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RAC

2013-05-07

RAC Bulletin 2013-018E - Grow, Thrive and Influence: The future of RAC and Amateur Radio
2013-05-07

In October of 2010 Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Directors and Executives met in Ottawa to establish RAC's strategic goals for 2010 to 2012. This established Planning Cycle 1 and was the "Financial Recovery" period. By midway in 2012 we met the objectives of that planning cycle: RAC is now solvent and membership numbers were stabilized and increasing.

In February of this year, RAC Directors and Executives met in Ottawa to establish our 2013 to 2018 goals. We are now in Planning Cycle 2 which can be labeled "Grow, Thrive, and Influence". This phrase applies to both the future of RAC and the future of Amateur Radio in Canada. On May 1st, RAC held the first in a series of webinars with club presidents and Field Organization volunteers to discuss the activities of RAC from January 2010 to date and RACs goals and 2013/14 plans. Over the next couple of months we will have webinars with each Region. Our first was in the Atlantic Region.

Presentations were made by the President and Chair, Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW, Atlantic Director Everett Price, VO1DK, and Chief Field Services Officer Doug Mercer VO1DTM/VO1DM. Other RAC officals present were Northern and Eastern Ontario Director Bill Unger, VE3XT, Atlantic Deputy Director Len Morgan, VE9MY, Vice President and Regulatory Affairs Officer Ian MacFarquhar, VE9IM and Chief Information and Technology Officer, Paul Burggraaf, VO1PRB.

Our five year vision and goals were outlined:

  • Continue growth of amateur radio and RAC
  • Increase public support for amateur radio
  • Increase political support for amateur radio
  • Increase RAC influence on regulatory agencies (local, provincial, national and international)

Actions for 2013/14 include:

  • Develop publication and communication supports to clubs, amateurs, public, to grow new Amateurs, increase RAC membership and influence public and political opinion
  • End "hidden subsidies" for RAC to stand as an organization,
  • Increase RAC resource base (grow resources)
  • Be prepared to pay for mission critical functions (to ensure increased accountability and outcomes)

Two major issues were raised by the participants, New Brunswick's ban on amateur mobile operation (the only Canadian province with such a ban) and foul language on the airways and the perceived lack of language enforcement by Industry Canada.

RAC and Amateurs in New Brunswick fought the legislation banning Amateur Radio mobile operation when it was introduced and for RAC represents the only (temporary) defeat on this issue. All other provinces responded to RAC and Amateur lobbying and now permit amateur mobile radio operation. Provinces changed their draft legislation due to our collective action. The New Brunswick file is still open and we will continue to work with our members to have the legislation changed to enhance safety in that province. Eventually the politicians will see the light.

Good practice requires that operators use language that is inoffensive. I can recall that I would tell employees that if you couldn't tell your mother a certain joke or show her a certain cartoon and if you wouldn't proudly tape it to the outside of your office door then you shouldn't have the joke or cartoon in the workplace. The same guideline should apply to the use of Amateur frequencies. RAC is not a regulatory agency but we will reinforce good practice and raise issues raised by our members to Industry Canada. Foul language is not good practice.

I am looking forward to our next webinar for Northern and Eastern Ontario with Director Bill Unger, VE3XT. Invitations will be going out shortly.

Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW
President and Chair RAC

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Vernon Ikeda - VE2MBS/VE2QQ
Pointe-Claire, Québec
RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor