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>> 1999 Annual General Meeting Report

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AGM 1999 Minutes

Annual General Meeting of the 
Chebucto Community Net Society

Tuesday, April 25, 2000, 6:30 p.m.
Theatre Auditorium
Computer Science Bldg.
Dalhousie University
University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., there will be a presentation by Mark Rushton about his endeavours in Cuba entitled "Community Networking in Cuba: Connecting with CSuite".

The Nominating Committee has composed a slate of directors for election. As always, nominations from the floor will also be possible. Please provide a short bio for your nominee.


1.  Minutes of 1999 annual general meeting
2.  Report from Chair
3.  Reports from Committee Chairs
4.  Financial Report
5.  Executive Director's Report
6.  Election of Directors for 2000-2001
7.  Recognition of Volunteers

All Chebucto Community Net Users are welcome to attend the meeting and ask questions or make comments. However, only members of the Chebucto Community Net Society are entitled to vote at the meeting. Memberships may be purchased at the door at the conclusion of the meeting.
Chebucto Community Net Society
Fiscal 1999

Technical Committee 

David Murdoch, Technical Committee Chair

Progress Over the Past Twelve Months (Fiscal 1999)

+ hired a part-time tech support person;
+ purchased three more portmasters for Plus service;
+ refined online reporting to allow quicker response to problems;
+ continue to meet weekly to discuss technical issues and always welcome both novice and experienced new volunteers;
+ where possible, give any paid work to volunteers;
+ maintained a cordial relationship with Network Operations Centre (NOC) at Dalhousie;
+ hired, with support from Provincial Government, Computer Science Coop students;
+ created a CD ROM to replace the setup floppys for Chebucto Plus;
+ assisted Department of Mathematics and Statistics in their continued efforts to keep the air conditioner in the machine room (where all our equipment is housed) operating. If it fails all the systems shut down;
+ Dalhousie University continues to provide valuable support to Chebucto. Beside hosting our office space, all our equipment is accommodated by Department of Mathematics and Statistics in their machine room. We would also like to acknowledge the excellent assistance of the Faculty of Computer Science that does nightly backups of all our systems' data.
+ Set up and tested a new Provincial CAP Server that provided new services to Provincial CAP sites;
+ provided easy to view reports of system activities;
+ continued to provide and support webmail service;
+ continued to upgrade software to meet membership demands;
+ installed software to give Information Providers capability to operate their own web based services. For examples see: which lets people request that Metro Transit bus schedules and maps to be mailed to them; which gives details of Metro Transit bus schedules;
+ acquired and installed modem rack and upgraded all cabling;
+ purchased uninterruptable power supply (UPS) to provide better system shutdown control during lengthy power outages and continuous power service during brief power outages;
+ wrote and installed software program (evild) to ensure that all sustaining members have equitable access to the Chebucto Plus modem pool;

Future Plans

+ implementing a caching proxy server;
+ exploration of e-commerce utilities;
+ ensuring Chebucto Plus authentication is more robust;
+ ensuring that at least two Technical team members are familiar with each aspect of our work so that we have some redundancy;
+ purchase of 64 33.6 modems in single rack mount frame.

Membership Report

Krista Olmstead, Membership Committee Chair

The goal of the Membership Committee is to oversee all areas of development for Membership, to enhance the value of Chebucto Memberships by addressing both Member and User concerns, working closely with the various Chebucto teams to provide a full service to Chebucto Memberships.

The Membership Director is responsible for:

1. Working closely with the Office Manager to ensure the proper processing of all Chebucto accounts.  To set up an efficient system for processing applications and renewals.
2. Working closely with the Communications Team to help promote increased current Membership accounts.  To quickly and efficiently communicate any news that relates to Membership to the current Chebucto account holders.
3. Answering all Membership email and addressing all member concerns.
4. Upgrading and improving Membership packages when appropriate.
5. Working closely with the Volunteer Committee to assist in promoting member involvement with Chebucto.
6. Working closely with the Board of Directors to promote a quick and efficient manner of solving member concerns.

