History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation
Index with links to the other chapters
2001 February 1 1:00pm AST
Domain Names up for Grabs
Deadline has been extended twice
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) said on January 24th that more than 41,000 registered dot-ca domain names will be up for grabs on February 1st, a result of the failure of those who own the names to re-register them.
All owners of dot-ca domains were required to re-register them with CIRA accredited registrars as part of the process by which administration of the dot-ca domain was transferred from the University of British Columbia to the not-for-profit CIRA.
The UBC registry had more than 98,000 dot-ca domains registered when CIRA began the takeover process last year. Each registry record contains technical and administrative contacts for each domain. CIRA e-mailed those contacts several times last year, notifying the domain name holders they would be required to re-register their right to the domain.
Under the rules by which UBC operated the dot-ca domain, registration was free but there were specific rules about what kind of person or organization could register which names. There were also limits on the number of domain names an individual or organization could register.
With the transfer to CIRA, there are fewer restrictions on the ownership of dot-ca domain names and an annual fee will be charged for the rights to that domain.
CIRA has twice extended the deadline to have all 98,000 dot-ca domains re-registered. But the 41,000 domains that have not re-registered will go back into the pool of unregistered domains on February 1st where they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
[The National Post, 25 January 2001]
41,000 .ca Domain Names Still Not Re-Registered
Ottawa, January 24, 2001 — Approximately 41,000 .ca domain names registered in the University of British Columbia (UBC) Registry will become available for registration by another party at noon EST, February 1, 2001. These .ca domain names were reserved by the Canadian Registration Authority (CIRA), but have still not been re-registered.
When the transfer process for the .ca Registry began early this fall, more than 98,000 domain names were registered in the UBC Registry; the only way for registrants to maintain those domain names was to re-register them with CIRA. Failing to do so meant that the domain name would not be included in the new .ca Registry and that Internet users would not be able to send e-mail or visit a Web site through this domain name.
" CIRA reserved these names to give UBC registrants an opportunity to re-register their domain names in the CIRA Registry," says Maureen Cubberley, Chair, CIRA Board. " These 41,000 .ca domain names have been inactive since December 1, 2000. We suspect that most are not currently being used by the registrants. After February 1, 2001, those registrants who did not re-register their .ca domain names may find out the names have been registered by someone else."
Subject to CIRA's Registration Rules, most of these domain names will become available for registration by another party at noon, February 1, 2001, if they have not been re-registered. The original deadline for re-registration was November 1, 2000, but it was delayed to December 1, 2000, allowing more UBC registrants to re-register their domain names before the operational transfer date.
To re-register or register a domain name, applicants must request registration through a certified registrar.
The transfer of the .ca Registry to CIRA also opened up the rules for the registration of .ca domain names. Since November 8, 2000, when the new rules were implemented, more than 100,000 new .ca domain names have been registered.
" Obviously, the relaxation of the rules was long overdue, and Canadians are anxious to be recognized on the Web," said Maureen Cubberley. " We are very pleased with the number of new .ca registrations. In just two months, we've almost doubled our numbers and we expect this trend to continue."
CIRA is a not-for-profit organization mandated to operate the .ca top-level domain. It is responsible for setting policy, managing and operating the .ca domain database, and registering domain names through its network of certified Registrars. For information on CIRA and its policies, please visit www.cira.ca.
Source: CIRA news release, 24 January 2001
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) website
41,000 Domains Just Released by CIRA
Registration servers have been overloaded since
On February 1st at 12:00 noon EST (9:00am PST), 41,000 Canadian domains not transferred to CIRA were released to the general public for registration. This is an exciting opportunity to get some great domains that were previously reserved. These domains will be snapped up quickly so get yours now.
12:00 noon EST, 1 February 2001
Note that systems at CIRA have been in overload since 9am sharp (PST). If you tried to get through and were not able to access the site, please try again later. To view the list of 41,000 domains go to http://www.cira.ca/liste_dom.txt or http://cira2.cira.ca/liste_dom.txt...
