operation, and the only site outside of the USA.

Early in the process of establishing the Nova Scotia Learning Interchange, Mount Saint Vincent — located in Rockingham, a Halifax suburb — invited the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the Learning Resources and Technology division of the NS Department of Education to collaborate on the design, management, resource development and usage of the site. This collaboration has resulted in the "birth of the NSLI" on January 8th, 2001. It is up and running at http://ali.apple.com/nsli.

The ALI site already contains over 30 000 resources which have been created and vetted by educators. Rather than having to start from scratch, the NSLI is able to draw on this large resource base from the beginning.

Nova Scotia's history and geography...

The challenge for NSLI is to begin to reflect our communities, our history and geography, our philosophies and culture.

It has become very obvious through the IEI project that Nova Scotia educators have talents and perspectives on the use of information technology that they can and should share with each other. The NSLI is a well designed structure to allow teachers from across Nova Scotia to share internet-based resources with each other. The NSLI is completely under the control, direction and ownership of Nova Scotia. Apple Computer is providing the engine, the storage and the technical support at no cost to Nova Scotia.

It works, it looks good, and it is ready to receive as much Nova Scotia content as we have time and talent to create.   — Nancy MacDonald

the Nova Scotia Learning Interchange website

Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:32:47 -0400
From: "Nancy MacDonald" <MACDONNC@gov.ns.ca>
To: <lrt-update@ednet.ns.ca>, <rbts@ednet.ns.ca>
Subject: NS Learning Interchange is Born!

2001 January 10

St. Mary's Website Up and Running


SHERBROOKE — St. Mary's Municipality has its own presence on the Internet. Over the Christmas holidays Spanish Ship Bay resident Adam Baker and district one councillor Robert Jordan-Robichaud developed the website. Baker spent five weeks last summer developing a website for Historic Sherbrooke Village. "We tried to include everybody," says Jordan-Robichaud. "If we missed somebody they should contact the municipal office and we'll get them when we update the site." Jordan-Robichaud says the site opens with testimonials from people describing what a great place to live the municipality is. It also includes a slide show of the region, a section on area health care resources plus a list of businesses and volunteer organizations in the area. Last month council approved $250 for the project which included the domain name registration fee and design costs, and covered the Internet connection charge until April. Jordan-Robichaud said the project came in under budget.
[The Guysborough Journal, 10 January 2001]

St. Mary's Municipality website

Lighthouse Interpretive Centre

Historic Sherbrooke Village Development Society

Greenfield/Melrose Community Access Project

St. Mary's District Community Access Project

Sherbrooke Show and Shine

Newtown - Denver Women's Institute

Sherbrooke Library

St. Mary's River Association, Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke Old Fashioned Christmas

Sherbrooke Village Inn and Restaurant, Sherbrooke

St. Mary's River Smokehouses, Sherbrooke

St. Mary's River Lodge, Sherbrooke

Sawmill Landing, Sherbrooke Waterfront Development, Inc.

2001 January 17

CanWest Global Communications Corporation
Wants to Shorten Name

Canada's largest media company wants to change its name from CanWest Global Communications to CanWest Communications, but will continue to use Global to promote its television network in Canada. Shareholders will vote on the name change at CanWest's annual meeting next month in Ottawa, during which time they will also vote on electing Hollinger Inc. chairman Conrad Black and Hollinger president David Radler to the board. "The purpose of the change is to promote brand distinction between the company's corporate and operational functions," said a management proxy circular mailed to shareholders yesterday. CanWest became the country's largest media company on November 15, 2000, with the closing of a $3,200,000,000 deal which included most of the Hollinger newspaper chain — including four daily newspapers in Nova Scotia: the Halifax Daily News, the Cape Breton Post, the Truro Daily News, and the New Glasgow Evening News — and a 50 per cent interest in the National Post.
[The Halifax Daily News, 17 January 2001]

SEDAR's corporate profile of
CanWest Global Communications Corporation

CanWest Ink-on-Paper Publications in Nova Scotia

CanWest Global Communications Corporation website

  • CanWest Global Communications Corporation's directors are:
  • Israel Harold Asper, Executive Chairman
  • David A. Asper
  • Gail S. Asper, Secretary
  • Leonard J. Asper, President and CEO
  • Lloyd I. Barber
  • Jalynn H. Bennett
  • Conrad Moffat Black
  • Frank J. McKenna
  • F. David Radler
  • Peter D. Viner, Vice Chairman
  • Sheelagh D. Whittaker
    Source: CanWest Global Communications Corporation: Notice of Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders, 7 December 2000

    Mr. Leonard Asper currently (January 2000) serves on the boards of CanWest Global Communications Corp. and principal subsidiaries; CanWest Broadcasting Limited; The Asper Foundation, a private charitable foundation; Creswin Properties Inc.; Young Associates of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Management; the Strategic Development Board, University of Toronto Faculty of Law; Director and Sponsor, Rossbrook House Sunrise Foundation; Board of Governors, Banff Television Festival; The Asper Jewish Community Campus of Winnipeg; The Sharon Home, Business Council of Manitoba; The Winnipeg Football Club and The Canada West Foundation.

  • 2001 January 17

    Mint Tells Ottawa to Keep the Penny
    Put $5 Coin on Hold

    OTTAWA (Southam) — The penny has won a reprieve. And Canadians won't be fishing a $5 coin out of their pockets any time soon. The Royal Canadian Mint has advised the federal government to keep the lowly one-cent coin — at least for now — based on the findings of an Ottawa consulting firm.

    The report by Sussex Circle on possible coin changes says the penny should not be eliminated "as there is no compelling case to do so at the present time." The consultants also found no pressing need for a $5 coin, but say its introduction will be "progressively more likely" if inflation keeps climbing. The mint released a copy of the September 2000 report yesterday in response to a request from Southam News. The report's recommendations formed the basis of advice to the government last fall, said mint spokesman Pierre Morin.

    Many people consider pennies a nuisance, hoarded in jars and boxes in countless closets and drawers. Some have called for Canada to follow the lead of countries such as Australia and New Zealand and get rid of the one-cent coin.

    A 1997 poll suggested 34 per cent of Canadians would see the penny's disappearance as good news, while 40 per cent didn't seem to care one way or the other and just 26 per cent felt it would be bad news. But the report notes that since the mint produces more than 700 million one-cent coins annually, "there is clearly a demand the public for them."

    One-cent pieces used to cost more than a penny to make, but the production price has dropped to 0.9 of a cent since the mint switched to copper-plated zinc from solid copper. The report uncovers no evidence to suggest rounding prices because of the penny's demise would fuel inflation. But it stresses the importance of public perception in deciding the coin's fate. "Experience in other countries suggests the public can be very skeptical about possible price increases and other inequities, real or imagined," says the report.

    Many countries have already introduced a coin with a value of close to $5 or more. But the report identifies potential stumbling blocks to such a move in Canada: [The Halifax Daily News, 17 January 2001]

    2001 January 17

    Redesigned $10 Bank Note Launched

    OTTAWA, January 17th — The Bank of Canada launched the first in a new series of bank notes today. The new note contains many new sophisticated security features designed to thwart counterfeiters. Since the current note series was introduced in 1986, significant technological advances in bank note production have made it possible to incorporate better security features into paper currency. This comes at a time when affordable high-resolution colour copiers, inkjet printers, and computer scanners have increased the potential for counterfeiting.

    A major enhancement to the new series is the addition of a durable tactile feature that will greatly improve the ability of the blind and vision-impaired to recognize different denominations.

    The images on the backs of the notes are changing but the Queen and prime ministers who are featured on the front of the current notes will remain, with new portraits. The notes will be the same size, and the existing dominant colours on each denomination will be maintained.

    The new $5 note will be issued later in 2001, and the remaining new notes ($20, $50, and $100) will be introduced over the next two to three years. The current notes will remain legal tender even after the new notes are introduced.

