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FAQ
RAC

Although many of the answers to these questions are embedded in other material on the RAC web site, they are included here in the interests of brevity and clarity. You are encouraged to read the original referenced material for greater detail and precise wording. Section/Article references are to the RAC Constitution.

RAC Logo How is my membership money spent?
RAC Logo What do the Board Of Directors and the RAC Executive do?
RAC Logo What are RAC's services to members?
RAC Logo How do members have a say in RAC's day-to-day operation?
RAC Logo How do members have a say at the RAC Annual General Meeting?


How is the money of RAC members' spent?

Q. - How are the RAC Directors and Executive officers remunerated?

A. - The salary of our only employee, the full-time General Manager, is consistent with compensation practices in Ottawa.

Under the RAC Constitution, all other Executive Officers and the Directors must serve without remuneration. They are unpaid volunteers who work out of their homes across the country. They may be compensated for expenses incurred, but many have even absorbed all or many of their personal expenses as a further personal contribution to RAC. [Section 7 - Article 10]

Q. - How large is the RAC Headquarters office and staff?

A. - RAC's current under-900 sq ft office has space for the General Manager, office machines, filing cabinets, storage racks and some work tables for visiting volunteers.

Q. - How much of my membership/subscription fee goes to pay for my TCA subscription and how much to support other membership services?

A. - The wording of the question overlooks the fact that RAC has other sources of revenue to help cover expenditures.

Though book revenues are down since then, and expenses have also been reduced, a recent RAC budget showed

Revenues

  • Membership Fees - 73%
  • Book Sales - 17%
  • Other income, including administrative services - 10%
  • Total - 100%

Expenditures

  • Headquarters (salaries, rent, utilities, insurance, postage etc) - 40%
  • Cost of Publication of TCA  - 35%
  • Cost of Books published - 12%
  • Director, Executive and Field Organization expenses - 7%
  • Representation Expenses - 3%*
  • Outgoing QSL Bureau - 1.5%
  • Other member services - 1.5%
  • Total - 100%

* Representation expenses are those expenses incurred , on behalf of ALL Canadian radio amateurs, so that you have a voice in discussions on spectrum allocation, electrical and RF safety standards, antenna and support structure restrictions, and other proposed regulations and activities affecting all Canadian amateurs. These include membership fees and attendance and participation in Radio Advisory Board of Canada and International Amateur Radio Union, and attendance and participation at Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board and Canadian Standards Association meetings.

Q. - How much of my membership/subscription money may a Director spend on his own projects?

A. - The Director has a small budget to cover the travel and miscellaneous expenses of that office. No money can be spent on unbudgeted projects. Budgets and any budget amendments must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. [Section 7 - Article 3]

Q. - Can I purchase RAC membership without a subscription to The Canadian Amateur?

A. - As a not-for-profit membership association, Radio Amateurs of Canada is obligated under law to periodically communicate with its members on legal matters. The Canadian Amateur (TCA) is our primary means of communication with members. Therefore a subscription to TCA is not separable from membership. However, if you are blind, and can provide RAC Headquarters with your CNIB Registration number, or if you are a family member living under the same roof as a RAC Full Member, you can be a Family Member without receiving your own separate copy of TCA by mail. CNIB makes available TCA on audio tape to visually impaired RAC members, which satisfies the legal requirement.

Q. - Why can I not just purchase The Canadian Amateur at a local newsstand.

A. - RAC has investigated the feasibility of making TCA available to non-members and prospective members in that form. Unfortunately this is a very costly method of distribution and not cost-effective in our print run quantities.

Q. - How was the RAC delegate to ITU WRC-97 funded?

A. - Vice President - Government Affairs Jim Dean attended the October 1997 and 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference of the International Telecommunications Union in Geneva. For the first time ever, in 1997, a Canadian amateur radio delegate attended as an official member of the Canadian delegation. This followed on his attendance at a series of official conference preparatory meetings in Canada. His expenses were funded through the Defence of Amateur Radio Fund. The DARF money was raised several years ago for the specific purpose of financing participation at such conferences in the defense of amateur radio spectrum and regulations. A campaign later in 1999 will be mounted to replenish the DARF for expenses associated with the next WRC.