This past year the Membership Committee has:

a) Coordinated with the office in setting up an efficient system for processing new membership accounts.
b) Re-written Membership renewal letters - Renewal messages for expiring accounts were upgraded and re-written with new account fees included, as well as the inclusion of PPP accounts.
c) Examined membership fees - Membership fees in renewal letters and web page bulletins have been updated to current standards.
d) Built new concept for Membership Team - Created positions for four membership team members to work together to address member issues.
e) Assisted with Word on the Street - Public Membership Drive held in summer 1999, to attract new members to Chebucto.
f) Monitored daily membership concerns and directly responded to all personal inquiries from Members and Users.
g) Coordinated various events and parties throughout the past year as a way of showing appreciation for Chebucto's Members.

Information Provider Committee

Doug McCann, Information Provider Committee Chair


In the last year April 1999 to March 2000, six Information Provider Committee meetings were held to discuss various issues.  The principle focus was to establish IP membership and services fee schedules.  This included   defining basic services and Virtual Domain Name fees.  In September the Board approved such a schedule.  A second issue addressed was improving the IP registration process.   The office is currently in the process of  implementing  an improved procedure.   This will include annual renewals and collection of appropriate fees.

Featured IP

One of the benefits of IP membership was continued this year. During the year April 1999 to March 2000 twelve Information providers were featured from CCN’s front page.  Showcasing provided exposure  increasing accesses, in one case hits from 5969  hits (Jan 2000) to  15814 hits (Feb 2000).


The annual Word-on-the-Street trade mart (September ) for booksellers was
another occasion where CCN was able to showcase several Information Providers.
This year we had seven participants. Each was provided a time slot on an on-
line hookup in the CCN tent to demonstrate their web site.

Men for Change
Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia
Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax
Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Chess
Earth Religions Coalition East
Metro Transit


Visits to CCN Information Providers are showing increased activity as
demonstrated by the following selected statistics. Hits on our top sites
increased between  50 and 100%.

November 1999 Top 15 IP sites Hits ranged from 5,000 to 90,000 per month
March 2000  Hits ranged from  10,000 to 135,000 per month

Admin report

During the year discussions with various committees and members were conducted to determine the best way to administer IP accounts. Until more precise methodologies are implemented we can only estimate growth in the number of IP accounts.  Based on administrative records it is estimated that growth in the number of Information Providers in 1999 exceeded 20%.

March 1999   185 IP web sites (approx.)
March 2000   256 IP web sites
April 1999 to March 2000 43 IP agreements received
39 IPs received training

IP Notable Facts

IP Agreements
Apr 1            ip-1537         Irondale Ensemble Project
Apr 1           ip-1542         Milford House
Apr 12           ip-1544         Avid Editors' Group
May 14     ip-1545         Nova Scotia Campaign to End Iraq Sanctions
May 17          ip-1546         Halifax Regional Development Agency
May 14           ip-1549*       Coastal Dance Theatre
May 25           IP-1551        Citizens on Patrol: Route 333
May 31           ip-1554         BrewNoser
Jun 28           ip-1555         St. Margaret's Bay Gardening Club
Jun 9            Ip-1556*      Dollar Lake Centre for Applied Aquatic Ecology
Jun 29           ip-1560         St Peter's Parish
Feb 8 2000      ip-1561         Citizens for a Safe Learning Environment
July 26          ip-1562*       NS Careers.
July 27          ip-1563         Nova Scotia Provincial Health Council
Aug 16           ip-1564         St. Nicholas Youth Fellowship
Aug 10           ip-1565         Solidarity Nova Scotia
Oct 16           ip-1569         Billiards Nova Scotia
Oct 6            ip-1570         Fairview United Church
Feb 22           ip-1571         The Canadian Orthoptic Society
Sep              ip-1572*       Peace Lutheran Church
Sep 29           ip-1573         Hostelling International - N.S. Branch
Sep 22           ip-1574*       Four Nations PHA Advisory Council
Sep 13           ip-1576         Stochastic Communications Technologies
Oct 1            ip-1577         Greater Metro Model Railroad Society
Oct 5            ip-1578         UNICEF Halifax Committee
Dec 20           ip-1579         Atlantic Society of Fish and Wildlife Biologists.
Mar 3            ip-1580         Canadian Institute of Management, Halifax-Dartmouth Branch
Nov 24           ip-1581         Harbour Folk Society
Nov 11           ip-1582         Newfoundland's Grand Banks
Nov 18           ip-1583         GPI Atlantic
Nov 19           ip-1584**     Jeddore-Musquodoboit Harbour CAP Site
 Nov 22          ip-1585         UrbanCAP
Jan 12           ip-1587*       Volunteer Resource Centre
Dec 21           ip-1588         Triad Film Productions Ltd
Jan 18           ip-1589         Rise & Shine 2000 Solar Conference
Feb 14           ip-1592         Mineville Community Association
Mar 21           ip-1593         Chezzetcook Historical Society
Feb 8            ip-1594         Black River Productions Limited
Feb 15           ip-1596         North Commons Food Coop
Mar 20           ip-1597         Sui Generis
Mar 8            ip-1598         SOMA
Mar 7            ip-1600         NS Figure Skating Association
Mar 17           ip-1601**     Green Party of Canada - Nova Scotia
Mar 24           ip-1603         Square and Round Dance Federation of Nova Scotia
Mar 29           ip-1604         New Brunswick Ground Search and Rescue Association

Featured IP

Benefits:  Testimonial
One quick measure of the success of the project can be discerned from the URL statistics. In January, your site scored: Number of visits to URLs that match /Heritage/BHMA * Total accesses in 2000-01: 5969 Whereas in February the totals were: Number of visits to URLs that match /Heritage/BHMA * Total accesses in 2000-02: 15814

Triad Film Productions                            March, 2000
Black History Month                               February, 2000
Newfoundland's Grand Banks                        January, 2000
Teen Health Website                               December, 1999
Solar Nova Scotia                                 November, 1999
Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia                 October, 1999
Men For Change                                    September, 1999
The Brewnosers                                    August, 1999
Real Alternatives to Toxins in the Environment   July, 1999
Shifting Boundaries                               June, 1999
Nova Scotia Nature Trust                          May, 1999
Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird               April, 1999

Top 15 Report
Nov 7, 1999
Hits  Msgs Files Docs Usage  Name

89642    0        4        5438    98173    Clan MacKay Society of New Scotland
33832    8        3        34       1461     Yang Style Tai Chi
29318    2        8        675      3399     Teen Health Project
24201   0        2334    2338    11100    Halifax City Regional Library
22152    7        3        49       2286     To Kill a Mockingbird
15229    0        1        150      2946     Metro Transit
12721    4        4        58       3696     Natural History Resources
12462    2        5        201      24488    Orchid Society of Nova Scotia
 7591    3        4        65       3594     Genealogical Association of NS
 6317    0        0        8613    28122    Ecology Action Centre
 6235    6        29       34       736       Comics Media Archives
 6010    0        22       744      3946     Gardens and Gardening
 5770    0        99       227      10149    Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia
 5539    0        1        169      3733     Men for Change
 5262    0        0        16       299       Cardiac Prevention Research Centre

Top 15 Report
April 1, 2000

Hits  Msgs Files Docs Usage  Name

137231   0        0        5446    48747  Clan MacKay Society of New Scotland

119432   712      22       55       1162  Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird

91218    70       3220 3200 7219  Halifax City Regional Library
74006    102      46       856      1798  Teen Health Project
51289    81       2        8264 8754  Ecology Action Centre
51004    170      2        35       752       Yang Style Tai Chi
44027    510      6059 5953 33253  Newfoundland's Grand Banks
26022    202      24       199      7458     Orchid Society of Nova Scotia
21574    25       38       394      17341    CIAU Sports Scores
18577    0        32       854      2310     Gardens and Gardening
17869    11       586      465      6167     Men for Change
17832    136      4        59       2065     Natural History Resources
12308    34       0        361      7899     Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia
10734    15       112      344      18332    Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax
10530    65       59       229      2744     Metro Transit
10051    34       17       248      5767     Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia

Volunteer Committee Report

Joyline Makani, Andrew Wright – Co-Chairs

The Volunteer Committee faced many challenges in 1999. Some were from the changing face of volunteerism, where many people do not have the time to put in that they used to, and some were from within Chebucto itself.

Volunteers came to Chebucto through two main routes:  by filling out the Volunteer Sign Up form on the Chebucto website, and by dropping by the Chebucto office. The Sign-In form had its share of problems in 1999. Being difficult to find in the first place, and being broken for much of the year (either completely non functional or erasing the contact information), the form was of limited value and will be shortly replaced with a more easy to find working form with the new website upgrades. Despite this, five people used it to sign up to volunteer in 1999 and three of them followed through, two going to the Technical Committee and one putting in some office volunteer time.