    Bank of Canada press release, 17 January 2001

    2001 January 18

    1960s Technological Mistake
    Evicts Hundreds in 2001

    Hundreds in Shock, Scramble for Shelter in Mid-Winter

    Almost 400 told free hotel stay over
    apartments closed for three months

    More than 350 residents of a fire-damaged apartment highrise awoke on Thursday, January 18th to learn they are homeless.  Inspectors assessing Armdale Place Apartments in Cowie Hill, a Halifax suburb, following Tuesday night's electrical fire discovered the building has aluminum wiring, which was outlawed in the 1970s.

    Tenants can't return to the 36 Abbey Road building until the aluminum wiring — considered a fire hazard — is replaced.  That could take three months or longer.

    The news went from bad to worse for the 370 tenants as they learned their free stay at Keddy's Halifax Hotel, courtesy of the building's owner, was over.

    Most of the displaced spent their afternoon waiting in long line-ups at the Chocolate Lake Community Centre to register with public housing and to tell Red Cross volunteers their needs.

    Tempers blew and tears fells as property manager Kurt Nordqvist failed to give the crowd answers to their questions.

    Who would pay for the thawed food in their freezers?  Who would cover their moving costs?  Where were they supposed to go with little kids and pets until they find a new place?

    "I can't answer any questions about the building, because we don't know," Nordqvist said, while the crowd peppered him with questions and accusations.  He could only assure them they would receive their damage deposit along with the balance of January's rent, and that their possessions would be secure, should they choose to leave them in the building.  "You have your health, you have your clothing for the day, and all belongings are in the building," Nordqvist said.

    Last night, about 15 people who didn't have anywhere else to stay bunked down on cots at the recreation centre.

    "We feel like homeless people," complained Morad Alkhasawneh, 16.  He, his mother Hanan Alkarmi and nine-year-old sister Haneen arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  "Our lives are upside down," said Hanan, who worked at the daycare located inside Armdale Place.  "I lost my job and I lost my home.  I never dreamed I would be in a situation like this."

    Tracy Oldham filled out public housing applications while her four-month-old baby girl slept in her carrier and her boys raced around the recreation centre.  "They're trying to get us out of the hotel tonight, but that's pretty hard for them to do because we've got no place to go," Oldham said.

    Tara Armstrong just recently moved to Halifax from Ontario with her husband, a dog and two cats.  She said they have no one to stay with while looking for an apartment that will allow pets.

    [The Halifax Daily News, 19 January 2001]

    55 times more likely to be a fire hazard

    Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, is a potential fire hazard.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard.  CPSC research shows that homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach Fire Hazard Conditions than are homes wired with copper.
    Aluminum Wiring in Residential Properties: Hazards and Remedies

    Many Thousands of Canadian Homes with Aluminum Wiring

    The Facts About Aluminum Wiring In The Home
    It is estimated that there are over 450,000 homes in Canada that are wired with aluminum wiring.  How do you find out what type of wiring has been installed in your home?  Well, if you weren't told when the sale was made, you can probably check the wiring yourself.  This can usually be done by looking at the electrical wiring, either between the open floor joists, in the basement, up in the attic, or at the service panel.  If the wiring is aluminum and was manufactured before May 1977, the outer covering of the cable will be marked, at least every 12 inches, with the word ALUMINUM, or an abbreviation, ALUM, or AL.  If the cable was manufactured after May 1977, the marking may be either ALUMINUM ACM, ALUM ACM, or AL ACM...

    Very High Probability Of Overheating

    ...Aluminum-wired connections in homes have been found to have a very high probability of overheating compared with copper-wired connections.  The aluminum-wired connections that fail tend to progressively deteriorate at a slow rate, and after many years can reach very high temperature while still remaining electrically functional in the circuits.  A large number of connection burnouts have occurred in aluminum-wired homes.  Many fires have resulted, some involving injury and death...
    Reducing the Fire Hazard in Aluminum-Wired Homes
    Written By: Jesse Aronstein, Ph.D., P.E.
    January 25, 1982 — Revised May 10, 1996
    This report was originally prepared for: Electrical Safety Conference — Electrical Fires, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Madison, Wisconsin, April 14, 1982

    1965 to 1973 the most dangerous years

    Homes or apartments built, or rooms added, or circuits rewired or added between 1965 and 1973 may contain aluminum wiring.  Don't assume that there's no aluminum wire if your house was not built during these years.  Circuits may have been added, extended, or modified using aluminum wiring.  Or an installer may have had leftover aluminum wire and used it after these dates.

    In the attic look at the wire gauge or "size."  Look for #12-gauge wires in the attic or other places where wiring is readily available.  The wire-gauge size is printed or embossed on the wire jacket.  If you see only #12 and no #14, look further.  Aluminum wire must be two wire gauge sizes larger for a given circuit than if copper was used.  So while #14 copper wire is permitted on a 15-ampere electrical circuit, if aluminum wire was used for the same circuit it would have to be #12.  Similarly, a 20-ampere circuit uses #12 copper wire or #10 aluminum wire.  Common residential lighting and electrical-receptacle circuits are 15-ampere or possibly 20-ampere (e.g. in a kitchen).  So if you see only #12 or larger wires in the attic of your house look further to see if it's aluminum.  #12 does not guarantee it's aluminum, it's just more data to point in that direction.

    Recognizing Aluminum Electrical Wiring

    Aluminum Wiring References

    A Brief History of Aluminum Wiring
    A number of homes and apartment buildings that were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s were wired using #10 and #12 gauge aluminum branch circuit conductors. This aluminum wiring supplies power to switches, light fixtures and receptacle outlets. Since the mid-1970s the use of aluminum branch circuit wiring in gauges #10 and #12 has been prohibited (in the United States)...

    Homes built before 1965 are unlikely to have aluminum branch circuit wiring. Homes built, rooms added, and circuits rewired or added between 1965 and 1973 may contain aluminum wiring. In 1972, manufacturers modified both aluminum wire and switches and outlets to improve the performance of aluminum wired connections. Sale of the old style wire, switches and outlets still on dealer's shelves however, continued after 1972...

    Electrical fires and other electric system malfunctions involving buildings containing aluminum wiring began to occur at an increasing rate ... Further investigations indicated that the intrinsic physical characteristics of aluminum wire were the basic cause...

    Repairing Aluminum Wiring — U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

    Aluminum wiring

    Reducing the Risk of Aluminum Wiring Hazards
    The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company

    Aluminum Wiring

    Aluminum Branch Circuit Wiring

    Aluminum Wiring in Residential Properties — The Hazard

    Aluminum wiring: is it really a problem?

    Apartment Building Reopens

    17 February 2001

    Tenants are moving back into their apartments at 36 Abbey Road, a month after an electrical fire forced 370 tenants from their homes. Winston Rodrigues, head of the tenants committee, says about forty per cent of the tenants are moving back into their apartments over the weekend, 17-18 February. The rest have decided to live elsewhere, he said.
    [The Halifax Sunday Daily News, 18 February 2001]

    2001 January 19

    Thousands of Tonnes of Road Salt

    Kings County

    It involves thousands of tonnes of salt spread over more than 1500 kilomtres of roads and streets, but local snow removal and ice control efforts are bearing up under the pressure of this winter, in which we are seeing more snow than we have become accustomed to recently.

    Though major blizzards have not appeared here, there have been several bouts of aggravating snowfalls over the last few weeks. One such incident earlier this week brought 12 centimetres of snow on Monday, January 15th, with a further 3 cm the following day, according to the Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre in Kentville. As well, the snow is accumulating this year, not melting away between storms.

    Provincial Transportation Department area manager Bob Bieren said on January 16th that the salt usage is about 78 per cent more than the five-year average for the Kings County zone, but crews and equipment "are holding up very well." The Kings County region includes about 1500 km of road, served by 15 salt trucks and snowplows, and 4 sanders.