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
CIRA's list of released domain names
Released Domain Names, dot-ns-dot-ca Only
Available, First-Come First-Served,
On February 1st at 12:00 noon EST, 41,000 domains not transferred to CIRA were released to the general public for registration. The list below contains the .ns.ca domains only (with two .ca domains that clearly are Nova Scotian). This list is accurate as of 4:00pm AST, 5 February — any domain names released by CIRA that were taken up during the 99 hours, between the release time and the time this list was made, do not appear here.
as of 4:00pm AST, 5 February 2001
Source: CIRA website
- fairleyandstevens.ca (not .ns.ca)
- halifaxrealestate.ca (not .ns.ca)
2001 February 1
Valley Farmers Selling on the Net
Annapolis Valley farmers' produce has hit the Internet and is now expanding its delivery services. An online farmers' market recently announced afternoon delivery service for its clients. The site was launched in December 2000 and has had a number of inquiries from people living in metro Halifax, said Geoffrey Hennigar, president of the Annapolis Valley Farmers Cooperative Limited, and co-owner of Blomidon Farms. The new e-business farm market is the first of its kind available on the Internet, according to a press release. Customers place orders on the website and couriers deliver produce to homes in metro Halifax each Thursday. Nine Valley farms are involved in the effort:
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 1 February 2001]
- Blomidon Farms Limited, Aylesford, Kings County
Blomidon Produce Limited, Centreville, Kings County
- Cosman and Whidden Honey Company, Greenwich, Kings County
- Delhaven Free Range Poultry Farm, Delhaven, Kings County
- Johnston's Cranberry Marsh
Bezanson and Chase Cranberry Company Limited, Aylesford, Kings County
- Kings Produce Limited, Canning, Kings County
- Longspell Point Farm, Kingsport, Kings County
- Noggins Corner Farm Market, Greenwich, Kings County
- Valley Mushroom Company, Waterville, Kings County
- Webster Farms, Cambridge, Kings County
All orders placed by Wednesday noon will be delivered by courier either Thursday afternoon between 12 noon and 4 pm, or Thursday evening between 5 and 9 pm, whichever you prefer...
2001 February 6
Auracom Tri-County Internet Services
Expands into Annapolis Valley
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 2001 17:00:08 -0400
My name is Jan Harris. My husband Jim and I have been operating the Auracom franchises in Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne for six years now.
From: Jan Harris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Welcome to our Auracom Family
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
We have just added the Annapolis Valley franchises to our family. Our company has a reputation for superb customer service. We will go that extra mile for you.
Auracom is now part of Ikano Canada which expands our reach through Canada and the US as well as Europe. Check on our home page:
and go to the 'dial-in locations' link on the left hand side.
We participate in our communities so please contact us about special events happening that we can post on the web site. We have a 'sign-up-a-friend' deal where for every friend you send to us at 1-877-642-0200, you get a free month.
We have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year tech support at 1-877-688-8126.
President, TriCo Technologies Inc.
Auracom Tri-County Internet Services (Ikano Canada)
Auracom Tri-County Internet Services
Ikano Communications Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah
History of Ikano Communications Inc.
October 30, 2000, The Salt Lake Tribune
Background on Ikano Communications Inc.
Ikano press release, October 16, 2000
IKANO's analog network has over 2,900 unique points-of-presence (POPs) covering 100% of the SMSAs (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas) in the United Sataes. Additionally, IKANO has POPs in Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Brazil.
ISP Planet — The Intelligence Center for the ISP Community
Internet News — ISP News
Yarmouth Internet Service Provider
Moves to New Location
12 December 2000
Auracom Tri-County Internet Services, owned by Jim and Jan Harris, has recently moved into new space at 91 Water Street in Yarmouth. The company provides Internet connections and related services to people in western Nova Scotia, from Annapolis Royal to Digby to Yarmouth to Shelburne and Lockeport. There are about 700 Auracom dial-in sites in North America at this time. Six other Auracom franchises are operated in Nova Scotia. Every three months Jan and Jim attend the Auracom franchise meeting in Halifax to learn about new updates and technology. Internet technology and services are continually evolving. Wireless technology is on the horizon now and the Harrises hopes to be able to offer this service in the near future.