Q. - How does RAC decide what will be included in the annual budget?

A. - Preparation of the annual budget is the responsibility of the Treasurer and the Administration and Finance Committee. They are aided by the RAC General Manager, who provides information on past expenses and expense projections. Any Director or Officer may propose items for inclusion in the draft budget. The final budget is approved by majority vote of the Board of Directors. A draft budget for the following year is also prepared and submitted by the Treasurer. This draft budget is subject to fine-tuning throughout the year, resulting in its approval vote a year later.

Q. - Where can I see the RAC Audited Financial Statements?

A. - After formal presentation to the membership at the Annual General Meeting, the RAC audited financial statements are published in The Canadian Amateur as soon as sufficient space is available. They are also posted to the RAC web site.

Q. - How much money does RAC retain from donations to the RAC Foundation?

A. - Donations are transferred to the Community Foundation of Ottawa-Carleton who issue a tax receipt directly to the donor. RAC not only makes no money from your donations but RAC contributes minor administrative support for donations and subsequent grant disbursements, as an added benefit of RAC membership.

Q. - I see from the web site that I can donate to the Defence of Amateur Radio Fund and to the RAC Foundation. Can I also make a donation to RAC itself?

A. - Yes. Your donation will be most welcome. In spite of drastic cost-cutting, as a not-for-profit organization, RAC is always operating close to breakeven every year as there are so many competing needs and never enough money to do it all. Unfortunately, only the RAC Foundation, as a registered charity, can provide a tax receipt.

Q. - Why is RAC not more active with membership solicitation by mail?

A. - The cost of our 1996 membership campaign by mail was approximately $25,000. We were able to defray some of those costs through a partnership with several amateur radio equipment advertisers who provided mailing inserts and shared the postage. Without that form of joint effort, RAC could not afford to repeat that type of promotion. Instead, RAC has focused on increasing the benefits of RAC membership (Affiliated Club Program, Club Insurance program, Audiovisual Library, RAC Foundation, greater emphasis on the Field Organization, expanded RAC web site, etc). We hope that we will earn more membership interest in that way. However, we are depending on our current members to spread the good word in your clubs. Don't just assume that all your friends are members. Tell them about our new programs and why membership now provides greater benefits than ever before - with more to come. Print out material from this web site to show your friends what they are missing, and why they should support RAC.



RAC Membership Services

Q. - What RAC member benefits have been added since the beginning of 1997?

A. - The RAC Foundation, the RAC Affiliated Club Program, the RAC Club Liability Insurance and the RAC Audiovisual Library. There has also been a massive expansion of this web site to include descriptions of all RAC programs and activities in both official languages..

Q. - What benefit does RAC receive from the RAC Affiliated Club Program?

A. - The first two objectives outlined in the RAC Constitution deal with our liaison and coordination roles with other amateur radio organizations. This program was developed as a means of furthering a spirit of cooperation and to assist the clubs with further resources and the benefits of coordination. Since there are no charges for affiliation there can be no financial gain. [Section 1 - Articles 1 and 2]

Q. - Why don't I see more of RAC people promoting RAC membership at my local club?

A. - RAC is a membership association. All the Directors and Executive are unpaid volunteers. There is very limited funding available for travel. The web site has dozens of pages of useful information which you can print out for distribution to your friends and membership prospects. Included is a membership application form. Just because you may not have an official title don't feel that you cannot make your own contribution to RAC's growth and future viability.

Q. - What kind of RAC projects are handled by volunteers?

A. - RAC volunteers work only on amateur radio and membership-related projects and not on activities which are themselves revenue-producing.

Q. - How can I volunteer to help RAC?

A. - If you are in the Ottawa area please contact the RAC General Manager. Otherwise, please contact your Regional Director or your Section Manager.