    So far this year, the Transportation department has used 9500 tonnes of salt on Kings County roads, at a cost of $33.25 a tonne. There's no difficulty getting as much salt as they want, other than the long lineups of trucks waiting to be loaded at the Canadian Salt Company Ltd. salt mine in Pugwash, Cumberland County. Bieren noted that the weather this season is not a small number of significant snowfalls, but "a little bit" today and a little bit tomorrow and so on, which drives up the amounts of salt needed and the accompanying costs.

    Kentville's engineering and works director Hal Henderson says that the town has spent about $75,000 of its $155,000 snow and ice control budget so far — about half. "Normally, we'd be at one-third of the budget at this time." The final tally depends on how the rest of the winter works out. The town of Kentville has about fifty kilometres of streets and roads. To control snow and ice on them, the town has a new loader/snowplow, two three-tonne snowplows and a one-tonne snowplow. Also there are two contracted snowplows available if needed.

    Wolfville crews maintain about thirty kilomteres of streets and roads. Wolfville's operational services director Gregg Morrison said that snow removal crews "have been quite busy over the last few weeks. We're doing a lot of work on snow removal." The town has a loader-snowplow and a salt-truck/snowplow as well as smaller equipment for sidewalks and parking lots. The town of Wolfville has used about 500 tonnes of road salt so far this season "which is around what we've expected

    [The Kentville Advertiser, 19 January 2001]

    2001 January 21

    Guysboro Railway Being Planned

    The District of Guysborough's regional development authority is hoping to bring rail service to the region with the construction of a 50-kilometre spur into the Goldboro industrial park.

    Authority spokesman Bill Connolly said the 700-acre park will eventually double in size as the demand for industrial space grows with the offshore oil and gas boom that has already made the eastern county the landing point of Sable Island natural gas.

    Since gas began coming ashore, he said, the authority has been approached by investors seeking to establish spin-off business in the liquid gas condensate and plastics industries, but their main concern has been the availability of rail transportation.

    Link to Truro-Sydney railway

    The municipality has already conducted a feasibility study for the spur, which would link the park with the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway's main line from Antigonish to Sydney. The junction would be at a point somewhere between Antigonish and the yard at Havre Boucher, possibly at Heatherton, Connolly said. Initial surveys show the area to be relatively free of expensive and heavy engineering such as bridges or tunnels, with only culverts being necessary, and few, if any, steep grades.

    The line will be built in anticipation of heavy traffic, with 115-pound rail capable of supporting 286,000-pound loads, far heavier than the CB&CNS has on its road bed. Connolly said the railway is already into a five-year upgrade program that will see its rail improved to those specifications. "We're not taking a Field of Dreams approach to this," Connolly said. "We're not working on the idea that if we build it, they will come. We have asked the interested investors what kind of traffic volumes they are anticipating, and we're evaluating whether that traffic will make the line a paying proposition."

    If the project proves feasible, the authority would negotiate with CN, the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway or both to build and operate the spur. Connolly said the plan is being planned in two phases, with the first phase to be completed by 2004, and the second by 2010.

    [The Halifax Sunday Daily News, 21 January 2001]

    Traditional railroad cars weight up to 263,000 pounds 119,000 kg and have 33 ton 30 tonne axle loads, compared to the new-generation 286,000 pound 129,000 kg cars with 36 ton 33 tonne axle loads. The 286,000 lb. heavy axle load car carries almost 10% more commodity than does the conventional 263,000 lb. car with only a minimum increase in the empty weight of the car. This results in an increase in the efficiency of rail freight movement due to an improvement in net/tare ratio, the ratio of a freight car's carrying capacity (net load) to its empty (tare) weight. If cars can be loaded more heavily without significantly increasing their tare weight, railroads stand to realize savings in:     http://www.house.gov/transportation/ground/07-25-00/zarembski.html

    Rail is identified by its weight per yard and its cross-sectional shape. The rail weight is referred to as its nominal weight per yard or metre, such as 115 pounds per yard 57 kg/m. Rail can be manufactured in many different lengths. In the United Satates (and in Canada) the standard manufacturing lengths for rail are 39 feet 11.9 m and 78 feet 23.8 m...