Computers connected Jan and Jim in the beginning. Back in the 1980s, Jim owned one of the earliest personal computers — a Commodore PET. Using a terminal program, he developed a bulletin board accessible by modem dial-up. Jan visited the bulletin board using her cousin's Commodore 64. Jim has kept this service operating through all these years, now from a Commodore Amiga, and still receives calls every day. Jim asked Jan to computerize the accounting system for his mother's restaurant business at that time — Harris's Seafood — and Jan hasn't been away from a computer screen since. Her degree in journalism has served her well in her webmistress duties. She's designed more than fifty websites for various businesses over the last several years, including one for CJLS radio which she updates daily. "Web design is my creative outlet," she says. She recently published a website for a New York fashion designer. Businesses wanting to have their own domain name can get one through Auracom Tri-County Internet for $24.95 for annual registration. The company provides website hosting service at $24.99 a month for forty megabytes of space. Several non-profit organizations like Parent's Place, Child Intervention, and the Children's Wish Foundation are supplied with free accounts.
[The Yarmouth Vanguard, 12 December 2000]
Auracom Tri-County Internet Services website
2001 February 7
Snow Plows Working Long Hours
Basil Smith has worked with the provincial Department of Transportation in Sherbrooke, Guysborough County, as a winter dispatcher for 16 years. He says the cost of maintaining the highways this winter is much higher than other years. "We've had more snow this year than the past five years put together," he said. He adds that in modern times, many people expect the roads to be cleared immediately. "A lot of the public is spoiled. They want the roads totally clear. Years ago we had snow on the roads. We had oxen, horses, and bobsleighs."
He says he has gotten a lot of calls from the public. "People call in wondering when the roads will be plowed. I pacify them and try to cheer them up and tell them they can't all be done at the same time."
Smith said the cost of maintaining machinery, the frequency of storms and the increase in use of salt and plowing takes a toll on the system. "The government is trying to keep expenses down and maintain machinery. Trucks break down more often and the plows are running more often. It takes a toll all the way around. It's hard on the plow operators who work twelve-hour shifts. It's a hard grind out there. They're out in cold weather and blinding snowstorms. They're just men — people don't realize."
Carol Ann England is the dispatcher in Guysborough. She said the winter has been extremely busy, especially for the salt truck operators who are the first ones out. She said this year has brought a return to what winters are supposed to be like. "This is normal for Nova Scotia winters. We've been spoiled. When we were kids it was nothing for it to take two or three days to get the road plowed. Some of the public is impatient. I get a lot of calls where people are saying they want their road plowed now."
James Clyke of Guysborough, James Ehler of White Head, and Leo Avery of Larry's River, work for the Department of Transportation in Guysborough. Clyke is an oscotte operator, Ehler is a grader operator, and Avery drives a salt truck. Ehler said with so much more snow they are working long hours this year. "It's no problem to put in 70 to 75 hours per week — easy. Roads are bad and a lot of things are breaking. There are broken springs, chains, and plows," said Clyke.
They said salt is a major expense as every three truck loads costs $1000. The tractor comes in with a load and one load will fill three salt trucks. Over the Christmas and New Yera's holidays, eighteen loads were used in one week. "We're way over budget for salt," says Ehler.
They agreed they'd like to have a little longer between storms, instead of one right after the other, to provide more time to get ready and recuperate. On that particular day, Avery said he'd been out since before three in the morning. "There's hardly one man here who's had more than a 24-hour period off since Christmas," said Ehler. "We've been flat out since — never stopped at all. Twelve-hour shifts in a snowstorm, out on the road all alone. It sometimes ends up being fourteen or fifteen hours. We've had our share of it this winter."
Avery added they take it all in stride. "No one seems to be complaining about the work. You just go do it." He said he started working there in 1971 and at that time there were thirty men working in Guysborough. Today, because of cutbacks, there are fifteen men working there.
The men said a person from their headquarters leaves there in the service truck every morning at 3:00 to observe road conditions for the daily road report. The report goes out at about 5:30am. The person who does the road report is rotated every day and "he could get up to a fifteen-hour day."
