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RAC Community Services Officer Jason Tremblay, VE3XTA
Jason Tremblay, VE3XTA

RAC President Phil A. McBride, VA3QR:

As previously reported (2021-2022), RAC Community Services Officer Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT, and his dedicated team of volunteers have been working hard for the past several years on the restructuring of the RAC Field Organization. Maintaining such an organization is specifically detailed in RAC’s Charter and it is incumbent upon us to ensure that it remains relevant in our ever-changing environment. To this end, we have been reviewing how it operates and examining how it meets the needs of our members and also those we serve – including governments and non-governmental organizations. 

At its meeting on May 25, 2022, the RAC Board of Directors adopted all recommendations and have struck a national standing committee to oversee these changes and the operations of the Field Organization going forward. Details of all these changes can be found in the extract of the Minutes of the RAC Board Meeting which is provided below.

I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to Jason for the countless hours he’s put into this endeavour, and to all those who helped him put these proposals together. I’m looking forward to seeing these changes implemented and that Radio Amateurs of Canada continues to play a key role in the Amateur Radio Service as a viable communications solution in the event of a disaster.

Volunteers Needed

National Advisory Committee and Sectional Council Positions

The following positions are full-time volunteer positions starting in January 2023 with a term of two year. Applicants must be members of Radio Amateurs of Canada.

Please provide a cover letter and resume to Jason Tremblay, VE3JXT, Community Services Officer at 

  • National Advisory Committee
  • Deputy Community Services Officer
  • National AuxComm Coordinator
  • National Community and Youth Coordinator
  • National Radio Traffic and Bulletin Coordinator
  • National Training Coordinator
  • National CanWarn Coordinator
  • Section Manager for the Territories

Sectional Council 

The following positions are effective February 1. For information on any of these positions or the application process, please email .

  • Deputy Section Manager
  • Sectional ACS Coordinator
  • Sectional Community and Youth Coordinator
  • Sectional Radio and Traffic Coordinator
  • Sectional Training Officer
  • Sectional CanWarn Coordinator
  • ACS Group Coordinator
  • ACS Rapid Response Team Leader
  • ACS Provincial Response Team Coordinator
Extract from the Minutes of the RAC Board Meeting May 25, 2022:

BoardMinutes-20220525.pdf (

a) Motions of changes for 2023 – Change of the Sectional system currently in place under the RAC Field Services.

“It is moved that, with the exception of the province of Ontario, a Section under the RAC Field Organization will consist of a province within Canada as follows:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
  • Nova Scotia (NS): note the Maritime Section (MAR) will be abolished
  • Prince Edward Island (PE)
  • New Brunswick (NB): note: the Maritime Section (MAR) will be abolished
  • Quebec (QC)
  • Manitoba (MB)
  • Saskatchewan (SK)
  • Alberta (AB)
  • British Columbia (BC)
  • The province of Ontario will retain 4 sections: Ontario North (ONN), Ontario South (ONS), Ontario East (ONE) and the renamed Golden Horseshoe (GH; formerly the GTA Section).
  • The Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory and Nunavut Territory will be combined into a new Territories Section (TER).


The above changes will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Motion was made by Stephen Lee, VA6SGL and seconded by Barry Brousseau, VE3SLD. This motion was carried

b) Standing Committee –

“It is moved that RAC will appoint a Standing Committee to oversee the Field Organization called the Field Services National Advisory Committee (FSNAC).This committee will be chaired by the Community Services Officer and a member of the Board of Directors will be required to sit on the committee.”

a) Committee members will be appointed by application, and approval of the Community Services Officer with the assistance of the Vice-President.

b) The term for a member of the committee will be two years and no member shall serve more than three consecutive terms.

c) The Field Services National Advisory Committee will consist of:

i) Deputy Community Services Officer

ii) National AuxComm Coordinator

iii) National Community and Youth Services Coordinator

iv) National Radio Traffic and Bulletin Service Coordinator

v) National Training Coordinator

vi) National Administration/Database Manager

vii) A member of the Board of Directors

d) The Committee will meet monthly and additional members may be added if required in the future.

e) All members of the Field Services National Advisory Committee will be members of Radio Amateurs of Canada and will adhere to the volunteer position description provided to them.

A discussion took place about the timing and the length of the term of the Section Manager and it was agreed that a Committee would work out the logistics required to ensure continuity while ensuring adequate turnover.

Motion was made by Keith Witney, VE7KW and seconded by Barry Brousseau, VE3SLD. This motion was carried.

c) Section Manager appointment process 

“It is moved that Section Managers will be appointed by application to, and approved by, the Field Services National Advisory Committee.

All newly appointed Section Managers will complete a training program, be members of Radio Amateurs of Canada, and complete an interview process prior to being approved by the Field Services National Advisory Committee.

Those appointed will serve for a term of two years, and serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.

The Field Services National Advisory Committee will update the Terms of Reference for Section Managers prior to the appointment of any new volunteers.”

A discussion took place about the logistics and it was agreed that the current elected Section Managers would complete their existing terms and then the new process involving the appointment of Section Managers would come into place.

The existing Section Managers would be able to reapply if they wanted to be Section Managers.

Motion was made by Joe Earles, VO1BQ and seconded by Ed Richardson, VE4VT. This motion was carried.”

Changes to the RAC Field Organization Sections and What it Means for Contesting

In his column “The Sports Page: The Canadian Contest Scene” in the September-October 2022 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine, Tom Haavisto, VE3CX, discussed the impact of the changes to the RAC Field Organization on contesting.

