Nova Scotia Backgrounder

Nova Scotia s transportation and communication
connected to the world

From the days of the early settlers, Nova Scotia was a trading nation. Cargo ships leaving the port carried tall trees for the masts of Nelson s navy, dried fish for the Caribbean islands, minerals, produce and the occasional privateer.

The province is still ideally positioned to serve markets on both sides of the Atlantic. Halifax is a world transportation hub. In 1969, when Fran‡ois Michelin chose Nova Scotia for his tire company s first North American manufacturing plant, the proximity to year-round ports was one of his prime reasons. All major North American trade routes lead to Halifax Harbour. The deep-water Port of Halifax has two modern container terminals capable of accommodating the largest container ships regularly travelling to Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the Far East. It also has a major autoport facility. An electronic management and tracking system makes the Port s cargo shipping system one of the most modern in the world. Other deep-water ports near Sydney, Cape Breton and at the Strait of Canso can handle the world s largest supertankers.

Efficient rail services, including a new INTERMODAL terminal for domestic double-stack container traffic, connect Nova Scotia s ports to the rest of the North American continent. Halifax International Airport, with direct flights to international points such as London, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Detroit and Chicago, also serves as the hub for the entire Atlantic region. A modern highway system links all parts of the province through to mainland Canada and the United States, and year-round ferry services provide connections to Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

With both Alexander Graham Bell and Guglielmo Marconi as past residents of Nova Scotia, it s fitting that the province should take a leading position in the communications field. With access to the electronic highway widely available across the province, Nova Scotians today have the highest per-capita use of the Internet in North America. Digital fibre optics are available in all major centres. More than 100 companies and 6,000 people work in information technology, including computer hardware and software production, marine communications, geomatics and telecommunications. Dozens of Nova Scotia companies are world-class competitors in such fields as global information systems, mobile radio equipment and integration, multi-media production, microwave airport landing systems and much more. Bell and Marconi would be proud but not surprised. Communications innovation was worth $750 million to Nova Scotia in 1993 and it s growing at an average rate of 20% each year.