This (slightly edited) piece comes from Alasdair Robertson, VE3RAA, the executive director of the Canadian Association of Rally Sport which is one of the other amateur-radio related groups that has joined with Radio Amateurs of Canada and the Toronto FM Society to fight any impact of Bill 118 on Ontario hams.
Comment from our members is good. I would suggest that we ask them to make the following points:
1. A recognition that Amateur Radio is safe and reasonable activity in a car.
2. A recognition that Amateur Radio deserves at least equal standing to CB, taxi, tow-truck radios, etc.
In support of these points, our members should make the case that:
1. Amateur radio should be specifically exempted by the regulations for Bill 118. "Drivers holding a valid amateur radio operator license issued by Industry Canada and using a half-duplex two-way radio."
2. Amateur radio operators are federally licensed and highly trained; unlike CB, taxi, tow-truck and other operators likely to be exempted in the regulations.
3. Amateur radio operators are an essential communications link in cases of natural or man-made disaster.
4. Amateur radio operators are an essential communications link at community, sporting, and public service events.
5. Amateur radio operators are currently exempted from anti-cell phone legislation in various other jurisdictions in recognition of the important public service they offer.
I would further suggest that no mention be made of:
2. Complex transmission modes, including CW, or any complex equipment installations.
3. The daily commute ‘rag-chew’
To add to what Alasdair is suggesting:
It is important that we ask STAY ON MESSAGE. It is entirely counter productive to make some other case than what has been circulated to ministry staff, the minister’s office, and to our supporters at Queen’s Park. It is also important that any materials we provide ARE NOT simply cut and pasted into an email by dozens of people.
Each response should provide the same message, but it shouldn’t be identical. Personal stories of public service ("I’m an ARES member who…" or "I provide communications for the…") would be very useful.
It would also be very useful if the presidents of the various clubs responded on behalf of their members, including references to their areas of coverage and number of members. We want to show that we are province-wide and include many people.
Above all, we want to present ourselves as calm, reasonable men and women who are conscious of our responsibility to operate our cars and our radios safely.