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RAC

2010-10-29

RAC Bulletin 2010-027E - Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board Meeting October 28, 2010
2010-10-29

The 35th meeting of the Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board [CARAB] took place on Thursday Oct. 28th. CARAB is composed of representatives from both Radio Amateurs of Canada [RAC] representing Canadian Amateurs, and Industry Canada, as the regulator of amateur radio.

The Chair of the Board rotates between the two organizations and this meeting was chaired by the President of RAC, Mr. Geoffrey Bawden, VE4BAW. The principle IC representative was Mr. Peter Hill, Senior Director, Spectrum Management Operations. IC was also represented by Ren\351 Guerrette, Co-Director, Amateur Radio Service, Gilles Rathier, Manager, Operational Policies and Joanne Poulin, Technical Policy Analyst. Contributing from RAC were: J. T. [Mitch] Mitchell, VE6OH, Director for Alberta, NWT and Nunavut, Richard Ferch, VE3KI, Vice President Regulatory Affairs, and Norm Rashleigh, VE3LC, Vice President Industrial Liason.

At the CARAB meeting it was agreed to modernize and improve communication between the regulator and Canadian amateurs as represented by RAC. The value of CARAB as a consultative body between RAC and IC was reaffirmed by both parties and the Terms of Reference were updated.

Among key issues discussed at the meeting was IC?s policy regarding temporary authorization of frequency assignments in amateur bands to non-amateur services [e.g. September 10th and 12th Pro Tour race in Quebec].

RAC impressed upon the IC officials that RAC, on behalf of Canadian amateurs, objected to intrusion into amateur bands by non-amateur services, especially for non-emergency purposes. IC noted the objection, committed to improve coordination and cooperation and advised that they were sensitive to RAC's concerns.

IC committed to continue to work with RAC on our request for allocation[s] in the 60M band which mirror those available to US amateurs. RAC emphasized the importance of this request to Canadian amateurs.

IC briefed RAC officials on the status of the web access project designed to allow amateurs direct access to the IC callsign and certificate database thus allowing such activities as applications for callsigns, and change of address. It is anticipated that the system will be live no later than Nov., 2011. Articles on the new system will be published in upcoming TCA's. IC asked RAC to serve as "acceptance testers" to help the developers ensure that the system would work as designed.

IC and RAC discussed the positive role that amateur radio played in emergency situations and IC noted that there would be value in more cooperation and planning between IC and RAC in this area. Follow-up meetings between RAC and IC will be arranged over the coming months.RAC is already linked with the ARRL and the US regulator [FCC] on emergency issues and welcomes this initiative of IC.

The next meeting of CARAB is anticipated for next April, concurrent with the RAC Board meeting.

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
President - Radio Amateurs of Canada