For sixteen weeks of the winter, from Dcember 12th to March 31st, they are on 24-hour call for snow removal, or a "ninety-hour fortnight." The road aptrol is divided up among all the workers. After those sixteen weeks, numbers are cut back to a skeleton crew and others are called back if needed.
It's True — More Snow this Winter
Based on the number of times most people have shovelled their driveways lately, it's pretty much accepted that we have received more snow this winter than any other in recent memory. Michel Desjardins, a climate technician with Environment Canada, confirmed this suspicion with some statistics during a conversation with the Guysborough Journal last week. "There has been more snow fall in Nova Scotia this winter than in past years," he said.
Using statistics from the Shearwater airport south of Dartmouth, Desjardins compared the snowfall in November, December, and January of this winter with previous winters. "What's considered normal is around 96 cm of snow," he said. During the winters of 1997-1998 and 1999-2000 for the same time period the area received about 100 cm of snow.
However, this winter the total snowfall for the three-month period is 150 cm (as of Friday, February 2nd). That's 54 cm more than the normal amount. "That's been the trend for all Nova Scotia," Desjardins said. In fact, he said, that's been the trend for the entire Atlantic region.
[The Guysborough Journal, 7 February 2001]
2001 February 10
First in eight centuries
This day, 10/02/2001, is a palindrome, this first in 808 years. The last time it happened was 29 November 1192, 29/11/1192. The next time comes around after a much shorter wait of only 375 days — 20 February 2002, 20/02/2002.
[The National Post, 13 February 2001]
2001 February 10
Brief History of CJCH
Radio station has led with innovative formats since 1940s
by Pat Connolly
Now that Rick Howe and Debra Smith have landed safely under the Metro Radio group's umbrella at KIXX 780 AM in Halifax, their four-hour daily radio talk show intact, the wonder becomes how CJCH will fare as part of parent company CHUM Group Radio's soon-to-be-launched all-sports station in Halifax tp be known as Team 920. Time alone will tell.
Halifax Daily News
Because CJCH 920 AM happens to be my baptismal font of an earlier radio age in this grand old town, there has remained a personal curiosity about the many and varied format changes that have taken place within the station over these many years. Not only from the time of my arrival in September 1952, but dating back to CJCH's earliest days in the mid-1940s, a creation of the late Halifax Chronicle publisher Senator F.B. McCurdy, and made successful by the artistic genius of retired Senator Finlay MacDonald.
The common thread running through the history of CJCH, the single element that has played a major role, directly and indirectly, in the successes of this station, has been sports. For that reason alone, it would be wise to hold judgement on their wisdom of going now from all-talk to all-sports. For some of us, there is a touch of deja vu here, something resembling another huge gamble taken very early in the life of the station, against long odds but also with little to lose.
In 1946, trailing badly in the ratings war to old established CHNS after going through a succession of managers and personnel and near despair, McCurdy turned his ear to a brash and confident 24-year-old staff announcer who insisted he had a better idea about how to salvage the listing ship. Handed the tiller, young Finlay MacDonald proceeded to make good on his promise, steering the ship to port on his instincts.
Noting a post-Second World War sports boom, local arenas and fields filled to capacities for hockey, baseball, boxing, and football. MacDonald seized the opportunity to establish the first full-time radio sports department in Atlantic Canada, then reached for his friend Danny Gallivan of CJFX in Antigonish. Together, they saturated the airwaves with live coverage of every important event on the calendar, a strategy that established the beachhead that enabled CJCH eventually to overtake CHNS in the ratings war, but only the start of the MacDonald radio revolution.
Next, he noted the number of insomniacs in metro and hired an unforgettable character named Norm Riley, put him in a restaurant on Barrington Street with a microphone and made him the first radio overnight host in these parts. By 1952, CJCH had established the first full-time radio newsroom in the region, headed by director R.J. (Bob) McCleave and featuring the grand master of personalized newscasts, Edmund Morris, both of whom later went on to political and/or judicial significance.
There were other firsts in CJCH history that come to mind — banning Elvis Presley records from play, because his "physical gymnastics and gyrations are sexually provocative" and therefore a negative influence on the young. On the other hand, it was the first Maritime radio station to embrace rock music, in the late 1950s when legendary DJ Baz Russell, bless his soul, introduced his "Mumbly Club" and 10,000 screaming patrons showed up to join at the Halifax Armouries.