Tom Haavisto, VE3CX –

“As previously reported, on May 25 the Board of Directors of Radio Amateurs of Canada approved changes to the “RAC Field Organization” which will take effect on January 1, 2023. There will be unintended consequences to contesters and, in particular, to Field Day and three of the American Radio Relay League’s Contests: the Sweepstakes CW, Sweepstakes SSB and the ARRL 160m contests. These changes do not affect any other ARRL contests or any other contests. The following column was prepared with input from several of the RAC volunteers who are working behind the scenes on your behalf.

The RAC Field Organization is divided into “Sections” that cover defined geographic areas, usually a province. Every issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine has a “Section News” column in which Section Reports  briefly describe the important role that volunteer Amateurs provide to their communities across Canada. There is absolutely no better way to visualize the commitment and dedication of these hard working volunteers than to read the reports and articles submitted to the Public Service / Auxiliary Communication Service column and the Section News
(see pages 43-52).

For reasons of tradition, those four ARRL events have always used the Sections of the Field Organizations in Canada and the United States in the exchange as well as for multipliers. Sweepstakes (SS) is the oldest of the four and began as a competition in passing formal messages back in the 1930s when handling “Radiograms” was a very large part of Amateur Radio.

As time went on, the Sweepstakes CW and Sweepstakes SSB became less like message handling events and more like the contests that we know and love today. This is where the quirky rules of Sweepstakes came from – they are based on this history of message handling.

In both Canada and the United States, changes in the Field Organizations were always made for their own internal reasons, independent of contests.

Over the years, the ARRL’s Contest Management Team have adjusted their contest rules to follow changes as they are made. The ARRL has already indicated that they will adjust the rules of Field Day, SS CW, SS SSB and the ARRL 160m contest to mirror the decisions of the RAC Board.

These changes will:

1) Delete the Maritime Section (MAR) and create two new Sections in the area:
New Brunswick (NB) and Nova Scotia (NS)

2) Rename the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Section to the Golden Horseshoe (GH)

3) Create a new Territories Section (TER) for the Northwest Territories, Nunavut
and the Yukon.

The end result will be 14 Sections:

  • Alberta (AB)
  • British Columbia (BC)
  • Manitoba (MB)
  • New Brunswick (NB)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
  • Nova Scotia (NS)
  • Ontario North (ONN)
  • Ontario South (ONS)
  • Golden Horseshoe (GH)
  • Ontario East (ONE)
  • Prince Edward Island (PE)
  • Quebec (QC)
  • Saskatchewan (SK)
  • Territories (TER)


Contesters will see a net gain of one new multiplier in these three contests, along with two new and unfamiliar abbreviations. It will take some getting used to.

For Northern Canada’s three territories – Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut – the position in the Field Organization has always been unclear. The ARRL’s Contest Management Team filled in the gap with the fictional and harmless “Northern Territories” (NT) section. This “NT” section served to make the SS more interesting by providing one rare, but achievable, section to complete a “Clean Sweep”.

In Sweepstakes, a “Sweep” is a contact with every RAC and ARRL Section. Starting in 2023, that previously fictional Section will now actually exist, and has a slightly different name than what the ARRL invented.

As for the  renamed“Golden Horseshoe” (GH) Section, please remember that in 2012 the large Ontario (ON) Section was divided into four sections: Ontario North, Ontario South, Ontario East and the Greater Toronto Area Sections. This was meant to make it easier to manage for the Field Organization.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Section received its name because it was  corresponding to the actual boundaries of the Greater Toronto Area.

In 2019, the RAC Field Organization adjusted the boundaries of the GTA and Ontario South (ONS) Sections by moving the Hamilton and Niagara areas to the GTA. This was done to align with the Government of Ontario’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), and how it is organized.

Unfortunately, the name “GTA” did not describe the geographic region of this Section as it now reached beyond the Greater Toronto Area so a new name had to be used. The Emergency Measures Organization already used “Golden Horseshoe” to describe this area so it was decided to adopt that name. “Golden Horseshoe” is a term that was coined in the 1950s to describe this geographic region and it is still in use today.

Effective January 1, 2023, there will be 14 Sections of the RAC Field Organization: AB, BC, GH, MB, NB, NL, NS, ONE, ONN, ONS, PE, QC, SK and TER. In Field Day,
SS CW, SS SSB and the ARRL 160m contests, these will be parts of the exchanges that you will need to send and copy correctly. The ARRL’s Field Organization has 71 sections.

Closing Comments

I want to thank everyone who provided the preceding information to me. I did want to highlight the “Clean Sweep”. As indicated above, the Sweepstake (SS) is based on the of traffic handling of the past.

You need to send four pieces of information as part of the exchange: Serial Number, Precedence, your Call Sign, Check and Section. Remember, your call sign is part of the exchange.Not sending it is not an option! You can find the complete rules at

The goal of the Sweepstakes is to contact stations in every Section. Some sections have lots of stations, and some only have one or two. This adds to the challenge – finding a station in every Section for the “clean sweep”. If you manage this feat, you get the maximum number of multipliers, along with bragging rights “Got the sweep!”. ARRL also offers a coffee mug you can purchase to show off your accomplishment. The Sweeps are about to get more interesting!

Hope to see you on the bands from many different places!”

– Tom Haavisto, VE3CX