What RAC directors and the RAC executive do

Q. - Who establishes RAC policies?

A. - Broadly, the Directors have primary responsibility for development of policies. The Board of Directors may prescribe rules and regulations relating to the management and operation of RAC as they deem expedient and which are not inconsistent with the Constitution. In practice these rules and regulations are incorporated into the Policies and Procedures Manual, which is the set of guidelines used by the Officers to manage the daily business of RAC. [Section 9 - Article 2]

Q. - What are the functions and activities of a RAC Director?

A. - The property and business affairs of RAC are managed by a Board of seven Directors, one from each Region. Each Director is the principal representative of RAC in his Region for such matters and activities as may be assigned from time to time by the Board.

The Directors meet annually in April / May, and at irregular intervals by e-mail for discussion of proposals. Motions and voting are in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, which means formal exchange of opinions open to all Directors, a Motion and Second, further discussion on the Motion and then a formal vote. [Section 6 - Article 9]

The Board of Directors and the President have formed Standing, Ad-Hoc and Advisory Committees, which may include members drawn from both Directors and Executive Officers as well as possibly outside participation by members. Through their committee participation, the Directors have the opportunity to actively participate in RAC management. The Standing Committees are Finance and Administration, and Internet Services Management. Ad-Hoc Committees may be established for a specific purpose by approval of a motion at a general meeting or at a meeting of the Board. Advisory Committees members are appointed by the President.

Q. - What are the functions and activities of the RAC President?

A. - The President's major function is as Chair of the Board of Directors. He presides over all meetings of the Board of Directors but is subject to instructions from the Board. The President represents RAC in its relationship internationally, to the public, and to governmental agencies and officials. He is the official spokesman of the Board on all matters of RAC policy. [Section 8 - Article 5]

Q. - What are the functions and activities of an Executive Officer?

A. - The Executive Officers are responsible for overseeing and supporting the staff who carry out the day to day operation of RAC, in accordance with the RAC annual budget and the RAC Policy and Procedures Manual. Each officer is assigned responsibilities based upon the Constitution and provides an annual report on those activities for approval of the Directors. In addition, each Officer reports throughout the year to the RAC President. [Section 8]

Q. - If there is no financial benefit and indeed substantial personal cost, why would anyone serve as a volunteer Director or Officer, or otherwise volunteer to help RAC in any position?

A. - RAC is very fortunate to have so many volunteers assisting with this important work on behalf of their fellow Canadian radio amateurs. Many RAC volunteers have served, and may still be serving as QSL Bureau Managers, amateur radio course instructors, delegated examiners, executive in local clubs or provincial societies, or Amateur Radio Emergency Service leadership appointments. Each RAC volunteer has a personal reason for serving, usually associated with a desire to help RAC support Canadian amateur radio. The paid staff is too small to do it all. Any allegation of personal gain is simply not true, nor can it be true, as can be seen from this discussion of the Constitution and by-laws.



How Members Control RAC'S Operation

Q. - When and how was Radio Amateurs of Canada incorporated?

A. - Radio Amateurs of Canada, Inc was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation under Part II of the Canadian Corporations Act. The letters patent were recorded 8 December 1992.

Q. - How may I view the RAC Constitution?

A. - The RAC Constitution, which corresponds to By-law One, is posted on this web site. It may be read or downloaded and printed out. There have been two by-law amendments (1994 and 1997) which also are posted with the Constitution. Those amendments affect certain paragraphs in the Constitution. RAC members are encouraged to become familiar with the Constitution and amendments. An informed and active electorate is important to the health and well being of our organization.

Q. - How may the RAC by-laws be amended?

A. - Any amendment to the by-laws must first be passed by majority vote of the Directors followed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast at a special general meeting of members. An annual general meeting may also be a special general meeting. Special general meetings of the members may be called at any time by order of the President or by order of a majority of the Board of Directors. A special general meeting must also be called by the President on the requisition of not less than one-tenth the total number of Full and Full Life Members. Before being enforced or acted upon, any repealed or amended by-law must be approved by the federal government Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. [Section 6 - Articles 1 and 2, and Section 9 - Article 1]

Notice of any annual or special meeting of members and a summary of the purposes of the meeting containing enough information to allow a reasoned decision, shall be given to the members. That notice must reach the members not more than fifty days prior to and not less than twenty-one days prior to the date of the meeting. The notice may be placed in The Canadian Amateur or mailed separately. [Section 6 - Article 4]