Several volunteers took the direct approach of showing up in the Chebucto office and most of them followed up, joining the Technical Committee, helping out with the new website design, putting in some office volunteer time, and joining the Userhelp team.

The majority of volunteers who come to Chebucto are technically competent in one or more fields and usually end up in the well-organized Technical Committee. However there are many who don't have such skills and are eager to help out and we have not made good use of their wish to contribute. Part of the reason for this is the amount of time it takes to orient and train these volunteers and the lack of available people to do it.

Volunteering with Chebucto needs to be more interesting to the volunteer; the attrition rate of new volunteers who do show up to work is almost 100% after one year. This year, as before, the same core of volunteers is working ever harder keeping Chebucto going.

The rewards of volunteering with Chebucto need to be emphasized - the development of new, often marketable skills; the feeling of helping out your community; and the social circle of people committed to similar ideals. We need to develop a mentoring program or something similar to partner new with experienced volunteers and help spread critical skills so that several people can if necessary perform key tasks. We must follow through with new volunteers and keep them interested enough to make time in their increasingly busier days for helping with Chebucto.

These challenges are not easy ones, but it is necessary for us to face and surmount them. In the coming year, the new easier to navigate website will help prospective volunteers to find where and how they can help out. When this is matched with a new slate of fresh faces on the Chebucto Board, the outlook is hopeful.

Chair's Report

Michael Colborne

In Community Economic Development circles you often hear the phrase "Community capacity building".  The past year has seen Chebucto build its capacity, in a number of ways.  I won't get into the details; I will leave that to the individual reports, but here are some of the highlights:

At last year's AGM, Peter Morgan announced that CCN would be hiring a full time executive director.  Leo Deveau accepted that position late last spring, and as you will hear from his report, he has been busy.  Having Leo in place has enabled CCN to actively participate in a number of initiatives, and aggressively seek partnerships in the community that will help us achieve our goals.  In short, our capacity as an organization has been significantly improved.

Some of the projects that we have been working on during the past year, have been:

The Volnet program: Industry Canada's program to encourage connectivity in the volunteer sector.

Urban CAP, the final building block in Industry Canada's Community Access Program, targeting, as its name implies, Urban Canada.  In Nova Scotia, CCN's expertise in community connectivity was recognised when we were contracted to oversee the initial stages of the Urban CAP program in Halifax.

CCN is a partner in the Smart Communities Initiative, coordinated by the Greater Halifax Partnership.

A number of CCN board members attended a conference of Nova Scotia Community Nets in Truro, and David Murdoch now chairs a steering committee working on the formation of an association of community nets in this province.  By sharing ideas and expertise, we can all become stronger. Our new Chebucto Plus graphic account package, which was demonstrated at last year's AGM, has proven to be very popular.  Now, for the first time, CCN can offer the full range of internet connectivity, and members no longer are forced to move to a commercial provider for additional services.

We have been looking at a redesign of our web site, with the assistance of students from the Dalhousie School of Library and Information Studies.

We have participated in a number of work placements and grant-funded student opportunities, partnering with Canada World Youth, Human Resources Development Canada, and others.

Last fall CCN celebrated our fifth birthday at Word on the Street, which gave some excellent exposure to some of our Information Providers. Federal MP Gordon Earle presented CCN with a certificate of achievement and appreciation.

Five years is a long time in this business. CCN is the oldest internet provider in Nova Scotia, with more than 3500 active users. We provide webspace for 185 community groups. One reason we have flourished is that we have remained true to our original ideals. Some of the details have changed, but the goals have not. I was looking at the Chair's Report from the 1994 AGM; here are a few excerpts from their declaration of mission:

"[To] Establish a Community Access Network for the Halifax-Dartmouth Metro area, which will:  help meet personal and professional information needs of people; foster communication among individuals and the institutions that serve them; support community groups in their efforts at professional development, outreach and community service; enhance opportunities for sustainable, community-based economic development."

We could write very similar goals today.

The other reasons I think we have been successful is that we are based in the community, we have continued to seek out partnerships, we continue to think and act strategically, and CCN has been fortunate in enjoying the support of a talented and committed group of volunteers.  And that is my last thank you, to all of those who, over the past five years, have spent countless unpaid hours to make this thing work.