Although many of you are familiar with the official launch of The Mills Network on February 16, 1999, our online presence actually began in 1994, a time when Canadian sites were few and far between.
Originally under the domain of singletax.com, we established a simple and modest online centre with useful information about the single tax system for Canada. We would learn some time later that activating that site also represented the first internet presence for any elected representative in Canada.
In October of 1996 we expanded our online efforts beyond the former exclusive focus on the single tax system and developed the site into what essentially became an extension of the role and services of a Member of Parliament.
Early in 1997 we opened dennismills.com and, for that year, including the 1997 federal election (which, we were told, was another first), and all of 1998, we became aware that about 30,000 web surfers were visiting our site each month. And therein began the realization—finally, eh?—that some websites can and are communities in and of themselves.
While singletax.com remained exclusively focused on the single tax system for Canada, the domain of dennismills.com provided a dynamic web presence for those interested in the overall affairs and institutions of our national government as well as specific initiatives and information about the Broadview-Greenwood community.
The early months of 1999 brought many changes to our online presence. As many of you are aware, the technologies and applications found on the world wide web seem to grow exponentially each month. One of those applications that we were watching carefully was “streaming”, ie. the transmission of live audio/video content. So, on the day the federal budget was released, Tuesday February 16th, we took our efforts to the next step. For the first time in Canada, a Canadian website, The Mills Network, through dennismills.com, transmitted live proceedings of the Budget Speech as well as pre-budget and post-budget interviews with about 40 guests, including the Prime Minister. This was the first “open house” webcast from Parliament Hill. Some portions of that event are still available through archives on this site.
Over the past half-decade, we have invited feedback and user input into the features and content of this site, where things are going in the future and what you would like to see. As we continue our constant evolution of our online efforts we continue to encourage feedback, debate and exchange.
Today, as Canada’s leading web portal of public policy content, The Mills Network remains committed to its original and very simple principles of offering good public policies through the most dynamic and innovative processes available to us.