So, can Team 920 make it as an all-sports station in 2001? From a historical viewpoint, it will be fun to follow.
[The Halifax Daily News, 10 February 2001]
2001 February 11
Colville Chairs CRTC
The federal cabinet's Order-in-Coucil 2001-0196, 8 February 2001, approved the appointment of David Colville, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for a term of six months, effective 11 February 2001.
List of Approved Orders in Council, Ottawa
2001 February 12
Salter Street Sold
Donovans Sell Salter Street Films
Atlantis Communications Inc., Toronto's giant entertainment company, gobbled up Salter Street Films, Halifax, today in a deal worth about seventy to eighty million dollars. The deal, negotiated over the last few weeks, was signed in Halifax at 2am Monday, February 12th.
Salter Street Films produces This Hour Has 22 Minutes for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), and other shows for cable televsion channels such as Bravo, The Comedy Network, and Space: The Imagination Station. Its stable of shows includes Lexx: The Series, the campy science-fiction program shown in Canada on the Space channel and in the United States on the Sci Fi channel, Rick Mercer's Made in Canada, (currently broadcast in the United States as The Industry on PBS affiliated stations), the Entertainment Tonight spoof The Itch, Global Television's Blackfly starring comedian Ron James, and Emily of New Moon, broadcast in the United Sates on Encore's WAM Family Network. Salter Street also produces The Awful Truth, the series in which innovative documentary maker Michael Moore skewers politicians and antagonizes large corporations — broadcast in Canada on Bravo, on The Film and Arts Network in the United States, and Channel 4 in Great Britain.
Production of all of Salter Street's shows — such as 22 Minutes and Lexx — will stay in Halifax, said Michael MacMillan, chairman and CEO of Alliance Atlantis (AAC). "If you use round numbers there's close to nine million shares" in the whole deal.
"It's about $9.22 per Salter Street share," Mr. MacMillan said. This is an attractive price for shares that were bought on the open market for as little as $2.00 within the last twelve months.
One of Salter Street's most valuable assets is the Independent Film Channel Canada, a Category One (must-carry) cable TV channel awarded a few weeks ago to Salter Street by the CRTC. It is scheduled to launch in September 2000. At the same time the CRTC also awarded twenty licences for Category Two cable channels, where carriage must be negotiated with the cable companies. It was these licences, especially the Category One licence, which turned Salter Street from a regional player in the production business into a broadcast and programming takeover play.
Alliance, a large film producer and distributor as well as a specialty broadcaster — with head office at 121 Bloor Street East, Toronto — has been looking for more original programming for its voracious distribution system. Alliance owns significant interests in eight Canadian analog specialty TV channels, including Showcase, History Television, Life Network, and Home & Garden Television. The CRTC recently issued more than thirty licences to Alliance for new digital channels, including Health Network Canada, National Geographic Canada, and BBC Canada. Alliance has an extensive library with 6,500 titles totalling 13,000 hours.
Salter Street Films Limited — with head office at 1668 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia — has produced 29 original titles of television shows and movies. As of 31 October 2000, Salter Street's library held 1,141 half-hours, consisting of 980 half-hours of proprietary programming — compared to 859 half-hours at the same time a year earlier — with third-party acquisitions of 161 half-hours. In October 1999, Salter Street acquired 182 half-hours of non-fiction programming from the award-winning documentarian, Micheal Maclear. The library includes Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War, Flightpath, and American Caesar. The library also includes approximately 80 half-hours of archival footage. The Company has a right of first negotiation to distribute future programming produced by Michael Maclear.
Salter Street Films has three subsidiary companies: Salter Street Films International (distribution), Salter Street Digital (digital recording and post-production work), and Electropolis (sound stages). Salter Street Films Limited was incorporated under the Nova Scotia Companies Act on 15 March 1983. Originally a producer of feature films, Salter Street diversified into the production of television programs, initially in the comedy genre, in 1986. Salter Street's production activity has grown steadily from 21 half-hour equivalents of programming in fiscal 1995 to 186 half-hour equivalents of programming in fiscal 1999.
Under the terms of the deal, Alliance Atlantis will pay Salter Street shareholders in one of two ways. The payment for each Salter Street share will be either $3.33 in cash plus 0.31 share of class B non-voting Alliance Atlantis stock, or 0.465 share of class B stock with no cash. A group of Salter Street shareholders, owning about 71% of the company's votes and 25% of its equity, have agreed to vote in favour of the offer, said Mr. MacMillan. This includes Michael Donovan, chairman of Salter Street Films, and his brother Paul Donovan, vice-chairman, own about 25 per cent of the total shares issued, but between them have control of the company because they own a clear majority of the voting shares.
Under the cash-and-shares offer, Michael and Paul Donovan will each get nearly $2,500,000 plus 232,500 non-voting shares of Alliance Atlantis, which at the close of trading last Friday were worth $19.00 each &$150; potentially another four million dollars or so.
Some commentators say Alliance Atlantis has paid too much for Salter Street, but Mr. MacMillan says the criticism is unwarranted. He noted that there were skeptics who thought AAC overpaid eighteen months ago when it bought a 48% share in Headline Sports Channel for $16,000,000, an investment that is now worth three or four times as much. It bought a stake in YTV youth channel five years ago, and sold it a year later for double the price.
Alliance Atlantis and Salter Street have worked together for many years. Alliance was a shareholder of Salter Street when it was still a private company, and Mr. MacMillan sat as a director of Salter Street until early 2000. As well, Satler Street was one of the original minority shareholders of Showcase, Alliance's movie and drama specialty cable television channel.
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 13 February 2001
The Halifax Daily News, 13 February 2001
The National Post, 13 February 2001
The Globe and Mail, 13 February 2001
Alliance Atlantis Reaches Agreement to Acquire Salter Street Films
Press release, 12 February 2001
Salter Street Films Limited Information Circular, 10 February 2000
Salter Street Films website
SEDAR profile of Salter Street Films Limited
Other Salter Street websites:
Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. website
SEDAR profile of Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc.
2001 February 14
Rising Price of Palladium Forces Return to Platinum
There is something more precious than gold in your car's catalytic converter — palladium. Gold currently sells for approximately US$266 per troy ounce about C$12,000 per kilogram. Palladium trades for more than US$1,000 an ounce more than C$46,000 per kilogram.
The irony is that car manufactures switched to palladium from platinum because it was the cheaper precious metal and tolerated sulphur better. "Canadian gasoline has a high sulphur content and palladium succumbs less to it than platinum," says Donald Kirk, professor of chemical engineering, Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto.
At the time of the switch, palladium was selling for about US$99 an ounce about C$4,600 per kilogram and platinum in the neighbourhood of US$400 to US$500 an ounce about C$18,000 to C$24,000 per kilogram. Now palladium is almost 50% more expensive. "The price of palladium rose in response to simple demand," says Mr. Kirk.
One report shows the auto industry consumes about 58% of the annual supply of palladium.
Russia produces approximately two-thirds of the world's supply and some financial analysts suggest that Russia is trying to restrict the flow of palladium to the West in order to achieve higher prices and, in fact, set up a price cartel.
Most cars come equipped with three-way catalytic converters. The "three-way" refers to the types of emissions the converter reduces — carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
Converters are usually cylinders filled with porous ceramic material, similar in structure to a honeycomb or sponge, creating an enormous surface area. The linings of the pores are sprinkled with particles of precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, palladium or iridium. These materials catalyze reactions with the carbon monoxide and unburnt hydrocarbons to produce carbon dioxide. Iridium breaks down the oxides of nitrogen.
Yet, innovations produced the palladium-only precious metal converter which, when combined with zinc, can remove all the gas pollutants. Nissan Motor Co., Japan's second-largest carmaker and an innovator in palladium-only catalytic converters, announced recently it was switching back to the traditional platinum-rhodium catalyst due to rising palladium prices.
Savvy investors have benefited from the increase in palladium prices. North American Palladium Ltd. (PDL/TSE) shares have skyrocketed more than 200% in the past year. The 26% rise in its share price since the start of the year puts it among the TSE 300's top performers.