Q. - How are the RAC Directors nominated and elected?

A. - A call for nominations including the name of the incumbent is published in TCA by the RAC Secretary on behalf of the Election Committee, prior to the month of August in the election year for that RAC Region. Ten or more Full Members in any RAC Region may nominate any qualified RAC Full Member in that Region. Such nominating petitions should be sent to the RAC Secretary not later than 1 September or such alternative date as announced. The Election Committee reviews the nominations and must delete the name of any nominee, who is found to be ineligible for election under the Constitution, and the name of any nominee who may withdraw. No RAC Officer may simultaneously serve as a Director.

If there is only one candidate, the Election Committee declares that candidate elected without balloting by the membership in that Region. On or before 1 October the Secretary sends a ballot by mail to every person who was a Full Member on 1 September of that year. The ballot lists all the candidates, a copy of the relevant by-law provisions, a copy of each candidate's biographical notes if such has been received, and a distinctive return envelope. Ballots must reach the Secretary by noon of the third Friday of November of that election year.

A Committee of three or more Tellers, none of whom may be candidates, counts the votes. Any RAC Full Member who presents the Secretary by 1 October of the election year with a petition containing the signatures of ten Full Members may be a witness at the counting.

Directors are elected for a two-year term starting 1 January following their election. Even- numbered years are election years in Atlantic (NF, NS, NB and PE), Ontario-North (Postal Codes P and K), Midwest (MB and SK), and Pacific (BC and YT) regions. Odd-numbered years are election years in Quebec, Ontario-South (Postal Codes L, M and N), and Alberta/NT regions. [Section 7 - Article 6]

The office of Director shall be vacated: a) upon resignation of the Director; b) if the Director is found by a Court to be of unsound mind; c) if the Director becomes bankrupt or suspends payments or compounds with his creditors; d) upon death of the Director; or e) if the Director is removed from office by vote of at least 75% of the members present at a members meeting validly called. Vacancies in the Board of Directors may be filled by majority vote of the remaining Directors for a Full Member from that Region having the qualifications required of a Director. To continue serving beyond that partial term, that person must stand for re-election at the normal election time for that Region. [Section 7 - Article 7]

Q. - How are the RAC Executive officers nominated and elected?

A. - The Nomination Committee consists of all the Regional Directors. The Chair is normally the Past President, though the Directors may appoint an alternate Chair who is a Full Member but not a Director or Executive Officer. Between 15 September and 31 October of an Executive election year the President may submit to the Nominations Committee a nomination for one or more of the executive offices including a maximum 300 word resume for each nominee. The President normally proposes a full slate of officers based upon the expertise, experience and ability of each to serve in that complex position as well as their compatibility with the President and the rest of the proposed team. Up to 31 October, the Directors may also submit nominations for one or more Executive offices including a maximum 300 word resume for each nominee. No Director may simultaneously serve as an Officer.

The Executive Officers are elected by majority vote of the RAC Directors. Should there be more than two nominations, and if the first round of voting does not produce a majority vote for one candidate, any candidate not receiving sufficient votes to be in first or second place is dropped from a second round of voting.

Executive Officers serve for a one year term (January 1 through December 31). Any person may be elected and occupy the same office for a third term but not for a fourth term. In event of death or other inability to act, the Board of Directors may elect by majority vote a replacement for the remainder of the unexpired term of that office. [1997 by-law amendment]

Subject to contractual obligation, any RAC officer or official may be removed from office at any time by majority vote of the Board of Directors who may then appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term.

Though they are also elected by majority vote of the Board of Directors for a one year term, these RAC officials are not defined in the RAC Constitution as Executive Officers:

  • The Honorary Legal Counsel is asked to attend the Board and executive meetings as a non-voting legal advisor on an 'as required' basis.
  • The Field Services Manager heads the RAC Field Organization comprising the eight Section Managers and their leadership and station appointments.
  • The General Manager is the administrative official of RAC and is charged with the general supervision of the administration of RAC.