    Excellent description of the basic components used in building railway track     http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/fm/55-20/ch7.htm

    Railway Track & Structures
    Optimizing Wheel, Rail Profiles
    National Research Council of Canada's Center for Surface Transportation Technology
    The wheel/rail contact zone is a variable, changeable interface at which more than 60 variables, or parameters with complex interrelationships, are at work... On heavy-haul freight systems, a wheel may have a life of 150,000 miles — roughly 80 million revolutions. Rail with a 750-mgt (million gross tons) life endures about 40 million wheel contacts...

    Municipality Helps Fund Transportation Corridor Study

    Councillors for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough have agreed to increase the funding they will put into a transportation corridor study. A motion was passed which authorizes council to pay for up to 25 percent of the study to a maximum of $50,000. The study, which is being done by the Guysborough County Regional Development Authority, will look for a corridor to serve railway, highway, communication and utility purposes. Councillor Derek Hayne said the municipality is kicking in the money so the survey can be completed quickly. "We're looking at companies who specialize in this type of study," says Hayne. "They'll look at where the corridor should run to know how many spikes will be needed for the railway."

    The other 75 percent of the funding will come from a federal program. The study will cost $200,000. Hayne said the municipality is moving on the project because expected public-sector funding didn't materialize. "Once we have the study we can use it as part of the pitch for land sales in Goldboro."

    Warden Lloyd Hines added the municipality suffers from an absence of infrastructure and that it is in its best interest to make the investment. "When you look at the requirement to grow these things you have to have the infrastructure in roads and rail," said Hines. "We're taking a bold step in macroplanning — road, rail, utility, IT (Information Technology), pipeline easement — all into Goldboro. That doesn't exist now."

    The study contract hasn't been awarded yet but Hines says it has been narrowed down to a short list, all of which are international companies. He added he hopes it will be awarded by mid-February.

    [The Guysborough Journal, 17 January 2001]

    Guysborough County Regional Development Authority website

    Municipality of the District of Guysborough

    Rail Line Could Spur Development
    25 September 2001

    A railway spur line into Goldboro, Guysborough County, could prove to be a catalyst for new industry, says a Guysborough development officer. The Guysborough Regionel Development Agency will know within a few weeks the cost of a railway connecting Goldboro to the main line track of the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CB&CNSR).

    The design project is expected to be completed by an Ontario engineering firm by the end of this month and pricing will likely be ready in the first week of October, agency spokesman Bill Connolly said Monday (24 September).

    Mr. Connolly said the completion of a spur line would be very beneficial to the area. "It would be unbelievable, the opportunity," he said. "The more access to transportation infrastructure we can provide to investors, the more attractive Goldboro is going to be," The Agency is spearheading and managing the project. "We are looking at fairly intense investor interest in Goldboro and we are hoping for some cluster-based economic development taking place there," Mr. Connolly said.

    Goldboro is the landfall site for subsea natural gas pipelines and has been identified as a location for major projects such as the Neptune Project. That project proposes building an electric power generating plant at or near Goldboro to produce large quantities of electric power and transporting that power via an undersea cable to New England.

    Mr. Connolly said the railway spur would likely connect to the CB&CNS main line somewhere between Antigonish and the Strait of Canso. The spur would be about sixty kilometres long, and the cost of building it, including financing and environmental studies, could be in excess of $1,500,000 per mile about $1,000,000 per kilometre. "We have a couple of investors who have already talked to us about rail and we are working with a number of international investors," Mr. Connolly said. "We do have an investor, who will be public later this year, who is looking at both road and rail for transportation and also marine," he said. Other interests are talking about various transportation options based on the economics and which is most competitive, he said.

    Rail America, which owns the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, hasn't expressed any great interest in the project to this point, Mr. Connolly said, and there is some hope CN Rail might have some interest.

    There is no government money in the project but he said the various federal and provincial government departments would get copies of the finished design with costs included.

    [The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 25 September 2001]

    Rail America Inc. (Nasdaq: RAIL)

    Map of the Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia Railway
    (Note: The spelling error in the URL is in the original.)


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