Palladium is also used in cellphones. Inco Ltd. recently announced a discovery of high-grade palladium platinum ore at its Sudbury, Ont., mine.
[The National Post, 14 February 2001]
The automotive industry has used palladium in catalytic converters since 1974. A catalytic converter is a ceramic structure coated with a combination of platinum, rhodium and/or palladium. As exhaust passes through the device, it converts hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides into harmless compounds. Over the last two decades, catalytic converters have become standard equipment on cars and light-duty trucks.
Market price of palladium
Since 1996, as autocatalyst demand had grown, the price of palladium has increased dramatically. In 1996 palladium averaged US$128 per ounce; in the first nine months of 2000, the price averaged US$638 per ounce, an increase of 400%. In August 2000 the price reached a record high of US$855 per ounce, before settling back to the US$700 range...
2001 February 15
Icelandair Places First on North Atlantic Routes
For On-Time Performance in 2000
Halifax a North American gateway
COLUMBIA, MD, Feb. 15 /CNW/ — Icelandair placed first in flight punctuality on North Atlantic routes for the entire year 2000, according to figures released by the Association of European Airlines (AEA), the trade organisation for 29 of Europe's largest airlines. As one of 24 AEA carriers, Icelandair led the way with more than 82% of all flights leaving within 15 minutes of their scheduled departure times. The AEA average on the North Atlantic routes is less than 70%.
"We know our customers appreciate our efforts to provide exceptional service, and on-time performance is high on that list," said Gunnar Eklund, General Manager-The Americas. "Icelandair's hub in Iceland provides a mid-Atlantic stepping stone for our efficient North Atlantic route network," he added, where most Icelandair flights from North America and Europe connect within 90 minutes of arrival.
"This moves Icelandair up from sixth place a year ago," he said, "from a punctuality rating on North Atlantic routes of 70.4% to this year's 82.3%."
Icelandair North American gateways include New York (JFK), Boston, Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando and Halifax. Primary destinations in Europe include London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, connecting through Reykjavik, Iceland.
Icelandair press release, 15 February 2001
Association of European Airlines (AEA) newsletter
The comprehensive AEA punctuality report for the year 2000 is available in downloadable PDF format at:
List of Airline websites
2001 February 16
Major Computer Problems Almost Silence CBC Radio
Old Analog Machinery Dusted Off and Restarted
Digital gremlins conducted a sneak attack on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio networks on Friday, February 16th, requiring engineers to fall back on old-fashioned audio tape for most of the day. An overhaul of the complex computers which ordinarily operate the radio networks, including the five time zones that are programmed separately, inadvertently led to major technical problems during morning programming operations. Engineers were unable to call up recorded material. Faced with dead air, producers had to "go live." Eventually, backup analog technology was dusted off and wheeled out to get shows through the day.
[The Halifax Daily News, 17 February 2001]
2001 February 18
Glace Bay's on the Money in Italy
Italians are banking on the community of Glace Bay.
The Italian government has issued a 2,000-lire banknote that depicts the famous inventor Guglielmo Marconi on one side and on the other side, Glace Bay's four wooden towers that beamed out the world's first transatlantic wireless message to England.
"This year is the 100th anniversary of Marconi," said Rodolfo Meloni, the Italian consul in Nova Scotia. "Marconi is one of the top scientists in Italy, so to commemorate him they made this banknote."
Marconi spent several years in Cape Breton, working on the technology that made global communications a reality. He established three transatlantic wireless stations in that part of the province. The first was at Table Head, while the main transmitting station was built at Marconi Towers in 1907. Marconi built a receiving station in 1913 at Louisbourg.
Nova Scotia has long recognized the connection between the inventor and the province. A 60-kilometre route known as the Marconi Trail takes in the area from Louisbourg to Glace Bay, along Cape Breton's scenic northeastern coastline.
And the location of Marconi's wireless station at Table Head (the foundations are still visible) is a tourist attraction that has been designated a National Historic Site.
[The Halifax Sunday Herald, 18 February 2001]
Historic Scene Graces Lire
A bit of Canadian history now graces a 2,000-lire bill in Italy. An image depicting wooden towers used by Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi to transmit the world's first transatlantic wireless message — from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, to England — is on the new bank note valued at about $1.50. Marconi is shown on the other side of the bill. "This year is the 100th anniversary of Marconi," Rodolfo Meloni, the Italian consul in Nova Scotia, said, adding that Marconi is regarded as one of the greatest Italian scientists.
[The National Post, 19 February 2001]
2001 February 25
Salt of the earth
As snow keeps falling, business is booming
for Pugwash salt company
Pugwash – The taste of salt fills your mouth. The white dust that coats your car is caked on every surface here: the wooden floors, the conveyor belts zigzagging up seven stories, even the broom leaning against a wall.
Larry Hawkes and Lloyd Burris, sitting on either side of a desk in the tiny control room of the crushing and screening mill, have their own cure for a salty mouth.
"Wait till you go home and have a beer," says Hawkes, laughing.
"Pepsi works pretty good," says mine manager Alan Davidson.
As snowbanks grow ever higher in Nova Scotia, it is a winter of content at the salt mines in Pugwash, Cumberland Co.
The federal government is thinking about declaring road salt toxic, but that's not slowing the mine this winter.
The Canadian Salt Company produces salt 16 hours a day to be spread on every highway in the province and on roads in Newfoundland, P.E.I., Quebec and Maine.
All day, long lineups to park under a chute dumping road salt snake behind the office building and between the mine shafts. The trucks come before the mine opens at 8–a.m. and keep coming until production shuts down at midnight.
Salt is loaded as fast as it's lifted out of the mine. The snowstorms of January devoured 175,000 tonnes, or enough to fill 5,800 trucks – a record by far. Not since 1982, when the company produced 164,000 tonnes, has the demand even come close.
Two shifts of 30 miners each are blasting the salt off of 40 faces, about 300 metres down.
They drill about 90 holes, 3½ metres deep, in a face nine metres high and 17 metres wide. Then they fill them with ammonium nitrate – the same ingredient used in the Oklahoma City bombing – and detonate them.
A front-end loader picks up the salt chunks and dumps them in a hauler. Soon afterward, the salt, pulverized by one of two crushers underground, is brought to the surface in bins. In an hour, 400 tonnes, no piece bigger than 15 centimetres, come up.
Most of the production is road salt, although the company also produces salt licks for farms, bags of salt for sidewalks and table salt, packaged in the familiar blue-white-and-gold Windsor boxes.
The lowest-paying job is bagging salt, for $17.70 an hour. Turnover is next to nil.
"It's not the old ad you know, working in a salt mine. It's not exactly going on welfare," says Davidson.
The smell of diesel fumes hangs in the air underground. The air is dry and at a year-round 16 C, warm enough for just coveralls. White walls stretch 30 feet high. Loaders, scalers and squat dump trucks with wheels bigger than a man navigate 160 kilometres of tunnels, some reaching under Pugwash Harbour.
"It's like working in a big warehouse," says Henry Chapman, a miner at Pugwash for 24 years.
But it is the darkness that reminds the miners they don't.
"You turn out your light, and it's incredible how dark it is. It's like you disappear," says mine superintendent Buck Wile.
Only the foremen's offices – cut out of the salt and panelled in wood – lunchroom and maintenance shop have lights.
Every machine used underground is taken apart on the surface and lowered down the shaft one piece at a time. It can take a month to reassemble it. When a machine can no longer be fixed, it is parked in a kind of subterranean junkyard.
The miners have been working six days a week to keep up with the demand for salt. And as the snow keeps falling, what do they do?
"Curse it just as much as you do," says miner Bruce Beattie.
Source: "Salt of the earth" by Jo-Anne MacDonald in the Halifax Sunday Daily News, 25 February 2001.
Index with links to the other chapters
Go To: History of Telegraph and Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To: History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To: History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To: History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia
Go To: Nova Scotia History, Chapter One
Go To: Nova Scotia in the War of 1812
Go To: Nova Scotia Historical Biographies
Go To: Proclamations: Land Grants in Nova Scotia 1757, '58, '59
Go To: Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805, edited by Richard John Uniacke
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